I sat through the last half of the Super Bowl this year not because I am a Patriots or Giants fan, but because a brand new episode of "House" was showing after the game was over.

There was nothing more agonizing than waiting for the post game to finish so the familiar 'Viewer Discretion Advised' could flash on the screen, and it was time for the episode "Frozen." Last week was a great episode, although still struggling due to screen time and mild medical cases, but this one was clearly a higher step up. It put me in mind of some of the better episodes of "House" in past seasons, and was amusing, tense, and even a little charming.

A lot of that charm is thanks to guest star Mira Sorvino, and she showed an instant amount of on-screen chemistry with Hugh Laurie. Although House and her character Cate Milton never meet in person, they find in one another a kindred spirit, and House is uncharacteristically drawn to this patient.

Cate is a doctor in the South Pole who attends the flesh wound of her mechanic Sean when she falls over physically ill herself. House needs to diagnose Cate through a web-cam, and she must use her own skills and tough spirit to run through all the tests necessary to find out what is killing her. With limited resources and time running out, will House be able to save a woman he truly admires? No, she dies horribly and he's a failure as a human being. Just kidding. Remember when that would actually happen on "House" from time to time? I always liked his failures better than his wins; it added a little realism to an otherwise unique medical plots.

On the personal side, Wilson has a new girlfriend and House tries to figure out who it is. Her identity is one that surprises both him and the viewers. The Numbers are assigned by House to bother Cameron until she helps him get cable in the hospital, which leads to him chewing them out for never fighting back. Then again, that is what happens when House hires a team based on cutthroat competitive tactics; they are bound to be timid and wary of him.

The end result of the medical mystery turns out to be a bit of a dud, but it quickly takes a back seat to the character relationships and growth that came out of this episode. Cate was a fantastic plot device (and plot device she was, no matter how well acted), and I am certain no one would regret seeing her come back another time. Then again, the last thing this show needs is another character to sweep in and take time from others. Chase doesn't make an appearance, and Cuddy has one brief scene which is boring and barely makes a blip on the episode.

There is no need to reiterate what has been said constantly about the large cast on "House," and so you can all assume my opinion has not changed in the least. With Wilson's new girlfriend coming on, who knows if that means two other characters will be bumped to one line to make room for a too large cast. Why not just call this "Grey's Anatomy" and get it over with?

Those complaints aside, this episode was a pleasure. The acting was superb, and there were great one liners. Wilson certainly had the most, since he and House have been consistently bantering in episodes instead of him psychoanalyzing his friend. "Yo momma" and "how dare you!" come to mind, but there was a great deal of light-hearted humor, and it put a metaphoric twinkle back into the eye of "House" that has always been one of the show's greatest assets.

Hopefully "House" can keep this glimmer of magic when the writers return from their strike. There is a brand new episode on Tuesday, at 9 p.m. EST on FOX, where House delves deeper into Wilson's new romance, and a woman who converted to Hasidic Judaism collapses at her wedding.

Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer