This may come as a shock, but the writers of "House" are managing to find a way to incorporate both the old Ducklings and the new Numbers. It is surprising and actually entertaining to watch, but the jury is still out if this will continue. If more episodes were like this episode "Emancipation," and less centered on annoying 13, it would be as good as the earlier seasons. The patient of the week is a sixteen year old factory worker who emancipated from her parents and seems to have it all together. Naturally by the episode this is all a lie, and it is instead about how she is a complete mess. Foreman mirrors her story in a strange way by emancipating himself from Papa House, thanks to help from Mama Cuddy.

Sixteen year old Sophia almost gets her head bashed in at work when her heart fails, and House is on the case. Kutner attaches himself quickly to her, almost as fast as Cameron falls in love with dying men (oh snap), because they share ground as orphans. Or so she says. Sophia seems to really have her life under control, expect in the way that she is dying although nothing is wrong with her heart. Kutner's trusting little heart is broken when she lies to them in an MRI and he catches her; her parents are not dead! It is worse. Her father is a rapist, and her mother enabled him. This makes things very difficult when Sophia gets worse and the only way to save her might be by contacting her parents.

House is having a little trouble of his own. He did not ask Cuddy out on a date last episode and chickened out instead. He goes to Wilson for some classic analysis, but his BFF is not interested. Instead Wilson accepts House's decision and does not argue, push, or manipulate his friend in any way. This drives House completely insane, of course. At the same time, Foreman asks to do a clinical trial and House turns him down, saying he can't do two jobs at once. Foreman then becomes a rebellious teenager and sulks around the clinic, until Cuddy gives him his own medical mystery case: a four year old on the verge of death. Foreman is determined to prove he can do it without House, which sounds slightly familiar since they did it, oh, all of the first three seasons, and he calls in the help of the other Ducklings. Chase and Cameron help but when all three can do nothing, Foreman is forced to ask House for help. He unhelpfully refuses.

The answer to Sophia's illness is found in her hair: arsenic from making her own furniture. Weird. However, this is not the problem, since the arsenic actually made her healthier. She has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. She refuses to turn to her 'evil' parents for help, and Taub uses 13's illness to his advantage by saying he is dying, and persuading Sophia to pick life. 13 goes searching for Sophia's family and finds it … only she turns out not to be Sophia at all. House must be halfway in love with the girl by now since she keeps proving his 'everybody lies' theory. Finally, due to her logical reasoning in an emotional situation, House realizes Sophia was lying about her parents being evil and forces her to face her fear and guilt about the death of her baby brother. Ouch.

Another set of siblings, both alive (for now) are under Foreman's supervision. House would not help him, so Foreman really has to figure out his case all by himself. He gets a revelation of his own thanks to Chase and realizes that the brother is too helpful; he gives the little one twice as many vitamins! Very cute. Foreman is satisfied he can do it on his own and demands House let him do a trial. Obviously, this was all a game by House to help Foreman grow up, and agrees. Papa is still watching, Foreman. This was an excellent episode and used all of the characters without strain. Maybe they can actually juggle nine people at once … wow! Next week House is trapped in Cuddy's office with a man with a gun demanding to be treated, but this is hardly the first time he's been in a life threatening situation. Heck, he caused several near-death experiences himself over the years!

House cast: Hugh Laurie / Lisa Edelstein / Omar Epps / Robert Sean Leonard / Jennifer Morrison / Jesse Spencer / Peter Jacobson / Kal Penn / Anne Dudek / Olivia Wilde / Edi Gathegi

Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer