House ‘Emancipation’

Wednesday, November 19 by

This episode is full of liars. The patient lies to the doctors. Taub lies to the patient. Wilson lies to House. Foreman lies to House. House lies to himself. In the end the only one not freed from his lies is House.

The Patient

Sophia Valez is a 16 year old girl living on her own who recently began choking on fluid from her lungs. This girl tells so many different stories you almost don’t care anymore what’s wrong with her, you just want to figure out who the Frick she is. She works in a factory, emancipated and on her own since her parents died a year ago.

They discuss the possibility of pregancy, drug use, is she a liar? No, no, maybe.  House orders an echo to check for damage to her heart. There’s no heart damage. Vasculitis is the next theory. Kutner puts her on Steroids. Later he and Taub walk in to find her having a psychotic episode.  Now they have a new syptom. Fluid in her lungs and delirium. What could cause both? Foreman suggests maybe Prinzmetal Angina, a heart condition that could cause an artery in her brain to spasm leading to delirium and pulmonary adema. They take her to the MRI.

There Kutner talks to her about her parents and how difficult it must have been to lose them. An orphan himself, he is empathtic toward Sophia and her struggles.  He notices that her brain arteries are fine, shutting down Foreman’s theory. He also notices that her limbic system is reacting when she is talking about her parents death and that part of the brain is only reactive when using the imagination. Her parents can’t be dead. Kutner tells her this and asks her why she lied about her parents death. Sophia explains she was emancipated after her father raped her and her mother pretended nothing had happened.

Kutner and Foreman bring the negative results and the new backstory to House. The team discusses new possibilities for her syptoms. An STD after the rape? House things its severe stress causing her to react physically to her messy life.

Thirteen goes to measure her reactions to stress and discover blood in her urine. It’s not stress. Back to square one. So now she has pulmonary adema, delirium and bloody urine. House recalls that she makes her own furniture and that she possibly has arsenic poisioning. Thirteen begins to treat her for arsenic, while giving her advice on her rape situation. As she insists Sophia is strong, she will be fine, Sophia begins to seize.

Another MRI shows lesions forming on her brain just three days after her first MRI showed nothing. House concludes that whatever is wrong with her, the arsenic wasn’t what was killing her, it was helping her. So, what does arsenic treat? Syphilis and Leukemia. Having already ruled out STDs it is clear Sophia has Leukemia. Medical mystery solved, but the solution involves her parents. Sophia will need bone marrow from one of her parents in order to survive.

Thirteen and Taub remove the lesions from her brain while trying to convince her that she will die if she doesn’t call her parents. She refuses. Taub tells her he has Huntington’s Disease and that he will die. It’s not certain when, but it is certain, and he would do anything he could to change that. He is actually talking about Thirteen.  She owes it to herself to live as long and as well as possible. She says that he will never know what it is like to be raped, so he couldn’t possibly understand.

Thirteen is upset that Taub used her situation to persuade Sophia into calling her parents. He claims that she never makes anything personal, and what he said was true. Thirteen tells House that they need to find Sophia’s parents. She has been through trauma and is not thinking clearly. House affirms that they must do what she wants. They can’t call her parents, but instead can check the donor banks to try and save her. Thirteen says that what she wants will kill her, and leaves to find her parents.

At Sophia’s parents house, Thirteen tells Mr. Valez that Sophia is in the hospital being treated for Leukemia. He and his wife will need to come to the hospital to be tested as donors. He looks confused as as the real Sophia Valez walks up to the door.

An angry Thirteen then confronts the girl she has been treating as Sophia Valez. Why is she lying? She claims she stold the girls identity for protection, so her parents can’t find her. She still refuses to call her real parents.

Good news is they found a partial donor. The team confronts House. If they do the procedure odds are she’ll reject it. If they don’t, she’ll die in a week.  They urge him to get her to call her parents. House blames her stupidity. She is reacting emotional and emotional reactions are stupid. Taub says she wants to deny her parents the ability to save her life. Epiphany! House knows she is still lying.

House enters Sophia’s room. What did you do that was worse than rape? Your response was rational, not emotional. There was no emotion to process, so you were lying about being raped. Why lie about rape unless you’re covering up something much worse. What did you do? At this point Sophia breaks, I guess House has that effect on people. She admits she left home and was emancipated after she killed her little brother. He was in the bathtub. She was supposed to watch him. He was laughing. And then he wasn’t. She can’t call her parents. They won’t care.

In a rare moment of House going soft, he tells her if she doesn’t take their bone marrow she will be killing their other child. Hands her the phone and tells her not to make it worse.


We don’t get much drama in the House/Cuddy relationship this week.  House is confronted immediately by Wilson and expects the usual parade of questions and mind games. Instead he gets nothing.  House seems baffled by Wilson’s lack of interest in his Cuddy kiss. Honestly, so am I.

Later House approaches Wilson and tells him he went to Cuddy’s house but didn’t ring her actual or metaphorical bell. Wilson again gives him nothing. House says Wilson is disappointed. Wilson says he can’t tell him what to do. House says that Wilson acting like he doesn’t care is annoying. Wilson leaves and House screams, “Holding things in can give you cancer!”


Foreman approaches House and says that he has been asked to run a clinical trial. He says he has time to work on other things and he wants to stand on his own. House says no.

Foreman is determined to prove himself and heads to his clinical trial, against House’s wishes. There he meets Cuddy who refuses to allow him to do the clinical trial. Instead, she gives him a case, a chance to prove himself.

Foreman tries to save a 4 year old boy names Jonah who is puking up blood. The mom and older brother don’t leave his side. His brother helps Foreman to get Jonah to swallow a camera so he can take a look at Jonahs stomach. Mid-test Jonah laughs hysterically at nothing.

Foreman enlists the help of Chase and Cameron. Could we be seeing the beginning of another team? They throw around ideas. Meningitis? Stomach cancer? Perpheria? All come back negative. Chase tells Foreman there’s a point when he and Cameron won’t be enough, he should ask House for help. Foreman refuses as his boy codes. They bring him back and Foreman is forced to go to House. House refuses.

Chase, Cameron, and Foreman discuss Jonah’s case. What could be making him sick? Is it his mother? Is it his brother? Foreman defends the family. His brother is too protective. He takes care of Jonah, makes sure he eats, brushes his teeth, and gives him his vitamins… EPIPHANY! Turns out the brother was giving him too many vitamins, and caused Jonah to have an iron overdose. He will be fine.

The End

I love the part of the show, when the beautiful music plans and everyone’s life begins to come together. And this is the part where all parties become emancipated from the lies that have been holding them back from living their life.

In Sophia’s case, she calls her parents. They show up only to embrace her and shower her with tears and love. Not quite the tragic situation she envisioned.

Foreman discharges his patient. He solved his first case and immediately goes to see House. He tells House that he is all grown up. He can and he will do clinical trials. House says okay.

In the elevator, Wilson and House are silent. They discuss Foreman. House knew all along and wanted Foreman to prove himself. Wilson says he may be an ass, but he’s a noble one. House tells Wilson that what he’s doing won’t work. “I’m not Foreman and you’re not me.” He stares at Cuddy for a moment. Wilson asks if he’d like to talk about it. House says no. They leave, House still lying to himself. 


Recap by Jana Moseley


Do you like this story?

More about...

$this_cat_breadcrumbs = get_the_category(); $this_cat_name_breadcrumbs = $this_cat_breadcrumbs[0]->name; $parent_cat_id_breadcrumbs = $this_cat_breadcrumbs[0]->category_parent;