13 gets back on track by suggesting a family connection. Irene's mother died at the age of twenty-five, which Irene is only one year shy of. Meanwhile, that mother looked pretty damn old for twenty-five. Either life was rough in the Ukraine twenty years ago, or Irene is hallucinating an older version of her mother who never actually existed. That's some sophisticated hallucinating there! Kumar doesn't think they'll have much luck getting the mother's medical records. House agrees. They'll just have to test the patient for every hereditary disease under the sun. In alphabetical order. Let's hope for Irene's sake that she doesn't have ZZTopitis.
The ladies get to deal with the patient, who angrily insists that her mother is not dead and is sitting in the corner of the room right now. CTB persists in upsetting Irene and telling her of her mother's long-ago demise until 13 tells her to leave Irene alone. "Convincing her that her mother's dead isn't going to make her better. Just miserable," 13 says. This gives CTB an opening to ask 13 if she lost her mother. Maybe, or maybe 13 just knows the tiniest thing about human emotions and compassion. You don't have to lose a mom to know that it makes you sad. CTB goes back to torturing Irene, who accuses them of being mean and bad at their jobs. Ghost Mother tells her to be nice, to which Irene says they're doing exactly what "the guy in the wheelchair said they'd do." This gets both of the doctors' attention. 13 asks who Irene's talking about, and she says she's talking about the guy in the wheelchair who's been hanging around the halls complaining about how incompetent everyone at PPTH is. This could literally be anyone PPTH has ever "treated," so Irene narrows it down by adding that 13 also killed the guy's dog. To her credit, 13 remains remarkably composed at this, whereas I totally would have run screaming out of the room. I mean, I don't believe in ghosts, but I might start if I was responsible for someone's recent death.
Meanwhile, Cuddy has asked Foreman out to lunch. She wants to hire him back because he understands and can control House, unlike, you know, Cuddy. House's boss. I have absolutely no faith that Foreman could've stopped House from making the Numbers dig up that guy, but the point is moot anyway, since Foreman doesn't want the job, even after Cuddy offers him more money than he'd get anywhere else. He says he left PPTH for a reason, and that reason is still valid.
House is playing a generic version of Operation when the Numbers report back that all their tests have come back negative so far. So now House is extra-annoyed that not only did they interrupt his fun game, but they did it to report nothing new. CTB helpfully adds that Irene has added a new hallucination to her repertoire -- a man in a wheelchair with a dog and some understandable bitterness. 13 has a perfectly rational explanation for this, figuring that someone on PPTH's unprofessional, HIPAA-disregarding staff talked about Dr. 13 and her touch of death, and Irene just overheard that and incorporated it into her hallucinations. House quickly tires of the patient crap and starts picking on Cole again, this time insulting Cole's child. Even though Weird Beard isn't a real doctor, he remains the only person in the room with an ounce of professionalism and dedication to the patient's welfare, so he steps between the two and suggests that they ask Irene's dead mother how she died. House approves of this, and the crew head out. Except for PS, who refuses to accept that Weird Beard's methods are valid, because he has no medical degree. For this, he gets a subtle flip-off from Weird Beard, who is like the coolest guy ever. I demand a spin-off. I don't care if it's just an hour every week of Weird Beard going over Columbia applications. I'd still watch it.
So House and 13 go to Irene's room and ask to speak to her mom. Unfotunately, Irene is distracted by another man in the room. 13 worries that the man in the wheelchair is back to yell at her for killing him, but this is a new guy. An old guy. Who, Irene points out, looks like House. Dead Mom smiles. I think she's got a crush on the guy. Ghost Love! House humors Irene and says it must be Grandpa House. Grandpa House speaks up and says his name is Walter, which Irene tells House. That shuts him up, and he quickly leaves the room. He's probably afraid that Grandpa House will give him an earful for slurring Grandma House's good name by telling rape patients that she used to make House sleep outside and stuff.