On House

The Little Doctor Who Wasn't Really There

By Bradley H. Sinor

I didn’t start watching House M.D. when it first came on the air, mainly because my initial reaction was, “Oh no, not another doctor show.” When I did start watching the series, I found out how mistaken I was. That first episode I saw, maybe the sixth or seventh of the season, turned out to have a sharp story, interesting characters, and, to say the least, some very cool special effects.

Almost from that first view I also noticed something odd about one of the characters, or at least I thought it was odd. That person was James Evan Wilson, M.D., graduate of Montreal’s McGill University. Besides being the head of the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital’s Department of Oncology, he also happened to be Dr. Gregory House’s best and, perhaps, only friend.

The thing that struck me as odd about Wilson, almost from the very first episode, was that, at times, I found myself wondering if he was real. Yes, he was on screen, but there was something almost supernatural about him.

In several instances House turned around or looked up and Wilson was just standing there. There was no sign that he had walked in–i.e., the sound of a door opening or someone saying “Hello”–or any indication to show that Wilson had been in the room all along. At first it only seemed to happen when no one else was around. Then I noticed that there were times when others were in the room and didn’t seem to notice him.

In “Occam’s Razor” (1-3),  …

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