Wilson (House episode)

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House episode
Episode no.Season 6
Episode 10
Directed byLesli Linka Glatter
Written byDavid Foster
Original air dateNovember 30, 2009
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Ignorance Is Bliss"
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House (season 6)
List of House episodes

"Wilson" is the tenth episode of the sixth season of House. It aired on November 30, 2009. The episode, uniquely centered on Wilson and a day in his life, was notable for departing from the usual House-centric storyline.


House wakes Wilson from sleep at 6:30 am by playing his guitar and singing "Faith" by George Michael. House is curious as to why Wilson is not getting ready for work, and Wilson explains that he is not going to work – he is taking a day off, and going hunting with a friend. He returns to bed but is followed by House who states that the person Wilson is going hunting with is not a friend but a "self-important jerk" who does not even know his name (calling him Jim). Wilson ignores him and goes back to sleep.

The hunting trip is with Tucker, a former oncology patient, who credits Wilson with saving his life 5 years prior, when close to death from leukemia. Tucker wants to reward "Jim" in various ways (such as taking him on this hunting trip) for saving his life. They follow a ritual of sticking an empty chemotherapy bag onto a tree, Wilson labeling it with the number of years Tucker has been free of cancer and Tucker shooting the bag. Wilson turns away, using a hunting whistle to try to attract turkeys, suddenly Tucker misfires, narrowly missing Wilson's head. Wilson turns around alarmed, finding Tucker on the ground and complaining he cannot move his arm.

Tucker is summarily taken to the hospital for diagnostic tests. Initially, Wilson diagnoses the man with transverse myelitis after noticing that Tucker's girlfriend has a cold sore, the virus of which if transmitted to Tucker could be the cause of his sudden onset paralysis. He prescribes Acyclovir, feeling proud of his 'House-like' diagnostic coup. House, however, bets Wilson $100 that it's actually a recurrence of his cancer, which Wilson refuses to believe. Tucker is discovered to have acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a different form of leukemia than the one he was treated for five years ago (the chemo treatment of which possibly caused/complicated this new recurrence). The cancer seems very treatable, but Tucker does not initially respond to treatment. During the treatment process, regardless of House's warning Wilson decides to employ a double dose of chemotherapy, which does cure the cancer but leads to severe liver damage. Wilson is horrified to realise that without a transplant, Tucker has about twenty-four hours to live.

House informs Wilson of a motorcycle accident victim recently admitted who might be a potential donor, but his sister, an Asian woman who appears to be a member of Mahikari, is unwilling to allow the organ donation. They visit her home and attempt to convince her, but she objects, not wanting to violate her brother's remains before burial. House then suggests an alternative scenario: according to some definition, if her brother was not truly dead yet – to donate his liver would be a last generous act of a living man rather than a violation of his body. The sister replies that if that were the case, it would be different as she would not be defiling a dead body. So, still not persuaded, Wilson's soon alerted that it's too late anyway as the liver has already degraded beyond usefulness. Angrily, House rebukes the woman as he's leaving, declaring this yet another patient being killed due to 'religion'.

Remembering Wilson had donated blood to him before, Tucker realizes his friend would be a compatible donor and impinges on their friendship by pleading for Wilson to donate a portion of his own liver to save his life. Wilson realizes that to do so would be professionally derelict, placing him in an ethical quandary wherein he'd feel he's crossed a line, thereafter obliged to donate tissue to any needy patient. Nevertheless, he considers complying due to a sense of guilt over prescribing the double dose of chemotherapy that destroyed his liver, therefore responsible for the cause of death. House finds this moral dilemma quite asinine, given that Wilson is blaming himself for treating his patient's cancer.

After seeing how Tucker had reunited with his estranged family in light of his dire situation and wishing to extend this precious time for him, Wilson finally relents to his friend's plea and plans to go ahead with the operation to donate a portion of his liver. Before the operation, Wilson asks House to be there for the operation. House, showcasing a rare moment of vulnerability, initially refuses by revealing to Wilson that he can't, because "If you die, I'm alone." At the operation, as Wilson is being anesthetized, he sees House enter the viewing area above and smiles just as the anesthetic fully kicks in. After the operation however, Tucker reverts to his selfish old ways, and tells Wilson: "The person you want when you're dying isn't the same person you want when you're living." Now that he's going to live, he reveals he's summarily casting his family aside again to again pursue a new love interest, one even younger (almost the same age as his own daughter). Wilson contains his reaction, but it's clear that his view of Tucker has now aligned closer to that of House's, who's always disliked him.

Meanwhile, the relationship between Cuddy and Lucas continues, shown from Wilson's point of view. Cuddy wants to buy a new home through Wilson's realtor ex-wife, Bonnie, and is seeking House's approval, also indirectly through Wilson. Complaining she has hurt him, House schemes and plots to interfere with this latest relationship development, again through Wilson. Later, Wilson takes House to the fancy new loft apartment that Cuddy had wanted, and tells House he has bought it instead (Bonnie disclosed Cuddy's bid so he was able to outbid her, practically 'stealing' it from under her). He explains that he did so because she had hurt his friend (House) so "deserved to be punished"; besides, the two of them needed a bigger place to live in, "with space for a larger refrigerator!" (in effect, an apology for the angry eviction of before.)


Critical response[edit]

Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club rated the episode A-, saying he really enjoyed the episode and was excited not because of big moments or shocking revelation but rather because of how well the friendship of House and Wilson was played.[2]

Popular culture references[edit]

At the very end of the episode, Wilson comes to House's office and announces that he plans to give Tucker part of his liver. During the course of their conversation Wilson says "I am not here for an argument, House", to which House replies "No, right, that's room 12A", in reference to the "Argument Clinic" sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus.[3][4]


  1. ^ [1] Archived September 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Handlen, Zack (November 30, 2009). "House: "Wilson"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  3. ^ Lyons, Margaret (December 1, 2009). "'House' recap: Dr. Wilson's war". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  4. ^ Monty Python (2008-11-14), Argument Clinic - Monty Python's The Flying Circus, retrieved 2016-07-25

External links[edit]