James Wilson

James Wilson

    House M.D.
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... in the New Jersey area, close to the hospital at which he works. Wilson moves around a lot – a few failed marriages and relationships haven’t helped – even staying with his colleague and best friend, Dr. Gregory House, for a while.

Profession... Head of Oncology at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, where he works closely with Dr. House. (Or just “House,” as everyone calls him.) It is difficult for Wilson to technically be “successful” in his work as he primarily deals with terminally ill patients, but he is known throughout the hospital to be a very caring and dedicated physician.

Interests... collecting movie posters, monster trucks, and House. Dr. Wilson is probably the only real friend of the ever-difficult House. The two don't always get along, but have developed a good rapport and have proven willing to support one another in even the most difficult situations. That task especially falls to Wilson, who attempts on a regular basis to prevent the hospital higher-ups from firing House for his unorthodox practices. Wilson has been the reluctant Watson to House’s Holmes ever since House bailed him out of jail for throwing a glass at a mirror in a bar years ago. 

Relationship Status... often tangled. Wilson has a pretty bad track record with relationships. He has been married three times, and none of them have ended especially well. But maybe it's not that abnormal given his view on love: "Boy meets girl. Boy gets stupid. Boy and girl live stupidly ever after." Wilson bends over backwards so much for others, including significant others, that it can contribute to him being treated like a doormat.

Challenge... being a friend to House without letting it ruin his life. Wilson and House's friendship is deep but not infrequently volatile; while it’s usually good-natured on the surface it can also be excessively competitive and harsh – especially from House’s end. For example, when arguing about how to treat a patient, House tells him, "I can handle it when things go wrong. You can't. And things could go very, very wrong." Though they often point out the flaws in each other, they’re very dependent on their relationship, even if they would never admit it.

Personality... caring and patient, but a bit too eager to please. Wilson is prone to getting stuck in emotional ruts, due perhaps to his multiple failed relationships and the difficulty of treating patients who mostly end up dying. A definite people-pleaser, Wilson really just wants people to like him, which can sometimes do him more harm than good. But he also is able to deeply empathize with his patients and friends, and is known to be very compassionate as a doctor. And he seems to be the only one who is truly willing to put up with House despite House’s regular ill-temper.


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