Monday, May 14, 2012

Lucky Thirteen

Dr. Remy Hadley aka Thirteen, House, MD

Season Four of House brought a new cast of characters to the show. For the first three seasons, House had a team of young doctors on fellowship, but with his obnoxious and demeaning ways, he alienated them and they all left, leaving him without a team. He tried to do it without a team, claiming he didn’t need them, but he couldn’t. He needed them for his brainstorming process, at the very least to give him ideas that he could shoot down So the boss forced him to hire actual people. Enter the twenty candidates for the job – in a Survivor Style elimination tournament. May the best doctors win!

Well… one stuck out. For me anyway. And enough for him, because he hired her. She became known as Thirteen. Played by the incandescent beauty, Olivia Wilde. Oh what I wouldn’t give for those cheekbones and intense blue eyes. Sigh… What’s interesting about her name is that they never use it on the show. The character’s real name is Dr. Remy Hadley. The producers decided to go with"Thirteen" because that was her number in the contest. They decided her character was such a mystery that she would play it off to get a rise out of House. It stuck. And she has been called that ever since.

Only Olivia can make an x-ray shield look good.

So what classifies Thirteen as a badass. Well, she was intelligent, irreverent, and liked to be mysterious just to annoy House. She intrigued him and he paid attention. I think he even saw a bit of himself in her.  Of course, with all things he couldn’t puzzle out, he needed to know just what her deal was. He’d poke and prod and cajole, but she would have none of it. She’d tease him and agree with his assessments to distract him. She knew how to play his game and in some way she understood him, better than most. But House was never satisfied to be in the dark. One day, she dropped a file and irrationally freaked out about it. He saw it, knew that she was unnaturally agitated and he had a new bone to latch onto. He wouldn’t rest until he had his answer. So he did genetic testing on her. He got an answer and in a rare moment of compassion, he didn’t open it. What he did was pose a challenge to her. It made her face her greatest fears. It turned out that she had Huntington’s Chorea, a genetic autoimmune disease that debilitates the body into a tremorring, racking mess eventually leading to weakness and death. Huntington’s has no cure. Thirteen will die.

Thirteen finds out about her disease at the end of season four when she tests herself after facing mortality when another fellow doctor is killed in a bus accident. House calls her on her bullshit, telling her to stand up and find out, to stop playing games. She does and is faced with her worst fear. In the following season, we see that she has fallen into a rut of self-destructive behavior. She goes out most nights, parties and brings home women for indiscriminate flings. So not only is she a hot young doctor, she’s a hot young bi-sexual doctor. So much fodder for House to play with, and he doesn’t waste a second.
Testing herself for Huntington's Chorea.

At the hands of a gunman
But, it isn’t until the hospital clinic is taken over by a crazed patient with a gun that Thirteen really admits to herself that she doesn’t want to die. Faced with having to inject medicine into herself to pre-test the drugs given by House to the gun-wielding patient, she breaks down and confesses that she wants to live. He lets her go, because that’s all he ever wanted too. She agrees to attend these drug trials for Huntington’s that Foreman, the neurologist on the team, suggested to her some weeks ago.  She agrees and in the very special Christmas episode, begins a relationship with Foreman. Foreman’s a man, and African-American. So not only is she flip-flopping which side of the fence she’s playing on, but she’s going bi-racial as well. You go girl! Break all the rules. You’re dying, who cares. We later find out, of course, that the drug trials don’t work, she almost dies because of that, and then is saved by her fellow teammates .

Her relationship with Foreman never got the spark going that it should have. Personally, I didn’t get it other than to give Foreman some scrap of humanity. I never felt that spark between them that ignited like an inferno between her and House. Yeah, House is twenty-five years too old for her, because Olivia Wilde was young when she came to the show, but that didn’t stop the flames from burning up the screen when the two interacted. I think if she had been a little bit older they might have gone for it. They taunted each other, snarked at each other, had eye sex a few times that made my palms sweat. It was sexy, but alas… nothing ever came of it.

See, she can even tote a gun.
What did develop was a strange understanding between the House and Thirteen. She respected House for his genius and his take-no-prisoners attitude. She enjoyed what they did because it made a difference. If she was only to be on the planet for a short time, she wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s why she finally came back after House went nuts and the team was disbanded while he was in the mental hospital. Of course, by this point, Hollywood recognized what a gorgeous and talented woman Olivia Wilde is and her movie career took off. Tron, The Change Up, In Time and Cowboys and Aliens demanded too much of her time. Thirteen was out. She traveled at first, to find herself. Then wound up in jail ironically for assisted suicide of her brother – who we never knew about and who also had Huntington’s. House picks her up the day she’s released from jail to take her to a potato gun contest he needs to win. Apparently, she had spud gun experience from a middle school science fair. The length to which House will dig into people’s past is extraordinary. However, he didn’t know about the brother which was a beautiful shock when she finally tells him in a fit of rage. She cuts him to the bone with the venomous words she spews about his not being able to feel anything for anyone but himself. She always had that ability to call him on his bullshit too. They share a lovely moment in the car when he drops her at home after their adventure. He tells her that he will kill her when it’s time. Of course he makes a joke about finding a bat in the back of the car right now, but she simply smiles at him in understanding, touched by the original sincerity in his words. They hold eye contact, like they were always so perfect at, and then the moment is gone.

Then she left again when it was House’s turn to go to jail, which I can’t even discuss because it was so over the top and I believe a cop out on the writers’ part. Grrr. We find Thirteen a year later with a girlfriend she loves who she wants to spend the remaining years of her life with, happily doing the things on her bucket list. And rightfully so, she’s earned that right. When House manipulates her to come back, he then realizes he was wrong to do so and in another act of compassion, which she seems to bring out in him, he fires her so she won’t feel guilty about leaving. She smirks at him and tells him that he’s saving her. She knows, because she knows him. He knows, but won’t admit it. There’s another exquisite moment between them where they hold each other’s eyes before she walks away.

House is ending in two weeks after eight years. Six amazing ones, and two not so much. But, in all fairness, I lost my desire to follow after Thirteen left, I think. She was a perfect foil to House, she added sexiness and the idea that hot chicks have brains too. I loved that she could stand up to House and not care. While his character was taken over the top, hers was just hitting her stride. Of course, I’m interested to see how she will play into the final episodes. I will be watching those. Afterwards, I will have my memories of their amazing eye sex, snarky dialogue and witty banter. She may never have been his partner, but she sure gave him a run for his money while she was there. 

She's been my girl crush for the last four years. Love Thirteen. She wouldn't have been half as cool if she wasn't portrayed by Olivia Wilde.

Embrace the luck of the draw, go with your inner Thirteen.


  1. This is a great article! I think it's time to post your picture too :-) Oh...and ensure you follow the bloggers who are following you (I learned that the hard way). HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!

    1. Thanks fo your comment on this post. She's one of my favorites and I have a definite girl-crush on her. :)

      I've been thinking about the picture. I don't have a really nice one and should probably have my photographer friend take some. Ugh. Soon enough.

      So far I only have three followers and I follow their blogs too. I'm hoping that number will go up soon.

      Thanks again!