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- "I've seen how she looks at you when you're together. Trust me, she likes you. And I've seen how you look at her."
Dominika Ann Petrova House was a recurring character on House in the last two seasons of the series. She is House's wife and, technically since his reported death, his widow. However, he only married in order for her to obtain permanent resident status in the United States and, in return, got someone who would cook and clean for him. Dominika is finally identified in Season Eight as being from Ukraine. She works as a massage therapist, usually giving people foot rubs. She eventually left House when she obtained citizenship, but only because he had withheld this from her for several weeks after he was notified.
Unlike House, Dominika is friendly, outgoing, kind and happy to please people. In addition to being a great massage therapist, she is also a very good cook and loves baking for people. She empathizes quickly with people and, again unlike House, realizes when people's feelings have been hurt and wants to make it up to them. Surprisingly, she and House enjoy doing many things together and often have a similar idea of what they think is fun. Dominika is also very athletic and works out regularly doing dance aerobics to 80's music. She is often easily upset, but is very slow to get angry. She is not House's intellectual equal, but is imaginative and quick thinking.
She was portrayed by Karolina Wydra.
Before the SeriesEdit
Dominika was born in Ukraine in 1983 while it was still a republic of the Soviet Union. She is the daughter of Kateryna and Andriy Petrov. She has one older sister, Iryna, and three brothers - Volodymyr, Oleksiy and Fedir.
Sometime during her early adult years, she worked as a police officer for a year and became an excellent shot as a result.
Karolina Wydra had a difficult job - a native speaker of Polish pretending to be a native speaker of Ukrainian who can't speak English perfectly. It's clear that Dominika has trouble with some aspects of English, but has a good vocabulary and has no problem making herself understood.
However, it's easy to fake what are known as "L1" errors - errors that are related to the person's native language and how it is structured.
- Ukrainian doesn't use any articles (like "a" and "the"). Many native Ukrainian speakers drop them when using English, even when they are needed.
- Ukrainian doesn't have "helper verbs" like "do", "have" and "will". For example, where an English speaker might say "I will do that", a Ukrainian might just say "I do that", leaving the meaning unclear.
For example, take the line
- "Then I go to plan B. Make you an offer that cannot be refused"
- ―Man of the House
Dominika does drop her helper verb "will", but properly uses the article "an". A native English speaker might say:
- "Then I will go to plan B. I will make you an offer you cannot refuse."
- ―Native English
While a native Ukrainian with a good command of English might still say.
- "I go to Plan B. I make offer you cannot refuse."
- ―Possible Native Ukrainian
Dominika was only positively identified as Ukrainian in Man of the House. In that episode, she also proudly displays items showing her cultural heritage, such as a portrait of the great Ukrainian literary figure Taras Shevchenko. She speaks Ukrainian in Body and Soul.
However, prior to Season 8, there was much dispute about Dominika's true nationality. Wydra herself is Polish, but while "Dominika" is a Polish name, "Petrova" is not. The fact both names ended in "a" pointed to a Slavic origin as Russian uses that ending on both given names and surnames to indicate someone is female - but then so does Polish (See the list of Russian female tennis players on Wikipedia where the vast majority have both given and family names ending in "a"). Dominika is also used as a common first name for females of Slovak origin, such as tennis player Dominika Cibulkova.
Fall From Grace: The Quick Marriage
Dominika is introduced in the Season 7 episode Fall From Grace where she meets the team with a charming "It is good to be meeting you all". As they go to leave on House's Segway, House announces that he and Dominika will be getting married that Friday, leaving the entire team in shock.
It soon becomes clear to everyone that House is once again reacting badly to his recent breakup with Lisa Cuddy, and has seemingly abandoned all hope of romantic love. He soon makes it known to Wilson that the marriage will be a sham and that he's marrying Dominika so she can eventually get United States citizenship and an immediate work permit. In return, he expects cleaning, cooking and regular sex - something he claims will save him over $30,000 per year.
House turns the knife into Cuddy by asking her to approve adding Dominika to his insurance so she can get some dental work done before the wedding. Cuddy is reluctant, but Dominika ingratiates herself by offering Cuddy an almond kulich. Cuddy signs the forms, reminding House if the marriage doesn't go through he's just committed insurance fraud.
After the ceremony, Dominika makes it clear to House that she is willing to have sex with him, but instead House excuses himself to go to bed.
The Dig: The Arrangement
By the next episode, The Dig, it is clear that House and Dominika are free to go about their lives without interference from the other. House breaks the news of his marriage to the newly freed Remy Hadley and explains that Dominika isn't joining them on their trip to Schenectady because she's gone to Atlantic City with her boyfriend.
Dominika is not seen for the rest of Season 7, and when House flees the county after crashing his Dynasty into Cuddy's House, it appears they will not see each other again. She does not attempt to contact him while he is in prison, and he also makes no attempt to contact her or anyone else he knows.
During House's incarceration, Dominika moved to Atlantic City and made a good living setting up a storefront near the casino strip where she set up a Ukrainian food truck.
Man of the House: The Return
In Season 8, both Dominika and House are getting letters from the Immigration and Naturalization Service demanding more information about their marriage. In Man of the House, the "old ball and Ukraine" comes to the hospital to ask House to continue the deception so she won't be deported. She tells him she's been working in Atlantic City giving foot rubs to tired gamblers. House is not motivated and, considering participating in a fraudulent marriage would be a violation of his parole, is reluctant to continue. Dominika appeals to his intellect by telling him it will be easy for a smart man like him to fool a mere bureaucrat, but House won't fall for the flattery. Dominika finally seals the deal by making him "an offer he can't refuse" - $30,000 once her citizenship is approved.
However, both realize that they know nothing about each other. With help from the team, severe coaching by Chi Park and realistic advice from Wilson about how married people just don't know all the mundane details of their lives, House learns enough about Dominika to try to fool immigration.
The interview goes well until the immigration officer goes to look for neighbors who know about House and Dominika's relationship. However, House has anticipated this and has coached Wilson to hang around so the immigration officer will talk to him. However, one of House's real neighbors finds Wilson outside his door and lets it slip that Wilson is a friend of House. The immigration officer gets angry and tells House and Dominika to be in his office the next morning.
After listening to House's lawyer, the immigration officer tells Dominika she will be deported and House's deception will be reported to his parole officer. At that point, Dominika pleads with the immigration officer telling him not to do anything to House and, although the marriage was fake, she has grown to love him. House, on his lawyer's advice, stays silent. The immigration officer doesn't believe Dominika, but realizes a judge might and tells them they have one last chance - they will be making spot checks for six months to ensure they are living together.
House is afraid that Dominika really has feelings for him, but Dominika tells him not to worry, but that she will need more closet space. House arrives home the next evening to find Dominika doing dancercise.
Love is Blind: Meet The Parents
In Love is Blind, House is trying to dodge a visit from Blythe House, even though Dominika wants to meet her. Wilson manages to force House to go to dinner with his mother and her new fiance Thomas Bell by telling Blythe and Thomas that it was House's idea to invite them to dinner.
House decides to totally blow up the dinner by bringing Dominika along and revealing that he married her so she could get citizenship. Incredibly, both Blythe and Thomas are supportive as they both believe American immigration policy is faulty and both Blythe and Thomas find Dominika charming. However, the revelations come thick and heavy until House reveals he thinks Thomas is his biological father and goes as far as to expose his penis to show Bell he has a similar birthmark. This blows up dinner and drives a wedge between Blythe and Thomas as they argue about whether Blythe should have told Thomas and whether Thomas's assessment of House as a "pill-popping sociopath" is fair. After Thomas steps out, House asks who wants dessert and Dominika timidly raises her hand.
We Need the Eggs: Real Feelings
When House's favorite prostitute Emily announces her retirement, Dominika is more than happy to help House screen the new applicants. Wilson tells House he's being a fool and that he should possibly look towards Dominika as a source of companionship given that they're married and living together. However, House realizes he would rather stay with Emily, and he also enlists Dominika's help to break up her relationship with her fiance Harris.
House and Dominika procure a knish truck and use it to spy on Harris's residence. They come up with a plan where Dominika will seduce Harris and House will confront Emily with the evidence. As they plan, House warns Dominika not to come on to Harris too fast, but she tells him not to worry. As Dominika approaches Harris, she starts by introducing herself, then immediately asks Harris if he wants to have sex with her. House thinks the scheme is blown, but to his astonishment, Harris immediately agrees. He goes to confront them, but Harris tells House he's not Emily's fiance, but her brother.
House confronts Emily about the deception. She tells House she's uncomfortable having sex with him while Dominika knows. House assures Emily that his relationship with Dominika is a fake, but Emily breaks the news to him that she knows Dominika must have some feelings for him because of the way she looks at him and that he's mean to ignore those feelings. Emily also notes that she believes House must have some feelings for Dominika as well. As such, House must then confront whether he does have feelings for Dominika.
House comes home to find that Dominika has fixed his broken blender, even making him a milkshake. She then fed him a spoonful and even cleaning of the smudge. House then left saying he is going to bed when they had a partial moment. He finds a letter from immigration, opens it, and learns that they have approved Dominika's citizenship. Realizing he doesn't want Dominika to leave, he tosses the letter into the trash.
Body and Soul: The Breakup
House makes a conscious effort to spend more time with Dominika, taking her to a shooting range and sharing food with her in his office. However, when she brings up her immigration status, House assures her he has talked to immigration and it will take them a few more weeks.
He comes home to find Dominika upset. Fearing it's because she found out he was lying about citizenship, he's relieved when Dominika tells him she's just learned an aunt died and her family tried to hide it from her. He stays at home to comfort her.
However, the next night, he's worried if he's made the wrong choice by not treating his patient. Dominika comforts him and soon they are making out. The phone rings and Dominika sees it's from Immigration and she grabs it before House can do anything. When she listens, she realizes immigration has been trying to get in touch with her for weeks and House has been hiding it. She moves out.
Everybody Dies: The Goodbye
While trying to convince House to live, the hallucination of Stacy Warner reminds House that she and Lisa Cuddy aren't the only women who are capable of loving him. She shows a happy House and Dominika in domestic bliss with their child. However, House puts an end to the fantasy by saying in this state, it's just as easy to surround himself with cheerleaders.
Dominika does attend House's funeral in Everybody Dies and admits that, as his wife, she couldn't help but love him.
- Fall From Grace
- The Dig (mentioned)
- Man of the House
- Love is Blind
- We Need the Eggs
- Body and Soul
- Everybody Dies
Fox's episode summary using the surname "Petrova" 
|January 2013||February 2013||March 2013|
|Paraneoplastic syndrome||Dominika Petrova||Everybody Dies|