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Stacy Warner was the General Counsel at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital during the end of Season 1 and the start of Season 2. She returns, both as a hallucination and at the funeral, in the series finale Everybody Dies. About five years prior to the series, she was Gregory House's live-in girlfriend for the prior five years. She is currently married to high-school guidance counselor and porphyria patient Mark Warner. She is portrayed by actress Sela Ward.
Very little is known of Stacy's life. She is a graduate of Duke University. She and her husband reside in Short Hills, New Jersey in the north-eastern part of the state.
About ten years prior to the start of the series, Stacy met House at a paintball tournament between lawyers and doctors when she successfully shot House and put him out of the game. At the time, she was working as a constitutional lawyer. She told Cameron her first date with House was a disaster, and she never intended to see him again. However, a week later, she moved in with him.
However, when he was in the coma, Stacy used her power as medical proxy to decide to remove the dead muscle tissue instead. Although this procedure probably saved House's life, it left him with chronic pain that he would suffer for the rest of his life and permanent weakness in his right leg, causing him to develop a limp while also resulting in him using a cane to help him.
House's relationship with Stacy continued afterwards, and House admits she was very supportive about his disability. House though remained bitter about Stacy's overruling his medical judgment, frequently confronting her on it. This put too much strain on the relationship and Stacy eventually left.
Stacy's departure was a key event in the backstory of Wilson. According to the series' canon, House largely fell apart when Stacy left him, and Wilson was always there to provide him support. Bonnie Wilson notes that Wilson's allegiance to House during this period of time, largely at the expense of his relationship with Bonnie, was one of the main contributing factors to their divorce.
Sometime after leaving House, Stacy met Mark, a guidance counselor, at a charity event. They soon married and started living in Short Hills, with Stacy commuting to work in New York. They had to skip their honeymoon because Stacy had to work. Stacy started to notice Mark was changing, acting very stressed out and having terrible mood swings. Mark had seen some doctors, but they assured him it was only stress.
Stacy remained close friends with both James Wilson and Lisa Cuddy. Her existence is first mentioned in the episode Sports Medicine where Wilson claims he is speaking at an oncology conference so he can't go to the monster truck show with House. However, House finds out Wilson cancelled his appearance at the conference and learns that he is really going to have dinner with Stacy that night. Wilson tells House that he lied because he didn't want to hurt his feelings. House says he's fine with Wilson seeing Stacy. However, it's clear from House's reaction that he still has deep feelings for her. At the end of the episode, Cameron asks him if he's ever been in a relationship with anyone. He replies that it did happen once.
Finally, in Three Stories, Stacy comes to seek House to treat her husband's mystery illness. At first House refuses, but after recounting the experience that led to his infarction in a lecure, he has a change of heart and agrees to see Mark. However, Mark refuses to see House. She has to trick him into it by going to dinner with him and having House there.
In Honeymoon, Mark continues to refuse to see House, but House manages to drug Mark Warner to get him to the hospital, but his initial attempts come up empty. House's team also wonders why House trusts Stacy so much. Mark insists he's fine and it's Stacy claiming that there must be something wrong with him and, at first, the tests bear Mark out. House persists at Stacy's urging and when Cameron reminds him that Everybody lies, he counters that he was lying when he said that. It's clear that Stacy appears to be the one person House trusts without reservation.
House learns Stacy is right after performing exploratory surgery on Mark which confirms abdominal epilepsy. However, he soon runs out of possible diagnoses. We learn there are still issues between House and Stacy when Stacy can't find him and goes looking for him on the roof. She finds him there and notes that every time he wanted to avoid things he went up there, but House counters that due to his leg pain, he hasn't been up there since Stacy left him. House also starts talking about how much more attentive Mark seems to be to her needs, such as ensuring that they went to Paris on their honeymoon like she always wanted. However, when Stacy says she and Mark went right back to work after their wedding, House realizes Mark is also suffering from delusions because it's clear he believed he went to Paris when he said it.
House believes Mark has acute intermittent porphyria, but the test to confirm it is very risky. Without immediate confirmation, the next attack could kill him. Mark is opposed to the test, but Stacy is so worried she convinces House to test him anyway, which he does despite the best efforts of his team to stop him. The test confirms porphyria which most likely saved Mark's life.
However, Mark's illness required a lengthy period of convalescence. Because Cuddy needed a lawyer for the hospital, she offered Stacy the position so that she could help care for Mark. However, she asks House if he's fine with that and insists that she will withdraw the offer if he objects. House tersely but reluctantly agrees.
However, after agreeing with Cuddy to let Stacy work at the hospital, the relationship between Stacy and House becomes strained. House consistently makes fun of Mark to his face. He often invaded Stacy's privacy. He frequently lied to Stacy. The situation was made worse by the fact that most of the hospital's legal work revolved around House.
In Acceptance their relationship is strained right away when House lies to Stacy so that she will think Cuddy approved getting a court order to release a death row inmate to his custody for treatment. When they return to the hospital, Cuddy confronts both of them. As a result, Stacy has to ask straight out if House will lie to her again. When he admits he will, Stacy says she's fine with that because now she knows they can continue to work together.
However, Stacy wants to know about the patient's treatment. House has to admit the patient has recovered, but he still thinks he has an underlying illness and wants to keep him there. Stacy reports this to Cuddy, who tries to release the patient, only to find out he's bleeding from his groin. House gets to keep the patient anyway and finds the underlying cause of his symptoms, which may mean he will have a mitigating factor to get off death row.
In Humpty Dumpty, Stacy has to play peacemaker between House and Cuddy over the treatment of Alfredo, Cuddy's handyman. Stacy insists that Cuddy have no contact with the patient, and Cuddy agrees but wants to be involved in the case. When Alfredo's right hand gets very diseased, Cuddy and House get into an argument about whether the hand should be amputated - House thinks it should because the spreading illness will kill him otherwise, but Cuddy realizes a lost hand means he will lose his livelihood. Stacy calmly tells them that if Alfredo sues, it would be bad if he learned that his doctors had a fundamental disagreement about his treatment. He sends them to the hall to work it out and when they come back, Cuddy has conceded and the amputation proceeds.
However, the next thing Stacy knows, she's building up Cuddy's confidence. House's performance on the case has been incredible, as always, and it seems every decision she's made has been completely wrong. Stacy assures Cuddy she's still a good doctor because she cares about her patients in a way House never will.
In Spin, Stacy is after House to complete the voluminous paperwork he will need to renew his medical license. Because of her anger (which House describes as her being "pissy"), he comes to the conclusion that she hasn't been having sex with Mark lately. He figures he can drive a wedge between them if he properly uses this information, and starts by going to Mark's group therapy session to make allusions about how his relationship with Stacy broke up after his disability. When Stacy angrily confronts him, this confirms to him that she is sexually frustrated. When someone leaks to the press that their patient Jeff Forrester might have cancer, she confronts House about it, but it turns out to have been Forrester's manager Moira, trying to build sympathy and deflecting accusations of drug use.
House goes to Stacy to apologize for breaking in on Mark's session, but asks Stacy if she loves him or hates him. She replies it's both, but with Mark it's only love. House seems satisfied, but decides to break into Stacy's therapist's office to read her notes.
In Hunting, we find that House is ecstatic. He tells Wilson that he was right about Stacy not sleeping with Mark and has been telling her therapist that she can't stop thinking about "Grey Horse". He figures he can get Stacy fired if he can get her to admit that she still has feelings for him. Wilson points out that the notes also say that Stacy thinks House is an annoying jerk.
As part of his plan, House goes to Stacy's house, ostensibly for legal business over his alleged assault of his new patient Kalvin Ryan, but helps her wash the dishes, but also plants the seed in Stacy's mind that Mark resents her for still being able to walk - something he learned from her therapy notes. When Mark finds them together washing dishes, House further enrages him by saying
- "It's not what you think. We were having sex."
- ―House in Hunting
When he finds out that Stacy also has a rodent problem, he cancels the exterminator and sets out to find the rat himself. Just as he's about to kill it, he discovers it probably has a medical problem and he captures it instead, naming it Steve McQueen. The incident gives him an excuse to spend more time with Stacy.
When the case is over, House is again facing legal problems for baiting Kalvin's father Michael Ryan into striking him and then hitting him in the liver with his cane. When Cuddy orders House to speak to Stacy about it, he uncharacteristically agrees because he's ready to spring his trap.
While discussing the assault, and with Stacy being concerned about the injury House suffered when the father hit him, he confronts her by saying that he thinks that she and Mark aren't sleeping together. At that point, Stacy realizes that House has stolen and read her therapy file and gets furious with him.
House rues this misstep when the next time he has to deal with Stacy is over the death of a patient, Kayla McGinley. Stacy doesn't want to deal with House either, but Cuddy reminds her that most of the hospital's legal work is generated by House and if she can't work with him, she can't work at Princeton-Plainsboro. House tries to brush off Stacy, and because she doesn't want to deal with him she deals with Chase instead. As she questions Chase, she realizes his error is something that House usually wouldn't let slide. She desperately tries to find out why Chase still has a job by talking to the other fellows, but they can't figure it out either. She finally has to turn to House, who lets her know that he found out independently that Chase made the mistake right after he had learned his father had died. He also admits that the reason why he was avoiding her was because she thought she would sell him out to save Chase and the hospital. Stacy lets him know that House is her client too and she owes just as much a duty to protect House as Chase. At the same time, she finally admits that the reason she stayed with him for five years was because there were many positive aspects to their relationship. With the truth finally in the open, she manages to get light punishments for both Chase and House.
House and Stacy next have to go to Baltimore to defend House's "indefensible" Medicaid billings. House expects to have to be there the whole day, and indeed gets off to a bad start by offering to pay back the cost of a patient's Viagra that was prescribed for an off-label use. After Stacy shuts him off and tells the Medicaid officer he's an idiot, she makes the point that House is probably right about the medicine. She also knows the examiner is close to retirement and he probably knows that House's medicine is solid and is merely parroting policy. As a result, they're done by lunch.
The two expected to be in Baltimore until at least 5 p.m. and House's plane doesn't leave until 7 p.m., leaving him hours to kill. However, the first thing Stacy mentions is that she deliberately booked a 9 p.m. flight so she would be sure they wouldn't be on the same plane back. However, both of their planes are delayed by weather and Stacy has to put up with House's random observations of the medical problems of the people in the terminal, as well as his constant questions about why she's not wearing the one thing she always wears - her gold cross.
House keeps pestering her with observations about her cross, such as that she's wearing make-up and that she would have noticed she wasn't wearing it. Finally, Stacy snaps and admits she left home after an argument with Mark and when she realized she wasn't wearing it, she was too upset to return to face him. House tells her an argument about a little thing is no big deal, but Stacy says it was an argument about nothing - what postal delivery notices meant and Mark wouldn't let it drop. She remembers having similar arguments with House before they broke up.
When it looks like their flight will be very late, Stacy announces that she booked a hotel room just in case. Knowing that sitting in an airport for hours will aggravate House's bad leg, she offers to let him come along. When they get to the hotel room, Stacy's vulnerability and House's loneliness overcome them and they embrace. However, just as it's getting heavy, Stacy's phone rings and it's for House - his team is desperate and haven't been able to reach him. House realizes his team needs help and he abandons Stacy after borrowing her lipstick so he can use it as a marker. Hours later, they meet to catch their plane and both realize that although relationships are crazy, they both need one.
When he returns to Princeton in Need to Know House comes to work in a freshly pressed shirt and Wilson realizes something happened between House and Stacy. Wilson speaks to Stacy and warns her about hurting House again, but Stacy isn't sure House isn't toying with her. However, after their meeting, Wilson tells House that Stacy has made up her mind, even though she seems to be pretending she hasn't. House doubts that Stacy will leave Mark while he is in rehab, but Wilson points out that's when Stacy left him.
When House sees Stacy again, she announces that Mark's rehab is almost finished and that she's planning to leave the hospital. House accuses her of running away from him. They wind up sleeping with each other. After they have sex, House's team calls and when he's late getting back to the hospital and in a good mood, they realize something is up.
When House sees Stacy again, he realizes she hasn't told Mark and when she intimates that she wants to keep seeing House behind Mark's back, House gives her an ultimatum.
Stacy seeks counsel from Cuddy. Cuddy tells Stacy that House's personality didn't change at all after she left him, and there was a good reason why she left him in the first place. Meanwhile, Mark has figured out something is wrong and asks House for help, fearing he's going to lose Stacy. House tries to ignore him, even going up the stairs in order to try to lose Mark, but Mark crawls out of his wheelchair to chase House.
Stacy comes to announce that she's made up her mind, but House's encounter with Mark makes him realize that his relationship with Stacy can't last and her relationship with Mark can. He implores her to go back to Mark even though its clear she wants to stay with House.
The Aftermath House tries to pretend that he has soon gotten over Stacy's departure. However, he starts complaining that his leg has gotten much worse. Wilson tells him that it's because of his unresolved feelings for Stacy. In return for his insight, House strikes Wilson in the leg with his cane and asks him if he misses Stacy too.
Desperate for relief, House begs Cuddy for morphine. When she refuses, he drops his pants and shows her his scarred leg (the first time we see it in the series). He reminds her that he remembers that a thigh muscle used to be there. Cuddy appears to agree, but instead injects House with saline. Not unsurprisingly, the placebo has the desired effect and House starts feeling better. After solving his case, he comes for another shot and Cuddy reveals the deception. Even House has to concede the pain was psychological.
Stacy did not return for the following seasons, except the last one in the series finale.
In the series finale, Everybody Dies, Stacy appears as a hallucination of House's subconscious asking why he’s staying in the burning building when he was about to leave. This interchange addresses one of the issues that was avoided earlier in the series, but in retrospect seems obvious, the role of religion in House's life. Although Stacy's cross is mentioned in Season 2, the fact that it indicates that Stacy still has ties to Catholicism isn't explored until this episode. Like other characters in the series (most notably Father Daniel Bresson), the Stacy hallucination tries to convince House that despite his atheism, he really wants to believe in God and an afterlife.
The Stacy hallucination also tries to convince House he can lead a normal life, reminding him that even though she and Cuddy aren't available, other women can love him and his relationship with Dominika Patrova, though damaged, is probably not permanently irreparable. However, House rejects the suggestion and instead substitutes a fantasy where he lives with several cheerleaders.
The real-life Stacy attends House's funeral, saying that House was a trying boyfriend, but she never stopped loving him.
The RelationshipEditSupporters of the relationship between House and Stacy usually refer to the coupling as Housy.
- When she met House, she was working as a constitutional lawyer.
- When she's anxious, she smokes. She did so in the last few weeks of her relationship with House and during the time she was having difficulty with her relationship with Mark.
- She always wears a gold cross that was given to her by her mother.
- She drinks her coffee with two milks and sugar. When she was dating House, she didn't take sugar.
- In Daddy's Boy, the reason for her non-appearance was that she was at a conference in Baltimore.
- We don't find out about how House and Stacy met until Gabriel Wozniak asks House how he met the woman he loved in Son of Coma Guy.
Importance of the CharacterEdit
Stacy, more than any other character, provides an insight into House's humanity. Early in the series, House was seen as being very Holmsian, with very little need for human contact. When he did, he was consistently manipulative and in it for the short term. Had this characterization of House continued into the rest of the series, a typical viewer would see very little hope that House would ever be redeemed.
The introduction of Stacy, even as an unseen character, changes all that. She is a critical part of House's backstory. It's difficult to determine whether the producers and the creators of the show had her in mind from the very beginning. The cause of House's disability is known right from the first episode, but the details of the incident aren't revealed until Stacy returns near the end of Season 1. Before that, there are tantalizing hints about her - the only woman in House's life, a person who deeply hurt him, a woman who still maintains a relationship with Wilson, and a person whose photograph he keeps.
When she finally arrives in Three Stories, we aren't sure what to think. Whatever we may have imagined House's ex-girlfriend to be, it probably wasn't anyone like Stacy - beautiful, well mannered, kind, smart, and with a remarkable mixture of toughness and vulnerability. House is also a completely different person around her - no longer self-assured, making an effort to be polite against his usual nature and not quite succeeding, and his jabs have no force behind them. He also reveals that his life credo Everybody lies just doesn't apply to Stacy. She's the one person House trusts without reservation or regret despite her decision to overrule his medical judgment and then leave him.
In Season 2, we hope that the jerk has returned. House seems hell bent on permanently ruining his relationship with Stacy as long as he takes her down. However, as his "plan" progresses, it starts to become clear that instead he's doing the one thing we never see him do - making an effort to win over someone. When Stacy shows no vulnerability to his usual techniques of manipulation, he merely turns to what worked in the first place - Stacy likes him because of how brilliant he is and how devoted he can be to her. Despite their better judgment, they wind up trying to get back what they lost.
When House's brain finally catches up, he looks forward and realizes what's going to happen. He realizes he must convince Stacy of the same thing no matter how much neither of them want to hear it. We find him being both selfish about avoiding his own hurt and selfless about avoiding hurting Stacy again.
Character development and CastingEditGiven House's guarded nature, the producers realized they needed a character who could help expose House's past and inner personality.
When the character of Stacy Warner was being developed, the first actress the producers thought of was Ward. However, she had just left another series and was turning down other roles in order to spend more time with her family. The producers continued to pursue her and provided her with old episodes. After watching them, she agreed to take on the role, thinking that she could have some fun on the series.
Originally, Stacy was only supposed to appear in Three Stories and Honeymoon. However, the producers soon realized how well both the actors and the characters they portrayed worked together and soon expanded the role. The writers had the Housy story arc planned out for Season 2, starting it very subtly, but building it into a big ending. Most critics agreed that her continued presence on the show was a benefit.
- Sports Medicine (mentioned)
- Three Stories
- Humpty Dumpty
- The Mistake
- Failure to Communicate
- Need to Know
- Skin Deep (mentioned)
- Joy to the World (mentioned)
- Everybody Dies
- Stacy Warner at Wikipedia
- Stacy Warner at IMDB
- Housy quotes at House M.D. Quotes
- Stacy Warner at Tumblr
- Stacy Warner at Fanpop
- Stacy Warner at Quotefully
- Stacy Warner at Share TV
- Stacy Warner pictures at Fanpop
|September 2012||October 2012||November 2012|
|Cancer||Stacy Warner||Season 8|
This article was the featured article for October, 2012
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