Martha Masters (House)
|Dr. Martha M. Masters|
Tamblyn posing in 2008
|First appearance||"Office Politics" (7.06)|
|Last appearance||"Everybody Dies" (8.22)|
|Created by||David Shore|
|Portrayed by||Amber Tamblyn|
Dr. Martha M. Masters, Ph.D., is a fictional character on the Fox medical drama television series House. Masters is portrayed by American actress Amber Tamblyn. Although she hadn't reappeared for the rest of the season 7, and most of the season 8, she returned in the last episode, "Everybody Dies".
After graduating from high school at the age of 13, Martha Masters obtained doctorate degrees in both applied math and art history. In the episode "Office Politics", Dr. Lisa Cuddy hires Masters, a medical student, for the position on Dr. House's diagnostic team left vacant by Thirteen. House once described Masters' personality as having "nervous, anxious energy" when describing the list of candidates Taub had to pick from to study with when being re-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). In the episode "Family Practice", House threatens to have Masters thrown out of medical school if she tells Cuddy or her mother's physician about switching her medication. Despite this, she informs both groups and still retains her job. In the episode of "Last Temptation" she leaves House.
In the seventh season, Martha mentions that her father is (or was) Classics chair at Columbia University. He fell in love with a female student nineteen years younger than he was. Martha came from the eventual marriage.
Masters makes her final appearance in the series finale "Everybody Dies", where, at House's funeral she delivers a eulogy stating that House had given her "the courage to quit".
Masters appears to be reserved and awkward to her colleagues, easily showing intimidation around them. She has a strong moral compass and does not feel the need to lie to Dr. Cuddy or her patients, which frequently ends up with her coming to odds with Dr. House over it, with one such instance almost costing her career (House threatens to ruin her if she came forward with information best left unsaid). Though she feels the need to always tell her patients the truth, this does not always go over well with them and often backfires. Over time, however, she warms to the other doctors and learns to lie to their patients somehow, though she still retains her morality.
The character (although exaggerated) is based on real-life friend and physician Meredith Masters (Birth name Martha Meredith Masters), who Tamblyn has known since childhood. Tamblyn has given interviews about the character and states, "My character is based at least partially on one of my good friends with the same name, although the character may come across as socially awkward at times, her heart, morals and judgment never waver." Tamblyn has stated that this was "the single most difficult character for me to portray in my career due to the requirement that the writers placed on me with regards to pronouncing medical terms correctly."