"Half-Wit" is the fifteenth episode of the third season of House, which premiered on the FOX network on March 6, 2007. Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Dave Matthews guest stars in the episode as Patrick, a savant and piano prodigy who comes under the care of Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) for a rare movement disorder. Dr. House also is suspected to have cancer by his staff. Also appearing is actor Kurtwood Smith, best known from his role on That 70's Show. The episode marks the directorial debut of executive producer, Katie Jacobs.
Patrick Obyedkov, a respected pianist, is in the middle of playing a piano concert when he suffers a painful involuntary muscle contraction in his left hand. After Patrick is admitted to Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital with a rare movement disorder, his case attracts the attention of Dr. House. House learns from Patrick's father, Dr. Obyedkov, that Patrick suffered severe brain damage when he was in the 4th grade from a bus accident that also killed his mother. House is intrigued as to why Patrick, who had no musical training at the time of the accident, could suddenly play the piano flawlessly after suffering a severe injury. He pushes for further testing on Patrick's brain even though the team has diagnosed him with a simple muscle-contraction problem. While trying to deduce the origin of the brain rewiring responsible for Patrick's mysterious gift of music, House and his team must stop the deadly bleeding that is quickly threatening his life. Patrick's condition worsens as he suffers an onset of seizures, and as the team stabilizes him with House's diagnosis, House presents a very difficult option to Patrick's father — a neurological procedure that would allow Patrick to live normally, but not play the piano. Dr. Obyedkov, after learning that Patrick is indeed unhappy being able to do nothing but play the piano, opts for the surgery, a Hemispherectomy, in which Patrick has the right half of his brain removed. After the procedure, Patrick loses his ability to speak, though House says this will return. While the father is talking with House about his sons recovery, Patrick buttons his hospital gown, a task which he had previously been incapable of doing, which leaves him smiling and his father astonished.
Meanwhile, Cameron discovers that House has been in contact with a hospital in Massachusetts and suspects that House may be looking to take a new job there. When Cuddy contacts the hospital, she learns that House has been in contact with a brain cancer specialist — not as a job applicant, but as a patient for a clinical trial. When confronted by his team, House denies the gravity of the situation and resents their interference, and they are forced to contend with the possibility his condition may be more serious than he's letting on. Cameron goes as far as to stage a kiss with House in an attempt to distract him while drawing blood. The team ignores the patient's condition and focuses on House's condition, contrary to the usual beginning of episodes where House is not interested in the case.
Near the end of the episode, the team diagnoses that House does not have cancer; however, House reveals that the medical file sent to the hospital in Massachusetts was not his and he intended to trick the doctors at the university into implanting a "cool drug" into the pleasure center of his brain. The team is downhearted that House faked cancer to get high. Wilson notes that, contrary to popular belief, for the most part it's only cancer patients with no family or friends who succumb to depression, whereas House, who was healthy and did have friends, faked the cancer and then pushed the people who cared away. Wilson advises House to start small, such as eating pizza with him. At the end of the episode, House appears to enter the restaurant where Cameron, Chase, and Foreman are having dinner.
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May 25, 1997; Byline: STEPHEN HARRIMAN, STAFF WRITER IT MUST HAVE BEEN a sight to see ol' Ben Butler - Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler...