Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Half Wit

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Episode no.  Season 3 Episode 15
Written by  Lawrence Kaplow
Directed by  Katie Jacobs
Original air date  March 6, 2007

"Half-Wit" is the fifteenth episode of the third season of House and 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 Kurtwood Smith. The episode marks the directorial debut of executive producer Katie Jacobs.



Patrick Obyedkov (Dave Matthews), 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, his case attracts the attention of House. House learns from Patrick's father (Kurtwood Smith) 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, either to perform a hemispherectomy, a neurological procedure where the right half of Patrick's brain would be removed, allowing Patrick to live normally but not play the piano, or to continue as he is and never live a normal life.

Patrick's father, needing to make a decision asks him whether he is happy. Patrick answers repeating the question back, a defense mechanism indicating that he did not even understand the question. His father opts for the surgery. After the procedure, Patrick loses his ability to speak, though House says this will return. While the father is talking with House about his son's recovery, Patrick buttons his shirt, a task which he had previously been incapable of doing, which leaves him smiling and his father astonished.

Meanwhile, Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) 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 (Lisa Edelstein) 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 stages a kiss with House in an attempt to distract him while drawing blood, but he catches her.

Near the end of the episode, the team diagnoses that House does not have cancer, but a gumma. 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, possibly in order to get over the pain in his leg. At the end of the episode, House is walking home, and on the way sees Cameron, Chase and Foreman sitting and ordering at a restaurant. After a few seconds of deciding, while in a dilemma, House enters the restaurant.


This episode was submitted for consideration in the categories of "Outstanding Drama Series", "Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series" and "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series" on Hugh Laurie's behalf for the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards. This resulted in nominations in the categories of Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.


  • Patrick begins to play the Waldstein Sonata by Beethoven (1st Movement) at the piano recital, in the opening scene.
  • As a test of Patrick's musical recall, House wheels a piano into his room and plays the opening bars of "I Don't Like Mondays" by the Boomtown Rats. Patrick plays them back note for note as House adds the hand-claps at the right moments.
  • During the MRT, the third movement of George Bizet's Symphony in C major is being played.
  • When Patrick was asked to pretend that his leg was a piano, he played the 3rd movement of the Waldstein Sonata.
  • In the end of the episode, House walks by a restaurant with the music "See the World" by Gomez playing.
  • References

    Half-Wit Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    Half Wits Holiday
    The Dragon Murder Case (film)
    Il Sorpasso