"House" Better Half (TV Episode 2012) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • An Alzheimer's patient visits Princeton Plainsboro as part of a hospital sanctioned drug trial, but when he inexplicably suffers from violent vomiting and an increasingly explosive temper, the team begins to unravel a deeper marriage conflict between the patient and his dutiful wife. Meanwhile, House and Foreman butt heads, and Wilson treats a patient who claims to be in a chaste marriage.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Open with a woman (Natalie) and her husband (Andres) who seems to have Alzheimer's disease. Before a doctor's appointment he begins violently vomiting blood onto the floor.

    Foreman explains the case, which involves early-onset familial Alzheimer's and a wife who shut down her business to watch her husband 24/7. Foreman and House argue over diagnosis, with House reminding him that he promised never to overrule him at this level of the process. House gets his way.

    A woman named Kayla comes to see Wilson about a bladder issue. She tells him that she doesn't need a pregnancy test because she and her husband are asexual (do not experience sexual attraction).

    Chase thinks Foreman is making a mistake by not overruling House. Foreman mentions that he's surprised House is acting this way, given that this week Foreman is supposed to get paperwork related to removing House's ankle monitor. Foreman thinks it must be a plan.

    While a procedure is done on Andres a "good friend" named Joseph arrives. Chase and Park both raise their eyebrows.

    House doesn't buy that Wilson' patient is actually asexual. He bets Wilson $100 that he can figure out what is really going on, without contacting Wilson's patient directly.

    Foreman and House again argue over treatment of Andres. Foreman thinks House is trying to screw with him.

    Natalie brings the team in to see Andres who is vomiting again. He gets aggressive and punches Natalie in the face. The doctors hold him back and notice that he has blood in his urine.

    The team argues over why Andres was violent, though House seems confident Natalie is sleeping with Joseph. Adams doesn't have any sympathy for Natalie if she's been unfaithful. Foreman and House again argue over the patient and House changes course, ordering plasma treatment.

    Natalie tells Chase she's not "really" having an affair, though she admits they've talked about it a lot. Chase reminds her people taking care of the sick need to be taken care of as well.

    Kayla's hormone levels are normal. Adams thinks the woman's life is probably better without sex. House has an idea.

    Natalie comes in the next day feeling refreshed. She's stunned to learn that Andres walked out during the night when the shift nurses were occupied. They asks her about Andres' routine and notice his trophy from soccer coaching is missing.

    The team finds Andres at a nearby soccer field where he used to coach. Adams and Chase find him on the field without any vitals.

    In the hospital Foreman defers to House as to how they should bring Andres back. It works and they are able to re-start his heart.

    House brings Kayla's husband Randy in for a "flu shot." Wilson thinks he's breaking the terms of the bet, but House points out he thinks the husband is the problem.

    Andres seems to have stabilized. He wakes up speaking Portuguese. He speaks a few sentences Natalie doesn't understand, then his levels begin rising above normal.

    House wants to continue his previous diagnosis, while Foreman wants to change and brings up encephalitis. House agrees.

    Chase tells Natalie they aren't sure exactly what is happening with Andres' new levels of aggression and lack of speech. She tells the doctors she doesn't think she can take care of him anymore and points out his symptoms began 18 months after they met.

    House tells Wilson that test results in the husband indicate he has a tumor near his pituitary and with treatment he'll return to normal sexual desires. Wilson worries they've ruined his life.

    Foreman looks at the paperwork House's parole officer sent over about having the ankle monitor removed. This convinces him that House was trying to inflate his confidence to get him to help him. Foreman rips up the paperwork in front of him.

    Andres is crashing. House paddles him back to life, almost shocking Foreman by not yelling "clear."

    The heart attack causes the team to re-evaluate its options. House thinks toxicology could be the answer, but Foreman doesn't agree and goes ahead with his theory.

    House interviews Natalie and asks if Joseph can bring back some flower samples from their home. House translates a romantic memory Andres recalls in Portuguese, though he follows that by asking Natalie "Who are you?"

    Wilson tells Randy and Kayla about the brain tumor and what will happen to him once it's removed. He considers not getting the treatment, since Kayla would hate the idea of sleeping with him. She then admits that sex is fun "from what I remember." She adds "a girl has needs."

    During a meeting with an important donor Foreman notices week-old flowers that shouldn't be alive. He excuses himself.

    Foreman tells House Andres has Rye syndrome. Since Natalie is a florist, she was putting crushed aspirin in the plant's water to make them last longer. With his Alzheimer's, Andres would keep taking aspirin for his sore throat, not realizing he'd just taken one. Foreman already started Andres on steroids.

    Andres wakes up and remembers Natalie. He asks about her eye.

    Wilson pays off the bet to House. House lights a cigar off of the $100 bill. Wilson lights up as well. A man walks in to remove House's ankle monitor.

    Chase calls his sister for the first time in years, just to see how she is doing.

    Foreman tells House to head home and he playfully knocks Foreman's pencil holder over.

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