|This article relies on references to primary sources. (September 2010)|
|Dr. Robert Chase|
|First appearance||"Pilot" (1.01)|
|Last appearance||"Everybody Dies" (8.22)|
|Portrayed by||Jesse Spencer|
|Spouse(s)||Allison Cameron (2009–2010: divorced)|
Robert Chase, M.D. is a fictional character on the Fox medical drama House. He is portrayed by Jesse Spencer. His character was a part of the team of diagnosticians who worked under Gregory House until the end of the third season when House fires him. However, he resumed work at the hospital as a surgeon, and was re-hired by House in season 6. Robert Chase is the longest-serving member of House's staff. Chase has been attracted to Allison Cameron since the beginning of the show and embarks on a romantic relationship with her in "Human Error." In "Post Mortem," he left the Diagnostic Team after realizing he is in the same position as he was 10 years ago, unlike all of the other former members of the team. However in the series finale, he rejoins the hospital as the new Head of Diagnostic Medicine, replacing House, who is thought to have died.
An Australian, Chase is portrayed as an eager fellow of House during the first 3 seasons, often supporting his opinions and carrying out his orders without question. He was raised Catholic, and in the Season 1 episode "Damned If You Do," it was revealed that he attended seminary before becoming a doctor. He seems to trust House the most and sometimes takes part in House's morally questionable plans when the other members of the team have refused, showing a situational application of ethics and a flexible stance on morality. This leads to tension between Chase and Foreman, who is quick to disagree with House and prove him wrong.
Chase is regarded by most characters as someone who will do anything to protect his job. This is mostly due to an incident in season one when Chase, fearing for his job because House had yelled at him, told Edward Vogler of House's illegal actions.
However, as the show progresses, Chase begins to show his real loyalty and respect for House. Having been on the team longer than anyone else, Chase cares for House, as shown by the hug in the Season Three episode "Half-Wit." Later, when Michael Tritter is looking for information about House, Chase refuses to work with him, although Tritter tries to make it appear that he does in order to create conflict and distrust within the Diagnostics Department. Tritter's manipulation works and his relationships with Cameron, Foreman and especially House are further strained. However, after being punched by a detoxing House for getting the correct diagnosis in "Finding Judas" Chase begins to develop a more assertive personality and even disagrees with House on several occasions, eventually leading to him getting fired at the end of the third season. His affection for House is also exemplified in the fifth season episode "The Social Contract," when he helps House give a patient potentially fatal surgery simply because House empathizes strongly with the patient's situation.
As a surgical critical care specialist, Chase performs most of the invasive medical procedures, as well as observing and helping with the team's patients' surgeries when he worked for House. After his departure from the team, Chase becomes a surgeon in the hospital, a move that House says is "only one step down" from his previous position. He is trained in hypnosis, using this to help House recover lost memories in "House's Head."
He has a strong dislike for substance abusers, and, early in the series, was quick to blame symptoms on drug or alcohol abuse. His mother drank herself to death after his father left her. He also has a strong dislike of obese patients as is shown in "Heavy," where he believes that a morbidly obese girl's weight is her fault. Later, he is proven wrong when the team find a tumor on her pituitary gland that causes her inability to lose weight.
Chase has, at times, shown a shrewd capability of deducing people's motives, rather similar to House. He correctly deduced that Foreman was ashamed of the reason for his resignation, and then correctly deduced that House was also. He also figured out that House was the one who canceled Foreman's job interview in "The Jerk," for no reason other than to get the staff to mistrust and suspect each other.
Cameron sleeps with Chase in season 2 episode 7 ("Hunting") while high on methamphetamine, and then begins a "friends with benefits" relationship with him in season 3 at the end of the episode "Insensitive". However, she ends their relationship when Chase informs her that he wants to take their relationship to the next level. Despite Cameron's refusal to reconcile, Chase starts to ask her out every Tuesday. Eventually, she accepts his offer after Chase gets fired and she resigns from the Diagnostics Department and the two start dating.
Cameron's relationship with Chase moves forward during the fifth season; in the episode "Saviors", after having a little argument with Chase about their canceled vacation, the two get engaged. In "Both Sides Now", the season 5 finale, the two get married. In season six Chase and Cameron return to the Department of Diagnostics under Foreman. However, Chase murders a patient, Dibala, a brutal African dictator, in the episode "The Tyrant". He confesses this to Cameron in the episode "Known Unknowns". In the following episode, "Teamwork", Cameron and Chase were supposed to leave House's team and the hospital because of Dibala's death and to save their relationship but House tells Chase his theory on Cameron's weird acting. He believes Cameron feels it was his fault that Chase did what he did, as he would have created the foul climate for it to happen. After an outburst of his wife, the doctor realizes she was indeed mad at House but not him. He says he did it, and won't leave the hospital just because she wants to pretend he didn't. The episode ends with Cameron parting with Chase and leaving their apartment in tears.
In the episode "Lockdown", she returns to the hospital to get Chase's signature on divorce papers. After initial hesitation and argument, Chase signs the divorce papers, but while in "Lockdown" they end up dancing and then sleeping together one last time.
Concept and creation
When his agent suggested that Spencer audition for the role of Chase, he expected House to be a medical drama similar to General Hospital. However, he was impressed with the show once his agent showed him the scripts, and found out that Bryan Singer was producing the show.
Jesse Spencer's character was originally intended to be American. However, it was later changed to an Englishman. Spencer persuaded the producers to change his character into an Australian since Spencer himself is Australian.
- Robert Chase at House Wiki
- Robert Chase at the Internet Movie Database
- Robert Chase on TVIV
- Fox's House Site