Robert Chase

Robert Chase
Dr. Robert Chase
House character
First appearance "Pilot"
Portrayed by Jesse Spencer
Occupation Surgeon
  • Diagnostic medicine fellow
    (seasons 1–3, 6–present)
  • Head of surgery (seasons 4–5)
Family Dr. Rowan Chase (father; deceased)
Mrs. Chase
(mother; deceased))
Mrs. Chase
Spouse(s) Allison Cameron (2009-2010: divorced)

Dr. Robert Chase 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.[1][2] However, he was then re-hired in season 6. Robert Chase is the longest-serving member of House's staff (he was hired approximately one year before the Pilot episode, as revealed in a deleted scene).[3] Chase has been attracted to Allison Cameron since the beginning of the show and embarks on a romantic relationship with her in "Human Error".



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. His reasons for leaving seminary are not entirely clear, but it has been asserted that while there he "failed" his test of faith. 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".

Chase has been shown to be an intensely secretive person. Most of information regarding his background comes from his interactions with patients, although House manages to learn some of his personal history.

He has a strong dislike for substance abusers, and, early in the series, was quick to blame symptoms on drug or alcohol abuse. This is likely due to his experiences with his mother, who 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 proved 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.

He has learned a great deal about diagnostic medicine from House, proven in "The Right Stuff" when he correctly deduces the patient's affliction to be Von Hippel-Lindau Disease. He was the first diagnostic medicine fellow to correctly make the final diagnosis in "Finding Judas" and he diagnosed the patient of the week in the episode "Airborne."

Fictional Biography

In the episode "Cursed," House speculates that Chase's father's accent is "Czech with about 30 years Aussie", which the father confirms (Jesse Spencer is Australian himself). Chase has also had a rough relationship with his late father, Rowan, a famous doctor in his own right. Chase talks to House about trying to mend the gap with his father many times, but finding his father simply didn't care. In the episode "Control", Chase is told by House to do an angiogram of a CEO's leg but House later finds out Chase accidentally screwed up the angio, which almost gets Chase fired. Chase later responds "I can't believe I did that."

Rowan Chase is revealed to have left the family when Robert was a teenager, which gave his son no other option but to care alone for his alcoholic mother until her death at least five years later, which was approximately ten years before "Damned If You Do". It is implied that his mother died of an alcohol-related illness and that she went into psychosis before Chase ever had a chance to say goodbye to her. In "Cursed," Rowan visits the hospital claiming he is in town for a conference, but close observation of his behavior allows House to deduce that he is not attending said conference and in reality, Rowan is dying from terminal lung cancer. Rowan was at the hospital to visit Dr. James Wilson, head of Oncology at Princeton-Plainsboro. Initially, Robert is intensely frustrated with his father's presence, but offers to buy his father a drink at the end of the episode. Rowan declines because he says he does not have time before he leaves again, and leaves without ever revealing to Robert his condition. In the Season Two episode "The Mistake," viewers learn that Chase's father died about two months after the visit in "Cursed." Later, in the episode "Forever", House deduces that Chase's father cut him off his will before dying, leaving him no money at all. Chase confirms this in "Finding Judas."

In "Damned If You Do", Chase reveals to a patient that he attended a seminary, quoting 1 Peter 1:7. This aspect of his life was shown again in "Forever"," when he said a prayer for the soul of a baby who died under his care. It has also been revealed that he was dating a banker who, as it turned out, liked to be burned. (cf. "Love Hurts")

Chase's attraction to Cameron has been featured early in the series when he asks her on a date, only to be rejected.[4] In the season two episode "Hunting," Chase has a one-night stand with Cameron while she is high on methamphetamines.

Cameron begins a "friends with benefits" relationship with Chase in season 3 during "Top Secret." Chase begins to fall for Cameron, but she does not return his feelings. A moment in "Fetal Position" clarifies Chase's feelings for Cameron when she remarks that she had "never seen him glow" like he does in a picture taken while (unknown to Cameron) gazing at a picture of her, although he plays the moment down. However, when he informs her that he wants to take their relationship forward in "Airborne", she ends it. Despite Cameron's refusal to reconcile, Chase asks her out every Tuesday, saying "It's Tuesday...I like you."

At the end of Season 3, Chase is promptly fired by House following an outburst, but the official reason is that he has been around the longest and has learned all he can from House. Later, Cameron realizes her feelings for Chase and the two begin a relationship. Chase then picks up a job heading the surgical team at Princeton-Plainsboro at the start of Season 4, occasionally aiding House with cases and advising Foreman on personal and professional issues.

In Season 5's "Saviors," Chase proposes marriage to Cameron, who accepts. In "House Divided," it is revealed that Chase is allergic to strawberries, after going into anaphylactic shock while taking a body shot from a stripper wearing strawberry body butter during his bachelor party. Luckily, a resident at the party had an epi-pen, and administered it to him quickly. Chase and Cameron get married in the season 5 finale, "Both Sides Now". In season six Chase and Cameron return to the Department of Diagnostics under Foreman. Chase murders a patient (a brutal African dictator visiting the US for medical treatment) in the episode "The Tyrant". Chase fakes a blood test so the patient will be misdiagnosed and given treatment that will be guaranteed to kill him given his actual condition. Foreman finds out and confronts Chase. Chase tells Foreman that the dictator's death saved thousands of lives, as the dictator was plotting an ethnic cleansing in his country, and now there is a chance for peace; but if the world knows that he was murdered, the dictator will be made into a martyr and things will get worse. He then tells Foreman that if he's going to be getting a visit from the police to warn him first so he can explain to his wife. Foreman warns him that someone can't take another person's life without expecting consequences. Foreman is later seen burning the incriminating evidence against Chase, and Chase is seen with Cameron obviously feeling guilty. House eventually discovers the murder, and his prodding along with Chase's conscience leads Chase to confess the fact to Cameron. Cameron soon decides to leave Chase, and he signs the divorce papers during the hospital "Lockdown", though afterwards they have sex one last time.

In the first episode of Season 7 "Now What?", Chase proposes sex to a skeptical Thirteen in a manner similar to his initial attempts to woo Cameron. It is possible that the two will embark on a relationship, as this has been hinted by the show's creators.

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.[5]

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. He said to them that the scripts have been changed anyway and that it is rare to see Australians on American television.[5]


  1. ^ "The Right Stuff". House, M.D.. 2007-10-02. No. 2, season 4.
  2. ^ "Human Error". House, M.D.. 2007-05-29. No. 24, season 3.
  3. ^ "Pilot". House, M.D.. 2004-11-16. No. 1, season 1. According to the deleted scenes.
  4. ^ "Occam's Razor". House, M.D.. 2004-11-30. No. 3, season 1.
  5. ^ a b Young doctor

External links

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