House Postmortem: Can Chase and House Coexist After "Nobody's Fault"?
[WARNING: This story contains spoilers from Monday's House. Read at your own risk.]
"They've decided that your being stabbed was nobody's fault. They're wrong. I'm sorry."
Those were the shocking words spoken by Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) to Dr. Chase (Jesse Spencer), who during the course of Monday's House found himself stabbed in the heart by a patient suffering a psychotic episode, and later, temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. And even though impartial arbitrator Dr. Cofield (guest star Jeffrey Wright) ruled that House and his unorthodox diagnostic processes were not to blame for the accident, Dr. Crankypants didn't let himself off so easily.
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But what does that mean for the future? Can House and Chase continue to work together? "Hopefully. Otherwise the show ends," Spencer tells TVGuide.com with a laugh. "But this turns up the heat even more on that relationship."
Spencer says that even though House admitted he was wrong — a rarity — Chase doesn't necessarily feel any better about the situation. "I think it's another stone on his back," Spencer says. "It just confirms his greatest fear. He's realized he's working under a maniac. It pulls the show back to center, because [the team] has been under a way of thinking for so long that we can't even see that anymore. We've gotten used to these brash methods that would never be allowed in any other hospital."
So, if House accepts the blame, why did Dr. Cofield let him off the hook? "I don't feel that he was copping out in his decision," says executive producer Greg Yaitanes, who directed the episode. "This was a series of unfortunate events. Hopefully, just by the fact that we've examined it, it may make it safer for the future. I love the last shot of Jeffrey in the episode. After that decision, when he sees House's reaction and House storming away, I think there's a sense of pity that he has for him. This guy's never going to learn."
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Yaitanes insists that the admission House makes in this episode won't just be forgotten. "One of the things I love about the show is that it doesn't have TV amnesia," he says. "It is impossible going forward to not have what took place be in the back of House's head, whether he outwardly shows that all the time or not. We examine it a bit, but it will always be there."
Indeed, House's actions in this episode will be dissected further in next Monday's Chase-centric episode, fittingly titled "Chase." After a few weeks in physical therapy, Chase begrudgingly returns to the hospital and bonds with a patient who is weighing whether or not to take her final vows and become a nun. It's a fitting parallel for Chase, who attended seminary before becoming a doctor. But Spencer says Chase's advice goes beyond faith.
"He totally empathizes, and finds a connection with this girl," Spencer says. "Unfortunately, the faith thing sort of drops away. He becomes very scientific about it and more like House about it. He really wants to question her reasons, and challenge her as to why she's getting into what she's doing. Is it really logical? Is it the right decision? It's a big life question."
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Chase will ask himself some big life questions as well. Can he forgive House? Or, more importantly, does he need to?
"Chase holds a grudge, because his life was nearly taken," Spencer says. "He absolutely blames House, but he's also shocked and angry that he let himself be put into that situation. Chase did get emotionally involved when he shouldn't have and skewed his objectivity. So, House is more or less right. Chase is not blame-free."
What did you think of "Nobody's Fault"?