“This is turning out to be the best season for me,” declares the actor, whose alter ego, Chase, officially rejoins House’s team in Monday’s episode. “The [casting] shift and the new characters have opened things up a lot and given the writers more of a chance to write for Chase. It’s really exciting for me to play with, and it’ll be exciting for any Chase fans out there.”
Might some of this “exciting” material include a romance with new girl Adams? In the following Q&A, Spencer confirms that sparks will begin to fly between Chase and Odette Annable’s rookie doc. He also hints at tensions with new boss Foreman (Omar Epps), previews two upcoming Chase-centric episodes, and shares the one (really dark) storyline he’d like to play before House (the show) checks out for good.
TVLINE | Was it weird being back on set this season with all the new faces?
Sort of. I didn’t know [Odette and fellow newbie Charlyne Yi], so I got to know them more or less at the same time [as Chase]. It’s good. They’re trying to learn how House operates and how he works. And Chase and Taub are coming back as the tried-and-tested doctors, so they sort of guide them in the first couple of episodes. We give them hints as to what House is doing and what we think he’s thinking. We mentor them a little bit.
TVLINE | In a clip from Monday’s episode, House wastes no time playing matchmaker between Chase and Adams. Have there been any other hints that the show is building to a romance?
Yes and no. There are definitely scenes where there’s some flirting going on. But they also disagree a lot, which could be translated as sexual tension, I suppose. [Something is] definitely there, but whether they actually follow through with or not, I don’t know. The good thing about our show is they don’t want to turn it into, “Who’s sleeping with who?” They want to stay focused on the medical storylines and how we respond to the patients. That always comes first. But the flirting thing with Odette is nice to have on the side.
TVLINE | Foreman has gone from being Chase’s equal to his boss. Any tension there?
There is a bit of ribbing that goes on. [Chase and Taub] give him a little crap because he’s the boss now. Foreman is trying to assert his dominance in that position and Chase and Taub sort of laugh at that because they know who he is. [Laughs] They’re not sure why he’s trying to manhandle House. I’m interested to see where that goes, in terms of whether we end up helping Foreman or helping House, because we have loyalties on both sides.
TVLINE | Any Chase-centric episodes coming up?
I’m happy to say there are. There’s going to be some stuff in the next couple of [episodes that we’re going to shoot] that really focuses on Chase, which is great. I’m really looking forward to that. I’ve heard hints about what it’s about.
TVLINE | Anything you can share? Does it relate to his career? Personal life? Family members coming to visit?
Um…. None of those, actually. [Laughs]. There are two [separate stories]. The second one I don’t know what it’s about. The first one involves a patient. Chase is affected by a patient. A patient gets into his head and it will have implications.
TVLINE | A decision about whether this will be the final season is expected soon. What are you hearing?
I heard a decision would have to be made by now, too. Who really knows? If we were going to wrap up the season it would be nice for [series creator] David Shore to know by now, so he has time to complete the job properly. But I really don’t know… I’m preparing for it to end. I think that’s the best way to look at it. And then if it does [end], I’m prepared. And then if it happens to go for another year, I’ll deal with it then. The energy on the show feels really good this year. And the writing is still top-notch. I’m really enjoying this season… I think the main thing is people don’t want to feel like they’re floating a dead horse. And I don’t think we are. It’s the No. 1 show in the world again. [Laughs] And I think there’s a reason for that. If it kept going I wouldn’t be against it.
TVLINE | Anything you’d like to see Chase do before it ends?
It’s very cliché, but I’ve never ended up in a hospital bed. Chase is pretty much the only [character] who hasn’t gotten sick at some point.
TVLINE | You’re right! We definitely need to see Chase almost die.
[Laughs] It’s so cliché, but it would be kind of cool. I want to be in a bed for an episode dying and self-diagnosing.
Want House scoop and spoilers 24/7? Follow me on Twitter via @MichaelAusiello