Stage 1: Skepticism. Chase telling the rest of the team in the beginning that nothing is wrong with House, he’s just playing them:
“If you believe House is sick, it’s only because that’s what he wants you to believe.”
“Do you really think it’s a coincidence that we’re treating a whistleblower, and now talking about blowing the whistle on House? You’re right, playing dumb, a messy signature, losing a videogame, it’s way to complicated to fake”.
Oh Chase! You should have stayed in this skeptical frame of mind. This is House we’re talking about! He managed to fake the test result to show he had brain cancer back in Season 3 by using a coma patient’s blood. Why, oh why, you, of all people, did not suspect House is doing something to fake liver failure as well?
Stage 2: Rationalization. Chase trying to convince the team even a sick House is better than no House at all:
“If House is sick, it’s his business, not Foreman.”
“Telling Foreman would put lives at risk. If you tell Foreman, House either agrees to treatment or get suspended, which means House gets suspended. And considering House at 90% is better than any other doctor at this hospital at 100%, that means our patients get lower standard of care.”
The hand-raising is a vote for telling Foreman, I guess? Interesting that the team listened to Chase, none of them went to Foreman because Chase told them to wait (Chase ended up being to one to “blow the whistle” on House), and when Chase suggested they don’t give the patient the meds House told them to, they agreed. (Turns out both House and the team were wrong about the diagnosis at that point. So the team was right that House got it wrong, but they got it wrong too). Didn’t House make Taub the team leader a few episodes ago? This should be the time for Taub to lead, no? Or maybe that was just a stupid plotline the show forgot completely now.
Stage 3: Disillusionment. When Chase figured out House was faking the illness. “You bastard!” seems mild under the circumstances, considering House has done this before to Chase and Foreman. I bet Chase is thinking – thank god I didn’t hug him this time!
Stage 4: Crime and Punishment
House: His name is Lil’ Chase. He’s a rat. You’re a rat. Get it? Taub confessed to telling Foreman to protect the patient. Adams confessed to protect Taub. But your confession was just piling on. There’s no rational reason for you to have done it.
Chase: And my punishment will be … nothing. You wanted me to tell Foreman. Your ability to solve puzzles is the only thing that matters to you. And you’re smart enough to know even you will lose your edge at some point. You want to make sure someone’s there when you do.
House: If that were true, why are Lil’ Chase’s little cousins scurrying across your apartment floorboards right now?
So who’s right? Foreman, who said House set the whole thing up to find out who he can trust on his team? Or Chase? I find Chase’s explanation more believable because it fits more with House’s devious way of thinking. And from past episodes, Chase is usually a lot better at understanding and figuring out House’s actions and motives, compared to Foreman. But of course House won’t admit it, he has to maintain the illusion that he did it to torture and test the team. From the way Chase is petting that rat, though, I don’t think the “punishment” (rats in his apartment) would bother him all that much.
I’m also thinking of that phrase “who House can trust.” What does it mean to trust someone? Trust that they won’t rat you out, even if ultimately it won’t be in your best interest? (If patients start dying because House has lost his diagnostic chops, that’s not in House’s best interest, surely). Or trust that they will try to do the right thing to protect your best interest, even if it might make you hate them or resent them? Wilson faced this dilemma in Season 3 episode “Finding Judas”, and he ultimately chose to do the right thing, even though he knew House would resent him for it. Maybe that’s what Chase thought he was doing when he told Foreman about House’s “illness”.
ETA: Hmm, I’m reading quite a few reviews of the episode (proper reviews on media sites, not someone random on a blog like me) saying how disappointing it is that Chase betrayed House yet again (after the Vogler arc back in Season 1), and how pointless the storyline is if they’re going to make the same person the one who told on House. Eeeek! Is that how most people are interpreting this? Weird.