There’s something about the Netflix model that makes it the perfect vehicle for horror. Stranger Things? A pop cultural phenomenon. Haunting of Hill House? The breakout surprise of fall 2018. But, it’s been a while since Netflix has given us a can’t-help-but-keep-watching horror hit. That is until now, with Chambers, premiering its first season on Friday, April 26.
The wildly bingeable streaming series follows Sasha Yazzie (Sivan Alyra Rose), a 17-year-old Arizona girl who is Diné — or, Navajo for those of us outside of the tribe — who suffers a near-fatal heart attack. In a case of suspiciously good luck, Sasha’s story doesn’t end there. She winds up getting the heart of recently deceased teen from a town over, Rebecca “Becky” LeFevre (Lilliya Scarlett Reid). Unfortunately for Sasha, her connection to Becky doesn’t end with the transplant.
While it’s possible Sasha’s descent Becky-related horror would happen no matter what, she is pushed along in her spooky journey by none other than Scandal bae Tony Goldwyn and superstar Uma Thurman, continuing a recent spate of TV roles (remember she was in Bravo’s Imposters?). Goldwyn is in full crystal zaddy mode as Ben LeFevre, Becky’s new age-y tattooed, and very ripped dad; Thurman plays his wife, Nancy LeFevre, a woman shattered with grief over her daughter's death. The couple has a strange connection to the Southwest Annex Foundation, which definitely doesn’t sound like a supernatural cult or anything.
A show that combines family trauma of Hill House with the cult-y scares of certain seasons of American Horror Story and just a dash of the teen screams of The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina? That just might be worth talking through. So, we’ll be living recapping Chambers season 1, breaking down every mystery — from its weird masks to what exactly happened the night Becky died — along the way. Keep reading to get to the very heart of Netflix’s most intriguing new drama.
Episode 1 — “Into The Void”
“In four hours, the entire universe had to conspire together to save your life,” Big Frank Yazzie (Marcus LaVoi) tells his niece, Sasha (Rose), within the first 20 minutes of Chambers. For him, it’s a pithy comment meant to remind Sasha she should be grateful to be alive. However, Frank may be onto something— an actual, literal cosmic conspiracy may have saved Sasha’s life.
In the words of another April-premiering TV series, she’s is in the great game now (somehow). And the great game is terrifying.
When we first meet Sasha, she doesn’t seem like the focus of some massive supernatural collusion. She’s an average teenage girl living in the working class town of Cottonwood and preparing to have sex with her boyfriend for the first time. That boyfriend is the lovable TJ (Griffin Powell-Arcand), a sweet boy whose dad owns a local mattress store. In a plot only horny teens could come up with, Sasha and TJ decide to break into said mattress store and lose their virginity on which ever boxspring they like best. TJ even brings candles and what appears to be a bouquet of flowers because he’s romantic like that. It’s all really very lovely.
Then, as clothing comes off and things heat up, Sasha has a heart attack. She realizes something is very wrong as she seems to see visions of colorful smoke and some sort of flower-patterned sheet. Poor terrified TJ goes from kissing his way down Sasha’s torso to carrying her limp body around a mini mall screaming for help. The next thing we know, it’s a few weeks later and Sasha has a huge scar in the middle of her chest. This is how Chambers confirms its main character received a crucial heart transplant after the mattress store fiasco.
Ben LeFevre (Goldwyn), of the wealthy, nearby Crystal Valley, shows up at Uncle Frank’s exotic pet shop to tell Sasha exactly how she got that “extraordinary” heart. His teen daughter Rebecca “Becky” LeFevre (Lilliya Scarlett Reid) died mysteriously that same evening. The photo Ben turns over to the Yazzies proves Becky could be the face of a successful YouTube beauty tutorial empire or appear in the feed of any Coachella Instagram account. Despite the strict rules separating organ donors, their families, and the recipients, Ben wants to get to know Sasha. In fact, Ben — whom we’ll soon learn is buffer than buff and sporting a few spiritual tats — wants the Yazzies to come over for dinner on Saturday.
Sasha wants nothing less than a guilt-ridden meal with the LeFevres, but Frank brings up the whole universal conspiracy thing and suggests that the least they can do is have dinner with the family. So, off Sasha and Frank go to Crystal Valley. On their way, a strange old woman on the street immediately screams danger is ahead. “You don’t want it in you!,” she yells, handing Sasha a face mask with a large black rock hidden inside of it. This is the moment that comes in all horror movies: the one where, if you take the red flag warning and go back home, everything would be fine. There would be no need for 10 trippy horror episodes of television. Of course, Frank keeps driving to the LeFevre home.
And, oh, what a home it is. If the Sharp Objects Victorian was upgraded to a crystal-filled, techno-futurist manse, it would be this house. Not only is it massive, but it has amazing things like a glass room where one can enjoy the eerie magic of the Arizona sky. Casa LeFevre is presided over by Nancy LeFevre (Thurman), a ghost of a woman broken by her daughter’s death. She now practices laughing in the mirror to prepare for visitors and grills Sasha on every facet of her academic life. Eventually the LeFevres explain why they’re so interested in Sasha’s background: They’ve installed a full scholarship at Becky’s high school and want Sasha to be its first recipient.
Although Sasha wants nothing to do with the scholarship or this rich family, an unexpected dust storm literally traps the Yazzies in LeFevre manor. This overnight confinement is how Sasha first gets to know Becky’s twin brother Elliott (Nicholas Galitzine), an intense young man dealing with a heroin addiction. She also finds her way into Becky’s room, which is housing a creepy camera and a mouse without a tail. Both, are terrifying. Sasha then runs to her own room to avoid these strange horrors by falling asleep.
Unfortunately, Sasha’s dreams take her outside to the dust storm, where she finds two teens hooking up in a car. It appears one of them is Becky — peep the blonde hair — but, when Sasha looks harder that’s not what’s actually happening. The mystery boy turns towards Sasha and asks, “Becky?” When the girl he’s with moves her face into frame, it’s Sasha. A nightmare.
Yet, Sasha cannot avoid the pull of the LeFevres. After finally having sex with TJ, Sasha decides her mom Lena (Kumiko Konishi), another person in this tale who died under mysterious circumstances, would have wanted her to go to a school as good as Crystal Valley High. So, she calls Ben and Nancy to accept their offer. The grieving parents couldn’t be happier. “This is going to change her life,” Nancy gushes, and, CVHS is so fancy, you almost believe the school could be a good thing for Sasha. In place of a stuffy guidance counselor, Sasha meets her cool, inappropriately attractive new life coach Jones (Michael Stahl-David). She gets a new laptop, free condoms, all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos she couldn’t afford earlier, and a bubbly transitional peer partner in Marnie (Sarah Mezzanotte), one of Becky’s best friends.
It’s Marnie who reveals how Becky allegedly died. Apparently, Becky always listened to an old school radio while getting ready. One night, it fell into the shower and electrocuted Becky to death. Sasha’s best friend Yvonne (Kyanna Simone Simpson) points out how strange that story is. If someone is electrocuted, aren’t their organs are fried? Therefore, they wouldn’t be able to donate said ruined body parts — like, a heart, for instance. Odd. Even stranger, that night as Sasha washes here face, she sees a towel-wrapped Becky looking back at her, screaming. For a moment, Becky is standing in Sasha’s place, and in her body.
As Sasha says upon hearing the story of her organ donor’s death, “Fuck.” Welcome to Chambers, this is only the very tip of the crystal iceberg.
Odds & Ends
- Chambers’ title sequence confirms Sasha’s body may not be her own anymore. We see Sasha and Becky share a face in the opening sequence and watch their eyes — respectively brown and blue — flicker back and forth. Yikes.
Episode 2 — “Right To Know”
Chambers’ second episode, “Right To Know,” is all about Sasha slowly acclimating to Becky’s very different life with Becky’s very suspicious heart. During fencing practice at Crystal Valley High School, she meets Ravi (Jonny Rios), Elliot’s best friend and Marnie’s boyfriend. This is the mysterious boy Sasha keeps having very sexual visions about. Ravi and Becky were, without a doubt, hooking up.
Around the same time Sasha comes to this gossipy conclusion, she realizes she’s much better at fencing than she expected. In fact, she’s so good, right-handed Sasha can fence with her left hand. Becky just so happened to also be a lefty and killer fencer. Sasha also, inexplicably, is excelling in her math class despite the fact she spends most of her lessons zoning out. Becky, as a photo we eventually see telegraphs, was a mathlete. Hm.
But, Sasha’s connection to Becky isn’t all good grades and sexy intrigue. Once the LeFevres invite Sasha to a “releasing ceremony” for their daughter, inspired by the teachings of the immediately nefarious-sounding “new-age country club” called the Annex Foundation, Sasha’s Becky link turns truly, truly dark. When Yvonne spills something on Sasha’s clothing, it’s Nancy who takes it upon herself to personally dress Sasha for the ceremony. The new frock fits eerily well — like it was made for her. Later, the dress refuses to unzip, nearly suffocating Sasha to death in her home.
In a similarly unsettling moment, Sasha is hit with countless visions when the releasing ceremony — which is simply burning the possessions of the deceased — begins. Ben stares intensely at Sasha, which is already disturbing. But, as he holds her gaze, Sasha starts to see a spiral of visions: images of Becky’s past, a suggestion of the night Becky died (more on that in a bit), and just a general wave of dread. Is this Ben’s fault? Does Becky’s dad know more about her death than we know? He is the one who is especially connected to the murder-y-seeming Annex. And he wanted Sasha at the ceremony despite Nancy’s very sane objections.
The possibility of Chambers heading towards a Ben-as-villain reveal only increases when you take into account the many weird mask visions Sasha’s been experiencing both in Crystal Valley as well as the once-sane Cottonwood. At the midpoint of “Right To Know,” a CVHS outcast name Penelope (Lilli Kay) recommends Sasha join the fencing team after noticing Sasha’s unexpected ambidextrous talents, especially since there’s a Becky-sized hole in the team.
So, Sasha takes a look at a Becky memorial, which showcases the math and fencing team. One second the mathletes are smiling teens. The next, they all have haunting masks drawn over their faces. Well, all of them except for Becky, who appears to be surrounded by the creepy looming presences.
The mask intrigue only gets weirder at the releasing ceremony. While inside the sorta-party, Sasha sees a physical version of the masks on a wall of the LeFevre home. In a blink, it transforms into a Batman mask Ben bought as a bullshit detector. Why is Ben connected to all the most troubling aspects of Sasha’s visions?
Before Sasha leaves this trippy house of crystal horrors, the LeFevre parents give her Becky’s car, which should be nice. Earlier that same week she passed out on a bus from school after imagining she used her own teeth to rip off a piece of her forearm skin. At least such horrors should be over. Unfortunately, Sasha finds Becky’s journal in the trunk of the Prius. It’s filled with drawings of cult-y mask images. On some pages are multiple masks and on others, a single mask. There are masked individuals in the CVHS hallways and masks drawn over photos of Becky’s friends. Two extremely weird images show a person whose face is blacked out, riding a horse and another of just symbols.
The last pages Sasha sees show Becky with a mask drawn over her face, then another where she is floating. Around her, nine hooded individuals stand over Becky’s body, appearing to pray. It is a horrorshow. Becky drew a series of multicolored dots around her body in the last picture. When the camera pans to the attic above Sasha’s bedroom, we see the same design (which looks exactly like a body) laid out above where she sleeps, in crystals. A giant black rock with a mouse on top of it is sitting where the crystal body’s heart should be.
Who did this? Why? Is this creepy crystal formation a representation of Sasha? We’ll hopefully find out soon — all we know now is that there’s an eye peering out as Sasha from the hole in the attic floor. Or is that just another figment of Chambers’ imagination?
Odds & Ends
Ben’s “criminals are a cowardly and suspicious lot” comment is a reference to one of Batman’s most famous quotes.
The bite (pull?) mark in Sasha’s disturbing forearm vision is almost identical to the location where the bedroom camera’s operator has a scar. Are they connected?
Yvonne finds the LeFevres’ friend Ruth (Lily Taylor) placing crystals throughout their home. She says it’s to “facilitate an energetic release.” But, considering all the weird stuff going on with crystals, should we believe her?
Chambers confirms Elliot and Becky were twins with his sweet-but-kinda-nasty cast story. So many conversations about arms in this episode.
Nancy lies to Ben about tossing Becky’s baby blanket into the releasing ceremony. Instead, she hides it in a draw in her daughter’s room. Is this the Chekov’s gun of their already shaky marriage?
What happened That Night?: The cold open in the second episode of Chambers sets a pattern to follow. Each episode, before we jump into Sasha’s current horrifying situation, we’ll get a glimpse at the night of her heart attack and Becky’s death.
This time, we hear Ben asking Becky’s nurses about her condition. We’re meant to figure out we’re hearing audio from Becky’s hospitalization after her shower “accident.” “She’s gone,” a nurse confirms before we see a naked Becky floating in some reddish nebulous zone. The Stone Roses’ “I Wanna Be Adored,” hums in the background.
Becky is frozen and smiling until the heavenly background disappears, and she’s in a bathtub. While the scene is mostly silent, Beck face suggests she is screaming. A charred set of hands appear around her legs. Later in the episode, it is suggested Becky tried to run for the door. And that weird sheet Sasha saw during her premiere episode heart attack is a fixture in Becky’s bathroom.
Episode 3 — “Bad Inside”
Look, there is a lot going on in this episode we should probably talk about. But, you’re here for Ben’s ripped yoga that eventually becomes masochistic saging, right? Tony Goldwyn stripped down to his teeniest yoga shorts and burnt himself right in the chest (with the help of Netflix magic)! Wow.
If you were too busy staring at Goldwyn’s abs to realize the character significance here (which was my problem during first viewing) let’s break it down. Earlier in “Bad Inside,” we see Ben in a similar scene — listening to an Annex tape and holding sage while standing in the LeFevre’s beautiful glass room — meditating on “emotion, memory, guilt.” It seems he’s trying to lose some negative feelings about Becky (that sharp “guilt” adds to the possibility that Ben had a hand in Becky’s death). It’s likely Ben believes this is all he needs to do to shake his messy energy around Becky’s death.
Then, he sees Sasha walking out of his house, mindlessly tying a bowline knot with a sailor’s expertise. Sasha has never been sailing, or on a boat for that matter. Becky, however, has. We know this because Ben returns to his glass room to do his nearly nude yoga and grief mediation as a voice, possibly belonging to Suspicious Ruth, explains, if one’s grief is strong enough, it can trap their dead loved one’s energy in this realm rather than letting them move on.
As Ben hears this, he flashes through the similarities of Sasha and Becky. Sasha and the knot against an old photo of Baby Becky holding a bowline knot; Sasha and Becky on the stairs of the LeFevre home; Sasha sliding into the LeFevre family portrait where Becky once was. Then, in a final play to help Becky “escape” the gravitational pull of his grief, Ben attempts the ultimate cleansing by holding sage directly to his chest, right above where his heart would be.
For a moment, we see a flash of a terrified Becky in an unknown reddish space. The sound of a fire crackling and, possibly, the flicker of one can be seen As usual, it’s unclear if this is a memory or a flight of imagination.
As Ben is trying to free Becky from the human plane, she seems to be embedding herself deeper inside of Sasha. First, it’s small stuff like Sasha noticing Becky’s shoes in the next bathroom stall (which, of course, has a weird symbol carved into it) or signing Becky’s name on an assignment. But, then Sasha hears “I Wanna Be Adored,” which is apparently Becky theme song, blaring out of the radio when it’s not even on.
Eventually, Sasha is fully reliving Becky’s memories. During a stop in Crystal Valley’s commercial district, she sees Penelope and Marnie walking into an aura photography shop (that weird old lady from the premiere is also milling about in the vicinity). Their clothing and friendly demeanor proves this mirage isn’t happening today. When Sasha walks into the store, the proprietor confirms she has been the only customer since lunch — spooky.
Spookier still is the woman’s reaction to Sasha’s auto portrait. “Iinziin,” she mutters, harkening back to a word scribbled somewhere in Becky’s ghoulish notes. She asks if Sasha has a twin. When Sasha says no, the woman demands she leave her store. At home, Frank tells Sasha “iinziin,” loosely translates to “bad inside,” which is the episode’s title. Before we even see Sasha’s portrait we know it will be identical to Becky’s picture.
Is Becky the bad inside of Sasha? Well, she does end “Bad Inside” chopping the tail off of a mouse, reminding us of the tailless mouse shuffling around Becky’s bedroom in the premiere. Sasha stuffs the disembodied rodent into the garbage disposal before running in her room and looking at her aura portrait. It is, in fact, the same as Becky’s. The image shifts between showing Sasha and Becky before bursting into flames. That is definitely bad.
Odds & Ends
–Penelope is the one who put the camera in Becky’s bedroom. Apparently, the girls were lifetime best friends until about a year ago when Becky became a superstar at school, academics, and boys overnight. She also trapped Penny in a deadly stream room around this time for asking questions.
– It only dawns on me during Penny and Sasha’s conversation that the inhabitants of CVHS have no idea that Sasha has Becky’s heart.
– Nancy thinks she finds a good omen during a desert run when she comes across a fawn. Everything is adorable until you see Nancy driving away from Chimney Rock. Below the highway, a swarm of mice devor one such fawn. What’s up with all the mice?!
– Elliot says he doesn’t know what’s going on with Becky’s nightmare journal. He seems to be telling the truth.
– Speaking of the journal, the longer you look at certain parts of it, you realize the masks slowly took over things Becky had previously drawn or created. These were sweet, fun images — like a collage about “pocket cats to make school less boring” — before all the cult-y images overrode them.
– Sasha has a mysterious medical history even she doesn’t know about — could her mom, or grandpa, be involved? Either way, now Sasha is on experimental prescription meds to deal with her “hallucinations.”
What happened That Night?: Frank was passed out at home when Sasha first had her heart attack and was hospitalized (his phone confirms he missed eight phone calls). Upon waking and calling the hospital back, he runs out of the house and into the storm we keep seeing. As soon as Frank leaves, a mysterious hand picks up his plate of pizza, which also has a mouse perched on top of it.
Also, Chambers really wants us to understand The Night had a storm of nearly biblical proportions, with the National Weather Service urging citizens to stay inside to avoid dangerous winds and lightning.
Episode 4 — “2 For 1”
There’s a lot to get to in this episode — the shower curtains! The coyote! Sasha’s magical blonde hair! But, there are urgent matters at hand. There is Elliot’s community service outfit to talk about. We get glimpses of its grandeur throughout Chambers’ fourth episode, “2 for 1,” but don’t see the ensemble in its full glory until Elliot is standing by the side of the road, alone, waiting for his mom to come pick him up. She never will.
For an unexplainable but deeply delightful reason, Elliot has chosen to wear a wide-brim hat, yellow-printed floral button-down tee, so many bracelets, cropped oatmeal pants, and just-above-the-ankle brown boots. This outfit would be a sight to behold in any scenario, but it’s particularly baffling considering he’s picking up trash on the side of the road. I would watch a lengthy YouTube vlog of Elliot explaining his community service fashion sense.
The LeFevre men have now have back-to-back standout moments: one for what they’re not wearing and one for what they are.
Unfortunately, Sasha isn’t having nearly as much fun as the boy lifting garbage off of the highway. Now that she knows Penny has a cache of recordings made in Becky’s room, she’s more determined than ever to learn what happened to the LeFevres’ daughter. Unfortunately, Sasha finds a spotty video of the night Becky died and a recording of herself dancing just like Becky. In Becky’s room. While wearing Becky’s clothing. And she doesn’t remember a second of it. Yvonne is right, this is some Paranormal Activity shit.
In a bid to figure out what is happening, Sasha heads to the LeFevre home to recreate what she’s seen in the video. She hopes that by opening that door, Becky will finally reveal whatever she so desperately wants Sasha to see. At this point Sasha is accepting she is haunted.
After doing something to the Prius — thereby creating a fix-it distraction for Ben — Sasha sneaks up to Becky’s bathroom, slips into her nightgown, and steps into the bathroom where she died. It is there we realize that sheet we keep seeing is Becky’s shower curtain. As Sasha recreates Becky’s true final moments in the bathroom, she is transported back to the night the girl died. “I Wanna Be Adored,” is playing and the face in the mirror alternates between Becky and Sasha in much the same way the aura portrait did during “Bad Inside.”
A shadow of a someone passes through the space and jiggles the door handle. Someone else was there that night. All of a sudden, Sasha’s transplant scar is seeping blood. She screams and we hear her flatline. After a beat of darkness, Sasha wakes up in the hospital. Her hair now has random blonde streaks. Becky is manifesting.
Although Sasha should be safe now that she’s in a hospital, there are multiple red flags. First, Ben claims Sasha passed out in the driveway. Did Sasha imagine everything in the bathroom, or is Ben lying? If the latter is true, was that a kindness or is Ben hiding the real reason for Sasha’s collapse to cover up his own secrets? Either way, a coyote begins stalking the hospital only hours after Sasha’s estranged grandpa Harrison shows up to Wet Pets to warn Frank of a bad omen. That bad omen is a coyote circling the Yazzie’s New Mexico reservation home and stealing chickens. Now, Frank catches a coyote run past him in a parking lot and Sasha sees a bloody-faced coyote in her hospital room. Yvonne, however, sees nothing.
If only gory (and possibly imaginary) canines, unwanted supernatural blonde streaks, and strange behavior by Ben were Sasha’s only problems in the hospital. Of course, that’s not the case. Just before the not-coyote pads into Sasha’s room, a nurse shows up to take a blood sample. But the nurse isn’t drawing Sasha’s blood for a medical reason. Instead, the woman walks out of the hospital and hands the sample to someone in an older black car (it’s definitely not Ben’s). Who’s in the car and what do they want to Sasha’s blood?
Odds & Ends
— The aura portrait burn mark and the dead mouse tail were both still there in the morning. Whatever is happening in Cottonwood is no longer as benign as Sasha hallucinating ripping Becky’s dress to shreds.
— One B plot follows the painful story of two mothers: Yvonne’s, who no longer remembers her daughter due to an unknown illness, and Nancy, who remembers her late daughter so intensely, she’s suffering from pseudopregnancy. Mrs. LeFevre’s accidental lactation in her car confirms as much.
— Coach Jones is sending Ben academic information without explanation. Is that because he’s concerned or totally in Ben’s pocket?
— Ben covers up the weird circumstances that led to Sasha’s collapse. However, the strangest thing he does in the episode is grasp Sasha’s feet and tap them as a sign of comfort in the hospital. How uncomfortably intimate.
— Frank needs money for Sasha’s experimental prescription pills — which won’t actually fix her ghost heart visions, but he doesn’t know that — and is ready to turn to a shady bail bondsman to pay for them.
— With the arrival of Yazzie patriarch Harrison, we learn something the elder Yazzies’ did to Sasha’s mom likely had a major hand in her death.
What happened That Night?: A terrified Frank rages around the Cottonwood Hospital chapel until a nurse appears to inform him a heart showed up — “same age, blood type, everything.” This is Becky’s heart. Since Becky’s heart momentarily stopped, everyone on the organ waitlist above Sasha has turned it down. So, if Frank signs the liability waiver for the possibly faulty heart, Sasha can have it. Obviously, he does. The nurse tells Frank “someone up there” is watching out for the Yazzies. Yes, but who?
In a throwaway comment, a nurse announces all the women in the maternity ward are going into labor. That means there’s barely enough NICU beds for the premies. This. Storm.
Episode 5 — “Murder On My Mind”
The LeFevres are truly giving the front-half of these episodes their all and this time it’s Nancy who’s chewing the scenery. With her pseudopregnancy now in full bloom, she turns to the Annex for help. Her untrustworthy friend Ruth immediately hands over an unborn baby doll — had she been waiting for this moment? — and Nancy tearfully cradles it in the LeFevre manse. Then she carries it to the trash in a clear garbage bag, creating one of Chambers’ most subtly disturbing visuals.
Even though the doll is gone, Nancy’s pseudopregnancy reaches its crescendo during a tense dinner between the LeFevres, the Annex leaders Evan and Ruth (who are married, if that isn’t clear), and Sasha who is highly paranoid. While everyone else debates the quality of Elliot’s soul, Nancy is stuck upstairs frantically scratching away at her C-section scars until she bleeds.
Nancy snaps in the midst of her scar picking when she hears Sasha scream that Elliot killed Becky and the LeFevres covered it up. She demands to know why Sasha was naked in Becky’s shower, confirming Ben told someone what really happened in the prior episode.
The confrontation helps connect Nancy’s internal drama and Sasha’s increasing panic throughout “Murder on My Mind.” After realizing someone else was with Becky the night she died, Sasha becomes fixated on figuring out who killed her. That drive brings her to Penelope Fowler, who figures out her father’s story about finding Becky’s body (he supposedly heard the smoke alarm in Becky’s bathroom and checked ) was a lie. The biggest clue that Ben and Mrs. Fowler are hiding something is Becky herself, whose control over Sasha’s body is growing more powerful.
“That stupid thing was always going off,” Becky-as-Sasha explains of the smoke detector in her room. “That’s why I took it down.” Penelope does not ask enough questions about this admission of guilt. That’s probably because Penelope has strange secrets and is already obsessing over Sasha, as the “SASHA” folder on her laptop shows. Penny even deletes her expansive “Becky” folder for “SASHA.”
All of these breadcrumbs bring Sasha to the real explanation of Becky’s death: She died by suicide and Ravi witnessed the whole, awful scene. The truth is uncovered when Penelope leaves her unsettling Becky wigs at home to chauffeur Sasha to “The Compound,” a trio of trailers out in the dessert were Crystal Valley teens go to party. Becky drew a tiny, adorable version of it in her journal. There, Sasha plays “I Wanna Be Adored” to force Elliot, who spends the episode contemplating his own demons and addiction issues, to confess to Becky’s murder.
Instead, it’s Ravi who breaks down and announces he loved Becky but didn’t kill her. In a vision Sasha sees he’s telling the truth. On the night of the storm, Ravi walked into the bathroom to see Becky holding the plugged-in, “Adored”-playing radio. Despite it pleas to stop, a naked Becky drops it into the water. Everything is fried.
While this revelation is awful, it brings Sasha and a tortured Elliot some peace. That calm evaporates for Sasha seconds after she debriefs an understanding Yvonne. After both friends take a deep breath, Yvonne’s mom Tracey, who is clad in a nightgown made for a ghost, comes power walking towards the Yazzies’ home. Somehow, Tracey knows all about Becky, calling out Sasha’s blonde hair and white skin. What white skin you ask? Tracey is happy to tell you, unveiling a knife and cutting off a bandage on Sasha’s hand to reveal a giant patch of pale white skin on the indigenous girl’s palm.
Then Tracey drops her weapon and strides back home. Everyone is astonished.
Odds & Ends
— At the beginning of “Murder,” Ben asks Evan if his “guy found anything yet.” The answer is no, but “there’s nothing at the place.” How opaque. However, the episode closes with Frank’s new hire Deacon, calling Evan and saying he “did it” and “found it.” It seems Deacon is Evan’s guy. Now what did he find, and why did he need a gun to do it?
— The Annex helped Ben and Nancy when they couldn’t conceive. Does that mean whatever happened to Becky has been more than 17 years in the making?
— Nancy’s totally suspicious friend Ruth says she was able to conceive after a visit to Uluru (she later miscarried). Uluru is an Australian national park. Its website has very Chambers-y descriptions like, “a living cultural landscape where earth and memories exist as one” or “our iconic rock formations hide ancient wisdom.”
— Becky’s journal drawing of a car is identical to Sasha’s vision of Becky and Ravi hooking up in a car. Chalk that one up to Sasha’s first memory vision.
— When Sasha storms out of LeFevre manor, she whispers, “I’m sorry I made it bad,” while twirling her hair. Later, a projected video of a young Becky happened to show an identical moment. Nancy is terrified.
What happened That Night?: Exactly what Elliot claims happened that evening towards the close of “Murder.” First, we see Elliot’s bloody hand carrying a bowl of his beloved Cookie Crisp cereal. He walks into what appears to be a type of hospital room to watch the news about the storm. You’ll notice, a bloody splotch growing right below his right shoulder. It’s the weeks-old wound Elliot got when Becky stabbed him inexplicably opening up again.
Strangely, the TV station changes from a National Weather Service broadcast to a view of Becky’s bathroom. Those blasted shower curtains are back. Then we see an aerial look into Becky’s final shower — a radio falls into the bath, just like Marnie said. Becky screams, dying in front of Elliot’s eyes. So, Elliot picks up his cell phone, dials it, and announces, “Dad, it’s Becky.” The bloody splotch on his robe intensifies.
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.
Episode 6 — “With Grace & Gratitude”
The inevitable has occurred: Sasha is trapped in the lavish house of horrors that is LeFevre mansion. It’s the only way a story like Chambers — built on secrets and competing dubious intentions — can reach its true crescendo. That is why “With Grace And Gratitude” spends its time picking away at every connection Sasha has to Cottonwood. By the end of the episode, all she has left is the LeFevres.
The biggest blow to Sasha’s life in Cottonwood comes the moment she starts questioning where she comes from. When she visits her grandfather, Harrison, in New Mexico to get some clarity, he casually mentions her late mother’s “habit.” Sasha realizes her mom Lena wasn’t hit by a car driven by the junkie, Lena was the junkie.
When Sasha returns to Cottonwood, Frank is forced to explain the full tragedy of Lena Yazzie, which he kept from his niece for 17 years. Lena had a heroin addiction and Sasha was born with the same disease, hence the underlying medical issues that lead to Sasha’s heart attack and her prescription for Hydroxyzine — the same medication Elliot is taking. When Sasha was a baby, Lena left her daughter in a Wendy’s bathroom and “disappeared for months.” At that point, Frank took his niece in for good. Around this same time, Grandpa Harrison refused to send Lean to rehab. Instead he tried to “cure her spirit” with what we can guess were traditional, non-medical remedies. They didn’t work.
Lena died the night she came to get baby Sasha. She was high and hiding drugs her car. Frank called the police, hoping the serious intervention would force his sister to get help. Instead, she fled and drove into a lake. We’re meant to assume the evening Sasha keeps flashing back to, seeing herself as a crying baby as Lena fights Frank, is the day her mom died.
Sasha, who is shocked by the terrible revelation, storms out of the Yazzie home, frantic and searching for anywhere else to sleep. The problem is, “Grace And Gratitude” ruins her other two relationships in Cottonwood. Earlier in the episode, Sasha attends TJ’s enrollment ceremony on the Diné reservation. She even puts on Lena’s traditional dress, believing that would be the most appropriate outfit for the event. When she arrives, everyone is in jeans and t-shirts. The contrast highlights how little Sasha is involved with her community.
Then, Becky makes it worse by flooding Sasha’s mind with ghoulish visions. Sasha sees a bathrobe-clad Becky standing in the middle of the space with black goo coming out of her mouth. Mice burst out of Becky’s chest and her heart — their heart — beats with graphic intensity. Sasha silently cries as mice bite at her feet until she runs outside where everything is red. Smoke — the kind of smoke Sasha saw during her heart attack in the premiere episode — envelops her until she screams. If Sasha was in the back of the room, such a scene wouldn’t be so bad. But, Sasha starts out at front and center, standing next to TJ at the podium.
When Chambers cuts back to reality, Sasha is outside the hall with TJ, his mom, and his friend Kara (who clearly has a crush on him) staring at her. Although Sasha is obviously in crisis, no one asks how she is. They tell her she “ruined” TJ’s big day and Kara suggests Sasha is on drugs. The moment Sasha tells her romantic rival to “shut the fuck up,” a scorpion pops up and bites Kara. “Iinziin,” TJ’s mom whispers, telling Sasha to get off the reservation. She’s not welcome there anymore.
Sasha gets a similarly cold reception at Yvonne’s house, but has no idea why. At least we, the viewers, do. The same night as Sasha’s confrontation with Frank, Tracey, a former tech whiz, uses computer keys to tell her daughter “Sasha will destroy me.” Considering everything she did to save Sasha’s life (see below), this is a peculiar conclusion. Still, when Sasha shows up begging to stay the night, Yvonne heeds her mother’s warning and turns her best friend away.
At the same time that Sasha’s loved ones are either pushing her away or devastating her, the LeFevres are each deciding to embrace the teen. Elliot learns his sister tried ayahuasca the night of her death to unearth hidden memories around the mask conspiracy. What better person to help him get answers than the girl re-experiencing all of Becky’s memories?
Even more importantly, Ben finds the baby blanket Nancy was supposed to burn at Becky’s releasing ceremony. He wants to be upset about her subterfuge, but is just happy to hear someone else feels Becky’s presence in Sasha. Both Ben and Nancy thought they were “crazy” — now they know they’re not. Since Becky has gone so far as to speak to Nancy through Sasha, which she does at the Yazzie house during “Gratitude,” they know they need to get Sasha to Crystal Valley permanently.
In a stroke of good luck for them, Sasha almost immediately calls asking to stay with them after the Frank blow out. The stars just keep pulling these people together — or, is it something else?
Odds & Ends
— Ruth says “we” are looking “everywhere and anywhere” to figure out how to help Becky find peace. Who is “we?” Are Deacon and his gun a part of that group?
— Nancy spent this episode blowing up everyone’s spot. She’s the first one to point out how strange Sasha’s Hydroxyzine prescription is for “anxiety” treatment. She also suggests Sasha’s black bead bracelet is more than a simple string of “worry beads,” as Coach Jones told her they were. They’re actually beads of protection made of black tourmaline. Considering how right Nancy was to question the meds, let’s assume she’s also right to think there’s something up with the alleged “worry beads.”
— I hate the bail bondsman plot. Most of the other serious problems of Chambers play directly into its mysteries, like Elliot’s unplanned addiction to heroin and Penny’s burns. Leaving this world to worry about chop shops and desert car explosions is jarring.
What happened That Night?: Tracey miraculously helped saved Sasha’s life. One minute, Yvonne’s mom is in their home, chatting about motherboards and proving her technological savvy (it’s unclear if she is already dealing with memory problems). Then, the front door is wide open and Tracey is wandering into the street to move a humongous chunk of metal out of the way. Yvonne helps just to keep her mother from getting hit by oncoming traffic. They succeed and time slows down to show who’s in the ambulance that almost hit Tracey: TJ and Sasha.
If Tracey hadn’t moved that piece of metal, Sasha’s ambulance would have driven right into it and likely ended up in a fiery accident. Tracey saved Sasha’s life. “I had to help her,” Tracey repeats to Yvonne, who has no idea what her mom is talking about.
Episode 7 — “Trauma Bonding”
“I’m not letting Becky ruin my life anymore,” Sasha says in the last moments of “Trauma Bonding,” as she pops a dose of DMT. With three episodes to go after Sasha’s announcement, it’s a mission statement for the final arc of Chambers. Sasha is finally going to get rid of the teen living inside of her body and putting her loved ones at risk.
The episode unexpectedly makes an case for the person destined to help Sasha purge Becky: her twin brother, Elliot. After all, it’s Elliot who knows the most about what Becky was up to. “Bonding” starts telling us as much in its first proper scene, when it shows us a shared dream between Elliot and Sasha, who is sporting Becky’s blonde haircut. The crystal body from the second episode is arranged on a rock, again with a black stone where its heart should be.
Elliot and Sasha don’t ask that question, but they do meet at the rock formation. That it’s not planned validates the fact that these two are sharing dreams. Or, is Becky sharing the dream while Sasha is along for the ride? At the top of “Bonding,” Sasha wakes up and realizes her teeth hurt. In the desert, Elliot remembers that when he and his sister had twin dreams, he would “scratch the shit” out of his arm and she would grind her teeth. His arm is all scratched up and Sasha’s teeth are painfully ground down. Becky is getting stronger.
Since Sasha is already living so many of Becky’s memories, she decides to figure out why Becky stabbed Elliot a few weeks before her death. Sasha and Elliot recreate the scene and realize Elliot never attacked his sister, despite Becky’s allegations. Rather, Elliot stumbled into the kitchen to find Becky cutting the tail off of a mouse in much the same way Sasha did in “Bad Inside.” Becky stabbed Elliot and then tossed the mouse in a garbage disposal (Sasha tossed a mouse tail in the same type of contraption). Becky then stashed the tail inside of a secret hidey hole in the fancy glass wine cellar. In a final grasp of self preservation, Becky screams to her parents that Elliot attacked her.
These memories are so dreadful for him that Elliot tries to explain them away as a delusion. But Sasha goes to Becky’s hiding spot and finds a chain of mouse tails. This is one of Chambers’ most disgusting visuals. With it comes a baggie of DMT, which sets up one of Sasha’s biggest discoveries.
Maybe Becky didn’t want to be bad. Maybe she died by suicide to stop hurting the people she loves.
Sasha and Elliot begin their journey towards this realization by meeting the woman who sold Becky the DMT. She is a comically trendy drug dealer named Sam. Sam corroborates that Becky had repressed memories she hoped to shake loose. Sam told her the drug, which “mimics the chemical your body releases when you die,” would be the best option. Afraid of such an intense substance, Becky turned to Marnie, who supplied her with the ayahuasca she took with Ravi the night of her death.
Speaking of Marnie and Ravi, their love triangle subplot is painfully underdeveloped. Chambers doesn’t put nearly enough effort into Ravi or the question of whether Becky really loved him, as he asks in “Bonding.” The ascendance of Mean Marnie, who skulks in hallways listening to private conversations and cuts Sasha off mid-sentence, is unearned. Besides some drunken territorial behavior at The Compound, we’ve never met a Marnie as cutting as the one in “Bonding.”
Perhaps Marnie’s status as Sasha’s rival becomes necessary as the Annex’s importance grows. She’s is Evan and Ruth’s daughter, although Chambers only signals that information in a single, short scene way back in the second episode. The Annex is all over this episode. First, Nancy finds black beads like Sasha’s plugging up Becky’s shower, revealing her daughter’s suicidal intentions the night of her death. This reveal brings Mrs. LeFevre to Coach Jones who hands over his notes on Becky’s sessions. Those documents point Nancy to Ruth. Apparently, Becky had been meeting with her for impulse control treatment.
Nancy isn’t sure what her daughter’s impulse was, but we know it was an overwhelming desire to kill. That’s why Becky asked her parents to put Elliot in rehab, which is a secret Marnie spills. Sasha infers that Becky wanted her twin as far away from her violent tendencies as he could be. This was the right idea, since Sasha nearly electrocutes Marie during a trip to get blowouts and ends the episode by pushing Yvonne into incoming traffic. For a few seconds, Sasha couldn’t look happier about the near-murder — until she comes to her senses.
Sasha, like Becky before her, has made it bad.
Odds & Ends
— Even Yvonne is being pulled into the Annex’s orbit, although she is unaware of their involvement with the LeFevres and Sasha. Apparently the Annex brought the 58 (!!!) women who mystifyingly all went into labor on the night of the storm into the foundation’s thrall. Yvonne’s cousin, who is one of the storm moms, threw out her portrait of Jesus immediately after joining the group. Now, Yvonne has a job there.
— We get a small look into Ben’s murky past through his bike ride with Evan. Apparently, he was a bad boy before Evan’s dad steered him in the right direction. No wonder Ben is so loyal to the Annex, even when Evan repeatedly suggests Elliot is capable of murder and should be placed in the Annex’s rehab center ASAP.
— Sasha is momentarily trapped in the glass wine cellar until Elliot explains it opens from the outside. That seems like something that might matter heading towards the finale.
— Nancy believes her daughter suffered some “specific trauma.” Considering how intuitive she has been over the season, we should believe her.
— The bail bondsman subplot is my enemy, but “If you ever fuck with my fish again, I will kill you with my own two hands” is the best line in Chambers.
What happened That Night?: The EMTs take Becky’s sheet-covered body out of the LeFevre home. We hear Becky’s flatline. Nancy sobs over her daughter’s body until the monitor picks up. Beep. Beep. Beep. “We have a heartbeat,” the EMT announces.
Episode 8 — “Heroic Dose”
All of the Chambers pieces are coming together. They’re terrible, traumatizing pieces, but at least they’re starting to make sense. The darkness that plagued Becky and now threatens Sasha’s life? It began at the Annex’s spring equinox party last year.
In the last ten minutes of “Heroic Dose,” Sasha’s DMT trip takes us back to Becky’s repressed memories from that evening. We find out unknown individuals tied Becky to a boulder at Divinity Rock, filled the space with torches, and poured a shadowdy mass of red smoke into her chest. During the vision, Sasha has a meltdown over the horror of it. Becky, a pragmatist, tells her, “It’s too late. It already happened,” and urges Sasha to stop screaming and start listening.
When she does, Sasha realizes a cabal of people were surrounding Becky. All of them had masks on, mostly animal masks. But, when the person leading the ritual turns around to look at Sasha, she sees he’s wearing a mask just like the one that has been haunting her since day 1 at Crystal Valley High. His hair looks like Coach Jones’. When Sasha is dragged back to reality, it’s Coach Jones who pulls her away from the railing. She was about to jump.
However, Jones isn’t a hero here, he’s an Annex villain. After saving Sasha from tumbling to her death, he offers to drive her home. When you see his car, you should realize it’s the same one that was parked outside of the hospital following Sasha’s “2 for 1” collapse. Coach Jones stole a vial of Sasha’s blood.
It dawns on Sasha that Jones isn’t taking her home while he’s blathering on about not messing “with what’s inside of her” and the importance of her “divine passenger.” Jones isn’t even hiding the creepy mask in the car, which is placed neatly in the back seat. He says it’s a “sign of reverence, faith.” It’s for supplication, everybody! Considering these words, it seems like Sasha may be carrying some god inside of her. There’s no reason Jones would feel “more comfortable” talking to Sasha with his supplication mask otherwise. And, yes, Becky did possess whatever it is that Sasha now carries. As Jones claims, he and his cabal members gave Becky “a gift” that makes you destined for big things.
It’s a mystery what exactly those things are, because Jones isn’t long for this world. When Jones and Sasha finally park near Divinity Rock, Sasha bolts, tracing a similar path to where Becky was tied up last year. Jones follows her and tries to convince the teen to listen to his deranged plan. She pushes him off of a rock to his death. Coach Jones’ final words are “Becky?!,” since Sasha morphs into Becky to commit the ultimate act of violence. Nancy, who followed Jones from the Annex party, sees everything, including her daughter up on the top of a cliff.
Staring at hands that have now killed a man, Sasha undoes the bandage she’s been wearing since she cut away Becky’s white skin on her palm in “Grace and Gratitude.” At the same time, she remembers the clues written out in different items of clothing in her DMT trip, which together read “To be free…” Apparently finishing the sentence, Sasha’s palm now reads, “Kill yourself.” This keeps getting worse.
While the Becky reveal is “Heroic’s” all-important main storyline, it also puts two other characters into focus. The first is Elliot, whose accidental heroin addiction always seemed connected to Becky. This episode confirms that suspicion. Elliot was dosed at last year’s spring equinox party while snorting cocaine with Ravi and Marnie, who did not end up also doing heroin. We can now assume Elliot was purposefully drugged as a two-pronged cover up for Becky’s kidnapping. With Elliot on heroin that night, he would be unable to ask where Becky was and the aftermath of his drugged state would serve as a distraction. Remember, Elliot got a DUI that night (hence his stylish community service). With a LeFevre crisis like that, no one was asking about Becky.
The further malevolent characterization of Marnie only makes this theory more likely. She’s a supervillain in the making. First, Marnie tells Nancy during the party, “You raised a mediocre girl who blossomed because of us. Sasha will do the same.” Although Nancy is left asking who the hell is “us,” we can surmise this is a confession. Marnie was sporting a mask at Divinity Rock last year. After weirding Nancy out, Marnie goes upstairs to give Elliot a drugged beverage, probably repeating a modified version of her move from the prior year.
This time, Elliot doesn’t end up behind bars. Marnie’s dad Evan gets his wish from the previous episode, and sends Elliot to an empty bed at the Detox Center. Elliot is now separated from Sasha the same way he was taken from Becky when she needed him most. Marnie is an amazing asset in whatever scheme her parents are carefully crafting. No wonder Ruth balefully reminds Ben he has to remember her daughter’s “place” in the Annex. Just how powerful is Marnie?
Odds & Ends
— When Elliot woke up after his heroin dosing, he heard a dark voice speaking to him. What if it wasn’t the drugs, but whatever entered Becky the night prior?
— Yvonne’s recruiter mentions her healer, Deacon, turned his life around after prison and drug addiction through the Annex’s clinic. Big Frank’s ex-con employee — the one who’s moonlighting for Evan and carrying a gun around — is also named Deacon.
— Back in Cottonwood, Frank, Yvonne, and TJ realize something is wrong in Sasha’s room. That peep hole we saw in “Right to Know?” It’s real and the strange old lady from Cottonwood has been living up there, protecting the crystal body and eating mice.
— Coyotes and large black birds have both featured heavily into Sasha’s visions about her current dangerous situation. Now, a real-life coyote broke into the Yazzie home to drop a real-life large bird on her pillow. That can’t be good.
What happened That Night?: Penelope runs into her car to reveal her latest purchase, which appears to be the blonde wig Sasha will find in fourth episode “2 for 1.” Penny looks up to see none other than TJ running through the rain begging for help. He’s carrying Sasha’s limp body. Despite the heavy rain and exploding light light posts, Penny gets out of her car and follows TJ, a stranger, into a random laundromat. She performs CPR on Sasha long enough to keep her alive until paramedics arrive to take her to the hospital. As Sasha gets loaded into an ambulance, Penny gives the slight smile of satisfaction that suggests a new obsession forming.
If you or someone you know is considering self-harm, please get help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Episode 9 — “In the Gloaming”
Well, all the clues were correct and Ben was involved in the Becky ritual. His confession comes out in one of the last scenes of “In the Gloaming,” when Becky has taken full control of Sasha’s body. Outside of the LeFevre home, Nancy debriefs Ben on her busy day. She trapped Sasha in the wine cellar, removed all the would-be shiv wine bottles, and forced Sasha to “teach” her how to talk to Becky. In reality, Nancy just bombarded Sasha with stories and videos of Becky until her daughter took control, leaving her host with blonde streaks and freaky blue eyes.
When Ben steps into Sasha/Becky’s glass cage, a large bloody gash starts to make a circle below his left shoulder, without explanation. It’s like the bloody splotch Elliot suffered the night Becky died. In an instant, Sasha/Becky realizes her dad was one of the people at the ritual. The leaders of the cabal sported a blood red circle on their cloaks in the same place, after all, and nothing happens on Chambers without a reason. Ben did this to her.
It explains why Ben flashed back to the all-red scene at Divinity Rock during his shirtless grief yoga in “Bad Inside” — he was there. Now, all of Ben’s grief this season makes sense.
Shockingly, Ben quickly admits attending the ritual. But, he didn’t mean to hurt Becky and the confused tone in his voice suggests he ‘s telling the truth. The ritual was “supposed to be a beautiful thing” that could “heal the world,” Ben explains. He let the Annex use Becky as a vessel because they needed someone special. “And there’s no one more special than you,” he offers. This is a story of a man blinded by paternal pride and a manipulative cult.
Still, Nancy doesn’t have any sympathy for her husband — who gaslit her about the Annex throughout the entire season — and stabs him the moment he tries to take Sasha/Becky back to the Annex. In a classic “Not my daughter, you bitch!” riff, Nancy yells, “Stay away from my daughter.” He dies on the ground. Beatrix Kiddo, go off.
Although Nancy saves Sasha/Becky from Ben, she isn’t a hero here either. At the start of “Gloaming,” Becky takes over Sasha’s body to cry in her mother’s bosom before trying to kill her host. Becky is sure this heart needs to die. But why?
In a roundabout way, Nancy tries to get to the bottom of that mystery when she locks Sasha in the cellar. Really, the endeavor is about Nancy talking to her little girl again. She’s convinced Jones raped Becky and wants to help her daughter through the trauma. Finally, Becky tells her mom she wasn’t assaulted, she was filled with some unknown evil. As Nancy pulls drops of these memories from Becky, Sasha begs Mrs. LeFevre to stop. She’s hurting her. She’s burning away pieces of Sasha. Nancy claims this is for Sasha’s own good, but it’s a lie. When Sasha points out how little Nancy actually knows about her, she realizes that she is being selfish and cruel. She goes to turn off the video projections she has been playing to lure Becky out.
Then Becky takes over Sasha’s body to talk about her birthday. The videos stay on. Sorry, Sasha. After all of this Becky coaxing, it’s no surprise that when Yvonne and TJ finally storm LeFevre manner in Operation Save Sasha, they find a pouty Becky LeFevre in her place. Get ready for the finale, everyone.
Odds & Ends
— Speaking of Yvonne and TJ, they, along with Frank, ask the weird old mouse-eating woman why she was living in the Yazzie attack. She’s not very talkative but claims she was protecting Sasha. When TJ goes to untie her, she keeps chanting the word “Anahata.” That’s the heart chakra.
— Frank’s bail bondsman enemy is dead. The cops believe he did it. He did not. I don’t care!
— There’s something very funny about Elliot telling his dad everything that actually went wrong with Becky — which is basically the plot of Chambers — and Ben responding, “You’re not making any sense.” What a self own.
— Speaking of Elliot, he’s forced to watch the bloody chaos at home through visions on the Annex rehab center’s television again, just like on the night Becky died. These people need a better cable service provider.
What happened That Night?: As one of “Gloaming’s” most painful twists reveals, Ben was one of the people who kidnapped Becky and forced a mysterious, but seemingly malevolent, spirit into her. The episode doesn’t confirm this horrible twist until it’s almost over. However, the cold open drops some major clues.
We open on Ben and Nancy in the hospital. Ben isn’t talking to his wife about Becky’s medical needs — he’s talking to Evan, who is wearing a strange magenta ensemble. Evan wants the LeFevres to donate Becky’s heart immediately. Ben just wants to know if “we did something bad?” At first glance, you assume he’s asking if he and Nancy messed up as parents. But, with the “Gloaming” twist, you realize he’s really asking if the ritual was bad. Yes, Ben, it was bad.
Evan doesn’t care and wants the heart to go to another unsuspecting vessel. Nancy, distraught, doesn’t want to remove the one thing keeping her baby alive. But, she passive aggressively tells Ben if the donation is so important to him he can forge her signature. Ben calls her bluff and does it. Seconds later, the doctors are wheeling Becky into harvesting surgery. Her eyes pop open and Nancy screams. That’s just a hallucination, right?
Episode 10 — “The Crystal Organ”
Well, Becky wasn’t the problem — not exactly. Her repeatedly taking control of Sasha’s body was terrible, but there was an even greater evil lurking inside of Sasha because the being that made her chop off the tail of a mouse, throw Yvonne into traffic, and managed to shatter wine bottles with her mind wasn’t Becky it all. It was Lilith. Netflix really loves Adam’s first wife right now.
The final Chambers twist is revealed in the last few minutes of “The Crystal Organ,” just as Sasha believes everything is back to normal. Frank may be in jail for a crime he didn’t commit (the murder of his annoying bail bondsman friend) but Sasha is visiting her uncle, back with TJ, and getting to know Grandpa Harrison. Sweet! She even has a “Becky” tattoo to commemorate her heart frenemy’s memory. Yvonne got a sexy cactus because friendship means is BFF trips to the tattoo parlor.
Then the bottom falls out. In the middle of Yazzie family time, Sasha notices a racket outside. There’s a knock at the door. It’s Ruth with a horde of hopeful people of all ages, genders, and classes. The creepy woman from the attic is at the front of the congregation. “Now that Becky is not interfering, Lilith can inhabit you completely,” Ruth says with a placid smile. Becky was Sasha’s final line of defense against an ancient spirit as old as humanity.
All of this horror was about bringing out Lilith.
In Ruth’s opinion, Becky was the wrong vessel, and that led to the LeFevre family violence. And yet, “Lilith is the divine feminine,” Ruth claims. Through Lilith, Sasha can fix all of the broken things in the world, like Yvonne’s mom’s illness or Frank’s unfair incarceration. Ruth sounds exactly like Ben before Nancy stabbed him. But, she may be on to something. The second Ruth suggests how vast Sasha’s powers could be, the teen’s heart surgery scar disappears, giving her a taste of what is possible. Still, Sasha says no. When Evan refuses to take that answer like the jerk he is, insulting Sasha’s family and background along the way, Sasha knocks out every man in the crowd, Evan included.
Sasha wants to run from her powers, but that is futile. In the final shot of season 1, Sasha looks into the camera. Each of her irises are split, leaving her with four instead of two. You can’t keep a good Lilith down.
While Chambers’ turn towards the biblical may be a surprise, the show starts dropping hints about how things are going to go much earlier in “Crystal Organ.” A large chunk of the episode centers around Yvonne and TJ’s use of the Annex’s mostly unexplained crystal machine to manipulate Sasha’s heart chakra, or her “Anahata” as the attic woman said. While Yvonne and TJ try to bring Sasha back, she has a showdown with Becky “inside” of their heart. Although Becky never brings Lilith up by name, she repeatedly tells Sasha there’s an evil in the heart that is too powerful to overcome. Becky is terrified of this demon. It’s the first time Becky makes her forced possession sound like a metaphor for sexual assault, calling the Annex’s behavior a “violation.”
Still, Sasha assumes Becky is her paramount problem and suffocates her in their shared vision. Despite the violence of the scene, it’s apparent Sasha never wanted to a commit a murder, supernatural or not. When Sasha, rather than Becky, wakes up on the Annex’s crystal-powered table,Ruth is happy. She watched the entire fraught rescue mission over the Annex’s security system. This is the ending she wanted. And, if Ruth wants something, it’s bad.
No wonder so many people begin treating Sasha differently in the flashforward. A mother caring for a baby at a tattoo parlor pays for Sasha’s new Becky ink. We’re meant to figure out the woman is one of the Storm Moms, whom the Annex took in after the freak pregnancy boom the night Becky died and Sasha got her heart. Later, a child gives Sasha flower without explanation. Both of these individuals can be spotted in the congregation that forms at Sasha’s home at the close of “Crystal Heart.” There are even three girls wearing “Live” “Love” “Laugh” shirts in reference to a joke Sasha makes at the very beginning of the series.
The Annex is always listening.
Odds & Ends
— Deacon joins Nancy to help cover up Ben’s murder with a surreptitious burial in the middle of nowhere. Who is this guy? Why does everyone know him?
— Even after the coverup, Nancy still winds up in the Annex Center, silent and pliant for Ruth and Evan. However, this all appears to be a ruse, as her napkin note to Elliot hints.
— In Marnie’s final appearance, she repeats a version of her “transitional partner” Crystal Valley High introduction to Sasha, this time to Elliot in the Annex Center. After years of friendship, he is baffled. Marnie is a creepy genius.
Someone please save our sweet boy Elliot.
What happened That Night?: Throughout the season, you may have noticed a mysterious skateboarder in a red tank top and camo pants. Maybe you thought it was TJ, since we never see his face? Well, he’s not.
He’s a random young man who was in the hospital when Sasha went into surgery (the atmosphere is distinctly Cottonwood working class over Crystal Valley riche). As the storm rages outside, the guy listens to the waiting room lobby’s TV. It’s talking about Lilith, ancient demoness and Adam’s first wife. She had the audacity to want sexual equity with her husband. She was banished from the Garden because of it. This is the origin story of the spirit living inside of Sasha.
Once the skateboarder becomes bored of the TV program, he asks the man next to him if he has some change. He wants to go pick up some soup. The man, wearing an emergency services uniform, declines. He’s the guy carrying Becky’s heart. So, the skateboarder travels downstairs with his own money to get a snack and finds a group of people praying over a body. Ruth, wearing magenta like her husband that evening, is leading the proceedings. Sasha’s connection with Lilith wasn’t an accident. The Annex did work to make sure this happened.
Creeped out, the skateboarder glides away, only to run smack in the emergency services guy. Becky’s bagged heart, still beating, goes flying onto the ground. The skateboarder has seen too much. He is seemingly murdered in the hospital basement, and a Missing poster confirms it. Is Sasha being followed by his ghost?
Well, that’s it Chambers friends. Thanks for sticking around — I won’t blame you for avoiding crystals for a while.