Netflix's Chambers has a few characters that leave a villainous taste in viewers' mouths. There's Becky LeFevre (Lilliya Scarlett Reid), whose memories torture Sasha Yazzie (Sivan Rose). There's Marnie (Sarah Mezzanotte), the fake-as-an-Instagram-filter former BFF of Becky. There's basically anyone associated with the mysterious Annex Foundation. But the most confusing character, making us play the mental "Villain or Not?" game, is Tony Goldwyn's Ben LeFevre.
Along with his wife, Nancy LeFevre (Uma Thurman), Ben is mourning the unexpected death of his daughter, while simultaneously trying to welcome Sasha into his family, as if it's some kind of sign that his daughter's heart brought Sasha back to life. And maybe it was — that's the main mystery of season 1 of Chambers. Is there a cosmic connection between Becky and Sasha? And what does it mean?
Well, much of the show is left up for interpretation, with the big twist of the show revealed in the final two episodes of the season, but on the topic of whether Ben, a man known on the Internet for his fondness of crystals, sage, and overall Zaddiness, is a villain, Goldwyn has a straight answer. No. No he is not the bad guy of the series. But first, a few spoilers.
In the finale, it is revealed that Becky, under the guise of receiving alternative New Age-y therapy, was actually being experimented on by members of the Annex, including her own father. He, along with the group, invited the spirit of Lilith to inhabit his daughter, thus leaving the emotional teenager with a lot of dark energy to carry around. Lilith made Becky do evil things, so Becky ended her life to rid herself of her. Then, the cursed heart ended up in Sasha. Yikes.
"He made a mistake," Goldwyn tells Refinery29 during an interview about the show. "They did not realize what they were getting themselves into by unleashing this spirit of Lilith— this spirit that they thought was a benevolent force of love in the world turned out to be something quite different."
His greatest flaw, Goldwyn says, isn't that he experimented with Lilith, but that he lied about it.
"To me, the great sin that he committed was lying to his wife," he says. "It became this secret cabal in order to imbue his daughter with this spirit, and that was wrong. He crossed a moral boundary there, but he thought he was doing something that would only have accrued everyone's benefit. He doesn't even realize until episode 9 what they really did. It creeps up on him throughout when he realizes that something is very, very wrong here, and he has this growing sense of guilt about it."
But that character's uneasiness is supposed to be there, and is a testament to Goldwyn's unnerving performance. Ben is sweet, then dark, then approachable, then evil. "You're not sure, even in the pilot," Goldwyn says of his character's intentions. "You're like, 'Is this guy creepy?' But really he is just a grieving father who is inappropriately desperate to bond with Sasha. It's weird, but the guy lost his child. I think it's cool that we don't know, you're like are these people crazy? Are they evil? What's going on?"