Chambers season 1 premiere recap: Into the Void


Chambers is the newest horror-infused thrilled from Netflix. The premiere episode, “Into the Void,” features a mysterious heart transplant and an otherworldly dust storm. Let’s recap!

Created and written by Leah Rachel (Audrey), Chambers is the story of high school student Sasha Yazzie (Sivan Alyra Rose). She leads a fairly simple life with her dad, Big Frank (Marcus LaVoi). Sasha has a bestie named Yvonne (Kyanna Simone Simpson) and an eager boyfriend named TJ (Griffin Powell-Arcand).

It’s not an overly exciting life, but it’s hers. In the opening scenes of “Into the Void” I got the sense that Sasha was really coming into her own as a person. She had her own energy and she was starting to feel it. Enjoy it. Live it.

Early on, Big Frank is clarifying the rules with Sasha. She’s not supposed to go out on nights where he cooks. But Sasha wants to go out and she easily wins over her dad. She meets up with TJ and they go cruising on the Arizona highway in a rainstorm.

It’s the kind of night I wanted to experience more in high school. Taking a drive with someone with no particular place to go is one of the first exercises of freedom many kids experience. You’re on your own, there’s no errand to run, and you have zero responsibilities. That’s a good feeling, right there.

Chambers-Into the Void-Courtesy of Netflix

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On top of that euphoric feeling, Sasha has decided that this is the night she’s going to lose her virginity to TJ. They had planned it to be a few days later, but Sasha seizes the moment. TJ is completely on board and the two drive to a furniture store. It looks like TJ’s parents own it or he works there because he has the key. He coyly asks Sasha to pick the bed she wants. Things get steamy quick. TJ goes downtown and just as Sasha starts to feel the wave, her heart stops.

Post Transplant

Literally. Sasha’s heart stops. Later on, we find out that she had some sort of undetected heart virus that caused it to stop at a moment of intense stress. One of the first images of the series was Sasha moisturizing her breasts before school while “Still Ill” by The Smiths was playing. One of the lyrics is important to the essence of Chambers. “Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?… Ask me why and I’ll die.”

Sasha has received a heart transplant. We watch her take anti-rejection drugs on her way to waking up Big Frank for work. The energy is still there. She’s fighting the urge to surrender to the fear of her heart failing on her. It’s something that lays just under the surface of Sasha at all times.

At school, a group of boys wants to know if the doctors performed a double mastectomy on Sasha when they gave her the new heart. That’s the sanitized version of what they say. Sasha ends up in the bathroom. Yvonne comes to cheer her up but ends up asking her own questions about the procedure.

Chambers-Into the Void-Courtesy of Netflix

Sasha worries that she’ll end up dying a virgin, but she and TJ finally do hook-up. He’s been a little withdrawn since she got out of the hospital. It was weird, but also normal for teenagers to be a little creeped out when confronted with their own mortality in a real way for the first time.

Speaking of Creepy

As if walking around with an undiagnosed virus, nearly dying, and getting a heart transplant wasn’t enough stress, try meeting the parents of your donor heart. That’s right! Even though he admits that there are specific rules in place to prevent or postpone such meetings, Ben Lefevre (Tony Goldwyn) shows up at Big Frank’s job with an offer of dinner.

Ben is the father of Becky Lefevre (Lilliya Scarlett Reid). She passed away in a freak accident. It’s her heart in Sasha’s breast. Ben looks desperate and controlling at the same time. He’s the kind of guy that says things like “Rules keep us from being who we really are.” Oh. Ok, Ben. Like, don’t take all of the sugar packets at the Starbucks type of rules or don’t kill people type of rules? We need answers.

At dinner, we meet Nancy Lefevre (Uma Thurman). She and Ben are a trip. Back at Big Frank’s job, Ben explained that he had to work his way into the affluent neighborhood that he lives in. He’s embarrassed about being wealthy but confident enough to use the condescending “I’m a self-made man” junk on the Yazzie family.

Chambers-Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn-Courtesy of Netflix

In preparing for their guests to arrive, Ben is counseled not to wear a bro-blazer or a shirt with a collar because it may make him look too rich. Instead, he opts for a microfiber, pre-worn tee-shirt. It’s probably $72 plus tax.

Goldwyn’s performance really draws attention to his character. He always looks as if he’s about to cry and sob stuff. Uma Thurman’s Nancy is shook. She looks shattered from the second we meet her. We find out one possible reason for this. Not only did her daughter die. It was the old-fashioned radio that she gave Becky that fell into her shower and electrocuted her.

When Sasha repeats this to Yvonne, she proves why she’s a best friend when she asks “I didn’t think they let you donate organs when you’re electrocuted.” What? There’s more to this story. Sasha desperately wants there to be nothing more to this story.

Sivan Alyra Rose makes this feel like a documentary at a lot of points. She captures the energy of youth that has been checked but still pushes to be free. Rose is in complete control of her emotions. When she tries to restrain herself, we can feel her pulling back. Sasha knows there’s more to the story surrounding her heart transplant. She can’t control it. She doesn’t become consumed by the concern. But, Sasha keeps her knowledge and fear near her. I felt it hovering over her.

The Lefevres offer a full ride, all expenses paid, scholarship to the high school that Becky went to. While reticent at first, Sasha accepts. Part of her concern is that she begins to have weird dreams where she starts to meld with Becky until she looks into a mirror and sees Becky’s reflection. It’s only dreams, but they are extremely lucid. Now she’s going to the same school with the same people Becky knew.

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This is essentially where the episode ends. There’s not a whole lot of explanation. This was more of a world building pilot, which is something you can do when you know viewers are able to binge the show. There’s time to play.

What did you think of Chambers? Will you keep watching? Let’s discuss in the comments!