Season 1, Episode 7: “Trauma Bonding”
Directed by Geeta V. Patel
Written by Jason Gavin
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “With Grace and Gratitude” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Heroic Dose” – click here
The familiar setting of Becky’s (Lilliya Scarlett Reid) shower opens this episode. We see the chaotic scene after she’s found in there with the radio. Ben (Tony Goldwyn) tries to comfort his frantic wife Nancy (Uma Thurman) as the paramedics remove their daughter.
And, suddenly, a heartbeat.
We revisit the first supper Sasha (Sivan Alyra Rose) and Frank (Marcus LaVoi) have with the Lefevres. Only this time Uncle Frank’s toast is about being happy they were able to relieve his niece as a burden. He’s happy Sasha can become Becky now. “She was bad inside,” Sasha tells Elliott (Nicholas Galitzine) in this eerie nightmare. Then, Elliott’s in the desert at a crystal formation in the shape of a person, like we saw in an earlier episode. He sees a blonde Sasha. She stabs him like Becky did once.
Sasha’s basically living Becky’s life at this point, from the “pink nails” to moving into the girl’s room and staying in that house with her parents. The whole situation is surreal. She can’t shake the sense she literally is becoming another person, not only psychologically but in a truly corporeal sense. She’s wearing Becky’s clothes and the transformation continues getting uncanny.
Frank shows up looking for his niece, not concerned about the class difference if he has to call the cops. He crosses the line with harsh words about one of Nancy’s kids being “dead” and the other “a junkie.” Sasha sends him away, and Frank knows he did wrong.
Yvonne (Kyanna Simone Simpson) has a cousin Jamiee (Hadiya Eshé) with “one of those Storm Babies“— Jamiee was one of the 58 women who had babies during the electrical storm. Yve’s getting more accustomed to the stranger aspects of life, at least in their little pocket of the Arizona desert, anyway. Jamiee’s actually a member of the Annex Foundation. Remember, the group Ruth (Lili Taylor) is a part of? No coincidence, surely. That word she uses— confluence— is an interesting one.
Speaking of Ruth, what are her and Evan (Matthew Rauch) up to, ultimately? He’s pressuring Ben to keep Sasha/Becky away from Elliott, to the point there’s something further behind it than being close friends. Annex has a larger role in all this madness.
At school, Ravi (Jonny Rios) tells Sasha he knows she has Becky’s heart. He could feel it when they met. She tells him about the dream of the stone table and the crystals. He says it’s a placed called “Divinity Rock.” Back at the other high school, Yvonne goes to talk to TJ (Griffin Powell-Arcand) to get him to help with Sasha. He doesn’t care much since they’ve broke up. He does have a pamphlet from Annex he got a recent job fair.
Sasha goes to Divinity Rock and runs into Elliott. They’ve had the same dream. He says he and Becky used to have “shared dreams.” He laments not seeing his sister before she died. He doesn’t even know why he ever attacked her in the first place, either. So, Sasha wants to replay the memory. Elliott puts on the same shirt he wore that night, complete with the bloody tear. They attempt to recreate the day of the stabbing.
Then it’s like he’s back there on that night. Becky’s at the counter. She’s cut off a mouse’s tail (!!!). She turns around and stabs him. She quickly comes to her senses, putting the mouse down the garbage disposal and hiding the tail (remember the tail wouldn’t go down at Frank’s place?). She says her brother attacked her, calling to her parents.
Oh. My. God.
Elliott doesn’t believe in the vision. Sasha knows better than to doubt. She goes to where she saw Becky put the tail in the dream. She finds a bunch of mouse tails, as well as a baggie with a pill inside— the bag has a scorpion on it (interesting: a scorpion recently stung the girl moving on TJ in front of Sasha at his tribal ceremony).
Nancy’s found a bracelet in the drain of the bathtub where her daughter died. One of those bead bracelets Coach Jones (Michael Stahl-David) gives out. Mom doesn’t like that her daughter was going through a supposed “rough time” without her and that Becky would’ve went to Coach. She worries there was a “specific trauma” her daughter experienced. She finds out Ruth was doing sessions with Becky at the Annex Foundation. Ruth claims it was “compulsion reduction.” For what? She doesn’t know. Or, she could be full of shit.
Elliott and Sasha go to see a dealer, Sam (Morga Wolk), about the pill in the scorpion baggy. Becky came to Sam looking for ayahuasca and got nothing. That’s not what this lady deals. This leaves Sasha thinking she might take DMT, to see if it helps them figure out anything more. Bad idea? Elliott thinks so. Not good for someone with a transplanted heart, right? He also says Marnie (Sarah Mezzanotte) knows about the more natural-type drugs. This means Sasha has to go hang with her and pretend to be bougie a while. Marnie wants to interrogate Sasha rather than the other way around. She wants to know about Ravi and Elliott’s fight, finding out about Ravi and Becky. It doesn’t surprise her. Then she hears that Becky killed herself while on the drugs she helped her friend find.
TJ goes to a “medicine man” friend, Peter (David Midthunder). He gives him a brush belonging to Sasha. Peter reads it. He knows something bad’s happening with her. He warns she’ll need to be around people who genuinely care about her. Then there’s Yvonne, looking to learn more about Annex. She’s meeting somebody hoping to get a job with them in IT or a similar position to get an inside look at them.
When Yvonne goes to find Sasha she gets pushed by her friend into the road, nearly hit by two cars that barely miss her, colliding. Sasha smiles, then snaps out of her trance. Yvonne tells her to get away: “Who are you?” And this prompts Sasha to go back to that scorpion baggy, ready to ingest the drugs and maybe find answers. Either that or somebody’s probably going to die again soon.
Again, this episode of Chambers brings further intrigue, and the mysteries that unfold seem to suggest more mystery. But it isn’t just for the sake of it, these revelations suggest a sinister, overarching plot that we’re going to uncover as the time wears on. Father Gore’s been loving the journey.
“Heroic Dose” is next.