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Donna Chambers is a psychologist who poses as "Nurse Rita", Camp Redwood’s apparent no-nonsense nurse and resident ghost story-teller”[1]. She is a character in 1984 portrayed by Angelica Ross. She became fascinated with Benjamin Richter and needed to study him in his natural habitat.

Background

Donna Chambers has done doctoral work at Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania, both Ivy League institutions.[2]

In 1980, Donna discovers her father, David Chambers, is a serial killer. Donna catches him in the act of murder when she breaks into his apartment, suspecting that he is cheating on her mother. Donna confronts her father, who admits his natural inclination to kill before plunging a knife into his neck, killing himself. This event motivates Donna to study serial killers as she yearns to understand them.

In 1984, Donna Chambers was doing research for a Psychology PhD with a focus on serial killers and what led to the noticeable increase in violence in the 70s. She spoke to Ted Bundy down in Florida and pried confessions to two unsolved murders from him. The feds, however, wanted to keep it on the down-low and that's why Dr. Karen Hopple wasn't aware of it.

During her research, Donna talked to John Wayne Gacy, William Bonin, aka the Freeway Killer, Patrick Kearney, aka the Trash Bag Killer, Robert Hansen, aka the Butcher Baker and revealed that all of them were known for having "their lips sealed", until she managed to make them talk.

She arrived at Red Meadows Asylum to do the same with Benjamin Richter, aka Mr. Jingles, and discussed with him the rise of serial killers in recent years. She became so fascinated by him that she set up his escape in order to study him in his natural habitat. After kidnapping Rita, Donna stole her identity and went to work as Camp Redwoodʼs on-site nurse for the summer.[3] Keeping up with the fake identity, she claimed she was an ER nurse at Hawthorne Hospital the rest of year.[4]

Personality and Appearance

Donna is an African-American woman with a strong character and ambitious spirit. She will do anything for science and to find out what makes serial killers want to kill. She has short black curly hair in 1984 and long wavey hair in 1980 and 1989.

Story

In the summer of 1984, Donna, under the disguise of Rita, starts her summer job at Camp Redwood despite not having all the appropriate work experience. At the infirmary, Donna mediates the wounds of a mysterious hiker suffering from amnesia and dehydration.

Donna met the new counselors around the campfire where she introduced them to the camp's macabre past, when former janitor Benjamin Richter, aka Mr. Jingles, killed ten counselors in 1970. Rita is also suspicious of their hiring. The camp director, Margaret Booth, arrives and corrects Donna's story by saying that she survived the 1970 massacre.

Later, Donna and the counselors watch the Los Angeles Olympic Games on TV and Donna sarcastically comments on ex-athlete Chet's stress, stating that athletes are only interested in sex. Later that evening, Brooke swears she was chased by Benjamin Richter and that the hiker died but Donna and the other counselors find no evidence.[4]

At the infirmary, Donna came face to face with Benjamin Richter who escaped from the Red Meadows Aylum and was wandering around the campsite. She manages to escape and runs into Xavier, Montana, Ray, Chet, Brooke and Trevor. Both Donna and Trevor have vehicles that can take them individually, but neither has keys. They leave in two groups to retrieve them. Donna's group approaches the infirmary, and together they look for her keys in the desk to no avail. Richter observes them from outside.[5] Donna and Brooke escape Richard and Donna drugs Brooke and explains who she really is. Brooke escapes Donna but Brooke is captured again by Donna as bait for Benjamin. Donna and Montana get in a fight after the two watch a fight of Benjamin and Richard. Benjamin kills Richard and Donna witnesses Richard come back to life.

Richard tells Donna want happened and Donna gets to talk to her dad. Donna tells Xavier and Montana about her and Benjamin and Xavier goes to kill her. Donna stumbles in on Benjamin and she asks for him to kill her but he will not. Donna escapes Redwood. 

Donna brings Brooke back after Brooke is killed at jail. Donna takes care of Brooke and they go have a day of fun. They meet Bruce, a hitchhiker, and they take him to his girlfriend's house. Bruce kills a cop in front of them and Brooke and Donna escape him. Bruce later rear ends them and knocks them out. Bruce ties Donna to the pavement of the road and car and makes Brooke kill her but Donna ducks down and is saved. The two girls then cut of his thumbs so he can never hitch hike again. 

Donna and Brooke go out for breakfast but they are noticed by Stacey and Stacey blackmails them. They take Stacey to Redwood where Brooke almost kills her but Donna stops her. Margaret later attacks Donna and Brooke and Donna escapes. When Bobby goes to Red Meadows Asylum, Donna, the new administrator, talks to him. The two go find Brooke and they talk with a heart warming conversation between Donna and Brooke. Donna warns Bobby about Redwood but he doesn't listen and he leaves.

Quotes

  • Nurse Rita: "Anybody that knows anything about Camp Redwood doesn't want to be in Camp Redwood."
  • To Chet: "Athletes are skanks."
  • To Brooke: "Girl, you trippin'?"
  • To Brooke: "Don't worry. Nurse Rita's gonna make it all better!"
  • To Richter: "Sometimes sacrifices need to be made in the name of science."
  • To Brooke: "Victims of serial killers are overwhelmingly female. Thank you for your sacrifice. I promise you'll be remembered as a feminist hero."

Notes

  • Donna stated that she only smokes Marlboro Red.[4]
  • The clue to her secret identity was hidden in the promotional poster showing "Nurse Rita" in front of a mirror.
  • Donna's last name might be a reference to Marion Chambers, a nurse and fairly prominent character played by Nancy Stephens in the Halloween franchise.
  • Donna mentioned the psychic echo of the war in Southeast Asia, the availability pornography and consumption of high-fructose corn syrup as potential factors in the recent increase of violent and murderous behavior in people.[3]
  • She is one of the two main characters to survive the season, the other being Brooke Thompson.

Gallery

References

  1. Swift, Andy (September 15, 2019). AHS: 1984: Everything We Know So Far. TV Line.com.
  2. According to the paperwork given to Dr. Karen Hopple in "Slashdance".
  3. 3.0 3.1 Episode: Slashdance
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Episode: Camp Redwood
  5. Episode: Mr. Jingles
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