Apple TV+’s ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ comes to an end with its eighth and final episode, bringing Elizabeth Zott on yet another life-changing turn, which was a long time coming. But before that, she and Mad have to figure out the puzzle of Calvin’s origin. In the last episode, they exhausted all of their resources, chasing after all the leads they could follow in trying to get to know more about the man they love. In a way, it all circles back to the beginning, bringing Elizabeth to the Remsen Foundation. What happens next changes everything. SPOILERS AHEAD
Lessons in Chemistry “Introduction to Chemistry” Recap
Mad and Elizabeth end up at the boys’ home where they believe Calvin spent his childhood, but are disappointed when they are told that all records of the place were destroyed in a fire. Mad is convinced that they are in the right place, and she is proven right when she finds a book in the library, which was checked out by Calvin Evans, proving her father really did live there. The book was donated to the library via the Remsen Foundation, the same organization whose grants funded Calvin’s research in Hastings.
It turns out that the owner of the Remsen Foundation is Calvin’s mother and she had been trying to get in touch with him for years but failed. She didn’t get to be a part of her son’s life, but she wanted to get to know her granddaughter. After a little consideration, Elizabeth decides that it would be for the best for her daughter to get to know her grandmother. At the same time, she also reconsiders her own life and decides to make a big change.
Lessons in Chemistry Episode 8 Ending: Elizabeth Quits Supper at Six to Follow Her Dreams
Since the beginning of ‘Lessons in Chemistry,’ Elizabeth Zott had been a chemist, and no matter what job she picked in trying to make ends meet, she always remained a chemist at heart. This is what she tells herself when she becomes the face of Supper at Six, turning into a television celebrity, even though she wasn’t a big fan of watching television herself. What could have turned into another meaningless gig she did for the money becomes something much more when Elizabeth decides to use it as a platform to teach science to her audience.
What makes Elizabeth’s show a success is the fact that she doesn’t treat her audience as anything less than intelligent people. She is told, time and again, to dumb things down or not be too smart because it’s just a show for housewives. But instead of wasting time and energy and playing the role she was expected to, Elizabeth makes her audience feel capable. She inspires them to be better than what they are, to not think less of themselves because that’s what they’ve been told, and to do whatever it takes to follow their dreams.
In an early episode of ‘Supper at Six,’ a housewife expresses her desire to become a heart surgeon, which receives disbelief and shock from the audience because she’s supposed to be “just another housewife.” However, Elizabeth refuses to see her as anything less than a heart surgeon and tells her to take the road, not worrying where it will lead her. The woman returns to the show and reveals that she took Elizabeth’s advice and is now enrolled in USC, studying medicine. It’s not easy, but this is what makes her happy.
Seeing the woman follow her dreams even though it looked like she could never do it makes Elizabeth think about her own advice and how she was not doing what she was preaching to others. ‘Supper at Six’ started as a gig that would help Elizabeth pay the bills, but this was not what she wanted to do in the first place. She wanted to spend her days in a well-equipped lab where she would try to find the answers to the questions that had plagued her entire life. She wanted to research and experiment and establish herself as one of the leading names in science. That’s what would make her happy, even if it didn’t pay her anywhere close to what she was getting at ‘Supper at Six.’
Having worked on the show for such a long time, Elizabeth had enough money to keep herself and Mad afloat for some time. It wouldn’t be considered wise to leave the job that pays so well, but it would be foolish to keep doing something that was slowly being taken out of her hands. With the show’s success, Phil becomes even more intent on forcing Elizabeth to do things his way, and if she surrendered to that, who would she be? So, she decides to leave the show, though not without making sure that the people on the show, including Walter and Fran, are taken care of.
Once that’s done, she focuses on getting her PhD and going back into science, no matter what it takes. Fortunately, things work in her favor much better this time, as she receives support from the Remsen Foundation. In the final scene, we find Elizabeth, three years later, on the verge of getting her doctorate and becoming the chemist she always wanted to be.