In Apple TV+’s ‘Lessons in Chemistry,’ humans are not the only ones whose stories matter. While the show is primarily focused on Elizabeth Zott, a chemist who becomes a beloved cooking show host, the story unfolds from different perspectives, one of which is her dog, Six Thirty’s. The dog comes into Elizabeth’s life one evening while raiding the trashcan and soon becomes a part of her family with Calvin. However, tragedy strikes at the end of Episode 2, leaving Elizabeth speechless for most of Episode 3. This is where the dog and his voice come in. Here’s everything you need to know about Six-Thirty’s role in Elizabeth’s story. SPOILERS AHEAD
The Most Beloved Character in Lessons in Chemistry Receives a Voiceover
In ‘Lessons in Chemistry,’ Six-Thirty is portrayed by a Goldendoodle named Gus and is voiced by actor B.J Novak, best known for playing Ryan in ‘The Office.’ Six-Thirty is introduced in the second episode, but it isn’t until the third episode that we hear his voice. The episode begins with a flashback where we find out that Six-Thirty was in training to be a bomb-sniffing dog and ran away because he was too scared. However, when he found Elizabeth, he found a purpose.
Six-Thirty’s voice is particularly important in the third episode, following right after Calvin’s sudden death, because the loss leaves Elizabeth unable to function for a while. She moves around the world, getting things in order and attending Calvin’s funeral, among other things, but she loses sense of the world for a while, and this is where Six-Thirty sheds light on her mental state, as well as his own. It also serves as a way to show the audience how much Elizabeth and Calvin mean to Six-Thirty while he expresses his own grief and guilt about what happened to Calvin.
The decision to give Six-Thirty a voice stemmed from the fact that the dog is one of the most important voices in the book by Bonnie Garmus, on which the show is based. He is an extremely intelligent dog who learns around a thousand words in English, making it a bit believable that a dog could have an inner voice that speaks English. However, this wasn’t the only reason that convinced creator Lee Eisenberg to have an actor voice the dog.
Eisenberg knew that it would be impossible to have Six-Thirty do all the things he does in the book on the camera, but it was still important to capture his point of view. And it made sense for him to talk when Elizabeth goes silent. “Having Six-Thirty be the narrator for the grief episode was something that was very intriguing to us, and I thought could be very powerful. Everyone experiences grief differently… And what you realize is there’s nothing you can do. Comfort will help, but nothing can change what happened. And seeing that struggle from a dog who says I didn’t have the words was, to me, very powerful,” Eisenberg said. It all played out really well in the episode, making us fall in love with the dog even more.
Read More: Why Does Elizabeth Name Her Dog Six Thirty?