Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Ending Explained – A five-star finale caps off one of the best shows of the year

By Adam Lock
Published: November 22, 2023
View allNext Article
Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Ending Explained
Brie Larson in Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 | Image via Apple TV+


“Introduction to Chemistry” is an emotive and empowering concluding chapter, which puts the show in contention for being one of my favorite Apple TV+ originals of all time and one of the best shows of the year.

Apple TV+’s adaptation of Lessons in Chemistry has been a real slow-burner over the last few weeks, building steadily over time to become one of my favorite original shows from the streaming service. This is solidified in an exceptional Season 1 finale. Episode 8, “Introduction to Chemistry”, wraps up Elizabeth’s story in fine form, whilst exploring Calvin’s very own mysterious past. It’s a five-star finale giving Lessons in Chemistry a perfect ending.

The ending of Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 opens as the previous episode had just concluded. Elizabeth and Madeline have found a clue in St Lukes’ library. Calvin is somehow linked to the Remsen Foundation and the mysterious figure known simply as Wilson. Flashbacks explore this strange storyline 30 years earlier.

A younger Wilson visits the St. Lukes boy’s home, looking for Calvin specifically. The bishop lies to Wilson though, stating that Calvin has died. He even shows Wilson fake paperwork to confirm the passing. The bishop then informs Calvin that Wilson did not want to adopt him after all.

Why has Elizabeth lost her sponsorship deal?

Back in the fifties, Elizabeth and the gang are told that sponsors Swift & Crisp have cut ties with the show. They were not impressed with Elizabeth’s political stance and it seems many other sponsors feel the same way. Phil gives Elizabeth two weeks to find a new sponsor or she will be fired.

Elizabeth misses a phone call from Wilson, whom she has been trying to contact, whilst performing another episode of her hit show. She starts another Q&A while the food is cooking, discovering that a woman she inspired many weeks ago has now gotten into medical school. Elizabeth is a true inspiration to many and feels empowered by this news.

After the show, Elizabeth and Walter discuss Phil’s news. Elizabeth worries about losing the show. She has grown to love this show over time and doesn’t want it to end just yet. Walter promises to have her back during this difficult time.

Next, Elizabeth and Madeline meet with Wilson. They mention their connection to Calvin but are intrigued to find out why Wilson and the Remsen Foundation were supporting him the whole way through his life.

Who is Avery Parker?

This neatly introduces viewers to Avery Parker (Rosemarie DeWitt), who happens to be Calvin’s mother and Madeline’s grandmother. She tells Madeline and Elizabeth her heartbreaking story. Avery fell pregnant with Calvin at sixteen. Her parents took him away from her. She accessed her trust fund at 25 and sought to find her son using this money.

Avery hired Wilson as her lawyer, to help find Calvin. In the meantime, Avery started the Remsen Foundation and donated money to the nearby boy’s homes, hoping it would somehow get to Calvin and help him through life. Wilson eventually found Calvin at St. Lukes, but they were informed that he had passed away.

Decades later they discovered Calvin’s photograph on the front cover of a science magazine. Avery wrote Calvin countless letters, but he never responded. She then received a cease-and-desist from Harriet’s law firm. Avery eventually had to let him go.

Elizabeth apologizes to Avery about this awful tale in the present. She admits that Calvin thought his mother was dead. Avery asks if she can get to know Madeline better. Elizabeth asks for some time to think it over. Madeline is saddened by the news. Both she and her mother just want Calvin back.

That Christmas, Elizabeth is inspired to make some serious changes in her life. She turns up late to the next recording. Elizabeth has a plan. On live TV, she announces that their old sponsors have cut ties, and that Elizabeth never agreed with their products in the first place anyway.

Who is Elizabeth’s new sponsor?

Elizabeth then announces their new sponsor, Tampax, whom she has just managed to acquire only minutes earlier. And then Elizabeth states that she will be leaving Supper at Six. It’s an emotional goodbye as she thanks her viewers and opens the floor for a new host to audition to replace her.

Phil is then sacked and Walter is placed in charge of the production. Fran picks up the courage and asks Walter out on a date. It’s Walter’s lucky day.

Does Harriet win the vote?

As the first season concludes, Harriet attends a council meeting. They are to vote on the highway construction that is planned to go straight through her neighborhood. Harriet believes she has won the votes, but one council member changes their mind at the last minute. Harriet is heartbroken, they have lost the vote. Elizabeth comforts her neighbor that night.

After quitting her TV job, Elizabeth hopes to concentrate on science once again. Avery offers her funding to pursue her own projects within this field. It looks like Elizabeth has a brighter future now.

How does Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 end?

We then jump forward to three years later. Elizabeth is now a lecturer. She talks about change and reads Calvin’s favorite extract from Great Expectations. This is used as a narration over the final montage sequence. We hurtle through the most important moments in Elizabeth’s life and then end with a huge get-together.

Elizabeth hosts a party, which includes all her family and friends from the series. During this party, she has another vision of Calvin, seeing him standing in the hallway. Elizabeth and Calvin smile at one another. This is one of those touching moments that are left open to interpretation, but I think Elizabeth is smiling because she is happy with her life choices and Calvin is proud of her achievements.

What did you think of Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Episode 8 and the ending? Comment below.

RELATED: Will there be a Lessons in Chemistry Season 2?

Apple TV+, Endings Explained, Streaming Service, TV, TV - Ending Explained, Weekly TV
View allNext Article