Lessons in Chemistry (2023) s01e03 Episode Script

Living Dead Things

[VOICE] I can't remember
the day I was born.
- [VOICE] I can't remember my parents.
I can't remember how I
ended up in this place
where I so clearly wasn't built to be.
The first thing I remember is fear.
- Come on. Come on! Let's go! Let's go!
[SIX THIRTY] I was there to be brave.
I was trained to protect.
I was supposed to act
- but instead, I was paralyzed.
Come on. Let's go.
[SIX THIRTY] I was a coward,
and I hated myself for it.
- And then
- [ELIZABETH] You hungry, little fella?
I met her.
[ELIZABETH] Wait here.
I'll be right back.
[SIX THIRTY] For the
first time in my life,
I felt something other than fear.
I felt safe.
I felt love.
- And love, it can change things.
I could protect her.
I could protect him.
[SIX THIRTY] That was my purpose.
But I was wrong.
I couldn't protect him.
And in that moment,
everything I ever thought about
myself, every worst fear I had,
it all came true.
Personnel office. This is
Yeah. Yeah, that's correct.
[STAMMERS] Oh, my God. [SIGHS] When?
[REVEREND] Just because things
don't happen on your time
doesn't mean that God
doesn't have a plan for you.
- Joseph was betrayed by his brothers,
sold into slavery, but
God had his own plan.
- [CHURCHGOER 1] Mm-hmm.
- [CHURCHGOER 2] Yes, he did.
[REVEREND] David was
just a shepherd boy
- Mama. M
- but God had his own plan.
- Where's Dr. Evans now?
He's at the funeral home.
I thought he was in the dirt.
He's at the funeral home,
waiting to be buried on Tuesday.
Where's his soul?
His soul has gone to
heaven to be with God.
[LINDA] Why not his body?
It's in the dirt.
Let's listen to the reverend, okay?
- trust that he has a plan.
For he will guide us to righteousness.
- Amen.
- Gonna add Dr. Evans to my bedtime prayers.
That's beautiful, sweetie.
Studying about that good old way ♪
And who shall wear the starry crown ♪
Good Lord, show me the way ♪
O sisters, let's go down ♪
Let's go down, come on down ♪
- I'll be right back.
- O sisters, let's go down ♪
Down to the river to pray ♪
As I went down to the river to pray ♪
Studying about that good old way ♪
And who shall wear
the robe and crown ♪
- Good Lord, show me the way ♪
O brothers, let's go down ♪
Let's go down, come on down ♪
O brothers, let's go down ♪
Down to the river to pray ♪
As I went down to the river to pray ♪
Studying about that good old way ♪
And who shall wear the starry crown ♪
Good Lord, show me the way ♪
Uh, miss?
Ralph Bailey. I'm writing a story
for the Times about Calvin Evans.
I was just wondering if I
could ask you a few questions.
I assume you're family.
Oh. First two rows are usually reserved
for family, so I I assumed
O-Oh, well, could you tell
me how you knew him then?
Maybe share an anecdote?
Did you know him long?
No, you
No, I didn't know him long.
I didn't know him long enough.
Well, I'd I'd love
to get some background.
I've heard some things about him.
One person I spoke to said
that he had his moments,
and then another went
so far as to call him
[STAMMERS] I'm just quoting here
that he could be a real jerk.
Anyone who knew him would
know that is patently false.
I thought you said you
didn't know him well.
I said I didn't know him long enough.
Right, that's what I said. That
you didn't know him very long.
Wait, I don't think you're
supposed to have dogs here.
I saw a sign on the way in.
I'm sorry for your loss.
For everything there is a season.
A time to be born and a time to die.
Calvin Evans was a brilliant
man, a dedicated chemist
and was always the life
and soul of the party.
Calvin Evans had no living family.
[PASTOR] And although we cannot
know what God is planning for us,
we must trust he is and will
always be one of God's children.
As you, his loved ones, his
community, mourn this tragic loss,
seek comfort in each other
and in Calvin's goodness.
[SIX THIRTY] She didn't
speak to me for days.
She didn't touch me.
She barely looked at me.
I had hoped that time
would make her forget
that it was my fault, but how could it?
Because failures have a
way of being unforgettable.
- Did he ask you out?
- No, I don't want to talk about it.
Look who it is. Don't stare, Bertha.
I can't believe she's
here. The body's still warm.
every one of his smells.
The way he smelled after being wet.
The way he smelled after being outside.
The way he smelled after a run.
But in here, I smelled nothing.
Mmm. It's fine.
Elizabeth, you're here.
Where are my things?
Where are Calvin's things?
Miss Zott, it's too soon to
be back here. You need to rest.
I need to work. I need
my notebooks, my research.
Calvin and I are so cl Or,
we were so close
to submitting for the Remsen
grant. I cannot miss a day.
Everything went down to storage.
Okay. Do I fill out a form?
Dr. Evans's work now
belongs to Hastings.
But that was that was our
work. We were so close. [STAMMERS]
- Maybe there's a
empty lab I could use off-hours?
I'm so sorry. It's just It's policy.
What about his personal items? His
records, his clothes, his lab coat?
I know the [CLEARS THROAT]
well, unusual relationship
that you and Dr. Evans had.
But we have to wait.
We have to see if maybe a
brother or blood relative
that can step forward and claim it.
I'm sorry. If you need to cry
I don't.
I want to work. I need
to work, Fran. Please.
Dear, I'm afraid without a
chemist to support [SIGHS]
I'm sure money's tight.
Let me see what I can do.
Maybe in the admin wing.
But Dr. Evans's dog
If you can come back without the
dog, I can get you squared away.
Thank you.
[SIX THIRTY] When she left
each morning, I was terrified.
Because what if she never came back?
[ELIZABETH] I'm leaving you food.
It will be ready at exactly 3:30 p.m.
I'm putting on the TV.
Cartoons, which I normally would
avoid, but given the circumstances,
- I feel preferable to the news.
- Back door's open
- [SIX THIRTY] But I couldn't help but feel relief,
because I didn't have
to face what I had done.
Inasmuch as the word "gray" with an A
is a more acceptable American spelling,
your 14-across clue "Earl
blank tea" is incorrect.
It must be spelled with an E, because
it was named after Charles Grey.
You getting all this?
I am, and it's riveting.
Young lady, are you being smart?
Definitely not.
I know the timing is terrible with
Dr. Evans so close to submitting
for one of our grants, but, uh,
I hope you understand
[SIGHS] that the Remsen Foundation
needs to start placing
its money elsewhere.
I assumed.
But that's what I wanted
to talk to you about.
It's been difficult to process
these past few days because, um,
Calvin was my dear friend
and also a lab mate.
I didn't realize.
[STAMMERS] That's why
I I wonder if
And I know this is a
this is a very big "if."
I would like to carry
on the work of Dr. Evans.
And not just for him, but
to try and answer these big questions
that we have wrestled with for years.
Let me bring it back to my board.
I got you a gift.
Sorry, sir?
Open it.
[CLICKS TONGUE] All right.
I, uh This is, uh
Wow, this is Zott and
Evans's work on nucleotides.
No, Dr. Boryweitz.
That is Hastings's
research on nucleotides,
and I would like you to
reproduce the results.
like to help you here, sir.
Really, I-I would. I I just
I can't take credit for
something I didn't do.
Then do it. With me.
Look, if this research is as
groundbreaking as Evans said that it is,
then let's you and I reproduce the
results step-by-step and make it ours.
What about Miss Zott?
Look, if you aren't up
to the task, I'll, uh
I'll have to find somebody else instead.
I guess it'd be a shame to
let Calvin's work go to waste.
Excuse me.
Oh, I thought you were expecting me.
Dr. Donatti requested some
samples for the pharmacology lab.
[SIGHS] Of course. No one
ever tells me anything.
Take what you need.
[SIX THIRTY] I knew the baby
was here even before she did.
The way I know it's going
to rain long before it does.
And I thought maybe this could
be a new beginning for us.
- A new start.
Hello. Can I help you?
[STAMMERS] Is everything okay?
I was knocking. [STAMMERS]
I'm building an
industrial-grade chemical lab.
Is now a bad time?
A bad time for what?
This article in the LA Times, it
makes Calvin out to be a monster.
"Even the lone individual seated
in the family section said, quote,
'I didn't know him well, ' unquote."
That's horrible. I would never say that.
Exactly. It is
journalistically irresponsible.
We could file an injunction.
Calvin didn't care what
anybody thought about him.
This is history.
What is written is now record.
I'm gonna speak to someone at the Times.
I may need you to sign an affidavit.
Probably won't come to that, but
I'll let you know how it goes.
[INHALES DEEPLY] I'm sorry. Who are you?
I'm Harriet Sloane.
I live right across the street.
Calvin was my friend.
I'm sorry. I'm not
really myself right now.
- Have a nice night.
- You too.
[SIX THIRTY] Something
had lit up inside of me.
I started spending every waking
hour at that window standing guard.
I was given another chance
to keep my family safe.
And I wouldn't fail again. I couldn't.
[ADMINISTRATOR] It wasn't until 1934
they started serving lunch in this room.
It wasn't till 1939 before
they began offering hot options.
Irish spiced beef on Mondays.
Chicken and dumplings on Tuesdays.
Or was that Wednesday? Sure I remember.
- Oh, wait. Was that when
- Sorry. Excuse me, Mr. Astor.
Let's see. [SIGHS]
Boryweitz, can I speak
with you for a moment?
Uh, of course.
Elizabeth, I-I'm I'm sorry I didn't
get a chance to tell you at the funeral,
but I'm I'm so sorry for your loss.
I know you two were close.
Thank you. Are you still seeing Laurel?
You know?
- Everyone knows.
- Oh.
Donatti took all of our things.
Our research.
Calvin's personal belongings.
And I know that Laurel
works in the storage room.
So, if you could ask her
- if I could have something. Anything.
Um, I'll I'll try. Yes.
- Thank you, Alfred.
- Mm-hmm.
No, it was creamed
chipped beef on Tuesday,
chicken and dumpling on Wednesday
and dreadful cod on Friday.
[RALPH] Whew. Sorry to keep you waiting.
Today felt like two
weeks already. Anyway.
- Sorry I'm late, Mrs
- [HARRIET] Sloane.
Mrs. Sloane. That's right.
Yes, I got your letter.
We love when a new tip comes
through. What was it that you had?
Something about the White
Wolf Fault earthquake
Actually, I came here
to talk to you about
the article you wrote on Calvin Evans.
Pretty dishy, right?
What'd I miss? He seemed
like quite the odd duck.
He wasn't an odd duck. He was
a brilliant man. A good man.
What you wrote was inaccurate.
And what you wrote was
libel and wrong. It is wrong.
W-What What exactly did I get wrong?
Because if there are specific
facts in there, that's
It's the premise, the whole portrait.
"While Evans was respected
in the scientific community,
he was known to be
somewhat of a recluse.
Frigid with his peers
and shy with a laugh."
Quote, "The man was as
brilliant as he was boring.
Great mind, big drag," unquote.
That's what you call journalism?
Calvin was the warmest person I knew.
If his mind was great,
his heart was greater.
That should go in this article.
- But those are quotes
- Anonymous quotes.
- From his colleagues.
- I'd like to see the transcripts.
Be my guest.
Look, I'm sorry. I am.
But controversy and spice sell papers.
I'm just trying to keep my job.
As I told you, it's been a
very busy day around here.
So, unless you have another story
for me, I have to get back to work.
- Good evening.
- You started without me.
No, of course not. Just
getting everything ready.
I'm just a a little confused.
- Oh. Yes.
- We'll start here.
Oh. Slow, slow, slow.
- Here, here, here.
- Hmm.
You added the silver
carbonate first, right?
I thought you did that.
Does that look right to you?
- Uh.
- I think we missed something. [SIGHS]
No shit.
Forgive me for being presumptuous,
but I assume that this body adheres
to the laws of the United
States Constitution.
Okay. We're all in agreement.
I adhere to the Constitution
too. Phew. [CHUCKLES]
And I will assume that your adherence
includes all of the amendments.
Even the 14th Amendment, which
- Which guarantees all people all people
- [SPECTATORS] Mm-hmm.
equal protection under the law.
So And this is where
it gets a little sticky.
How is the Beverly
Property Owners Association
afforded different rights than me
- and my neighbors
- [SPECTATORS] Mm-hmm.
when it comes to the
construction of this freeway?
- [SPECTATOR 1] Yes.
- Assuming we all receive equal protection.
Would any of you like to elucidate?
Then I'll continue.
This freeway that you want to build
to reduce our
neighborhoods to nothing
Hi. Have to take Laurel to
Musso & Frank's for this.
Please come in.
It means so much.
[GRUNTS] Not at all. [SIGHS]
But Elizabeth, um, Laurel and
I searched the entire storeroom,
but, uh, we-we didn't
find your research.
Maybe it was misplaced,
or perhaps it was
accidentally thrown away.
I just I-I didn't see it. Um
I'm so sorry.
It's all right.
[STAMMERS] Enjoy your dinner.
Thanks. [CHUCKLES]
[SIX THIRTY] I knew it
was a small thing, but
it came with so many memories of him.
Of us.
He was here all along. So
why did they pack him away?
- Mom!
- [LINDA] Mom, tell him to stop!
Junior, put down the arrow.
[JUNIOR] Mom, she touched my bow!
- [LINDA] No, I didn't!
- [JUNIOR] Mom!
- [LINDA] Don't hit me with it!
- [JUNIOR] Give it back!
- I don't mean to interrupt,
but I wanted you to have this.
- [ELIZABETH] Or rather, Calvin did.
- [JUNIOR] No, I'm not!
- [LINDA] Yeah, you are!
[JUNIOR] This is my chair, not yours.
- Do you wanna come in?
- No. No, it's fine.
- [LINDA] Mom, come get him!
Give me a minute. They'll
calm down once they have food.
But come on. Come in.
- Dinner!
- [LINDA] Stop!
[JUNIOR] No, you stop! [LAUGHS]
[LINDA] He's touching me!
I was so mad at him the
last conversation we had.
And I still am, you know.
now I'm mad at myself for
being mad at him. [CHUCKLES]
Do you like jazz?
- It's growing on me.
When Calvin first moved
in, I hadn't seen him yet.
Just the moving truck. [CHUCKLES]
So I go over there with a
welcome-to-the-neighborhood pie,
and I hear Charlie Parker
blaring from inside.
And I'm like, "Oh. This family
has got taste." [CHUCKLES]
So, imagine my surprise
when the only white boy in a
five-block radius answers the door.
Did you ever see him dance?
I saw him once through the window
and [LAUGHS] never let
him live it down. And just
Oh, yeah. [CHUCKLES] Yeah.
- Just [LAUGHS] I cried.
- Got a lot of shoulders, a lot of head.
So, can you now explain to
me why someone might need
an industrial-grade
lab in their kitchen?
I have to finish our research.
I'm a ticking clock.
You're pregnant.
- I can't do it.
- You can.
I can't.
No one can do it. But then you expand.
You think you can't do
it, and you do it anyway.
That's being a mother.
- [RECEPTIONIST] Dr. Mason's office.
Miss Zott. It's nice
to officially meet you.
Please, call me Elizabeth.
very sorry for your loss.
Evans was a good man. A
good man and a good rower.
You should come rowing with
us as soon as you're ready.
You're not exactly getting
out there in this condition.
- I've been erging.
- Good God.
Is that bad? Calvin built an erg.
Well, yes, I would imagine
he would, but it's just
I've never heard of anyone
erging on purpose. [CHUCKLES]
How far are you erging?
About 10,000 meters a day.
I've always thought pregnant women
develop an extra capacity for suffering,
but that will certainly
prepare you for childbirth.
Well, it all looks good on your charts.
But why in God's name has it
taken you so long to come in?
You're in your last trimester.
I had, uh, sort of, hoped that
it would just take care of itself.
Miss Zott, do you have
someone you can lean on?
A friend or a relative? Your mother?
I have a dog.
Dogs can be good companions.
And a neighbor that I sort of know.
A dog, a neighbor you
sort of know and an erg.
- Mmm.
- Excellent.
As soon as you're able, I wanna
see you down at the boathouse.
I realize it may take some
time. Let's say a year.
My boat's been looking
for the right two-seat,
and something tells me you're it.
In the meantime, try to
relax and get some sleep.
Soon, sleep is going to
seem like a distant memory.
You're firing me. On what grounds?
I think you know.
I haven't the foggiest.
You're with child.
Yes, I am pregnant. That is correct.
Mr. Astor, has my correspondence
slowed in the last month?
Well, no.
I'm not contagious.
I do not have cholera.
No one's going to catch
having a baby from me.
You know very well that
women do not continue to work
when they're pregnant.
And you are not only pregnant,
you're unwed, and that is disgraceful.
Pregnancy is a natural condition.
It is how all human beings begin.
[SCOFFS] Is she
explaining pregnancy to me?
- Who do you think you are?
- A woman.
A fertilized zygote is
50% ovum and 50% sperm.
Would the man be fired
in this situation?
That would be fair. Correct?
What man are you referring to? Evans?
Any man. If an unwed
woman gets pregnant,
is the man who gets
her pregnant responsible
and therefore also fired?
- Would you fire Calvin?
- Of course not.
Then you have no grounds to fire me.
Of course I do. You're the woman.
You're the one who got knocked up.
We have rules, Miss Zott.
Not for this. I have read the
employee handbook front to back.
It's an unwritten rule.
And thus, not legally binding.
Evans would be so
ashamed of you right now.
No. No, he would not.
- Hi. I was just about to come over.
I was wondering if you
had an axe I could borrow.
- Are you serious?
- Yes.
I'm finding the sledgehammer
to be too limiting.
I do not have an axe.
Okay. Hmm, good night.
Well, I was just about to
come knock on your door.
The reporter wrote another article.
"The council members were seen
visibly squirming in their seats
as Harriet Sloane" that's me
"gave the room a primer
on constitutional law."
[SMACKS LIPS] I made them squirm.
[CHUCKLES] I swear,
this this sounds crazy,
but, um, I feel like Calvin
helped make this happen.
- What do you mean?
- Well, I went down to the Times
and demanded that they
write another article,
and the reporter refused.
Because that's not how newspapers work.
But if I hadn't gone down there,
the reporter never would've
come to the council meeting,
and I never would've gotten
an article in the LA Times
about a bunch of racists pretending
a freeway through my backyard
is good for my community.
And how did Calvin help with that?
I don't know, I just
I know I felt him there
in that room with me.
Hmm. Good night.
Uh, Elizabeth?
Whatever you try not to feel
you're gonna have to let
yourself feel it at some point.
[SIX THIRTY] What can you say to
someone that's lost everything?
And then it came to me.
This thing Calvin used to say every
time we'd get tired of running.
"That's the beauty
of running," he'd say.
When you don't think
you can move forward.
When you're sad about your yesterdays
or not sure what's
going to happen tomorrow,
your purpose is just being there
putting one foot in front of the other.
One foot, one foot, one foot.
It's all you have to think about.
One foot. One foot.
And then, sure enough, you'll be home.
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