Lessons in Chemistry (2023) s01e06 Episode Script


[PASTOR] My family and I have
spread the word of the Lord
all over this country,
and we have seen great
joy and great suffering.
Many people will tell you that we
no longer live in an age of miracles.
"Preacher man, I lost my job.
Preacher man, I go hungry.
My children go hungry. I
don't see any miracles here."
But my children, John and
Elizabeth, they're miracles.
Us being here together is a
miracle. You are a miracle.
That sign that you have been
waiting for, it already happened.
First you must believe,
then come the miracles.
Not the other way around.
- So do you believe?
I said, do you believe?
- Yes, Lord. We believe.
Now, I ask you, Lord, if
I can serve as your vessel,
give us a sign.
[PASTOR] God is good.
[YOUNG ELIZABETH] John, when I grow up,
will I be able to talk to God
and help people like Daddy does?
Lizzie, you don't wanna be like Daddy.
What do you mean?
Daddy doesn't speak to
God. It's all for show.
He's just a real good liar.
I don't believe you.
What about the fire?
You watching?
[CHUCKLES] It's pistachios.
Whenever Dad needs a sign
from God, I just use these.
Chemistry. That's the real magic.
Will Daddy go to hell for lying?
Well, I guess that depends on
whether you think hell is real.
What do you think?
I think that
living a lie will eat you up inside.
And whatever hell is
must feel something like that.
Hallelujah. Praise God.
You know, I knew it from
the moment I saw her.
I said to Walter, "That is a
star right there." [CHUCKLES]
Oh, I'm seeing that we have two
more minutes before we wrap up.
How about a, uh, quick Q
and A with the audience?
Are those pants? Why
is she wearing pants?
[DIRECTOR] Cameras, follow her.
How about you?
Hello, Miss Zott.
Hello, Miss
Fillis. Mrs. Carol Fillis.
I could be way off base
here. My husband likes to say
what I lack in smarts I make
up for in effort. [CHUCKLES]
- [CAROL] But when you said
osmosis was the movement of
a less concentrated solvent
through a semipermeable membrane to
another more concentrated solvent,
I found myself wondering
if my leg edema might be a by-product
of faulty hydraulic conductivity
in my own plasmas.
What kind of medicine do you practice?
Oh, no, I'm not a doctor.
I'm just a housewife.
"Just" is a lousy word
second only to "actually."
Do you want to be a doctor?
Oh, heavens, no.
I I've got my boys
and Peter to take care of.
Then let me reask the question. If
you were to be a doctor, what kind?
An open-heart surgeon.
I'm only kidding, of course. I
How could someone like me even begin
The public library. And then
MCATs, school and residency.
You really think I could do it?
Dr. Fillis, open-heart surgeon.
Sounds entirely plausible to me.
It appears I am not alone.
Thank you.
All across the South,
we've been seeing young folk
participating in what they call "sit-ins."
I'm here at the Montgomery courthouse,
where one of the lead agitators
and proponents of this method,
the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.,
was arrested on charges of loitering.
Him wasn't doing a goddamn thing
but standing on the
corner in broad daylight.
His mere presence is
powerful, and they know it.
The only thing more dangerous
than being Black in public
is when you start inspiring people.
- Linda, Junior, upstairs, please.
They need to see this too.
Yeah, Dad. Claudette Colvin is my age.
- How was school?
- Good.
That's it? That's all I get?
How about you tell me one
new thing you learned today?
Did you know that the line between
the numerator and the denominator
is called the vinculum?
I did not know that.
I wonder what the etymology
is. I'll get the dictionary.
I'm a little tired. Could you
let me know in the morning?
Of course.
I love you, bunny.
I love you too.
[CONGREGANT] I loved watching
you up there. You're so inspiring.
Bless you.
Thank you.
I clocked seven whole minutes
of seeing your face tonight.
Well, you got about one minute more.
Where are my charts?
I can't stop thinking about the news.
The way they pushed that brilliant,
decent man down the street
like he was a criminal.
[SIGHS] I need to
[GROANS] I need to channel all
this inside me somewhere good.
[CHARLIE] All you do is good, hon.
We're gonna stop traffic.
College students in the South
have been kneeling at churches,
sitting in at lunch counters. Why
can't we do the same on the freeway?
Harriet, you can't be serious.
It's a form of peaceful protest.
We both know there is no such thing
when people like us carry signs.
[SCOFFS] I know that you
want to save the world,
but we're barely seeing each other
- as it is.
Now he's concerned.
That's what I said would happen
if you took that Kaiser job.
We've got our careers, yes,
- also our kids to worry about.
I see. I see. I see. So [SNIFFS]
you're scared of what your
white colleagues will think
about your radical disobedient wife.
Do not put those words in my mouth.
Oh, I'm sorry, husband
dear. Did I talk out of turn?
That's not fair.
This conversation isn't over.
I agree. I'll see you in the morning.
I love you.
- Sloane residence.
- Did you watch the show today?
- Uh, sorry, no.
I didn't catch it.
I wore pants on national TV.
I could actually feel Phil's
arteries constricting in real time.
- Wow.
My team and I have been
planning it for weeks.
I can't believe we pulled it off.
I finally feel like I'm making
a difference at the studio.
I've never been more
Uh-uh-uh-uh. Hold it right
there, you two. Hold on.
Oh! [CHUCKLES] Congratulations.
Supper at Six is now brought to
you exclusively by Swift & Crisp.
Elizabeth Zott's and America's
favorite choice in shortening.
Where are my fucking coupes?
Shari! Where are my fucking coupes?
No, Swift & Crisp is not my
favorite choice in shortening.
Have you ever inspected
the lipid dispersion
at a microscopic level? [STAMMERS]
The reason why the
dough rises high and fast
is because it is hydrogenated
synthetic vegetable oil.
To say nothing of the taste.
[PHIL] Yeah. Inspecting the
lipids is on my to-do list
right after not giving a single shit.
[CLEARS THROAT] Here we are.
No. I will not lie to my audience.
They tune in because I'm honest,
because I treat them with respect.
[SIGHS] Liz.
Do you know why people
watch television, hmm?
Because it's on.
If you have a problem with this, well,
then we'll just find
another lady chemist
to cook us a pot roast tomorrow,
and we'll call it Feasting at Five.
- Okay, okay, everyone take a breath
- Shut the fuck up, Walter.
Swift & Crisp, or you're out.
Have a great show, everybody.
[HARRIET] All right, ladies.
We've got to start spreading
the word about this protest.
Marge, I need you to reach
out to our guy at the LA Times.
If they pick it up,
Washington Post follows suit.
Shirley, put that keen eye
to use on some flyers for me
and mimeograph at least 300 copies.
Start with the college campuses and then
get them all out into the local stores,
offices, diners. What am I forgetting?
- Gas stations.
- [HARRIET] Yep.
Oh, and I need to
reach out to Ella Baker.
She's been working
closely with students,
and I want to involve the groups
who have already been doing the work.
- Mm-hmm.
- All right. Thank you, ladies.
- [ELIZABETH] Welcome to Supper at Six.
Today is an exciting
day here on the show,
because I will be introducing you
to one of my favorite ingredients.
There has been a recent craze
surrounding vegetable shortening,
also known as hydrogenated
cottonseed oil.
However, I will be making
strawberry shortcake with
beef tallow as our source of fat.
- High-quality beef tallow
is extremely nutritious.
- However, if money is an issue
- I'll talk to her at the first commercial.
Beef tallow is not
only highly nutritious,
but it also has an
uncommonly high smoke point
- at 400 degrees Fahrenheit [INDISTINCT]
- [SECRETARY] St. Luke's Boys' Home.
- Hello.
I'm calling to find out if my father,
Calvin Evans, lived there around 1931.
Can you hold, please?
Yes, I'll wait.
- I called all the St. Luke's
from Delaware to Wyoming.
Fifty-six St. Luke's Boys' Homes.
Forty said my dad never went
there. Seven didn't pick up.
And nine wouldn't tell
me, because it's policy.
Mmm. It seems this case has gone cold.
What does that mean?
A cold case means you hit a dead end.
Oh. So it's an idiom.
That's right.
I hate idioms.
Can I tell you a secret?
I have only read the
Bible twice back to front.
Why is that secret?
It's because I'm a minister.
And because I have read
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
at least 20 times.
It's my favorite book by my
favorite author, Agatha Christie.
Her detective, Hercule Poirot,
doesn't believe in dead ends.
According to him, the
truth is already within us,
somewhere inside of our brains.
We just have to unlock it.
How can something be inside of my
brain if I haven't learned it yet?
You start with what you already
know. I bet you'll surprise yourself.
Hello, Liz.
Care for a piece of cake, Phil?
Thank you. I will.
Great show today. You're
suspended for three days.
Uh, may I have your attention, everyone?
We will be airing reruns over
the course of the next three days.
All nonessential personnel
will be suspended without pay.
Any questions? Ask your star.
[MAYOR'S WIFE] We've never had
a celebrity in our home before.
Your father has a gift.
[EZRA] Well, it's not a gift.
I'm just a vessel for
the good Lord. [CHUCKLES]
you say grace, Reverend?
Of course.
[EZRA] Huh? You could've put
my whole livelihood at risk.
You disgust me. You make me sick.
And I swear to God, if I catch you
with another boy, I'll kill you myself!
- It's enough! I've had enough!
[EZRA] I'll deal with you later.
Now get up. We got a show to do.
I feel the darkness growing.
- An evil possession among us!
[EZRA] Come to me.
- Oh! Holy Spirit! Holy Spirit, consume me!
Save this child's soul!
[CONGREGANT] Praise Jesus!
- Hallelujah! God is good. God is merciful.
[FRAN GRUNTS] Oh. Pardon me.
- Sorry.
- Oh, Elizabeth. [CHUCKLES]
Oh, my goodness. I can't
believe it's it's you.
I think I'm a little
starstruck. [CHUCKLES]
Oh. How are things? Are
you still at Hastings?
No. Oh, I left shortly after you did.
I've been looking around for work,
but I haven't found the right thing yet.
- Hmm.
- I I hate how we ended things.
I've thought about calling
you, but I figure, you know,
you probably despise me.
Hastings wasn't an easy
place for any of us to be.
No, but that's not much
of an excuse, is it?
Anyway, it makes me genuinely very happy
to see you become so successful, and
You know, after everything
that you you went through.
- Well, don't get used to it, but thank you.
- Mmm.
Um, anyway, my daughter will
be coming home from school soon.
Oh, of course. Go, go, go.
If you'd like to come to a taping,
I can leave a ticket with my office?
I would be delighted.
Yeah. Thank you. [CHUCKLES]
Looking for more boys' homes?
No, that was a dead end.
Could you please help
us look up any documents
that include the name Calvin Evans?
Private individuals are the
hardest to cross-reference.
He was a famous
scientist, if that helps.
[CLICKS TONGUE] Write his name
here and check back in a few days.
I'll see what I can find.
[CREW MEMBER] Welcome back.
[STYLIST] I can't believe
she wouldn't just do it.
[SHARI] If they would
pay me as much as her,
I'd say whatever they wanted me to say.
[SHARI] Excuse me.
So, how was Johnny's play?
[CLICKS TONGUE] I'm not sure.
I had to leave him with my sister
while I was picking
up shifts sweeping hair
to make up for this week's losses.
I'm so sorry. I didn't know
Phil was going to do that.
Those decisions are above my pay grade.
But maybe next time you
want to stick it to the man,
you give the people who actually
need the money a second thought.
Excuse me.
Tonight's show will begin a little
differently than what you're used to.
[DIRECTOR] Go B camera.
I am announcing a new relationship
with our partners at Swift & Crisp.
America's number one choice
in shortening, and mine.
To kick things off, I will
be making Oysters Zott.
My spin on Oysters Rockefeller
prepared with my one and only
better baking secret weapon,
Swift & Crisp.
And that is Oysters Zott.
It looks like we have
time for some questions.
[STAMMERS] I'm trying to lose weight.
Um, is Swift & Crisp also your
secret to staying so thin? [CHUCKLES]
[SIGHS] No. Uh, my weight is due
to genetics, likely, and stress.
Do you moisturize before bed
or first thing in the morning?
Um, there are no
substitute for natural oils.
Are there any other questions?
[CLICKS TONGUE] Oh, so many.
That was sensational.
Radically different
experience being in the room.
The smells, the sounds, mmm.
It was extortion, pure
and simple, but thank you.
And the Q and A, genius.
I do have a couple thoughts. Minor,
nothing notes. If you're amenable.
You don't have to answer
every question. That's all.
But that defeats the
purpose of a Q and A.
A Q and A on your show.
You should have someone screen
the questions ahead of time
so you aren't asked about
your moisturizing routine.
They can get those
tips from Woman's Daily.
And frankly, I would never
go to you for beauty tips.
But what do I know? [CHUCKLES]
Thank you again for the the
ticket. It was It was a treat.
Fran. You said you're looking for work?
Do you have a minute?
Walter, I'd like you to meet my
new chief of staff Fran Frask.
Oh, hi.
Hi. It's a bit drab in here.
Oh, yeah. Well, it's an office.
Most people spend more time with
their coworkers than at home,
so wouldn't you want it to be
more warm, welcoming, fragrant?
Are you two related?
- Hmm?
- [STAMMERS] Joan, can you
- Joan can help you.
- Yeah.
- [STAMMERS] Why don't you
- Hi.
- [JOAN] Nice to meet you.
- [WALTER] See if she can
Is something wrong? You
seem particularly sweaty.
No, nothing. I, uh
uh, I I How are you?
I I know what you just did
was It was difficult. Uh
It was excruciating.
Well, that's how you know
you're succeeding in showbiz.
[STAMMERS] You did the
right thing, Elizabeth.
The lesser of two evils is still evil.
There were several news filings on
record under the name Calvin Evans
and one public record
of a cease and desist.
But that was it. Sorry I
couldn't be more helpful.
Wait. This is it.
I need to tell Linda and Junior.
Wake up, Mrs. Waterhouse.
- It's time to go.
- Huh? Oh, my goodness.
Morrison and Douglas.
Oh, one moment. Let me try one.
[HARRIET] And that's
the real issue here.
Now, the transportation authority
has provided us with this map,
trying to show that going through
the West Adams neighborhood
is going to be more
beneficial for the freeway.
But in actuality,
- anyone looking at this map [INDISTINCT]
- [LINDA] Hello, sir.
- [GASPS] Found him.
- Let me see.
Junior, don't you think
Mad should see first?
Let's go.
[HARRIET] Linda and Charles Sloane
Jr., you better stop where you are.
Explain yourselves.
If Mad had questions about Calvin,
why wouldn't she just ask me?
What kind of answer do you want?
Vague moral support or honesty?
Honesty, always.
She probably didn't ask you
because she knows you don't
like talking about him.
But I've been talking with her
about Calvin since she was a baby.
But she's not a baby anymore.
[SIGHS] God, I'm wiped.
Did Charlie ever come
around on the protest?
[CHUCKLES] Not quite.
But we've got an official
flyer now. [CHUCKLES]
You mind passing these
out around the studio?
Harriet, I I can't come
to the protest. I'm so sorry.
You know I would.
I-If I could, I would.
Déjà vu.
It's the studio. They
They didn't just suspend me.
They suspended everyone.
And they'll do it again.
But don't worry. I
will make it up to you.
Oh, my God.
It's not about me. It's
It's not about Elizabeth and Harriet.
This protest is about people all over
this country struggling to be seen,
begging to be treated with dignity.
You're always talking about
the things that keep women down.
But who does that include?
Have you looked at your audience lately?
Now, I'm [SCOFFS] I'm
working my corner of the ring,
but you you've got
something almost no one has.
You have a platform.
What you say matters.
And what you don't say
matters just as much.
You wanna make it up to me?
Think about the kind
of person you wanna be.
Stay where you are.
You had enough yet?
What's it gonna be, huh?
You had your fill of
disgracing this family?
Yes, sir.
I don't think you have.
[JOHN] No, Dad. Please.
[MUFFLED] No, Dad, please!
- Dad! Dad, please! [CRIES]
Dad, please! Please! Please!
Please, Dad. Dad, please.
- [EZRA] Jesus Christ!
SHAKILY] Oh, oh, J
No, no, no, no, John. [CRYING]
- Daddy?
Daddy, what happened?
- [SNIFFLES] He made his choice.
- I think that living a lie
will eat you up inside.
And whatever hell is
must feel something like that.
[PHIL] As you can see,
- month after month, the numbers don't lie.
- Remarkable. [CHUCKLES]
I mean, look at this long-term ratio.
Elizabeth, come over here and say
hello to Jameson from Swift & Crisp.
We couldn't have done
it without our girl.
And this is just the beginning.
[DIRECTOR] All right,
places, everyone! Places!
We're live in five, four,
three [MOUTHING] two, one.
[ELIZABETH] Before we begin,
I would like to announce a change
to the Supper at Six program.
Next Monday, we will be airing
a rerun instead of a new show.
I will not be here with you
because I will be joining
a peaceful protest against
the construction of a freeway.
A freeway that threatens to tear apart a
thriving, predominantly Black community.
- What the fuck, Walter?
So, in solidarity with the
thousands of other people
who will be peacefully protesting
for their rights, I stand with you.
[STAMMERS] Ed, could you
please bring the camera closer?
Do not move that fucking camera.
Ed, push in.
Have you lost your mind?
I hope you will join me.
And now, we may begin.
- [ELIZABETH] All right.
- Your star just flushed
- both your careers down the toilet.
- Now, for today's show,
we will be making pork
ribs with a dry rub.
Notice how the flavors blend,
yet remain separate entities.
- [VIEWER] That sounds good.
That's four days suspension.
Hmm. 22,300.
I'm sorry, what?
That is exactly how much
another four days will cost you.
And now that we're
exclusive with Swift & Crisp,
we have no other ad buys
to supplement reruns.
I also know exactly how
much it would cost me
to pay every crew member's salary
for four days, six days, a month.
But you won't last that long
before the entire studio's
bottom line is in in the red.
If my research proves correct.
- Listen, you can't
- So, go ahead and suspend me.
I won't feel it nearly as much
as you will in your bottom line.
our homes! Fight the Freeway!
- Save our homes! Fight the Freeway!
- Fight the freeway! Fight the freeway!
- Save our homes!
- Save our homes!
- Fight the freeway!
This gathering is unlawful.
Disperse now or you will
be in violation of the law.
[PROTESTOR 1] Stand strong.
Disperse immediately.
Clear 'em out!
- All right. [GRUNTING]
- [PROTESTOR 2] Take your hands off her.
[COP 1] Get up. Get over here.
Hey, get your hands off of her, man!
- Sanford! Sanford!
- [PROTESTOR 4] He didn't do anything.
We just wanna stay in our homes.
We just wanna stay in our
- [PROTESTOR 5] Please.
- [COP 1] Get over here. Come on.
You, punk. Come here.
- We wanna stay in our homes!
- [COP 2] Come on. Let's go.
- Come on.
- [PROTESTOR 6] Oh, no. [CRYING]
Hey! This one.
- Get that one.
- [COP 2 GRUNTS] Come on. Come on.
[SNIFFLES, SIGHS] Is Sanford okay?
He's all right. [SIGHS]
They, uh, roughed him up on his way in.
Made me wait three hours for
no reason to pay his bail.
But he's home safe with Agnes.
Broken bones?
Shiner on the brow.
We should go there tomorrow.
We can bring them food,
- take the kids off their hands
- Harriet, can we just
Can you just sit here for a second,
plea I just need a second.
Yeah. Yeah. I I can I can sit.
When I was sitting
outside the holding tank
I kept thinking what if it was you
instead of Sanford
they got violent with.
- But they didn't.
- But they could've.
What about the next
march? The next sit-in?
Do I worry about my job? Of course.
We have worked so hard
for this life we've built.
We deserve whatever happiness
and success that we can hold on to
and that we can give to them.
But what does it matter
if you're not here?
I'm not going anywhere.
I'm not going anywhere. I'm here.
[SNIFFLING] I'm here.
"She must be a
clairvoyant. Clairvoyant."
Hmm. Yes. Precisely.
Can you read now?
I can.
But I'd like to talk
with you about something.
It's my job to protect you
from anything that can hurt.
But I can't protect you
from your feelings or mine.
So, here goes.
I I miss your dad.
I miss him so much that it's hard
for me to talk about sometimes.
But you are teaching me that not
talking about the people that we miss
does not make it better, I think.
I think it makes it worse.
I'm sorry I lied, Mommy.
Oh. It's okay, bunny. It's okay.
You know how you used to
research the origins of life?
I wanted to do that too, but for me.
I want to know my abio
Your abiogenesis?
If you feel ready, will you show me
what you've learned about your dad?
I'd like that very much. [SNIFFLES]
[MAD] This is how I remember Dad.
I found this magazine in Dad's study.
I read it sometimes before I go to bed.
Hold on.
This is how I remembered your
uncle John when I was your age.
Pistachio shells.
- Why?
Your uncle John and I, we
used to light them on fire.
Mad, will you show me
what else you found?
[MAD] I also found this little
toy in one of his desk drawers.
I've never seen that before.
You try to get the ball into
it. That little hole there.
- It doesn't work easily.
- [ELIZABETH] You got it. [CHUCKLES]
- Wakely, the case is hot.
Read it.
Linda and Junior stole these
letters from their mom's office.
People asking my dad for
money, except this one person.
Someone named Avery Parker.
Get to the part where it
mentions St. Luke's in Modesto.
How could this man
know about St. Luke's?
your dad is Calvin Evans?
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