Lessons in Chemistry (2023) s01e08 Episode Script

Introduction to Chemistry

Mom, look.
What is it?
A lead.
Holy shit, it's a limo!
[FRED] It's a Cadillac!
I bet he's a professional
baseball player. Or a movie star.
Sir I need to apologize
to you. Uh, please.
My secretary, uh, misspoke
on the phone with you earlier.
Uh, how so?
Calvin Evans was here.
Yeah, he was adopted.
No, sir.
He was taken from us.
When did this happen?
Last summer.
Calvin was an extraordinary boy.
Unparalleled aptitude for the sciences.
He benefited so much from the
Remsen Foundation's support.
I'm sorry but he doesn't want you.
- Supper at Six. Can I help you?
- Supper at Six. Yes.
[CLICKS TONGUE] Mmm. Who are those for?
Next time, let me know.
I have a singular florist.
I got them for the office.
You said it was drab.
I wanted to de-drab it.
[CHUCKLES] Well, they're
beautiful. [CHUCKLES]
- It doesn't weigh as
- Thank you.
Good morning. The Remsen
Foundation hasn't called back.
I wasn't going to ask.
But since you've brought it up,
that's very rude of them.
I always make a point of
returning all my outstanding calls
- by the end of the day.
- Of course.
Because you are a citizen
of a civil society.
I mean, Mad's about to
drive down there herself.
- Miss Zott.
- Also, um
- Thank you.
- Yeah.
- Hi.
Actually, never mind. It's nothing.
Fran, you never have nothing to say.
It's personal. It's not
show-related. So if you wanted to
Oh, that is convenient because we
are friends and also colleagues.
[WHISPERS] I have a crush on Walter.
- Oh! Oh, this is fantastic.
- I said, stop smiling.
I can't. I won't. [GASPS] Are
You must ask him to dinner.
- No. The man asks.
- Not if the man is shy.
Not if the man doesn't
value his self-worth.
Not if the woman is confident. Not
if the woman knows what she wants.
Mmm. Forget I said anything.
That is impossible. I have
an impeccable memory. You
- Yes, hello. Hi.
- Phil is asking for you both on the stage.
- Will Walter be there?
- Yes, Walter too.
- We'll be right there.
- Mm-hmm.
- [BOTH] Thank you.
- Sure.
- I can't wait for this meeting. Walter?
- Forget it.
I can't. Walter.
[PHIL] Swift & Crisp is dead.
Why? Our numbers are holding.
They believe that politics
don't belong in the kitchen.
- [CLICKS TONGUE] May they rest in peace.
- Oh, you find this funny?
- No, I don't find racism funny.
- [WALTER] Okay. Okay.
So we have our work cut out for
us. We'll find another sponsor.
No. I can't even get a cat
food company to return my calls.
Oh, you don't believe me?
You know what?
You mock me, you belittle
me, you dismiss our sponsors.
You think that this show is
some kind of public service.
Well, guess what? It's
not. It's a business.
So here's your deadline.
Two weeks to find a
sponsor or you're fired.
Enjoy these last few days.
[HARRIET] We're only missing one vote
to stop the construction of the freeway.
The undecideds are Thompson and Sommers,
and neither is conveniently
returning my calls.
Thank you.
[PARALEGAL] Is everything okay?
Thompson is out, but Sommers
is in! We have the vote.
- You're sure?
It only took seven years,
three hundred motions
and half-a-dozen trips to
Sacramento, but surly, old,
beautiful Sommers is
- [STAMMERS] Anything for me to do?
- Yes.
Pray that that man doesn't
drop dead of a heart attack
- before Tuesday's vote. [CHUCKLES]
- I'm headed to church.
- Oh, she's just so clever.
- Oh, my God.
I can't believe that she
actually called herself.
- [CHUCKLES] What if she comes, mmm?
- [WILSON] Good morning.
Welcome back into town, sir.
What am I missing?
Zott personally called,
not once, not twice, but three times.
Who's Elizabeth Zott?
Elizabeth Zott! Supper at
Six? She's on television.
- Why does she want to talk to me?
That's what we're desperate to know.
[CHUCKLES] Well, I'm
on the edge of my seat.
- Get her on the line, please.
Well, surely there should be a higher
bar to applause than stuffing mushrooms.
Did you know that there are over
10,000 mushrooms varietals in the world,
but only four to five
percent are edible?
When you think about it,
it's sort of like humans.
There's only four to five
percent that I find digestible,
- wouldn't you agree?
[INHALE SHARPLY] While we wait
for these mushrooms to roast,
why don't we have a little Q&A?
- Oh, right here.
- Oh. Oh.
Second row from the back.
Miss Zott,
I'm sure you don't remember me.
But I was here a few months ago.
Dr. Fillis, open heart
surgeon. Of course, I remember.
[CHUCKLES] Well, not quite yet.
But I did get accepted
into USC medical school.
I knew you would. I knew you could.
I'm the oldest student in the
class and I'm constantly exhausted,
but I've also never
been happier. [CHUCKLES]
Now that is worthy of applause.
I just wanna thank you
for seeing something in me
that I didn't see in myself.
Thank you.
Are there any other questions?
- Right here.
You know, in all of the
excitement of the day,
I forgot to tell you about
a giant opportunity. Big.
[SIGHS] I'm all ears.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School asked you
to be the judge of their
sixth grade science fair.
I politely declined on your behalf.
No. I'll do it. They
Anything to distract my mind.
I will call and make it so.
Walter, are you
currently dating someone?
No. I function best alone.
I used to think that too.
- And then?
- I met Calvin.
If the opportunity presents
itself love, I mean
I'd like you to consider it.
God, I feel like I'm
in a shrink's office.
- [SIGHS] Well
Off to call more sponsors.
Doing this was not what
I asked for or what I wanted.
But now that I feel the show
being pulled away from me, I
I feel like a piece
of me is going with it.
I am your producer.
[SMACKS LIPS] It is my professional duty
and my personal
choice to have your back.
Whatever happens, that won't change.
Thank you.
Now if you'll excuse me,
I have to go RSVP to a bunch
of six graders on your behalf.
Elizabeth Zott.
Yes, it's the real Elizabeth Zott.
Yes, but I would prefer to meet
in person. What is your address?
- Are you nervous?
- No.
Because it would be
perfectly fine to be nervous.
- I'm nervous.
- You are?
I am.
It's you and me.
I've never seen this
one. He's so serious.
Sorry I'm late. Harry Wilson.
my wife you were coming by,
and she shrieked like
you were Elvis. [CHUCKLES]
How can I help you?
Hmm. Um
Mr. Wilson, uh, this may sound peculiar,
but we are here to ask some
questions about Calvin Evans.
Um Why did the Remsen Foundation
support Calvin his whole life?
I'm sorry, how do you know Calvin Evans?
He w Um
This is Mad, my daughter.
Mine and Calvin's.
Please, hold on. [BREATHES
HEAVILY] It's not for me to explain.
Oh, my goodness.
Uh, Ms. Parker, I
have an urgent message.
You must be Mad. I'm Avery.
I'm your
Calvin's mother.
It's okay.
- Thank you.
- Yeah.
Come on, bunny.
There's so much I wanna ask, but
Why did you give my
dad to that boys' home?
I Um
[SIGHS] If it's okay, I think I'd
like to start from the beginning.
When I was 16,
- uh, I got pregnant accidentally.
Here you go. All right. Easy.
Having a baby was the
most extraordinary thing
that had ever happened to me.
But like most things in my life,
my parents had other
plans, and I had no say.
No. Please. No, no, no.
I didn't know where they brought him.
I had no picture of him.
But the one wish that they
did honor was his name. Calvin.
I only knew him for a matter of minutes,
but his existence changed
the entire course of my life.
When I turned 25,
I gained access [SIGHS]
to my trust fund,
and I hired a lawyer
to help me find Calvin.
Wilson became like a
father to me. [CHUCKLES]
I also started the Remsen Foundation
and donated money to boys'
homes within a 300-mile radius
in hopes that I could
help him from afar.
We never stopped looking.
And then, one day,
it was as if the clouds
lifted and the heavens parted,
and Wilson managed to find him,
only to be told that
he had recently died.
That hope popped like a balloon.
It flattened me.
Wasn't until that
magazine cover decades
[SIGHS] later that I saw him again.
I don't much care who's
responsible for miracles.
I only cared that this miracle was mine.
I wrote letter after
letter, asking to meet him
but I never heard back.
And then, one day
I received a letter in the
mail from a law office.
It was a cease and desist.
I thought he hated me.
That he wanted nothing to do with me.
And he had every right. I
mean, I'd have hated me too.
I came by your house once.
I saw the two of you together.
He looked so happy.
So at peace.
And I knew it was time
for me to let him go.
Had I known he had a
I'm so sorry.
He thought that you were dead.
What a poor boy to believe that.
Tell me [CHUCKLES]
what did I miss?
Who was this man?
He was brilliant, decent and kind.
- And a very funny dancer.
I'm a funny dancer. Are
you a funny dancer too?
I don't know.
You know, I had [CLEARS
THROAT] hoped that, uh,
we could get to know
each other a little bit.
I never got the chance with Calvin,
and I'd give anything to
get to know his daughter.
My granddaughter.
It's been a long journey to get
here, and we're gonna need some time.
- Of course.
- Yeah.
Can I ask, why did you name him
Calvin? Was that a family name?
No, I named him after John Calvin.
I'm not sure I know who that is.
He was a 16th-century theologian
that your great-great-grandmother
used to read to me.
He believed in predestination.
A theologian. [CHUCKLES]
That would have
[SNIFFS] delighted him.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Do you wanna talk about today?
About meeting your grandmother?
I thought that when I got
to the end of the mystery,
it was going to feel different.
Hmm. Well, in science,
discoveries usually
lead to more questions.
I don't wanna ask more questions.
I just want my dad.
I know. I miss him so much.
But you know, I see him in you.
You do?
You know how your brow
crinkles when you're frustrated?
Or how you always read
three books at once?
Or how you forget to eat sometimes when
you're thinking so much? That's all him.
Dad told Wakely that Great
Expectations was his favorite book.
And it's mine too.
You know that coloring book
you have, the paint by numbers?
Imagine that every person that
you meet, every place that you go,
every letter that you read about
your dad is just another color,
painting in the picture of him.
That's a metaphor.
It is.
Hey, do you wanna play
hooky with me tomorrow?
I played hooky with you today.
I know. You're getting very good at it.
Mmm. Mmm.
[STUDENT] When your eyes see the image
through the red and blue filters,
the image appears to
be coming right at you.
Well, that is a very meticulous
drawing of a panther. Thank you.
[SIGHS] Well, what do you think?
I prefer the humanities.
And what do we have here?
Well, my father owns a bakery,
and I wanted to test the
effects of different environments
for slowing the growth of mold.
Wow. Well, that will be
very helpful to your father.
Do you wanna be a
baker when you grow up?
No, I wanna be a biologist.
You do? Well, have you read Charles
Darwin's Descent of Man?
Or Erwin Schrödinger's What Is Life?
I have not, but I will. Thank you.
Of course. Best of luck to you.
- I love watching you on TV
- Thank you, bunny.
but I don't think you belong there.
Oh. Where do I belong?
A laboratory.
Well, I made a choice.
A choice that I would
make a thousand times over.
But I will always be a chemist.
Chemists do chemistry.
[MAD] Charlie, tell me
if this is long enough.
[CHARLIE] Oh, this looks
really long. This looks great.
- [MAD] Make it a bit longer.
- Are you sure?
Make it a little longer.
Why don't we drink
spiced cider year-round?
- One of life's great mysteries.
[MAD] Here you go, Junior.
How's Mad feeling about Calvin's mother?
I don't know.
I don't know where she fits.
You, Charlie, Linda,
Junior, you're our family.
You and Mad are definitely
part of our family,
but if you recall, that's
not where we started.
I just want Mad to feel safe and
be loved. And she has all of that.
You say that like love is finite.
It never hurts to have more people
who love and care for that little girl.
Which reminds me, I have
not properly thanked you
for saving that little girl's home
and the rest of the neighborhood.
- Goodness.
Well [SIGHS] we're not
there yet, but after Tuesday's vote,
I do expect a lifetime of beer
and blueberry pie for my efforts.
The freeway here
is just one version of what they're
doing to communities like ours
all over this country.
The fight can't stop in
Sugar Hill or even California.
Now, I may not have cameras on
me, but I'm a one-woman bullhorn.
And so are you.
For a few more weeks, anyway. We
still haven't found our sponsor.
Something tells me you're
not shutting up anytime soon.
Isn't this great? [SIGHS] Huh?
If we didn't have a ceiling,
I'd say it's beautiful.
Now, all right. Let me get in
there before this man hurts himself.
I I know you're not
putting your shoes on my couch.
- Should we continue it?
- [CHARLIE] Keep going.
- Is there any word? What are we doing?
- She's never late.
[FRAN] Uh, what do we
do if she doesn't show?
[WALTER] Can you cook?
[FRAN] I I can scoop ice cream
into a bowl. Does that count?
You know what? I'll have I'll
have Harry drive by her house.
- Hey, Harry. Harry
- Oh, my God. Thank God.
Sorry. I'm sorry. I had an appointment
across town, and it went over.
Harry, these are for the audience.
Please place one of
these under each seat.
- There's another box in my car.
- Okay.
Hi, Walter. I'm gonna need to make
a phone call before the show starts.
- There is no time.
- [DIRECTOR] Five minutes, people!
Let's go. Let's go. Let's go.
Perfect is the enemy of good.
- You all right? [SIGHS]
- I'm well. How are you?
You have a look on
your face. What is it?
[ANNOUNCER] And now, Supper
at Six with Elizabeth Zott.
[DIRECTOR] We're live
in five, four, three
Hello. My name is Elizabeth Zott,
and this is Supper at Six.
I will be starting today's
show with a few announcements.
Before we dive into the chemical
compounds of a baked-ham glaze,
you may notice that there are no
Swift & Crisp products
littering our set.
Well, that is because
they dropped our show.
And for that, I thank them.
I know that everyone doesn't
stand for what I stand for,
but our convictions mean
nothing if we don't voice them.
Swift & Crisp is vile
on a sub-chemical level.
Seed oils are damaging
to your mitochondria.
And the fact that I told
you to put that in your body
will haunt me for the rest of my days.
But luckily, we have a new sponsor.
One that aligns with our values.
When did this happen?
I have no idea.
I have been using Tampax for years.
They are soft, durable and hygienic.
Please look under your seat.
There's a present for you.
For the men watching who haven't
bothered to ask about menstruation,
I'll explain it to you.
It is the process where blood
discharges from the lining of the uterus
in intervals of one lunar month,
from puberty to menopause,
except during pregnancy.
I had a call with the
head of our network
this afternoon and relayed that to him.
- And he agreed with me.
She said the word "uterus" to Kenneth?
a partner we can be proud of.
But that was not the
sole purpose of my call.
I am leaving Supper At Six.
Did you know about this?
This is not what we discussed.
I will be stepping down on live TV.
And as someone who has studied
television exhaustively,
I predict an uptick in
viewership for the next few weeks.
Hosting this show has been
the thrill of a lifetime.
And I have every single one
of you to thank for that.
We set out to do something that
matters, and I believe that we did.
And, Kenneth,
I will be doing all of this under the
condition that changes will be made.
Kenneth. [CHUCKLES] If
I knew you were coming,
I would have broken out the good stuff.
You're fired.
The show is yours.
Every night, I ask your children
to give you a moment to yourself
and, well, I think it's
time that I did just that.
It is time for me to reflect,
regroup and figure out what is next.
I bet you're wondering who the next
host of Supper At Six will be.
Well, it will be one of you.
Now, I know that that might sound scary.
But remember, courage
is the root of change.
And change is what we are
chemically designed for.
I will not ask you to pull
yourself up by your bootstraps
because many women do not have
bootstraps to pull themself up by.
If your life has been
anything like mine,
your dreams will not come
to you in a linear fashion.
[CHUCKLES] But if you have a
voice you feel is not being heard,
we would love to meet you.
And with that, let's discuss glazed ham.
Can I take you to dinner tonight?
Oh. You wanna discuss the reshuffling
Uh, to discuss my
[CHUCKLES] feelings for you.
Ye What? Yes. Yes.
I would very much like that.
I'll pick you up at 6:45.
[CLEARS THROAT] Sorry for the delay.
As soon as Councilman Sommers
joins us, we will begin.
Thank you for joining us, Councilman.
We're now on the record.
The interstate highway system
is the future of this nation
for the economy, for growth
and for national defense,
should that ever be necessary.
I'd like to thank both parties
for arguing so vociferously
and passionately over
the past eight years.
Progress has been halted long enough.
So, in the matter of the
California interstate highway system
versus the West
Adams/Sugar Hill committee,
all those opposed to routing the
highway through West Adams/Sugar Hill?
All in favor?
- The motion is passed.
I tried calling. I'm
so sorry. What can I do?
I just wanna eat brownies and cry.
I can help with that.
Brought beer.
Beer could be good too.
- Come here.
[ELIZABETH] Three-quarter
going into full pressure in two.
That's one.
That's two.
Full pressure.
This is the place where
Calvin came to quiet his mind.
I wanted to share it with you. We
had our first kiss right over there.
Mmm. Thank you for bringing me.
Seeing Mad with those
giant, inquisitive eyes
made me feel like I was
seeing a piece of him.
She's smart, huh?
I caught your show the
other night. You quit.
I did. I want to get back to science.
You know, I have a
foundation specifically geared
toward funding the work of scientists.
I am aware.
Your application offers a "Mr.", no
"Mrs." and certainly not a "Miss."
Well, I'll fix that.
And after I do,
I'd love to help you with whatever
it is you're interested in pursuing.
Though I have the feeling
that you don't like help.
No. As I've gotten older,
I've found help to be a gift.
My name is Elizabeth Zott, and
welcome to Introduction to Chemistry.
Please pass this to the person
next to you or behind you.
And it is Miss Zott until I
graduate from the PhD program.
Living things are made up of atoms.
But, in most cases, those atoms are
not floating around individually.
Instead, they are usually
interacting with other atoms.
Both the strong bonds that
hold molecules together
and the weaker bonds that
create temporary connections
are essential to the
very existence of life.
Is it random which atoms are connected?
[CHUCKLES] Think of your own life.
You can't anticipate the moments.
It's only when you look backwards
that you see how it was all connected.
What does this have
to do with chemistry?
The only constant variable in
a chemical reaction is change.
The unexpected.
Our job here is not to avoid surprise.
We can't control it.
So there's only one thing left to do.
Now, we don't have to
accept the bad things,
but we do have to accept
the inevitability of change.
Both in ourselves and our circumstances.
Charles Dickens.
Not exactly known for
his work in the sciences.
But the greatest scientist
that I have ever known
kept this book on his bedside.
He said it made him a better chemist.
I laughed it off at the time
because I found it to be
an absurd thing to say,
which I'm sure you do now.
However, I eventually
relented and, um
and this is the page
that he had dog-eared.
"That was a memorable day to me,
for it made great changes in me."
"But, it is the same with any life.
Imagine one selected
day struck out of it,
and think how different
its course would have been."
"Pause, you who read this,
and think for a moment of the
long chain of iron or gold,
of thorns or flowers
that would never have bound you,
but for the formation of the first link
on one memorable day."
Oh, thank you! Thank you
for everything. [LAUGHS]
I love this so much.
And what do we have here?
Let's begin, shall we?
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