In the first episode of “Lessons in Chemistry,” titled “Little Miss Hastings,” we are introduced to the main character, Elizabeth Zott, portrayed by Brie Larson. Elizabeth is a talented chemist who finds herself torn between her passion for science and the expectations placed on her as a woman in the 1960s. This recap and review will delve into the key plot points of the episode, highlighting the character development and themes explored.
Elizabeth’s Dual Identity
Elizabeth Zott is not just a chemist; she is also the host of a popular cooking show called Supper at Six. While her coworkers view her participation in the show as more important than her scientific work, Elizabeth strives to prove herself as a dedicated researcher. She refuses to join the Little Miss Hastings pageant, which her colleagues deem essential for her career advancement.
The Lab Incident
In her determination to further her experiments, Elizabeth takes matters into her own hands and sneaks into Dr. Calvin Evans’ lab. Dr. Evans is a renowned scientist whom Elizabeth admires. She intends to use his ribose for her research. However, her actions are discovered by the observant head secretary, Fran. Fran promptly reports the incident to Dr. Donatti, who confronts Elizabeth about her unauthorized presence in the lab.
Pressure to Join the Pageant
Rather than listening to Elizabeth’s proposal for an important grant, Dr. Donatti pressures her to join the pageant instead. Elizabeth is disappointed by his lack of support for her scientific pursuits. Feeling cornered and uncertain about her future, she reluctantly agrees to participate in the pageant, realizing that it may be the only way to gain favor and continue her research.
Elizabeth and Calvin’s Connection
As the episode progresses, we witness a growing connection between Elizabeth and Dr. Calvin Evans. They start sharing meals together, and Calvin is captivated by Elizabeth’s culinary skills and scientific brilliance. Seeing their potential as a team, Calvin proposes that Elizabeth becomes his lab technician. Although Elizabeth initially doubts their compatibility, she eventually accepts the offer, acknowledging that it may be her best chance to pursue her scientific passion.
A Fragile Partnership
Working together presents its challenges as Elizabeth and Calvin navigate the dynamics of their professional relationship. However, they show promise as a formidable duo, both in the lab and in their personal lives. The episode hints at a budding romantic connection between the two characters, leaving the audience intrigued by the potential development of their relationship.
Uncertainty and Future Implications
The episode concludes with a flash forward, where Elizabeth presents a burned lasagna on her cooking show. This glimpse of the future creates suspense and raises questions about the fate of Elizabeth and Calvin’s research. The viewer is left concerned about the possible obstacles that lie ahead for our dedicated chemist and her optimistic partner. It becomes evident that their journey will be filled with trials and tribulations, adding depth and complexity to the narrative.
Brie Larson’s Stellar Performance
Brie Larson shines in her role as Elizabeth Zott, a sharp-minded, neurodivergent, and lovable chemist. Her portrayal captivates the audience, drawing us into Elizabeth’s world and leaving us invested in her story. Larson’s performance highlights Elizabeth’s determination and resilience in the face of societal expectations and professional challenges.
The debut episode of “Lessons in Chemistry” successfully establishes the groundwork for an engaging and thought-provoking series. “Little Miss Hastings” introduces us to Elizabeth Zott, a talented chemist torn between her scientific aspirations and societal pressures. The episode sets the stage for Elizabeth’s journey, highlighting her passion for chemistry, her budding connection with Calvin Evans, and the obstacles she must overcome.
As viewers, we are left eagerly anticipating the next installment of the series, eager to witness the development of Elizabeth and Calvin’s relationship and the future of their research endeavors. “Lessons in Chemistry” presents a compelling blend of science, romance, and societal commentary, promising an entertaining and insightful exploration of the challenges faced by women in the field of science during the 1960s.