Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Living Dead Things

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Elizabeth Zott's life comes crashing down in Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Episode 3.

As Elizabeth deals with Calvin's death, some unexpected news pushes her to work faster and harder than ever.

Lessons In Chemistry Season 1 Episode 3 opens interestingly, with Elizabeth and Calvin's dog Six-Thirty becoming sentient in a voiceover.

Elizabeth Listens To Dr. Donatti - Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Episode 3

The choice is odd, but works for the story. Six-Thirty explains how he found Elizabeth in the first place, working through the details carefully.

He was meant to be a military dog, training with rottweilers and dobermans, unsure of how he fits into the picture.

Calvin And Six-Thirty Go For A Run - Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Episode 2

Six-Thirty escapes from the training academy, left out and alone until Elizabeth finds him rustling through her trashcan. She takes him in, and it's the first time he's ever known love.

After Calvin's accident, B.J. Novak's Six-Thirty is distraught. He runs home to find Elizabeth, and as viewers, we're brought back into the human headspace.

We revisit Six-Thirty's emotional narration several times throughout the episode, which is used as a fascinating tool.

Elizabeth uses Six-Thirty as a crutch, though she cannot express much emotion regarding the dog. She feeds and cares for him but isn't emotionally present throughout Lessons In Chemistry Season 1 Episode 3.

The choice to have Six-Thirty's emotional space explored offers the viewers a different perspective. Holding in her emotions throughout the episode, Elizabeth shows one side of grief. Six-Thirty shows another. The dichotomy between the two is rich but tough to swallow.

Fran Frask Is Emotional - Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Episode 3

At Hastings Lab, the news of Calvin's death travels quickly.

Calvin's lab is cleaned and packed up before Elizabeth can take any of her work, which she learns when she asks Fran for her belongings.

Fran, shocked to see Elizabeth in the office, tries to be patient with Elizabeth's line of questioning. She's empathetic to Elizabeth but still has issues with her attitude.

As Elizabeth wasn't legally bound to Calvin, Fran explains they have to wait to give his belongings to her until an appropriate amount of time has passed, as Hastings must wait to see if there's a next of kin.

Brie Larson's Elizabeth is frustrated but understands she has to work within the societal framework. In the modern day, it's difficult to watch such a strong-willed woman be shut down so fervently.

Elizabeth Speaks To Fran Season 1 Episode 3 - Lessons in Chemistry

As Elizabeth grapples with her challenging emotions, she begins to experience some tell-tale signs of pregnancy.

She wretches at the sight and smell of food, waking up in the night to be sick, and though it's her nightmare, she seems immediately aware of her pregnancy.

Rather than depending on a doctor, Elizabeth takes matters into her own hands. She steals a pair of frogs from a lab at Hastings, where she's been reassigned to work with another Chemist.

After injecting one with her urine, Elizabeth brings the frogs home and begins working on her at-home lab.

She understands if she wants to finish her and Calvin's work, she'll need to do so independently.

Harriet Sloane At A Committee Meeting - Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Episode 2

When the frog experiment confirms she's pregnant, Elizabeth takes a sledgehammer to her kitchen counter.

A reporter who was irksome to Elizabeth at Calvin's funeral runs a story on Calvin, mischaracterizing him.

Harriet, Calvin's (and now Elizabeth's) neighbor, brings it over in agitation. She shares the story with Elizabeth, who is too numb to react.

Aja Naomi King's Harriet and Brie Larson's Elizabeth's relationship begins to flourish as Elizabeth's professional life falls apart.

Elizabeth Zott In The Lab - Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Episode 1

Back at Hastings, Elizabeth's days are monotonous. The chemist she's reassigned to is uninteresting, and her work is dull.

She adopts a routine at home of waking up early to use Calvin's rowing machine, working, eating, and working on her at-home lab.

Elizabeth finds herself having a tough time emotionally. She can't seem to access what she's feeling, especially considering her relationship with Calvin was more private.

Elizabeth is blissfully unaware of how Hastings treats her research at work.

Fran Frask Plots Against Elizabeth - Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Episode 1

While Elizabeth works with a new chemist, Dr. Donatti attempts to continue Calvin's research.

Though he's aware that Elizabeth was assisting in Calvin's work and that they'd presented it together, Dr. Donatti affirms the research belongs to Hastings now that Calvin has died.

Rather than asking Elizabeth to step in and assist him, he calls in Dr. Horowitz, who typically works in the Ammino Acids lab, and asks him to help in recreating the results,

It's clear that Dr. Horowitz is torn, but Lessons In Chemistry Season 1 pulls no punches in the way it portrays male power, and ultimately, Dr. Horowitz is pushed to agree.

Elizabeth Works In The Lab - Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Episode 2

Elizabeth quickly understands she won't be getting her work back, and once it's revealed she's pregnant, she knows time is of the essence.

She works on her at-home lab as much as possible while maintaining her schedule. When she begins showing in her pregnancy, things become trickier for Elizabeth.

Elizabeth learns she's being terminated after being called into a meeting with Dr. Donatti, her current boss, and Fran.

She fights back to the best of her ability, using scientific facts regarding pregnancy to make her case. Dr. Donatti is firm in his decision, belittling her and telling her Calvin would be ashamed.

Elizabeth, who knows she knows Calvin better than anyone at Hastings, is evident with Dr. Donatti that he wouldn't before exiting.

Elizabeth And Six-Thirty - Lessons in Chemistry Season 1 Episode 2

With Elizabeth's journey growing more complicated, Lessons In Chemistry has plunged its viewers into the story headfirst, leaving little room for contemplation.

Throughout Lessons In Chemistry Season 1 Episode 3, Elizabeth's grief is quiet, driving her forward despite her desire to stand back.

There's a sense of anger present in Elizabeth throughout the episode, an agitation that she clearly can't name. Elizabeth's feelings are strong, whether at herself, Calvin, or the world.

Though she has some insurmountable adversity ahead, Elizabeth's goals are clear. She wants to finish her and Calvin's work before she has to choose between her work and her family.

With Elizabeth's grit and determination, it may not matter that she has an adversary in Dr. Donatti that she's not even aware of yet. Elizabeth, we've already seen, will overcome anything thrown her way.

Living Dead Things Review

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Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (12 Votes)

Cher Thompson is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.

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