Lessons in Chemistry was a perfect show, which can often be a double-edged sword in terms of continuing the story. The series is also an adaptation of the novel of the same name, and it was supposed to be a limited series from the start. However, looking at its success, maybe the producers would be tempted to push the story ahead.
First of all, the series had a proper, happy ending, with Elizabeth returning to chemistry and the Remsen Foundation agreeing to support her work. She is also living a happy life, but the feeling of things being left incomplete comes from the number of people who did her wrong and never paid for it. In the final scene, Elizabeth explains that it is all part of life’s surprises, and one can only be prepared for them. Keeping that in mind, perhaps it can be questioned: what was the point of Calvin going through a lifetime of grief? Let us assume that he would have met Elizabeth even if he had reconciled with his mother long ago. But then, Elizabeth would never have gone on to star in the cooking show. “Supper at Six” was not just a means of livelihood for Elizabeth but a show that ended up telling women across the country to believe in themselves. One woman even went on to get a medical degree because of that. Therefore, the injustices against Calvin, Elizabeth, and Avery all came together to result in the superior outcome of thousands of women benefiting from Elizabeth’s words and vision. This means that, cosmically, there was a justification for these tragedies. But personally, is it okay for people to have gotten away with it all? If there is Lessons in Chemistry season 2, it would have to deviate from the book and try to answer these questions.
We cannot say enough that for us, Lessons in Chemistry remains a love story. It is worth questioning how this will continue in season 2. Let us start with Elizabeth. She said something to Walter about letting love into their lives when it knocks on their door. Would she let that apply to herself? Right from the beginning, it has looked like the nice doctor has a soft spot for Elizabeth. It wouldn’t be weird if his feelings ran deeper than that. Maybe it is time for Elizabeth to acknowledge that she could use the companionship. She is well on her way to doing that by accepting that she would have liked to spend her life with another person by her side, and later, to Avery, she also acknowledged that she has learned to understand the value of taking help from others. Elizabeth Zott may find another companion after all.
The next question would be regarding Elizabeth’s career. She is completing her PhD and has made Remsen more inclusive. But it remains that Hastings and her professor, who caused her to drop out, are still walking around unaffected. Elizabeth probably doesn’t care about them and has risen above it all, but that doesn’t mean that the audience who has watched her journey doesn’t want them to pay for what they did. These are imagined scenarios, but it would be something to see Elizabeth win the Remsen grant while competing against Hastings. It could be on the same topic as abiogenesis, and it is important to remember that Elizabeth has a lot more social capital now than she did before. The men will still try to undermine her by using the ‘cooking’ show against her, and Elizabeth would have to prove that she has had a far greater impact than any one of them ever could. In addition to that, what if Elizabeth runs into her old professor or encounters a similar situation in her new workplace? How would her method of fighting against that have changed?
There is also something to discuss about Madeline. She desperately wanted to know more about her father, and while she has found an answer of sorts, it is likely not enough. As she grows older, she may continue to dig deeper. Madeline may also question the Father in St. Luke’s as to why he willfully stopped Calvin from reuniting with his family, and this could lead to an institution-wide effect. The girl is determined enough to do that.
Finally, one of the most upsetting parts of the finale was Harriet’s loss in the courtroom. That was clearly because of the racism, and there is no doubt that the entire neighborhood would have had to move. But was there any possibility to stop that? If there wasn’t, how did Harriet change as a result of this, and how did that end up affecting Elizabeth? The reason for this question is that in Lessons in Chemistry season 1, Harriet was how the writers discussed intersectionality. There is scope for the conversation to grow in season 2, considering the predicted arcs for Elizabeth. In season 1, Elizabeth found courage when she saw that others were dealing undauntedly with struggles much greater than hers. But in season 2, Harriet cannot be just a source of strength. She better have a full story for herself, and it would be great if we got a glimpse of the struggles of women of color in the field of science.
Finally, we wonder what the relationship between Elizabeth, Madeline, and Avery would be like. They are all connected by a man they wish they had known more about. The common ground between them exists, but it remains an enigma of sorts. If the show picks up where it left off, Madeline would be a budding teenager, and that is a difficult age. Avery might be a highly religious person, and there is no telling how her faith would come in the way of her relationships with Madeline and Elizabeth. Essentially, Lessons in Chemistry has to be about increasing the dialogue it has started and also about the characters discovering more kinds of love. Some of the final conversations in the show were about that, and we are sure that this will be continued if a second season is announced.