Lessons in Chemistry season 1 episode 5 recap and review: CH3COOH

In the fifth episode of Lessons in Chemistry, Elizabeth decides to accept Walter’s offer but finds herself at odds with her new boss. The episode is now streaming on Apple TV+.


Elizabeth sells tupperware for a living and raises Madeline to be a child who is smarter and more mature than other children her age. Elizabeth cooks, rows, and continues researching. She and Madeline are extremely close to Harriet’s family, and Harriet is a lawyer now.

When Madeline is asked to fill a family tree at school, she starts asking questions about Calvin, and Elizabeth answers each of them truthfully. Madeline’s teacher gets annoyed with her for making intelligent observations and tells Elizabeth that she should consider sending Madeline to a private school where the curriculum would challenge her.

For a job, Elizabeth needs to get a recommendation from Hastings. Borowitz, who has replaced Donatti now, asks Elizabeth to work at Hastings as a junior chemist and publish with him. However, Elizabeth declines the job offer, as he will always be the first author.

One day, when Walter comes to pick Amanda up from Elizabeth’s house, he talks to her about being a single parent; Walter has recently gotten divorced. They also discuss why Elizabeth would make a good TV show host.

When Walter tells Elizabeth that she will be in charge because this will be her show and that it will pay more than she has ever made, she agrees to do the show. She needs the money to send her daughter to a private school.

Elizabeth starts working with Walter, but she does not like the set or the cue cards prepared by the crew and decides to make changes. She refuses to go against her own principles by reading the sexist script or wearing clothes that hinder her movement.

This is not appreciated by the station head, Phil. He wants the host to be seductive, docile, and smile more to please the male audience, while Elizabeth, who is a scientist, wants to be more practical and focus on being a good instructor. 

Walter, who is stuck between the two, advises Elizabeth to be more than just a scientist and make this show whatever she wants it to be. Phil wants to get the show canceled, so he prepones the first live episode, hoping that Elizabeth would mess it up.

Elizabeth speaks to her audience with respect. She gives importance to women’s work and believes in creating something worthwhile. She gets rid of all the changes that Phil made to the set and wears her lab coat as well as her goggles while cooking.

Phil gets into an argument with Elizabeth about not pleasing men, but Elizabeth stands her ground. The male viewers hate Elizabeth and the show, but the women love it. The show is a hit, and Phil cannot do anything to make Elizabeth bend to his will.

Now that Elizabeth is a TV show host, she does not spend as much time with Madeline as she used to do. Furthermore, Madeline is going to a private school now, and it is taking her some time to adjust.

Madeline goes through Calvin’s belongings and comes to know that he went to a school called St. Luke’s. When she goes to church with Harriet’s daughter, she meets Reverend Wakely. She tells him about Calvin, and he looks for all the St. Luke’s in the country for Madeline.

Madeline admits to him that she misses her father, even though she has never met him. Elizabeth’s absence makes Madeline lonely. Even when Elizabeth tries to spend time with her, she keeps getting recognized everywhere she goes and fails to spend quality time with her daughter.


  • Madeline’s character is adorable, amusing, and impressive at the same time. She is exactly what one would expect Calvin and Elizabeth’s daughter to be like. 
  • Elizabeth and Harriet’s friendship has grown into a heartwarming bond. The two women support each other and are almost like family.
  • It is so satisfying to see Elizabeth stand up to Phil. Elizabeth’s show’s reviews that were given by men highlight men’s unrealistic and maddening expectations of women, and it makes her show’s success even more rewarding.
Lessons in Chemistry season 1 episode 5
Lessons in Chemistry season 1 episode 5 recap and review: CH3COOH 1

Director: Millicent Shelton

Date Created: 2023-10-29 14:27

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Lessons in Chemistry season 1 episode 4 recap and review: Primitive Instinct

More from The Envoy Web