Major, and I mean major, spoilers for the book and miniseries Lessons in Chemistry are ahead. If you haven’t seen the Brie Larson-led show on the 2023 TV schedule, you can stream it with an Apple TV+ subscription.
With every book-to-screen adaptation, it’s a given that changes will be made as the project goes from page to live-action. That was certainly the case for the Apple TV+ adaptation of Lessons in Chemistry. The show made bold decisions that were different from the book, like completely changing Harriet’s character. However, it’s also still very faithful to the novel by Bonnie Garmus. This is especially true in the finale, which is actually quite different from its source material.
Now, Brie Larson, who leads the Lessons in Chemistry cast as Elizabeth Zott and was an executive producer on the series, has opened up about some of the changes made in the finale, and why the ending was “perfect.”
How The End Of Apple TV+’s Lessons In Chemistry Differs From The Book
In the book, following the publication of an offensively unflattering article in Life, Elizabeth decides to quit “Supper At Six” and go back into chemistry. She affectionately tells her audience that “courage is the root of change,” and that they should “pledge” to not hold themselves back. That goes for her too. The article was the inciting incident for the chemist to make a change she’d been wanting for a long time.
Then, she finds out the mysterious and endowed Avery Parker is Calvin’s biological mother, and she approaches Elizabeth with a preposition to take over Hastings. The scientist accepts the job, and she’s able to take over the lab she loves.
In the show, the ending is quite different. Elizabeth decides to take on Tampax as a sponsor for the show. She is able to make a big statement about women’s equality through this, and she also reveals that this episode of “Supper at Six” would be her final. The cooking show doesn’t end, but she leaves under the condition that healthy change will be made at the network.
After that, there’s a three-year time jump, and we learn that Brie Larson’s character went back to school to complete her PhD, and as she’s working on her degree, she’s also teaching chemistry.
While vastly different, both endings work quite well, and Brie Larson explained why she thought the end of the series was “perfect.”
Why Brie Larson Thinks Lessons In Chemistry’s Ending Is ‘Perfect’
Having Lessons in Chemistry end with such a bold feminist statement was incredibly moving. Speaking specifically about the finale and the Tampax sponsorship with TV Line Lason called the moment “just perfect,” and said:
Along with this new, and incredibly fitting sponsor, Larson also spoke about how “Supper at Six” came to a close, and why they decided to leave the show’s fate open-ended. The star and executive producer said:
As we discussed earlier, this ending is very different from the book’s. However, it’s still true to character and incredibly satisfying.
To compare the two endings for yourself, you can pick up Bonnie Garmus’ book at any bookstore, and you can stream all eight episodes of Lessons in Chemistry right now. When you are done with that, and have come to your own conclusion about this finale, make sure to check out all of Apple TV+’s best shows.