How did Reverend Wakely and Calvin know each other in Lessons in Chemistry?

Episode 2. Lewis Pullman and Brie Larson in "Lessons in Chemistry," premiering October 13, 2023 on Apple TV+.
Episode 2. Lewis Pullman and Brie Larson in "Lessons in Chemistry," premiering October 13, 2023 on Apple TV+. /

At the end of Lessons in Chemistry Episode 6, we learned Reverend Wakely knows Calvin Evans. How did they know each other exactly? We find out in Episode 7.

Caution: This post contains spoilers for Lessons in Chemistry Episode 7.

The penultimate episode of Lessons in Chemistry didn’t focus all that much on Elizabeth. Instead, it was a focus on Calvin. We got to see his past and the way he saw his relationship with Elizabeth. Of course, it meant watching his death again, and that was heartbreaking once more.

What this episode gave us was a look at how Reverend Wakely and Calvin knew each other. It was clear from the way Wakely was shocked to find out that Calvin is Mad’s father that they knew each other. The question then was how. Could Wakely actually share more about Mad’s father now that he had an actual name?

How Wakely and Calvin knew each other in Lessons in Chemistry

We went back to 1948, with Calvin delivering a presentation at Harvard. Wakely was in the audience and was impressed with Calvin’s knowledge, and it led to the two of them forming a friendship. That friendship was through letters, and it turns out that Calvin had shared a lot of his thoughts and feelings about Elizabeth, including how he wanted to propose but decided against it. He was more than happy to be in her life, though.

We also learned more about the letters that he received and how it was Harriet who helped with the cease-and-desist letter. This episode gives us a few more details about Calvin’s parents and how people would pretend to be his family just to get money.

I wish we got to see Wakely as he realized that Calvin had died. However, at least now he has all the information and he’s able to share so much with Elizabeth and Mad. While he clearly knew about Elizabeth, a lot more pieces of Wakely’s puzzle now fit together, and the two can connect on a lot more than their debates over faith and science. It also helps Elizabeth and Mad learn more about who Calvin was.

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Lessons in Chemistry airs on Fridays on Apple TV+.