Six episodes don't feel like enough for this drama-comedy. Many exciting things are happening, so it will be interesting to see if Netflix quickly commissions a second season.
This article contains major spoilers. The Chair Recap The season opens with Ji-Yoon being appointed to her new position as Chair of the English Department and settling into her new office. Her colleagues consist primarily of archaic intellectuals in the twilight of their teaching heyday, who refuse to criticize and hold on to old-fashioned ideas. Due to financial constraints and low attendance in English classes, Ji-Yoon is summoned by the Dean. He informs her that she would be forced to retire some of these very same colleagues. The already flustered, newly appointed chair then has to bring her star colleague Bill, an author of mediocre fame, into line for his repeated late appearances to his lectures. During one of his classes, Bill inadvertently does a Nazi salute, which is caught on camera by many of his students, and the video clip subsequently begins to spread like wildfire. Ji-Yoon's domestic life seems equally chaotic. Her young adopted Latin daughter Ju Ju and her Korean father seem unable to communicate and yet have to spend all day together. The single mother gets repeated calls from Ju Ju's school, complaining about the child's disturbing artwork and behavior. Soon, Bill is suspended because of his multiple indiscretions but proves to be a healthy companion for Ju Ju, who opens up to him. The Dean, on the other hand, proposes that he be replaced by David Duchovny (who makes an amusing cameo as a self-obsessed superstar who wants to acquire his Ph.D. merely to be dubbed "Doctor.")
Ji-Yoon discovers that one of her department's most promising faculty members, Yasmin, has been granted a position at Yale after persuading Duchovny to donate in exchange for an honorary degree. The young Black professor confronts Ji-Yoon for not standing up for herself and falling prey to the power politics of the university that have historically sidelined women and minorities. The Chair of the English Department eventually convinces Yasmin to stay back. Still, it has to be concerned about Bill's imminent disciplinary hearing. The Dean is convening to ensure that he is sacked from his position.
How does Ji-Yoon handle the pressure at Pembroke? Episode 6 of The Chair Season 1 sees all our big plot threads together for this grand finale. Ji-Yoon discusses her choice to take the Pembroke role, delivering a heartfelt confession about how she feels. Only, she chews up Ju-Ju's therapy session with these concerns, eventually leading to her heading into work. Other students are displeased with her claimed gag order, which has extended around the campus and into the press. Her lectures even evolve into political chatter about people of color in positions of power. Ji-Yoon, however, doesn't have an answer. Instead, attention falls to Bill's disciplinary hearing. Ji-Yoon has his back, printing out glowing recommendations for Bill and failing to print out the critiques. Larson is concerned, questioning how emotionally invested she is in this and not looking at the bigger picture. What with the current scandal around campus, it's unnecessary heat on Ji-Yoon.
What's the deal with Daphne and Bill? All season long, The Chair has had a weird vibe between Daphne and Bill. Well, the student heads over to Bill's house and lets herself in, removing her jacket and sitting on the sofa. Bill immediately becomes freaked out though and tells the girl he doesn't want to sleep. Daphne laughs incredulously. It turns out she doesn't want to sleep with him and wants him to read her novel!
Along with her manuscript, though falls a newspaper, with the headline about Ji-Yoon's scandal. Given Bill lives under a rock, this is the first he hears of this, and he rushes out the door. Bill hurries over to Ji-Yoon's place and pitches his brilliant idea. He will sue the faculty and then use the settlement money to go abroad and study in Paris. He wants her and little Ju-Jo to follow, swooning her with this idea. So much so in fact, the pair end up kissing outside. Ji-Yoon eventually pulls away and speaks her mind. She believes Bill is using Sharon's death as a blanket to disguise his self-destructive behavior. Ji-Yoon is entirely in the right here, but Bill can't take it and eventually bails, calling her a lackey to the Dean.
What's the outcome of Bill's hearing? The hearing finally goes ahead, and Bill speaks his piece. As he does, Ji-Yoon changes her mind and decides they should look at the bigger picture after all. Given that Ji-Yoon is not impartial, she decides it's not a fair procedure and skips out, allowing the others to decide. Well, Bill is inevitably let go while a close-run vote of no confidence comes out positively for Ji-Yoon at 6-5. She's able to keep her position. She decides not to. Instead, Ji-Yoon gives up her part of the chair and gives it to Joan instead. The students seem happy with this decision, and with no Bill at school either, it seems things are on the up.
How does The Chair Season 1 end? Bill reads Daphne's novel while Yaz and Rentz team up together in class. With Joan now the chair and lumped with this – as Ji-Yoon puts it – ticking time bomb, it remains to be seen how she'll handle the pressure. Outside the campus, Bill arrives to greet Ji-yoon outside. Despite winning his settlement and getting a fair amount of money, he turns it down and decides to fight to try and get his job back instead. With no salary to support his daughter, Bill is determined not to give up and keep teaching. He has enough to tide him over until Friday… by which point Ji-Yoon offers him $12 an hour for babysitting duties. Thanks For Reading.
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