Louisa wakes up in her childhood bed and wishes that everything that had happened since she left home were a bad dream. No such luck. Her sister Jane tells her that Sissy has been taking care of her.
Gradgrind comes to check on Louisa, really sad and sorry, and full of apologies for her life. He acknowledges that by avoiding emotionally educating her, he set her up for having things turn out so badly.
Gradgrind comments that Louisa's sister Jane is turning out much better, even though she is still being educated according to the system. They agree that this is most likely because Gradgrind has been away in London doing Parliament stuff. Besides learning about facts, Jane has been hanging out with Sissy – the only normal person in their house and thus a good influence.
Sissy comes to check on Louisa and says that they should let bygones be bygones and renew their early friendship. Louisa is cold and distant to this idea at first. She's embarrassed to suddenly need Sissy like Sissy needed her when they were kids. Quickly, though, she comes around. Sissy and Louisa hug.