‘Dickinson’ season 3 episode 10 review: he was a poet
This article contains spoilers for the Dickinson finale of the series “He was a poet.” Read our Dickinson season 3 episode 9 review.
Emily Dickinson left behind thousands of poems that only gained popularity after her death, and the vibrancy of her lyrics contrasted directly with the reclusive reputation of the prolific Amherst resident. Alena Smith’s Apple TV Plus series Dickinson isn’t the first to explore the production and life of Emily, but no other rendition has been so vivid or ambitious. Smith made her directorial debut with the Dickinson finale (she co-wrote the episode with R. Eric Thomas) and it’s a fitting ending to a series that turned the poet’s words into a love story – both romantic and capturing the Dickinson family bond .
If the penultimate episode was about Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) mending the breakup with Austin (Adrian Blake Enscoe) and achieving a better understanding with Sue (Ella Kemp), then the finale cements the legacy of the entire Dickinson clan. Besides her opening conversation with a newly decorated death (Wiz Khalifa) in her backyard and her seaside stay in the climax, Emily spends the majority of âThis Was a Poetâ in her bedroom.
When speaking to Death, Emily immediately recognizes a change of mood and he is no longer bored. His new pointed cut is part of his new take, and he mentions that a similar makeover might be just what Emily needs. ‘You have work to do, Miss Dickinson. You’re gonna need a uniform, âis Death’s advice, and this conversation sets the rest of the finale in motion – but not before the couple have a dance party for two.
Emily sheds the stuffy dress and corset when she comes home with much needed help from her sister Vinnie (Anna Baryshnikov). Vinnie is the only family member Emily interacts with during the finale and the high / low split makes thematic sense, but it’s slightly disappointing that the final scene the poet shared with his father was so heavy.
One person making peace on camera is Betty (Amanda Warren), who also recently shared a tension interaction with the poet. Betty has no reason to apologize and while Emily’s message of hope was stout, she also ignored Betty’s situation.
The arrival of the best seamstress in Amherst is rather fortuitous, as Emily has been touched by the seamstress bug and needs an expert to help her make this vision a reality. What comes next is one of the many moments that reference Emily’s legacy and the design of the white dress is vital to this image. This outfit is compulsory for “living in all possibility âandâ pure formless âare part of this aesthetic and costume designer Jennifer Moeller breathes life into this signature garment.
Betty’s expanded role is a highlight of the past season that shows the depth of Warren’s performance. An example of this is when visiting Higginson (Gabriel Ebert) gives her a gift she was not expecting. In one of the finale’s many emotionally satisfying (and heartbreaking) scenes, Betty gets confirmation that not only is Henry (Chinaza Uche) alive, but that he’s written her the equivalent of a book of letters. It’s a beautiful scene that character traits of “Hope” is the thing with the feathers “and finally allows Betty to experience some semblance of Emily’s much-vaunted feeling.
Higginson’s arrival at Emily’s house halfway through Austin and Sue’s baby name announcement strengthens the bond Sue has with her true love. Last week, envy is no longer a factor and Sue remains Emily’s greatest cheerleader. Here, Higginson talks about legacy and, in fact, he was instrumental in the posthumous publication poems by Emily. Emily’s mentor eventually met the poet, but that wouldn’t happen until 1870. Without Emily at the table, Higginson gets a snapshot of the poet’s world without seeing her, and he also witnesses another hilarious performance by Vinnie.
Before Higginson’s unplanned visit, Austin and Sue venture next door to make amends and reveal the name of their 4-month-old son. First, Austin wants to make sure he’s on the same page as his dad; if Dickinson’s legacy is to endure, they must stand on the right side of history. He presents a legal case for which he wants Edward’s help; a free-born black girl was to be sold into slavery for $ 600 by a well-connected Amherst family and her brothers face jail for intervening. The rescue of Angeline Palmer do took place and Edward Dickinson was the defense attorney, however, this event occurred in the 1840s. The rigging of dates does not diminish the power of this moment and when Edward (Toby Huss) agrees, he later discovers that his grandson will bear his name.
As Sue and Mrs. Dickinson (Jane Krakowski) organize refreshments downstairs, Emily’s absence is due to her concern to write. Before the final cut, Maggie (Darlene Hunt) notes that in Ireland poets were fought in war because they had to tell the story. In this case, Emily didn’t see the battlefield but captured the vibe of the tumultuous times.
Accompanied by the serene piano from “PremiÃ¨re GymnopÃ©die”, the action travels upstairs to Emily’s bedroom, and the changing seasons serve as a backdrop. Nine different poems are spoken (including “This Was a Poet”) during this sequence, and it effectively showcases both Steinfeld’s performance and Smith’s intuitive way of integrating Dickinson’s work.
Fantasy takes over in the final moments on a beach, where mermaids are a reality and Emily is joined by his famous dog Carlo. Getting into a rowboat, Emily announces, “Wait for me, I’m coming,” and that confidence reflects how the world has been slow to understand her genius. It also reads as a callback to the title poem from the very first episode, “Because I couldn’t stop for death – He kindly stopped for me –â. Emily couldn’t stop for death, but she captures what it feels like to be alive, just like the triumphant Dickinson final.