Set in 1800s New England, ‘Dickinson‘ tells the story of one of America’s greatest literary minds, Emily Dickinson, in a delightfully trippy and bizarre manner. The part historical drama and part absurdist comedy manages to be almost as charmingly strange as some of Dickinson’s poems. As the show traces Emily’s youthful years, it depicts the author’s constant grappling with the idea of fame while trying to establish how and why she remained almost entirely unpublished until after she died in real life. ‘Dickinson’ is jarring in the way that it combines modern dialogue with period sensibilities, which makes for a fresh and hilarious take on history.
While the first season of ‘Dickinson’ mostly revolves around Emily’s feelings for her brother’s fiancee and her need to be recognized as the genius poet that she is, the second season is a more grounded, realistic, and mature installment, with Emily and her siblings growing up and coming into their own. Here’s a little recap of the fourth episode of ‘Dickinson’ season 2, followed by our explanation of its ending. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Dickinson Season 2 Episode 4 Recap
The episode, titled ‘The Daisy follows soft the Sun,’ starts with Emily waking up with writer’s block for the first time in her life. She complains to Maggie about how she cannot write because she is so anxious about Sam Bowles not liking her submission. The wildly bratty Newman girls, Clara and Anna, have dug a deep hole in the Dickinsons’ grounds. The girls and their misbehavior is a constant source of consternation for Emily Senior, and she wants to talk to Edward about how they cannot keep the girls with them much longer. Edward, however, has no time to listen to his wife because he has a full day of bird-watching planned.
To clear her head and hoping to be struck by inspiration, Emily tags along with Edward and goes bird-watching too. Edward and Emily run into Austin, who introduces them to the fascinating landscape artist, Frederick Law Olmsted. Intrigued by his creative process, Emily ditches daddy and goes off with Olmsted. Edward confides in Austin about the Newman girls being difficult and rather unruly. Austin, who wants to have a child, offers to adopt both the girls and take them off his parents’ hands. Sue is not on board with the idea, but Austin insists and seems determined to be the greatest cousin/stepdad/buddy that ever lived.
While watching a bird too keenly, Edward neglects to watch where he’s going and ends up falling into the hole that Clara and Anna had dug. Instead of getting him out, Emily Senior jumps in after him so that they can talk without distractions. Emily’s parents discuss their sad sex life in the muddy hole. Elsewhere, Ship proposes to Lavinia in front of all their friends and misinterprets her discomfort as a yes. When Emily becomes completely lost in a hedge maze, Sam Bowles finds her and informs her of his decision about her poem.
Dickinson Season 2 Episode 4 Ending: Why is Emily Not Ecstatic About Sam’s Decision?
When Sam tells Emily that he loves her poem and he is going to publish it in his newspaper, she smiles uncertainly and is visibly not over the moon. This is because Emily is still not sure about becoming famous and how that will affect her writing. Ever since the first episode of season 2, Emily has been weighing the pros and cons of fame. Will being a renowned poet change the course of the river of her creativity, which has flown freely and unbridled till now? Emily clearly is not enjoying the process of submitting her work for review and scrutiny. She is crippled with anxiety from the moment she gives Sam her poem to the very minute he tells her, days later, that he likes the poem. That kind of anxiety is enough to put Emily off the idea of fame.
Why Does Lavinia Not Want to Marry Ship?
Ever since Ship told Lavinia about his wild and adventurous ex-girlfriend, Lola Montez, Lavinia has become borderline obsessed with the seemingly free-spirited woman. While previously, Lavinia was all about getting married, she has now grown up into a strong, individualistic woman who isn’t afraid to own her sexuality. She dreams of becoming like Lola Montez, free of society’s expectations while doing her own thing.
The more she interacts with Ship and listens to his ideas of an “ideal” obedient wife, the more she realizes that that’s not her. Lavinia is promiscuous and proud and doesn’t want to be tied down to one husband. When Ship proposes in front of half the town, Lavinia is thrown off for a moment, and he takes her shocked “Okay, but…” to mean “yes” to marriage.
Read More: Is Dickinson Based on a True Story?