Dickinson season 2, episode 7 recap – “Forever – is composed of Nows”

February 5, 2021
Cole Sansom 0
Apple TV+, Weekly TV


The Dickinsons head to the spa where Emily has time to work through her Sam Bowles induced anxiety.



The Dickinsons head to the spa where Emily has time to work through her Sam Bowles induced anxiety.

This recap of Dickinson season 2, episode 7, “Forever – is composed of Nows”, contains spoilers.

Gosh is this show on a roll. In these uncertain times, it’s been a blessing to have such a consistently hilarious and moving show on a weekly basis. I’m glad the creators and Apple have eschewed binge-watching, as this show works so much better doled out, giving us something to look forward to each week. And boy has it been brilliant this season.

Forever is composed of nows,” wrote Emily, and that description could be applied to this episode (sorry) which offers up a series of scenes where Emily tries to work through her problem (the Bowles situation) through other people in her life.

It’s been weeks since she went to the opera, and Emily has given up all hope of being published by Bowles. “I hate my life and I want to die,” she says. “That’s exactly why we need a spa day,” her mother responds. 

Aunt Lavinia, stepping into her role as the kooky relative (every family has one) takes the female members of her family to the aforementioned spa. There are mudbaths (“are we sure this is mud?”), massages, people who thrust you in and out of cold water, people who hit you with leaves, yoga(?) and, of course, opportunities for “paroxysms.” 

For Emily, it’s a chance to talk to Sue, who she hasn’t seen since the last episode. When she gets her moment, Emily frets about having ruined her chance at being published. Worse, she no longer has any motivation to write. “I don’t believe in myself anymore,” she says, blaming first Bowles, then Sue (who introduced them) for her predicament. But Sue, who has been cold all season, doesn’t isn’t able to cure her friend (and there’s an extent to which Emily has been relying on her as an outlet for her problems, a role Sue does not seem interested in playing any longer).

Next, Lavinia attempts to make conversation, to which Emily initially rebuffs her, before revealing that her internal torment is over a boy. Lavinia is initially shocked, thinking her sister “over” things like boys, but she’s more helpful than Sue and gives Emily an ego-boost by telling her sister that she’s her hero.

Unexpectedly, Emily then runs into George. “I’m getting my shvitz in”, he says, before elaborating on his trip out west, which wasn’t as glamorous as he anticipated. Still, he keeps his head up and talks about life being a “journey,” before reminiscing about Emily’s poetry. “Thank you for believing with me,” she says, remembering a man in her life who had his flaws but was supportive of her poetry and didn’t play games with her.

Finally in Dickinson season 2, episode 7, Emily’s mother convinces her to partake in an activity called “cocoon rebirth” which seems to me like a cruel form of torture. But their attempt to escape allows the two to break down the walls between them.“I hate this place,” Emily Norcross says and shares a moment of laughter with her daughter. Emily uses the moment as an opportunity to confide in her mother about the control she feels Bowles has over her, and Emily Norcross is nothing but supportive. “Someone worthy of you shouldn’t make you feel sick,” she says and talks about how Edward makes her feel. “You don’t deserve to be unwell,” she says.  Emily Norcross often imposes idealistic standards for her children, but she cares so deeply about their wellbeing. “Nothing about this place has made me except for what you just said,” Emily says, finally feeling relieved, and no longer with the urge to publish. Bowles’s power over her has waned.

That is until Emily returns home. Sam has apparently made it his mission to become involved in Emily’s life, having convinced Edward to invest in his newspaper. She confesses to having made peace with not being published, and Bowles, with that s**t-eating grin of his (can you tell that my opinion of Sam has gone south?) waxes about “waiting for the right moment” and tells Emily her poem will be on the front page of the paper.

Emily catches the bait hook, line, and sinker, and not only thanks him for being published, but runs upstairs to present him ALL OF HER POEMS. I repeat, ALL OF THEM! I guess we’ll have to wait another week to find out if he was telling the truth or if Sam is a good-for-nothing man who is playing with our Emily! (I know I started off talking about the weekly relief, but a week of anxiety over something other than our own lives is good for the soul…I guess?)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.