Dickinson season 3, episode 7 recap – “The Future never spoke”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: December 5, 2021
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Apple TV plus series Dickinson season 3, episode 7 - The Future never spoke


Emily and Lavinia travel to the 1950s, where they meet a fan.

This recap of Apple TV+s Dickinson season 3, episode 7, “The Future never spoke,” contains spoilers. 

Read the recap of the previous episode.

“I think you are so unbelievably lucky to have someone you truly love to spend your life with,” Lavinia tells your sister. “I would run into their arms and never let them go.” Moving towards the series’ endgame, it seems like that’s where Emily might be headed, but not without some curveballs.

Dickinson season 3, episode 7 recap

If I have any critique with this episode (and the series), it’s that this conflict feels a little out of proportion — conflict for conflict’s sake. It boils down to both parties being deeply in love with the other but interpreting the others’ actions to imply a lack of faithfulness. Emily protests that she writes to Higginson as he “only knows my words,” which Sue takes to imply that her feelings are getting in the way of her literary critique. “I want the mess,” Sue says and invites Emily to live with her.

Emily, however, is still upset and runs into a likewise upset Lavinia, still convinced she will be single forever. “Imagine if we could just be in the future,” she says — and just like Bill and Ted or Marty Mcfly (hence the 1955) before them, they manage to travel through time!

In the future, they rendezvous with Sylvia Plath (an excellent Chloe Fineman), a student at Smith College (“there are female colleges?”) who invites the sisters to tour their own home. Plath sees their costumes and attention to detail of the interior as an elaborate bit (I guess this is what women’s colleges are like) and boasts of her similarity to Emily Dickinson, whose poems are surprisingly unburned (Lavinia did not follow through with Emily’s request).

But the image Plath has of Emily, the one present in our culture at large, differs from what Emily herself knows (and what we’ve seen in the show). Plath describes her as a “morbidly depressed” spinster, “the original sad girl” and makes bold claims about her love life — which Emily refutes. Until Plath references her love for another woman, which surprises Vinny. When Emily asks why her personal life is necessary to study her poems, Plath responds, “do you think you can pull the two apart?”

The ending 

When they return, Emily reveals her love for Sue to her sister, who tells her that “real Love doesn’t exist in your imagination. It exists right here.” But Vinny has no recollection of the trip. It seems like this might be all in Emily’s head. She’s as crazy as those in the future say she is.

Emily has only a moment or so to doubt the reality of their journey as George runs over with the dreadful news of Fraser Stearns’ death. But Emily already knew this would happen.

Additional points

  • Meanwhile, Edward finds a cannabis plant in the greenhouse. He and Emily Norcross decide to try it and have a wonderful time until Emily Norcross starts to feel paranoid. “Count the spoons!”
  • Austin, wishing to take care of his child, briefly considers draft dodging.
  • Sojourner Truth (Ziwe) returns to convince Betty to put herself out there (and to remind us all that she’s 60!) Betty gets ice cream with the postman, who reveals Henry’s location… and low chance of survival.
  • As for Henry, he once again pleads with Higginson to arm the soldiers in the face of an advancing confederate army, and once again Higginson delivers empty words and liberal sentiments of “moving too fast.” Henry tries to push him towards radicalism, which seems to have no effect until he quietly points Henry in the direction of some arms.

What did you think of Dickinson season 3, episode 7? Comment below. 

Apple TV+, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
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