The Final Episode of the Dickinson TV Show, The Last Scene Explained – The Hollywood Reporter

[The following story contains spoilers from the third and final season of Apple TV+’s Dickinson.]

When Dickinson host Alena Smith introduced her coming-of-age TV show to Emily Dickinson, she framed it as a three-season arc, ideally ending with her young poet in Civil War, when she was most productive.

But when it came to creating the final scene of the Apple TV+ show, Smith, as she has so many times throughout the series, turned to Dickinson poems, especially Hailee Steinfeld’s version of the poem. of the poet as she looks at a picture of a ship in her room.

“I start early, bringing my dog,” Steinfeld’s Emily muses before viewers spot her on a beach, where, as in the poem, she encounters mermaids.

“Like all of our visual surrealist moments on Dickinson, we are drawing from specific lines of poetry,” Smith said The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m obsessed with the words ‘Mermaids in the Basement / Step out to look at me,’ and I see mermaids as symbols of female creativity and also symbols of something that can never be. touchable but is always calling you. Similar to the act of sailing, that’s what you hear in various poems by Emily. I think it’s hopefully a visual statement about female agency and female creativity as well as the whistle of all the poems she hasn’t written yet. “

Smith adds that she wants to continue writing her portrait of Dickinson and produce the extras, she feels confident that Apple will let her do it, but she feels like at the end of the season three, this particular story is complete.

“For me, Civil War was the moment when Emily reached her full potential as an artist, and I feel like once you get her there, you’ve completed the project that this show is all about. want to do,” explains Smith. “Certainly there is a lot more material to be explored in Emily Dickinson’s life, but this show was always meant to show her adulthood, so I feel like we’ve got there. I feel good about it; I don’t have to move on and I already have a master deal with Apple, so I feel like what I really want to do is move on and develop something new. ”

Although Smith knew the Civil War would DickinsonLast point, she didn’t know she would be working on the final episodes of the series during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current situation, Smith said, “has completely infused the proceedings and added all these new layers of meaning to what we’re doing because of the prevalence of this seemingly inanimate death. “

She added, “There were lines that got cut off from group chats when we were all alive [the pandemic]. It’s not as if it changed the plot, but it certainly filled the atmosphere. ”

DickinsonEmily’s final season sees Emily grappling with whether poetry really offers hope. While Emily claims in the final episode that she will continue to write for herself even if her work doesn’t move anyone else, Steinfeld argues that Emily ultimately believes poetry can offer hope. .

“Although she’s been told differently throughout this season – she said words don’t matter, and it’s about being out there and being on the front lines and doing what you can to stay there and be positive. and help – I think she realizes she didn’t. Steinfeld said: ‘it’s not necessary to be on the front lines to be affected by what’s going on and fuel the loss and pain the nation is going through. via. “Feeling that and being able to write about it, she’s been able to connect with people and become the source of hope she’s worked so hard to have for everyone this season.”

The finale of the third season also offers the latest manifestation of Emily’s strained relationship with her father as she is appalled that he refuses to transcend the patriarchal social norms of the time and plans to let her children live. sons inherit his property, including unmarried daughters.

Steinfeld called Emily’s realization that she wasn’t and didn’t want to be like her father a “heartbreakingly beautiful moment.”

“It’s the moment so many of us at some point in our childhood life realize that our parents are human; Steinfeld said. “Emily put her father on this pedestal, he put herself on this pedestal and that’s all she ever knew he was above all else, and she lived her life to please him. him and make him proud. and to make sure he’s approving of who she is. But in the end he didn’t spend much time with her. He doesn’t have a growth mindset like hers.”

As for where they ended up, after the finale showed Emily isolated from the rest of her family, Steinfeld called the father-daughter dynamic “a very complicated relationship push and pull, up and down. , complicated”.

She added, “I thought she ended up in a place where she would always love him like her father, but she got to a place where she realized he wasn’t the person she was. she believes he is her whole life.”

Steinfeld said that she also knew from the start that Smith envisioned DickinsonThe story is a three-season journey, and although her time playing the great American poet is limited, she personally “has gone through a lot of growth” through her work on the show. .

In the future, Steinfeld hopes to be inspired by Dickinson’s “fearless” nature.

“She lived in a time where she left a lot. She really doesn’t stop at doing what makes her feel most alive, and that’s her writing business. It’s creativity, it’s nature, it’s inexplicably herself. “She found a way to do it in a very complicated time,” says Steinfeld. “I thought to myself, ‘If she could do it then, I can do it now.’ I also love that she does what she does not out of acclamation and validation but because it makes her feel like she can feel her feet on the ground. I will take it with me too. I’m going to go ahead and keep it up and do what I do for me because it makes me feel good. ”

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