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"Dickinson" Creator Alena Smith Breaks Down How The Future Episode Allows Emily To Accept "Her Own Queerness"
Emily meeting Sylvia Plath is one of the best things Dickinson has given us.by Nora Dominick
There are obviously massive spoilers for Dickinson Season 3, Episode 7.
With only a few episodes left to cherish this perfect series, Dickinson is entering the home stretch of Emily's journey.
So it's only fitting that Season 3, Episode 7, "The Future Never Spoke," includes some of the biggest character moments for Emily, which are all set during a perfect and out-of-the-box time travel storyline.
So, to break down this newest Dickinson episode, creator Alena Smith sat down with BuzzFeed to chat about how this trip to the future allows Emily to grow so much.
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images
"The Future Never Spoke" features Emily and Lavinia accidentally time traveling to the future, where they meet Sylvia Plath, who is hilariously played by Saturday Night Live star Chloe Fineman.
Alena said, "Chloe just blew us all away. As soon as you see her in that costume, it was like magic happened. I was like, when are we making the Sylvia Plath spinoff?"
Alena explained that while this episode is filled with comedic moments, it also has a "dark premise."
"It is one of our purest comedic episodes, but probably because it's dealing with such a dark premise, which is that no matter how far women get into the future, they're always stuck in the past."
She continued, saying, "Also, just personally for Emily, the fact that she time travels to the future where she's actually been published and is known, but she comes face-to-face with the reality that she's completely misunderstood."
"The impression of her that has been left to history is that she was a shy, reclusive, spinster, who died of love for a man."
The moments with Sylvia Plath lead to a pivotal scene for the series, which is when Emily comes out to Lavinia. A moment that Alena calls "the unexpected result" of the episode.
"Time traveling and seeing the mark she has left on the world helps push Emily on one of her core journeys of the season, which is really owning her own queerness."
Emily's coming out scene with Lavinia is what Alena called the second important "station on Emily's road to defining her identity and claiming her relationship with Sue." The first being Emily screaming her love for Sue in a crowded bar with Walt Whitman in Season 3, Episode 4.
It's also brilliant that this important milestone for Emily comes during the same episode where she and Sue meet at the orchard from the very first episode.
Can I just say that Hailee Steinfeld and Ella Hunt knocked it out of the park with this scene and I simply haven't thought about anything else for months.
Looking toward the final three episodes, Alena teased that this episode will hopefully allow Emily "to be present with Sue as a human being in a body rather than just as words on a page."
"I think a lot of writers struggle with it and it sort of transcends sexual preference and identity," Alena said. "It's really about if you're someone who tends to live more in your mind, it can be really hard to be in your body. That's something we've been looking at this season for Emily."
Dickinson has always had the rare gift of creating perfect standalone (and out of the box) episodes that push the overarching story forward in beautiful ways, and I think we can add "The Future Never Spoke" to that list.
New episodes of Dickinson stream every Friday on Apple TV+.
More on Dickinson:I Can't Stop Thinking About "Dickinson," So Here Are 19 Reasons Why It Needs To Be Your Next Binge-Watch Nora Dominick · Feb. 2, 2021 Listen: "Dickinson" Is Showing Us A Side Of Emily Dickinson We Weren't Taught In School BuzzFeed Daily · Jan. 29, 2021 Which "Dickinson" Character Are You? Nora Dominick · Jan. 8, 2021
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