Tuesday, January 7, 2020

What I’m Watching: Dickinson

Dickinson: Season 1, Episode 7 “We lose - because we win” (B+)

This episode was interesting because it remained relatively grounded in reality but still presented plenty of conflict in the extended Dickinson family. Emily and Lavinia were far too excited about the circus, and naturally got their request to go denied by their father, who was much more preoccupied with his own election. It wasn’t a surprise to learn that free thinker and fervent Emily supporter Ben doesn’t vote along party lines, and all of Ithamar’s confusing chatter about the Know-Nothing Party was reminiscent of the first two important rules of “Fight Club.” It turns out that he did manage to win, but by that point no one else seemed to care all that much. Emily getting Austin to enter the poetry contest for him netted an expected win, but her father was furious that she had gone behind his back and then responded violently to her pointing out that he was really projecting his own failures on her. The most unexpected display of personality came from Sue, who wasn’t all that put off by Mrs. Dickinson, who took offense at the accusation that she would ever be a suffragette, giving her a book on being a housewife and responded angrily to Emily when she mocked her domestic inclinations. Austin’s grand effort to dig up a dead baby as a show of his eternal commitment to Sue may have been misguided, but his selection of a title to claim credit for Emily’s poem really sent her over the edge. Sue seemed to soften when she came up to check on a clearly ill Emily hallucinating a trip to the circus, and maybe she’s now entering a state not unlike the one that she was faking just recently.

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