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Dickinson Season 2 Episode 2 Ending, Explained

January 8, 2021
5 min read

‘Dickinson’ season 2 is a continuation of the Apple TV+ historical comedy-drama series that’s based on the life of one of America’s literary greats, Emily Dickinson. History tells us that, by the time she reached middle age, Emily was an unmarried, white-wearing, death-obsessed recluse who mostly spent her days sequestered in her bedroom.

‘Dickinson,’ the series, tells us that, as a teenager, Emily was uncommonly sharp, witty, sociable, headstrong, and a creative genius. ‘Dickinson,’ despite playing fast and loose with historical facts, manages to capture the true essence of Emily’s poems. The show is captivatingly fun, endearingly outrageous, and charmingly self-aware. Here is a short recap of episode 2, followed by an explanation of its ending. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Dickinson Season 2 Episode 2 Recap

Emily wows the family with a 20-pound tiered cake that she has made for the Annual Cattle Show Baking Contest. Winning the contest is a big deal to Emily, especially since she came in second the previous year. Edward tries to tell Austin about their financial troubles, but Austin is too distracted by the excitement surrounding the Cattle Show and doesn’t really listen.

The Dickinsons, and their guest, Ship, spend the day out at the Cattle Show Fair, where Austin tells Sue that he wants to have a baby. Sue gets angry at him and demands that he buy her a new horse instead. It becomes more and more clear to Lavinia that she is not the kind of obedient, homely, and submissive girl that Ship is seeking as a wife. Emily’s cake wins, and a celebratory party is hosted at the Dickinson residence afterward. Austin makes an unexpectedly charitable gesture at the party and gives Henry some money for a worthwhile cause (undisclosed as of episode 2).

Samuel Bowles, the editor of The Springfield Republican, wants to see Mr. Dickinson about a business proposal, but the meeting doesn’t happen as Edward rushes off somewhere else. Sam and Emily go for a walk, and at Sam’s insistence, Emily recites one of her poems. Sam proclaims her poem is better than her divine cake and shows interest in publishing it, but Emily is unsure. Edward brings home new houseguests who may be the answer to their monetary issues.

Dickinson Season 2 Episode 2 Ending: Who is the Ghost of “Nobody”?

As Emily heads back home after her walk with Samuel Bowles, she is yet again accosted by the ghost who, every time she asks him his identity, says “I’m Nobody. Who are you? Are you Nobody too?” “Nobody” warns Emily against seeking fame, saying that “fame is not genuine” and that it will use her and destroy her. He also warns her to be wary of people who would seek fame on behalf of Emily (such as Sam Bowles and Sue, who are both pushing Emily to publish her work).

“Nobody” is nothing else but Emily’s contradictory fears of fame and anonymity manifesting themselves in a ghostly human form that’s purposefully nameless. Rather than wanting to publish her poems as she did throughout season 1, Emily questions the need for recognition, seeking the comfort and safety of anonymity and isolation instead. “I’m Nobody. Who are you?” are lines from one of the most famous Dickinson poems of all time. The actual poem strives to establish that it’s okay to be withdrawn and not seek attention or fame and that people aren’t necessarily isolated in wanting to keep to themselves.

The poem itself praises anonymity and prefers it to fame, which is what the real Emily Dickinson chose to do in her life. She wrote almost 1800 poems that never saw the light of day during her lifetime because she didn’t share them with anyone. Emily died an unpublished poet because that’s how she wanted it to be. Many historians believe that before her death, Emily had instructed her sister Lavinia to burn all her documents and writings. Still, Lavinia had gone against her sister’s express wishes and published them.

Why Does Mr. Dickinson Bring Clara and Anna Home? Who Are They?

Edward Dickinson is anxious about their financial situation as they seem to be in dire straits. When his cousin, Mark Newman, dies suddenly, Edward is appointed as the executor of his large estate. Edward sees his way out of financial insolvency and brings Clara and Anna, Mark Newman’s tween daughters, home. He tells Mrs. Dickinson that the girls’ responsibility and inheritance now belong to the Dickinsons.

Since Edward’s claim on the girls’ inheritance is not legally or morally correct, this could mean trouble for the Dickinsons later. The girls themselves seem unruly, rude, and wayward. Their presence in the Dickinson household could lead to further hilarity in the upcoming episodes, so let’s wait and see how this new angle is played out.

Read More: Is Dickinson Based on a True Story?

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