The end is approaching for the Apple TV+ comedy Dickinson.
The third and final season is set to premiere on Apple TV+ Friday, November 5, with a three-episode premiere.
TV Fanatic got the chance to chat with Hailee Steinfeld (Emily), Ella Hunt (Sue), Adrian Blake Enscoe (Austin), Anna Baryshnikov (Lavinia), Amanda Warren (Betty), Chinaza Uche (Henry), and series creator Alena Smith.
Dickinson Season 3 picks up in the middle of the civil war.
“Not only is there a huge division in the nation, but there also happens to be one within the family in the homestead, so there is a lot of mourning taking place, a lot of grief,” Steinfeld shares, adding that Emily is struggling to find out how she can help.
Emily and Sue left things on a somewhat happy note at the end of Dickinson Season 2, but Steinfeld teases the two women are in very different places than when we left them.
“Sue is on her own journey that Emily sort of views as something that she has to take on on her own because of the fact that it’s not something that Emily saw herself doing,” Steinfeld adds.
“Selfishly, she feels like Sue has sort of betrayed her innocence. She has these priorities that have pushed Emily far down her list.”
“Their relationship continues to be this beautiful mess.”
“We get to discover this new sense of ease and playfulness and messiness with Sue that we’ve never seen before,” Hunt shared, adding that Sue is asking herself what she wants and allowing herself the freedom to be autonomous.
“That throws some complicated and complex issues into the mix. She really wants Emily to devote herself to the relationship and, she’s really ready to carve out something deep with Emily, and it’s a season of them grappling with their work-life balance and their partnership in a time that doesn’t have a framework for queer couples and where they are by necessity in the closet.”
Ella praised Alena for not sugarcoating the relationship and giving it an accurate representation of the times.
Alena said that Season 2 was about Emily stepping out of her comfort zone.
“You had Emily kind of stepping out of her comfort zone and having a little flirtation with fame and with a social life and glitz and glamor. And she realized in that experience that it really is not the path for her.” the creator shared.
“She wants to write for Sue and only for Sue. So we find Emily in season three, having run back into the bosom of her family, and she’s more determined than ever to commit to this group of people, the people that mean more to her than anyone on earth, and to hold them together in this very difficult time of the civil war.”
Alena says the third season is a family dramedy “happening in the midst of the civil war.”
“Emily kind of plays the role of like the civil war nurse who’s running around trying to mend other people’s wounds.”
“Her main set of skills is her poetry.”
“The question that Emily is really wrestling with this season is can my work make a difference? Is there any way that I can have an impact? And I think that is such a relatable question that we’re all struggling with in our own ways as we go through these really difficult times.”
As for Austin, he is also experiencing some changes, according to Adrian.
“Austin is really seeing how the patriarchy and the expectations heaped on him by his father and by society at large, even by Sue at some points, are keeping him from doing the things that he wants, and he’s rebelling in the only ways that he knows how, which is to essentially pour gasoline on the fire or like light a match and set the whole house ablaze,” Adrian teases.
Adrian says that he was surprised when he read the first script for the season because of some of the things Austin does.
Adrian likes that Austin has very different needs this season and that he’s not your typical man from the time period the show is set.
As for Lavinia, she is confronting the fact that she has chosen to be her fullest self, which hasn’t left room for a husband and a family, according to Anna.
“The war is compounding that reality because all of the young men her age are being drafted.”
“I think she is hit with a moment of regret or doubt about what was really the right decision for her?”
“We watch her grapple with that throughout the season,” Baryshnikov adds.
Betty has been thriving in her field when the season begins, but her home life is not, according to Amanda, because of the fight for equality in America that Henry is very connected to.
“And Rightfully so,” Amanda said of Henry’s drive.
“There’s a lot of push and pull for Betty at the beginning of season three. And that’s where she takes off from,” the actress added.
Chinaza said that Henry was forced to leave his family because he’s searching for a new purpose and wants to “fight for a world where his family isn’t separated, where they can be together.”
“I think the most direct place he can see that is on the front lines of the civil war. So we find Henry finding his way and trying to lend a hand to win the war,” Chinaza shared.
Both Amanda and Chinaza were proud of the love story and can’t wait for fans to see how it plays out in the final season.
Alena opened up about ending the show at three seasons, revealing it was always the plan and that the show was always supposed to end around the civil war.
“I knew that road would culminate in a season that would take place in the civil war, where we chart these years of turmoil for the country, while Emily is reaching her greatest heights as a poet.”
“She’s writing more in those years than ever before or after, and to me, that’s kind of where Emily becomes Emily Dickinson.”
“In our show, we have her sort of putting on her superhero outfit, which is her white dress that she’s going to wear to write her great work.”
Check out the trailer for Dickinson Season 3 below.
Return to TV Fanatic for a full review of Dickinson Season 3, and more interviews as the season progresses.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.