My Life Had Stood – A Loaded Gun
Episode 8 of Dickinson Season 3 begins with Emily arriving at Austin’s door. In order to honour Frazer, she wants to call a ceasefire with the family in order to attend the funeral. Unfortunately Austin is having none of it and refuses to give in. In fact, he throws shade at her and calls Emily Edward’s double.
At the funeral, Emily winds up seeing Frazer’s ghost. The spirit comes and sits next to her, incredulous at Edward’s speech. He admits that war was worse than he imagined and sees straight through Emily’s confidence that the family are stronger than ever.
When they head home, Edward brings Emily into his office. He has a big proposition for her. He wants Emily to be the executor of his will. He trusts her to carry this out and believes she has a sane mind; the irony of that of course is that Emily has anything but. While writing, Emily believes he should invest in scholarships, to invest back into people.
The final clause – the family home and the possessions – are to be handed over to William Austin Dickinson. Despite him showing a distinct lack of loyalty to the family, Edward is still going to give everything to Austin. It’s too much for Emily to take, especially when he belittles the power of women. Tears in her eyes, she eventually storms out.
Sue does eventually show up but there’s no Austin in sight. However, she has another agenda. She submits something in confidence for the local paper.
Meanwhile, Betty is torn up over Henry joining the regiment; That same regiment that aim to try and defeat this upcoming Confederate army. She’s had enough of hope – but hope hasn’t abandoned Henry. As he runs with his platoon through the trees, we cut back to Emily who descends into another vision. This spiralling staircase of insecurities and deep fears plays out like a hellish veil over Emily’s home.
As Emily keeps running, she finds herself in the middle of the battlefield. Dead soldiers litter the floor, explosions send her crashing behind a barricade, and she watches in wide-eyed shock as these soldiers (completely out of alignment in a really terrible line) charge into battle. At the front of this are Henry and his men. Henry survives, the visions subside and in its place a chittering yellow bird; the recurring motif we’ve been seeing throughout the season. Emily is back.
The Episode Review
Out of all the episodes this season, this is the one that lets the shackles off and allows the visuals to really sell the episode. There’s some beautiful imagery here, some great motifs and a solid contained story about Emily seeing the horrors of war firsthand.
Beyond that, the usual themes of female inequality are showcased, along with the continued rivalry between Austin and the rest of the family. Whether this will be patched up by season’s end though, remains to be seen. Either way, the ending does hint that we’ve got plenty more drama to come as this third and final season marches ever-nearer to the end.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|