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With just a few episodes of season 3 remaining, Dickinson is seeing Emily (Haliee Steinfeld) and her sister, Lavinia (Anna Baryshnikov), pushed to their limits. And just when they both can’t take it anymore, they’re provided with an unexpected reprieve: a chance to go to the future. In ET’s exclusive sneak peek of episode 7, “The Future Never Spoke,” written by Ziwe and creator Alena Smith and directed by Heather Jack, Emily is heartsick after her and Sue’s (Ella Hunt) latest fight while Lavinia is upset that she’s still not married.
“Life sucks,” Emily laments after joining Lavinia in the gazebo. Her sister then responds by saying, “I’m terminally single, America’s in a civil war, and now it’s raining.”
“Yes, today is the worst day ever,” Emily says. “Every day of this war, I’ve hoped and hoped that things would somehow get better. That the skies would clear. And that somehow we’d see our way to a brighter future but none of that is happening. Our family is falling apart.”
“I want to go back to the past, before the war started. Before all my boyfriends died,” Lavinia cries.
“Oh, I’d rather go to the future. Skip over all this mess, when the war is over and everything is different. Imagine if we could just blink and be in the future. Just like that,” Emily says when suddenly lightning strikes the gazebo and they’re transported to the future.
Speaking with ET ahead of season 3’s debut, Baryshnikov explained how this era was such a “difficult time” for everyone involved. “The day-to-day of that experience was incredibly difficult for the men who were drafted, for the women who were home, for the freed African American people in the North hoping that this was going to work out for the enslaved people in the South,” she said. “It was such a critical and difficult time.”
As previously reported, this episode also marks Ziwe’s return as abolitionist Sojourner Truth while Saturday Night Live breakout Chloe Fineman makes an unexpected appearance as poet Sylvia Plath. The two performers join a list of famous guest stars who have popped up as historical figures over the course of the series, including John Mulaney as philosopher Henry David Thoreau, Zosia Mamet as Little Women author Louisa May Alcott, Timothy Simons as landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Nick Kroll as poet Edgar Allan Poe, and Billy Eichner as the father of free verse, Walt Whitman.
And while most of those encounters usually just involve Steinfeld, Baryshnikov was excited she got to share screen time with Fineman, who comes across Emily and Lavinia after they end up traveling through time. “I felt so fortunate this season because, normally those characters Emily is mostly engaging with, but I was in the scenes with Chloe,” the actress says. “And that’s just one of my favorite moments in the season.”
New episodes Dickinson premiere every Friday. Want to watch more? Seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming on Apple TV+. (We may receive an affiliate commission if you subscribe to a service through our links.)