Dickinson Season 3 Review: A Climactic Conclusion Fit for Emily Dickinson

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When Apple TV+ first revealed that Dickinson Season 3 would be the comedy's conclusion, there were some concerns it was too early to bring the show to a close.

After screening the entire season, it's clear the series is ending at the right time. Dickinson Season 3 is much darker than its predecessors, and for all intents and purposes, the show's beauty has been how it has grown with Emily.

As the backdrop to the ten-part final season, the Civil War provides characters time to assess who they are and what they want to become in one of history's most challenging times.

Dickinson Final Season Photo

Emily is entirely different than the girl of the first two seasons, and Hailee Steinfeld gets some of the best material of her career as Emily tries to find herself, once and for all.

It's been delightful watching Emily grow through the series' run, and her arc builds to a satisfying conclusion best suited to three seasons.

Emily and Sue's love story remains the show's focal point, the best part of which is the writing.

Creator Alena Smith has proven to be a formidable force by creating rich, multi-layered characters that serve a purpose to the overall story.

Sue on Season 3 - Dickinson

Lavinia and Austin feel more critical than ever because their arcs purposefully bring everyone in their orbit full circle.

It's rare for shows to go out on their own terms, but Dickinson goes out with its most balanced season yet in terms of humor and plot.

The series continues playing with conventions by throwing characters into unique situations that perfectly show off the cast's strength.

Dickinson thrives when characters are put in these situations because there is a broader meaning behind them, and the severe nature of the arcs will not go unnoticed.

Lavinia on Season 3 - Dickinson

I don't want to give spoilers because I hate reading advanced reviews that leave nothing to the imagination, but you will notice the tonal shift the moment you begin watching.

That tone doesn't let up, and while Dickinson still has its signature lick of humor, this final season features characters finding their place in the world, and for some of them, that lets in the harsh light of day.

Betty and Henry's story is a bright spot as they finally get the time their characters deserve, providing one of the final season's best arcs.

Dickinson Season 3 is a tightly-written journey that will grab your attention from the first scene until the last. Many TV shows end a few seasons too late, but the stars align for Dickinson to conclude with one of the most satisfying final seasons I have watched in my life.

Austin on Season 3 - Dickinson

Buckle up, Dickinson fans, because you are in for a wild ride to the finish line. Ten episodes comprise the season, and the first three are available today on Apple TV+.

New episodes will air into December.

We will have you covered with more interviews leading up to the finale.

Check out the trailer below.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Dickinson Quotes

Sue: You’re right.
Emily: Right about what?
Sue: The only time I feel things is when I’m with you.
Emily: She dealt her pretty words like Blades. How glittering they shone.
Sue: I pushed you toward him because I wanted to escape what I was feeling, and I slept with him ‘cause I didn’t wanna feel it. There is so much that I don’t want to feel, Emily. And the biggest thing that I don’t want to feel…
Emily: Is what? Hmm, is what? What is it, Sue? Just say it.
Sue: Is that I’m in love with you.
Emily: I don’t believe you.
Sue: It’s true.
Emily: It’s not true. Nothing you say to me is true. You’re not even Sue anymore. You’re a new person, a fake person. I don’t even recognize you, and everything you say to me is a lie.
Sue: Emily, I love.
Emily: Stop lying to me.
Sue: I love you, and I felt you in the library because you’re always with me. I can’t escape from you because the only true thing I will ever feel is my love for you.

Ship: I’m glad you asked. I came here for you.
Lavinia: I’m surprised you even remember me.
Ship: Of course I remember you. You’re the most pure, simple, quiet, traditional girl I ever knew, and that is why I want to make you my wife.
Lavinia: Ship, Ship, we hooked up once. Then you hooked up with someone else the same night.
Ship: That wasn’t very chivalrous of me. You’ll see I’ve changed, Lavinia. I’m not that college dropout that got drunk and tobogganed into a lake. I’m a serious adult man with entrepreneurial instincts and a profound respect for women who embody traditional values such as submissiveness, chastity, and willingness to do household chores.
Lavinia: I’m not even like that.
Ship: You’re Lavinia Dickinson. You have tea parties for your cats.
Lavinia: Well, yes, but I’ve changed too.
Ship: Oh, and how have you changed?
Lavinia: I’ll show you.
Ship: Whoa, whoa, whoa, don’t you think we should wait until marriage?
Lavinia: Henry ‘Ship’ Shipley, I don’t think you have any idea who you’re dealing with.