Her participation in an Amherst baking contest gives Emily a taste of fame and celebrity, but she questions the benefits.
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.
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 house guests who may be the answer to their monetary issues.
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.
- Hailee Steinfeld as Emily Dickinson
- Jane Krakowski as Mrs. Dickinson
- Toby Huss as Edward Dickinson
- Anna Baryshnikov as Lavinia Dickinson
- Ella Hunt as Sue Gilbert
- Adrian Enscoe as Austin Dickinson
- Nick Kroll as Edgar Allan Poe
- Timothy Simons as Frederick Law Olmstead
- Ayo Edebiri as Hattie
- Will Pullen as Nobody
- Finn Jones as Sam Bowles
- Pico Alexander as Henry ‘Ship’ Shipley
- The episode's title and themes are based on "Fame is a fickle food" poem #1659 by Emily Dickinson.