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Grief is a Mouse is the ninth episode of the third season of Apple TV+'s Dickinson. It is the twenty-ninth episode of the series overall, and aired on December 17, 2021


Emily takes steps to ensure that her family won’t repeat their past mistakes. The Amherst gang gathers for a fond farewell.[1]


Emily continues to remain firm in her decision to make things right going forward. She wastes no time in gathering her siblings, where she tells them of her father’s will. She then makes Austin agree to give her and Lavinia freedom as they will not be another item of property. He agrees on the condition that Vinny gets rid of her cats.

With that done, Emily then turns to her mother, still in grief over Aunt Lavinia’s death. Trying to up her spirits, Emily mentions seeing a bird at the funeral, which she thinks could have been Lavinia’s spirit. But Emily’s aunt hated birds. Yet, she did like mice, and as a mouse scurries across the floor, Emily and her mother see a way of moving on with their lives.

Edward rejects a possible run for office, deciding his family needs him more. When George comes to Sue and Austin’s before he heads to war, Austin reveals how he traded his draft card in favor of looking after his son. “How will I make sure the future of the Dickinsons is different from the past,” he says, and the others affirm his decision. There’s work he can do off the battlefields.

Higginson learns this too. Seeing Henry’s regiment has seized victory without his help, he announces his intention to visit a certain young Amherst-based poet. Henry mentions his acquaintance with Emily. Higginson is shocked and recites one of her poems, and Henry walks off with him, presumably sending a message to go to Betty.

In the end, the youth of Amherst unite to make what could be George’s final night in Amherst a memorable one. After the oddity of Lavinia’s telling of her new performance art (“Sheep No More,” where she stares at a sheep and thinks of death), they close out the night with a rare public recitation from Emily. Everyone sits in stunned silence, her craft having a profound impact on those around her.

Soon enough, she’s in bed with Sue. “This is better than any poem,” Emily says, as Sue goes down her body.





  • Wavyy Jonez as The Wall
  • Nore Davis as Solomon
  • Tristan Griffin as Everett
  • Myles Evans as Erasmus
  • Curtis Morlaye as Michael River Jordan
  • Max Chernin as Samuel Strong
  • Levi Ricks as Helen





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  • The episode's title and themes are based on "Grief is a Mouse" poem written by Emily Dickinson.[2]
  • On December 13, 2021, Alena Smith thanked Laura Terruso, the episode's writer for the way they were able to bring the EmiSue scene to life.[3]
  • On December 14, 2021, Alena Smith also revealed that it was challenging to film that EmiSue scene during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.[4]
  • On December 15, 2021, a sneak peek with Mrs. Dickinson not wanting to get up from bed after still mourning her sister's death was released.[5]
  • On December 16, 2021, Kevin Yee revealed that this was his last appearance on the series as Toshiaki.[6]
    • Also on this day, Samuel Farnsworth, who has portrayed George Gould since Season 1 also revealed this was the last appearance of his character, and that he wouldn't be appearing in the series finale.[7]
  • On December 17, 2021, Smith revealed in a tweet that in the Emisue Love Scene, they shot this scene with music playing (but it was not not the song 'Ivy' by Taylor Swift"; instead another song was selected that they hoped would work the way "Your Best American Girl" did for the volcano scene in Season 1's I have never seen ‘Volcanoes’). However, there was no sound recorded from Hailee or Ella on the day, just that song.[8]
  • On December 18, 2021, it was also confirmed that Swift allowed for the song "Ivy" from her Evermore album to be used and went onto subsequely play in the end credits of the episode.[9]

See also[]