After some time without news from Sam, Emily beings to suffer from writer’s block. To rediscover her inspiration, she ventures into the landscape.
Emily has writer’s block. making her unable to write. “What’s the point of writing another poem if he rejects this one,” she says. Luckily, she has the help of Frederick Law Olmstead noted park designer, and presented in “The Daisy follows soft the Sun” as a dang-*** freak. Emily runs into him with Austin, who notes that he has been standing around and observing the same patch of ground for an hour. “I let the place speak to me,” he says, and it’s this perchance for heterodox thinking that appeals to Emily.
For Olmstead, parks are a respite from “the abuses of urban life.” He praises a rock on the ground for “making exactly the right statement” while criticizing a rosebush as “a disaster.” When she tells him about her writer’s block, he tells her she is “all too aware of yourself and the noisy world around you,” and encourages her to become lost. Olmstead says that opinions are an “odious distraction from the beauty of your craft” he says; “the audience is irrelevant.”
Emily is lost in a maze and it provides just the right opportunity to internalize Olmstead’s advice. That is until she runs into Sam who lavishes praise upon her poem. He calls her his daisy, and promising that she “will never be able to get lost again.”
Emily’s parents are having their own trouble. Mrs. Dickinson misses the intimacy she used to share with her husband and dislikes the orphans they have taken in. When Edward falls into a hole (believed to have been dug by the orphans) she jumps in after him, using it as an opportunity to discuss her worries. Emily Norcross recounts their youthful sex-capades in an attempt to remind her husband of what they’ve lost. “We got old,” he says, with an acknowledgment of their missing passion.
Austin proposes taking the orphans off his parents’ hands and into his home, a decision he does not clear with Sue first, much to her disappointment.
Lavinia loves the forbidden aspect of her relation with Ship. Ship, however, is not pleased. “I’m starting to feel kinda used.” But all Lavinia can think of is his ex, Lola Montez. All of a sudden, sack is placed over her head which reveals itself to be an elaborate proposal. “You vandalized my parents’ barn… I literally thought I was being kidnapped,” she tells Ship, who’s using the element of surprise to get her to say yes. Lavinia seems to have her doubts.
- 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 "The Daisy follows soft the Sun" Poem #106 by Emily Dickinson.