Dickinson – S02E06 – Split the Lark [Transcript]

Things don't go as planned when Emily tries to express her gratitude to Sam during a night at the opera.
Dickinson - S02E06 - Split the Lark

Original release date: January 29, 2021



We’re here!

All right, folks. Let’s go see what this opera craze is all about.

Everyone looks so elegant. I should have worn my cape.

I’m starving. You think they have popcorn?

They don’t have popcorn at the opera, Ship.

I am so excited to finally be here.

I’ve read all the reviews of the Italian production.

I’m overwrought.

Why do you always use such big words?

This better be entertaining. Tickets cost me an arm and a leg.

I just hope we have good seats.

Look, there’s Sue and Austin.


Of course. She wore her cape.



Sue, you look incredible.

So do all of you.

Yeah, how was Aunt Lavinia’s?

She has mice.

How was the hotel?

It was fine.

I mean, good enough for a night or two. I wouldn’t stay there for longer.

Yes, I don’t think you could afford to stay there for much longer.

So, is everyone excited?

Here we are at opening night, and all of Boston is buzzing about the lead soprano.

Yes. The magnificent Adelaide May.

Fresh off the boat from Italy where she trained with Verdi himself.

She’s originally from Philadelphia, you know.

Most Americans, of course, can’t sing opera, but Adelaide has dazzled all of Europe with her voice.

They say she once shattered a reviewer’s monocle with a high C.


That’s a myth. That has to be a myth.

He came.



Welcome to the opera.

We are so happy to be here.

I think I just saw someone I know downstairs.

If you’ll excuse me for a moment.

That was abrupt.

Sam, thank you so much for your help with the tickets.

We’re thrilled to be up in that box.

Wait a minute.

Where are we sitting?

Orchestra. Back row.

Why didn’t you get us a box?

Yes. First, you stick me in a hole. Now, you try to put me in a box.

The orchestra is very good too.

I’m sure it is.

Come on, Edward, let’s go find the back row.

Okay, let’s go.

Emily, you coming with us?

I just have to talk to Sue.


Si. Bye. Si. Yes.

Okay. So, I’ll see you after the show?

No, Sam, wait. Don’t go.

I thought you wanted to talk.

No, not really. I just want to talk to you.


Of course.

The poet needs a word with her editor.


Sam, you’re not here alone, are you? Where is Mary?

She couldn’t come.

What a shame. I’m dying to see her.

Yes. Well, she wasn’t feeling very well.


Well, I guess it’s a lucky break for Emily.

For me?

Yes, because now you can sit with Sam in his box.

I really think that–

Sam, she has to.

It’s her first time at the opera, and Adelaide May is performing.

This is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Especially for such a sensitive artist as Emily.

If it’s all right, I’d love to sit with you.

You absolutely must!

Sam, be a gentleman. Let her sit with you.

If she’s down there all the way in the back, she won’t even be able to see.

Remember, she has eye troubles.


All right, well, I suppose there’s no point in having an empty seat.

Come on.


Who’s that next to Sam Bowles?

Wow, a new one.

I can’t wait to hear this Adelaide May sing tonight.

Everyone says she’s really got the chops.

Sings like a lark, they tell me.

I can’t wait.

“International singing sensation.” That’s what it says on the poster.

Apparently, she’s a sweetheart in person too.


I’m supposed to interview her after the show.

You get to go backstage?

Of course.

This is a new opera house. They need the press.

This is so incredible.


Hey, Mom!

What took you so long?

You’ll never believe who I ran into at the bar.


Frazar Stearns.

Who’s that?

Frazar. My old buddy from school.

Great guy. Son of the college president.

You must remember him.

Yes. Sort of.

Come on. Frazar Stearns.

Sweetest guy in the world.

Haven’t seen him since we graduated.

He’s at West Point now.

He’s wearing his uniform.

Looked like a real soldier.

God, I miss the old gang.

Maybe I should organize a reunion.

Those were the days, man.

We used to have such good times.

You still have good times. Don’t you?

“La traviata.” It means “the fallen one.”

Yeah, I knew that.

You did?

I studied Italian in college, okay?

Yeah, but you dropped out.

Okay. Whatever.

You know, people’s reaction to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic.

They either love it or hate it.

If they love it, they will always love it.

If they don’t, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul.


I gotta take a piss.

You just went.

Lavinia, I’m aware.

Is he going to wear that hat through the whole show?

What a rip-off.

We can’t even see.

All these people are so…

Yes. Good. Yes, sure.


Is the whole thing going to be in Italian?

Oh, my God.


I sort of wish we were seeing some vaudeville.


You’ve really never been to the opera?

No. No, I’ve only ever dreamt of it.

Well, I guess your dreams are coming true.

So many of my dreams have come true since I’ve met you.


Sam, I just have to thank you.

Don’t mention it. It’s nothing. I didn’t even pay for this box.

Oh, no, not for that.

Not just for that.

I mean, for all of it.

Emily, please–

For what you’ve given me.

Please, it’s nothing.

It’s everything.

You changed my life. Before I met you, I was nobody.


Now my poem will be published.

Emily, we have a problem.

We do?



You wrote a letter to Mary.


I did.

Yeah. That wasn’t a good move.

But I– What do you mean?

You wrote a letter to Mary, and it made her feel extremely uncomfortable.

Both of us, I should say.

It made both of us uncomfortable.

Your letter upset Mary so much.

That’s the reason why she’s not here tonight.

She refused to come because your letter made her feel so violated.

I don’t understand.

You wrote the craziest shit in that letter.

You said I was like the sun.

Like you’re cold whenever I’m not there.

Like every time I leave Amherst, winter sets in.

Why would you write something like that?

Because it’s how I feel.

About a married man?

To his wife?

I didn’t mean to upset her.

I was only trying to express

my gratitude, my admiration–

Yes, well–

Listen, you went a little too far this time.

I’m sorry.

Sometimes when I write… I lose control.

I know. It’s part of what makes you a great writer.

But you have to be aware of all the rumors.

What rumors?

Come on, you’ve heard them.

Every time I choose to support a female voice all the gossips on the East Coast think I have ulterior motives.

And Mary, she hears these whispers… and they upset her.

They hurt her…

even though she knows, in her soul, I am always faithful to her.

Now I’ve tried to make myself absolutely clear.

This interest that I’ve taken in you?

It is purely professional.

You do understand that, don’t you?

Of course.

Mary is the only woman on Earth for me.

I would never betray her.

Sam, please forgive me.

I didn’t mean to do anything wrong.

I have the utmost respect for your marriage.

The fact that you are so faithful to your wife is one of the things that makes you such a great man.

Look, I know it’s romantic… to have your poem get published, especially when you’ve had to wait for so long.

But you have to remember, Emily, the romance…

it’s between you and yourself.

Looks like one of your parties.

I’m sorry.

This is so boring.

I know. But, God, I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

She has tuberculosis.

Ship, not at the opera.

Go, go, go.

We’re free. We’re free!

Oh, my God, that was awful! It was awful.

Oh, free-oh. La garbage-iata.

La garbage-iata!

Let’s get out of here!

Bravo, bravo!

Oh, my God.

Please! Let’s leave.

Let’s go.

She’s riveting, isn’t she?

My heart feels like it could split right open.

I have to go.

What? Right now?

I shouldn’t have come.

Mary needs me. I need to go home.

Sam, wait!

I wrote something for you.

Keep it.

Split the lark

And you’ll find the music

Bulb after Bulb

In Silver rolled


Scantily dealt To the summer morning

Saved for your Ear

When Lutes be old

Loose the Flood You shall find it patent

Gush after Gush Reserved for you

Scarlet Experiment! Sceptic Thomas!

Now, do you doubt

That your bird was true?

Split the Lark And you’ll find the music

Bulb after Bulb In Silver rolled


Are you going to fetch the carriage?

No, I’m going to go meet Frazar.

He told me to find him after the show for a drink.

So, what?

You’re leaving me here?

You can take the carriage back to the hotel.


Or with whoever you want.

Coming through! Excuse me.

Are you looking for someone?

Yes, I’m looking for Adelaide May.

Of course you are.

She’s in her dressing room, but I wouldn’t bother her if I were you.

Who are you? Friend of hers?

No, I’m a writer.

What kind of writer?

A newspaper reporter.

See, I’m with the press.

A girl reporter? I never heard of that.

Yes, I’m with The Springfield Republican.

Well, they’re really keeping up with the times here in Massachusetts.

I need a drink.

Who doesn’t?

You want to come have a drink with us, girl reporter?

Yeah! You can write about us. We’re fascinating.

No, I’m supposed to interview Adelaide May.

Adelaide doesn’t give interviews.

Everyone already knows who she is.

That’s right. See, interviews are for desperate people like us.

The real stars, they can just hide.

Who is it?



Well, come in.

Come in if you’re coming in. Shut the door behind you fast.

I’m not in the mood to be bombarded tonight.

My throat hurts, I don’t want to sign autographs.

I know, it’s terrible, but I don’t have the energy.

The fans are so overwhelming.

They love me so much it’s like they wanna kill me.

It’s all just too exhausting. I can’t do it tonight.

I’m sorry to intrude.

No, you’re only doing your job.

You’re the wardrobe girl, aren’t you? I’m ready to undress.

I’m actually–

I’m just…

I’m just here to tell you how amazing you are.

You’re one of them.

I was in the audience tonight.

Your singing… I have never heard anything like it.

It was so beautiful, it broke my heart.

Yes, that’s what they all say.

No, but I mean it.

Listening to you made me feel things that I have never felt before.

Really? What’s that like?


Feeling things.

Well, you must know what it’s like.

You brought it all to life so perfectly.

You made me feel what Violetta was feeling.

That was just a performance.

I’ve done Violetta so many times, I don’t even need to be awake when I’m on stage.

You just saw the most moving performance, and yet I felt nothing.

Here, have a seat if you’re staying. I can’t stand people hovering around me.

That is impossible. You were crying.

Those were real tears.

Were they?

I don’t know what’s real anymore.

I don’t even know what city this is. Is this Paris? Or Rome?

It doesn’t matter. Every night’s the same.

Just a blur. A dream.

Another person falling in love with me, another drink, another round of applause.

So many people have fallen in love with me.

I’ve lost track.

I lose track of reality.

What is reality?

Who am I?

You’re Adelaide May.

The world’s greatest soprano.

That’s not my real name.

It’s just a stage name.

Well, whatever your name is, you changed my life tonight.

Your voice will haunt me forever.

There’s no such thing as forever.

Don’t you know that, darling?

The voice fades. Then memory fades.

Things go in and out of fashion.

Time goes on, and all of us, eventually, are forgotten.

Well, I am not going to forget you.

Would you like to see the stage?


Come with me.

We’re not supposed to be on the stage when it’s dark, but I don’t care.

It’s a lark.

It’s beautiful.

Yes. I like it better when no one’s here.



Go, Emily!

I want to be famous.

You do?

Sure. Doesn’t everybody?

Why do you want to be famous?

Because I’m a writer.

And I write and write poem after poem, and then I stick it in a drawer, and it just sits there in the dark, where no light shines.

I mean, that isn’t enough.

Is it?

Don’t they need to be seen? Don’t I need to be… seen?

I don’t know.

If you’re seen, then you’re exposed.

Everything that’s exposed, well, it goes stale.

Well, not everything.

Yes, everything.

The critics, they’ll put you on top for a minute, but then they’ll drag you down.

They’ll get sick of you, and they’ll destroy you.

They hate you, see, because you made them love you.

You were a courtesan, and they fell for your trick.

Well, who cares what they say? Who cares what people think?


Might as well stay in a room by yourself with no one watching.

How do you do it?

How do you find the courage to sing in front of all these people?

Well, I just pretend they’re not there.

But I was here tonight.

I was here.

Well, then I suppose I was singing for you.

What is it that you really want?

What is the deeper yearning that you have?

Sue. What do you mean?

Beneath all of this nonsense about fame, what is it that you crave?

You crave meaning.

You crave beauty.

You crave love.

Split the Lark

And you’ll find the Music

Hey! What are you doing there?

Clear the stage.

Clear the stage this minute, or I shall have to report you.

You don’t even know who I am.


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