Our list of the best quotes from Apple TV+ period romantic drama TV series, The Essex Serpent (2022), based on the novel of the same name by Sarah Perry. Set in Victorian England, the story follows London widow Cora Seaborne (Claire Danes), who moves to a small village in Essex to investigate reports of a mythical serpent. She forms a surprising bond of science and skepticism with the local pastor, Will Ransome (Tom Hiddleston), but when tragedy strikes, locals accuse her of attracting the creature.
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1. The Blackwater'It's when we're most lost that the source of light is closest.' - Will Ransome (The Essex Serpent) Click To Tweet
Michael Seaborne: I intend to leave the world as I entered it. Unscarred.
Cora Seaborne: Frankie. Your father’s died.
Frankie Seaborne: Are you sad?
Frankie Seaborne: [as Cora nods] But you’re not crying.
Cora Seaborne: I’m so sorry, Frankie.
Cora Seaborne: You know, we’re following the course of the river. It’s right beneath our feet. The eels used to swim upstream all the way from Sargasso Sea. They’d come here to breed. Now instead of mud and reeds, all they find is iron and concrete.
Luke Garrett: Nothing wrong with iron and concrete.
Cora Seaborne: How does it feel to cut into a living body? No, I’m curious, that’s all.
Luke Garrett: It’s exciting. Terrifying. Every operation, a leap of faith. It’s a high-wire act, Mrs. Seaborne.
Cora Seaborne: It sounds fascinating. I’d love to learn more about it.
Cora Seaborne: So what edge do you hope to cut into next, Luke?
Luke Garrett: The heart.
Cora Seaborne: How?
Luke Garrett: Well, the main challenge is keeping the patient alive once I open the chest cavity. Just need the right patient.
Martha: You’re an animal.
Luke Garrett: The hospital board agree with you. No idea why.
2. Matters of the Heart'Sometimes you have to make trouble to get change.' - Martha (The Essex Serpent) Click To Tweet
Martha: [as Cora wakes from a nightmare] It’s alright. Michael can’t hurt you anymore.
Martha: Cora, you saw a girl washed up in her sister’s arms. Why would you want to go back?
Cora Seaborne: I have to know what’s out there. And you want to stay in Essex, don’t you?
Frankie Seaborne: No, I hate fresh air.
'Science requires dreams just like your theology. To make a leap in the dark, from ignorance to understanding.' - Cora Seaborne (The Essex Serpent) Click To Tweet
Luke Garrett: Just come back to London.
Cora Seaborne: I’m really sorry, Luke. I can’t.
Luke Garrett: You’re in shock. Once we are back in London, you will start to feel yourself again.
Cora Seaborne: I’m myself now.
Luke Garrett: No. No. Trust me, I’ve seen this before.
Cora Seaborne: This?
Luke Garrett: Yes. Anxiety in a female. This compulsion to return to the scene of the trauma.
Cora Seaborne: I’m returning to help.
Luke Garrett: What do you mean?
Cora Seaborne: I can talk to people. Offer them a rational explanation.
Luke Garrett: You want to tell them your plesiosaur theory? Now? Cora, a young girl has died. I really think that…
Cora Seaborne: What? I should give up on my ideas? I don’t see you doing that.
Luke Garrett: I’m a qualified doctor.
Cora Seaborne: And I’m not your patient.
3. Falling'You won't find the truth without a struggle.' - Luke Garrett (The Essex Serpent) Click To Tweet
Cora Seaborne: I shouldn’t have gone in.
Martha: You were showing them fossils.
Cora Seaborne: I didn’t think they’d get so…
Martha: One of their classmates has died. Of course they’re upset.
Cora Seaborne: It was more than just upset. They were terrified. And it was my fault.
John Ransome: Jo, say something.
Stella Ransome: It’s alright, Jo. You’ll speak when you’re ready.
John Ransome: The serpent took her voice.
'Our inner thoughts and fears. We can't control them, but they can influence us and our behavior.' - Luke Garrett (The Essex Serpent) Click To Tweet
Cora Seaborne: It was like a contagion. As if they were all possessed by a devil.
Luke Garrett: Except you don’t believe in the supernatural, Cora.
Cora Seaborne: Something happened. It wasn’t just children playing.
Luke Garrett: Perhaps there’s a rational explanation, eh?
Cora Seaborne: Such as?
Luke Garrett: We now think the girls in the Salem witch trials ate a poison that altered the chemistry of their brains. Claviceps purpurea. It’s a mold. It grows on rye and other cereals.
Cora Seaborne: Could this poison lead to hallucinations and convulsions?
Luke Garrett: Yes, absolutely. Although, it isn’t at all common in England.
Cora Seaborne: There’s nothing common about what happened here.
Matthew Evansford: [to Cora] All I can tell you is my class was fine until you came here with your heretical ideas.'A man's conversations with God are no one's business but his own. But we should confide in each other. It can help.' - Will Ransome (The Essex Serpent) Click To Tweet
4. Everything Is Blue
Stella Ransome: [after they arrive for Cora’s birthday party] Will. Say something. Doesn’t Cora look lovely?
Will Ransome: You certainly look clean.
Will Ransome: Dr. Garrett, I owe you an apology. I was rude when we met, and I’m sorry. You helped my daughter. I shouldn’t have lost my temper.
Luke Garrett: Don’t mention it. Cora and I, we didn’t see any harm, did we? I’d put her under hypnosis just the night before. She invited me to, of course.
Cora Seaborne: I did.
Will Ransome: I can’t imagine you doing anything you didn’t want to.
Luke Garrett: Tell me, have you any interest in medical science?
Will Ransome: Human beings gutted like hens.
Luke Garrett: It’s the future.
Will Ransome: Dr. Garrett, while I consider my faith an enlightened one…
Luke Garrett: You privilege belief over evidence.
Will Ransome: It’s not that simple.
Luke Garrett: Oh, no? I think the Essex Serpent has sunk its claws into you too. Imagine it, even now, crawling up onto the marsh.
Charles Ambrose: [referring to Martha] You know this woman’s a raving communist?
George Spencer: I wouldn’t say that.
Luke Garrett: I would. But a rather charming one.
5. I Break Things'You need to decide what you want. Stop dwelling on what you can't have.' - Martha (The Essex Serpent) Click To Tweet
Will Ransome: [referring to Naomi] She will come home, Henry. I’m sure of it.
Henry Banks: You said the same thing about Gracie.
Stella Ransome: [after revealing she wants to go to London to see Luke] I’m weak. And I’m getting weaker. I’m trying to hide it.
Will Ransome: Stella, why? Why? I would have…
Stella Ransome: It’s alright.
Will Ransome: No, Stella.
Stella Ransome: I trust Dr. Garrett.
Will Ransome: Right. You want to see Dr. Garrett? In London?
Stella Ransome: We can take the children. Make an adventure of it.
Will Ransome: An adventure?
Stella Ransome: Why not? We could see Cora.
Will Ransome: No.
Cora Seaborne: [referring to Royal Geographical Society] They want to meet me. See my find, the plesiosaur.
Martha: You better get up then.
Cora Seaborne: But how did they…
Martha: I won’t see you broken by a village consumed by superstition.
Frankie Seaborne: [as they arrive at the Royal Geographical Society] Are there any serpents here?
Cora Seaborne: Not yet. Maybe one day, if I’ve found the remains of one.
6. Surfacing'Love is not finite. It's not confined to marriage. There are so many ways to love.' - Cora Seaborne (The Essex Serpent) Click To Tweet
Cora Seaborne: Dear Stella, I’ve only just heard the terrible news from Luke. I’m so sorry. For once in my life, I’m at a loss for words. I came to Aldwinter to look for the serpent, and I didn’t expect to find friendship. Stella, what I really want is to see you, but I fear that coming back would just upset the village. You are my friend and I never meant…
Stella Ransome: He’s waiting for me. Don’t be sad. I’m ready. Help me.
Will Ransome: Anything.
Stella Ransome: I want to see Cora and Frankie. I want them to come back.
Will Ransome: Dear Cora, Shortly before we met in London, Stella received a diagnosis of tuberculosis. Perhaps that may explain my behavior at the museum. Tragically, her health is now fading fast. She’s been begging me for some days to write to you and ask you to visit. But I have to say, I don’t think it’s a good idea, for her, me, any of us. The truth is, I scarcely know how to get through the days. I am broken.
'People fear what they don't understand. Jump to the wrong conclusions.' - Cora Seaborne (The Essex Serpent) Click To Tweet
Luke Garrett: I need to practice manipulating my fingers. I have to get back to work, Spencer.
George Spencer: One day at a time. Don’t think about operating yet.
Luke Garrett: You think that’s possible? I can just relax? Give up my work? Don’t you know me at all?
George Spencer: I’m sorry. There must be something I can do.
Luke Garrett: Leave me.
George Spencer: [after he’s told Cora about the injurt to Luke’s hand] I don’t think he’ll operate again.
Cora Seaborne: Oh, Luke!
George Spencer: If I could change things, change places…
Cora Seaborne: What can I do? Anything.
George Spencer: Visit him. Cheer him up.
Cora Seaborne: He asked for me?
George Spencer: He doesn’t know I’m here.