Although the previous episode may have seemed underwhelming, this season finale made up for it! Finally, a shocking look at Helly’s outie life and Mark’s innie learns about his wife. This was an incredible way of wrapping up this season of the show that has been greenlit for a second season.
Spoilers ahead: Read at your own discretion.
Image via TechUnwrapped.
The finale opens with Mark, Irving, and Helly’s outies waking up as Dylan triggers the “OTC” – Overtime Contingency – a process used to wake up the “severed” employees when they are “off-site” (outside of Lumon). In the previous episode (episode 8), we saw MDR hatch a plan of Dylan sneaking out of the “waffle party” to the security to trigger the OTC. They did this in order to get someone to help them by exposing Lumon. However, it won’t be easy.
Triggering the OTC is a two-person job, which is not possible for obvious reasons. There are so many things that could go wrong but MDR still takes the risk.
Harmony Cobel embraces Mark as “Selvig”, at Ricken’s book reading when Mark is woken up. He attempts to make sense of what is happening, and after asking Devon, “How is our baby?” and talking to people around him, he figures she is his sister. Since “Selvig” questions Mark about what he was going to talk to his sister about, he assumes he must be close with her. Mark decides to tell Devon about Lumon but there are numerous obstacles in the way.
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Devon is preoccupied with her baby, Eleanor. The book reading begins, and the worst of all – Ms. Cobel is present at the event! Mark has to wait until the reflection begins to talk to his sister. On the other hand, Ms. Cobel keeps following Mark as “Selvig” to learn why he is so tense and what he was talking about with his sister. But Mark, as an innie, addresses “Selvig” as Ms. Cobel, which leads to her realizing that this is Mark’s innie, not his outie. She attempts to reach Mr. Milchick and takes matters into her own hands by driving to the Lumon Gala.
Helly wakes up at the gala, and when she does, she is with the intermediary who speaks on behalf of the Board. In a shocking revelation, we learn that “Helly” is Helena Eagan. She belongs to the Eagan family, the founders of Lumon Industries. She also meets the senator’s wife, who we’ve seen in the earlier episodes at the birthing center where Devon gives birth to Eleanor. The senator’s wife had undergone the severance procedure at the time.
Lumon made a documentary about “Helly”/Helena’s severance procedure (promoting the process and its merits), and she was to make a speech at the gala about the procedure. It is clear that Lumon considers the innies and outies as different people when Helena’s father refers to Helena’s innie Helly as “her” speaking of Helly’s suicide attempt at Lumon.
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Elsewhere, Irving wakes up to his painting of the pitch-black hallway to the elevator. He finds an old trunk in his closet with a picture and a uniform of the US Navy of his dad. He also finds a map and an address to Burt G’s home (the department chief of Optics & Design, who he meets and falls in love with at Lumon). Irving finds a newspaper clipping of an article of a person suing Lumon, which also states that Lumon must be held accountable for the procedure.
He then drives to Burt’s home but it was heartbreaking to watch Irving, who was definitely broken, see Burt living happily with another man in his home through his window. Despite the hurting and the pain, he faces to see the man he loves with another man and the fact that he may remember nothing about Irving and his interactions at Lumon (since this is Burt’s outie), he walks up to Burt’s door to talk to him as he is the only one he trusts and can talk to.
Harmony Cobel gets through to Milchick and says that Mark is his innie, which means Dylan must have triggered the OTC. Milchick rushes to the security to thwart any further attempts of exposing Lumon. When he gets to the door, he realizes it won’t be a piece of cake. He attempts to distract Dylan by talking to him about what a great employee he is and how there are more rewards that he can get but Dylan says he wants to know about his son’s birth.
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At the gala, Harmony confronts Helly right before she is about to go on to make her speech about how amazing the procedure is, and as the intermediary suggests “Helena” to say that her innie is like her sister. Harmony warns Helly that there will be dire consequences that her friends – Mark, Irving, and Dylan will face for what she is about to do. Helly says she will “end her company,” which baffles Harmony since Helena is an Eagan.
Mark tells Devon about Lumon and that his boss, Ms. Cobel, is at the book reading. He describes her appearance to his sister, who realizes that Cobel is posing as “Selvig” and she must’ve run away with her baby as she handed Eleanor to Selvig when she needed to talk to Mark because Eleanor was having a breakdown. They all rush to find Selvig and Eleanor, and while doing so, he stumbles upon a wedding photograph of him with his wife. By the time he can tell Devon about his wife, it is too late. However, he does say that his wife is not dead.
— Ben Stiller (@BenStiller) April 6, 2022
At the same time, Helly takes the stage and expresses that Lumon is lying about the severance procedure. She says “they are torturing us down there,” and that they are miserable. Helly’s speech is cut short as Milchick tackles Dylan to the ground, turning the overtime contingency off. The episode ends there but it seems like Mark was not able to reveal the truth about his wife to his sister as the overtime contingency was shut down.
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All of their fates are unclear as Irving is outside of Burt’s home when this happens. Not only will Burt not remember who Irving is but Irving is now an outie too, who may be confused as to what he is doing there. Irving also seems to be investigating Lumon. He has a list of employees at Lumon, maps, newspaper clippings about a lawsuit against Lumon, all hidden in the trunk. He also has a room full of paintings of the pitch-black corridor leading to the elevator to the “testing floor” at Lumon as seen in episode 8.
How does he remember the corridor? Can “severed” employees remember or retain memories from work even outside of Lumon? Is the “severance” procedure wherein a chip is inserted into an individual’s brain to separate their memories permanently? Why do they say Mark’s wife is dead when she is alive? Why does Helena Eagan sacrifice half of her life by undergoing the procedure? There are too many burning questions.
‘Severance’ is a brilliant show, although a little slow-paced, the cast makes the show a must-watch! It is unclear when the second season will air on Apple TV+ but we will be tuning in!