Anyone looking at the titles of the episodes knew instantly that Severance Episode 9, The We We Are, would reveal some major secrets. We would likely find out who each of our MDR innies are on the outside. We have seen Mark’s outie life and little glimpses of the others, but finally, in the Severance Season Finale, we get all the dirt.
The Severance Season Finale doesn’t just give it to us either; we get it fast. Just as fast and dirty as I’m sure that Waffle Party would have been had Dylan stayed. He’s been working out, you know. Irv, Mark, and Helly each woke to find some rather surprising things about themselves. Some of them were pleasant revelations, some shocking reveals that changed everything, and one unfortunate reality that devastated us all. Here’s where everyone stands at the end of Severance Episode 9 and what it means for Season 2.
Helly is an Eagan
Almost everyone has speculated that Helly had to be an Eagan after Milchick commented that it was such an honor to have her in the program and her likeness to the other Eagan women in the Perpetuity Wing. The other big hint was the undeniably cruel and dismissive way her outie addressed her innie. Helly’s outie told her innie she wasn’t a person. That is gangster level calculation, and now that we know she is not just on board with severance but all of Lumon, it makes perfect sense. She couldn’t have said such horrible things if she didn’t really believe them. There would have been a tell. There is always a tell, however small. Helena Eagan is an elitist and a monster connected at the highest level. Too bad she failed to tell her innie that.
Poor Helly R woke up at a top-level party where she was slated to speak. Not only is she speaking, but she is Helena Eagan, of the Kier Eagan’s. Britt Lower(Helly) does an admirable job showing us her panic and horror while maintaining her pleasant smile. For Helly, who truly believed she was a good person, the shock of finding out she is her own worst nightmare is world-shaping. Helly knows right away that the window of opportunity is open; all she has to do is go through it. She couldn’t afford for anyone to know the switch had been made until she could tell the whole group what was happening on the severed floors, though.
Cobel reaches Helly just as she is about to speak and threatens her. She says you may be long gone, but we will keep your friends alive and in pain. Shaking her off, Helly addresses the crowd and tells them all of it is a lie. She tells them they torture them, and they are miserable. She is tackled just as Milchick breaks into the control room, and the group reverts back to their outies.
Mark and his family
Mark finds himself at a book-reading for his favorite author in the Severance Finale. His utter joy and lowkey fanboyness are both hilarious and tragic. That boyish charm Adam Scott is known for is put to good use in the Severance Season Finale. After realizing Devon was his sister and not his wife before making a seriously awkward blunder, he tells her everything about Lumon. Unfortunately, before he can share all the details with her, he calls Mrs. Selvig Ms. Cobel, which tells her that Mark S is awake and possibly the rest of MDR.
Mark tells Devon that inspectors should go down, and she tells him why he severed himself to begin with. She also tells him that his outie had doubts about what Lumon was doing. Devon thinks it is best to contact Ricken’s journalist friends since Lumon is so connected. Mark also asks her why Ms. Cobel was at the party. After Mark and Devon make the connection, they fear Cobel has taken the baby. Luckily she isn’t that big of a monster, though, and she left the baby in her car seat safe in a bedroom. After finding Eleanor, he sees a picture of Gemma and realizes she is alive. Mark manages to run to Devon and scream out she is alive before being switched back. Hopefully, Devon will be able to figure out what he means.
Irving and his heartbreak
Lonely, depressed Irv woke up to discover he lives alone with his aging dog Radar and a crushing amount of anxiety. However much Lumon wants to pretend the severed lives don’t seep into one another, they obviously do. That same hallway, we saw Gemma/Ms. Casey walk down to an ominous elevator is what Irv paints over and over. There is no sweet reunion with Burt or anyone for that matter, and he is clearly depressed and obsessed with taking Lumon down.
He has a secret stash of Lumon information, including a severed workers list with some addresses attached and newspaper clippings detailing lawsuits against the behemoth company. Irv also has a Kier map which he uses to locate Burt. He drives his outie’s car in a rare moment of fun in the tense Severance Season Finale. There is just enough confusion as he drives to make the scene impactful. Irv’s innie has never driven a car but retained enough of his core knowledge to figure it out. It was a funny, bittersweet joyride that culminated in sadness.
After driving to Burt’s house, he finds him with another man. The way the man cared for Burt clarifies they are in love, and Burt, along with all of us, is heartbroken. He chooses to knock on his door anyway, but before Burt answers, Irv reverts back. What he planned on saying, we will never know, but I guarantee Irv’s outie will focus even harder on Lumon and what is happening there.
Dylan will be in trouble for their scheme in the Severance Season Finale. The punishment for that level of betrayal will be harsh. The We We Are wasn’t just about who each is on the outside. It is about who they want to be. Mark is the same person on both sides of the elevator. We know very little about Irv’s outie beyond his fascination with Lumon information, and his father was a Navy man. It does appear that Irv’s inner and outer lives are merging on some level, though.
Helly is the only complete departure. Her outie is not who she wants to be. Helly R. is a good person. Helena Eagan is a true believer who may very well be a sociopath. In any case, everyone now knows that MDR broke out. What punishment they receive and what, if any, impact their time on the outside will have, we will have to wait until Season 2.
Let’s all take a seven-minute reflection break, then bring on Severance Season 2, please. Find all our Severance coverage here.
Corporate Culture-All the details that don’t fit anywhere else
Before going out on stage, Helly atones for her part in Lumon and severing. She is tortured by her identity and the role she played. She repeats the compunction phrase Milchick repeatedly made her say in the Breakroom. Forgive me for the harm I have caused this world. None may atone for my actions but me. And only in me shall their stain live on. All I can be is sorry. And that is all I am. For Helly, her true identity is one of regret and remorse even if her outie self has grown up drinking the Eagan Kool-Aid.
We have confirmation that Gabby Arteta willingly severed herself to give birth. Many of us believed something was going on with her, but labor severing wasn’t my first thought. She seems genuinely content with the decision, so I don’t think her husband is coercing her into being a trophy wife and mother.
Ms. Casey tells Irv he likes the sound of Radar which was a weird thing to say until we read the name on his outie’s dog’s collar. He is the Radar that he likes the sound of. So maybe all of what Ms. Casey told them was true.
“Sorry you can’t unring the bell ringing app” Of course, Ricken would be ready with a Dad joke.
The chip was invented less than thirty years ago since Helena saw the prototype as a child. It had blue and green lights on it then.
One of the items in Irv’s trunk is a newspaper clipping about a lawsuit against Lumon. The civil case was brought by Dalton Emory, who claimed he received a printer injury to his index finger while severed. He has since lost all feeling in his finger, making it “decorative”. Further grievances include difficulty pushing elevator buttons, entering his ATM PIN, and selecting which gas variety at the gas station he wants. He is suing for damages, medical expenses, and the official report of what happened to him while severed.
Paintball and coffee cozies are additional rewards.
Devon has two other kids.
The Employee Handbook-The crazy theorycast
The sly brilliance of juxtaposing Ricken’s ridiculous words over our protagonist’s journeys is just one of many reasons we love Severance. As much as I would love to discount him as a complete boob, I think Ricken may be the hero of this story.
In the restroom during the Severance Season Finale, Helena’s father says to her that she will sit with him at his revolving one day. This is not a bizarre euphemism for death. It is called revolving because I suspect the Eagans have managed to thwart death and upload their consciousness into another body. Think Logan’s Run or Altered Carbon.
Lumon wants world domination. The company wants to implant a chip in every person and control what they think, feel, and do. I’m sure this is all based on some 1984 craziness where humans can be programmed to behave appropriately. All of it would be under the guise of creating a better, more peaceful society that would be more productive because of the process. That isn’t what would happen, though. Lumon would control everything and have unlimited wealth and power. The Eagans and their allies would make and enforce all laws and mete out punishment. They would have an endless workforce of literal drones.
In the terrible theory department, what if the elevator takes everyone down to a decommissioned zone where they are kept physically alive but immobile or unconscious? Similar to the drawers in Snowpiercer or the Matrix. They could also be reprogrammed or wiped using the Clean Slate protocol. We could next see Gemma at a Waffle Party wearing a mask.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.