8 ‘Severance’ Season 2 Theories for All You Innies and Outies Out There

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*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

As of this writing, nobody is sure when Severance season 2 will air on Apple TV+. (Filming has begun, so my bet is end of 2023). One thing we do know? While we may finally understand what a waffle party is, there are still so many mysteries left unsolved, and the harder you pull to answer them, the harder they pull back at you…you know, like a complimentary corporate finger trap.

Need a quick (spoiler-riddled) refresher on the finale? Here it goes: The MDR team succeeds in sending their innies into their outie bodies, thanks to Dylan’s (Zach Cherry) gymnastic work at the control panel, in order to warn the world, and possibly themselves, of the horrors of severance. Helly (Britt Lower) wakes up (as I predicted) to learn that not only is she an Egan, but a human PR stunt in the service of proselytizing for the procedure. She manages to tell everybody at the gala what’s going on, only to be wrestled from the stage just as her innie brain is switched off anyway. Innie Irv (John Turturo), meanwhile, wakes up at his outie’s house, where he finds all his Motorhead-feuled art and, conveniently, a map to Burt’s (Christopher Walken) abode, indicating that Irv’s outie is doing some P.I. work surrounding severed employees. Irv drives to Burt’s, where he sees Burt through the window embracing another man (heartbreak!) but still goes to knock on the door…and at that moment is snapped back into outie-mode. Finally, there’s Mark (Adam Scott), whose innie comes to life at Ricken’s book party—thank goodness, because Ricken (Michael Chernus) deserves to have one super-fan there. After some back-and-forth confusion about whose baby he is holding, Mark realizes that Devon (Jen Tullock) is his sister, and reveals to her what’s going on…but not before accidentally outing himself to Harmony (Patricia Arquette) by calling her by the wrong name, causing her to flee the scene to warn Milchick (Tramell Tillman) of the coup. Harmony races to Lumon HQ (not having stolen any babies), Milchick eventually breaks into the control room and everybody’s innies are dramatically switched off. But not before Mark sees a picture of his dead wife, Gemma (Dichen Lachman), realizes it’s Ms. Casey and screams “She’s alive!” just as the credits roll.

Phew, I’m more exhausted than I was after my last melon party. But I also have ideas. Here, eight Severance season 2 theories I really hope come true.

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Theory 1: The MDR Team Will Be Punished

Cat’s out of the bag, and everybody now knows that Mark and co. were trying to revolt. The Lumon big-wigs could, of course, simply fire the rebels or rely on the fact that their outies are still in the dark and that’s all that matters. But my money is on supreme retaliation. My first thought is that everybody is getting sent to the break room* or down the creepy elevator shaft for their naughty deeds. But I think it will go a step further. We’ve seen settings on the control panel like “branch transfer” and “clean slate.” Instead of risking the defiant innies going rogue again, might Milchick wipe their memories clean entirely?

*The break room always makes me think of the “calm down corner” in my daughter’s first grade classroom, where disruptive children are sent to look at a picture of palm trees.

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Theory 2: Devon Will Misinterpret Mark’s Revelation

Sort of an obvious out, but when Mark screams “she’s alive!” it could appear to Devon that he’s referring to the baby, whom everyone thought was missing. If the writers want a way to keep Mark’s friends and family in the dark, this is an easy one.

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Theory 3: Irv and Burt Aren’t Over

Yes, Burt has retired. Yes, Irv has seen his innie crush canoodling with another guy. But, based on the fact that Christopher Walken is back for Season 2, I’m betting these two lovebirds aren’t entirely finished. Will something about seeing Irv at his house spark a memory for Burt? Will Burt’s chip be reimplanted? Did innie Irv leave a message for his outie telling himself to keep Burt in the picture?

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Theory 4: There Will Be New Friends, Foes and Maybe a Love Interest

Apple TV+ has confirmed both the returning cast and a whole host of new faces: Gwendoline Christie, Merritt Wever, Bob Balaban, Alia Shawkat, Robby Benson, Stefano Carannante, Ólafur Darri Ólafssonand John Noble. I have to imagine some of these new-comers will be brought in as new employees and corporate overlords; how great would Bob Balaban be at passive-aggressively criticizing your data refinement sorting? But I also wonder if we’re gearing up to give Mark a love interest—either in the real world (to distract his outie from thinking too much about Lumon) or at work (to complicate things after his season finale kiss with Helly).

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Theory 5: We’ll Find Out Why Harmony Is So Invested in Severance

We got many juicy hints in season one about why Harmony is obsessed with severance technology—the fact that she stalked Mark on her own time, the fact that she was clearly happy to learn that outie Mark sensed something was wrong with his innie, the fact that she has a bizarro Lumon shrine including a hospital bracelet that says “Charlotte Cobel 3/17/44.” As I theorized last season, I believe that Lumon’s larger purpose (more on that later) is tied to Harmony Cobel’s personal one: finding out if a totally dead or nearly dead person (perhaps her mother, Charlotte?) can be “reintegrated” and brought to life again.

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Theory 6: Mark Will Devote Himself to Finding Ms. Casey/Gemma

Unless his memory is wiped, innie Mark will return to Lumon knowing that Ms. Casey is actually Gemma. But Ms. Casey has now been retired and sent down the elevator of doom to who knows what. You’ll recall from Petey’s map that there’s a wing of the building where “some people may live.” Is Ms. Casey (along with the other waffle party sex slaves) living down there, an empty vessel waiting to be re-chipped and sent back into the Lumon halls? Which brings me to…

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Theory 7: Send in the Clones

The goats! The goats! Mark my words we will find out what the deal is. And mark my other words: The deal is cloning. Over the course of season one, I went back and forth on whether or not Lumon was taking braindead bodies and re-animating them with chips. I’m now thinking that, instead, they are cloning dead or nearly dead people, then implanting the clones with the same chips used for severed employees. This explains Harmony’s hopes for cloning Charlotte, whoever she may be, and the goats—because if I know anything about goats, it’s that they’re good for cloning.

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Theory 8: We’ll Learn What Lumon Really Does (and WTF a “Revolving” Is)

When innie Helly (disguised as outie Helly) sees her father at the gala, he creepily says, “One day you’ll sit with me at my revolving.” And as we Severance-fans know, there are no throwaway lines on this show. So what’s a revolving, you ask? My theory is that it ties into Lumon’s bigger purpose, which goes way beyond sorting “scary” numbers. I think the Egans are finally realizing their megalomanic dream of living forever—in the form of severing their brains and inserting the chips into cloned bodies after their deaths. Could all of Lumon be in the service of this dystopian vision, enabling the powerful to live forever and the meek to live imprisoned in the basement having their bodies harvested for parts?

Sounds like must-see TV to me!

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jillian quint

Editor-in-Chief, Avid Reader, Wallpaper Enthusiast

Jillian Quint is the Editor-in-Chief of PureWow, where she oversees the editorial staff and all the fabulous content you read every day. Jillian began her career as a book editor...