Severance Season 2 Theories: What to Expect

Apple TV+'s Severance has a lot of questions to answer in season 2.

Adam Scott, Zach Cherry, John Turturro and Britt Lower in “Severance,” now streaming on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

The first season of Severance delivered one of the best (and most completely shocking) cliffhangers of all time. Seriously. Tons of viewers reported that their wearable health trackers went off as they watched the episode, warning them that their resting heart rates had spiked into dangerously high territory. Alan Sepinwall of Rolling Stone said that the season finale was “so tense, I may have forgotten to breathe a few times.” Fans flocked to the Severance subreddit to dissect every bit of dialogue and idiosyncrasy of the season. 

In the Severance finale, three of the four innies experience life on the outside, if only for an hour or so. Helly (Britt Lower) discovers that her outie ego is none other than Helena Egan, heiress to the Lumon throne. Mark (Adam Scott) discovers that his dead wife is alive (but maybe not so well), and Irving (John Turturro) attempts to reconnect with his beloved Burt (Christopher Walken). Their work buddy Dylan (Zach Cherry) stays behind to ensure that his friends can get the most out of their respective experiences — this “outie outing” is only supposed to be a test drive, you see — but their nosy boss, Harmony Cobel (Patricia Arquette), finds out about the scheme and dispatches Lumon henchman Milchick (Tramell Tillman) to shut it down, ASAP. 

As the credits roll, both Helly and Dylan are in the clutches of Lumon employees. However, Mark and Irving are out in the real world, free to never go back to Lumon if they so desire. We have so many questions about what’s going to happen to our beloved core four (and more) in Severance Season 2, so let’s dive in.

What’s going to happen to all the innies?!

Let’s start with Helly. It feels improbable that Helena Egan will ever let her innie out to play ever again. However, she did force Helly back into Macrodata Refinement submission even after she attempted to hang herself in the elevator, so anything is possible. 

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Mark is definitely going back. His wife is there. The question is whether or not they’ll let him return to work knowing what he knows. Irving? His outie seems to be really deep into his Lumon research, so maybe? And we can only guess what’s going to happen to poor Dylan. He does have an outie life that includes three children and presumably a partner who also cares for the children, and they’d definitely miss him, but we also know that Lumon is capable of elaborate cover ups… including taking a dead woman and bringing her back to life as a robotic counselor. 

At any rate, it seems somewhat unlikely that we’ll see our core four reunite in the Lumon labyrinth anytime soon. If season 1 was all about the innies trying to get out(ie), Severance season 2 just might be about how they all get back in(nie). 

What’s the plot going to look like?

Director Ben Stiller and creator Dan Erikson have mostly stayed mum on this topic. However, in an interview with Metacritic, Stiller promised answers. He said, “The thing I’m very aware of is that I don’t want this to be a show where people are always saying, ‘Oh, gosh, you never know what’s going on and there’s never answers to any questions.’ I feel like we owe it to an audience to give them enough so that they can hang on to something.” That’s a promising start!

Furthermore, in an interview with Variety, Stiller revealed that the love triangle (square?) including Helly, Mark’s innie and outie, and Mark’s wife Gemma will be explored more in the second season of the show. He said, “There is this growing connection between Mark and Helly happening during the season, and then on the outside, Mark is trying to get over his wife’s death. […] That’s an interesting juxtaposition and conflict we’ll explore in the second season.”

For his part, Erikson is mostly keeping his secrets close to the vest. However, he’s assured fans that he knows where this is all going. In a Reddit AMA, Erikson told redditors that he hoped the show might go for three to six seasons in order to tell the full story. He also assured fans that he has “a last scene in mind, and a lot of the story that will get us there.” Praise Kier! 

When will Severance Season 2 be released?

Severance secured a season 2 renewal just days before the season 1 finale dropped on Apple TV+. Thank goodness too, because there would have been riots at every Genius Bar in America if fans didn’t have assurances that the story would continue. 

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So, where does that leave us now? Well, Ben Stiller is a bit tied up with projects he’s already committed to, including the film Bag Man which will bring Rachel Maddow’s podcast of the same name to life on the big screen. However, back in April, Stiller told Deadline that he would be filming Bag Man this summer while also engaging in some prep for Severance. He said he hopes to direct at least two episodes in the second season. This lines up with an item that eagle-eyed fans recently spotted in Production Weekly that stated that Severance season 2 was slated to begin production in October 2022. Fingers crossed!

So, for real, what’s going on with those basement goats?

No idea. Even Helly herself, Britt Lower, has not one clue about the goats, so we’ll just have to wait for Season 2. 

What’s Helly been up to, anyway? 

Interestingly enough, Apple gave us a tantalizing glimpse of our hot-headed heroine during an Apple Event back in September. In the clip, she’s getting on the subway in those sensible pumps of hers, her distinctive, fiery hair giving her away in the crowd. What this means is anyone’s guess, but we love our defiant queen and will take any intel we can get. 

What can I do while I wait for Severance Season 2? 

If you haven’t already immersed yourself in all the bonus Severance content on the internet, you’re in for a treat. Dan Erikson’s AMA is certainly worth reading in its entirety, and the Severance subreddit continues to be active as more people discover the show. In addition, you might want to check out the Lexington Letter, a piece of Severance lore that appeared on the internet in the weeks leading up to the finale. Erikson has confirmed that the Lexington Letter is canon in the Severance universe, so it provides an interesting companion piece to the series. 

Also, why not check out Erikson’s original script for the Severance pilot? It doesn’t really reveal much more than what we already know, but it’s a fun read, swapping Mark for Helly as the newbie of the Lumon bunch, and includes a disembodied pair of legs running by an office for no discernible reason. Last but not least, why not throw a Musical Dance Experience of your own? Dim the lights, grab a random instrument, and let Spotify do the rest.