The Innies and Outies are welcoming some newbies on Severance season 2. The Apple TV Plus psychological thriller series is adding several new cast members to its mind-bending madness, including a Game of Thrones alum and an Emmy winner.
Severance comes from creator/writer Dan Erickson and director/executive producer Ben Stiller. The story follows several employees of Lumon Industries, a biotech corporation that has pioneered a medical procedure known as "severance."
Employees who undergo the operation sever their work memories from their non-work memories, creating an "Innie" version of themselves who only exist at the office. The "Outie" versions carry out their personal lives with no recollection of their jobs. It's the ultimate, extremely chilling execution of work/life balance.
Mark (Scott) leads the severed Macrodata Refinement division. He and his colleagues Dylan (Zach Cherry) and Irving (John Turturro) welcome a new team member, Helly (Britt Lower). Her arrival sets off a chain of events that lead Mark and the others to explore Lumon's many mysteries. Season 1 ends on a major cliffhanger, after they find a way for their Innies to take over their Outie selves and discover shocking truths about their identities. But with their jailbreak at an end, what will the Innies do next?
Here's everything we know so far about Severance season 2.
Severance season 2 release date speculation
Apple TV Plus has not set a Severance season 2 date yet.
The streaming service announced season 2's renewal on April 6, two days ahead of the season 1 finale. While we didn't get any news of a release date at the September 2022 iPhone 14 event, there was a Severance Easter egg in the Apple event that has us asking if it means anything for the next season.
In a statement, Apple TV Plus programming head Matt Cherniss said, "Thanks to creator Dan Erickson, the brilliant Ben Stiller, and an incomparable cast and crew, Severance has imagined an existence that‘s equal parts riveting and enthralling as viewers around the globe can’t get enough of these rich characters. We’re excited to go deeper into this wholly unique world and unpack more layers of Lumon in season 2."
As far as a possible Severance season 2 release date, Ben Stiller told Rolling Stone, "The hope is that we would get into production by the end of the year." To a question about whether the show might return in 2023, he said, "Possibly, possibly, yeah."
Filming on season 1 lasted for about six months, and the premiere followed eight months later. If season 2 goes along a similar track, our hope is to see Severance season 2 return in late 2023. If you can't wait until then, we've rounded up the best shows to stream while you wait for Severance season 2.
Severance season 2 cast
Severance season 2 is expected to bring back all of the principal cast members, led by Adam Scott as Mark Scout. His Macrodata Refinement division colleagues should also return: Britt Lower as Helly R., Zach Cherry as Dylan G. and John Turturro as Irving B.
The show will also likely bring back key figures tied to Lumon Industries:
Patricia Arquette as Harmony Cobel, an executive overseeing the severed floor who poses as Mark's next door neighbor Mrs. Selvig.
Tramell Tillman as Seth Milchick, floor manager of the severed floor.
Christopher Walken as Burt Goodman, the retired chief of the Optics and Design division and Irving's love interest.
Dichen Lachman as Ms. Casey, the former wellness counselor of the severed floor who looks exactly like Mark's dead wife Gemma.
Sydney Cole Alexander as Natalie, liaison for Lumon's board of trustees.
Michael Siberry as James Eagan, the current CEO of Lumon Industries.
There are also important characters who exist on the "outside":
Jen Tullock as Devon, Mark's sister and a new mother.
Michael Chernus as Ricken Hale, Devon's husband and an author.
Ethan Flower as Angelo Arteta, a senator who supports the widespread use of severance.
Nora Dale as Gabby Arteta, Angelo's wife and a new mother.
Nikki M. James as Alexa, Devon's midwife and Mark's fling.
Severance season 2 is also adding a few new faces. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new cast members are Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones, The Sandman), Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie, Unbelievable), Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development, Search Party) and Bob Balaban (The French Dispatch). No details have been revealed about their characters.
Severance season 2 plot and season 1 ending explained
Before we dive into theories about season, let's unpack that wild Severance season 1 ending.
The finale starts with Dylan completing the Overtime Contingency process and Mark, Helly and Irving's Innies waking up in their Outie bodies. Each scrambles to figure out their circumstances. Mark finds himself face to face with his boss Harmony Cobel, Irving is painting the dark hallway and Helly is attending the Lumon gala because she's actually Helena Eagan!
In Mark's story, he quickly steers clear of Cobel and learns Devon is his sister. After Ricken performs a reading from his book, he accidentally alerts Cobel that he is an Innie. While he converses with Devon about severance, Cobel tears away to the Lumon office. She calls Milchick to stop Dylan, while she intends to get to Helly.
In Helly's story, she is horrified to see the gala has an exhibit that puts a positive spin on her severed experience. As Helena, she is supposed to make a speech, so she uses the opportunity to excoriate severance: "We’re not happy, we’re miserable. They torture us down there!"
In Irving's story, he finds newspaper clippings about ex-Lumon employees suing the company as well as a directory of employees' home addresses. He zeroes in on his love interest, Burt, and drives to his house. But he hesitates when he sees Burt with another man.
As Milchick bursts into the security room to tackle Dylan, all three Innies are at crisis points. Helly is removed from the stage, Irving pounds on Burt's door and Mark discovers his wife Gemma is identical to fired wellness counselor Gemma. "She's alive!" he tells Devon, just as the switch turns all of them back into their Outties.
Will season 2 pick up from that very moment, with the Outties waking up and realizing something has gone awry? It seems likely, but Severance does like to toy with expectations.
Helena will undoubtedly have to deal with the repercussions of Helly declaring severance a "lie" to a large crowd that includes her father. Mark, meanwhile, just told his sister that Lumon should be investigated. The stage is set for the greater public to question what Lumon does and whether severance should be outlawed.
Outie Irving's current location at Burt's house should result in an interesting and very telling interaction. If Burt retired, he should have no recollection of Irving and vice versa. Yet, Irving's manic paintings of the dark hallway at Lumon indicate that some Innie memories still linger outside. Could feelings also transcend severance?
As for Mark, his Innie now knows that his dead wife Gemma and Ms. Casey could be one and the same. But that revelation will be complicated by the kiss that he shared with Helly.
"To put him in this position where the Innie Mark, we’re starting to root for him and Helly, but now we also want to root for Outtie Mark to find his wife," Stiller told Variety. "That’s an interesting juxtaposition and conflict we’ll explore in the second season."