Severance might be the breakout show of 2022. If you’ve ever questioned your work-life balance, this sci-fi series pushes those concerns to an ethically dubious extreme – where a medical procedure severs a person’s mind between your home and work life, with neither side having any recollection or memories of the other.
It’s a compelling dystopian premise on its own, but it’s coated with a layer of black comedy which plays to the strengths of its oddball cast – from Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott, Christopher Walken, John Turturro and Patricia Arquette as evil corporation Lumon’s unhinged Macrodata Refinement overseer, Harmony Cobel. With such excellent results in the first season, can a second season prove just as memorable?
Is Severance season two officially happening?
In a statement, director Ben Stiller said: “It’s really exciting to see the response from people who are loving the show – and the level of fan engagement. It has been a long road bringing Severance to television. I first read Dan’s pilot over five years ago.
“It has always been a multi-season story, and I’m really happy we get to continue it. I’m grateful to our partners at Apple TV+ who have been behind it the whole way. Praise Kier!”
Matt Cherniss, head of programming for Apple TV+, 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 two.”
Is there a release date for season two?
Not officially but there’s some clues
Apple TV+ has yet to officially announce any release date (or window) for the second season, although Stiller has implied we could be waiting until 2024.
Responding to a fan anguished at the possibility of waiting a year for a second season, Stiller, on Twitter, replied: “It took us a couple of years to make S1. Hope you can hang in!”
It took us a couple of years to make S1. Hope you can hang in!
— Ben Stiller (@BenStiller) April 18, 2022
While an exact date is unclear, filming on the second season is expected to begin later this year. The cast and creators are also holding a panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday, July 21, which might give us a timeline of when to expect the show’s return.
How many episodes will season two have?
One more than the last
Speaking to Variety, the show’s creator said he’s planned a 10-episode second season to follow the first, which had nine episodes.
While these plans can change during the writing and filming process, it’s a good sign that we’ll be spending more time in the world of Severance when a second season is released.
Where will the story go in season two?
We’ll be exploring beyond Lumon
The first season climaxed with a cluster of revelations, after Mark (Adam Scott), Irving (John Turturro) and Helly (Britt Lower) managed to bring their “innies” into the outside world. We learned that Mark’s supposedly dead wife is alive and is his co-worker Ms. Casey (Dichen Lachman), that Irving has been investigating Lumon as an “outie”, while Helly is a descendant of Lumon Industries founder Kier Eagan.
Speaking to Esquire, creator Dan Erickson teased this breach into the outside world will have a ripple effect into season two.
“There’s definitely going to be some expansion of the world,” Erickson said. “Within Lumon, we’re going to see more of the building, and we’ll see more of the outside world, too.”
He elaborated in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying: “We’re going to continue to really focus on the relationships between these characters, and we’re expanding the world. The first season was an ensemble piece at work, but it was much more focused on Mark on the outside, obviously. We wanted the audience to experience Mark’s life through his perspective, and he has no idea who Helly and Irving and Dylan are on the outside; his whole context for them is work. So we wanted to tell in that way for season one, but in season two, we’re going to be showing all of these people on the outside.
“Similar to Mark, they each had their own reason for getting this procedure, and they’re all at some stage of a healing process for one thing or another.”
He added: “I just can’t wait, because these actors are all obviously so good. And being able to take what Adam [Scott] did in the first season – with the differentiation between his innie and outie, and how they feel like the same person but with this vastly different lived experience – seeing the other three characters’ version of that dichotomy is, I think, the most exciting part. In season two, we’re really going to expand and get into all of that. But then there’ll be plenty of office stuff too. There may even be another melon bar.”
One of the big questions from season one is why Lumon covered up the death of Mark’s wife and why they’re both so entangled in this company to begin with. Speaking to Variety, Erickson vowed this will be answered down the line.
“There’s a question of sort of who was targeted first: was Mark targeted because of his relationship to Gemma, or was it the other way around? And that’s something that we don’t see this season, but we will in subsequent seasons,” Erickson said.
“That’s the big question, what is special about Mark? And is it actually that there’s something special about him or is it more about Gemma, and he was sort of pulled in? Those are all left unanswered this season, but we will get into it.”
How many seasons will Severance span?
Erickson has an end point – but he’s being flexible
Speaking to Esquire, Erickson indicated Severance could be sticking around for a while – depending on how many seasons are required to reach his planned end point.
“There’s an overall plan for the show,” Erickson said. “I have an end point in mind, and I intentionally didn’t plan it season by season, because I wanted it to be flexible enough that we could get there in two seasons or six seasons. I want to allow us to be surprised by where the show goes. There’s a sense of what Lumon is trying to do and the role that our main characters are going to play in that, and where it all will culminate.”
Is there any extra reading material related to Severance?
Yes! Explore another branch of Lumon
Apple has released a free e-book called The Lexington Letter, set within a different branch of Lumon Industries and centred around new character, Margaret “Peg” Kincaid.
The 43-page book, written by Erickson and Megan Ritchie (writer’s assistant on the show), is designed to flesh out the world of Severance while offering some teasing answers for the mysteries of Lumon. If you’re desperate for every scrap of information, check out the book here.