01x02 - Half Loop

Episode transcripts for the TV show "Severance". Aired: February 18, 2022 to present.
When a mysterious colleague appears outside of work, it begins a journey to discover the truth about their jobs.
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01x02 - Half Loop

Post by bunniefuu »

[HELLY] I acknowledge that, henceforth,

my access to my memories
will be spatially dictated.

I will be unable to access
outside recollections

whilst on Lumon's
severed basement floor,

nor retain work memories upon my ascent.

I am aware that this alteration

is comprehensive and irreversible.

I make these statements freely.

[MR. MILCHICK] Okay, that's a wrap.

Come with me, please.


So your work personage will be waking
in a few hours

on the severed floor.

But the next time you yourself
will be sentient will be this evening,

in the elevator back up.


The elevator has a handrail at hip-level
if you feel dizzy.

Oh, man.

I love seeing the sunrise on his face.

You know he used to drink three raw eggs
in milk each morning?

I've heard.

- [CHUCKLES] His favorite breakfast.
- Mmm.

We'll get you prepped in here.

- Good morning, Lawrence.
- Good morning.


They say it doesn't hurt.

[MR. MILCHICK] Just relax.



[MR. MILCHICK] Little vibration now.


I'll be upstairs after
to let you know how it went.

Sorry if I freak out on you a little.

Don't worry.
I'm very excited to meet you.





Hey, Helly.

Whoa, what's happening?

Great to see you.

Your orientation's been so much fun.

Uh, where am I?

Okay, so sometimes when a new hire
is adjusting to a severed space,

we help by bringing them here
to the stairwell,

to experience the transition viscerally.

Oh, no. I'm trying to leave?

No, no.

It's all part of the process.

If you wanna spin around
and head back in, that should be that.

Hey, there.

- What the hell?
- [CHUCKLES] That's okay.

Not a problem.

Wanna give it another sh*t?

Maybe with a little oomph?



I'm at the stairwell.

[INHALES DEEPLY] It's going fair.

- No, she's...
- [SHOUTS] Ah, f*ck!

Ooh. Nah, I'ma call you back.


- You're an inquisitive one.

[SIGHS] I don't wanna be in there, do I?

You're learning that you do.

- Hey,

when we heard you were coming here,
it was like a miracle.

It's amazing what you're doing.




[MR. MILCHICK] Hey, old-timer!

One day down.


[HELLY] Hey.


So it's tomorrow now?

Uh, yeah.

Well, it's Monday.

- A weekend just happened?
- Yeah.

I don't even feel like I left.

Yeah, that's how nights
and weekends feel here.

Like nothing?

Well, you get used to it.

I mean, I find it helps to
focus on the effects of sleep

since we don't actually
get to experience it.

You may feel rejuvenated or happy.

Less tense in the shoulders. Spry.

So it's : ?

Yeah, they stagger the entries too
so we don't meet on the outside.

It's important apparently.

So I guess we're not friends.

Guess not.

[DYLAN] My current file's
called "Tumwater"...

which I started some weeks back.

"Tumwater." All one word.

Should I be taking notes?

- [MARK] No.
- [DYLAN] I've got it % sorted,

which means I've earned
four of the five tier incentives,

including the erasers and the finger
traps that you see displayed here.

% is tier five.
That gets you a caricature portrait.

You'll note I've accrued an
embarrassment of wealth in that regard.

- Wow.
- [DYLAN] Correct.

Each one of these?
Finished file in the can.

So that's the highest award?

[DYLAN] Percentage-wise, yes.

But if we h*t our numbers
by quarter's end,

one of us gets named
refiner of the quarter,

and that shit gets you a waffle party.

I'm sorry, a waffle party?

Okay, hazards on, eager lemur.

I'm a d*ad lock for that this quarter,
so, uh, don't get your hopes up.

What about Mark's crystal head cube?

That's not a prize,
that's just something they gave him.

[MARK] Helly,
could you flip on this console?




[MARK] Okay.

- That's... Excuse me. [TYPING]
- Mm-hmm.

Mark, sorry to interrupt.
I know you're training Helly.

I just noticed you've removed
the group photos from the desks.

Yeah. We're gonna take the new ones
at Helly's party today.


Okay, this is the Siena file.

Now, all the data you see

falls into one of four
essential categories.

And we group each line of code,

and then sort it evenly
between five digital buckets.

[HELLY] Party.

Just poke around first. Use the arrows.

I do think the old photos are supposed
to stay on the desk

until the new ones come in.


[HELLY] Should this
mean something to me?


No, all the data
comes from upstairs fully encoded.

Then how do I categorize it?


Each category of numbers
presents in such an order as to elicit

an emotional response in the refiner.

Um… So, uh, Cat numbers, for example,
feel a certain way on sight.

They'll be sort of disconcerting, scary.


I know.

My job is to scroll
through this spreadsheet

and look for numbers that are scary?

It sounds dumb, and Mark said it dumb.

- Are the numbers bloody? Do they chant?

It doesn't make sense till you see it,
and it takes a while to see.

Hey, Mark. I just printed out

the passage of the handbook
on changing out group photos.

Just might be good to peruse
when you're between things.

- [MARK] Thank you.
- Sorry.

Am I trapped here?

In what way?

Like if it turns out I hate this
and I want to quit, is that an option?



If you're really unhappy,

you can submit a resignation request
with your outside self for review.

And good luck getting that approved.

Well, they do tend to be rejected.
Plus, you know…


Well, since this perceptual
version of you only exists at Lumon,

I mean, quitting
would effectively end your life.

I mean, in so much
as you've come to know it.

[MR. MILCHICK] Hello, Refiners.

Ooh, sweet. Melon bar.

Hi, Mr. Milchick.

Helly, welcome.

I'm agog at how well I can tell
you're already fitting in.

The office feels whole.

Now, let's get this party started.


Well, uh, my name is Irving,
as you all know.

And I've worked here for three years,

and something about me is that
I know all nine core Lumon principles.

Awesome. What's your favorite?

All nine.

But today, I think I'd say, "cheer".


Uh-oh! Uh, no trust fall today, Irv.

[IRVING] Oh. Right.

No. No.

Hello, I'm Helly.

I've been at Lumon for, like…

Ten hours total, and…

I'm sorry,
I don't know anything about myself.

Oh, sure you do, Helly.

I really don't.

I guess I went home last night,

but I don't know if home is a house,
or an apartment,

or if I live with a family...

I like to think my outie lives on,
like, a riverboat.

I'm sorry, outies are...

They're us on the outside.

You saw yours yesterday in the video.

Right. I actually have a
few things to say to her.

Can I record something back?


So what you'll find here is that
communication between selves

is pretty curtailed.

So what if I write her a note?

Fortunately, the elevators are equipped
with something called

"code detectors."

So messages can't be passed through.

Yeah... They're like metal detectors
for written symbols.

A Lumon original, apparently.

That's right. Right.

Sure. Okay, well what if, uh, I...

I don't think you're quite
getting the game here, Helly.

May I?

Guys, this is Helly.

She's years old, she's allergic
to almonds and has weak enamel.

At ' ", she's the fourth tallest person
in your office,

and her hair
is what we call shoulder-length.

And seeing her here with you all,

I'd say she most
definitely has a family.


Oh, wow. Well, that's a lot to follow.

Uh, so I'll just say that I'm Mark.

Been with Lumon about two years,
and I absolutely love this game.

Uh, nice try, pal,
but you said that last time.

[GROANS] Fair enough.

Uh... [CHUCKLES] Um…

[CLEARS THROAT] Well, I, um…


I broke protocol this morning.

I was dusting the old group photos,
the ones with Petey,

and it just…

Made me feel sad.

And, I guess,

worried that I won't be able to
run MDR like he did.

That tracks. I have similar worries.

So I…

Took 'em from the cubicles
and put 'em in the storage closet,

which we're not supposed to do.

I recall this. I objected.

Thank you for telling me, Mark.

I actually find your reaction sweet.

Though, it is puzzling you have
an outburst like this for Petey,

and not for, say, Carol D.

But we knew
Carol D. Was leaving beforehand.

I mean, her outie filmed a thank-you.

Petey was just gone.

And I mean, I... I don't know

if he's at some new job
or drunk on a beach, or d*ad...

[MR. MILCHICK] That's enough, please.

I think this is a good time
to remind ourselves

that things like deaths
happen outside of here.

Not here.

A life at Lumon is protected
from such things.

And I think a great potential response
to that from all of you

is gratitude.

I also think
that melon isn't getting any tastier.


Hey, sorry I derailed your game.

I thought I already had, but then, yeah,
you made it way worse.


So how are you gonna figure out
if Petey's okay?

Oh, I think Milchick was pretty clear.

You're just done
asking about your best friend

because our babysitter told you to stop?

You know, Milchick's a nice man.

When he says something,
it's best to listen.

I don't care.

'Cause he can't
always be nice like that.

[MR. MILCHICK CLAPS] Okay, Refiners!

Let's get this new group photo
before the melon bloat sets in.


[IRVING] At last.

- [MR. MILCHICK] All right.
- [IRVING] Mm-hmm.

Great big smiles. Remember, you're
gonna be looking at this every day.

Say "gratitude."

[IRVING, DYLAN, MARK] Gratitude!

Say "cheer."


Helly? What are you doing?

Oh, I... I just think
I'm not gonna work here anymore. Sorry.

What do you mean?

I quit.

I don't wanna do the file-sorting thing

or the never-seeing-the-sun-thing
or the disappearing-friends thing.

- I just don't want any of it.
- We told you there's code detectors.

Do you know that? Have you tried?
Because frankly, it sounds made-up.

[MARK] Helly!


[MARK] Helly!



Please, you don't know...

Oh, God. Come on.


Shit. Mr. Graner?


Come on out.


What have we got here?

Perhaps you'd better come with me.



Hey. I see you've found
my wayward trainee. [PANTS]

Appreciate your help, sir, as always.

Ah, the note. [CHUCKLES]

So, this is embarrassing, but,
uh, it's my first time training,


I must've just forgotten to go over
data-smuggling rules with Helly.

Oh, sorry. This is Helly. [CHUCKLES]

Helly, Mr. Graner.


Yeah, so if Helly
tripped the code detectors,

that one, it's on me and,
uh, I apologize for that, sir.


- Big department chief now, Mark S.?
- Huh?


On you, then. Let's go.



[MS. COBEL] Mark.

So you're a doula?

- [DATE] A midwife, actually.
- Hmm.

And how many deliveries have you,
I don't know, seen?

Oh, uh…

Over ?

This is mostly back in Montana.

- Wow. That's, uh, so cool.
- Yeah.

That's such a high amount.

[CHUCKLES] Yeah. We get, uh, two a day.

- Depending.
- Hmm.

- Mm-hmm.
- Mmm.

So, is... is that, uh, like, ten a week?

Like, in a five-day work week, or…

- Yeah, or so.
- Yeah. Okay.

- Are you vetting me for your sister?
- No. Oh, no. You seem great.

- Yeah, I'm kidding.
- I know.

- Thank you.
- [WAITER] Mm-hmm.

So, Lumon?

- Yeah.
- Like half this town.

And half of me. That was a joke.

[CHUCKLES] It was funny.

Yeah. Um,

I'm in the archives division, sort
of a corporate historian, apparently.


Um, so a lot of sensitive material,
hence the… [CLICKS TONGUE]

So you don't know…

Who you work with, or what you do,
or... or anything?

Yeah, that's the idea.

- What if you snuck in a note?
- You can't sneak notes.


- You could have a girlfriend at Lumon…
- Thank you.

…and not know it.

And if you met someone out here,
you wouldn't know it in there.

you could get married and have kids,

and just forget they exist
for eight hours every day,

for your whole life.

That doesn't mess with your head?

I think for some people, it's the point.

[DATE] So, as a local,

this just feels
like a reasonable temperature to you?

[MARK] Well, technically, I'm from Ganz.

And you're one to talk.

Isn't Minnesota, like,
crazy cold with the lakes?

Yes. Minnesota was very cold

the one time I visited
from my home in Montana.

Oh, so... so those are different places.


So do you live in Lumon housing?

You make it sound
like dorms or something.


- No, I just meant that there's...
- I live in Baird Creek.

And, yes, they happen to be subsidized
by the company that employs me.

[PETITIONER ] Excuse me, do you have
a moment for children's brain health?

[PETITIONER ] And legalized severance
in the workplace?

- Oh, nice. The WMC's out and about.
- Who?

[PETITIONER ] Most severed workers
don't see the sun their whole lives.

The Whole Mind Collective.
They're great.

Uh, excuse me, do you have a moment
for children's brain health?

[PASSERBY] We're all good.

You folks have a moment
for children's brain health?

- We do.
- Great!

We're trying to get a measure
on the ballot

to keep mega-corporations like Lumon
from continuing to force

legalized severance on our state.

They're forcing it now?

That's what they're lobbying for.

And Jame Eagan is
trying to sever kids...

Okay, well, what about the
self-mutilating types

who do it willingly?

I mean, I heard that some of them
are so deluded

they don't even know they're victims.

I also heard that if you're severed,

you go to two separate hells.
Is that true?

Hey, man, you wanna benefit off
forced labor, that's up…

- Hey, man. Forced labor?
- …then that's up to you.

f*cking really?

- Hey!
- Yeah.

- Forced labor? Okay.
- Really.

So people can just, like, self-imprison?

Are you c*ptive right now?

No, seriously, because your past self
chose to walk you down here

to be an infantilizing prick to people.

Severance is subjugation, assh*le.

Oh, oh, that's nice language for a...

What... What are you? Twelve?

Are you years old?
Are you even in high school yet?

Okay. Uh, come on.




[MARK] Mrs. Selvig.

Peace offering.

Are we fighting?

I just keep thinking
about those damn bins.

Oh. Well, that is so not necessary,
but, uh, very kind. Thank you.


Here, why don't you come in?
I have milk.

- Why, thank you!
- [CHUCKLES] Yeah.

Oh, I'm experimenting with chamomile,
so no hard feelings if you gag.

Oh, I'm sure I won't.

Still waiting for that third bulb
to revive itself?

Oh, yeah.
Keep forgetting to change that.

Hmm, my, you smell nice.
Were you on a date?

Uh, sort of.

My sister set me up with,
like, her doula, or midwife.

Didn't really feel like anything.

Well, let's see here. I'll, uh…




- This I... These are magic.



My late husband was a carpenter,

and before he passed,

he said he would start building us
a house in the hereafter.

And there would be
a small guest apartment in the back,

in case I found a new man
before I got there.

That's… so sweet. That's… so sweet.


He even drew blueprints,
which I keep in my purse.



Well, come by the shop, okay?

I'll give you a mugwort bath b*mb
that'll make you sleep like a rag doll.

I'll try to get down there.

Good night, Mrs. Selvig.


The nerve, my new partner's a woman.

[PERSON ] I just think
you could've mentioned it sooner.

[PERSON ] You'd better be on the
stakeout and not… out for a steak.






[MR. MILCHICK] Seth Milchick,
Lumon Industries.

Mr. Milchick, it's Mark Scout.

I'm a severed worker.
Employee number .

Mr. Scout, what a pleasure.
How can I help you?

I actually woke up
not feeling terribly well.

I'm sorry I'm just now calling.

Oh, no. May I ask how serious it is?

Well, nothing bad,
just very minor stomach event.

Should be back tomorrow.

Well, I'm sorry.

I know your innie will be sad
to have missed the day.

You feel better. Okay, Mr. Scout?

- Where's Mark?
- Missed you too.

He should be coming down first now.
You don't think that...

He's probably sick. They wouldn't
bounce him and Petey the same week.

I certainly hope not.

Quarterly deadline's coming up,

and I'm not looking
to be department chief.

Wow. Lot a confidence for a man
who once got disciplined for dozing.

Sorry. That was...

I can't help
that I was hired older than you.

It just never stops, huh?

Endless toil.

Where's Mark?

Sick or fired. Probably sick.

They wouldn't have fired him
for my note thing, would they?

No. No way. He did his stint
in the break room yesterday.

[MR. MILCHICK] He said he was ill.

[MS. COBEL] Did he sound ill?

I don't know. He said it was abdominal.

Funny timing.


[DYLAN] The erasers are mostly
decorative, since we don't have pencils.

Finger trap is fun, as long as
you know how to use it safely.

But it's really more about what they

how far you got in the file.

But why don't we
always finish the files?

'Cause they only keep so long.

You know, we finish, on average,
one in five files before they expire.

Which is better than it used to be
before Mark's freshman fluke.

- [DISTORTED] What's a freshman fluke?






I'm s... I'm sorry.

[MR. MILCHICK] Irving?

We'll deduct the time you spent dozing
from your outie's paycheck.

What will be harder to fix, Irving,
is my and Ms. Cobel's trust in you.

I'm so sorry, sir. I'm just so sorry.

Well, no one is hankering
to throw you in the break room.

We'll do a wellness check with Ms. Casey
and go from there, all right?

Thank you, Mr. Milchick.


Nothing scary yet. Nothing scary yet.

[GASPS] Oh, God! A four!

Don't f*ck around.

I told you, you'll understand
when you see it, so just be patient.

W-What even are these numbers?

Like, do we even know
what we're supposedly cleaning?

My theory?

The sea.

The sea?

Yeah. Think about it.

Okay, if our outies are up there
severing their brains,

shit must have gotten pretty bad.

Famine, plagues, et cetera.

So what is a desperate humanity to do?

Populate the sea?

Populate the sea.

But first, they gotta send probes
down to the sea to clean up

all the deadly eels and shit,
'cause we can't cohabitate with that.

So we send the probes down,
they send us the data coded,

we sense what's eels, and then
we tell the probes what to blow up.

This is the leading theory?

Nah, Irv thinks we're cutting
swear words out of movies.

But what is it? Like, what... what
are we actually workin' on down there?

I don't know.

I thought without severance
it would make more sense, but…

They separate us
from the other departments.

We don't even know how many there are.

But I've been reintegrated
for two weeks now.

I've been mapping out the floor.

I hid the original for you when I left.


You okay?


Reintegration sickness.

Never heard of that one.

Because I'm the first dipshit
that's ever had it.

Plus, living in a cold-ass greenhouse
doesn't help,

but I can't go home.

Okay, so what is it that happens
down there that's so bad?

There's this room…

We go in there when we don't act right.

[MARK] What is that?

I'm afraid you're not sorry.

Please. I truly am. I'm sorry.

Please read the statement again.

[MARK] 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.

I am thankful to have been caught,

my fall cut short
by those with wizened hands.

All I can be is sorry,
and that is all that I am.

[MR. MILCHICK] I'm afraid
you don't mean it. Again, please.


Forgive me for the harm
I have caused this world.

None may atone for my actions but me.

The f*ck is that?

That's the break room.




- Oh! I'm... I'm sorry.
- Oh! No, I'm sorry, sir.

I didn't think anybody was out here.

I'm coming out from my session.

I... I was just going in. I was
admiring the, uh, art while I wait.

That piece hung in the perpetuity wing
for many years.

I know. And it broke my heart
when they took it down.

It's better here. It's calming.

I'm Irving. Macrodata Refinement.

Are you a department head?

Well, Optics and Design.

A two-person department, so, barely.

Mmm. So this is your work, hmm?

We don't paint them. We do hang them.

I loved that you did the Ambrose cycle
in the team-building space

last quarter.

- Huh.
- I'd never seen it.

Well, it's rare to meet a sophisticate.

Most people only think of O&D
when new handbook totes come in.


Well, I love those too.

- Yeah?
- Mm-hmm.

There's new ones coming next month.

Best design yet, in my view.

Oh, wow! Well, that's all
I'll be thinking about until then.

[MS. CASEY] Irving?




All right, Irving.

What I'd like to do is share with you
some facts about your outie.

Because your outie is
an exemplary person,

these facts should be very pleasing.

Just relax your body
and be open to the facts.

Try to enjoy each equally.

These facts are not to be shared
outside this room.

But for now, they're yours to enjoy.

Your outie is generous.

Your outie is fond of music
and owns many records.

Your outie is a friend to children
and to the elderly and the insane.

Your outie is strong
and helped someone lift a heavy object.

Your outie attends many dances

and is popular among
the other attendees.

Your outie likes films
and owns a machine that can play them.

Your outie is splendid
and can swim gracefully and well.

- I'm sorry.

Please try to enjoy each fact equally,

and not show preference
for any over the others.

That's ten points off.
You have points remaining.

- Points?
- Please don't speak.

Your outie won a game two weeks ago.

Your outie values water.

A photo of your outie with a trophy
was once in a newspaper.

Your outie has no fear
of muggers or knaves.

Your outie likes the sound of radar.

Your outie is skilled
at kissing and lovemaking.


I'm sorry.

Please don't respond
to any specific fact.

That's ten points off.

- I was just...
- Please don't speak further,

or all remaining points will be deducted

and the wellness session will end.


- Is it just the elevators?
- What?

With the code detectors.
Or is it the stairwells too?

Jesus. Stairwells too. Why?

If no one accepts the resignations,

what makes you think
they're being delivered at all?

You gotta let
the info-smuggling notion go.

Okay, but how good are the scanners?

what if you wrote the letters funky,

like one of those robot tests?

- Hi, kids. What's for dinner?
- Nope!

How was wellness?

Great. Very restorative.

I met the O&D department head.

Burt? I've met that guy. He's a f*ck.

You didn't tell him where we are,
did you?

Burt's not a f*ck. And no.

[DYLAN] I'm asking for the safety
of this department.

- I don't need to tell you...
- That's a myth.

And don't pretend you care
about this department.

You just want your waffle party.

[DYLAN] Oh, beg-f*cking-pardon.
We're supposed to like the perks.

"And all in Lumon's care

shall revel
in the bounty of the incentives spur."

Don't pervert a handbook passage
to me, okay?

- Don't do it.
- Hey, guys?

Lumon has been good to us,
and it is feckless to...



[DYLAN] Yep.

Why is... Why is it, uh...

You okay. Just fence off
the bad data like I showed you.

Can you see the perimeter?

[DYLAN] And bin it.

Boom. f*cking refined.

- All right, Helly. Hip, hip.

They were scary. The numbers were scary.


[MARK] Here's the couch.
I'll find you a sleeping bag.

And you can use the shower if you want.

What are you trying to say?



[SIGHS] Thanks for doing this, Mark.

Well, I, you know, figured my work self
would be pissed

if I let you sleep in a greenhouse.


Uh, light's on the left.


[MARK] You okay in there?

Yeah! Yeah, I'm good.













[MARK] Petey, are you okay?

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