01x05 - The Grim Barbarity of Optics and Design

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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01x05 - The Grim Barbarity of Optics and Design

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Helly leave?


Maybe you should get out of here.

I know. Just wrapping up.

Sorry, I love the work.






g*dd*mn it!


Oh... Oh, my God.




Is she okay?

[MARK] Helly?

- Mark, get in the elevator.
- Helly? Helly!

Get in the elevator!


Is she okay?



- Judd.
- Mr. Scout, you have a good evening.

Will do. Same to you.






Is she alive?

Have a seat, Mark.

- She's in the hospital.

She has severe bruising but,
thankfully, no permanent damage.


Okay, so you... You're letting her go?

Helly's outie has
no intention of resigning...

She almost d*ed.
She doesn't wanna be here.

And she will be back at her desk
in a few days.

Is that enough time?

This happened on your watch, Mark S.

And you can thank Kier himself
it went the way it did.

Have a productive day.

[RICKEN] What is it to fail?

My failure to break into the literary
world in my s was devastating,

yet it taught me a vital lesson.

That it was not me who was wrong,
but literature itself.

And that to truly find
my place in that world,

I would first need to break it entirely.

And so I did.

A society with festering workers
cannot flourish,

just as a man with rotting toes
cannot skip.

What separates man from machine

is that machines cannot
think for themselves.

Also, they are made of metal,
whereas man is made of skin.

If you are a soldier,
do not fight for my freedom.

Fight for the freedom
of the soldier fighting next to you.

This will make the w*r more inspiring
for you both.

A good person will follow the rules.

A great person will follow himself.

Bullies are nothing but Bull and Lies.

At the center of "Industry" is "Dust."

They cannot crucify you
if your hand is in a fist.

Should you find yourself contorting
to fit a system, dear reader,

stop and ask if
it's truly you that must change

or the system.

[MR. GRANER] Ran the diagnostics.

[MS. COBEL] And?

Full synaptic coupling.
Petey Kilmer's memory was reintegrated.

You were right, Harmony.

We should celebrate.

I figure you'll take a b*at
before telling the Board,

especially after
what happened with Helly R.

Jesus. You haven't told them.

Comb the chip data
for source signatures.

It's saved, so you can keep it.

A gift.

Please find out who did this.

I'd like to deliver everything
to the Board at once.


Oh, shit.

Hi, Mark, it's Ricken.

Listen, I know you're still
in, um, severed Mark form,

but, uh, Devon's at centimeters,
so this baby is officially coming.

Uh, we're headed
to the birthing retreat now,

so please come.

Mark, Ricken again.

We're at the retreat,

and the child is continuing
toward the birth canal,

so it would be really great
if you were here.

[STAMMERS] I don't know if they let you
have your phone down there...

Oh, actually,
if this is Mark's work self,

please tell him
Ricken said to come quickly.

Mark, we're still here.
Wondering if you're lost.

We are in cabin six,

which is through the gate
and at the end of the row.

It's, um,
one of the more affordably sized units,

but you should be able to find it.

Please do come soon.

Oh, hey.


Did you forget that I was gonna be here?

- Slightly. [CHUCKLES]
- Mmm.

Look, I'm, uh,
sorry about the other night. I...

Yeah, no, it's fine.


- She's doing great, by the way.
- Yeah?

- Yeah.
- Okay.

The contractions are about
minutes apart,

so we still have some time.

Ricken is doing this thing
where he cries over her.

- So, I'm...

I'm giving them some privacy.

Sounds good.

Hey, thank you for, uh,
you know, taking care of her.

Yeah. Of course.

[CRYING] Babe, I just don't wanna be
like my father.

I know, baby. I think it's good
you're getting it out now.

- [SOBS]
- It's okay.

Hey. I'm looking for baby camp?

The uncle-to-be. Welcome, Mark.

Yay! I'm so glad you're here.

I didn't know if they were gonna
wake you up from work or whatever.

Oh, no, I just saw the message
when I got off. Sorry.

No, it's been pretty boring so far.

All right. Well, uh,
glad to be here in this cozy nook.

- Wow.
- Dude, did you see the one next door?

- Yeah.
- It's, like, psychotically expensive.

It's like a freakin' lodge.
I hate whoever's in there.

It's just fat cats making fat kittens.


- Oh, shit.

It's a contraction.

- f*ck.
- Mark, say a secret quickly.

[DEVON] He doesn't have to, babe.

- What?
- The fetus is drawn to clear air.

Purging secrets can create a soul void
that speeds the labor.

Okay, and we want that?

- Oh, we do.
- Hey, baby, not right now.

It's fine, I'll start. Um, Mark...

I love you, and I feel hurt
that you haven't called me

to thank me for the book yet.

- [EXHALES SHARPLY] There. Good.
- The book?

We left a copy of his new book
on your doorstep.

Five days ago. Five full days.

Okay, well,
I definitely haven't seen that.

I mean, it must've been stolen
or something. I...

- What?

- That was an advanced copy.

Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh!

- Are you okay?
- Oh, my God. [SIGHS]

- I'm okay.
- [RICKEN] Whew!

It's fine. It's all fine.


Okay, okay. I'm okay. Are you okay?


- I'm good.
- Yeah?

- Yeah, I'm gonna go get coffee.
- Really?

Yeah. I think. I'm gonna get going.

- Are you sure? Um...
- Thank you. Oh, thanks, bud.

- All right. I'll be back.
- [RICKEN] Yeah.

Okay. Be careful.


Well, this is good.
We can finish setting up the room.



Mark, would you help me hang the kelp?

Hang the kelp? Why?

Do you really want me to explain it?




Hi. Excuse me?


Sir... [GROANS]


What the f*ck, man? Oh, my Go...

Hi, I'm so sorry.
I'm another pregnant lady.

I'm from over there.
I just came out on a coffee run,

and I got distracted
by your beautiful coffee,

and I was wondering if there's
any chance you could hook me up.

Um, okay.

Yeah? Yes. Thank you. Thank Christ.


[STRAINS] Hi. Thank you so much.

- [PANTS] I'm gonna squeeze right past you.

Ooh. I'm Devon.


Thank you for narcotics.

My husband is driving me f*cking crazy.

My brother's... depressing me.


Is it your first?

Yeah. Yours?

My third.

I'm naming him William.

Three kiddos. I'm so f*cking scared
of ruining one child. [CHUCKLES]

How do you handle it?

- Lotta help, I guess.
- Yeah.

Holy shit, by the way,
how about this cabin? It's so nice.

Are you rich?


[RICKEN] Because really...
if the thief reads the book,

it will have been worth it.

In fact, I bet you
he turns himself in afterward.


I know the last time you were
in a medical facility was for Gemma.

Oh, is that what this is?
A medical facility?

Of course, the baby's middle name

been so lovely a tribute to her, but...

I understand you were unable
to be comfortable with it.

Your kid deserves her own name
without some...

big, feely baggage.




[DEVON] Psst.

I got coffee.

Toll, please.


I made friends
with the richest lady in baby camp.


She was...

quiet, but she was nice.

Very cute. I should send you up there.

I'd imagine she's spoken for.


I bet Alexa would give you another sh*t.

I bet she wouldn't.

- I bet you could ask her.
- Oh. Okay.

- Ah. [GROANS]
- You okay? Do you want me to go get her?

No, no, no. Hold on,
can I squeeze your hand?

Yeah. There we go.

- All right.

- Need me to tell a secret?
- [CHUCKLES] Yeah, go ahead.

Give me your dark shit.

Well, so, uh...


I kinda think Lumon might be
up to something.

What do you mean?
Like, with your paychecks?

No, I've just been hearing stuff.
Just around.

Who've you been talking to?




Do you remember the businessman?


Holy f*cking pit of hell!

[RICKEN] Okay. Darling, you okay?

- [GROANS] Why do people do this?
- Uh, I'll go get Alexa.

- Great.
- [GROANS] Don't touch me, baby.

- Okay.
- Ah!

- [ALEXA] One more big push.
- [RICKEN] Oh, my God.

[ALEXA] She's right here.
She's right here. You're doing so great.

[DEVON STRAINING] It hurt... It hurts.

I know it hurts but she's right here.

- I can see her. She's crowning. Okay?
- [RICKEN] Oh, my God.

[ALEXA] All right, now. You know,
I can see her. Here she comes.



- [RICKEN] Whew.

- [DEVON] Oh, my God. [GROANS]
- [ALEXA] She's coming.


- [RICKEN] Oh, my God.


[RICKEN] Thank you.
Oh, she did great. I'm gonna pass out.

[MR. MILCHICK] She was in outie form
at the time she woke up.

So this will be innie Helly's first
conscious experience

since the hanging.

When she sees you,
it's important your eyes be kind.

Do you know how to make your eyes kind?



You're okay.

You're okay. It's all right.


So they locked away the extension cords

and other dangerous items so, you know,

you should be safe.

And if you wanna focus on
looking for happy numbers for a while,

- that's fine.


Do you wanna talk about it?

We should hide
inspirational handbook quotes

around the office for
her to stumble upon.

She just needs
to start earning perks, dude.

I'd end my life
if I didn't have any finger traps yet.

You know, what one of us should do
is lend her our trap

until she has one of her own.

Yeah, but not me though
'cause I already contributed the idea.

It's only fair.

Ms. Casey.

I'm here to observe Helly R.

Oh. Uh, no one told me.

Ms. Cobel's orders.
I am to watch her for signs of sadness,

and verbally encourage her
to forgo further su1c1de attempts.

Upon request, I can also perform a hug.

You know I've been, uh, exhibiting signs
of sadness.

Could I get one of those?



[SCOFFS] Did you get all that?

Are you upset?

No. I'm peachy.

If you're upset, you can request a...

A hug. I know. I'm good.


We lose you again there, buddy?


I have to go to O&D.

Something's come up.

And I...
I'd like to seek Burt's counsel.

[SIGHS] Well...

Okay, fine.

Just make a copy of that map
in case we have to come find you.

Oh, God.

- Oh, no. I'm sorry, Irving.

We must have sent this print job here by

You weren't supposed to see this.

What are these? [BREATHES SHAKILY]

Nothing. A joke for Ms. Cobel.

It's the O&D coup, isn't it?
The one that Dylan talks about, huh?

Did that actually happen, Mr. Milchick?

Of course not.
Nothing like that could happen here.


It's proof. It is ironclad proof.

Milchick says it didn't happen.

And why would one department
physically att*ck another?

Lumon wouldn't just then give them all

the other department's resources.

Does O&D know that?
Are we even sure about it?

Because with seven people,
there is a lot that they could do to us.

- I could ask...
- Your new friend,

who lied to you
about the size of his department?

How do we know
what else he isn't being kosher about?

You ran a on Irving B.?

Yeah. Just now.


I thought it might dissuade him
from spending so much time with Burt G.

I'm sorry. Should I have consulted you?

No, no. Good initiative.

I saw Ms. Casey down there.

You're having her watch Helly R.

I am.

May I ask why?

"The light of discovery shines truer

upon a virgin meadow
than a beaten path."

I'm trying something new with Ms. Casey.

Keep it between us.

- Right.


Helly R.

Hi, Ms. Casey.

Please describe for me
your time in the restroom.

Oh, no. [GROANS]

I'm so sorry, Ms. Casey.
I just... I-I... Ugh. I turned and...

Bet you're drunk. What'd your mouth
taste like when you got in today?

Helly R., you have to come with me
to distribution supply.

[SIGHS] That's okay.
I can watch Helly R. While you're gone.

It's only a few minutes, right?

Distribution supply is eight minutes,
round trip.

You know, I go to distribution supply
all the time,

so I could, uh... If you...

Well, that's one less horrible thing.

For eight minutes anyway.

Helly, I just realized

I haven't shown you
where we keep the extra pen caps.

It's not far. Do you mind?

I'm good, thanks.

Nah, you're right. We shouldn't go
anywhere without Ms. Casey.

[DYLAN] Careful out there, boss.

Weird energy about.



So where are all these pen caps at?

How are you doing, Helly?

Jesus. Did you make up the pen caps
to ask me that?

Well, I just wanted to talk.

I'm really bad, Mark.

Thanks for noticing.

Oh. Come here.

Come on.


Petey's map.

Yeah. Since you've been gone,

I've been trying to recreate
it on my lunch breaks.


I thought maybe
if we work on it together, we can...

you know.

I'm not your new Petey.


[MS. CASEY] Helly R.?

- Mark took her to look at pen caps.
- [MS. CASEY] Where?

- Now?
- They're fine.

Just at the end of the storage wing.

Burt G. Is in the conference room.



What are you doing here?

Oh. You know, I was turned around.

Actually, I...

I was looking for you.
I hadn't heard from you.

Well, I...

- [SHOUTS] Dylan! Oh, my God! What are...
- Irving.

What are you doing?

- He was coming at you.
- Let him out!

- Out? Why the f*ck is he here?
- Let him out!

- What's wrong with you?
- You saw that painting.

You want to get disemboweled today?

Hey, where's your friends? Plural.

As in, the six f*cking people
you've been hiding from us.

Oh, my word. I... I... I...

[MUMBLES] I need a manager!

Irving, wait. Don't go.

- I... We...
- I know what you're up to.

- What is wrong with you? Open the door.
- [IRVING] Manager!

[BURT] Open the door.

- We need a manager. We need a manager.
- [BURT] Irving!





[HELLY SCOFFING] Where the f*ck are we?

Look, don't you want to get these to...

I told her I wanted out,
and she told me I wasn't a person.

My own self told me that.

Yeah, and... and that's horrible.
But don't focus on her.

What do you want? In here?

What I want is for her to wake up
while the life drains out of her

and to know it was me who did it.


- If I could just explain...
- Save it, marauder.

I checked the whole storage wing.
No sign of him or Helly.

Shit. O&D has probably
k*lled them already.

- Irving, what?

Our department chief and new hire have
gone missing.

Do you know where they are?

No, I j... I just came to see you.

And the rest of your department?

They're back in O&D, Irving. I know
I said it was just Felicia and me...

If you came here to see me,
then why are you in the conference room?

Why not come right to the office?

I didn't know why you hadn't been back,

and I didn't wanna scare you again.

Like with the hand thing.

You didn't scare me.

Or embarrass you.
Look, I was working out a joke.

- A joke?
- To say when I got in.

Prove it. Tell it.

I hadn't worked it out yet. [CHUCKLES]

[STAMMERS] Why did you lie

the number of people in your department?


[SIGHS] ...we don't trust your guys.

- You? The king of f*ck don't trust us?
- I do.

But people just talk about MDR.
Stupid old stories, jokes even.

What do you mean?


It's literally silly.
Like, they say you all have pouches.

- Pouches? Like to c-carry young?
- Yes.

According to some,
you each have a larval offspring

that will jump out and att*ck
if we get too close.

That's f*cking psycho.

I mean, it's a joke of course,
but I don't know.

The sentiment, you know, somehow holds.
People are weird.

- Yeah.
- Though, I'd be remiss not to say

that in this theory, the larva
eventually eats and replaces you.

- Oh.
- Which, Irving, would solve the mystery...

of your youthful energy. [CHUCKLES]


Irv. Irv?

- Excuse me. [CHUCKLES]
- Where are you going?


Are you sweet on this guy?

You disapprove?

I do. I do disapprove.

Uh, certainly the handbook forbids
taking heart to other employees.

Rat-f*ck the handbook.

This guy's O and g*dd*mn D,
who are duplicitous snakes to a one.

It's not safe.







They're not ready.

You can't take them yet.
They're not ready.

It isn't time!


- Oh, we don't...
- [WRANGLER] Get the hell out of here.

- Go!

[BURT] "The Grim Barbarity
of Optics and Design

[IRVING] That's what it said. Mm-hmm.

[BURT] There's definitely
no painting by that name.

What kind of barbarities
were we enacting?

It doesn't matter.
I don't think it was real.

I mean, I'll have to confer
with my larva, of course.


- I'm... I'm sorry you had to do this.
- [LAUGHS] It's all right.

I mean, you know that

relationships beyond the, uh,
platonic are frowned upon anyway.

Is that what we are?


Well, uh, Burt G., at this time I, uh,

formally release you
from MDR's supervision.

As Kier said, "Be ever merry."

Would you like to come in?

There is something in the storeroom
I'd like to show you.

And Dylan, of course.


The Courtship of Kier and Imogene.

He met his wife
while a stewman in an ether factory.

Damn dumb being here.

She was a swab girl.

The handbook just says they were
bonded by the spirit of industry.

[BURT] I know,
but if this interpretation is correct,

they met as colleagues.
Took heart to each other as colleagues.

- Mmm.
- Hmm.

Makes you wonder
how something could be wrong if Kier...

- Get away from him! You lying f*ck!
- [BURT] Dylan, what?

- Dylan!
- He claims he doesn't know

about this painting, meanwhile,
it's sitting on his shelf.

- That isn't.
- [DYLAN] Irv, we need to go. Now.

It's not the same.

- What?
- Look.

Look at the badges
the raiders are wearing.

That's not O&D, Dylan. It's us.

This one's never gone
into the hallway rotation.

It's called
"The Macrodata Refinement Calamity ."

Okay, but we've never done
anything like that.

Why the hell would there be
two versions of the same painting?

[HELLY] I mean,
what if the goats are the numbers?

Like, we're deciding which goats live
and which ones... Oh, God.

I doubt it's that.

Look, um...

I know you don't wanna be here. But...

I'm glad you are.

And I'm sorry that this is
the best I can do right now.

If you give me the map,
I'll clean it up.

Your drawing is shit.


Oh. Hi, uh, Ms. Casey.

We were just heading back
from our mental health walk.

You're both unhurt?

We... We are.

[SIGHS] I'm glad. I was scared.

I'm sorry.

I forgive you.

Okay, then.


You aware what MDR is up to right now?

I thought that's what you were paid for.

You're not stopping it?

"The surest way to tame a prisoner
is to let him believe he's free."

There's a Kier quote for everything.

How many more departments
are you gonna let them find?

I'll have a word with Mark.

I would be careful.
Upstairs wouldn't look kindly on this.

Yes, Daddy.

You can talk to me when you figure out
who hacked Kilmer's chip.

Excuse me, everyone.

I wanna introduce you all
to Irving and Dylan.

They're from MDR.


And they're friends.
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