"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Severance 1.5: Second Lives

So, I said in my review of Severance 1.4 last week that, in the metaphysics of life and death in television series, if you don't see a character's head literally severed or blown to bits, that character might survive whatever the grievous injury.  And--

[Spoilers ahead ...]

Sure, enough, in episode 1.5 of Severance on Apple TV+ yesterday, Mark comes to the rescue and takes Helly down from that noose before it kills her.   We later learn that when she came to, she was in her outie form, an interesting detail that may have some significance sometime later in this unusual narrative.  At very least, it confirmed what we already knew, that her outie form was the entity that she really is.  I'll also say I'm glad that Helly survived, she's an important, pivotal character -- both in her own right, and as the innie Mark is the closest to, has the most commitment to.

Otherwise, there was not much of transcendent importance that happened in this episode.  It ends with Irving's team meeting Burt's team, which is supposed to be a big deal, but I'm not 100% sure why.  Are the innies on the way to organizing some kind of union?   That would indeed be interesting and important.

Meanwhile, I'd like to see more about Harmony and her relationship with the higher-ups at Lumon.  She's clearly beholden to the "board," but she also clearly has a certain independence of mind and action -- certainly a lot more than the innies on Mark's and slightly higher levels.  Dylan also has a lot more story in him.  It occurred to me that his obvious constant sarcasm and rebelliousness could be a mask for him really being a company operative.  That would explain why he seems to be getting away with his comments and attitude.

As I keep saying, Severance is one of most unusual and therefore memorable science fiction series to get on the screen in years -- the very different Counterpart would be the most recent example that comes to mind -- and I'm looking forward to more.

See also Severance 1.1-1.2:  Erving Goffman Meets The Prisoner ... Severance 1.3: The History and the Neighbor ... Severance 1.4: Deadly Ambiguity

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