And Severance pay the finale left fans hanging on a huge cliffhanger…
(SPOILERS TO FOLLOW!) In the Breakup finale “The We We Are”, the Macrodata Refinement team’s ambitious escape plan succeeds: Devon stays at work to activate the “overtime contingency” which allows Lumon to activate characters at work even when ‘they are in the outside world. By activating overtime on their own whim, the Macrodata Refinement team essentially goes “undercover” as their outside world – only to find out how shocking their “innies” have been in the dark the entire time.
Here’s a full explanation of what Severance Finale reveals about each main character – and where this cliffhanger ending leaves them:
Mark S. (Adam Scott): Mark “wakes up” to find himself at his brother-in-law Ricken’s (Micahel Chernus) self-help book reading party. This party brings together all of Mark’s closest friends – complete strangers to his work. Mark confesses to his sister Devon (Jen Tullock) that he’s at work himself and that severance hasn’t been great for him. Mark also finally makes the discovery that his “neighbor” Mrs. Selvig is actually his work boss Harmony Cobel, who has infiltrated his personal life (even babysitting his newborn niece) to keep tabs on Mark. The cliffhanger’s ending sees Work-Mark discover that the woman he’s been mourning all along (whose death made him choose separation), is actually still alive and working with him all along: the counselor in welfare of Lumon, Mrs. Casey. Mark manages to shout this revelation to his sister for a moment before Lumon deactivates the possibility of overtime and brings “outie” Mark back to his place.
Helly R. (Britt Lower): Helly spearheaded the revolution within the Macrodata Refinement department – going so far as to attempt suicide to escape Lumon. However, the possibility of overtime reveals that Helly “R” is actually Helena Eagan, the descendant of Kier Eagan, founder of Lumon. Helena submitted to the separation as a means of documenting the process first-hand in order to prove its effectiveness and dispel socio-political opposition to it. When “Helly” wakes up via the possibility of overtime, she finds herself in the precarious position of having to give a big speech as “Helena” to Lumon’s board and management team. Helena learns her own story from talking with her father, Jame Eagan backstage, and is almost arrested when Harmony Cobel arrives and discerns that “Helly” is impersonating “Helena”. During the final cliffhanger, Helly launches into his groundbreaking speech denouncing the separation – thinking there’s still a lot of ambiguity whether the crowd believes it or not.
Irving B. (John Turturro): The devoted Irving was the least likely member of the microdata revolution, but he became its biggest supporter after Lumon retired his work love, Burt G. (Christopher Walken). When overtime wakes Irving, he’s at home obsessively painting pictures of Lumon’s entrance/exit elevator as usual. Irving turns out to be very different from the primitive working man, sporting a leather jacket, a muscle car, and military training. Irving finds evidence that his “outtie” conducted a thorough investigation to locate Burt G. in the outside world, proving that love can somehow transcend breakup. When the cliffhanger ending arrives, Irving drives and finds Burt’s house – only to see that he’s apparently happily domesticated, living with another man. The sight drives Irving crazy, and the last we see of him is him knocking on Burt’s door, demanding an audience with a man he loves – but who may not even remember him. .
Outside of the main characters, Harmony Corbel realizes what Macrodata did before anyone else at Lumon – but since she was suspended for almost letting Helna kill herself, it’s unclear if any executives will actually listen to her. Mr. Milchick (Tramel Tillman), Lumon’s supervisor who oversees macrodata refinement, answers Harmony’s call to go to the control office and prevent Dylan (Zach Cherry), a member of the microdata team, from activate overtime. Milchick does as asked, and last seen, he and Dylan are struggling on the control room floor, with an ominous question about how Dylan will be punished for his rebellion.
Breakup is streaming on Apple TV+.