THe shocking final of SeparationSeason 1 has inspired hundreds, or even thousands, of theories. It centers on workers who agree to have the memories of their offices removed from their private ones. There are many mysteries. Who are these employees, when they’re not in the office? They would be so willing to take such an extreme step. Lumon is the corporate that employs them. Why would they ask them for such an extreme step?
Reddit has been flooded with speculations from fans about the future direction of this eerie series. Ben Stiller (who directed the initial season) said that during the Separation panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday that he has yet to figure out how to get on Reddit—but the show’s creator, Dan Erickson, has been on the platform reading fan reactions.
“I was warned not to go on the Subreddit on this show at all, and I held off for about six minutes,” Erickson said, “and then I was on it every day for a while. It’s kind of addicting.”
Erickson worked on the script for 10 years and Stiller for 5. The story may not be written down in stone but Stiller and Erickson share strong opinions about its direction. “It’s really interesting to see what people’s theories are and sometimes they have ideas that are better than what I thought of,” Erickson said. “But then I pulled back because it’s this idea of infinite options, and at some point you need to commit to what you’re doing.”
He said he even found an incredibly accurate map of Lumon’s labyrinthine hallways on the website. Adam Scott spoke out about how the corridors, which were constructed as real sets, are so complex that Scott often required help getting out.
Tramell tillman, Jen Tullock and Dichen Lachman speak in the Severance Panel in Room 20 at 2022 Comic-Con International, San Diego Convention Center, July 21-22, 2022, San Diego, California. Britt Lower, Ben Stiller, Adam Scott, Britt Lowe, Britt Lower, Adam Scott, Adam Scott, Dichen Lechman, Adam Scott and Britt Stiller also spoke.
Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images
There are no plot prizes for Severance Season 2
Erickson revealed that, in the original version of the pilot, Adam Scott’s character Mark was the one waking up in an office after being severed, and Helly (Britt Lower) was the person coming in to check on him. The writer and director then decided to change the roles, so Helly was the one who wakes up after her surgery.
During the fan Q&A, someone pointed out that the men in Separation seem happy being severed—their office selves enjoy pursuing corporate goals and playing with finger traps. The first female to be severed on the series is not able to deal with the situation well, and she eventually rebels. A fan wanted to know what Stiller or Erickson meant about the gender difference at work.
“It wasn’t a straight-up intentional thing, ‘Let’s have the first woman in the office being the one who upsets the apple cart,’” said Erickson. “But once it was Helly, there is an obvious thing that if you bring anyone into a setting that previously was all one way, when you bring diversity into the environment, you are going to have new ideas introduced that help. So this idea that it was a boy’s club and Helly was an instigator of change for the better—we leaned into it.”
Only broad thematic discussions were held by the creative team about the show’s future. Stiller said the question of how much the “innie” versions of characters in the office can sense about their “outie” lives at home will continue to be a major area of exploration. “One of the conversations we had a lot with the actors, almost in every scene, is how much of what’s going on on the outside is informing their innie, even if they’re not conscious of it,” he said.
Erickson stated that he hopes to create a greater sense of the outside world than the Lumon offices.
According to him, he only wrote about a world different from ours in the sense that there was a severance process. Future seasons will further explore ramifications of how dividing one’s personality could affect society at large. “I’m excited, going into Season 2, building out the world a little bit more and being able to see, with this one slight tweak to reality, what the different ramifications would be,” he said. “We didn’t want it to feel sci-fi in the classical sense. We wanted it to be much more grounded.”
The director and the writer were not able to answer questions about plot points in Season 2. Fan asked about baby goats who appeared randomly in a bedroom in Season 1. “Is there a significance to the goats and will it be revealed?”
Erickson answered, simply, “Yeah.”
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