Severance Season 1 Episode 6: Hide and Seek Recap

In episode 6, Graner and Cobel close in on the person who helped Petey with reintegration. Cobel punishes Ms Casey for letting Helly out of her sight the day before and warns Mark to keep MDR in their own office. Mark rebels against her orders and takes the team to O&D instead, where they meet the rest of the department. Outie Mark goes on another date with Alexa. While out on a walk, Devon runs into Gabby, the other expectant mother from the birthing center, but Gabby doesn’t remember her. Later, Devon learns that Gabby’s husband is a pro-severance state senator.

Recap

Dressed for bed in a homespun cotton nightgown and braids, Harmony (Patricia Arquette) finishes turning Petey’s (Yul Vazquez) implant into a pendant and clasps its chain around her neck. She’s made her bedroom in the basement, enclosed on two sides by the basement’s cinderblock walls, painted an institutional white, with only partially framed walls on the other sides, almost suggesting bars. Her bed has an old cast iron bed frame. The room is lit by a single fluorescent light, mounted on the wall over the head of bed, and candles the size and shape of Gemma’s candle, but Harmony’s are white.

It looks as though she’s recreated her childhood bedroom from a mid 20th century orphanage or school. Or she’s a survivalist who’s very worried about natural and manmade disasters, so she sleeps in her basement bunker.

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Severance Season 1 Episode 5: The Grim Barbarity of Optics and Design Recap

In episode 5, Helly continues to work through her issues with the help of Mark and Ms Casey. Irving and Dylan find a disturbing painting which shows O&D attacking MDR. When they confront Burt about the painting and his lie about the size of his department, he tells them that the rest of the O&D department believes false rumors about MDR. Ms Cobel asks Milchick to have Petey’s implant analyzed. In the outside world, Devon goes into labor and Outie Mark joins her support team at the nature retreat birthing center.

Trigger warning for self-harm. And more about goats than anyone wants to know. There are some things you can’t unsee. Metamaiden was traumatized by flying goats, so I promised her that I will finally analyze Petey’s map in episode 6. Somehow this one got long, even for me. I didn’t even talk about the kelp. 💦

Recap

The episode begins moments after the end of episode 4, continuing Helly’s (Britt Lower) suicide attempt. The elevator reaches its destination and the doors open, revealing Outie Helly hanging from the ceiling and struggling to breathe. Judd (Mark Kenneth Smaltz) is missing from his desk once again. We’re briefly shown the view from one of the surveillance cameras, which is recording the scene. The elevator doors close again and Helly rides back down to the severed floor, still struggling.

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Severance Season 1 Episode 1: Good News About Hell Recap

This is a recap of the AppleTV+ series Severance, season 1 episode 1. My review of the season is HERE.

Severance is ostensibly a series about work-life balance, but while it’s a complex, layered show, there’s very little balance involved. A little juggling, maybe, by some of the characters who haven’t been through the severance procedure, which splits memories into a work life and a home life, with no meeting of the two minds. But there is no way for two halves who can’t communicate with one another to negotiate anything like balance between them. Instead, this is a show about choices, connection and self awareness, in a controlled environment that tests the characters as if they are lab animals.

This distinction between the work self and home self as two halves of the same whole who don’t and never will know or understand each other is introduced and explored in episode 1 when Adam Scott’s Mark finds that his best work friend Petey has left his job at Lumon Industries. Mark is promoted to Petey’s former position on the spot and told to acclimate his own replacement, Helly R (Britt Lower), who has just undergone the severance procedure. The corporate philosophy that humans are replaceable, programmable plug and play resources is illustrated within the show’s first few minutes. The flaws in this sort of thinking are also exposed.

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Severance Season 1 Review- Minimal Spoilers

This is a review of season 1. You can find detailed episode recaps at the tag HERE.

Severance is an AppleTV+ series created by Dan Erickson and executive produced and directed by Ben Stiller. Season 1 consists of 9 episodes. Production has already begun on season 2, which will be 10 episodes (if IMDB is correct). This review was written after viewing the first 5 episodes, but only includes minimal spoilers for the first episode.

Adam Scott stars as Mark Scout, a widower who takes a job on the “severed” floor of Lumon Industries, a giant corporation with a cult-like following. Yes, it’s on the streamer brought to you by the cult of Steve Jobs. Sometimes, Apple is shameless. I say this as the parent of one of their lifelong devotees, while typing on a Macbook. Full disclosure- my laptops have all been Macbooks. I am also a fringe member of a corporate cult or two.

Because Mark’s work involves corporate secrets, he agrees to go through the severance medical procedure, in which a chip will be implanted into his brain, bifurcating his memories into two separate personas: one that can only access his time at work and another that only surfaces outside of his job. In addition to benefitting the corporation, the procedure will supposedly improve Mark’s work-life balance.

This has unforeseen consequences.

Severance is a cerebral science fiction dark comedy that, like its main character, has two personas. Much of the show takes place at the Lumon offices, on the windowless “severed” floor, located deep in the basement. This side of the show is a surreal, retrofuturistic psychological horror-thriller filled with characters who only know the world of the Lumon offices, which they aren’t allowed to leave, because they are “severed” personas, the Winter Soldiers of office drones. The walls are bright white, the fluorescent lights are always on and the hallways seem to go on forever, with only a few doors. Other than white, the main colors are the artificial turf green of the carpets and the blue of the men’s suits.

It’s stunningly but subliminally oppressive, in the way the clinical feel of the dentists’ offices of my youth let me know there was no point in resisting what was about to happen there.

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Travelers Seasons 1-3: Every Recap in Order

Links to every Metawitches recap and post related to Netflix’s Travelers, in order, so y’all can take a break from the mess that is the Travelers tag. Enjoy!

Season 1

Travelers: New Sci Fi Series from Netflix: Pilot Recap/Review– With the hope of preventing their own dystopian future from occurring, agents from the future use technology to send their consciousnesses into the minds of people who are about to die in the present day. Created by Brad Wright, of Stargate fame, and starring Eric McCormack (Will and Grace).

Travelers Season 1 Episode 2: Protocol 6 Recap– MacLaren becomes a traveler and meets the team in their new bodies. As the travelers settle into their new lives, they cope with how the changes affect their previous relationships with each other and the way the people around them react to their new personalities. The team works to contain a dangerous antimatter delivery.

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Y: The Last Man Season 1 Episode 3- Neil Recap

Y The Last Man S1Ep3 Jennifer & Yorick

In episode 3, Jennifer and Yorick are reunited at the Pentagon, but they struggle to keep Yorick a secret from the other 5,000 people who live and work in the building. With the help of Agent 355 and Christine, they develop a plan for Yorick to work with a geneticist to determine how he survived the Event. Kim becomes more suspicious of Jennifer, while Marla’s mental state deteriorates. Nora and Mack return home.

Yorick’s blue sweater wins this episode. No matter how much he complains and tries to reject his Hero’s Journey, that gorgeous, huggable sweater makes us want to follow him anywhere and cuddle up next to a warm fire. It looks like everyone at the Pentagon got a practical yet stylish upgrade to their wardrobe this week.

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Y: The Last Man Season 1 Episode 2: Would the World Be Kind Recap

Y The Last Man S1Ep2 Jennifer

Episode 2 picks up immediately after the death of the men, then makes a couple of time jumps, settling a couple of months into the apocalypse. The country is in chaos and riots are breaking out. Jennifer Brown becomes president and holes up in the Pentagon with other surviving high ranking government and military officials and their families. Agent 355 reveals her identity to Jennifer. Yorick searches for his girlfriend, Beth. Hero watches Mike’s wife and tries to figure out what to say to her. She also makes plans to leave NYC with Sam and his friends.

The characters refer to the mass death of every mammal with a Y chromosome as The Event. I’m going to refer to it as either that or the man plague.

Recap

The episode picks up on Day 1, immediately following the death of the men, as General Peggy Reed and the secret Service herd surviving government officials toward safety in the bunkers under the Pentagon. Their conversations make clear that no one has a clue what just happened, this was a global event, Ted Campbell’s administration was almost exclusively male, and many women also died, due to accidents caused by dying men. Regina Oliver, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, was in Israel and can’t be located. If she’s alive, she’s next in line for the presidency.

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Y: The Last Man Season 1 Episode 1: The Day Before Recap

The Day Before

This is a recap, with spoilers. My review of the first 3 episodes is HERE.

After several years of real life twists and turns, the TV adaptation of the Brian Vaughn-Pia Guerra graphic novel series Y: The Last Man premiered on FX on Hulu on September 13, 2021. As with many other graphic novel adaptations in recent years, such as The Walking Dead and Snowpiercer, it appears to be striking a balance between using the source material as a guideline but also updating and modifying storylines for television and changing times. This makes sense, since the first installments were published in 2002, a very different era from 2021 in terms of issues such as gender, race, sexual orientation, violence, terrorism and Climate Crisis awareness.

What ties the two eras together is the theme of coping with overwhelming reactions to a massive crisis. In 2002, the US was dealing with the aftereffects of the 9/11 attacks and was at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2021, the world is in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic that has killed 1 in 500 Americans. Both periods share the zeitgeist that the world has changed and not for the better. We grieve the loss of the old world and those we’ve lost along with it. We’re in the dark about what the future will bring, resulting in escalating feelings of isolation, confusion, anxiety and anger.

Y: The Last Man picks up on this zeitgeist, then applies it to a world in which all mammals with a Y chromosome have died, save 2. The sudden genocide of half of humanity, the half which maintained control of so many vital systems, provides an opportunity to explore the results of oppression and inequality in unique ways. Most of the categories that humans use to separate ourselves into groups still exist in their world, from race to political party. Most of the issues that humanity faced before men died still exist. But now, humanity and all species of mammals also face extinction, if whatever caused this mass die off becomes a permanent part of the environment.

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Y: The Last Man Season 1 Episode 7- My Mother Saw a Monkey Recap

Episode 7 takes on a Walking Dead tone as Yorick, 355 and Allison start on their road trip for real, then immediately take a side trip to a newly formed, slightly sinister community. Jennifer receives a surprise visitor at the Pentagon. Captain Nguyen’s official report after her encounter with Yorick and friends at the church in episode 6 has unexpected ramifications for Kim and Marla.

Recap

The episode begins with a slice of life in No Men Land- Amp crawls past dead human and animal bodies. 355 (Ashley Romans) inhales gasoline out of a hose in an attempt to siphon gas from a truck’s tank for the gang’s recently acquired RV. And Allison (Diana Bang) uses a flashlight to examine Yorick’s (Ben Schnetzer) physical health while he worries about how badly they hurt 355’s feelings when they tried to ditch her in episode 6. Yorick wants to apologize to 355, but Allison isn’t sorry, since 355 lied to and endangered them before they tried to run out on her. Allison sees their choices as tough love.

When 355 brings her pilfered gas to the RV, Yorick over-praises the effort instead of apologizing. She stays stone-faced, but tells him and Allison they can ride in the back of the camper. Allison sarcastically tells Yorick that his “apology” worked.

They drive through a gorgeous pine forest and cross a river, passing a sign facing in the other direction which says “Notice: Do Not Stop For Hitchhikers.” Oops. That means there’s a prison in the area and hitchhikers are most likely escaped criminals. But prisons also make the best post-apocalyptic bunkers, so it’s only fitting that the show go there sooner rather than later.

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Y: The Last Man Season 1 Episodes 1-3: Review

y-the-last-man

Y: The Last Man, based on the graphic novel series of the same name by Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra, has finally arrived on Hulu after years of back and forth in development. As is typical for Hulu, the first three episodes were released together as a block, serving as a super long pilot. The dystopian series, which ran for 60 issues that were published from 2002-2008, was written during the dark period post-9/11. It was a bit chilling to watch this show’s scenes of death and horror in the Pentagon and NYC streets just a few days after the 20th anniversary of that event.

In the Y: The Last Man universe, all of the male mammals in the world die, including human males, save one man and his male pet monkey. The women eventually refer to the day this happens as “The Event”, unable to bring themselves to give it a name any more specific than that, not even referring to it by the date, as with 9/11. It’s evocative of JK Rowling’s fictional supervillain from the Harry Potter universe, Voldemort, or He Who Must Not Be Named. Instead of Voldemort’s brutal, decades-long war, or the protracted, winding MCU lead up to Thanos’ snap, the on screen version of The Event takes place over the course of one day, leaving the characters to face their changed future as exhausted, suffering refugees from an irretrievable past.

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