Friday, March 18, 2022

REVIEW: 'Severance' - Harmony's Devotion to the Cause Propels Her to Take Even More Drastic Actions in 'Hide and Seek'

AppleTV+'s Severance - Episode 1.06 "Hide and Seek"

The team angers Cobel by forming an alliance.

"Hide and Seek" was written by Amanda Overton and directed by Aoife McArdle

Harmony prays to Kier Eagan. She has a shrine to the man in her home. She always spies on the lives of those wrapped up in Lumon Industries. This is the first glimpse into her own life. The employees are expected to be devout followers of the teachings of this one man. He founded this company. His life has forever been immortalized. The legacy is passed down from each generation. Those are the sacred few allowed to lead. Everyone else must be loyal. Only then can they achieve true enlightenment. Working this job can be strenuous. It's important though. That's what the employees have always been told. They've never questioned it. They don't know what exactly they are doing. It's important enough to require them all to be severed. That places the importance onto the work. It has to be for some greater good. Otherwise, this program and the sacrifices required wouldn't make any sense. That's how the employees have always rationalized their behavior. Helly never accepted that premise. She was willing to kill herself just so her outie could understand the terror that truly takes place in this basement. And yet, they can use Kier's teachings to argue for the spread of information and friendships amongst the various departments. Harmony has monitored Irving and Burt's movements. She sees it as a problem. They too are aware of the company's policy against romantic entanglements. They say it isn't romantic. It has gotten intimate very quickly though. That's just as sensual and passionate. It showcases the yearning to be together in a way that is genuine and private. They want to escape together. They can't. They only exist in this limiting world where they don't have all the answers. They hold onto each other. That is immediately seen as bad and distracting. Mark's team isn't meeting their quota. They must be punished. Casey failed to monitor Helly. That sent her to the Break Room. Mark disobeys Harmony's orders forbidding walks to other departments. He is sent to the Break Room. That remains such an ominous space. One that can equate to physical harm. Outie Mark has been given a story as to how he hurt his hand. It's probably not the truth. He jokes about that. He doesn't trust what he's being told. He sees the potential for a much bigger conspiracy to be exposed. That exists both on the outside and inside. The parallels are significant though not exactly similar. That's a fascinating dichotomy. One that propels all the tantalizing drama featured.

Burt's team doesn't know what their purpose is any more than Mark's team does. They are given orders. They follow them. They are now challenged to ask why. Mark serves as that inspiration. He receives the most damning punishment. Harmony is furious. No one seems as devoted to the job as she is. She is trying to protect the company from the various threats. She does so both on the inside and outside. She is busy juggling it all. She monitors Mark's team closely. She understands what they are doing. She wanted them to move freely for a time as well. That's no longer an option. It's better to install doors that lock the refinement team inside their office. That's the extreme. She believes she's justified in these actions too. She's handling the situation to the best of her ability. She has devoted her life to this cause. As such, she goes above and beyond to ensure it's success. It's no longer good enough to only spy on Mark. She has to extend that surveillance to Devon and Ricken too. That comes at a time when Devon is starting to question her own connection to the severed program. The friend she met at the birthing cabin also happens to be married to the senator leading the charge in support of this procedure. The innie personalities don't solely exist underground either. Lumon has the ability to bring them out whenever they want. Milchick invades Dylan's home to interrogate him for information. His outie agrees to it all. He encourages the secrecy. Details are still revealed. Dylan learns he has a son. He sees this little glimpse at what life is like outside of the basement. Milchick has easy access to it. Moreover, the company is terrified by what Dylan discovered. It's okay for the Optics and Design team to have access to cards depicting various actions. It's a severe breach for Dylan to keep it. It may be as simple as trying to maintain order. The reaction and severity of Milchick's actions suggest it's much more insidious than that. The show continues to creep up its tension. It wants the audience to question more and more of what's going on. The characters themselves are being invited into that ongoing drama. Mark goes back and forth on whether he wants to reach out to Petey's contact. He is finally happy and moving forward during his date with Alexa. In that moment, he can properly express grief without it having to consume him with dread. And yet, so much of life is shaped by the connections he has with Lumon. He seeks greater clarity. That takes him deeper into the drama. Harmony is determined to stop whomever is trying to reintegrate the severed workers. Mark may join them. It requires so much secrecy though. That doesn't invite happy, fulfilling lives. It only creates more chaos and destruction no matter who is in charge of one's body throughout the day.