Severance Episode 5 Recap and Ending, Explained

Severance‘ episode 5 brings the thriller series to an interesting point where the main characters finally begin to unravel the mysteries around them. In the episode, Mark’s outie realizes that he must get to the bottom of everything going on at Lumon Industries. On the other hand, Mark’s workie finally begins to break his ideal employee mold and question the events around him.

Elsewhere, the other members of MDR make their own small discoveries. However, Ms. Cobel has some sinister plans that will certainly not bode well for the MDR team. If you are wondering about the implications of the MDR team’s actions, here’s everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Severance’ episode 5! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Severance Episode 5 Recap

The fifth episode, titled ‘The Grim Barbarity of Optics and Design,’ opens with the revelation that Helly survives her suicide attempt after Mark runs into her in the elevator. Mark learns of Helly’s survival and receives a warning from Ms. Cobel. Helly’s outie refuses to resign. Thus, after Helly recovers from her injuries, she returns to work. At work, Ms. Cobel instructs Ms. Casey to shadow Helly and keep a watch on her.

Outside the Lumon premises, Mark realizes that his sister’s due date is near. He heads to the medical cabin where Devon and Ricken are staying. Mark spends the night with the couple preparing for the baby’s arrival. During a conversation with Devon, Mark reveals that he suspects something shady is happening at Lumon.

At work, Irving once again goes into one of his trances and hallucinates. He decides to meet Burt and calm his nerves down. However, Mark asks Irving to leave behind a copy of the map to O&D so they can find him if the need arises. While printing the map, Irving stumbles on a painting that depicts the O&D team brutally massacring the MDR team. As it turns out, Mr. Milchick planted the pictures to stop Irving’s interactions with Burt. Meanwhile, Ms. Cobel instructs Mr. Graner to track down the person who hacked Petey’s severance chip.

Mark distracts Ms. Casey and takes Helly on a walk. He expresses his regret over Helly’s situation and shows her the map Petey made. However, Helly has no interest in befriending Mark. While returning from their walk, the duo stumbles upon a strange department where a man is nursing baby goats. Meanwhile, Irving meets Burt in the conference room, but Dylan intervenes to cut short their interaction. However, Burt convinces Dylan that he is not hostile. In the end, Burt takes Irving and Dylan to meet his colleagues at the O&D department.

Severance Episode 5 Ending: What Is Ms. Cobel’s Plan?

In the episode’s final moments, Dylan and Irving find a replica of the painting that Irving found in the copier before. However, this painting depicts the MDR massacring the O&D department. Elsewhere, Helly and Mark are puzzled by their discovery of a new department. They contemplate whether the goats have anything to do with their job. Meanwhile, Ms. Cobel secretly watches the duo and is seemingly pleased with their discovery.

In the end, Burt introduces Dylan and Irving to his colleagues at O&D and refers to them as his friends. The ending scene has a sinister vibe but, in contrast, signals the start of a harmonious relationship between O&D and MDR. The two departments have distrusted each other for a long time. Therefore, the sudden developments leading to harmony between the two departments are suspicious. Earlier in the episode, we see Ms. Cobel explaining her new plan to Mr. Milchik. However, Ms. Cobel is very vague and uses a poem to express her point of view.

The episode’s ending finally delivers some insights into Ms. Cobel’s plan. Ms. Cobel intentionally allows Mark and his colleagues to discover the other departments. She intends to create an illusion that convinces Mark and his team about the level of freedom they have on the severed floors. The sense of breaking the rules empowers the employees and comforts them about life on the severed floor. However, in reality, they are merely pawns in a larger scheme of which they are presently unaware. Therefore, as Mark, Helly, Irving, and Dylan feel they are uncovering some of Lumon’s secrets, they are actually sinking deeper into Lumon’s conspiracy.

Read More: Severance Episode 4 Recap and Ending, Explained