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Defiant Jazz Title Card
Episode Number 1.7
Directed By Ben Stiller
Written By Helen Leigh
Premiered March 25, 2022
Runtime 49 minutes
Previous Episode Hide and Seek
Next Episode What’s for Dinner?

Defiant Jazz

Defiant Jazz is the seventh episode of the first season of Severance.


“Who are you?”

Mark asks the woman as he follows her. They proceed through the dungeon-like underbelly of some campus building. Down an interior stairwell and into a service basement, they walk and walk before she answers.

“I’m the one who helped your friend,” she says. Mark points out that Reintegration killed Petey. She clarifies that the procedure was not lethal; it was Petey’s failure to follow her instructions that led to his death.

She reveals that she is the one who implanted Mark’s chip. She’s also the only one who can deactivate it.

They arrive at a small makeshift clinic set up in a dark corner. Mark says he’s not interested in Reintegration. The woman says maybe his Innie is. The woman finds the term “Innie” infantilizing, though. They disagree about what Mark’s Innie would want. She tries to make Mark understand that the Innie is him. Mark lamely attempts to defend himself, stating that he is not a bad person.

At that moment, Graner rounds a dark corner. “Mr. Scout,” he says, genially. Mark has never seen this man before. He asks the man who he is. Graner answers that they work together “down there.” Graner asks if Mark is talking to someone. He takes a few steps closer to Mark. “It’s okay. I’m a friend,” he offers in a calm and affable tone.

The woman comes behind Graner and cracks him over the top of his skull with a steel baseball bat with “Walton” writing on it. Graner crumples to the ground, startling Mark. She takes two more good strong whacks to make sure the job is done. She orders Mark to help her move him. Mark is panicked, he explains to the woman that the man she just killed works with him. “No, you don’t,” she replies. “This man is Doug Graner, Head of Security on the Severed Floor.”

Mark retches and threatens to vomit at the sight of the gore. The woman screams at him, imploring him not to. His DNA would be in that. He somehow stops himself.

She removes Graner’s solid black Lumon badge and offers it to Mark. It would give him full, untraceable access. If he takes it to work tomorrow, his Innie would know what to do with it. Then she demands Petey’s phone from Mark. Once it is pocketed, she tells Mark to go home and get rid of his clothes. He doesn’t need to be asked twice. The woman says she will be in touch to finish what Petey started.

Mark barely makes it outside before hurling. He spits and gags; tears streak his face.

Mark opens the door to his house and rushes to the kitchen. Out of a cabinet he grabs a trash bag and begins disrobing frantically. He stuffs all the clothes into the bag - everything except his boxer shorts. He hides the bag in the cabinet.

Alexa emerges from a dark room, arms crossed. Mark tries to play it off as though he was just getting a glass of water; Alexa asks where he was. She heard his car. He stands there dumbly searching for an excuse to give her. He suggests it was a dream. No dice—she has been waiting up for an hour, knowing the whole time he wasn’t in the house. Mark changes course, explaining he just needed to go on a drive. With a skeptical look, she asks Mark if he is OK. He stutters about the situation being a big deal to him but trails off. Alexa asks if he wants her to leave. “Maybe?” answers Mark.

Leaving for work the next morning, Mark notices the black badge on his kitchen counter with his keys. He pockets it. He brings the bag with the soiled clothes to his trash bin on the curb. Mrs. Selvig, ever vigilant about Mark’s trash habits, emerges from her house to strike up a conversation in the driving snow. Mrs. Selvig calls Mark “troubled” looking and extends an offer to talk later over tea. Mark is noncommittal. Mrs. Selvig makes a cringey and unfunny Jack Frost joke and turns away.

On the Severed Floor, Mr. Milchick is putting the new card-activated MDR door through its paces before everyone arrives for the morning. He flips the office light on and heads for the restroom. He enters a stall. Kneeling on the floor, he reaches around the commode with both hands. He makes contact with something concealed under and well to the rear of the seat of the toilet. It is the ideographic card swiped by Dylan the day before.

In Optics and Design, Burt is making small restorations to the painting of some past Lumon CEO with a fine paintbrush. Milchick walks in. He gives the ideographic card to Burt. “Ah, the missing 7199-G!” he exclaims. “Now we can focus on the final preparations,” Milchick says cryptically, “without interruptions.”

Milchick asks permission to examine Burt’s work on the painting. He praises it. He says to Burt, “You’ve been a great leader to this department. You deserve something special.” Suddenly nervous, Burt replies, “Not a trip to the Break Room, I hope!” Milchick promises something else and strides out of Optics and Design.

Melchick stands before the elevator as it opens. He greets Dylan brightly. Dylan, meanwhile, wears a face of hurt and confusion. “What the hell was that?” he asks Milchick. Milchick invites him to walk with him to MDR.

He explains that the previous night’s incident is called the Overtime Contingency Protocol, a safeguard procedure to wake workers offsite. “You never told us you could do that!” accuses Dylan. Melchick maintains it was for an emergency and he didn’t even tell Ms. Cobel because she has been stressed.

Dylan hasn’t forgotten about the boy. He asks if the boy is his son. Melchick turns to face him. In an indirect way, he confirms the truth. He warns Dylan not to mention anything about the experience to the rest of MDR. All Dylan wants to know is his son’s name. Milchick won’t tell him. He attempts to distract Dylan from the question by offering some unspecified special perks. Dylan knows he is being railroaded but isn’t able to recover against friendly, smiling Mr. Milchick. Milchick leaves Dylan to walk the remainder of the way to MDR on his own.



Guest Starring




  • The Defiant Jazz music track is “Shakey Jake” by Joe McPhee, 1971.
  • The metal cart in the Music Dance Experience scene was sourced online by set decorator Andrew Baseman. Baseman did not want that particular piece destroyed, so the metal cart crushed by Milchick later in the scene is a stunt double.[1]
  • The song that plays as Mark reassembles his photograph of Gemma is “I'll Be Seeing You” by Billie Holiday. The same song can be heard playing in the background during Mark's first date with Alexa.[2]
  • Executive producer Mark Friedman is credited with coming up with the name “Defiant Jazz” for the music selection. [3]

Quotes & Dialogue

I think you wanna do what’s right. Both of you.

— Reghabi, (03:04)

Not knowing is probably for the best.

— Milchick, (14:34)

Mark: Wait, we’re locked in now?
Milchick: I prefer the term ’safely situated.’

— Mark and Milchick, (16:55)

Baby sips, baby sips.

— Cobel [as Mrs. Selvig], (18:52)

Shouldn’t there be labels on the soap dispensers saying, ’soap’?

— Irving, (21:43)

Helly.R, please step forward. […] By reaching 75% refinement on Siena, you have earned for you and your fellow refiners a five-minute Music Dance Experience.

— Milchick, (22:32)

Though this experience is in Helly’s honor, I urge all the refiners to take advantage of the opportunity presented.

— Milchick, (23:26)

The Music Dance Experience is officially canceled.

— Milchick, (26:30)

Doug Graner is dead. […] The Board finds this deeply troubling.

— Natalie, (32:41)

Reintegration happened. And I have the data to prove it.

— Cobel, (33:09)

It’s too bad nobody told you guys that everything here is bullshit.

— Helly, (34:37)

Trackball, type, switch, type, flip, type, hold. Boom.

— Dylan, (34:54)

I’m smart. That’s why I have three times as many finger traps as you guys.

— Dylan, (34:59)

Great. I have the strength of two men.

— Dylan, (35:13)

You smug motherfucker.

— Irving, (38:30)

You’re not severed. You walk out of here with your memories. You carry them home with you every night. No one can rip them away from you, snuff them out. Like they never existed. Like you never existed!

— Irving, (38:34)

I don’t know what’s gotten into you people today.

— Milchick, (39:25)

Let’s burn this place to the ground.

— Irving, (42:29)

My wife was extraordinary. My wife was allergic to nutmeg. And when she sneezed, she always sneezed twice. My wife liked other people’s dogs. My wife thought cardigans looked ridiculous. I loved all these things about her…equally.

— Mark, (47:31)

See Also

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defiant_jazz.txt · Last modified: 2022-12-06 18:06 by Scribe of Kier