Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Apple Drops Cryptic 'Severance' Tease at iPhone 14 Event

It's brief, but it's something.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

Helly (Britt Lower) from the Apple TV Plus show Severance showed up at the Sept. 7 Apple event.

Apple TV

Wednesday's Apple event featured a bit of everything. A segment about how Apple products can save lives featured a sanitation worker who fell headfirst into a garbage truck and another person who used an iPhone to call 911 while hiding from a bear. Apple introduced new iPhones with longer battery life, a new SOS feature to help you connect in emergencies and a snazzy "Dynamic Island" that replaces the regular notch, expanding and contracting to show activity and alerts. And though the event didn't deliver much for fans of Apple TV Plus shows (no Ted Lasso trailer?), fans of the workplace sci-fi show Severance did get a small Easter egg, as character Helly (Britt Lower) showed up with little explanation.

Severance is a complex show, so now's the time for fans to build up all kinds of elaborate theories as to what Helly's appearance means. The character briefly appeared twice, and seemed to be boarding a train. One cameo came during the part of the event pitching Apple's AirPods, and the other came at the very end. A bit of the show's theme music even played, as if to hint at what's coming and wake up fans.

But... that was it. No full trailer for the show's second season, not even a teaser. Just those two superbrief cameo shots, blink and you'll miss them.

Fans on the Severance subreddit joked about what it all could mean.

"So the innies escape, thinking they're on the outside, but based on the digital artifacts on the train, it is all a mirage," said one Reddit user. (On Severance, people who work at a mysterious company called Lumon undergo a surgical procedure to split their work selves from their home selves, with their work selves dubbed "innies" and home selves "outies.")

Wrote another, "Getting on a train will be soon a (severed) experience. The AirPods Pro are the way to activate the chip, pretty obvious!"

Jokes aside, the cameos seem to be just a fun nod to Apple's intriguing show, with no deeper meaning, but with this complex show, who knows? Severance has been renewed for a second season, but there's no word yet on a premiere date. We'll have to wait and see.