DEVS S1E4: The Sci-Fi Thriller Series Picks Up Speed

When we last left our characters in episode 3, Lily (Sonoya Mizuno) had deceived both Forest (Nick Offerman) and Kenton (Zach Grenier) and now knew the truth about Sergei. Forest, meanwhile, is receiving Senators at his property, interested in his technology. All the while, Stewart (Stephen McKinley Henderson) and the rest of the employees continue to gaze fascinatingly at the time-glancing technology of the Devs program. Let’s see what our characters are up to now.

Lets Begin with a Bwong

Episode 4 starts off with a bang, quite literally. It first highlights a majority of our major characters, each illuminated with a neon light, followed by the bwong sound effect. It sets quite a mood just in the first few seconds. We then see our trio from the first few episodes, consisting of Stewart, Katie (Allison Pill), and Lyndon (Cailee Spaeny), who are in the Devs computer lab when they suddenly experience a tremor. Stewart remarks that it was an unusual choice for Devs to be built upon a fault line, where earthquakes can occur at random, though he notes that Katie is not concerned at all. Next, Forest walks in and goes into the swirly static room, observing a figure strangely crawling around on their hands and knees.

We then open up on Lily, who wakes up in her ex-boyfriend Jamie’s (Jin Ha) apartment. She seems dazed at first, staring at Jamie until he wakes up, and then thanking him for letting her stay over. We then return to Forest and Katie in the static room. Forest is still glancing at the crawling figure, and Katie questions whether he should be looking into the future. Forest starts to question whether the future is fixed, while Katie then makes a bombshell revelation: the figure in the image is none other than Lily 48 hours from that point, and she is going to die. Please no!

DEVS S1E4: The Sci-Fi Thriller Series Picks Up Speed
source: FX

Returning to Lily and Jamie, they are discussing Lily’s situation, and whether they should report Amaya to the police. Lily doesn’t like the idea, while Jamie is for it; they get into an argument, which more than slightly resembles an argument a couple would have. Lily leaves for home, concerned about Jamie’s safety. Kenton then shows up at Lily’s apartment, where Lily hasn’t yet returned. Turns out she was right about them keeping tabs on her. Kenton talks to Pete, the homeless man who bunks outside Lily’s apartment, who aggressively won’t tell him anything about her whereabouts. Good looking out by Pete.

Lily shows up at her apartment, where she is greeted by Kenton, who reminds her that she had a doctor’s appointment that morning. He mentions her episode the day before, which we know was faked by Lily in order to get information, but she still has to pretend, so she reluctantly goes with him. Meanwhile, Lyndon has just made a huge discovery at Devs, which we don’t yet know about, and gleefully embraces Stewart.

At the psychiatrist’s office, Lily explains her history, starting with her past drug use, which seems to be extensive, and her closeness with her family, which she says is lacking. The doctor then asks her about her episode, and Lily claims she blacked out the whole thing. He’s not buying it, though, claiming that
Lily can tell him anything and it would be held under doctor-patient confidentiality. Next, we observe Jamie in his apartment. With a sudden burst of renewed energy, he cleans up, perhaps expecting that he’ll have more company at some point in the not-too-distant future.

DEVS S1E4: The Sci-Fi Thriller Series Picks Up Speed
source: FX

We then come back to Devs, where Lyndon is explaining his recent discovery. Using a lot of technical jargon, he explains how he was able to remove the background noise in their projections and get a clear sound, which they had trouble with before. He plays the clip, which he explains as the voice of Jesus Christ. Everyone on the team praises his work, well, almost everyone. Forest is not impressed, calling it a parlor trick, and he fires Lyndon on the spot. Yikes! Shortly thereafter, Stewart speaks to Lyndon, telling him to move on. He is still pretty shaken, but Stewart reminds him that he not only is quite rich with a $10 million dollar severance pay, but also that his life could be at stake.

Lily emerges from her doctor’s office, in which Kenton subsequently discusses her mental state with the doctor. Doesn’t look like he’s holding to doctor-patient confidentiality after all. On their drive home, Kenton claims that Lily is delusional and borderline suicidal, and appears to be driving her to perhaps a mental institution or worse. Lily recognizes the danger, and acting on impulse, causes the car to veer off the road and crash into a guardrail. Shaken, she runs out of the car away from Kenton.

DEVS S1E4: The Sci-Fi Thriller Series Picks Up Speed
source: FX

We then see Forest and Katie one last time in the static room. She condemns him for firing one of her best employees, but Forest is resolute in his claim that the many-worlds theory has no place in Devs. If we’re not seeing or hearing our Jesus, then it’s also not his Amaya. Katie then shows him something: using Lyndon’s algorithm with light instead of sound, she makes the image of Amaya blowing bubbles appear. Though now, she is seen as a clearly focused projection. Forest tearfully looks on at his deceased daughter.

Lily then arrives at Jamie’s apartment, where she sits down and immediately calls the police and reports Sergei’s murder. When they arrive, though, it’s not what she was hoping for. They immediately arrest her for reckless endangerment, and she is taken away to a psychiatric hospital. Kenton then appears in the doorway, and shoves Jamie inside. Oh no!

Highlights and Observances

-What an episode! From Lily’s accident to the revelation about sound and light at Devs, to the final confrontation with the police, it was never short on major plot points. I’m concerned for our protagonists, who seemed to get the sharp end of the stick all around, but hopefully things can turn around for them in the next few episodes. Hard to believe that we’re already halfway through the series.

-Forest’s discussion with Katie earlier on is an interesting development, since it appears he is now questioning the idea of tram-lines, in that everything in the future may not be set in stone. It’s nice to see that he’s not so resolute in his understanding of time.

-Lyndon’s revelation scene is a devastating turn of events. The mood changes from celebratory to dismal in a matter of moments, and it’s followed by a much more somber conversation between him and Stewart than we are used to. I was just growing to love their relationship in the show and Spaeny‘s performance as well, but I have a feeling this is not the last we’re seeing of Lyndon.

-Excellent quote by Forest in this episode, coming during one of the Devs static room scenes, in which he questions our physical universe, and claims “I am scared we might be magicians.” Great way of both epitomizing one of the themes of the show while making it humorous as well.

-That crash scene is truly intense, building up from just an uncertainty as to Kenton’s decision with Lily to then Lily full on causing the car to veer and impact with the side of the highway. It’s clear from this spontaneous decision that Lily is more than willing to take drastic measures to protect herself, even if in this instance it was clearly a bit reckless.

Alex Garland is a master at setting the mood through sound and music. An example here is to contrast the farewell scene between Stewart and Lyndon, which has somber, ambient music behind it, with a scene from earlier showing Jamie cleaning up, which is a light almost sports-like montage, and has the electronic dance track “Menergy” by Patrick Cowley to go along with it.

-Pete the homeless man is proving to be one of my favorite characters, from his banter to his not putting up with Kenton and looking out for Lily in the process. As I mentioned in an earlier episode, I believe he is a more important character than just a homeless man that lives outside Lily’s apartment.

-The relationship between Lily and Jamie is another key development this episode, especially since Jamie seemed to be a minor character from the start. You can tell there is history between them, but they clearly care about each other as well, culminating in Lily coming to Jamie after her accident since she trusts him above everyone else. Although we know how that ends up.

Questions

-What will be Forest’s reaction now that they can use the many-worlds theory to both see and hear past projections more clearly? He initially claimed to be against it, but he appeared relieved to see his daughter more clearly.

-What will happen to Lyndon now that he is no longer an employee at Devs? It would be a shame to lose a character we have grown to admire.

-On that note, what will happen to both Lily and Jamie? It appears that Kenton had either outright murdered or at least seriously injured Jamie, and Lily has been taken away. Clearly it’s not the last we’ll see of Lily, and hopefully Jamie as well.

-What will happen to Lily in the now less than 48 hours before she is predicted to die? In the projection she appeared to be crawling somewhere in a feeble manner before finally ceasing to move.

-Once again, what is the potential hope for the Devs program? Here, it seemed to be not only a way to glance back and forward in time, but also perhaps to recreate things more accurately. Maybe Forest is hoping to somehow move within time himself.

-Katie and Forest’s discussion brings up an interesting point: What is the point of knowing the future if you can’t change it at all? Does knowing your own tram-line affect how it plays out? I know the show will examine this more in future episodes.

Conclusion

So that about sums up my recap and review for episode 4 of Devs. The show is really picking up speed now, so be sure to tune in next week for the latest developments!

What are your thoughts on episode 4 of Devs? Let us know in the comments below!

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