DEVS S1E6: A Slower Episode Builds Anticipation For The End

As you may recall, last week was mostly a recap episode, showing us past projections of our characters, such as Lily’s (Sonoya Mizuno) past relationships and childhood, Forest’s (Nick Offerman) starting relationship with  Katie (Alison Pill), Forest’s witnessing of his daughter’s accident, and more. The only new plot points were Jamie being tortured by Kenton (Zach Grenier), Kenton being frustrated with Forest and Katie, and, finally, Jamie rescuing Lily. Let’s see what happens next!

Still Lost in Memories

Much like prior episodes, episode 6 begins with a melancholy note. Here, we start with yet more memories, this time of Forest with both his wife and daughter Amaya, watching her do childhood things, playing frisbee, and laying in a field of flowers. All this occurs while the track “Guinevere” by Crosby & Stills & Nash plays in the background.

source: FX

We then fade into Stewart (Stephen McKinley Henderson) as he approaches his trailer home. None other than Lyndon (Cailee Spaeny) is waiting inside. He pleads with Stewart to get Forest to bring him back, and then brings up a significant point: Forest is trying to bring his daughter back to life. I knew it! He also claims that Forest is probably too crazy to run a program like Devs. Looks like these two might be scheming something soon.

We then see Katie for a brief moment in the Devs room before focusing in on Lily and Jamie (Jin Ha), who are holed up in a motel room after Jamie rescued her from the psychiatric hospital. Lily is a little weary from the drugs they had given her, but she eventually makes a decision on her next move: to return to San Francisco.

Soon, we glimpse their intended destination: none other than Forest’s house. Forest and Katie are waiting for them, and the guys and girls split off on their own to chat. Jamie is a bit weirded out by being alone with Forest, realizing that he’s partially responsible for Lily’s situation the last few days. They do eventually ease up, though, talking about love and loss and even joking around a bit. They then engage in a game of frisbee, mirroring the frisbee playing shown earlier with Forest and his daughter.

Lily, meanwhile, first asks Katie about Sergei, who tells her the truth, and then she asks about Devs. Katie counters by asking Lily a series of questions, concluding that “there are no random events,” and that this conclusion is the purpose of Devs. She then tells Lily the truth, well part of it anyway: that the future projections end the following night, and that it has something to do with Lily’s appearance at Devs. Lily argues that she is in control of her own fate, however, and abruptly leaves.

source: FX

Lily and Jamie finally leave, though it is soon revealed that none other than Kenton has been spying on them. Forest and Katie discuss their situation; Katie reveals that she told Lily everything, well not everything, as we know she didn’t tell Lily about her impending death. They later discuss how brave Lily and Jamie were by coming there. Lily decides to go home, figuring that if Forest and Katie were going to call security on them, they would have done it already. The episode ends with both Forest and Katie lying in bed, and Lily and Jamie sleeping together. The stage has been set for the final two episodes.

Highlights and Observances

-Very unexpected, yet notably well-executed episode. I enjoy it when shows try a limited setting, providing just enough story and potential plot points to keep you interested. Here, it’s almost entirely set at Forest’s house, and it works.

-The nighttime overhead shots of the city were a nice touch, making us feel trapped within its confines, much like our characters are trapped within their own predetermined paths.

-The bookend song this time is “Guinevere” by Crosby & Stills & Nash. It’s an odd one that doesn’t seem to immediately fit into the context of the show, but it might be a clue as to what will come.

source: FX

-Forest and Katie’s relationship was a new discovery this episode; between that and each of their discussions with both Lily and Jamie, it’s a relationship that seems to fit.

-The entire discussion scene between Lily and Katie is Alex Garland at his finest. He films it almost entirely in close-up, zooming in on the actors’ faces to make it even more intense. It’s mostly silence otherwise, adding to the mood, with light chorus sounds during the most revealing bit. Sonoya Mizuno and Alison Pill also give some of their best acting so far this series. Pill is especially intense, with her fiery stare during these exchanges.

-Forest and Jamie also shared some worthy moments during their exchange, even sharing a few laughs. It’s funny that, given the resentment that Jamie should have for Forest, that they eventually start playing frisbee together. Perhaps Forest isn’t so bad after all?

-Dialogue-wise, the discussions are filled with some particularly noteworthy quotes, such as this one from Forest: “It’s an amazing thing where love will take you. The road you’ll travel. The lengths to which you’ll go.” And this one from Katie: “Meteors landing, roulette wheels spinning, misfortunes suffered. They can all be unraveled.” They both show the motivations behind each of these characters; in that Forest created Devs out of the loss of his daughter, while Katie created it out of the pursuit of knowledge.

-The pen in the middle of the table during Lily and Katie’s discussion is a clever way of explaining the time projection technology. It’s particularly revealing that the pen was there before Lily and Jamie walked into the room, showing that their visit was anticipated.

-The time projection technology of Devs finally clicked for me here when it was broken down by Katie. It still veers off into science fiction, but it begins within a believable reality, making it easier to make that jump. It’s a necessary quality of all great sci-fi.

-The time discussion this episode also reminded me of the Dr. Manhattan episode of the series Watchmen, in which he essentially lives all time periods at once and knows the impossibility of being able to change his fate. You can argue with it, like Lily does here, but it seems that, in the minds of these shows’ creators at least, that fate is predetermined.

Questions

What does Lily do that triggers the end of Devs? Is it a cataclysmic world-ending event, or does she just remove the capability of the technology?

Is there really such a thing as no choice, at least in the context of the show? For example, if there really are no random events, then how come they can’t see what will trigger the end of their projections?

What role will Kenton play in the final two episodes? He seems to be the only one not on board with leaving Lily and Jamie alone.

What will Stewart and Lyndon do now to Devs? It seems they were about to align together to potentially remove Forest from power.

How does Forest intend to bring his daughter back to life? How does that play into the end of the projections by Devs?

How will the many-worlds theory play into the potential end of Devs? If there are different worlds created by different choices, does that mean there is a scenario where our characters end up making it through?

Conclusion

That concludes my latest recap of Devs. This episode seems to be setting up the potentially earth-shattering events that are to come in the next two episodes. Complete the journey with me in the next couple weeks!

What were your thoughts on the latest episode of Devs?

Devs airs weekly on Hulu. 

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