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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled An excellent iDevs /ibrings Lilys plans crashing down around her
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Things get real in this week’s episode of Devs, as Lily’s clever lies from “Episode 3” come back to haunt her in a terrible way. But first, let’s look at what’s going on inside the Devs division.

As we learned in the last episode, Devs has two rules: (1) You only look backward, not forward, in time and (2) You don’t violate people’s privacy. Stewart certainly broke the second rule, and it turns out that Katie and Forest are routinely breaking the first (something that Stewart hinted at.) It’s clear that Katie isn’t super comfortable with glimpsing into the future, but it’s not her decision.

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The earth-shattering revelation here is that Stewart and Katie have been watching Lily Chan’s future, and they have seen her grainy image die over and over again. In their estimation of the future, and the fact that they think it’s already determined, nothing will change this. In two days, Lily will die. The big question here, then, is whether or not Lily will somehow be able to change her fate, breaking the “tram lines” that Forest believes govern the universe—rules that Forest himself is beginning to doubt.

A clue as to whether this is possible comes thanks to Lyndon’s breakthrough: He discovers it’s possible to reach back 2,000 years and clearly hear the voice of Jesus himself speaking. The only catch is that he, too, must break Forest’s rules: Lyndon inputs data subscribing to a multiverse, rather than a single universe. Instead of reaching back in time to access the voice of our own Jesus Christ, Lyndon’s code reaches across universes to find a different one.

The idea of the multiverse, or the many-worlds theory, is one of the possible answers to the questions quantum mechanics poses. The idea is that, with every decision we make, a new universe is created in which you made the opposite decision. This incredibly simplistic explanation assumes a binary, a yes/no decision tree. In actuality, the many decisions we make are infinitely more complicated, and there are an infinite number of realities. Lyndon claims that he’s following the rules of determinism, but what if it’s possible to borrow an outcome from an alternate reality to circumvent what is determined in this one? Or are things even pre-determined? Perhaps the future is more mutable than Forest realizes.

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Many-worlds is hotly debated and contested, to be sure, but the world of Devs seems to confirm its authenticity: Lyndon is able to borrow from an alternate reality in order to accomplish his goals. And he’s fired for it.

Illustration for article titled An excellent iDevs /ibrings Lilys plans crashing down around her
Photo: Miya Mizuno/FX (FX)
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Specifically, Forest takes incredible issue with Lyndon’s acceptance of the many-worlds theory because it’s a different Jesus Christ—and, by implication, a different Amaya. It’s not his daughter, it’s someone else’s daughter. It’s clear that Katie disagrees profusely with Forest, and it’s hard to argue with Lyndon’s results. The question now is whether Forest will relax his rules, and what actions Lyndon will take as a result of her firing. That firing felt incredibly cruel, and I was angry on Lyndon’s behalf. He likely won’t be satisfied with the $10 million payout to keep his mouth shut.

Forest’s parting words to Lyndon are ominous in two respects. First, he makes it clear that the entire Devs team knows that Sergei was murdered on Forest’s orders. And they seem to be okay with it. Second, he’ll be checking in on Lyndon (presumably using the Devs technology) to ensure he’s not talking to anyone about the Devs work under threat of death. Stewart underlines this by telling Lyndon to leave Amaya and to not look back.

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Back to Lily, who had another stellar episode this week, and is starting to become convinced that Amaya will have her murdered. Considering we know that Kenton is hot on her trail, it’s good that she’s so aware of what’s going on. She wants to take the company down, but she doesn’t know what to do. It’s a point of contention between her and Jamie, who sweetly wants to fix everything for Lily.

Illustration for article titled An excellent iDevs /ibrings Lilys plans crashing down around her
Photo: Miya Mizuno/FX (FX)
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Kenton shows up at Lily’s apartment, and basically forces her into a therapy appointment. Lily doesn’t see any way out of it, but in retrospect, she probably should have seen Kenton’s strategy coming. She opened the door to her having serious mental health issues. If Amaya wants to sideline her, all they have to do is proceed forward along the path she’s already laid out.

And that’s just what Kenton does. Lily was incredibly convincing when she had everything mapped out and a plan in her head. She’s equally unconvincing protesting to Kenton about why she doesn’t need to see a therapist, and with the therapist himself. She clearly hadn’t thought this through to its conclusion, and it’s hard to fault her for that—it’s not like she hasn’t had other things on her mind. Until the end, Kenton seems eminently reasonable here, and it’s somewhat frightening.

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Everything really breaks down as the episode approaches its conclusion. After a car crash, Kenton shows up at Lily’s apartment with the police—and has her involuntarily committed. And it appears as though he murders Jamie after she’s taken away. It’s a shocking finale, to say the least, and the question is how will Lily proceed from here?

Stray observations

  • Honestly, I sympathized with both Lily and Jamie during their argument. She has every right to be frustrated because she really has no easy path forward. And he’s trying to help, but doesn’t seem to recognize how precarious Lily’s situation really is.
  • I’m hoping Lily warned Jen about what was going on offscreen. She’s the one who told the lie about Lily’s schizophrenia, after all.
  • The homeless man, Pete, knows that Kenton came for Lily. What’s he going to do with the information? He might be her only hope, now that it looks like Jamie’s gone.
  • Again, Sonoya Mizuno was incredible in this episode. The uncertainty underneath trying to project certainty while answering the therapist’s questions was stellar acting.
  • I’m so glad that Lily wasn’t taken in by the skeezy doctor’s promise of doctor/patient confidentiality. YEESH.
  • JAMIE!!! I am so sad!! I know we don’t see a body, so it’s possible he’s still alive, but I’m not super optimistic.
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Swapna Krishna is a space, tech, and pop culture writer. Her work has been published at Engadget, Gizmodo, The Verge, Polygon, and more.

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