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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled iDevs/i delivers huge shocks in its penultimate episode
Photo: Raymond Liu (FX)
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Last week, Devs showed us what’s behind the curtain, as Katie and Lily had a frank discussion about the system and what the team knows (and more importantly, what they don’t). We now know that Devs can’t see beyond a certain point in time, and that Lily will do something that breaks the very laws that Forest and Katie believe govern reality. The penultimate episode of the series deals with the aftermath of those revelations, as the “last day,” as it were, begins to unfold.

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After a rather annoying, too-high-art-for-me-to-appreciate intro, the episode opens with Lily and Jamie very sweetly assessing their newfound relationship (is it new if they’re getting back together? I’m calling it new) and acknowledging the utter weirdness in which they have found themselves through jokes and pillow talk. This was a lovely, quiet scene in a harrowing episode, and I’m grateful we got this moment of sweetness before everything went to hell.

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But before we follow that storyline through to its tragic conclusion, let’s talk about Lyndon and Katie. I mentioned in last week’s recap that Katie’s coldness was just astonishing, and Alison Pill was incredibly good (as she always is, really). That continues this episode, as Lyndon tries to convince Katie to talk to Forest and allow him back into Devs—what Lyndon sees as his life work.

Katie and Forest have watched the events of this day over and over again, so they know about Lyndon’s request, and they know how it will end—with his death. It’s not that Katie encourages Lyndon to commit suicide: It’s that she knows he’s going to fall and doesn’t try to stop it from happening in any way. It’s the same thing as Forest ordering Kenton to kill Sergei; she’s seen it happen, so she knows it has to happen, therefore she bears no guilt or responsibility. It’s utterly atrocious and reveals just how powerful Devs can be, especially in the wrong hands. It’s also understandable that Lyndon, who seems wiser about this technology than anyone else on this show, never wanted to peek into his future.

To secure his job at Devs, Katie tells Lyndon that he has to prove his complete and total faith in the many-worlds interpretation: He has to climb over the rail, let go, and the universes in which he doesn’t fall, he’s allowed back in. Unfortunately, he falls (and appears to fall in many, many different realities), and Katie simply walks away. She’s emotionally affected, but it doesn’t stop the entire thing from being completely and utterly messed up.

Illustration for article titled iDevs/i delivers huge shocks in its penultimate episode
Photo: Raymond Liu/FX (FX)
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As Forest walks into Devs, Stewart challenges him by reciting a poem“Aubade” by Philip Larkinand expresses concern that the Devs system is in the hands of someone like Forest, who knows so little about history and, by implication, is doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. He also reveals that by applying many-worlds, the entire system is fully operational. The principle that made it work is the very thing that Forest forbade.

Back to the storyline I really don’t want to talk about, Lily tells my precious favorite Jamie some of the details of her conversation with Katie, namely that all she has to do in order to mess with Forest is to not go to Devs that night, and Jamie wholeheartedly agrees. This is basically when I started getting a terrible feeling about the direction this episode was going to go, because something was going to have to happen to convince Lily that she should indeed go to Devs. The list of things that I could think of to spur that decision were pretty short.

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The worst happens: Kenton breaks into Lily’s apartment and kills Jamie. It seems he was utterly shaken by what he saw at Forest’s house, and decided to take action. I’m not sure what he was aiming for by murdering even more people, but before he can kill Lily, Pete intervenes. It turns out that Pete the homeless guy isn’t what he appears: He’s actually working for the Russians as well and has been keeping an eye on Lily throughout all of this. He knows his people will take care of him, which leaves Lily. He advises her to leave the country immediately, and to head to a place with no extraditionin this case, Hong Kong to stay with her mother.

Illustration for article titled iDevs/i delivers huge shocks in its penultimate episode
Photo: Raymond Liu/FX (FX)
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This turn of events makes Forest’s behaviorand general affabilitywith Jamie in the last episode even more infuriating. He and Katie have watched the events of this day over and over again. Presumably, they’ve seen it from many different points of view, including Lily’s. That means that when Forest was playing catch with Jamie and joking around with him, he knew that Kenton would murder Jamie just a few hours later. Just when I think he can’t make my blood boil any more, Forest somehow finds a way.

Rather than taking Pete’s advice, Lily heads to the one place that she may finally be able to find peace, or at least, some revenge: Devs. They broke her world, so in return she’s going to break theirs.

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Stray observations

  • I cannot wait to see how this show resolves. It’s been a wild, great ride.
  • For all that happened in this episodeand a lot happenedit felt slow (though not in a bad way).
  • POOR JAMIE, I LOVE YOU.
  • I feel like I keep commenting on how good the acting is in each episode, but the cast is pretty amazing.
  • Stewart’s remarks to Lily at the end of the episode, as she walks into Devs, are weirdly sweet.
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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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