Devs: Episode 4
March 20, 2020 6:31 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

After Lily's behavior at Amaya, Kenton forces her to see a psychiatrist. Meanwhile, the Devs team disagree over the ethics of their invention, and Forest asserts his commitment to the project.
posted by octothorpe (27 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I liked Jamie, sad that he's obviously gone now; I cringed when she called the police after explaining to Jaimie what a bad idea what would be. Depressing episode after a somewhat happy one last week.
posted by octothorpe at 9:03 AM on March 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

After years of getting used to the concept of binge watching (and, aside from maybe "Stranger Things", I haven't indulged in the trend), it's ironic that I find myself now holed inside my house deeply hooked onto a show that is released weekly. Man, that's a slow drip.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 10:07 AM on March 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

Jamie is not gone yet. The trailer has a shot of Jaime's head in the toilet. So he might die? But we'll at least get to see it happen.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:42 PM on March 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

How do bathrooms work in the Devs building? If the building is levitating and completely disconnected, how does fresh water get in? And where does the sewage go? It just dumped in the bottom of the hole the building is floating in?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:30 PM on March 21, 2020 [9 favorites]

Chamber pots.
posted by octothorpe at 5:37 PM on March 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Sewage is projected into the past/future/multiverse.
posted by valkane at 5:49 AM on March 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

posted by grumpybear69 at 10:55 AM on March 22, 2020 [9 favorites]

The Jesus stuff is silly, in that it assumes the historicity of the crucifixion would be uncomplicated and match the iconography perfectly. It reminded me a little of Doc Brown setting the DeLorean to Dec 25, 0000 to witness his birth. Also: if you're going to do that, wouldn't you check to see if he was resurrected?

So I was a little disappointed that they doubled down on it with the Aramaic this week. Also, they make it seem like it's hard to tune in to a specific moment, so how much hunting and viewing would you need to find Jesus speaking? I assume you'd need to basically binge watch a few years of downtown Jerusalem with a team of scholars to even get close.

Having said all this, it does remind me of one of my favorite enticing-but-certainly-wrong concepts, Archaeoacoustics.
posted by condour75 at 4:40 AM on March 23, 2020 [5 favorites]

The Jesus stuff is silly, in that it assumes the historicity of the crucifixion would be uncomplicated and match the iconography perfectly.
My head-canon for this is that they just found somebody being crucified at around what they decided was the correct time and place, and, since they're so smart, he must be Jesus.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 10:04 AM on March 23, 2020 [6 favorites]

Man, I still don't understand anything that's going on, but I laughed out loud at 1970s Antihero's comment because that's one of the many things I'm completely hung up on. Like, in the first episode, Sergei is vomiting in a sparkling clean shiny restroom, and all I could thing was if nothing's allowed in to the building and there are no cleaners, like Forest said, who's keeping that thing so shiny? Which one of the highly paid devs is taking time out from touring historical events to keep that thing so spick and span? And who's stocking the building kitchen for those cups of tea and coffee? Is everyone just keeping it clean? Because I've worked in some offices where people were really diligent about kitchen responsibilities but things always got out of hand.

No cleaners means everything's automated, but let's face it, anyone who's watched a Roomba bonk into the edge of a carpet over and over and over knows that isn't super reliable. And someone's gotta empty the garbage. Do they draw straws, or make those security guys do it?

It's so obtuse I feel intensely frustrated, and one of my big hatreds is badly done dramatic irony, where the audience knows stuff the characters don't and so they look like morons when they do things we're ahead of them on (calling the police...yeah), but I'll keep watching because I'm invested in Lilly. And Jamie--though that doesn't look like it ends well, which I'm extremely bummed about. I really like Jamie. And I liked Stewart, though the whole Marilyn thing was depressingly gross. His attempt at making wossname...Lyndon? understand what Forest was willing to do was good. I just wish I understood what this was about and what all the creepy vacant stares were for.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 11:13 AM on March 23, 2020 [5 favorites]

There was some good 70s Thriller stuff in this one (Three Days of the Condor, Marathon Man), but still... they're killing off/firing so many developed characters, and the ones that are left aren't getting more interesting...
posted by gwint at 6:57 PM on March 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Jesus stuff is silly

Only in how they handled it.

Seriously!? There are events in human history that shaped our societies. Being able to affirm or deny the actuality of key events in history is a HUMONGOUS cultural pivot.

If this was a half-serious research project (which the 'genius' should understand) the verification of the existence of a Jesus of Nazareth (or who were the composite inspirations) would have been nailed down well before it got down to bickering over whether some dude on a crucifix was The Jesus or some random dude.
posted by porpoise at 9:26 PM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

My head-canon for this is that they just found somebody being crucified at around what they decided was the correct time and place, and, since they're so smart, he must be Jesus.

The Romans crucified thousands upon thousands of people, so perhaps they pick a random week/month and listen in on whomever is getting crucified when they happen to look.
posted by sideshow at 9:46 PM on March 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

Only in how they handled it.

Absolutely! But as a tossed off example of witnessing a moment in history... I don't think it's shown in a plausible way. Like at least have a character with a topographic map of Jerusalem saying there it is, Calvary! ENHANCE!

A better moment from that era would've been Caesar's assassination, since we know the date and place. But I get that they've got stuff to say about God and resurrection.
posted by condour75 at 7:25 PM on March 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

Also, don't compose it so well. Alex Garland isn't directing the time window, a bunch of tech kids are. It should look like security footage.
posted by condour75 at 7:28 PM on March 25, 2020 [8 favorites]

This is a weird, weird company. They've verified the historical existence of Jesus Christ, and that's not interesting enough to go public with and make a fortune. Then this week someone provides absolute proof of the validity of the Many Worlds Interpretation, and... he's fired.

I get that Forrest is obsessively trying to bring his daughter back to life and all, but both of those are things that would get the business tons of funding from any government and they just seem to brush them aside.
posted by mmoncur at 4:45 AM on March 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

I guess that's the point; Forrest has built this huge company and is bending all its resources towards this one thing.
posted by octothorpe at 5:25 AM on March 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

I wonder if that's making a comment on Silicon Valley capital--get tons of money from VCs, then squander it on the whims of the CEO.
posted by happyroach at 10:51 AM on March 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

So they can own the whole police force but they're scared of a senator? does not compute.
posted by some loser at 11:32 AM on March 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

In memory of Lyndon, here's a picture of the same actor in Pacific Rim: Uprising, and on Wikipedia.
posted by thedward at 1:33 PM on March 28, 2020 [5 favorites]

This has just started showing on a free-to-air BBC channel here in the UK and is bingeable on the iPlayer. So far, I'm enjoying it a lot.

That said, there were a couple of very dumb moments in this episode. I can just about accept Lily's sudden U-turn about calling the cops (given her desperation) but why on earth would Forrest let the whole staff gather to hear whatever unknown revelation Lyndon is about to announce at the same time he first hears about it himself? Given the kid's capabilities and the stakes involved here, surely he'd have wanted to hear about it in private first and only then decide if any of it could be allowed to leak out.

On the point mmomcur raises above, the idea seems to be that both Forrest personally and Amaya as a corporation already have so much money that accumulating any more of it would be pointless. What was it Forrest said in an earlier episode? "You think I care about money?!"

Finally, I assume the building's bathrooms work on the same technology Mike Figgis once described in a spoof movie pitch for a gross-out comedy called Time Toilet: a high-tech lavatory which "beams" your deposits back into the past. One scene would have had modern waste appearing just in time to splatter John Wilkes Booth, thus deflecting his fatal shot at President Lincoln. See Figgis' 2000 movie Time Code for more details.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:33 AM on April 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm on a rewatch with my wife. I am really impressed with the story structure and how it's all presented. It's really rich early on when you know how it's going to turn out. Come to think of it, that's the what the show is all about, isn't it?
posted by Catblack at 7:04 PM on May 19, 2020

posted by growabrain at 6:38 PM on May 21, 2020

Forest is a monster, but his assertion that tethering Devs to the multiverse makes it useless is not wrong.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:32 PM on June 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

And I kind of understand a Many Worlds destination for Forest - here’s the world where his daughter didn’t die, grew up and got married and all that.

Instead, he wants the one true world to wallow in his loss in perpetuity? IDGI.
posted by Kyol at 11:37 AM on June 20, 2020

I’ve decided to let go any knitpickiness that was growing while watching this. Every scene where they look back in time is silly if I start thinking about the technical nuances so I’m just taking them at face value. I think the show is much more interesting when I’m just absorbing what is happening and thinking about each character and their motivations that are unfolding with each episode

Forest is of course the jackpot in this regard. I still don’t get how his daughter is part of this. That scene of her blowing bubbles happened in the past (I presume). In that regard, not much better than a video? Does he not have any videos of her? And assuming she died, what is the point of seeing the future since she’s not even in the present? If it’s all on rails, then how is knowing the future help him get his daughter back?

Anyways I’m enjoying the series and trying to ignore the more irrelevant questions in my head like “how do you ask for a specific point in time using a specific camera perspective? I would like to see this UI.”
posted by like_neon at 5:38 AM on February 4, 2021 [3 favorites]

I know that we are year late watching Devs, but I'm so glad that other folks were concerned about the fucking toilets. I try to suspend my disbelief, but some things...
posted by hydropsyche at 3:07 PM on January 12

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