Devs Episode 3-Review and Recap-Fibonacci Sequence, The Age Of Aquarius And Stupid Humans
A highly charged Devs Episode 3 brings Lily one step closer to answers and a new ally while exposing Kenton and Forest’s weakness.
Alex Garland is adept at asking the big questions without losing an audience. It is what made intimate films like Ex Machina so effective at conveying tech paranoia and more sweeping films like Annihilation and its projection of the Weird so compelling. Devs was created because Garland was tired of having his vision censored. FX/Hulu gave him total freedom. With that freedom, he has delivered a deeply unsettling series that gets better with each episode. Devs Episode 3 continued the disturbing tone while introducing a shot of hope.
Devs Episode 3 opens with a what-if scenario. What if every important moment in time could be predicted and viewed from the future? Christ’s crucifixion, the burning of Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the first caveman art, the construction of the pyramids, and Lily’s “fuck you” sign to Sergei’s Russian handler are just waiting for the right equation to be entered. What would you watch? Would you watch the distant past in hopes of avoiding major catastrophes in the future? Could you use the information to leverage business relationships?
Stewart and Lyndon choose to watch Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller have sex. Curiously, Katie is offended by the baseness of the choice. She says it violates the rules. They are never to invade privacy. Spying on the past is invasive. No matter the intent or the normalcy of the activity it violates someone’s privacy. That is the issue. Tech and progress are neutral, humans are not. There is always a motive. Even the most altruistic reason could have negative connotations, results, or factors. This is Garlands’s conceit. For Stewart and Lyndon it is as simple as watching a movie. There is no conflict because it isn’t real to them and for Stewart, sex is just sex.
The introduction of a new power player shows up at Amaya seeking answers and asserting control. Nick Offerman’s Forest manages to push back while not overtly denying her information. He tells her only that they are working on a predictive math program. Senator Laine is your stereotypical politician. She is elitist and uses the shield of paternalism to assert control and excuse bad behavior.
She accuses Forest of hiding information and worse but has no problem accepting his campaign funds. Social media may be the Devil, but it’s a Devil she needs. Janet Mock’s(Senator Laine) icy superiority is a good foil for Forest and Kenton. She is the vision of steely control. What does it say about the U.S.’s current political climate that somehow the Senator who is at Amaya to ask questions is more distrusted than the guys who suffocated a young man to death?
The dyad of Kenton(Zach Grenier) and the Senator’s security guy provide a rare moment of levity even if it is gallows humor. The senator’s muscle asks Kenton if he misses the adrenaline of police work which is funny considering the events of the past few days. Kenton doesn’t have to miss any excitement because he still has plenty. His poker face to the guests and Lily and Jen later is impressive. He gives nothing away.
As good as he is, Lily is better. Her fragile return to work is a smokescreen for a woman on a mission. She believes Amaya Corp had something to do with Sergei’s death. Since she doesn’t know how far up the chain the corruption at Amaya goes she enlists Jen(Linnea Berthelsen) a friend and colleague to help with an elaborate ruse. Lily feigns mental instability in a committed performance designed to lure Kenton out of his office so Jen can download the surveillance footage of Sergei’s suicide. Adding authenticity to her act, Jen tells Kenton, Lily has had schizophrenic episodes before. Armed with this lie he tells Forest they have a tool to control Lily now. Little does he know how far from the actual truth he is.
For now, Lily is in the driver’s seat. She has a brilliant ally in Jamie who is able to detect the evidence of the recording alteration. Not only is he willing and able to help, but clearly he still carries a torch for her. He’s right to point out how weird it is to ask for his help combing through her boyfriend’s suicide footage. This is especially true considering she left Jamie to be with Sergei. It is weird but it speaks volumes to how much he still cares for her. Jin Ha does a remarkable job of embuing Jamie with intelligence and likability in an extremely strange situation. The big shocker this week was not only was there a coverup, which we knew of, but there were at least three other people in on it. Who those people are and whether there are more involved remains to be seen.
Devs Episode 3 confirmed what we already suspected. Forest and Kenton will go to any lengths to protect the company. Furthermore, they have a tremendous amount of resources to do so. Lily is herself capable, with a wealth of connections and Forest can’t see past the trees(pun absolutely intended). Whether it be Icarus and his exuberant folly, or Harvey Weinstein’s conceited belief his power would conceal his wrongdoings forever, too much confidence is a weakness. For Forest and Kenton this certainly seems to be true. In Forest’s case, he is hyper-focused on his program and what it could mean for his deceased daughter and fails to see the evil that singular view has created. Catch up on all our coverage here.
- Fibonacci Sequence is the sequence of numbers where the two numbers directly preceding the third number add up to that number. For example 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13. It is frequently called the golden ratio or number. The inherent symmetry of that set also creates spirals where the measurements of squares are dependent on those numbers and create balanced spirals. In nature, this spiral can be found everywhere from flowers to seashells. It has intrigued scientists for years why it appears so often naturally.
- It was first found by Italian mathemetician Leonardo Pisano in 1202. His discovery came from a thought experiment on rabbit procreation. When Lily has her pretend meltdown in Kenton’s office she unleashes a torrent of madness including a fixation on the sequence and an ex-boyfriend’s dragon tattoo. Garland has an eye for symmetry at the beginning of the episode when the Senator and her aid and security detail mirror Forest’s aid and Kenton.
- The Age of Aquarius is an inspired musical addition to The Devs soundtrack. The original song is from 1969 by the 5th Dimension. Aquarius is associated with the zodiac sign the water bearer. The lyrics from the second verse are especially apropos.
Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
- The Age of Aquarius pertains to a time of great progress and enlightenment. It is an age that propels us forward to the future and what is possible. Sounds a lot like Dev’s predictive math, right?
- Humans are infallible idiots. Usually, it’s our hubris which is our downfall. It is no different for Kenton. It is interesting with a tool as powerful as a predictive program Kenton and Forest don’t question Lily’s performance. They see what they want and expect to see. In their minds, she is not a threat. She is a simple-minded woman who is grieving, not a resourceful force of nature. It isn’t an issue of gender bias per se, just arrogance. I wonder how long it takes them to figure out Lily isn’t as helpless as they think?
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.