DEVS Season 1 Episode 8 Review: The Real Meaning of DEVS

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A miniseries' success is almost always dependent upon its finale.

With such a limited amount of time to get to know your characters, the final episode has to hit all its marks to leave viewers with a good impression.

On DEVS Season 1 Episode 8, they missed the mark.

Forest and Amaya - DEVS

DEVS has always heavily leaned into the sci-fi aspect of their show, at the expense of meaningful plotlines and character development.

Unfortunately, the final episode of the series proved this more than ever.

We all knew that Lily was going to do something to the DEVS system to stop it from working. But what could've been a great lesson on free will versus determinism ended up being a convoluted mess.

DEVS has never been able to stick to one side of its central debate.

Is every action pre-determined by an outside force? Or do the characters have the ability to make their own choices?

Serious Lily - DEVS Season 1 Episode 8

Throughout the series, DEVS hammered home the idea that no matter what, people cannot choose what they do next. 

Every word they say, every move they make is not up to them.

At first, Lily objected to that idea. She believed she had the ability to choose her own path, and that no matter what Forest and Katie told her, she could prove them wrong. Her lack of belief in a higher power only further convinced her that she's right.

I don't know what I am anymore. Something that makes no decisions, has no choices, follows a path I can't see.

Lily

However, on DEVS Season 1 Episode 7, Lily seemed to backtrack on this. She heads to DEVS, even when she said she wasn't going to.

Throughout the first half of the finale, she followed the exact script that the DEVS system had predicted she would. Forest and Katie followed along.

Lily in DEVS Season 1 Episode 8

But, of course, at the last second, Lily proved them wrong. Instead of taking the gun into the glass box, she threw it out as the doors closed. Panic ensues.

What does that mean? If Lily can exercise free will, then has all of DEVS' work been for nothing? It seemed like the answer was going to be yes. If the show had left it there, the finale would've been a bit underwhelming, but at least it would've made sense. 

Life is just something we watch unfold.

Forest

However, Stewart still enacted the emergency protocol the system predicted he would, and Lily and Forest still fell to their deaths. If the outcome is the same, but not how they got there, could it still be determinism?

It's unclear. But, Stewart seemed to think so. He told Katie his actions were predetermined, even when Lily just proved that it's possible to break the script. 

Lily in a Field - DEVS Season 1 Episode 8

Is Lily the only person in the world who can make her own choices? 

Everyone was always saying there's something special about her, but it seems unlikely that she would be the only one with actual power in their world. 

Lily: She's not alive. She's a computer simulation.
Forest: Explain the difference.

Katie compared Lily's choice to the original sin. It's hard to believe that in all of history no one else has ever made their own choice before. If Lily committed the original sin, then who is she sinning against? The DEVS system? 

Forest already thinks of himself as a messiah. 

DEVS is full of religious themes. The reveal of the true meaning of "DEVS" only proves that further.

Angry Sergei - DEVS Season 1 Episode 8

The V in DEVS is actually Roman, so the name is "DEUS." The entire project is centered around the concept that Forest is god-like. 

Does Katie also think of herself as a god? She knew the real name of the project. She participated in it with the knowledge of what Forest wanted to accomplish. And now, she's the one in charge. 

Or has she always viewed herself as Forest's second? She was his second in command at work for years. And, sadly, she was always a second choice to Forest. He chose to rejoin his daughter and wife with no hesitation. 

Of course, that might have been his only option, but Katie's the one left with heartbreak. The project's changed forever, and she lost the person she was deeply 'in like' with. Where will she go from here?

DEVS didn't give us a good sense of closure for Katie's timeline. We're not sure what her future holds or what will happen to DEVS.

Lily's Close-up - DEVS Season 1 Episode 8

Instead, we got a bizarre epilogue in a pseudo-afterlife. 

We were just as confused as Lily when she woke up to find Sergei, alive and well. 

I'm sure I'll see you around. Let's get coffee sometimes.

Forest

Apparently, Forest chose to send himself and Lily into the DEVS system to live out their future. So they're dead, but are living a life in the system. 

Is the system one of the multiverses? Is it just a complete simulation? Forest says that he and Lily got into "one of the good ones," which means there were other options for where they ended up.

He seems to be referring to parallel universes, but he tells Lily it's a simulation.

Close-up in Field - DEVS Season 1 Episode 8

DEVS is a weird show. It repeatedly changes its stances, and seems more invested in shocking their audience then explaining anything to them. 

There's a fine line between making a show that's hard to follow and making a show that doesn't make sense. 

DEVS seems to be in the latter category. The conclusion wasn't satisfying, and the pacing of the final chapter made it even more frustrating. 

There was too much time wasted dragging things out when they could've been adding more plot points to make the ending more feasible.

DEVS had an interesting concept, but it didn't stick the landing.

Lily's Profile - DEVS Season 1 Episode 8

Stray Thoughts:

  • Stewart's choice to activate the emergency protocol was a bizarre choice for the character. He's always believed in DEVS, but he doesn't seem like the type to kill.
  • What happens to Forest and Lily in the system? Are their lives eternal there, or will they go somewhere else when they die?
  • I'm glad Jamie and Lily got their happy ending. Even if he doesn't know he's in a simulation like she does, those two belong together.

What did you think of DEVS?

Did you like the ending?

Did Forest to get what he wanted all along?

Let us know in the comments below!

Episode 8 Review

Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (32 Votes)

Jillian Pugliese is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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DEVS Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

Life is just something we watch unfold.

Forest

I don't know what I am anymore. Something that makes no decisions, has no choices, follows a path I can't see.

Lily