Devs recap: Tempting fate
Devs fourth episode doesn't begin with a bang, but a tremor. The Amaya campus is shaken by an earthquake. Forest kneels among the gold pillars outside to stabilize himself, while inside the electromagnetic elevator isn't exactly offering its smoothest rides.
While emergency alarms sound, Lyndon and Stewart react accordingly, but Katie doesn't flinch. Stewart cracks his superior isn't scared because she knows it's not the “big one,” suggesting she's exploited their top-secret prediction algorithm tech to sneak a peek of the future.
Speaking of breaking that all-important rule, Forest does just that, post-quake. Standing before the big, history-predicting screen, Amaya's boss is watching a fuzzy scene from the future. It shows a figure falling to the ground, then trying to crawl away from...something. While the scene's distorted by variances, the victim looks a lot like Lily.
Our heroine seems safe and sound for now, though, waking up in Jamie's apartment. Following their CCTV footage discovery — proving Sergei's suicide was staged by Kenton and his crew — she stayed the night. Jamie took the couch, she got his bed, complete with clean sheets. Given the evidence they now possess, Jamie urges Lily to call the police. She adamantly refuses, comparing Amaya to the mafia. “You really want to call the cops and inform on the mob? They'll kill me like they killed Sergei.”
Meanwhile, Katie joins Forest's private viewing session. “If the technicians see you accessing the future, it makes it seem like the rule is open to being broken.” Forest is characteristically unfazed. “They know not to break the rule, and they know we do break the rule.” Katie counters, asking if her scruffy boss is concerned about the “tramlines,” referring to his favorite analogy of the future's set, on-rails path. But he reveals it's Amaya's ability to possibly alter that path that truly scares him. “The future is fixed in exactly the same way as the past,” she assures him. “In 48 hours, Lily will die.”
That doomed fate doesn't seem far off, as Amaya's surly security chief arrives at Lily's apartment. He's there to pick her up for a doctor's appointment. Lily's resistant, claiming she's not ready for that step and would like to stay home. Kenton doesn't care. He reminds her of the stroll she took on the ledge outside his office. He makes her an offer she can't refuse. “See the doctor and we're done.” She gets in the car.
Back at Devs, Lyndon's made a breakthrough. His quantum computing co-workers — as well as Forest and Katie — have gathered to see what kind of wizardry he's pulled off this time. The gifted, young engineer has managed to cut through the literal static of their backward predictions. He fires up an audio-only version of that 2000-year-old projection of Christ's crucifixion. A crystal clear voice, speaking Aramaic, fills the room. Everyone's jaw drops ... except Forest's. “Cute party trick,” he snaps.
He says Lyndon's leveraging of the “multiverse” to acquire the impressive result makes it moot. “You've undermined everything I'm trying to do.” Katie attempts to come to the kid's defense but is met with a “Shut up, Katie” from her increasingly unhinged boss. Lyndon claims Forest is “splitting hairs.” Forest responds by firing him. He tells the dumbstruck employee to take his $10 million separation fee and never speak of his work to anyone. “I will know.” He also offers a not-so-thinly-veiled threat of death to the rest of the team, reminding them what happened to Sergei, “the Russian kid.”
Lily's appointment with Amaya's psychiatrist isn't going much better. He takes her history, asks some personal questions, and stresses doctor-patient confidentiality when she claims to have no memory of her breakdown in Kenton's office. After the session, Forest's right-hand man has Lily wait outside while he goes in to see the doc about an “invoice.” The psychiatrist immediately breaks that doctor-patient confidentiality like peanut brittle, giving Kenton all the dirty details on Lily, including the fact she's not actually schizophrenic.
When the two return to Kenton's car, he's none too happy about being played. He claims he “knows everything,” but spins it as though he's been informed Lily is actually a danger to herself, a high suicide risk. She panics when it becomes clear he's not driving her back to her apartment. She demands he stop the car. He doesn't comply. She grabs the wheel, crashes them into a highway divider, and quickly gets a face full of airbag. While a bleeding, limping Kenton stumbles out of the vehicle, Lily runs off unscathed.
Meanwhile, Lyndon's not taking his termination so well. Upset he'll never set foot in Devs — or see Stewart — again, he's not thinking like the genius he is. Fearing for his young friend's life, a level-headed Stewart strongly suggests he take his hefty severance package and run. Lyndon enjoys one last electromagnetic elevator ride to the exit, where two security guards are waiting to escort him out.
In the backward-projecting screening room, Katie's not happy with Forest. “You just fired my most talented engineer.” He doesn't care. “Lyndon introduced the multiverse into Devs. He broke a rule that isn't open to being broken.” She argues that he used “beautiful mathematics.” He screams: “It does not work! If it's not our Jesus, it's not my Amaya.” With her emotionally fragile boss revealing his true motive, she responds, “I broke a rule today, too.” Using Lyndon's new workaround, she dials in a crystal clear image of Forest's daughter. With that mic drop, she leaves the room. As Forest watches his little girl blow bubbles, he breaks down in tears.
Following her desperate escape from Kenton, Lily heads back to Jamie's apartment. She's had a change of heart. She calls the police to report Sergei's murder. When the law shows up, they immediately place her under arrest for “reckless endangerment.” She's cuffed and read her rights. Amaya's sleazy psychiatrist also pops his head in to recommend an “involuntary psychiatric hold.” Lily seems genuinely upset and surprised, but given her previous performance in Kenton's office, we're inclined to think she has something up her sleeve.
Jamie follows her into the hallway, trying to stop the police from taking her. He's pushed back inside his apartment by Kenton. “Hello, Jamie.” Following another, more forceful push, Kenton draws the shades.
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