Woman On A Ledge
Devs is an infuriating show to watch. Given how spoilt we’ve all been with Netflix and other streaming platforms dropping full seasons in one go, Devs is a show I, and I’m sure many others too, really want to binge-watch. All the Alex Garland hallmarks are here – the eerie score, the engrossing mystery and multifaceted characters – but the slow pace and drip-fed plot progression may put some people off this one.
We begin episode 3 of Devs with fragments of the past, as they materialize into view along with the familiar image of the little girl blowing bubbles. As the scene changes, an army marches and a woman burns at the stake, eventually settling on Marilyn Monroe having sex, which Stewart ends up watching. As Katie arrives, she tells him to start acting responsibility, which garners an incredulous reply from him.
Meanwhile the Senator arrives at the facility via helicopter to greet Forest, where they talk together about what he’s working on. Forest is cagey, simply telling her it’s a “Prediction Algorithm” and leaving it at that.
Lily returns to work but following Sergei’s suicide she’s admittedly shaken. Lianne talks with her outside and its here Lily mentions her suspicions and how she believes the video of his death was faked. Jen arrives soon after, cutting their conversation short. She goes along with Lily’s ideas and as Lianne takes her aside, Jen admits that Lily has had schizophrenic episodes in the past.
She agrees to take Lily to see Kenton and as she talks about patterns, Jen looks at her like she’s crazy, prompting Lily to rush out the room. Unfortunately her episode sends her across the ledge precariously while Forest shows the Senator around outside. As he sees her on the edge, he radios through and tells Kenton to get her down.
Kenton stands with Lily on the balcony and tells her he believes she may be right in regards to the Russians. He talks her out of jumping and in doing so the Senator leaves via helicopter. As we see Lily and Jen drive away, the former smiles which leads us to believe this stunt may have been Lily’s plan all along; distracting Kenton while Jen sneaks into the office and gets what she needs.
Meanwhile, Forest catches up with Kenton and he tells her they have an ace card in Lily – anything she says about their industry will come back on her given no one will believe her thanks to her previous episodes of schizophrenia.
Lily returns to Jamie and tells him she needs his help in deciphering the 24 hours worth of footage Jen managed to snatch from Kenton’s office. As he echoes back what she’s asking of him, they agree that it’s weird but eventually do sit down together and watch the footage. Staring intently, they notice the flames are exactly the same in every shot. Only…this means its been enhanced with a fire effect and Sergei did not die from a fire, nor did he set himself alight. As she stares at the footage, Lily realizes that Sergei has definitely been murdered.
As we cut back in time to that fateful night, we see a scene played out in reverse as Kenton and the others pour petrol on the lifeless body of Sergei and pick him up to carry him away.
Devs is starting to get to the meat of its mystery here and as the episodes tick by, we’re starting to learn more about what the company are hiding. Forest and Kenton are certainly intriguing characters, with the former giving off those same icy vibes Nathan did in Garland’s previous feature Ex Machina. Although we don’t see an awful lot of the tech itself this episode, we do see a little more of Lily working to figure out just what’s going on.
In terms of plot progression though, there really isn’t a lot in this episode and although this may work for screenplays in film, the same can’t be said for TV unless the entire show is released in one hit, as mentioned earlier on in this recap. Still, there’s enough here to keep you watching but this is also one that perhaps may be a better show to watch in blocks of 2-3 episodes rather than one at a time. Only time will tell whether this remains the case though but for now, Devs remains a show that could go either way but is endearing enough to stick with for now.