DEVS Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Kenton Doubles Down

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This episode provided a lot of information at once. 

On DEVS Season 1 Episode 5, we learned the background stories of multiple characters and the ultimate motivation behind DEVS.

This series is now in its final act, with only three more episodes to come after this.

Sergei and Lily - DEVS Season 1 Episode 5

It was nice to see Sergei again in more than one brief flashback. This time around we got to see how he and Lily met and how they fell in love.

It's still frustrating that Sergei had to be the character to die to set off the chain of events of DEVS since the limited amount of screentime he gets always steals the show.

Karl Glusman brings charisma to a role that could easily fall flat. Unfortunately, DEVS still lacks in building up the emotional connections between characters, but we got the closest we have thus far in this episode.

You are creative, you are unexpected, funny, clever, hot. Awesome in every way. So yeah, I'm in love with you.

Sergei

It could be either the lack of episodes in this miniseries that would build up a more emotional character arc or just the lack of reciprocation felt from Sonoya Mizuno's performance as Lily, but something is still off.

It's hard to feel that Lily is really heartbroken over Sergei's death and not just scared of what it could mean for her. DEVS is failing with the showing-not-telling aspect of great television.

You can tell us we should believe Lily's heartbroken over the death of her boyfriend who was her one great love, but we have to feel it too.

DEVS feels rushed and like even now that it's halfway over it's still laying down exposition.

Sergei looking at Lily - DEVS Season 1 Episode 5

This was the first episode we got any inkling on who Katie is and how she became involved with DEVS, and it would've been an awesome storyline if it had come earlier in the series. 

So far Katie has barely been in the show compared to other main characters, but now she's being revealed as a major player in what's to come.

Alison Pill is ridiculously underused in the first four episodes, and now that we've seen more of her I'm already more interested in her storyline than Forest or Lily's. 

Katie and Forest - DEVS Season 1 Episode 5

She shines in this episode as we get to see her angrily storm out of an academic lecture after being provoked by her professor. Finally. we're getting a sense of the personality behind the stoic persona she's presented thus far.

It's interesting how she was recruited from an outside source to be in DEVS and not from the Amaya corporation.

Forest did manipulate her into joining by paying her college fees, but I would say that's a lot of college kids' dreams nowadays.

Enjoy, dweebs.

Katie

If you're about to be kicked out of school and a mysterious benefactor offers you a debt-free out and a job for after graduation, you would think you're living the dream.

However, Katie had no idea exactly what she was getting herself into by working with Forest.

She doesn't seem like the type to approve of how far Forest is willing to take this project and how he goes about keeping everyone in line.

But there's still a sense of camaraderie between the two. They seem to have mutual respect for one another and Katie does seem to genuinely care for Forest.

Forest in DEVS Season 1 Episode 5

A lot of it is probably coming from a place of sympathy regarding how DEVS is a way for Forest to cope with the death of his wife and daughter.

We had known that his daughter Amaya passed away for a while now, but the reveal of his wife also being killed in the same car crash added another layer of how deeply in grief Forest is.

That doesn't excuse his actions, but his intensity surrounding the DEVS project feels more justifiable from a narrative point of view.

I think DEVS is how you've put yourself on trial. It's judge and jury. If it works, determinism precludes free will, and you're absolved, you did no wrong. But if it doesn't work, you had choices, and you're guilty.

Katie

He feels guilty for their deaths. He wasn't the cause of it, but he's experiencing survivor's guilt for not being in the car with them when it happened, and for being on the phone with his wife during the crash.

DEVS heavily leans on philosophical topics like determinism and the possibility of the multiverse to explain what the DEVS project is. 

Unfortunately, they don't do the best job of explaining it, so a lot of it can go over the audience's head.

While the multiverse makes for cool shots of characters and their clones doing slightly different things that could lead to different outcomes, it makes a lot of the plot of DEVS feel like nonsense.

Forest in a flashback - DEVS Season 1 Episode 5

Going forward in the final stretch of episodes DEVS needs to break down more of what the DEVS project is doing and what it will mean for the world they're in.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Stewart and Lyndon sadly didn't have big parts in this episode. Will we ever get to know more about them?
  • Jamie's undying devotion to Lily is still confusing. Kenton rightfully calls him out for acting like a puppy dog who keeps coming back for more in case she decides to chuck him a bone, and it's coming across as more pathetic than sweet. He's risking his life and his family's lives for someone who doesn't even love him.
  • Kenton's straightforward attitude is a great break from the rest of the cast who act more passively and without clear intentions.
  • Where's Pete? What's his purpose in the show going to be?

If you missed this episode make sure to catch up and watch DEVS online here at TV Fanatic!

Episode 5 Review

Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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Jillian Pugliese is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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DEVS Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Everything's containable. But only if you're willing to do what it takes.

Kenton

You're a puppy dog. And you're devoted to her, forever and ever. And you'll do anything she wants, in case she chucks you a bone.

Kenton