DEVS Series Premiere Review: Your New Sci-Fi Obsession

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If you love all things sci-fi, this is a show for you. 

In the action-packed two-episode premiere of FX and Hulu's new show DEVS, we get a lot of information thrown at us at once.

On DEVS Season 1 Episode 1 we meet Sergei, an up and coming artificial intelligence engineer working at the Amaya corporation.

Sergei and Forest - DEVS Season 1 Episode 1

Most of the pilot episode is centered around Sergei and his journey which, unless you've read the show synopsis, makes his death in the first episode pretty shocking. 

Sergei's death sets the tone for the show, which up until that point seemed to be a pretty straightforward series about a high-tech company. After finishing these two episodes, it's now clear that DEVS is anything but straightforward.

Sergei at Amaya - DEVS Season 1 Episode 1

The pacing in the pilot was a bit slow laying down all the exposition of the series, but it picks up on the second half of the premiere.

On DEVS Season 1 Episode 2 it was evident that this is going to be the type of show that keeps everyone on their toes. 

DEVS is an ambitious show attempting to cover a lot of ground right away.

For the most part, it's pretty successful. If the rest of the season continues to unravel the mystery of DEVS and Sergei's past the way it has so far, I'd imagine it will keep the audience's interest piqued.

Lily at Amaya - DEVS Season 1 Episode 1

Lead character Lily, played by Sonoya Mizuno, has just the right amount of distrust in the characters around her to make you feel like you're not sure who's a good guy or bad guy either. 

It seems like DEVS will be playing around with a few morally complex characters who will be unpredictable in the events to come. 

We're led to believe Sergei is just your typical employee, given the opportunity of a lifetime.

However, we quickly learn that he had ulterior motives for working at Amaya to infiltrate DEVS for Russian intelligence. 

I want you to consider that Sergei had a good reason for doing what he did. It might be a good reason for you too.

Anton

The security guard at Amaya, Kenton, had a completely different character arc than I had anticipated in the first moment we met him. What appeared to be a lower-level associate at Amaya ending up being Sergei and later on Anton's killer.

Kenton at Amaya - DEVS Season 1 Episode 1

But by far the most interesting character to watch in DEVS is Forest. Nick Offerman shines in this role. I was afraid he'd be pigeon-holed as Ron Swanson from Parks & Recreation forever, but he showed a completely different side of himself in DEVS.

He was able to convey a very dynamic character in these two hours and completely stole the show.

What I'm looking forward to the most in the rest of the episodes is seeing more of the background of Forest and his daughter. We know he named the company after her and presumably built a giant statue in the compound in commemoration.

You can talk to me at any time. You can call me at any time. You have no professional obligations to fulfill. Your job and your income are secure and they will stay that way as long as you need them to.

Forest

Forest has an understanding of grief and offers to help Lily through hers. Of course, he is the one at fault for Sergei's death and his motivations are definitely compromised, but it was a fascinating moment to watch.

There was something so sincere about Forest's reassurance to Lily of how she can take as much time as she needs to grieve that I found it hard not to trust him at that moment.

Whether that's due to the writing or Offerman's performance is unclear, but either way, I'm on board.

Forest on DEVS Season 1 Episode 2

The only character whose motivations seem truly pure is Lily's ex-boyfriend Jamie. We're given a bit of background on the two's failed relationship (Lily does not look good in that story) and even though she broke his heart, he still helps her. 

It is a life or death situation, and hopefully, any sane person would agree to help in any way they can, but Jamie seems solely driven based on how much he cares for Lily.

Jamie: Lily, come on. If this was a Russian state, your guy was like...
Lily: Like what?
Jamie: A spy, or something. Industrial espionage.

He doesn't want to help her find out information about her new boyfriend, but he ultimately decides to get her the answers she needs in regards to his passing. 

DEVS Poster

He even uses his previous knowledge of her from the time they were together to anticipate her moves and warn her not to interfere with Russian intelligence. He was too late, but it's the thought that counts.

Lily: You're telling me he was murdered?
Anton: I have no doubt.

My only bone to pick with DEVS is for killing off Anton right away. He seemed like he was going to be a major player going forward but his time was cut really short. 

It's unclear whether or not Lily will come into contact with anyone else who can provide information on Sergei's background, but it seems like Lily may be on her own.

Stewart Outside - DEVS Season 1 Episode 2

Stray Thoughts:

  • The cinematography of this show is amazing to watch, especially the shots inside the DEVS compound. Kudos to Rob Harvey.
  • Hopefully, we'll see more of the other DEVS workers. Stewart and Lyndon's limited appearances made me want to see more.
  • What's Katie's purpose in the show? It's unclear whether she is just another DEVS employee or someone higher up in the company.
  • Are we supposed to be rooting for Jamie and Lily to get back together? As of right now, I think he should stay far away from someone who wouldn't speak to him for two years until she needed a favor.

What did you think of the series premiere of DEVS?

Will you be tuning in to see how the story plays out?

Catch up on the first two episodes when you watch DEVS online at TV Fanatic.

Episode 1 Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (1 Vote)

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

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DEVS Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Human beings are hard-wired magical thinkers. You could have the most rational thinker and if their kid gets hurt they'll start praying.

Katie

There was something strange about it. It was like, purposeful, heading somewhere, like a zombie.

Lily