Devils Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Let the Battle Begin

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Finally, Patrick Dempsey has made a triumphant return to series TV in this stylish thriller.

Those accustomed to Grey's Anatomy's McDreamy were in for a shock at Dempsey's very different role on Devils Season 1 Episode 1.

Dempsey's character, Dominic Morgan, the CEO at investment bank NYL, circa 2011, could most kindly be described as cunning.

Denied -- Tall - Devils Season 1 Episode 1

Dominic appeared to be a personable leader, rallying his troops with a folksy fable in praise of Massimo Ruggero, his head of trading and the actual protagonist of this European production.

But it was clear that, while Massimo is his favored, scrappy protege, Dominic had no compulsion about balancing Massimo's opportunity to rise against the racist whims of the stuffed shirts at the London bank.

Manipulating Mentor - Devils Season 1 Episode 1

To hear Dominic's bitter wife Nina tell it, his desire for an heir to follow him at the bank drove away their son John, who ended up getting killed in combat in Iraq.

With Massimo referring to Dominic as the titular devil in voiceovers, it's clear there is a darker side to the charismatic man in the tailored suit.

We haven't seen much of Alessandro Borghi in productions on this side of "The Pond," but he is mesmerizing as Massimo.

What to make of Massimo?

He appeared to be a sympathetic character, who came up from nothing in an Italian fishing village.

Charimatic Leader - Devils

Too bad we got little more of his rise than that. But there are nine more episodes.

We did learn of his soft spot for his estranged artist wife Carrie, who has both mental-health and drug issues. Their loving relationship was sketched out in a series of flashbacks, although why she left wasn't explained.

As long as Carrie stayed in America, she wasn't going to be an obstacle in Massimo's ascension to vice CEO of NYL. But somebody (his rival Ed, likely, but maybe, Dominic, for his own reasons) arranged for Carrie to land back in London, working as a call girl, no less.

Fortunately for Massimo, he had made friends in all walks of life. And he needed them as he undertook twin missions: to sabotage rival Ed Stuart's climb to vice CEO and to locate Carrie, in order to protect her from his enemies.

The friends start with his work friends, his team members Eleanor, Kalim, and Paul. They were more than happy to risk their careers in order to mess up Stuart's big deal that's in the works.

Strong Right Hand -- Tall - Devils

The big question is how much their loyalty will be tested as suspicion is likely to fall on Massimo after the big cliffhanger.

We didn't get near enough of Professor Wade, an ally from another, unspecified time. Any excuse to watch Ken Stott (all The Hobbits) outside of PBS programming is a good one.

At least, the good professor produced Oliver, who is likely to be Massimo's ace in the hole, since no one at work knows about Oliver.

Oliver is, evidentally, a hustler like Massimo, unafraid to go outside the lines even when he's out of his comfort zone. He can blend into the background at any occasion, the perfect spy.

It was enjoyable watching how Massimo, his lieutenants, and Oliver teamed up to wreck Ed's deal, even though they had to ruin the private life of an innocent man to do it.

Surprise Visitor - Devils Season 1 Episode 1

What we learned from that manuever is that Massimo isn't a total innocent; he's willing to play dirty if the ends justify the means.

And, frankly, Ed needed to be knocked off of his high horse. The way he talked to his equal colleague, Massimo, was deplorable.

That goes double if he was responsible for Carrie's return to London and her inevitable overdose. Somebody set the wheels in motion by putting her and Massimo in the same room.

Unlike Massimo's old acquaintance, Brett, Oliver was able to find Carrie just in time for Massimo to attempt to save her from an overdose.

So, yes, Oliver's observational skills are going to come in handy.

Garage Surprise - Devils Season 1 Episode 1

Now, what is Sofia to Massimo? Friend? Foe? Still to be determined?

She clearly knows more than she's letting on and would definitely be an asset if she's on his side or trouble if she's not. Blackmailing her for his own ends wasn't a great start to their ongoing relationship.

It was hard to understand why Massimo's having an estranged wife with issues disqualified him from being vice CEO more than Ed's losing $50 million for the bank on his deal gone south.

How does Dominic expect to hold onto Massimo if he keeps treating him badly?

Of course, Ed's death may render moot much that which happened earlier in the episode.

Money Mentor - Devils

There's little chance that what happened to Ed was a suicide. The good-old-boys network would have softened the blow of that deal gone wrong.

Nope, it's murder, and Massimo is the prime suspect, since he had just stormed angrily into Ed's office and has the most to gain with Ed out of the way.

Plus there's that whole Italians-are-gangsters mentality against which Massimo had been fighting. The investigating cops looking up at Massimo and his team were a dead giveaway.

The series' biggest drawback is its setting, as financial trading is arcane for the average viewer. Fortunately, it appears things will be shifting into thriller mode for the rest of Devils Season 1.

On the Phone - Devils

To reconsider what happened, watch Devils online.

What did you think of Dempsey as Dominick?

Is Massimo a hero or anti-hero?

Will you continue watching Devils?

Comment below.

Episode 1 Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (2 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Devils Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Ed: Banking used to be a noble profession. But unfortunately these days it seems to stoop ever lower.
Massimo: I was born low. The only way I could ever go was up. Unfortunately, in your case, the only way to go is down.

They say the devil's greatest trick is making us believe he doesn't exist. But he's real, as real as the water the fish swim in, as real as the finance flowing through this bank.

Massimo