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S01.E01: Episode 1

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When her boyfriend Sergei vanishes after starting a new job at the secretive Devs division of tech company Amaya, software engineer Lily begins to suspect that his disappearance may not be as clear-cut as it seems.

 

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I think I've been working too long. All I could think about when Forest was talking to Sergei about bringing nothing in and taking nothing out of DEVS was "Where do they eat and go to the bathroom"

This show is very...atmospheric. Not sure if that's enough to keep me interested.

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Devs S01E01

Nick Offerman looking like Grizzley Adams stares off into the darkness while a lot of mentally unstable people go thru their morning ablutions. Then suddenly …. Light! Was something realized or just discovered?

Cut to a female figure coming into focus in a nice apartment the same morning. We are in San Francisco and someone is wearing out their oboe samples on the midi keyboard for this opening music soundtrack.

We start with Lily and Sergei two young lovers - engineer lovers - they don’t stop until they have done it the right way!

They wake up and have a nerd argument at the breakfast table that is so boring and weak that I have already forgotten about it.

When they leave their home a homeless guy is sleep/reading Atlas Shrugged right on the front stoop and they have to ask him to please move. (The fuck?)

Homeless dude talks to them using their names to let you know he is a human being (with dirty ankles) and they are humans as well and tell us his name is Pete.

 

They take their morning ride to work together in San Francisco (Silly-Con valley dude) in a fancy company-only bus and apparently they work for a company called Amaya which assures us that they have got our quantum future well in hand.

On their way into the office - past the traffic and thru beautiful countryside - we spot their work campus. It is funny because the show tells us we are in San Francisco by showing us the Golden Gate Bridge but then show us other shots that look nothing like the city such as much rolling meadows. (I checked and a lot of this was apparently shot in Santa Cruz  - about 75 miles south of San Fran)

The Bus has a large face of a little blonde-haired girl and as we approach the company we are treated to a Huge 60 foot statue of said girl looming over the buildings. It is a pretty creepy scene when it is shown that the statue stands in the center of the main campus giving workers the ultimate upskirt view of our giant Goldilocks.

Sergei is prepping for a meeting with the man himself – Nick Offerman – here Forest – the founder of Amaya. He is there to show Forest his newest experiment. At the unveiling Forest (keep wanting to call him Nick) is flanked by his head engineer Katie.

Katie acts like the actress Alison Pill has just sat thru 10 hours of “learning to act like a head engineer” classes and looks like she is living in a haze. I guess we are to assume that since she is a great engineer that she must somehow be on the spectrum.

Offerman (Nick- I mean Forest (damnit)  comes in and while he watches their presentation he grazes. That is not a metaphor. His character literally is eating grass out of a box like a bearded cow.

Sergei’s experiment shows that he is able to predict the movement of a living organism – a roundworm here – and show this by creating a mappings of its neurons and then creating a model overlay which synchronizes with the worm – showing what it will do 10 seconds in the future before it actually happens. It looks impressive until it goes out of sync after 30 seconds however. (Ruh Roh!)

Nick is suddenly not impressed and throws his grass down on the table.

He asks Sergei why and Sergei says that it is either the insane amount of numbers that they are crunching are too complicated or it is the quantum where somewhere in the multiverse there is a world where they two are still in sync…..just not this one.

Nick tells him that the dog probably didn’t eat your homework in another dimension and he should work on the numbers.

All is not lost though as Nick asks Sergei to stay after the meeting where he invites him to join the secret company group “Devs”

Sergei is going to the show!

 

Sergei 1st day on the new job debriefing

Sergei is being grilled by head of security Kenton – who looks like actor Malcolm Gladwell’s uglier meaner older brother.

Sergei was born in Moscow moved to the US as a young adult, graduated MIT and then worked at a  couple of startups and now he is at Amaya.

He is questioned about his girlfriend Lily - very creepily by the stone faced interrogator (interviewer).

 

// I think we may have a candidate for daily sits under the statue’s skirts….. (side note here. The large little blonde girl’s picture is everywhere around the campus.  Her picture is on the bus. She is on all of the screensavers, the walls … everything.

 

Creepy security guy warns him that he is working on top secret stuff and the fact that his girlfriend is Chinese and Sergei is Russian they then must be up to some sort of shenanigans.

 

Creepy guy Kenton asks if he is religious and Sergei’s  “no” answer is about as convincing as my “yes” when my boss asks me on Monday if I have finished all of last week’s tasks.

They take a cheek swab before he is let in - DNA much? This will not end well.

 

Lily plays a stupid math game with another coder that is supposed to make them seem nerdy but just ends up making them seem sort of pathetic.  Is this what they pay their engineers to do all day?

 

Nick walks Sergei into the Dev space which starts as a series of trees with hula hoops around them. Again this is a very large park with giant trees that aren’t redwoods in a public area so we are back in Fake San Fran (Santa Cruz)

Nick asks Sergei what he thinks they are working on at the Dev place. He states he thinks it is a new application that is separate from the rest of the company. Sergei is wrong on all of his guesses however - mine this giant little blonde girl is really NIck’s daughter who either died tragically and he is looking for some sort of way to bring her back from the brink or she was snatched or has fallen into some sort of different dimension and Nick started this quantum company as a way to be with her again. I digress…

 

Dev spot

They come to a clearing with a very bad CGI building that resembles the outside of a Mayan handball court. There are solid gold shiny 4 by 8 square pillars out front. This is a fancy vacuum sealed Mayan basketball stadium where the only way to get in is to go down a 1970s looking hallway made out of glass and gold. They get on a clear elevator straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which takes them - horizontally - over to the main lab. (It looks like the building while being at least 4 -5 stories tall from the outside goes down into the ground about the same distance. Of course the entire structure is supported by electro magnetic fields instead of support beams – (only air yo).

/* I would like to note here that the CGI is pretty silly looking. It is overkill and somehow that makes everything look seriously fake. Also they need to render the outside building effects about 3 more times before it would look real */

 

Seriously there is even mystical chanting on the soundtrack now as the composer has just bought in another new sample for his midi keyboard…

 

….The amount of money spent to create this  space in gold alone could have probably been used to buy Apple, Facebook, Google and a few other large tech giants combined and maybe they could have actually produced something? A building like this - which is easily seen from the air (secret is a deodorant too you know) must have taken years to build and would have produced untold speculation all over the web - OK….

 

Sitting in the center of the main room is the “central machine” which resembles a mid century steampunk chandelier. The wires and tubes are where the light bulbs would be.

Here they mention the amount of computing power as qubits which is a unit of quantum mechanics.

//Forgive me on this next explanation as I am a poor budget analyst - not an engineer.

 

/*Regular computers deal with bits. They break computations down into bits where each bit can be represented as either a 0 or a 1. (Binary).

So a circuit - no matter how many are on a given chip can only be either open or closed. They have current or there is not current. You are limited to what a computer can do by the number of chips containing bits you can squeeze into a CPU.

Quantum Computing, however, deals with the subatomic world where things don’t necessarily have to live by rules that make sense.

Quantum computers use superposition which frees us from the binary system. Its chips are made up of tiny particles (qubits) which can be a 0, 1 or both simultaneously. This way - I am assuming - the amount of work per chip is almost endlessly powerful - potentially. */

 

Sergei is speechless and looks like he wants to fuck the computer instead of Lily. Sad…..

 

There are a few “coders” looking at the typical computer screens and Sergei is told the rules.  Namely everything is open (no passwords etc - yeah right) code is freely exchanged but there are also no janitors so when someone throws up at the horrible decor they they are expected to clean up their own mess. Nothing can be brought in and nothing can be taken out.

// I guess nothing ever needs fixing and no supplies ever have to be brought in/replaced?

 

 The entire space is way too dark and bathed only with the light coming off of the solid gold walls.

Forest sits him down at a desk in front of a computer monitor and tells him to sit and read code and “don’t worry you are going to figure it out.”
He doesn’t actually tell this highly trained smart programmer just what he is supposed to be doing.

The room is a joke. Everyone is using the exact same computers - no laptops - and monitors – which are all at these futuristic looking steel tables.

 Here I am assuming the desktops are just dumb terminals which are plugged into the super chandelier in the center of the room and somehow the great Git hub in the sky checks in everyone’s code magically?  The keyboards - which believe me are very important to coders - are just part of the table and have no variety. They look to have the tactile feel of old phone booth number pads. Just what you want to have to type on for dozens of hours at a time- not.

The other coders all look generic and young except for a lone large black man who would have been regulated to bus driver in a Silicon Valley company these days. Large black dude gives Sergei “the nod”

 

Sergei keeps staring at what just looks like the /linux porn desktop theme channel at reddit. It seriously looks like someone just went crazy with i3 windows.

Sergei freaks out and has to run to the bathroom to throw up.

//I get it dude, that happens to me every time someone plays a Kanye West song.//

The code apparently is attacking him and will he be up to the challenge? It turns out that Katie is there and brings him over a bottle of water - or is it vodka (Russian Tea?)

He stares dumbfounded at the screen and asks her if the code is real. Because if it is it “changes everything.”

Katie says that is real. Sergei looks troubled and then after studying the code all day is seen leaving the compound quickly walking at night in what looks like a Friday the 13th movie.

Suddenly - loud recorder plugin/sample - there is Forest with sudden light emitting from the tree hula hoops.

He accuses Sergei of stealing from him by secretly taking information from the Dev in his smart watch. When Sergei runs away, creepy security officer Kenton jumps out and attacks him.

I have to say that the amount of times Sergei must have been bullied in his lifetime should have made him better prepared for this but he puts up about as much resistance as a broken bowl of jello. (The bullies were right all along)

He is choked and killed in front of Forest and Katie. Again here Katie uses the only actor affect of just dead eyes and then walks away. (I predict here that we will find out that she was a robot all along.)

 

Back at home Lily is worried that Sergei hasn’t come home and has not contacted her. So she calls him? (Hello show no one under 45 calls anyone anymore. - but I digress)

She calls one of her friends too who has worked with Sergei but the friend suggests that he is just pulling an all-nighter trying to impress the Devs and not to worry.

We then see Lily back at the office talking to head of Amaya security - Killer Kenton (his wrestling name?) - who pretends to be worried and the pulls up Sergei’s last whereabouts right in front of her - something no security dept in the whole country would ever do - and shows her the screen which shows that Sergei (or Special effect Sergei)  walking out of the campus alone.

Then suddenly Forest coincidentally walks in and here Offerman does a poor job of pretending to be worried too.

They call the cops and file a police missing person’s report because something must have happened. Really?

 

Later that day back at Dev clubhouse Forest sits at the gold posts (see what I did there?) and commiserates with Katie on their bad luck.

As he discusses what just transpired with Katie she alludes to the fact that even boring rational guys can go off the deep end when something bad happens to them (like their kid getting hurt) and  can become unhinged.

Forest agrees.

 

Lily, worried, goes home and does what any other typical girfriend would do. She hacks into his online account and restores his phone from backup and checks all of his past tweets/calls etc. (Sergei then walks in the door having been out fishing with friends ……. Whoops - just kidding).

Strangely she sees a Soduku app and knowing that Sergei is strictly a Candy Crush freak immediately focuses on that. It is passworded and tells her that after she misses so many passwords the entire phone will be wiped. Why she chooses to focus on this one app on the hundreds that were probably on his phone escapes me.

So then she does what any other typical girlfriend would do….. she goes to her ex for help! Lol.

She asks her former live in boyfriend Jamie to hack her current boyfriend’s Soduku app. Just your typical run of the mill request.

Jamie upon first seeing her regrets that he has a freak magnet in his pocket…

He looks like he has not gotten over his intense relationship with her and basically says, “Nah Bruh!”

She goes back home despondent and early the next morning she is awoken up by someone downstairs telling her she has to come into the office right away.

 

Special Effect Sergei’s Bad Barbeque

We are then shown her watching footage of Special Effect Sergei walking by the large girl statue on campus (I believe this statue is Amaya - Forest’s daughter?) and sets himself on fire.

Again no company/police dept in the world would allow another employee to see this raw footage of what is essentially a suicide but they all sit and watch her suffer.

in the security video Special Effect Sergei pours gasoline all over himself and then lights it. We are treated to some of the worst special effects of him catching fire this side of …… the 1980s.

She is freaked out and runs out down to the statue where his body is still sitting burnt and uncovered. This is crazy since this occurred last night _ they show us the flames reflecting on statue Amaya earlier in the episode - but somehow his body is still sitting there uncovered ? // The fuck?!

 

She then does one of those women mouth open choking crying jags that looks ridiculous and should be something the actresses friends bring up at every social gathering for the next 5 years to embarrass her.

Also - someone else tell me - didn’t we see a burnt body sometime at the beginning of the episode?

I mean when they were showing everyone waking up in the morning. I go to check but my Plex server is deciding to be a little bitch at the moment and keeps stuttering.

 

Fade out with the show’s composer - who must have been a fireworks technician in a former life – because he proceeds to end the show like he did his old July 4th bashes with the whole works.

We are treated to a massive cavalcade of oboes, chanters and recorders turned up to 11………. Fade out.

                  

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I pretty much got stuck on the mansion they walked out of as the episode opens. Yikes. 

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:27 PM, sjankis630 said:

 The entire space is way too dark and bathed only with the light coming off of the solid gold walls.

 

lol, the first thing I said to hubby is I'd be out of there ASAP with that ambient lighting.

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:27 PM, sjankis630 said:

He is choked and killed in front of Forest and Katie. Again here Katie uses the only actor affect of just dead eyes and then walks away. (I predict here that we will find out that she was a robot all along.)

With all that supposed science, they resort to a bag over the head? If this is the future - where'd they get the plastic bag? Sorry, I just keep wondering who paid the 2¢ waaay back in the day for that bag?

On 3/6/2020 at 12:52 AM, Lily H said:

That was stunningly bad.

What!? Lily, did you find Sergei?

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18 hours ago, Chalby said:

With all that supposed science, they resort to a bag over the head? If this is the future - where'd they get the plastic bag? Sorry, I just keep wondering who paid the 2¢ waaay back in the day for that bag?

Did they establish that the show is set far into the future?  I know we don't have quantum computers functioning at the level of the one at Devs but my impression was that it exists secretly in our current timeline.  

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On 3/6/2020 at 12:52 AM, Lily H said:

That was stunningly bad.

Perhaps so, but I am sticking around because I have far too many questions and my husband refuses to be in the same room if it is on. I need answers.

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That enormous statue is the creepiest thing I've ever seen.  Freaked me out more than watching the guy set fire to himself.  Ron Swanson is trying to recreate his daughter, isn't he?  That's what the people in the golden cube are doing, right?

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3 hours ago, Haleth said:

Ron Swanson is trying to recreate his daughter, isn't he?  That's what the people in the golden cube are doing, right?

It depends on what you mean by recreate.

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:27 PM, sjankis630 said:

while a lot of mentally unstable people go thru their morning ablutions.

I admit it took me a couple of tries to read your entire post (that was a LOT of observation for one episode). I thank you for sharing, but I just have to ask... what made you write "ablutions" while describing characters' behaviours, rather than, say... routines? Just curious...

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What a disappointing start. Whoever put this together did not do a good job of selling the mystery of what is going on in the DEVS. I mean come on from the giant little girl statute to the name of the company & then the thousands of pictures of children. It's obvious he's(Nicks character) trying to bring his child back and is doing it in a nefarious way. Also these characters are supposed to be super smart but they do some of the dumbest shit. 

1. If you are going to bring someone onto a project & have the possible outcome being their death why would you choose someone who has a girlfriend who would go looking for them? You would go with someone who had no family & no ties to anyone that way you wouldn't have to explain away this persons disappearance. 

2. You really thought his girlfriend was going to believe he committed suicide? I mean come on! The guy was happy with her, just got the job he's been dreaming of & he's in a stable place financially. Talk about someone less inclined to commit suicide. 

3. The watch. If they knew that watches had those capabilities then why was he allowed to wear it into the building? Wouldn't they also have metal detectors? I understand they were free to come and go but there has to be SOME kind of security besides cameras.

4.Why would Sergei leave the premises and then come back just to kill himself in front of the cctv cameras? If he was going to kill himself and not want anyone to find out he would have just kept walking and done it somewhere private. Not surprised that Lily isn't buying it. 

I know that some people are book smart and not street smart but there is NO way any of these people are THAT stupid. I have to say that even though it's obvious what is happening I am still going to watch because I want to see how on point I am with my theory. 

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ohjoy

Please be sure to not discuss what happens in future episodes in earlier episodes (ex. don't refer to Episode 6 events in the Episode 3 topic).  If you binge the show and come to the forum to talk about it as an entire whole, please direct that conversation to the Episode 8 topic. Thanks!

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