Hulu’s Devs episode 4 made a bombshell revelation – the Multiverse exists in this universe, and it has the power to radically change everything they know about the project they’re working on. Devs is an eight-part miniseries directed by veteran sci-fi filmmaker Alex Garland, and produced as part of the new FX on Hulu banner. The story follows computer engineer Lilly Chan as she dives into the seedy underbelly of the quantum computing company Amaya, a corporation which she believes is responsible for the mysterious death of her boyfriend.
In Devs episode 1, audiences are slowly keyed into the fact that Amaya is working on some kind of mysterious project, one that revolves around the deterministic De Brogile-Bohm theory of quantum mechanics. Throughout episodes 2 and 3, however, the project becomes clearer: the Devs team has created a quantum computer capable of projecting the past and predicting the future. Despite the major ethical and existential questions posed by the existence of the software, it hasn’t been perfected just yet, and that’s precisely what Forest, the CEO of Amaya, wants. But in Devs episode 4, the team takes a huge step towards perfecting the projection project, while also inadvertently making a massive discovery about the nature of their reality. And not only does their discovery change the nature of their work with the projection project, but it also might become distinctly important to Forest and his reasoning behind creating Amaya in the first place.
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So far, the projection project has simply been an abstract visual rendering of code, which occasionally coalesces to provide an image of a historical event, such as the crucifixion of Christ in the second episode, or a night of love-making between Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller. All the visuals are in black-and-white and presented like a matrix of binary code. This is because the basis of the program is modeled after the De Brogile-Bohm theory, a quantum mechanics theory that postulates our universe, and the sequence of events that take place within it, are entirely pre-determined as a result of cause and effect. Free will is a myth, and the reason the projection project can predict the future is because it’s simply a matter of data.
This theory is preferred by Forest, and it’s responsible for the progress that the Devs team has already made. However, Lyndon, an audio engineer for the project, decides to experiment around and develop a new algorithm for sound waves, replacing the single-universe De Brogile-Bohm theory with Hugh Everett’s many-worlds theory, which assumes that all possible outcomes of quantum measurements are physically realized in some world. This immediately creates tangible results, and Lyndon produces crisp and clear audio of Jesus Christ of Nazareth praying on the cross.
While it seems as if everyone would be ecstatic about this breakthrough, Forest is furious. In his opinion, swapping out for the many-worlds theory is cheating, because while the audio is clear and Jesus, indeed, can be heard, it’s not the Jesus who died on the cross in their universe, thus making it invalid. When Lyndon tries to argue his point, Forest retaliates by firing him. It’s clear that whatever Forest plans on using the projection project for, he doesn’t want to cut any corners.
Devs episode 4 also continues dropping subtle hints at Forest’s trauma and his reasoning for creating Amaya. When Katie, his closest confidant, accosts him for firing Lyndon, he fires back by telling her that an alternate universe means it “won’t be his Amaya,” referring to the deceased daughter he mentioned to Lilly back in episode 2. Katie then tells Forest that she’s swapped the many-worlds algorithm into the project’s light waves as well, and uses it to project a crystal clear image of Forest’s daughter that leaves him in tears.
While all but confirmed at this point, it seems as if the projection project represents a crucial step in Forest’s journey to get some closure regarding his daughter. And if the ending of the episode is any indication at all, we might see Forest compromise for an alternate universe version of his daughter. Devs has already been a uniquely mind-bending experience, but the introduction of the multiverse might take it even further.
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