In Devs, Silicon Valley meets philosophy and creates a trippy puzzle-box show for the tech generation. Devs, the confidential department at tech giant Amaya, was at first thought to focus on vague "development." That wasn't quite the entire picture. They were actually working on code to recreate and live in past moments, purely through computing. The ultimate purpose of this revolutionary tool has yet to be revealed, but one fan theory claims all the flashes to the past are connected, which may have created a paradoxical time loop.
Spoilers and speculation for the first three episodes of Devs ahead.
The key lies in Amaya's founder, Forest. He seems like your typical eccentric CEO, munching on raw greens and refusing to observe weekends. Over the course of the past three episodes, however, we've seen there's far more to him than that. He's also a father, deeply grieving the loss of his young daughter. Through the technology created by the devs, he can see Amaya, the namesake of his company, again.
Reddit user emf1200 proposes the devs are using the universal wave function to control projections, but it has an unintended side effect: voices bleed over into the individuals in the projections. So far, we've seen projections of Jesus Christ, Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, and Marilyn Monroe.
These historical figures share one notable trait: they heard voices. With Jesus and Joan of Arc these were divine, Abe Lincoln supposedly had vivid prophetic dreams, and Marilyn Monroe was in therapy for possible schizophrenia.
Here's the kicker: in a trailer for the show ahead of the series premiere, we see what looks like Forest visiting the site of a car crash, possibly the crash that killed Amaya.
If the theory is true, that means Forest would have some sort of vocal bleedthrough from the observation, possibly giving him the idea to start Devs in the first place. This seems to fit with Forest's strident belief in determinism and the absence of free will: he made Devs so he could tell himself to make Devs. The shot also suggests that Forest himself may have indirectly caused Amaya's death.
The theory delves deeply into the wave function imagery that's appeared throughout the show and its promotional materials so far, making the argument that a predictive algorithm is responsible for creating everyting in the world of the show. "Devs takes place somewhere in that stack of simulation," the Redditor argues.
Confused yet? Look at it this way: the time travel, just like everything else in the Devs universe, is predetermined, so anything that happens through the observation is meant to happen. Forest had to form Amaya in order to go back in time and instruct himself to do so.
It's complicated, but that's par for the course when it comes to Alex Garland's body of work. As the story progresses, we can expect Devs to dive deep into thorny meditations of the nature of reality itself.
Devs airs Thursdays on FX on Hulu.