- Katie saw from Deus that Lily would die one day mid-season ish, but she didn’t, it’s as though there was some element of chaos and she made some other choice such that she didn’t die that day. Was Katie lying, or did this already address the strange fudged seeming causal-deterministic worldview the tech geniuses believe in? (I also was doing something else while this episode was playing and may have missed something, but still she did not die, prediction failed.)
- Katie convinces Lyndon to kill himself as an act of faith in the “multiverse,” that if he stands on the ledge of this dam, in some universes he’ll fall but in others he won’t, but um, his consciousness will end up continuing in one of them, as though he can’t really die anyway. It seems to show him as falling no matter what (in all universes), but the whole thing is ridiculous. Lyndon is supposed to be a genius and is tricked into suicide by this argument…
- It's explained that originally Deus could see like 3 months into the future until things went static and that this time window had progressively shrunk such that by the end of the show Deus can only see about a day into the future. It’s later explained this was because Lily was going to make a choice and Deus didn’t know which choice she was going to make, as though the entire future rests on her choice, and also as though the ability to make a choice is some unique feature of her character. That the choice she made was based on her knowledge of what she was predicted to do that day contradicts the dumb thinking of Forest (and possibly Katie), who wouldn’t be thinking this way anyway, because they are geniuses.
- Forest and Katie play out the “last day” exactly the way they saw it from Deus—that they know what is going to happen ahead of time has zero effect on their behavior. They both seem to believe that because everything is “predetermined” that there is no other way they can behave on this day, despite how their awareness of how events play out would change all of their behavior because now their brains have new thoughts than they would have had before, which means even in some kind of causal-deterministic chain, the outcome would be different. But at least Forest doesn’t believe this is even possible as is evidenced at the end when Lily makes a choice other than the one Deus saw, as he even declares it’s not possible. But what truly makes no sense is that Lily would do exactly what she saw Deus showing her doing, when she believes it would result in her death.
- At the end when Lily is living in the Deus simulation starting from the point in time before all of this started, “reality” is different because Forest’s family never died in his own rewound reality so he never made Deus in the first place to get them back, but he still did make his tech company and named it after his daughter with the giant statue of her (even though such memorials had only been a response to her death in the first place…). Sergei is also still working there and still with Lily even though he now doesn’t have any reason to be there. Since there isn’t any Deus/Devs, the Russian government has no reason to be especially interested in this tech company and probably wouldn’t have sent Sergei to spy in the first place, and probably he and Lily wouldn’t have ever met. Deus has transformed into some sort of heaven in which people can just be with their loved ones in a simulation.
- I honestly don’t understand why it’s seemingly portrayed that Lily and Forest and have been resurrected rather than simply copied. This isn’t a time machine, so when they both die they are actually dead. Sure there may be copies of them rewound in time in this simulation who also have the knowledge they each had before they died, but still it’s not them… They might feel like there is no difference and the last thing they remember might be their deaths, but the actual consciousness of each of them that died was discontinued. They really did die. The only reason to put them in this simulated reality is it seems to make Katie happy, as deep down she’s quite sentimental and wants to save Forest’s soul or something.
I really don’t understand why this story couldn’t have just been made into this hell of what happens when people know what they will do ahead of time and the strange time circles that would create, the confusing horrors, until eventually people get so lost they can’t keep track of it all anymore. That would have been more interesting and it could have been made more shocking and hellish than all of this. This really wasn’t very shocking, if at all. It likes to play with weird quantum reality ideas that it probably butchers but it doesn’t really do much with them at all. It could have still played with determinism but in ways in which when you watch your future based on you watching your future based on watching your future based on watching your future… somehow everything it changes into, every time it changes, it’s still as though you personally can never change your outcome in each “reality” that manifests. This free choice thing is far less creepy than a reality in which you can’t escape cause and effect… so you make your choices but it’s like none of them are yours. Rather than going for a happy ending I feel like it would have been better to just go more insane and creepy. I didn't feel it did ideas like "life is just something we watch unfold like pictures on a screen" justice, really drawing out the potential horror of that (it needn't be horrifying and really I often feel that way, but I personally feel this show needed more mind-twisting horror).
I did like the metaphor to how they are recreating the tree of knowledge and in general these God/Garden of Eden metaphors, but they were not very much the focus--it would have been better had they been moved into focus. God as Abraxas or something and the tree of knowledge as the tree of horrors would have been far more interesting. The only character that kind of might have the potential to see things more this way is Stewart, but the show just had him spouting deep quotes and yes, finally trying to sabotage things because of how dangerous he thinks Deus is in the hands of insane people like Forest (though Katie is also arguably just as "dangerous"). Still, it's not like he tries to actually destroy the machine, just crash the elevator Forest and Lily are in--uh, well played...