At the end of The Devil's Advocate (1997), Kevin is having a dialogue with Milton where things are revealed to him. Among the things he now knows is that Milton/(the Devil) doesn't actually do the bidding, he merely "sets the scene". And he follows this by reminding him about the conversation that took place in the bathroom at the beginning of the movie, making it clear that the person Kevin was talking to (the news reporter) was actually the devil all along.

After Kevin kills himself, he goes back in time to the bathroom in the middle of the conversation with that same news reporter. Now Kevin is confused, maybe he was dreaming, but he never actually interacts with the news reporter the same way we saw him at the beginning. That's acceptable. He then learns from his mistake, and quits defending his client.

In the next scene, we see the same news reporter (the devil) trying to setup an appointment with Kevin, which he reluctantly agrees to. Then the news reporter shape-shifts into Milton.

The question is: Why doesn't Kevin recognize the news reporter as the devil?

Edit: The whole point of going back, is learning from mistakes. I am sure Kevin retained his memories from dealing with Milton, because we see him embracing his wife at the court. If he has the memories of her dying, then he should still have the memory of the devil being the news reporter.

If he has no memories of Milton then an infinite loop should happen, but that's not the case. Why does Kevin choose not to defend his client, and still want to deal with the news reporter?

1 Answer 1


Because Kevin is vain

As the reporter turning into John Milton says in his last words - "Vanity, definitely my favorite sin".

Kevin didn't learn his lesson well - all that he got from his "vision" is that working for Milton is bad - bad for him, as he will lose his wife, so he is trying to avoid that road.

He knows that the successful defense of a pedophile will lead to the events from his "dream", so the obvious solution would be to lose. But that would tarnish his reputation as an always-winning lawyer, hence he decides to quit mid-trial. You could say that he inherited his father's pride...

But there is also another layer: it is an advocate's job to do the best he can to defend his client, even while knowing that his client is guilty, so losing on purpose would also be unethical.

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