Mrs. Davis: All the Algorithm’s Names

As you might expect from a global A.I., Mrs. Davis's name changes from region to region. Now we know them all.

MRS. DAVIS -- "Great Gatsby 2001: A Space Odyssey" Episode 107 -- Pictured: Jake McDorman as Wiley
Photo: Tina Thorpe | Peacock

When speaking to Den of Geek prior to the release of Peacock sci-fi series Mrs. Davis, co-creator and co-showrunner Tara Hernandez intimated that “Mrs. Davis” might not be the only name the show’s world conquering artificial intelligence is known by.

“We’ll leave it up to the audience to discover if she’s known as ‘Mrs. Davis’ everywhere or if that’s just regional. That’s something we play with. All of it will come out in the duration of the season.”

While the entity known as Mrs. Davis doesn’t have an “official” name…or at least not one that we’re aware of, her many users across the globe just can’t help but anthropomorphize “her.” And despite freedom fighter JQ’s (Chris Diamantopoulis) frustration with people giving the Algorithm a name (“No one calls Facebook ‘Doug!'”), we’ve come to know it or her as “Mrs. Davis” in the show’s primarily North American setting. But, as Hernandez implied and episodes 3, 4, and now 7 of the show have revealed, the Algorithm is indeed known by different terms in different cultures.

With only one episode to go to wrap up the story of Simone’s (Betty Gilpin) quest for the Holy Grail and subsequent destruction of Mrs. Davis, we thought it was the right time to take stock of the Algorithm’s names and what they all mean.

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In America, The Algorithm is Known As: Mrs. Davis

As evidenced by, you know, the name of the show, the Algorithm is largely known as “Mrs. Davis” in the United States – or at least the Southwestern portion of the United States we’ve seen thus far. According to Hernandez, the “Mrs. Davis” moniker came directly from her fond memories of a former teacher.

“‘Mrs. Davis’ came to mind because she was my second or third grade teacher, and one of the most influential figures in my youth. Also it just kind of rolls off the tongue. When we get to talk about the show, I would say like seventy percent of the time, someone’s had a Mrs. Davis as a teacher or a coach or a notable figure in their life.”

In England, The Algorithm is Known As: Mum

Before Hernandez and co-creator Damon Lindelof settled on Mrs. Davis as a name for their Algorithm and show, they recognized the maternal connotations of an A.I. that could keep one safe and solve every problem. Perhaps it’s not a surprise then that, in the U.K., the Algorithm is referred to as literally “mum.”

We discover this fact in episode 3 when Simone is on board a train to the Excallibattle and some well-meaning Brit sits in front of her to proxy for “mum.”

In Italy, The Algorithm is Known As: Madonna

In episode 4 of Mrs. Davis, it’s revealed that none other than the pope himself has developed a bit of a Mrs. Davis addiction. Only he doesn’t call the algorithm “Mrs. Davis” but rather “Madonna.” Of course, he’s not referring to the legendary American pop star here (though she is Mother) but rather an Italian phrase that has historically been reserved for the Virgin Mary. “Ma donna” or “my lady” can refer to an artistic depiction of Mary or as a respectful form for any any Italian woman. With such deep religious connotations tied to the Algorithm’s Italian name, it’s no surprise that the Holy See doppelgänger-ed Pope Leo XI’s ass.

In Spain, The Algorithm is Known As: Mamá

Not only is the pope a committed Mrs. Davis user, but so too is the prime minister of Spain. We find this out in episode 7 when Prime Minister Selina Fernandez pays Wiley a visit with an offer from the Algorithm, known in Spain as “Mamá.” As you might have guessed, mamá is the Spanish term for “mom.” This means that all three of Mrs. Davis’s European names are maternal in nature. What is it about the United States that makes Americans more likely to listen to a teacher than their mom? Perhaps we’ll find out in the finale.

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The finale of Mrs. Davis premieres Thursday, May 18 on Peacock.