This week’s SILICON VALLEY was perhaps the finest of the season. It was hefty — Richard literally holds Erlich’s future in his hands and has to decide whether his friend will have any role in Pied Piper going forward. It was also hilarious and kind of touching, too. First, let’s deal with the gags. We open on Richard and Erlich live on Bloomberg being interviewed about their new platform. Erlich is at his posturing best, needlessly describing how to best find him on search engines and pronouncing Bay Area locales like “Embarcadero” with a tryhard Spanish flair. The key here is that Erlich, for all his bluster, is in his element. Nebbish Richard was never good at this part of the game, and that’s what makes Erlich valuable.
It’s not too long before Richard discovers what the audience has known since the end of last episode; Erlich was forced to sell his shares of Pied Piper to cover his debts. Richard feels angry and betrayed, especially as some negative publicity seems to be swirling around. Erlich actually shows a rare glimpse of selflessness in this episode and collaborates with tech blogger CJ to write a tell all about his indiscretions. He takes the fall to save his friend and the rest of team Pied Piper.
Meanwhile, some funny subplots temper the increasingly tense A story. Jared distributes Pied Piper sweatshirts that look like 1970s bowling uniforms. Dinesh seems especially uneasy about wearing this cheesy apparel, but after Gilfoyle get some love at a local spot, Dinesh tries (and fails) to recreate that magic.
Gavin also has a big moment this week as he’s effectively ousted from Hooli. Whoa. He’s been especially mean in recent weeks and so it’s nice to see him experience some kind of comeuppance. Gavin has a run in with Jack Barker on an airport tarmac, and the two bond. Revenge of the former head honchos?
Richard seems happy to let Erlich falter to keep Pied Piper clean. That is until he meets with Laurie who explains that it’s actually Richard who gave her the power to negotiate the terms of a buyout. Laurie, in her unapologetically pragmatic way, took advantage of Erlich in a desperate moment. Feeling partly responsible, Richard decides to bring back Erlich as a PR specialist for Pied Piper, a perfect role for him really.
In true Silicon Valley fashion, though, things are never as dire as they seemed and inconsequential subplots resurface to make mockery of the main storyline. What do I mean? Well, in reality, CJ knew nothing about Erlich’s tough situation until he told her about it. Not only that, she was originally just planning on writing about Pied Piper’s dreadful sweatshirts. Ha!
Ade Adeniji | Contributor