Airtime: Sundays at 10PM on HBO
Episode: Season 3, Episode 3 (S03E03)
Tweetable Takeaway: Richard and the guys come up with a glorious scheme to build their platform
This week’s SILICON VALLEY begins in a subterranean space of post-apocalyptic proportions. It kind of is the end of the world for Richard and his crew, though, as this windowless realm will serve as the home of Pied Piper’s upcoming storage boxes. An engineer gives them a walkthrough, somehow totally upbeat about the whole thing: “There’s really no difference between day and night down here, so it makes things easy.” To make matters worse, Jack’s new sales team promised around the clock support, so one of Richard’s guys will have to work in this basement purgatory.
Back above ground, Richard refuses to stand for this. Jack, who not too long ago was praising Richard’s beautiful brain, essentially tells him to suck it up. Richard goes behind his back and complains to Laurie about the whole thing, and Laurie seems to be on Richard’s side for once. When Jack catches wind, he’s pissed, and for the first time I think Richard understands that Jack is not his friend: “If you’re going to shoot the king, you better be goddamn sure you kill him.” Jack is going full speed ahead with his vision.
Richard and the guys feel defeated but Erlich rallies them. His scheme, dubbed “Skunkworks,” is that the team should build the revolutionary platform that they intended, all the while keeping up a front that they’re working on Jack’s idea. Then, when their brilliant platform is realized, Jack will have no choice but to embrace it, otherwise he’d be admitting he doesn’t run a tight ship. Operation Skunkworks sets up an hilarious planning montage which promises to have far-reaching implications for perhaps the entire season. The caper is punctuated by input from Jared who explains this week’s absolutely wild episode name, “Meinertzhagen’s Haversack.” Richard Meinertzhagen was a British intelligence officer and Jared notes that the ruse will only work if the team still seems totally bummed that they’re working on the soulless project.
Instructions laid out and plans drafted, the team walks into Pied Piper the next morning with new hope. But then Richard trips on something and falls, sending all the details on Skunkworks flying onto the floor. A sales guy picks them up and immediately marches into Jack’s office. Uh oh. From sky high to square one like that. Just a fun and smart reversal that only works on a show that’s mastered its tone and theme.
I should also mention there are a couple of subplots here. Gilfoyle discovers the guys from Endframe figured out the Pied Piper predictive loop. There’s also a running gag with Dinesh, who buys a gold chain and is repeatedly mocked for it.
Ade Adeniji | Contributor