SILICON VALLEY Review: “The Empty Chair”


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Airtime: Sundays at 10PM on HBO
Episode: Season 3, Episode 5 (S03E05)


Tweetable Takeaway: Richard decides to be proactive in getting his old CEO role back on #SiliconValley

Despite being a half hour show, seems to cover a lot of distance. In just a few episodes, Richard has gone from being demoted and taking orders from a far more experienced boss for the foreseeable future, to possibly having his old gig back again. On a microlevel, this subversion also seems to take place. Consider Pied Piper’s Skunkworks plan that probably accounts for no more than a few minutes of screen time, only to be undermined by Richard tripping and falling.

They build you up, only to tear you down.

This is what comes to mind when watching Silicon Valley’s latest episode, “The Empty Chair.” At the start of the episode, the airwaves are abuzz with different rumors, and Richard scrambles to figure out if he’s going to be CEO again. Laurie appears to be seriously considering other candidates and even Big Head’s name is thrown into the hat. Seriously?

Richard refuses to wait in limbo and so goes ahead and starts making changes to Pied Piper; He gives the sales team Jack hired notice, but Jan the Man wonders if Richard actually  has the authority to make employment decisions. Richard also considers moving out of Pied Piper’s current swank offices.


Erlich and Big Head, meanwhile, consider the terms of their new incubator. Erlich is especially manipulative and self-interested this week, and totally tries to take advantage of Big Head. Richard’s proactive attitude also grants him a sit down with reporter C.J. Cantwell who he hopes will describe him favorably. Before the interview, though, Richard is told to prepare with a PR person. When the woman arrives, Richard wrongly thinks she’s from PR. Nope, it’s C.J. Cantwell and Richard goes on a brutal rant against Laurie.

Around the same time, Laurie takes Monica out for drinks and basically reveals that Richard has his old back. Laurie just wanted to make sure Richard continued to be as professional as he was during Jack’s tenure (though I’m not entirely convinced that Richard was). In any case, Richard just messed up big time with C.J, who threatens to go public with everything unless Richard gives her something juicier.


What’s the solve here? Well, Big Head of course, who reveals that Gavin told his employees to scrub the internet of all his bad publicity. First, Big Head totally broke his NDA right there, and so it’ll be interesting to see what happens with that down the line. But when Richard finds out about this, he takes it to C.J. who agrees to run with that instead of his anti-Laurie rant. Richard gets his old back and Pied Piper moves back to their old house to cut expenses.

All that distance covered, only to return back to square one.



Ade Adeniji writes about the philanthropy of billionaires and millionaires by day, and writes screenplays by night.
Twitter: @derekadeniji 

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Ade Adeniji | Contributor


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