Synopsis of 3×01/2: Silicon Valley returns to make everyone who actually lives and works in Silicon Valley uncomfortable with their life choices.
I’ll start by being very upfront: I live in the Silicon Valley and I work for one of the many, many tech companies out here. Silicon Valley is one of those shows that seems to baffle the people who aren’t immersed in this; the remarks I consistently hear from people who work in other locations and more importantly other industries shows just how exclusive this place really is.
But man the people who live here, who experience this everyday and live in this area, oh how they laugh.
The first episode picks up right where we left off last season, with Richard just having been fired by the new board of Pied Piper. While he’s livid that he’s no longer the CEO of his own company, the others are trying to figure out what their options are for their own futures.
Elrich initially decides to side with Richard, and when he’s told that they’ve hired a new CEO he goes in ready to barge in and put the guy in his place. Jack Barker is a lot tougher to crack than he thought. As Elrich throws a barrage of old man jokes, Jack simply stares until he stops. While Elrich went in wanting to hate him, Jack instantly charms him, expressing his love for Aviato (of course I had to put it in italics and of course you read it in his voice) which instantly wins Elrich over.
Dinesh and Gilfoyle though steal the episode. Honestly, they are the funniest characters in the show and the two of them remind me of some of my best friends who work out here in the engineering world. When Richard automatically assumes that they are going to leave the company with him, they both go on the best tangent of any show. Tell me you haven’t sat on some shitty patio furniture late and night and had a conversation about how your friend was great but… (Which they translate into “RIGBY” for “Richard is great but… you know….).
I also choked when they were talking about how “we know 90% of the code but it’s the same 90%” when trying to figure out the last part of Richard’s compression algorithm. They seem like they’re about to give up when Gilfoyle looks up as if he has an epiphany. There is a perfect pause where the viewer thinks he’s going to reveal the secret, but simply declares, “We need to quit with Richard.”
Eventually Richard is won over by Jack and agrees to be the CTO of Pied Piper instead, but over at Hooli trouble is stirring up. After the public fall out last season, Belson decides to fire the entire Nucleus team (the team that failed at replicating the algorithm last season) because of the loophole in the contract discovered last season which allows him to fire everyone without severance. Of course though, they offer it to Big Head as a lump sum of 20 MILLION dollars if he signs an NDA.
Episode 2 though. EPISODE 2 THOUGH.
This episode was way too real. Sometimes this show is REALLY “way too real”. When I went to my company’s Holiday party with my boyfriend this year, the first thing he said was, “Do you remember that episode of Silicon Valley? In season one?”
“Don’t you dare say it,” I replied.
“Yeah this is just like the party from that episode.”
This episode took it to a whole other level.
The Pied Piper team has moved from Elrich’s living room to a brand new office. And mannnnnnn, I felt personally attacked by this episode. The office was too real; this office with it’s crazy rooms, open floor plan, foosball table, etc. is a near perfect replica of so many offices based in this area. When Gilfoyle and Dinesh argue over who gets the larger monitor, Jack happily explains that if they write their necessary equipment on this clipboard that there was a team who was in charge of simply purchasing those items. And boy, did they take advantage of that. I mean, 6 30″ monitors linked together so you can play the ultimate game of solitaire, advantage.
But for Richard, things at the new Pied Piper aren’t going his way. There are sales people, and they are smarmy, introducing themselves and the accounts they sell into every time they have a point to make. And they do not like what Richard envisions the product to be. After a rant where he goes off about how they could just condense the algorithm and put it in a box in a room far away, therefore ruining the product, he rushes off to find Jack.
Jack keeps it “100” when Richard confronts him at the stable where Jack has rushed off to. Let’s just say, the writers of this show use the fact that they are on HBO to their advantage. LOL you think I wasn’t going to address the fact that in a simple cut I went from looking at Richard’s pathetic face to a horse MOUNTING another. LIKE… these are the best writers on television, they know exactly how to make a viewer scream but in a weird, uncomfortable, “ha ha haaaa” type of way. You can’t forget it, it’s something you can’t discuss at work, and you’re just left there staring at the screen with the same look on your face like the meme of Fry from Futurama. You know the one.
Jack pretty much tears into Richard telling him that the product is stock and that they are just there to make money. He gets a call from the sales reps who have a new idea and they rush on over.
Their idea? The idea that Jack loved? That left them all congratulating each other in the conference room? The same thing that Richard said not to do. They put Pied Piper in a metal box and shipped it off to a data center somewhere with no real purpose. It’s exactly what Pied Piper wasn’t supposed to be.
Gilfoyle and Dinesh who were just off playing with all the fun new equipment and eating all the new snacks walk in and immediately have stuff to say, the best being Gilfoyle’s perfect dead pan of, “Is that a VCR?” absolutely crushing Richard.
Other things happened too, Elrich is trying to sell the house and the Nucleus team might have figured out what is needed to crack the algorithm, but this season we’re going to see a lot of tension on the business side of things. The real focus of the story is going to be the incredibly difficult jump most startups make when they first get serious funding- and how that possibly could end horribly.
So let’s discuss! What did you think of the past two weeks? Was it too honest for anyone else? I just know I can’t wait for the rest of this season. Seriously.