Dinesh finally found a way to look cool in the ‘Silicon Valley’ finale. (John P. Johnson/HBO)
When Season 3 of “Silicon Valley” began, Richard Hendricks had lost control of his own company and was forced to work under a bunch of idiots. Naturally, he was miserable. By the end of Season 4, a forced sale from one group of idiots to another had Richard in a pretty similar position, though instead of being depressed, Richard and the incubees couldn’t have been happier.
The reason, other than the fact that they could push around their “new” money guys (Erlich and Big Head) in ways they couldn’t with Raviga? Because Richard seems obsessed with being on the cusp of something rather than actually achieving it. When Pied Piper is the buzzed-about up-and-coming company, he thrives. Once he achieves a shred of success, he’s “sweating through his sheets.” With the company now pivoting (as Jared hinted late in Season 1), Pied Piper is no longer a job for Richard, but once again an avenue for showing everyone how smart he is, which is ultimately the neurotic-yet-extremely vain engineer’s purpose in life.
Here are tres notes on the final episode of Season 3:
– Call me crazy, but as soon as Monica noted that Raviga was forcing a sale of Pied Piper, I was giddy at the idea of Gavin buying it. A season in which they had to work under Gavin would have been great, as he still would have remained the enemy much like Action Jack was in the early going of Season 3. He’s made to be unlikeable, but Gavin is one of the best characters on the show.
On the subject of villains/obstacles, the sale of Pied Piper from Raviga combined with the possibility of Monica being fired brings up one troubling question: Is this the end of Laurie? Hopefully not, as this show turned what looked to be a one-dimensional boss into one of the show’s more entertaining characters.
– It’s an upset when anything Erlich-related isn’t laugh-out-loud funny, so who would have thought his monologue would be so boring? The scene on which the entire episode was built — Erlich recalling how his borderline creepy lunch-hour activity turned into a company-saving offer of Round 2 funding — had enough jokes to justify how long it dragged, but for the first time maybe in show history the viewer could understand why he wears on his colleagues.
On the subject of Erlich, his overestimation on himself being put in context by the heavy hitters of the industry is the best running joke of the entire series. The look on his face when he offered to sign the term sheet, only to be told, “You can if you want, but we still need [Richard’s] signature,” was gold.
– Dinesh absolutely owned the scene in which he and Gilfoyle pledge their willingness to commit fraud. He tries to be so many things in this series — mostly cool, in several ways that never work — but trying to badass tops the list. The best part about it? He could be, since the person with whom he was dealing (Richard) was one of only two people on the show (the other being Jared, of course) who actually is less badass than him.
Unsung hero of the episode: Neil in the blue Kia Sportage
Best line: “How does this compare with a typical board meeting?”
Jian Yang watch: Two scenes and he knocked both of them out of the park. Keep in mind that this followed an episode in which Jian Yang had no lines, cementing that the writers are being careful to not overuse their show’s secret weapon.
Last season’s “And what about me?” from Erlich was perhaps the best walkoff line in television history, but Jian Yang’s “this is you as an old man” prank call to end Season 3 set the bar pretty high for however they’ll wrap up Season 4.