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Silicon Valley: “Meinertzhagen’s Haversack”

By Andrew Roebuck on May 11, 2016 to Silicon Valley


At the beginning of the season, it appeared that the bonds that held together the main cast may become more, and more tenuous. As Pied Piper grows there is less and less of a reason for the characters to stick together, Erlich especially seemed to have his days numbered. Last Sunday’s episode managed to recreate a bond between its cast, as they are all unhappy with the development of “The Box”, and are doing whatever they can to change the direction of the company.


“I pitched it as an example

of what not to do”

The episode begins within a maze of servers, as you discovered exactly what will be required to allow Pied Piper’s box to enter the market. A member of the team would have to essentially live down in the server room for an entire year, as the product advertises “24 hour on site service”. After the visit to the server room we see Richard, and Barker have a meeting in which Richard essentially pleads with Barker to get his company back online. Barker has thus far been an outstanding addition to the cast. Character actor Stephen Tobolowsky has always been a personal favorite, and his performance in this episode doesn’t disappoint. He creates a wonderful antagonist for Richard to go up against, and he constantly outsmarts Richard at every turn.

“You could be the mayor of


Gilfoyle disgusted with the way the company is going states his intention to quit, and after changing his linkedin status gets showered with gifts as a bribery from different companies. There doesn’t ever feel like a real threat of Gilfoyle leaving, and is utilised as a method of moving the plot forward introducing the seasons second protagonists. Gilfoyle has a meeting with “Endframe” who has teamed up with the remnants of Nucleus to completely figure out Pied Piper’s code. This leads to even further need of Pied Piper abandoning the “server box”, and getting their platform operational.

“If you’re going to shoot the king”

Richard goes straight to the main investor, and attempts to convince Laurie to persuade Barker to abandon the server box. She tries, she fails, and Barker immediately understands what Richard attempted to do. Barker isn’t happy, and yet again showcases in keen ability to outsmart Richard. Sequences like these really showcases Mike Judge’s knowledge of how businesses work, and it is always exciting to see tech speak delivered with a comedic edge. Like most of the show, this series of event could easily become boring, and tedious (or over dramatic) yet in Judge’s hands it comes out engrossing.

“You have to continue to act the part”


The episodes title “Meinzertzhagen’s Haversack” is a result of Jared’s knowledge of military history (which seems wholly bizarre and not at all surprising). It comes up because the crew has a plan to secretly build their platform, and when time comes to present their box they will reveal to Barker that they never built the box. In the absence of the box Barker will be forced to go with their idea. It is a brilliant piece of misconception both in the mind of the characters, and to the audience. Throughout the entire sequence you become convinced that this will be how the remainder of the season will be played out, only to have the rug tugged out from under you in the shows final minutes. The planning sequence has some enjoyable callbacks (like Jared’s obsession with Julia Roberts movies), and allows for some great jokes at Dinesh’s expense. Throughout the entire episode Dinesh is constantly mocked due to buying a seemingly useless gold chain, and the characters constantly hit him with every joke they can think of.

Overall this is a really fun episode, that has great character dynamics, good jokes and gives us a reason for the characters to stick together. If the end of this episode is any indication they will go down together in flames for attempting to deceive their CEO. The building of characters, and the continuation of some intriguing plot elements, ensure that Silicon Valley won’t be slowing down any time soon.

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