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Silicon Valley: “The Empty Chair”

By Andrew Roebuck on May 25, 2016 to Silicon Valley

SiliconValley_S3Ep5

It seems that for the Pied Piper crew it is one step forward, two steps back. They are never quite able to succeed in the way they want to, however they never fail spectacularly. Many of the events the last two episodes (check out last week’s review here) have been cyclical, things we’ve seen before, which is no doubt indicative of Mike Judge’s opinion of the tech world. Things happen in the same patterns constantly, however Judge’s story manages to make the cycle seem believable, and earned.

“There is no CEO”

Fresh off last episode’s cliffhanger this episode begins with Richard and the crew aimlessly lingering about in limbo, unsure what to do with a CEO. Richard like a shark cannot sit still, and decides to take action as the “CTO”, in order to save the company. He fires all of the sale staff, and we get one of two outstanding instances of Richard’s anger as he finds out a tabloid journalist has written a negative article about him. The sheer pride Richard has for his own work never ceases to amaze. The fire and rage inside of him is what has kept the company afloat, always striving for perfection.

“Have a gander”

Jared often times can seem like someone who doesn’t belong in Pied Piper, as his skills are not in the engineering department. However unlike Erlich who offers little to no input or help in regards to Pied Piper, occasionally Jared is useful. This episode showcases him at his best, awkwardly declaring some bizarre comments to strangers, and somehow ending up successful. He completely liquidates and sells off the excess baggage of the company within a single day, proving he is a great salesman. Another enjoyable element is when something does go wrong, for once Jared is not to blame. Jared is entirely competent, and Dinesh is really at fault. Dinesh mixes his hard drive in with a batch of hard drives they are liquidating, and in one of the episodes most amusing sequences Gilfoyle has to pretend to be a member of the Geek Squad to save the day.

“Trust…Blind Trust”SiliconValley_BigheadandErlich

As little as Erlich contributes to society, Bighead contributes even less. Bighead has constantly gotten by in life by accident. He continuously succeeds without effort making him one of the series most enjoyable characters. You feel a little bad for Bighead as Erlich attempts to make a business deal in which Erlich gains access to his fortune, but you can’t help but feel like he deserves to be exploited just a little bit. Erlich is the least sneaky man in history, but lucky for him Bighead may just be the most gullible. The series of events seems to be just background laughs, but Bigheads stupidity really brings the episode together. Him being offered the CEO meeting set Richard off to his rampage, and his completely breaking a confidentiality clause saves the day.

The Interview

The sequence in which Richard accidentally spills his entire life story to the journalist mistakingly thinking she is the “PR” person is enjoyable, if not very predictable. As a student of comedy it was pretty clear that this was thee old “hubris” joke in which a character has too much confidence completely spelling their own doom. Still as predictable as the outcome was Thomas Middleditch selling it with some great facial expressions, as he finally realizes the truth. Its a little unbelievable that the journalist would throw away the recording of him, and his story for merely getting her a better lead. Most blogs post multiple stories a day, so perhaps she will use it as leverage in the future.

As far as episodes go this one was pretty enjoyable. Sure there were a lot of set backs, and re-establishing familiar regimes, but Judge’s knowledge of the corporate world always creates an enjoyable story. The episode leaves us at the beginning of what is hopefully the golden age for Pied Piper. We close with a peek at episode # 6 for the season “Bachmanity Insanity.”










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