The season premiere of Silicon Valley is finally here and it starts out with… an ad? No, it’s not Tables, it’s just Richard trying to pitch a VC on Piper Chat. As it turns out, it’s failing to shake off the soiled reputation of Pied Piper because of the click farming scandal. It was an entertaining way of re-introducing most of the cast in a hilarious exchange while establishing the main conflict of the episode: the project needs funding, more users, and a way to shed its bad name with investors. All this and the opening credits haven’t even started.
The Pied Piper team is basking in the success of their new product Piper Chat, which is showing continual growth and has more daily active users than the platform ever has. This success comes with a failure because not only can the team not get funding, the growth in users is causing a load on the servers, and the team is not getting paid. Dinesh and Gilfoyle worked tirelessly for 48 hours to optimize their code to handle higher traffic, but they needed Richard to do the same.
Much to their frustration, Richard did not do this. Instead, he changed the algorithm to support 10% better video quality. The company seems to be imploding on itself with Richard at the helm. I’ve said this before, but as great of an engineer that Richard is, he makes poor choices as a CEO.
Gavin and Jack are finally seen on a flight together, celebrating the success of their new box. This causes a red flag for Gavin because he grows suspicious of Jack using the flight to make a stop to see his family.
Big Head and Erlich try to divvy up the shares of Pied Piper but hit a roadblock in the form of Big Head’s dad. He’s not willing to give up his 50% stake, especially if it keeping it is a means to make Erlich miserable. Of course, it’s not a suitable idea for Erlich to give 40% of his share of the company. Even if 10% of the investment of $500,000 would still be a heck of a deal at the company’s current trajectory, it’s a major blow to his decision-making power and he would be at the mercy of Big Head’s dad more than he is now.
Out of desperation, Richard turns to the crude Russ Hanneman. I think I was less surprised to find out that Russ was a father than I was to find out that he was attempting to be in his child’s life. By attempting, I mean that his nanny got arrested and in her absence, he felt obligated. This is where Richard’s idea of a “new internet” comes out. Is the purpose needing to be free of government regulation and firewalls? It seems like Richard just wants to do something amazing rather than practical. I mean, with the speed of the government, the new internet would not be much different than the current one in… maybe 10 or 20 years. So, we would have a few good years of this sparkly new internet.
While Richard is considering a pivot in company direction, the company is considering a pivot in management. After some deliberation, it is decided that Big Head will replace Richard as CEO because well… Big Head falls into every good position he lands.
In a surprising move, Richard decides to leave the company to start his own company and suggests Dinesh be the new CEO, but there is one catch, Dinesh knows Gilfoyle would not be okay with it so he asked “Gilfoyle, can I please be the CEO of Pied Piper?” He, of course, approves because he will either get a front row seat to his failure or benefit from his success.
For some reason, it felt like Gavin was too subtle about trying to hint that he knows that Jack was abusing the use of the private jet to make a detour to Jackson Hole. He used phrases like “straight to the point”, “go the extra mile”, and “go out of your way for me”, but I guess his hints flew over my head in my first viewing.
The premiere did not disappoint. It had everything you would expect from an episode of Silicon Valley. With a strong start to the season like this, I look forward to the rest.
Here’s a sneak peek at the next episode.
Don’t forget. Any website in the show is a website on the internet (the current internet, not Richard’s new internet). Read Jared’s latest announcement of the new CEO on Pied Piper’s website.