With Hooli’s relentless conniving against Pied Piper, such as the lawsuit, buyout attempt, and now 4K live-streaming, it was a welcome change to see them fail miserably at their attempt at new innovation. “Homicide” opens with Gavin Belson gloating about their live UFC Internet stream in 4K resolution, which the Pied Piper team watches in anticipation hoping for a failure. Their wish is immediately granted as Nucleus begins to glitch during the live-stream, eventually becoming overly pixelated and completely freezing. While this isn’t necessarily a major win for Pied Piper, it definitely works in their favor by giving them the opportunity to attempt a 4K stream to embarrass Gavin Belson. Victories have come few and far between for Pied Piper, so they immediately leap on the opportunity as Erlich suggests teaming up with Homicide, an energy drink company which streams extreme stunts online—and thankfully, in poor quality.
The team soon heads to Homicide headquarters where they meet Double-A, the founder of Homicide, played by Michael McMillian (who many HBO fans will recognize as Steve Newlin from True Blood, last seen declaring his love for Jason Stackhouse before bursting into flames). Double-A seems excited by the prospect at first, until eventually revealing to Richard that he can’t stand Erlich and will drop out of the deal if he stays on board. As expected, Richard reacts awkwardly to the situation and is entirely unsure about how to handle it, particularly after Erlich tells him he feels Richard should back off and let him handle the deal with Double-A himself. Soon enough, Richard breaks the news to Erlich, who surprisingly takes the news quite well, but not before warning Richard that Double-A isn’t always as nice as he appears to be, earning him the nickname “Double-Asshole.” Unfortunately for Richard, he finds this out the hard way after spotting the final graphic for the live-stream, reading “Powered by Homicide” rather than the agreed-upon “Powered by Pied Piper.”
Richard is rarely the most authoritative character on Silicon Valley, so it’s always a pleasant surprise to see him take control of the situation—even if he does happen to fall flat on his face in the process. After Double-A refuses to put the Pied Piper logo on the live-stream, Richard pulls the plug on the entire operation and tells off Double-A, calling him a “double-asshole” in front of the entire Homicide company. Much to Richard’s dismay, his insult is much more offensive than he intended, as it is revealed that Double-A, quite literally, has two assholes and has been forced to wear a colostomy bag on his stomach his entire life. It’s near impossible to sympathize with Richard at this point because of how hysterical the entire scene turns out.
Meanwhile, on Gilfoyle and Dinesh’s end, things turn out equally as awful at Homicide headquarters. The two meet Gina, who Dinesh immediately falls in love with, before spotting her making out with her stunt-driver boyfriend, Blaine. Blaine gives Double-A serious competition for being the biggest asshole working at Homicide, talking down to Gilfoyle and Dinesh about how dangerous the stunt is and how he’s too busy to deal with them. Unbeknownst to Blaine, the two spotted a velocity error in Blaine’s math for the stunt, which would undoubtedly result in Blaine being killed or severely injured. Due to Blaine’s self-involved rudeness, Gilfoyle and Dinesh decide to measure the pros and cons of telling Blaine about the mathematical error rather than actually helping him. Utilizing the SWOT method introduced by Jared earlier in the episode—where ideas are divided into strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—the two divide up the probable results of allowing Blaine to die, bringing a whole new meaning to Homicide headquarters. It is not long before Blaine enters the room to apologize to the two and spots the SWOT board behind him, reading “Blaine’s last moment is realizing face is gone” under strengths, “Blaine dies super fast” under weaknesses, and “fuck Gina” under opportunities. Luckily for the two, this confrontation with Blaine occurs at the exact same time as Richard’s “double-asshole” incident, and the trio rush out of Homicide headquarters before avoiding further embarrassment or being punched to death by Blaine.
(You can read every card on the “Let Blaine Die” board over at Entertainment Weekly, including gems such as “Strength: As a giant douche, Blaine tormented eternally in Hell” and “Weakness: Blaine’s blood has AIDS and gets on kids.”)
“Homicide” is not only one of the funniest Silicon Valley episodes to date, but also proves a commonality in the series: everything going horribly wrong is when the show is at its most hysterical. Even if we are rooting for the Pied Piper gang all along, there’s nothing quite like watching them react in painfully awkward manners to the ridiculous situations they put themselves in. That goes without saying, “Homicide” did provide one small victory for the team: successful 4K resolution live-streaming of a California condor egg, generating a whopping 17 views. The mild sense of accomplishment barely has time to settle with the Pied Piper team before they learn Homicide is also running a successful 4K live-stream powered by Branston Ventures, the company to which they accidentally disclosed their compression algorithm to several weeks back. Things are definitely not working out for Pied Piper this season, and they yet to become aware of Gavin Belson’s plan to use Big Head (now coined “Bag Head” at Hooli) against them in court for infringement. Thankfully, Gavin is having major issues of his own with Nucleus, so that might keep him off Pied Piper’s back for a while. Regardless, there’s always one thing we can count on for Silicon Valley: even when everything goes terribly wrong, it makes for excellently entertaining television.