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Silicon Valley: “Hooli-Con”

by Alexandra Mitchell
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Last week, we saw the guys finally come moments away from everything they have worked for: butt loads and butt loads of money. But much in Pied Piper fashion, it would be ripped out from under their feet almost as soon as they put a smile on their weary faces. If I have learned anything from this show, it is that the venture capitalist world in the Valley is a scary, scary place.  But the boys didn’t plan on being down and out for long.Silicon-Valley-Season-4-Episode-9 And having balls roughly the size of a freaking planet, Richard decides to start skirting ethical boundaries. Now, this is nothing new for Guilfoyle. In fact, he embraces the dark side. But Dinesh and Jared aren’t entirely sure; Dinesh because he isn’t sure it can be done, Jared because he has a hard time believing Richard to be capable of such deception and ethical jump roping.  Dinesh goes to visit his ex Mia in prison to get her advice, and she’s hellbent on finding out who put her there. Run, Dinesh.  Run away quickly.

The group hopes they can ghost onto the phones of the Hooli-Con’s audience by co-opting some WiFi. But almost as quickly as the plan is in motion, all hell breaks loose.  Richard runs into his ex, Winnie. Remember tabs versus spaces? That remains my favorite scene in the entire series. Richard is feeling salty that Winnie has a delightfully foreign and ripped specimen of a boyfriend. Being petty is just his way, and Richard soon brings hellfire down on the whole scheme.

But an unlikely ally exists behind the scenes and helps the guys continue their crusade. They get back at their work just in time to make their quota of phones for storage, and see the ex-partner Keenan’s project bite it big.  Here’s a word of the wise for programming for mobile devices: Don’t blow up cell phones. Especially when in the hands of the consumer. But the damage is already done. -to phones, to the group morale, and what morality might have still remained.

The interesting aspect in this episode is the evolution of what Richard is willing to do to get ahead. From the beginning, he was rather innocent. He was a wide-eyed ingenue and operating on a pure heart. He refuses to listen to the advice of the group when it doesn’t follow his moral code, and at times that was to the detriment of the project. But now that he’s done something big and bad, can he come back?  Can he be trusted to remain an ethical individual? To Jared at least, those questions can’t be answered right now. But what else can Richard get into with one episode left of the season?

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