Silicon Valley Finale Recap: Server Error

If you haven’t been watching Silicon Valley on HBO, I am sad for you.  The cast is unbelievably talented, and it continues to be one of my favorite scripted shows on television.  This past Sunday marked the Season 4 finale of Silicon Valley, and I was extremely interested to see what would become of T.J. Miller’s character, Erlich Bachman, as it has already been confirmed that he will not be returning for Season 5.  Let’s begin, shall we?


So at the end of last week, a bunch of phones started catching on fire (similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7s), and as more phones ignite, Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani), and Jared (Zach Woods) are convinced that it is because their app has been secretly loaded onto these Hooli phones.  Jared insists that they need to come clean because these are “real people with real crotches, and they’re burning.”  Richard (Thomas Middleditch) argues that it actually isn’t their fault, it’s Hooli’s fault due to writing faulty code so that it can handle Keenan Feldspar’s (Haley Joel Osment – when did HE grow up?  I now feel very old) VR product.  When Richard refuses to admit to wrongdoing and is okay with knowing that he may have caused this “dick fire” epidemic, Jared hands him a letter of resignation (it should be noted he writes 3 letters every time he starts a job – personal action plan, a letter to his 40-year-old self, and a resignation letter.  LOVE that Jared).  Richard tells him due to the employee handbook Jared had written, Jared has to give an official 2 weeks’ notice.   Jared agrees to but refuses to do anything else illegal or unethical.  Good for you, boo.

At Hooli, Jack Barker (Stephen Tobolowsky) is trying to save face, blames Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), Keenan Feldspar, and everyone but himself.  He decides to recall all Hooli phones and replace them in 3 days, which according to the Hooli board, is frickin’ cray.  Jack Barker says he’s going to go to China to negotiate and even though the board disapproves, Jack has already issued a press release that is going to cost this company a lot of coin.

Back @ Pied Piper, they need to figure out how to keep the data of the investment firm (their only client) online and Dinesh and Gilfoyle get into a pretty graphic argument about Gilfoyle’s relationship with Anton, the server farm.  As they are arguing, Jared brings in a potential replacement for him named Gladys.  Dinesh responds with, “I like your sweater.”  Nice save, Dinesh.

Jared interviews Gladys outside and starts sharing what a mess Pied Piper is, calling it essentially a “criminal operation.”  Then he asks her if she would be comfortable with casual racism.  Oh, Jared.  When Gladys notices the canopy that Erlich burned down in Ep. 8, she asks what happened and Jared simply responds with, “Uh, arson.”  Gladys, something tells me we won’t be seeing you again.

Speaking of Erlich, he is out with Gavin Belson in Tibet, and while Belson tries to meditate, Erlich keeps interrupting and streaming eps of House on his phone.  Belson finds out that the Hooli phones are blowing up, and suddenly, meditation isn’t seeming all that important anymore.

Dinesh & Richard go to check on Gilfoyle and this might be perhaps my fave Gilfoyle scene that happens this season (okay, maybe 2nd, because when he and Dinesh were wearing matching pajamas at Feldspar’s, that was also pretty great) – because his glasses broke, he is wearing contacts.  But not just any contacts.  Creepy contacts because one year he was a cat for All Hallows’ Eve.  Things aren’t looking good for Anton, he’s already heating up, and surprise, Gladys turned them down.

Richard tries utilizing all of his resources and calls Big Head (Josh Brener), who is a lecturer at Stanford. His lecturing isn’t going well because people have realized he’s just a guy sipping Big Gulps and doesn’t have an academic background.  Big Head gives Richard permission to get access to resources at Stanford to get Anton up and running, but no one can get online at the incubator because they had no money to pay the bill!  Richard needs to think of something, quick.

Belson now knows about the mess at Hooli and chooses ignorance over enlightenment.  He’s heading back to the states.

Richard lets Melcher know that the data is going to be offline for a bit and Melcher is standing next to his fiancée, Liz, who Richard slept with.  I am convinced she is going to be pregnant with Richard’s baby, but at the very least, it’s only a matter of time before Dan Melcher realizes that someone has slept with his 3rd (well, in this case almost-) wife.

Richard lies and says Big Head has approved them bringing Anton to Stanford, and Dinesh and Gilfoyle believe him.  Jared, of course, asks all the logistical questions that Richard does not want to answer, and Richard freaks out and waives Jared’s 2 weeks.  Poor Jared.  He’s going to call a Lyft to take him home. 😦

Jack Barker tries to make nice at the factory in China and tries to motivate them with the conjoined triangles of success.  As a result, Jack Barker is taken hostage.

As usual with Pied Piper (or maybe just Richard), everything starts falling apart as they try to get to Stanford on time.  The battery of the truck dies, they use some batteries from Anton to restart the car, but in the process, they leave the back of the moving truck open and Anton’s parts are strewn all over the streets.  Richard calls Big Head to meet them at the loading dock and Big Head is supposed to be giving a lecture, but he agrees to go.  At this time, Richard says, “I’ll explain later,” and Dinesh and Gilfoyle realize that Richard lied to them again.

Back at Hooli, Gavin Belson offers to resolve the hostage situation with Jack Barker, but he’s clearly going to rescue Jack and take back his company.  Erlich is on the floor, high off opium, and Belson hands the man a large amount of cash to keep Erlich there for 5 years.  This can’t really be how Erlich leaves the show, is it?

They finally meet Big Head and he does not like the idea…until he looks into the back of the truck and says, “It’s okay” because all of the pieces of Anton are spread ALL. OVER. THE. ROAD.  Richard lashes out at Gilfoyle and Dinesh, and in one of their rare moments of unity, they take the truck and leave Richard in the street.  Melcher calls & sends irate text messages, and Richard assumes it’s because the data is no longer online.

Richard goes to apologize to Jared, who is currently entertaining multiple women(!) and Jared decides to take him to Melcher’s office so that Richard can come clean about the data problem.  Jared also hands him a new job application and offers to be there until the bitter end.  Oh, be still, my Jared-loving heart.

Belson rescues Jack Barker, and the attendant announces they will be stopping at Jackson Hole first (which was a big debate in the first episode), and this will mark the end of Jack Barker (at least for now).

When Richard and Jared get to Melcher’s firm, Dinesh & Gilfoyle are there to support him when everything goes down.  All the feels.  When Richard checks in, a guy walking by mentions that their data storage network is awesome.  When Richard says it crashed that morning, the guy claims that he was using it 2 minutes ago.  They check it on the computer and Gilfoyle realizes that the smart fridges registered it as an update and now all the smart fridges are carrying the data (and the “Suck it, Jian Yang” addition Gilfoyle added).  Once again, Pied Piper is saved…and then Melcher comes swinging at Richard because he now knows Richard slept with Liz.  That poor guy.  I love that Jared tries to help Richard by hitting Melcher with a shoe(?).

The episode ends with Gavin and Richard meeting at the usual restaurant, and Gavin wants to acquire Pied Piper, because of course now Richard is swamped with funding offers.  Richard declines and Gavin tells him that he is going to devour Richard’s company. Richard states that his decentralized internet company is trying to make server companies like Hooli obsolete, so he will be doing the devouring. Burn.  Especially since Gavin gave him the patent.  Gavin says Erlich never showed in Tibet and leaves Richard with a bill and a mariachi band.

Final Thoughts:

  1. I was a little disappointed with this end for Erlich.  I am glad that it leaves the window open for him to potentially come back, but two episodes ago, I was picturing a darker ending for him.  This didn’t feel as organic as T.J. Miller said it would be in a previous interview.
  2. I would have loved to see some more Jian Yang & some Laurie or Monica in this episode.
  3. Jared continues to be my favorite character.  Zach Woods delivers every week.
  4. I am excited to see where next season is going!  Once again, Pied Piper is on top of the world, but will they stay there? (My guess: nope)