Instead of recapping Silicon Valley last week, I wrote about the end of Mad Men, which was frankly more interesting than where the plot of SV was going (each week they get bamboozled by Gavin Belson the way old men in charge of haunted amusement parks get outwitted by Scooby Doo and the gang).
But this week, things finally start to come together for Pied Piper, even if it takes the lefthanded path to do it (although this kind of path is always more fun).
At the end of last week’s “Homicide” episode, the Pied Piper team learns that EndFrame stole their platform (you will recall that EndFrame was one of the companies that disguised themselves as investors when they really wanted to steal the Pied Piper algorithm). Richard, Dinesh, Gilfoyle, Erlich, and Jared storm into EndFrame’s headquarters and demand answers.
“I support you, Richard,” says Jared. “No matter how futile the effort.”
Dinesh, who’s swiping right on Tinder, e-meets a cutie named Karen, and gets outed for having the Wi-Fi password to the business next door. That’s right. Dinesh went on a few interviews a couple of weeks back when Richard said he was selling to Hooli (and given Richard’s questionable direction, who wouldn’t?).
Once they storm the conference room, Richard ends up making things worse with EndFrame. His genius mind wants to correct what EndFrame is getting wrong about their platform. Admiring his own work on the EndFrame board, he starts to tweak what they’re doing. However, one thing EndFrame has that Pied Piper doesn’t is a finished platform. Oh, and a sales team.
“What is Failure?”
In a meeting, Gavin dubs “failure” as “pre-greatness,” spinning Nucleus’ recent problems as successes. He hints that he’s added a secret function to the Nucleus platform.
But he pitches this to corporate big-wigs before pitching it to the actual people who build the damn platform (Big Head and the gang). Eventually, he pleads with the tech team to come up with a moon shot, and Big Head is game, but maybe after lunch?
Speaking of failures, Russ Hanneman’s accountant informs him that he’s financially ruined. He’s managed to lose over $200 million. Just when you think that Pied Piper is going down with a sinking ship, you realize that Hanneman is still a millionaire, he’s just not a BILLIONAIRE anymore. He’s out of the three-comma club and functionally just like Richard.
“You did save $50,000 not paying for the charity ball tickets that you gave me,” says Erlich. “Quite an embarrassing moment for Jian-Yang and I.” More Erlich, though, since he cried in a Taco Bell parking lot afterward.
Russ actually gets sentimental about the moment he first learned he was a billionaire. He recalls spending so much time clicking and refreshing that he popped a rod that made him go blind for a full minute. Then, he nutted all over the cushions Richard and Erlich are sitting on.
Now that Russ is in financial “ruin,” back at headquarters, Jared, Richard, and Erlich question whether this will affect Pied Piper (in front of the recently hired developers). Dinesh has other things on his mind, mainly being a guppy that’s trying to mate with a dolphin (Karen, the girl he met on Tinder). Even though he hasn’t left HQ, Dinesh is trying to convince Karen that he’s a guy that likes to be out and about.
“You’re trying to convince this girl you run half-marathons but you won’t walk halfway across this house to get your iPhone?” – Gilfoyle to Dinesh
Richard meets with Russ, and Russ wants to make a deal: Pied Piper and EndFrame merge. Richard is pissed, but Russ argues that these guys have a sales team.
“Those guys are clowns,” says Richard. But Russ argues that they are clowns with a deal with Intersite, a porn site, and that they could make Russ money and get him out of the two-comma club.
Poor Russ leaves in a huff, in a car that has doors that open horizontally instead of vertically.
Richard goes to visit his lawyer Ron LaFlamme with the intention to sue both Russ and EndFrame. LaFlamme says this is a bad move, since Pied Piper doesn’t have enough money to do this. Unfortunately, PP is stuck with Hanneman.
Back at headquarters, Monica tells them that technically it’s not a merger. They would actually be absorbed. Gilfoyle pitches the idea of getting a client like Intersite.
“What if I had every detail of their deal on my computer right in front of me?” says Gilfoyle.
“Please don’t tell me that you hacked EndFrame’s system,” says Richard.
Gilfoyle nabbed the CEO’s login info off a Post-It in the conference room they were in when they stormed into EndFrame’s headquarters. The EndFrame deal is worth $15 million and is crap, and Pied Piper could shark this deal right from under them, saving Intersite millions with a better product. Richard is confused how the deal is worth so much.
“The first fiction ever published on a printing press was an erotic tale,” argues Jared before spelling out how every medium was founded based on something of a sexual nature.
Richard counters that this is stealing, but Gilfoyle tells him it’s time to walk the lefthanded path, especially since EndFrame had stolen their information under sneakier pretenses.
After trying to impress Karen by acting like he does a lot of stuff around the Silicon Valley area, Dinesh is now faced with a conundrum: Karen wants to see him in person, so he goes into clean-up mode.
“Maintain eye contact, light some scented candles, and put on some Sade,” says Erlich.
When she shows up, Dinesh keeps up his persona (“This is just where I rest,” says Dinesh, “Out there, is where I live”) until he discovers that Karen has been at their place before; she has their Wi-Fi password.
Erlich emerges and says hello to Karen, and before you know it, they’re “looking for earrings” in his room to the tune of Sade.
While Erlich steals Karen from Dinesh, Richard intends to steal Intersite from EndFrame by showing up an adult industry conference where he meets the CEO of Intersite.
“I can save you millions in bandwidth,” Richard tells the porn CEO. She reveals that she’s on a board with Gavin Belson, so why should she trust him?
“Your business needs to do whatever it takes in order to survive, and so does mine,” Richard says. “If I don’t get this deal, my company’s dead.”
Richard’s plea actually works, and next week, there’ll be an old-fashioned bake-off between Pied Piper and EndFrame for Intersite as a client.
What did you think of “Adult Content”? Was there not enough Jared in this episode for you? And what Sade song do you think is too baroque for Erlich?