Nicole Brodeur and Tricia Romano recap "Bachman’s Earnings Override," another installment in "Silicon Valley."
Well, Richard finally found his cojones. In “Bachman’s Earnings Override,” he finally makes a tough decision and goes ballistic on Erlich (and doesn’t, in the process, bloody his own nose or fall on the floor). But, this being another day in the life of Pied Piper, what goes down, must come back up (and go down again).
Nicole Brodeur: Something will crash and then something will redeem them. Let it be known that I am saying that before the HBO static stops with that boom sound.
Tricia Romano: Before the episode started, I thought for sure the Pied Piper release was going to be a flop, but I was wrong. You were right. They are media darlings, doing spots on Bloomberg, a hilarious photo shoot for The Verge (love that site), which feature Erlich in a ridiculous Robin Hood outfit while straddling a stuffed unicorn, fitting because the chyron had asked “Is Pied Piper the next big unicorn?” And, but of course, they are invited to some fancy Vanity Fair party.
Nicole: Erlich. What a blowhard. He is so in his element. But I love him. What did he say he is? Chief Visionary? Geez Louise.
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Tricia: And, I think he was flirting on national television with the very young-seeming host.
Nicole: I love that they’ve been invited to the Vanity Fair Summit THAT NIGHT. And it doesn’t sound like the “tasteful Polynesian affair” Erlich is used to, but that’s all right. The Bloomberg host reminded him that he owns five percent of a BILLION dollar company. Which makes me sad. If only she knew. If only RICHARD knew.
Tricia: More money than everyone I know put together will ever see in our entire lives. Erlich is a master at doing press, and Richard, is well, Richard, which is to say, really, really awkward.
Nicole: Richard doesn’t want to do any of the promotion — but he’ll take that Bloomberg makeup, thank you very much. He wants no part of the Vanity Fair party because he’d rather be back at the incubator, where there is a download counter and two new coders. Erlich says he plans to go to the Four Seasons to “Sh*t, shave, then sh*t again.” Not to be confused with a “sh*t, shave and shower,” mastered by a guy I knew in Alaska, who lived in a trailer where the bathroom was a one-stop operation. Saved water, too.
Tricia: You’re a classy lady. Also classy? The Jacket. Which is an eyesore that dear, sweet, beloved Jared enters wearing, completely oblivious to how awful it is. It is bright green and yellow and looks like a letterman jacket from high school and has a really long slogan on the back in multiple colors: “Because an awesome world-changing compression company would take up too much space.” With a “#1” on the bottom.” And to top it off, it looks like there are rats on the sleeves. RATS ON THE SLEEVES!
Nicole: It’s the Pied Piper. All the rats follow the Pied Piper. It looks like graft from a Nickelodeon junket. Gilfoyle, my future husband, hates it. Of course. “If my mother was naked and dead in the street, I would not cover her body with that jacket.” To which Dinesh says, “And you guys give me sh*t for a tiny gold chain.” And Gilfoyle: “I regret nothing.”
Tricia: Jared will have none of this. He says of the jacket: “Once you slip it on, everything will change. It will shake out its hair and take off its glasses and before you know it, you’ll be in love.” In one of the best visuals of the season, we see Gilfoyle wearing The Jacket while he’s out with his frenemy Dinesh waiting in line to get coffee. Instead of making him a laughingstock, it has the opposite effect: girls are oohing and aahing over him, and guys are telling him how cool Pied Piper is. Dinesh stands next to him and tries to do a “me too,” and Gilfoyle coldly disses him.
Nicole: And here he goes again, that Deadpan Man O’Mine: “I’m like a suicide bomber of humiliation. Your shame is my paradise.” (Here’s how you know it’s an especially great script: We keep having to rewind because the laughter is drowning out the sound.) Meanwhile, in a board room across the Valley, Gavin Belson is having his Hoolis handed to him. He’s spent three-quarters of a billion dollars on Endframe and has nothing to show for it. And three senior engineers have walked. He’s stunned: “I built this company with my bare hands!” Doesn’t matter. They send him to the place where Big Head once roamed. Sorta.
Tricia: I’m surprised it took them this long to exile him to the roof. (Though, it’s not quite mean enough, it’s a pretty nice roof.) The man uses live animals — today it was a turtle and a hare — to make his wrongheaded analogies. He’s the worst. Meanwhile at Pied Piper, Erlich still hasn’t told Richard that he’s sold his shares 10 days after, but it leaks to Richard via a job interviewee that someone has sold off their Pied Piper shares unbeknownst to him and he freaks out. When he discovers it’s Erlich, he’s absolutely livid. He wants to send out a press release announcing the break so that it doesn’t taint Pied Piper, but Erlich begs him not to do it because he’ll be burned in Silicon Valley forever.
Nicole: He doesn’t want to be Ronald Wayne who gave up his Apple shares for, what? $800? He’s like the Pete Best of Silicon Valley. Spent the rest of his life kicking himself. Back to a livid Richard, who attended the Vanity Fair party, where perhaps the best scene was the waiter replacing Erlich’s salad with a “pesca-pescaterian meal.” (“I only eat fish that eat other fish.”) Of course, everyone at the table wants the same thing. So precious.
According to Laurie: Erlich needed money, and Laurie, who controls the board, is therefore the only one who can approve the transfer of stocks, and set the price. She asked Erlich how in debt he was, and paid him just that: $713,000. In other words, she robbed him. (But he’s the proud owner of a fiberglass Tiki head at the bottom of the Bay. So there’s that.) Erlich, trying to salvage his reputation, spills all to Code/Rag. He is gutted.
Tricia: Richard understands what happened to Erlich and now doesn’t want to ditch him after all. He approaches Erlich after the party, who is poolside smoking a bong and feeling sorry for himself, and says he’d like to give him an actual job. Since Erlich is so good at doing press and marketing, he’ll be the Chief Evangelizing Office — CEO. And, Erlich is chuffed to learn they got accepted into the Hooli store. He says, “Gavin Belson just presented us with his bare buttocks!”
It’s a perfect end. Except, I think there may be trouble brewing in the future as ex-Pied Piper CEO “Action” Jack Barker and Gavin Belson run into each other at the airport with their private planes on their way to Jackson Hole, Wyo. (Hilariously, they insist on flying separately). You better bet they are going to gossip about Pied Piper. (Probably on Slack).