Silicon Valley: “Optimal Tip-To-Tip Efficiency” Review
“Guys, I think that’s the last time we’ll see him alive.”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Well folks, this is it, the end of inaugural season of “Silicon Valley.” Luckily, Mike Judge and crew seem to have saved the best for last, with a season finale that utilized the entire ensemble well and played to almost all of the show’s strengths.
Picking up directly where “Proof of Concept” left off, the Pied Piper crew is immediately advanced to the finals after their lawyer threatens to sue over Erlich being punched in the face. However, missing their original presentation time allows Gavin Belson to roll out Nucleus first, completely stealing Pied Piper’s intended thunder. Jared then suggests that in order to survive, Pied Piper must “pivot” to another model. This is where the episode kicked into high gear, as Richard went into a nervous tailspin trying to think of a new direction, Jared began a quest to ask bystanders what they thought of random app ideas and Erlich, Dinesh and Gilfoyle all said “screw it” and goofed around. Jared’s bits proved to be hilarious, as he explained how spending four days on an island of automatic robots and not getting any sleep at the convention was wearing on his psyche, then proceeded to jump out at random people saying things like, “What about an app called Pied Piper that knows where your kids are at all times? It just knew automatically, and there wasn’t anything you could do about it.” Zach Woods absolutely nailed these scenes, further proving that Jared is one of the consistently funny characters on the show and a welcome addition to the group.
Dinesh, Gilfoyle and Erlich didn’t provide quite as many laughs, but their story entertained nonetheless, with Erlich refusing to give up hope they would win and Dinesh and Gilfoyle wondering if they’d be “total dicks” to look for other jobs. They do test the waters, with chuckle-worthy results, giving us the pitch-perfect exchange, “I love Pied Piper. Everyday is like I’ve died and gone to hell.” “What?” “He’s a Satanist, it’s good.”
Finally, Richard’s story throughout most of the episode was a mixed bag. If it could be summed up in a word, it’d be predictable. He predictably got depressed that Nucleus blew them out of the water, then he predictably got depressed that his company going under meant he wouldn’t see Monica anymore and finally he ended up moping at the hotel room. The third act really turned things around though, as Erlich’s proclamation that he’d “jack off every guy in the room” to win led to the Pied Piper crew hilariously scribbling down mathematical formulas to see what Erlich would need to do to make that happen. It’s here that we finally see the Richard’s oft-mentioned but rarely seen genius, as the concept finally gives him an idea for Pied Piper’s new direction. The final scenes where Richard showcases a revamped Pied Piper were classic sitcom fare, but unlike some of the sitcom tropes past episodes pulled from, this scene felt organic and logical, having the team overcome their final challenge and wrapping things up in a very “Silicon Valley” way. It’s too bad the first season only had eight episode because Pied Piper’s inevitable expansion is bursting with potential.
All in all, this was a great finale, which used everything that was great about the show: Mike Judge’s crass sense of humor, a hilarious and astute satire of the Tech industry and some great acting by the talented ensemble cast. It did fall victim to some of the more generic sitcom plotting, which was kind of an issue with the season as the whole. However, it’s a minor quibble in what’s been one of the more enjoyable comedies this spring. “Silicon Valley” has gotten better and better with each episode, which is great for a first season. In the words of Peter Gregory, “I am not un-pleased.”
How did you like the first season of “Silicon Valley?” What do you want to see more of in Season 2? Be sure to leave a comment below?
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