In “Fiduciary Duties,” Silicon Valley explored the theme of seeing things for what they really are. Silicon Valley itself, like L.A. or any boomtown with a lot of money, is a place that easily chews up and spits out those not willing or able to compete in the bloodsport that is their version of success. “Fiduciary Duties” found Richard in over his head again when it comes to the business side of things, but also learning that delegation is not a bad thing. Hit the jump, because there’s some weather over the ocean and we should get started.
Fortunes and situations rise and fall quickly on Silicon Valley, as Big Head points out to Richard when he drops by after being assigned to being unassigned (along with, it turns out, a group of other programmers who all have been subjected to Gavin’s Japanese business practice of shaming). Hooli sees Big Head for who he is (and who he’s not), and it was a great moment of satire, though also a biting moment when he returned to point out to Richard that he’s being paid a lot of money to do nothing, while Richard is laboring and not making anything.
It was a great and surreal dig at competitive companies, who acquire people just so someone else can’t have them, and do deals quickly without waiting to see how things pan out. It’s a law of averages, something that Richard’s lawyer (Thomas Ian Nichols?) spells out for him. “Do you know why sea turtles have a shit-ton of babies? […] Peter Gregory just wants to be sure his money makes it to the ocean.”
As Richard becomes aware of what he lacks in his business, he begins to lose it. He got his roommates on board because of their coding skills, and included Jared because of his business savvy. Peter Gregory is providing the startup cash, and Richard himself is the genius behind the compression idea. But what he lacks is panache, or “game” as Dinesh calls it. In business terms: marketing. All of that can be embodied by Erlich, which Richard discovered and acknowledged by the end of the episode. Richard’s instincts about making Erlich a board member were right, despite his drunkenness. Erlich can be a tool, but if used properly, he can also be an enormous asset. And thanks to Erlich, they were able to convey what Pied Piper really is to Peter Gregory, and Richard’s vision has become clear.
“Fiduciary Duties” was a little less laugh-out-loud funny that previous episodes overall, but it compressed its humor grandly in the toga party scenes. There, things began steadily when Gilfoyle, Richard and Dinesh are told the hot girls talking to them are actresses paid specifically to talk to nerds (and insult to injury, they aren’t even single — playing into the revelation theme). But the entire night was stolen, once again, by Peter Gregory’s appearance, calling Flo Rida “Florida,” and generally being incredibly awkward (and perfectly so).
What Silicon Valley manages to do, as a story about business (with a lot of good real-world information, frankly), friendship and the tech world, all wrapped up in a surreal and hilarious package, is fantastic. Every episode is so layered with humor, but also pathos (particularly regarding Richard). When it comes to seeing things for what they really are, there’s no deception with Silicon Valley. To paraphrase Peter Gregory: it’s an orgy of awesome.
Episode Rating: A-
Musings and Miscellanea:
— Erlich casually dressing like Steve Jobs once on the Pied Piper board was great, especially when he couldn’t find the video on his phone (“it’s in another folder!”) and also couldn’t get out of his turtle neck (“goddamnit, I’ve put it back on!”)
— “Love and hate, it’s all passion” – Jared, who had paneer and watched a documentary about Liberia last night, so it’s all good.
— “I said to Gilfolyle last night that ‘it looks like Richard is going to suck Erlich’s dick.’ That would have been reasonable compared to this” – Dinesh.
— The scenes with Richard’s douche lawyer were everything they needed to be.
— Richard and Jared swapping the wet pants. H-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s.
— Interesting little tidbit about Peter Gregory and Gavin Belson once being friends, I wonder if they’ll pick back up on that.
— “Is that weird thing in your head an aneurism?” – Gilfolyle.
— “You catch on slow. You’ll fit right in here” – Big Head’s merry bunch of unassigned co-workers.