In Silicon Valley‘s “Third Party Insourcing,” the satire and character-building were both exceptionally high. It was also just a hilarious episode, and reminiscent of some of Mike Judge‘s other work (like King of the Hill in particular). As the Pied Piper guys work towards the TechCrunch competition deadline, they’re forced to bring in a ringer (Austin Abrams) who can help Richard with his blind spot, programming cloud. Truths are then revealed that bring everyone back to reality. Hit the jump for why a fetus is better than you (maybe).
Things are coming down to the wire for Pied Piper, and the small operation is having to confront the fact that they still are in need of more help. Richard may have aged 40 years in the last seven weeks (according to his terrible doctor, played by the awesome Andy Daly), but he still doesn’t know cloud. For that, Jared suggests bringing in a wiz known as The Carver (Abrams), a.k.a. Kevin, a.k.a. a kid. The joke that Kevin is a child prodigy when it comes to computing is an old one (with a lot of truth to it) about how by Richard’s age of 26, you’re essentially too old to enter the tech business. Even the neighborhood kids are dealing drugs and running circles around Richard.
But “Third Party Insourcing” didn’t leave things on such a damning note: Kevin had a major breakdown because he messed up big time, “skull-fucking” their entire operation. Later, Richard asks Erlich to help handle the neighborhood kids, which he does with outstanding aplomb, showing that a fetus is not always better than a full-grown adult, and youth-obsession doesn’t have to win out. Not since Tyrion slapping Joffrey on Game of Thrones has a brat being given the business been so satisfying. Further, the fact that these guys need each other is well-established now, but it’s great that the series keeps finding new and unexpected ways for them to support one another.
Of course, that’s not always the case, like in the relationship between Gilfoyle and Dinesh, which had a fantastic, episode-long setup to the eventual reveal that Tara did not actually want to sleep with Dinesh. Within that prank though was a lot of character building, not only with Erlich’s astonishment that anyone could find the Pakistani Denzel more attractive than he is, but in understanding more about Dinesh, who finally broke out of his partnership with Gilfoyle as a character. Little things like his decision board and his appeal to Tara showed more about Dinesh than we’ve seen all season.
Almost every week, Silicon Valley has lampooned some new piece of tech, and never has it been so terrible or dire as Jared’s experience with the self-driving car (a fascinating discussion of which can be found at length in a New Yorker piece from November of this past year). Jared, first elated at the novelty of the car, is then taken through a hellish experience before arriving alone at Peter Gregory’s island, populated entirely by the driverless vehicles he has come to loathe. The layers of torture he endures at the hands of such seemingly innocuous tech was a great satirical digression throughout the episode.
Silicon Valley is a comedy with a lot of smarts, but whereas the last episode, “Signaling Risk,” relied more on broad strokes, “Third Party Insourcing” returned the show back to its intimate and very clever takedown of tech, while also building up our bond with the glorious weirdos of Pied Piper.
Episode Rating: A
Musings and Miscellanea:
— Tara didn’t exactly do a lot to help the idea of women as sexual objects to be lusted after and also feared, but there’s still some hope for Monica.
— How amazing was Peter Gregory’s noise on the phone?
— “I wish I hadn’t eaten so much of that Satanist chicken!” – Dinesh.
— “Don’t touch anything, failure is contagious” – Erlich.
— “He’s basically moving the carcass to the cloud” – Dinesh.
— Erlich slapping that kid, throwing his bike, and screaming at him is a top scene from the show for me. Especially because it came on the heels of Richard crying over the encounter.
— “Because I though that fetus was better than me” – Richard.
— “I’d have sex with that if you hosed the Gilfolyle off of her” – Erlich.
— “Yeah, I’m sure she wanted to fuck a danish on the fly” – Dinesh.
— “It’s weird having a girl in the house, it’s a very strange energy” – Dinesh.
— “Sailing takes me away …. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!” – Jared.