Silicon Valley: Founder Friendly
April 25, 2016 7:00 AM - Season 3, Episode 1 - Subscribe

After being unceremoniously fired, an angry Richard faces a tough decision: accept the diminished role of CTO, or leave Pied Piper for good. Erlich takes a shine to Jack Barker, Laurie's new choice of CEO, while Dinesh and Gilfoyle weigh their options in Richard's absence. At Hooli, Gavin tries to improve his image by admitting failure, and Big Head gets wind of major changes.
posted by aabbbiee (30 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I really liked this as its own contained story, a pivot to a new season arc, and an entry point for new viewers (I binged through the first two seasons a few months back; my spouse hasn't seen any of them, and may well start with this one now that I've vetted it).

And man, Stephen Tobolowsky is rapidly becoming an indispensable part of Hollywood.
posted by Etrigan at 8:00 AM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


They pivoted away from Big Head as CEO of Hooli much more quickly than I was expecting, but the way they actually handled things makes so much sense I kind of prefer it from a storytelling perspective. Gavin is a great heel and of course he'd find a way to benefit despite his complete failure of leadership. It's always the workers who get shafted by management mistakes. And a loose cannon Big Head with $20 million is bound to be interesting/funny.

Gilfoyl and Dinesh's pairing continues to pay comedic dividends. Richard was absolutely correct in his assessment of their ability to understand and scale his compression algorithm, RIGBY, he was kind of a dick about it. Jared is just plain adorable in his earnestness and quiet quirkiness.

Stephen Tobolowsky as Jack Barker is great. Jack Barker is so perfect as a CEO it immediately makes him look suspicious and his ability to charm Erlich virtually instantaneously by pandering to his enormous ego shows he's working at a high level. He's likely going to be an obstacle this season, but not necessarily a malevolent one.

I think Richard has one play that could get him back as CEO: he is absolutely indispensable to Pied Piper due to his knowledge of the compression algorithm. Jack was pandering to Richard, but he wasn't wrong either. Richard holds a very good hand and doesn't quite realize it. He almost gets it when he demeans Gilfoyl and Dinesh's abilities. If they can't scale his code then who can? My theory for this season is that Jack is going to try and make Richard less indispensable.
posted by Green With You at 10:35 AM on April 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


his ability to charm Erlich virtually instantaneously by pandering to his enormous ego shows he's working at a high level.

Oh, man, his overpronunciation of Aviato.
posted by Etrigan at 10:53 AM on April 25, 2016 [13 favorites]


I'm thinking the Big Head storyline got retooled out at some point, perhaps as a result of the death of Christopher Evan Welch.
posted by rhizome at 11:21 AM on April 25, 2016


Welch died during S1. I don't think they're still rewriting from that.
posted by Etrigan at 11:31 AM on April 25, 2016


That bad code was legit, from the undocumented 0x79481e6bbcc01223 constant to the // not necessary, just in case commented line that probably is very necessary, to the inane typedefs enc_cfg_t and enc_cfg2_t for void and int.
posted by joeyh at 11:56 AM on April 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm also pretty sure I saw single letter variable names that weren't iterators, so that answers the question of if Richard or Walter White is the worse person.
posted by The Gaffer at 12:01 PM on April 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm not saying that they're still rewriting from his death, but the Big Head storyline started before then, and petered out almost completely in S2. He's not even a foil anymore.
posted by rhizome at 12:18 PM on April 25, 2016


Jack Barker already knew who Erlich was, what Aviato was, and how to properly pronounce Aviato. The man's a pro.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:42 PM on April 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Omg, "fucking Stanford Robotics"! My husband and I were laughing so, so hard. You just know the writers room watched those Boston Dynamics videos and were like "that guy beating up on the robot is doing the work Erlich Bachmann was born to do"
posted by town of cats at 7:03 PM on April 25, 2016 [15 favorites]


I was hoping this season would see Jared come back into his own as a capable business executive. Somehow, I doubt that's going to happen, although he is updating the corporate website. Action Jack now has his own bio.
posted by sardonyx at 8:13 PM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


This episode grabbed me in the first 5 minutes with the guest appearance of BigDog as RoboDeer. And then it got better as we all know PP will be controlled by the hypnotic charm of Ned Ryerson.

Gavin has of course turned into the CEO from Dilbert, and it looks like Big Head will be a pointy-haired boss.
posted by arzakh at 4:57 AM on April 26, 2016


The undocumented constant in the code sample might have been a referece to Carmack's fast inverse square root.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 6:33 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I actually asked my wife why they didn't use that as an Easter egg and she stared at me as if I had three eyes.
posted by thecaddy at 6:42 AM on April 26, 2016


Gavin has of course turned into the CEO from Dilbert

With a touch of Steve Ballmer, in his gleeful misuse of Microsoft-esque stack ranking.

Also, one small surprise: Google does exist in the world of the show, as we see Erlich Googling Jack Barker. I thought Hooli was the show's Google surrogate?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:08 AM on April 26, 2016


Also, one small surprise: Google does exist in the world of the show, as we see Erlich Googling Jack Barker. I thought Hooli was the show's Google surrogate?

Pretty sure the show has referenced Google before. I recall a bit of dialogue from Season One (?) about "when Larry and Sergey founded Google."

I don't really think Hooli is supposed to be anything other "big, generic tech conglomerate." Maybe it's like Cisco or something?
posted by breakin' the law at 7:34 AM on April 26, 2016


I've always seen Hooli as the Google surrogate, but just for the parts of Google that they want to make fun of. Google exists in this universe as just Another Big Internet Company That Made People Rich.
posted by Etrigan at 7:43 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm so glad this show is back and really feeling pumped for the new dynamics they are setting up.

Aviato. I completely lost it.
posted by Zephyrial at 8:28 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's also been a reference to Jared formerly working at Google in his bio on the Pied Piper website since it went up. I think Hooli is just a distillation of some of the goofier aspects of big tech companies: part Google, part Yahoo, a little bit of Microsoft...
posted by Itaxpica at 8:35 AM on April 26, 2016


I think Hooli is like...80% Google, 20% other companies. Definitely not Cisco or Oracle vintage, though. It's a company that's around Google's age, size, cultural footprint, and level of power. Since very few companies of Google's size are also Google's age, I think it's pretty clear that Hooli's primary parody target is Google.
posted by town of cats at 11:18 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I absolutely love Bighead's "failing upwards" arc. I'm hoping he ends up as CEO or board member of Pied Piper by the end of the season. I still miss Peter Gregory/Christopher Evan Welch, RIP :(, but I wonder if it would have been more difficult to situate Raviga as an antagonist if he was still there, so maybe for the show his replacement has worked out to drive the plot.
posted by permiechickie at 1:46 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


As someone whose entire career has been in tech, in Silicon Valley, this show is almost too painful to watch at times.

The empty 5th chair when they cut back to the Hooli legal team was awesome.
posted by jamaro at 3:55 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


jamaro, you're not alone. The first episode gave me horrible nightmares.
posted by town of cats at 8:27 PM on April 26, 2016


The man's a pro

He can't even cure cancer!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:50 AM on April 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Finally caught up enough to comment at real time! This show is hilarious.

The Hooli badges are identical to Microsoft badges by the way.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:18 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


The bad code is indeed legit, and outputs the following:

DREAM_ON_ASSHOLES
posted by destructive cactus at 3:36 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


So this appears to be the code shown in the episode. Not sure who put it up. Have at it, fellow nerds!
posted by freecellwizard at 12:04 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


A note for anyone trying this at home: You only need the parts within 'Start here' and 'End here' comments, aside from the includes (nice of them to note it!).

Here's a pastebin link to the 'business' part of the code, that I compiled with gcc on my laptop and worked fine.
posted by destructive cactus at 9:57 AM on April 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


So I can't find a YouTube link right now (if it's even on YT), but if you have HBO Now, they just posted a 4 minute video of outakes from Bachman's first meeting with Barker.
posted by noneuclidean at 3:52 PM on June 3, 2016


YouTube Thanks for the tip, good stuff!
posted by rhizome at 12:53 AM on June 4, 2016


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