Silicon Valley: Meinertzhagen's Haversack
May 8, 2016 10:50 PM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Facing the bleak future of Pied Piper's new business agenda, Richard tries to appeal to Laurie for help. Gilfoyle opens himself up to recruiters' pursuits. Dinesh's latest flashy purchase brings him unwanted attention. After stumbling upon information about the competition, the guys decide to work up a master plan to covertly force Jack's hand.
posted by bboston (29 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
It really felt like they were going to swerve into Office Space territory there, Richard and co walking into the office with a covert plan to undermine the company. Kind of a funny nod while completely subverting it within seconds.
posted by tracicle at 12:29 AM on May 9, 2016


Gods, it's just panic-inducing when these guys try to play politics and/or secret agent. They are so far out of their depth, and I'm kinda glad that it only took up one episode.
posted by Etrigan at 7:53 AM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm starting to think that that Richard tripping was part of their plan the whole time. I don't think it was clear in the show if it was part of the plan. The only thing I know about Meinertzhagen's haversack is what I've read today after the episode (i.e., not much at all), but it would seem to suggest the skunkworks plans that Richard dropped might be fake.
posted by noneuclidean at 8:16 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


noneuclidean, I think you're right - check out this detailed comment on reddit to that effect.

This episode felt much funnier to me than the last two this season; maybe because the story was being set up in the previous two, and now the hijinks can fully bloom? It might also be that the previous episodes' focus on Richard brought drama at the expense of comedy.

After all, Richard is the least-funny character in that his characteristics are the least exaggerated for comic effect. He's actually quite relatable: he has a valuable idea developed through his knowledge of his craft, and he's reluctantly resigned to the fact that this absurd milieu is the one in which he must nurture it. His frustration is thus understandable and reasonable, whereas it's much funnier to see Ehrlich's indignation at some minor slight (pronunciation of AviAHto).
posted by Aubergine at 8:28 AM on May 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


The Bel Biv Devoe line was so good. I don't know how many people caught it, because it was quick -- I had to stop and replay it for my husband because I was laughing so hard.

Aubergine, thanks for that reddit link. Looking forward to seeing how this plays out.
posted by radioamy at 9:27 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I needed a place to share my joy over Jared tossing sick burns Dinesh's way.
posted by joan cusack the second at 9:28 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


joan cusack the second - OMG yes! Poor Jared was so excited that he had temporarily clawed his way up from the bottom of the food chain.
posted by radioamy at 9:32 AM on May 9, 2016


Speaking of Jared, remember that joke in season 2 where he compared himself to Julia Roberts in several of her pre-1992 movies but was unfamiliar with My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)? But he jumps back in with Ocean's Eleven (2001). What a strangely specific gap in Jared's encyclopedic of Julia Roberts's oeuvre.
posted by joan cusack the second at 9:41 AM on May 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


I really enjoyed the montage where Ehrlich spent most of it smoking weed and never moved from his chair.
posted by bondcliff at 9:47 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nice catch, jcts. I thought it was hilarious when he referred to Ocean's Eleven as "that film starring Julia Roberts and 10 other people."
posted by cazoo at 11:10 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


What a strangely specific gap in Jared's encyclopedic of Julia Roberts's oeuvre.

Ah, but remember that Ocean's 11 introduced Julia Roberts. Clearly, it was her first film, so he would have seen it along with those other pre-1992 ones.
posted by Etrigan at 11:22 AM on May 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


I work in professional services, downstream from Sales. This whole arc with sales gives me so much PTSD (Post-Traumatic Start-up Disorder). When they were touring the colo and their guide said "Sales promised me that..." I couldn't even hear the end of the sentence my blood pressure spiked so hard I thought I was going to black out and had to pause the DVR.

Jared being able to give Dinesh shit was a total highlight. Is he still living in a corner of Erlich's garage? If Richard hadn't tripped and dropped the plans* I was sure the whole skunkworks plan was going to be foiled by Jin-Yang.

* Never occurred to me that might be a fake-out but why not? It would be great if it were.
posted by marylynn at 11:54 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is one of those times where I barely have the patience to wait for the payoff. I want to know how their plan succeeds (or fails) and I want to know now.
posted by sardonyx at 4:26 PM on May 9, 2016


And of course there's only one place this can go: Richard, Gilfoyle, and Dinesh reminding Jack that as far as any of them know, they are literally the only three people who can do the work he needs done, whatever that turns out to be. (And even if they did know about the ex-Nucleus devs, those guys are over at Endframe now.) Maybe that's where this is going- they're going to realize that they can build pretty much whatever they want, because that appliance, as far as anybody not employed by EndFrame knows, literally cannot be built without their consent.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:04 PM on May 9, 2016


After all, Richard is the least-funny character in that his characteristics are the least exaggerated for comic effect.

I think it took me probably through the end of the first two seasons (and some oddly bro-y Smirnoff commercials) to realize that Thomas Middleditch is actually acting his ass off as Richard, and that this high-strung-to-the-point-of-night-sweats, nice-guy-introvert-with-bottled-rage, messianic/Napoleonic visionary is actually the looniest character in the cast.

Everyone else is content to just do something or make something useful or cool (except maybe Big Head, who acceded to the Mike Judge archetype of the nobody who's content to fail upward), but Richard is fed by the prospect of being A Force to Be Reckoned With. As awful as Jack is, that moment where he says, "Do you know what Pied Piper's product is?" and Richard hopefully answers, "Is it... me?", he is absolutely crushed by Jack's (hilarious) response: “Oh, God! No! No!”

Richard is funny because he's so self-serious, even if the antics of puppylike Jared and loudmouth Erlich tend to outshine him on the whole. He's the Walter White of compression algorithms, which is really a joke in itself.
posted by psoas at 11:26 AM on May 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


I don't normally come into FanFare, but I love this show and I'm so glad it's back on the, er, air. I can't watch a lot of dramas even though I love the suspense and intrigue and story development because I can't stand to see any violence or even too much yelling. So Silicon Valley really scratches an itch for me because it's got a lot more in the way of plot and interesting story than most sitcoms but without the overly violent and dark stuff. It's presented in a really light-hearted way. :)

I agree - I want to see next week's already!
posted by winterhill at 4:46 AM on May 11, 2016


I really enjoyed the scene where they're walking through a data center filled with endless rows of servers.
One the one hand I wouldn't put it beyond the makers to have gotten access to one of the mega datacenters of say Facebook or Google. On the other hand it looked a bit too neat; nice open spaces, no ugly heat management contraptions... I couldn't tell that it was CGI if that's what it was.

I hope there are some quotes from the real Silicon Valley. Like in previous seasons f.i. Eric Schmidt showing up in a scene.
Are there any 'annotations' anywhere on this season?


Regarding Richard: to a large degree he seems to be the straight guy to the outrageous people around him.
posted by jouke at 6:05 AM on May 11, 2016


Btw I enjoyed in the intro Lyft and Über battling it out.
For the rest I didn't see a lot of changes. Oracle is still running around like headless chickens. That's still funny.
posted by jouke at 6:07 AM on May 11, 2016


I think it took me probably through the end of the first two seasons (and some oddly bro-y Smirnoff commercials) to realize that Thomas Middleditch is actually acting his ass off as Richard, and that this high-strung-to-the-point-of-night-sweats, nice-guy-introvert-with-bottled-rage, messianic/Napoleonic visionary is actually the looniest character in the cast.

Yes, to all this. The way he won't make eye contact when he's confronting someone? I finally went looking for Middleditch in other roles because he is so perfect in this one that it was hard to believe he's acting, but he really is acting and it's amazing.

Also, that was totally a bastardized version of the big line from the Wire: "You come at the king, you best not miss."
posted by aabbbiee at 8:48 AM on May 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


This makes me wonder if any of the insults used really happened as well.
The chain story from this past #SiliconValley was actually from my life. In HS I got a silver chain. It went worse than it does in the show.

— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) May 10, 2016
posted by noneuclidean at 9:49 AM on May 11, 2016 [10 favorites]


On the other hand it looked a bit too neat; nice open spaces, no ugly heat management contraptions... I couldn't tell that it was CGI if that's what it was.

A well-run datacenter/colo will look like that, even in the hot aisle. There was CGI or matting to multiply the space, but otherwise OK.

Also, that was totally a bastardized version of the big line from the Wire: "You come at the king, you best not miss."

Heh, either he was trying to pass it off as his own, or misremembered because he saw The Wire once and even though it's white peoples' favorite show ever he doesn't really hang out with people who quote it.
posted by rhizome at 11:10 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I really expected that bit to end with:
"Oh my god, that's from The Wire! I love that!"
"Me too! It's so good. Everyone should watch it!"
"I know!"
posted by Etrigan at 11:14 AM on May 11, 2016


Another detail I liked was that the datacenter guy's employee picture on his laminate was him at least 20 years younger.
posted by rhizome at 11:18 AM on May 11, 2016 [17 favorites]


I think the easy way to tell it wasn't a real (operational) server room was the fact that it was quiet enough in there for them to be able to speak at a normal volume instead of having one of those weird conversations you have in a nightclub where neither person can hear eachother due to the incessant noise despite your screaming all you hear is " I ate the bubbles?!" "Wonton Crack?" etc..
posted by some loser at 6:34 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I absolutely loved the photo on the data center dude's ID card.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:11 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Has anybody analyzed the white board that Guilefoyle sees in the office vs the diagram he draws back at the incubator? At first I thought the gag was going to be that he redraws it exactly as it was, but in fact his diagram is much simpler. I'm wondering (but of course lack the understanding to know) whether what he drew was a brilliant synthesis of what he'd basically just glanced at.
posted by Flashman at 10:53 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hah, good question. They're totally different!
posted by rhizome at 11:43 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


I feel like you haven't really drawn a software diagram unless there's at least one short, fat cylinder intended to represent persistent storage and/or at least one cloud representing remote storage. On the other hand, they get points for the little trees.
posted by town of cats at 11:19 PM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]


the datacenter guy's employee picture on his laminate was him at least 20 years younger.

Yes I totally noticed that and loved it. I probably also noticed it because my dad works for the government and had one of his ID tags for probably twenty years, too. It was a great touch.
posted by Crystalinne at 9:33 PM on May 16, 2016


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