Silicon Valley: Server Error
June 26, 2017 5:29 AM - Season 4, Episode 10 - Subscribe

In the Season 4 finale, Richard's caught in a web of lies in a last-ditch attempt to save Pied Piper. Meanwhile, Jared plans his exit when he's worried about Richard's future; Jack tries to change the narrative; and Gavin plots his comeback.
posted by noneuclidean (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"Anton died so that we might live."
"Like Jesus!"
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:50 AM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

This was a pretty disappointing season finale for me. I normally have a very large capacity to suspend disbelief, but the ending went too far. On top of that, the Jared fake out was terrible. And was there any point to Gilfoyle's broken glasses bit? Also disappointed not to see Lauri or Monica for yet another episode.

Best part of the episode (maybe only part, besides a Jared line I can't remember right now), was Gavin and Jack on the plane at the end.
posted by noneuclidean at 7:00 AM on June 26, 2017

And was there any point to Gilfoyle's broken glasses bit?

The cat-eye lenses, which didn't really seem enough of a payoff.

T.J. Miller's Hollywood Reporter interview is ... something; you can smell the bridges burning behind him.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:48 AM on June 26, 2017 [6 favorites]

Just came here to post that interview. Certainly is something.
posted by gaspode at 7:49 AM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Miller sounds like a pretentious ass in that interview and the number of times he said "I just thought it was so funny" sounds like a case of protesting too much.


The finale itself I disliked greatly. The first three quarters were extremely stressful and not really funny. They forgot to put jokes in or something; it just piled on the shit and left out all the funnies. Even Jared's interview was more sad than chuckle-inducing.

It might have all been worth it for Gavin's perfect delivery of "We're going to Jackson Hole," though. But, then again, I'm also disappointed that Barker was hoisted by his own petard and that Gavin wasn't the one to orchestrate Barker's downfall.

I hope next season is better; this one struck out more often than not for me.
posted by Tevin at 8:01 AM on June 26, 2017

> The cat-eye lenses, which didn't really seem enough of a payoff.


I think I'm actually okay with Miller leaving the show. I really think after this season they need to introduce some new, long term, characters (and not just to replace Erlich). I just don't think the core group of Richard, Gilfoyle, Dinesh and Jared can sustain the show that much longer. Either that or they need to seriously up the screen time for Monica and Lauri (who were absent for the final episodes of this season).
posted by noneuclidean at 8:15 AM on June 26, 2017

Miller sounds like a pretentious ass in that interview and the number of times he said "I just thought it was so funny" sounds like a case of protesting too much.

That's kind of just how TJ Miller is in interviews- it works better in audio/video because you can hear his tone and see his face.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:39 AM on June 26, 2017

Sepinwall is frustrated:
I’ve never been a believer that a show needs likable characters to be good, but this one probably does, at least at the very center. Gilfoyle can be cruel, and Dinesh can be weak and desperate, and Erlich can be a self-destructive windbag, but on some level we have to want to see Richard and Pied Piper succeed, or else it’s just the constant stumbling of a jerk who deserves every cruel twist of fate that comes his way. A lot of this year was unpleasant to watch, particularly these last few episodes, and I felt genuinely annoyed when the show went full Entourage — instead of its usual anti-Entourage approach — by having everything work out for the gang in the end thanks to Gilfoyle’s hack of Jian-Yang’s smart fridge. As frustrating as it can be sometimes to see Pied Piper fail just because the show is reluctant to change its formula too much, this felt worse, because it was a win Richard in no way deserved, just so we could hit reset on the status quo… again.
I did like Bighead's username and password both being "password": "it was just easier". But at the same time it feels like they no longer really know what to do with Bighead; he's fallen upwards so many times now that there's nowhere left for them to take him.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:49 AM on June 26, 2017

Bighead travels across America, just meeting and hanging out with people, and somehow gets elected President.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:01 AM on June 26, 2017 [15 favorites]

Heh; they could collide it into Veep, which I have found spectacularly unfunny this season.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:28 AM on June 26, 2017

This season just felt.... bland ? No real development. Such a shame because the first two seasons where so good.

And I'm going to miss the Bachman/Jian-Yang feud.
posted by Pendragon at 12:27 PM on June 26, 2017

Can't help but feel sad watching Richard become an increasingly unsympathetic character this season. And Dinesh, as well. It takes away a not-insignificant amount of my love for the show.
posted by Auden at 6:42 PM on June 26, 2017 [5 favorites]

I agree with all of the above about this episode, but the funniest part for me was seeing all those smart fridges playing Gilfoyle's video. I laughed to hard! And the cat eyes got me every time.
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:34 AM on June 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

This was a frustrating episode on so many levels. It's one thing for Richard to morph into an evil, cut-throat, lying businessman--in some ways that might be the direction the show needs to go in order to tell a new story--but his comments to the young girl walking with her mother were just unnecessary and really off. Yes, he has always been awkward with women, but it's almost as if the writers said, "Dark Richard must also become a sexual predator too, to complete his fall." Yuck and nope.

Actually, it would be more interesting if Evil CEO Richard suddenly became more attractive to the the type of women who find power a turn-on. Watching him negotiate that dynamic while trying to remain a nice guy (because he's tired of getting black eyes from past relationships gone wrong) might be entertaining for a few episodes.

I was also disappointed to see him so quickly turn down Gavin's offer. Yes, fine, he didn't want to sell the company to Gavin, but I would have hoped there would have been some way for them to renew their partnership. Watching fledgling Evil CEO Richard learn at the hand of the master would have been a great dynamic, and in a way, would have been the next logical step after moving on from Erlich.

I do like the fact Dinesh and Gilfoyle drew the line at Richard lying to Big Head. This group of friends and co-workers has been through a lot together, and it's right that they stick by their weakest member--not to mention being upset with Jarod's treatment. I'm still annoyed by Dinesh's treatment of his girlfriend, and the harm those actions did to his character.

I must admit, I laughed at hostage Jack. That was so well-deserved, as was Gavin's revenge drop-off.
posted by sardonyx at 6:37 AM on June 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

I feel like I want the show to be something it's not trying to do, based on What I Think TV Should Do, but on the other hand so much of real-life Silicon Valley is comprised of similarly-tumbling rivers of garbage that I wonder if I'm just not accepting the future we live in as a basis for entertainment. Kind of like the movie Slacker when it first came out.
posted by rhizome at 9:07 PM on June 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

I liked that Sepinwall review, and his last sentence basically sums it up....I fear that next season will be more of the same. It feels to me like the writers have decided that these guys' being fundamentally incompetent is part of the joke, and they can't find a way to write their way out of that. If there's no forward plot movement, I'd kind of like it if next season is the last one. I don't think they can keep this up much longer.

A few other points:

-Did anyone else think that Richard's turn into Evil Richard was kind of sudden? As Sepinwall said, Middleditch sold it with his acting, which made the whole thing really uncomfortable (which I think was the point). But in terms of writing and plot, it seemed really sudden.

-I'd kind of like see more of Keenan Feldspar. I always find it funny when Richard is paired up with people whose temperaments clash with his neurotic moodiness in some way (Russ, Jack Barker, even Erlich to some extent), it makes for a fun sort of comic tension that works well for this show.

-If the last scene is any indication, we'll see more of Laurie and Monica next season.

-A quick note on Erlich: everything I've read on TJ Miller's departure mentions his character serving only to screw things up for Pied Piper. Which I'd guess is true enough, recently. But in the first couple of seasons, if I recall correctly, Erlich pretty frequently got things right; he was just such pompous blowhard about it that nobody noticed. I found that a lot funnier. Also, the fuck happens to the house now that he's gone?
posted by breakin' the law at 6:33 PM on June 29, 2017

This season: the Dumbening of SV.

As I watched this last ep there were some really, really funny tiny moments. But Mean Richard felt slightly unearned; I think I can head canon how he got there but the show really should have spent a little more time there. There's an interesting story or three about Richard having it all on the line, feeling responsible for this tiny company, and so on. But in the end it was simpler for SV to reset itself after every episode, for the most part, and have a few story arcs that weren't all that big nor significant, it seems.

I'm really pessimistic for next season. I foresee it as “crazy-Richard-antics-of-the-week” with a strand around something mildly interesting that gets dropped. Just... not... as entertaining.
posted by hijinx at 11:26 AM on June 30, 2017

This episode and last really bothered me. I agree that the show needs Richard to be a good guy, and he steered them in such an awful direction with the HooliCon/HooliPhone thing.

I did like how the narrative tied it back to the smart fridges, they do great callbacks with that.
posted by radioamy at 9:09 PM on June 30, 2017

The Hollywood Reporter article is bizarre, especially since you can't hear tone in the written word. I can't tell if he is being serious about how he feels about Alec Berg.

Then again, I've heard him interviewed and it's just as weird. On Nerdist he was going on this only mildy-coherant philosophical rant for several minutes, and then got distracted by one of Hardwick's strange pieces of memorabilia.

Hmm, maybe with Erlich out of the way, they'll feature Monica or Laurie more. Probably not. :(
posted by radioamy at 9:20 PM on June 30, 2017

I can’t see the transition into Dark Richard. He seemed exactly the same to me as early on. I did like him more these last few episodes though as he seemed more authentic and transparent. But dear god, Is he ever pathetic.

Gilfoyle’s eyes delighted me so much. It was like a silly phone filter made real. When he was sitting in the Melcher office, I was giggling.

The TJ Miller interview — I’m curious how edited or unedited this was, and the motivations behind it all.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:09 PM on September 2, 2021

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