On last night’s episode of Silicon Valley, we learned that tech jobs are a lot like modeling or being an Olympic gymnast. If you haven’t made it by the time you’re 17, you might as well give up.
Age was a pervading theme, in fact, throughout the entirety of last night’s episode. It starts in the opening scene, where Richard’s asshole doctor informs him he’s aged 40 years in the past seven weeks, before reminding him, again, that he probably should have taken Gavin Belson’s $10 million.
Back at Pied Piper HQ — or, Erlich’s crappy house — the team is fretting because Richard’s been unable to program the company’s cloud architecture, and it’s holding everything up. They convince a hesitant Richard to solicit the help of the “Carver,” an expert programmer who’s rumored to have hacked Bank of America.
The crew finds the Carver alone in an empty office building, furiously coding with his back to them. When he spins around, we see he’s just a teen, and it soon becomes apparent that he’ll embody the trope of “snooty, precocious kid who makes adults feel bad about themselves.” In other words, he’ll force us to re-live the summers we spent as a day camp counselor for six-year-olds.
“I did think you’d be younger, what are you, 25?” the Carver asks Richard. Richard says he’s 26. “Yikes,” the Carver replies.
After some quick negotiation — wherein Richard proves himself threatened by the young programmer — the Carver promises Pied Piper he can churn out the coding they need in a single weekend. “I pound Mello Yello, Oreos, and Adderall, and I don’t sleep ’till I’m done,” he says.
Next, more kidz! On the way home, Erlich rudely rejects two little boys trying to raise money for their church group. Don’t forget these kids — they’ll come back.
Back at the house, Gilfoyle introduces the team to his Satanist girlfriend, Tara, who seems way too hot to be dating a guy whose hair is as long and greasy as Gilfoyle’s. The men are stunned, and stand there blinking awkwardly until the couple leaves the room. “I’d have sex with that if you hosed the Gilfoyle off of her,” Erlich proclaims.
That Friday, Richard and the Carver start working together. Normally we get irritated by Richard’s pathetic, perpetual state of weakness, but we actually feel sorry for him as the Carver starts obnoxiously criticizing Richard for the way he presses his lips together too tightly. We wish we could give Richard a hug and watch uplifting hamster videos with him.
Now, from the get-go, we’ve been vying for a steamy Dinesh-Gilfoyle hook-up. What other than sexual tension could explain their constant bickering, we ask you? So we were excited when a strange, sex-related Gilfoyle-Dinesh subplot started taking shape. Gilfoyle informs Dinesh that he’s into compersion, or deriving pleasure from watching your loved one have sex with someone else. He tells Dinesh he can have sex with Tara, if he wants.
Of course, the ever self-absorbed Erlich is upset — he can’t possibly understand why Tara would want to sleep with Dinesh over him. He asks Dinesh if he’s sure Tara didn’t mean she wanted to fuck a danish.
Meanwhile, Jared goes to Peter Gregory’s office to verify the Carver’s payment. Here, the show’s sole female character, Monica, tells Jared about Arallon, the island Peter Gregory’s building in the middle of the ocean. When they’re done, she tells Jared that Peter’s car will drive him home. When Jared goes outside, he discovers it’s one of those terrifying self-driving cars. He tentatively gets in the back seat.
Things are going fine until the car overwrites its original destination and decides it’s going to drive to Arallon instead. There’s nothing Jared can do to stop it, despite calling Monica, and frantically yelling, “Mr. Car?!!!”. The car drives itself to a loading dock and enters a metal crate, which then gets loaded onto a massive ship. Jared is trapped inside. “103 hours until destination,” the car says. “Entering sleep mode.” Bye Jared.
Back at home, Gilfoyle and Tara invite Dinesh and Erlich to the Satanic baptism of a Yahoo employee. At the ceremony, Erlich concludes that Tara must be into Dinesh because she worships ugly things. Dinesh is pissed.
So is Richard, when he returns from an Oreo run to find the Carver quivering under the desk. The supposed programming whiz admits he accidentally overwrote the data schema (that’s tech speak for “destroyed everything Richard had to live for”). The Carver reveals he never actually hacked Bank of America — he used to work there, and accidentally took down their systems, just like he’s done with Pied Piper.
“I should not have eaten all that Satanist chicken,” a horrified Dinesh utters.
The Carver works on fixing the problem, until he runs out of Adderall, which Jared was supposed to be fetching for him. Too bad Jared’s locked in a crate in the middle of the ocean with no cell service.
After the Carver tells Richard that half the kids in Palo Alto are on the drug, Richard seeks out the kids Erlich snapped at earlier in the episode. He buys some pills from their leader, Caleb.
In his bedroom, Dinesh assembles a pros and cons list about sleeping with Tara. The cons include “knowing I’ve been where Gilfoyle’s been,” and “Gilfoyle knowing I’ve been where Gilfoyle’s been.” The lone pro? “Ejaculation.” All the while, Elrich continues, without success, to court Tara — culminating in him presenting himself to her in a seriously tight Speedo. She’s not interested.
Meanwhile, the pills Richard bought from Caleb weren’t actually Adderall. When he returns to try to get some real Adderall, Caleb slaps him in the face and tells him to “get the fuck out of here” — the second time this episode that Richard’s been owned by someone who’s practically half his age.
When Erlich finds out what happens, he enters mama bear mode and seeks out the kids who wronged Richard. “You just brought piss to a shit fight,” he growls, before punching Caleb — a ten-year-old — in the face, and throwing his bike into a shrubbery. Then he threatens to kill his mother, rape his father, and curb-stomp his face if he doesn’t get them some real Adderall.
Evidently deciding the prospect of ejaculation trumps all possible cons, Dinesh approaches Tara and tells her he’d love to have sex with her. She has no clue what he’s talking about, and summons Gilfoyle. Gilfoyle doesn’t have any idea what Dinesh is talking about, either, and deduces he must have been really high when he made the initial offer.
Energized by the adrenaline of beating up children, Erlich rushes in and presents himself to Tara, too. Everyone realizes it was all a big misunderstanding, and we question what the purpose of this bizarre subplot was, besides offering a humorous reprieve from all that talk about cloud computing.
Richard and the Carver are able to fix the Carver’s mistakes. The Carver promises he won’t tell anyone he ever worked for Pied Piper, but still demands they pay him $20,000. “You’ll have to talk to Jared about that,” Richard says.
LOL, remember Jared? He finally gets to Arallon, only to discover that there’s nary a single human on the entire, stupid island — everything is operated by robots. The human body can go about a week without fresh water. We give Jared 48 hours.
The hilarity of the episode is marred by one extremely sad note — the absence of Peter Gregory. The actor who plays the billionaire investor, Christopher Evan Welch, tragically died of lung cancer shortly after shooting Silicon Valley’s fifth episode. Easily the best character on the show (remember the sesame seeds episode?!), he’ll be greatly missed.
Stay tuned to find out if the team can finish their coding before TechCrunch Disrupt, and if Jared ever finds his way off that godforsaken robot island.