Silicon Valley Season 2 Episode 4 Review: The Lady
Pied Piper hires a female programmer to amusing results.
Silicon Valley has traditionally been the domain of guys but that doesn’t mean every now and then, women can’t kick butt. That’s kind of what happened as Pied Piper hired their first female (programmer) who turned out to be a far better candidate than any of the other prospectives. All of this while Gavin Belson continues orchestrating his takedown of PP on his own terms while Russ gets a somewhat diminished role this episode.
Carla Walton adds a spunk, vibrant energy to the proceedings and looks like just the right kind of coder to challenge Dinesh and Gilfoyle in their own game. A mere one liner about her working with VP9 ABR and WebRTC tech is enough to convince Richard, Jared and us that she’s the right person. There’s some fun to be had with how much salary and equity she’s being offered and whether it’s more than the company’s “founding coders”. She messes with them by making it appear as if she’s being paid a whole lot to some humorous results.
Gavin meanwhile has taken a different approach to ensuring he wins in his Pied Piper lawsuit. Hellbent on proving it was founded in his company, he promotes Nelson “Bighead” Bagetti for no reason, merely to enforce his involvement and role in Pied Piper being responsible for his success at Hooli. Bighead (or Baghead, as Gavin mistakenly dubs him) is enjoying a lavish life for no particular reason and that comes across as one of the show’s underused subplots at this time. Hopefully, his new position should incite more, elongated laughs, for there’s so much potential in an employee on bench.
Russ is thankfully delegated to the backseat; the showrunners realize overdoing his character could become weary and tiresome. He does demo his “Lady”, a blatant rip-off of Siri (could be just that), another long-running gag of how Silicon Valley tends to be the place where clones abound amid the original ideas. The Lady as a title, in fact is a nice double entendre to both Russ’ demo and Alice Wetterlund’s Carla though I’d wager its more for the latter. Erlich siding with Russ to spend $30,000 in the board meeting is also in line with his character’s overt eagerness to impress Russ, though that ends up costing him in other ways.
As cocky as Erlich is, he does tend to get some matters of human judgment right. We’re witness to this when he warns about a programmer named Jared being a fisher, in that he just ships around for the best job offer. Ultimately, Erlich’s premonition comes true and he ditches Pied Piper before Richard could even dismiss him. It’s not wrong in being a fisher, it’s just that Richard wasn’t able to spot one, what with his terrible understanding of the human psyche. Pied Piper definitely needs an HR to help in matters of tackling people. After all, how long can Jared go on imposing codes of conduct and behavior and changing his name to “OJ” to avoid confusion with the new to-be-hired Jared, the fisher?
Overall, another fun episode of Silicon Valley whose sole substantial contribution in the grand scheme of things was Carla. Her work on P2P using WebRTC to take the load off servers and utilize user’s bandwidth is exactly the kind of thing that could help decentralize Pied Piper and take it to a whole new level in future episodes. I’ll refrain from getting into those discussions; suffice to say, this could prove to be a pivotal plot point.
Silicon Valley Season 2 Episode 4 Review: 8 out of 10
I’m doing individual episode reviews of HBO’s Silicon Valley in light of the upcoming final Season 6. While I’ve seen Seasons 1-4 before, I’m still writing with a fresh perspective, keeping references to future episodes down to a minimum.