From the very first episode of Silicon Valley, we got a sense of the show’s tendency to delve into the absurdities of humor. That aspect is in full force in this episode as most of the subplots enter borderline ridiculous territory. And yet somehow, in the cacophony of all the madness, the episode manages to be fairly entertaining, even downright hysterical at times.
We deal with three storylines this episode encompassing the main characters. Richard gets stuck implementing code for the cloud and has to hire a famed hacker known as “Carver” who in reality, turns out to be a cocky kid named “Kevin”. Jared is out to get Peter Gregory’s signature for some documents when he has a horrible misadventure with a self-driving car. And Gilfoyle’s girlfriend Tara (Milana Vayntrub) arrives on the scene, making everyone somewhat uncomfortable and a few men horny.
All of these subplots are over-the-top in a certain sense, and conclude with even exaggerated developments. Whether it’s the “genius prodigy kid” suddenly beginning to screw up things or the driverless car changing its destination abruptly, it appears things are going fine when one instant they are not. It gives everyone plenty of room to play around and flex their characters; even someone like T. J. Miller’s raucious Erlich Bachman gets his moment in the sun when his abrasiveness comes to use in threatening a kid who was acting up to Richard (how heartwarming was that).
We also get some sense of how the show is handling Peter Gregory. Clearly Christopher Evan Welch’s demise should eventually factor into the show somehow but since they made the decision to avoid recasting, they’ll continue to show him off-screen until it’s time to accept his on-screen demise. Monica continues to be the more one-note person here and while last week’s episode had her growing into some sort of support-system for Richard (even hinting at a romance between the two), she does little more than serve a guest appearance.
The sequences with Kevin are quite funny, as are those with Jared. And Dinesh’ subplot has a hint of spark as well when he uses the Agile Scrum board and begins weighing the pros and cons of a certain proposal using sticky notes akin to user stories. It’s a clever bit of geekdom masquerading as a plot point and it’s going to be a highly satisfying rewatch if the show continues to maintain its deadpan razor-sharp humor (spoiler: it does).
Yet again, another enjoyable episode from Mike Judge’s team. Perhaps a bit underwhelming compared to the serious high that the last episode hit but still an entertaining, watchable outing that sets the stage for the startup showdown, now that Techcrunch Disrupt is approaching.
Silicon Valley Season 1 Episode 6 Rating: 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.