‘Silicon Valley’ Shows the Unexpected Hilarity of ‘Devaluation’ (TV REVIEW)

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As Silicon Valley becomes increasingly more telling of the real world tech community, the comedians of the series remind us that everything can fall apart in seconds. Last week the boys were thrown a loop with a lawsuit slapped on them at the peak of their success with Pied Piper. This week with “Runaway Devaluation”, we picked up right where we left off.

What does the lawsuit mean for Richard and his dudes? Well right off the bat, we see Laurie now retracting her initial offer to Pied Piper, asking Monica to break the news to the guys. To add insult to injury, Monica employs the “dress modestly” technique to quell the pain. If they don’t find her sexually attractive, they’ll take the news lighter. Or so Laurie has read. As she explains how sorry she and Laurie are, Erlich calls her out. He knows she’s trying to dress dumpy as he’s been broken up with before. But as he and Jared point out, beige is her color. Everyone storms out except for Richard who Monica does her best to advise him on what to do next. “Close quickly,” she says, referring to any deal he can score even with the lawsuit in the wings.

So from our standpoint, Hooli’s lawsuit is unstable. Unless there’s evidence of misconduct on Richard’s part, Hooli has no leg to stand on. In the opening sequence with Richard’s lawyer Ron LaFlamme, there has been no wrong doing, but Hooli still has the upper hand. The fact that the lawsuit exists at all is destroying the reception of Pied Piper. As we saw before, if they were to take too much of an investment for the company they wouldn’t be able to meet expectations. And now with the lawsuit acting as a monkey on their backs they have no sort of leverage. It’s a delicate balance regardless of the circumstances.

Richard and Erlich begin shopping out Pied Piper back to the firms they initially rejected. Just as Monica feared, the companies are aware of what’s going on with the lawsuit. Ultimately Erlich’s antics in the previous episode were their downfall. Even with the lawsuit on hand there would have been a good chance they could have made some sort of deal to keep Pied Piper rolling. As they reach the end of the line, Erlich ultimately gets a taste of his own medicine. Balls on the table, the only offer left. Meanwhile, Dinesh is freaking out because he’s just donated $5,000 of his potential signing offer to his cousin for a new app called “Bro”. Gilfoyle thinks it’s hilarious as Dinesh claims to be the “cool cousin” in his family, but still offers up some advice on how to get out of the whole thing. Jared begins tinkering with the Bro app, trying to figure out the appeal. Really “Bro” is nothing more than a rip off from “Yo,” another app with the same function.

After Dinesh realizes the only way he can succeed in not having to pay out $5,000 to his cousin, he does his best to foil Wajeed’s plans. Instead of letting it go, Wajeed throws a Kickstarter party where Dinesh goes around to each group of hipsters and deceitfully “tells” them what bro means in other languages. His deception is ultimately met with Gilfoyle coming in and donating $500 out of the $1,000 needed to complete the kickstarter. After a quick fight, and some light black mail, both men are screwed. The girl Wajeed has been “screwing” funded the last $500, ensuring an unhappy ending for both Dinesh and Gilfoyle. At this point, no one is having a good day except for Jared who has been “Broing” with a guy at another firm they have yet to be introduced to. Jared then drops the funniest joke of the night, exclaiming, “Get some sleep bros. I’ll set the meeting and uh…find some hoes to prioritize behind you.” Erlich asks if he meant “Bros before Hoes” to which Jared excitedly replies, “It’s sexist but it’s in the name of friendship”.

Jared sets up an appointment to pitch Pied Piper to this other firm. As Richard is explaining its importance, the board begins asking for specific details on how his algorithm works. Richard, happy to have garnered interest, begins explaining in detail. At this point both Erlich and Jared know something fishy is afoot, and take a moment to “go pee”. Erlich declares that the company is brain raping them, and with Jared’s second, he returns to the room for Richard. After explaining what’s happening, they return to the board room only to find that Gilfoyle and Dinesh have continued the presentation without them. As Dinesh makes a crack about stealing the show, Richard, Erlich, and Jared storm back in to take back their information. The scene ends with Erlich literally taking the whole white board with him as he couldn’t erase the information presented fast enough.

At this point it makes sense that they would be vulnerable enough to not see a trap when it’s right in front of them. They’ve gone from the top of the mountain, to subsequently careening back into the valley where they started. As the episode finishes out, Richard goes to talk to Jared about what happened. Jared asserts that he sent the “bro” in questions an angry “bro”, which Richard is interested in as he didn’t realize the program had emotional variability’s. Jared explains that it doesn’t, but that his message will be perceived nonetheless. Richard then gets a call, taking it alone, and acting a little shifty in its duration. He heads to a Mexican restaurant, alone as directed. Upon his arrival we see Gavin, who is eating Mexican food and ready to present Richard with a deal. He won’t drop the suit, it would make him look weak. But, he wants to work with Richard and his team. As Richard quickly mulls it over, he begins to give his answers when a mariachi band approaches the table and begins to perform loudly.

The end scene is quite possibly one of the best endings ever to cliff hang on television. Not only do we have no clue whether or not Richard will accept the deal, but we also watch him sit awkwardly through the mariachi band through the end credits. Gavin continues to eat, and Richard eventually begins to eat salsa. During all of this one can’t help but laugh and bop along to the Tejano music because really, what else is there to do?  I truly hope that next week’s episode opens with the same scene in the same moment as that kind of humor would match the tone of this season. It has nowhere to go but up, and if it holds steady to the reality of the true Silicon Valley, we’ll have an endless story line to look forward to.

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