NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Silicon Valley” are present in this review
Silicon Valley continued on a very strong note this week, in the wake of PiperChat being sold to Gavin Belson, and as you can imagine, that sale carried big consequences! “Intellectual Property” kicked off with a bombshell, and only got funnier and more intriguing from there, as we see a big change being made at Hooli, while Erlich pivots Jian-Yang’s proposed seafood app into a much more promising idea that gets positive attention from seeders.
It turns out that Dinesh’s major blunder might have resulted in a huge boon for the Pied Piper crew, as Gavin is called in to a board meeting at Hooli, with his security credentials having been removed, and Jack having to let him in. Yes, in a seemingly impossible turn, Gavin has been fired from Hooli, with the C.O.P.P.A. violation being the straw that broke the camel’s back. We don’t get to see the immediate aftermath of this, though Gavin’s last day proves to be one full of just desserts, as his employees have nothing to say to him, before he’s ushered off of the property and left with nothing but his estate and fortune. It’s a very anti-climactic end, and in a way, that’s what hurts this antagonist most of all.
Richard, meanwhile, is continuing to struggle with the concept of his revised internet plan. Now manic and sleep-deprived, Richard started becoming more twitchy and annoying than ever this week, now hyped up on coffee, and appearing out of his mind. The guys taking shots at Richard and his futile efforts to plead that he is still quite sane was pretty amusing on this note, especially as Richard’s efforts of justifying his sanity only make him look crazier.
Eventually though, Richard does make serious headway while doing some grocery shopping with Monica, when she lets slip that the late Peter Gregory was toying with a similar idea as Richard many years ago. This leads to Richard going into Peter’s old inventory and finding the notes, which allows him to solve the problem that he’d been struggling with for so long!… Until a major complication is made known. Turns out, Richard failed to notice a patent number, which was later picked up by Jared. Guess who owns the patent. Yes, it’s none other than Gavin Belson! After an enraged (and hilarious!) reaction to this news, Richard has no choice but to go up to Gavin’s front door right at the very end of the episode, prepared to beg his arch-nemesis for a license so that he can develop his technology.
There were also quite a few other story developments in this episode, and if I’m being honest, it did sometimes feel a little overstuffed. At the same time as Gavin’s firing, Richard having a breakthrough, and Jack replacing Gavin as Hooli’s CEO, we also get separate storylines with Erlich and Jian-Yang, Dinesh and Big Head, with Monica also returning alongside Raviga, and a surprisingly pregnant Laurie. Yes, amidst all of the numerous developments in this episode, Laurie is inexplicably pregnant, which is not explained, at least not at this point. Still, it is nice to see Raviga back in the picture, after they seemed to be pushed into the background for most of Season Four up to this point.
The other biggest storyline of this episode came via Erlich and Jian-Yang, after a seemingly disastrous pitch meeting for Jian-Yang’s ‘Octopus’ app, which is soon declared to be, “Seefood” by Erlich, an app that acts like Shazam, only for food instead of music. This pivot has seeders giving Jian-Yang funding, with Raviga even poaching the deal, even though the initial Raviga representative drops the Seefood app on Monica’s lap, after Jian-Yang admits that they are nowhere near being able to realize a live demo. The Seefood app feels like the delayed excuse to continue making Raviga a persistent part of Silicon Valley this season, though as I said previously, the idea of Jian-Yang having a larger part on the show is definitely a promising prospect.
The subplots with Dinesh and Big Head were smaller in scope, and didn’t necessarily need to be in this episode, though at least they still did a pretty good job of keeping the laughs coming. Big Head decides to go back to school, and while initially rejected, he is eventually made a guest lecturer at Stanford. This is fairly funny, especially since Big Head has yet again found another way to have an impossibly great opportunity land on his lap.
Dinesh, meanwhile, is also finding himself very lucky this week, as he meets a woman named Mia, who he initially believes might be Gavin out to catfish him, only to later learn that she is a real woman who is genuinely attracted to him, and also happens to be an online nemesis of Gilfoyle’s. While the two initially seem to have nothing to talk about on their first date, they eventually bond over a mutual hatred of Gilfoyle, and even have sex afterward! Looks like Dinesh finally got his cherry popped, but as usual, Gilfoyle finds a way to turn it around on him, as he warns Dinesh that he can never break up with Mia, or even disappoint her, since she’s a dangerous hacker that will rip apart his assets without a second thought. Looks like Dinesh had better be on his best behaviour throughout his brand new relationship!
“Intellectual Property” felt like it was rushing to push forward many story arcs all at once, which sometimes had it feeling a bit scattered, but at least it represents lots of nice forward movement for Season Four of Silicon Valley. Like I said, the Dinesh and Big Head subplots didn’t necessarily need to be in this week’s episode, but at least they helped supplement some already potent laughs from the other storylines. The heavily revised role for Gavin, and the Seefood app from Erlich and Jian-Yang that Monica has now been saddled with, are the two story elements that seem to contain the most promise among these developments. Even after being fired from Hooli, Gavin still finds a way to be an ever-present thorn in Richard’s side. Even if Richard does get his license, will he ever be able to trust his invention when he knows that it has to be approved by his greatest enemy?
- Gavin's unceremonious firing from Hooli
- Richard cracking his big problem, and running into a bigger one
- Jian-Yang's app getting Raviga's involvement
- Storytelling is a bit overstuffed and scattered