Sunday, April 30, 2017

Silicon Valley recap: Season 4, Episode 2, "Terms of Service"

In this week's episode of Silicon Valley, Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) takes about a minute to transition from underdog to overlord as PiperChat's new CEO, getting high on his own hot air. But it only takes him another minute to come back to earth, in a crash landing so humiliating and terrifying it even satisfies the perpetually disgruntled Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), whose rivalry with Dinesh is so deep he'd rather see Dinesh fail than see his own company succeed.

Fortunately for the PiperChat team, if not for the young girls who're power-using their app, Gavin (Matt Ross) is eager, as always, to gobble up anything of value the team produces. But “Terms of Service” recognizes Gavin's greed as its own punishment this time around. Dinesh had planned to fold the company, after learning that PiperChat is, as Jared (Zach Woods) puts it, “basically a Sizzler buffet for the sexually deranged.” But Gavin's obnoxiously aggressive approach changes his mind, and he decides to let Gavin have his albatross, which may be big enough to cripple even Hooli.

That negotiation is played out again, on a smaller and more absurd scale, in would-be strongman Bachman's (T.J. Miller) deal with Jian-Yang (Jimmy O. Yang). Like Gavin, Bachman is buying a pig in a poke, so his “win” is really a loss. Then again, given how little anybody knows about what will take fire in the tech business (not to mention how many Chinese users there are on the Internet), Jian-Yang's app may have as good a chance of going viral as anything else. And hey, at least Bachman gets to use the “proper” plural of “hard-on” while he's making his deal. Read the rest in Slant Magazine

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