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Silicon Valley - Intellectual Property & Teambuilding Exercise - Double Review: "See Food"

Silicon Valley 4.03: "Intellectual Property" - Review:
Directed by Jamie Babbit & Written by Carrie Kemper

Intellectual Property proved to be a good character study as he was experiencing problems with his dedication to his work. He can't remember the last time he slept, and is walking into the swimming pool constantly, and becoming insufferably annoying to his doctor to the point where he decides to mention that after Alan Turing was chemically castrated, he apparently got less annoying, which he believes that Richard should give it a try. It's not good to be Richard right now, who is suffering from overwork and is not getting any results at all. Until Monica gives him a potential lead from Peter Gregory, who it turns out was experiencing a similiar idea to that of Richard's, an open internet. Thankfully for Richard Peter was a compulsive note-taker, forcing him to enlist Monica to help him and Jared get the information that Richard needs.

This was very much the main plot of this episode that also addressed the fallout from Hooli's acquisition of Piper Chat and the problem that developed from its user base. It turns out that Jack Barker has hypothetically came up with a way to erase the user base of Piper Chat's clients and put Hooli back on the right track, but Jack neglected, at least initially, to mention to Gavin that he would be firing Gavin after Gavin's harsh treatment of Jack. To make matters worse for Gavin, his goodbye speech doesn't go down well, as he opens up feedback to the group on his time at Hooli. Not a single person can offer even any response at all, positive or negative, and one would rather walk out of the room than speak to him. Gavin's left bitter and is escorted off the premises, with his access card removed as well as a sign that saw his parking space reserved. Jack turned around this development incredibly quickly, proving just how bad of an idea it is to double cross him. Now in charge of Hooli, Jack has the potential to take it in a brand new direction.

Back at home, the gang learn of Gavin's firing which was caused by their sale of Piper Chat. It turns out that Dinesh gets an email from a girl named Mia who wants to meet with him, impressed that Dinesh took down Gavin. Gilfoyle warns him that he could be getting catfished and Gavin could be looking for revenge. It was quite amusing as well seeing Gilfoyle question what Dinesh should be more worried about, saying that he's got his priorities wrong, and he shouldn't be worried about Congress at all, but instead Gavin presents a more immediate danger, and he wouldn't be surprised if Dinesh would be the first person to be killed in Silicon Valley by a drone. Dinesh resorts to Jared for reassurance that he won't end up being killed by a revenge-driven Gavin, but Jared can't offer anyone. Saying that it might be worth it if Mia turns out to be an actual girl to go and see her despite the chances of being murdered, Gavin goes anyway, and ends up getting a date. He introduces Mia to Gilfoyle, who they recognise - and it turns out that both Dinesh and Mia have something to bond over after their date starts of awkwardly, their mutual hatred of Gilfoyle.

Dinesh arrives back at the flat the following morning, tired, having had sex with Mia, but now realises a problem when Gilfoyle warns him that she's a hacker, who's good at what she does. This could present a problem if they ever break up in the future, or if when Mia realises that Dinesh is far from badass as he appears, and although Dinesh says that they'll just never break up to avoid that problem, this is only a matter of time before this smoking gun goes off in the background. Seeing Mia introduced represents a potential new threat for Dinesh in the future and it's great to see the show introduce more female characters into the picture, particularly when they're played by Phoebe Neidhardt, who as appeared most notably perhaps as Meg on Scandal and Annie Jones on When We Rise in the past. Speaking of female characters, this was also a good episode for Monica, who has found herself in trouble with the acquisition of Jian Yang's octopus recipe app, sold to new buyers as a "Shazam for food".

It turns out that Jian Yang and Erlich are running out of time. Not only does Ed Chen (Tim Chiou, Code Black, Chicago P.D.) ends up bailing on investing in the app but instead it's fallen into the hands of Monica, who needs it to pay off in order for her to keep her job. This is bad news as Erlich needs help, and not willing to let Big Head in on the team, pleads Dinesh and Gilfoyle for help in making the app. Meanwhile, Big Head decides to turn instead to Stanford, thinking that he's getting enrolled as a student which would make his Dad happy, but he finds out that he's been appointed as a guest lecturer, which requires a lot more work than he would have expected.

And at the end, it all comes back to Richard. A frustrated, angry Richard who has just realised that Peter Gregory's tech advancements fell into the hands of Gavin Belson whose team ended up creating Hooli, and everything that Richard has wanted, is in the hands of Gavin. Distraught, he ends up, despite his claims to sanity, kicks down a cupboard door in frustration. When Jared goes to check on him later only to find out that Richard isn't there at all. It turns out that Richard has in fact, left the house, at least for the moment, to head over to Gavin's. Now that Gavin is out of a job and in need of a new idea, this represents the perfect opportunity for Richard to work with Gavin on a new goal, but Gavin himself is dangerous and unhinged, and this could potentially spell trouble for him, and especially the rest of the team, in the future.

Silicon Valley 4.04: Teambuilding Exercise - Review:
Directed by Jamie Babbit & Written by Megan Pleticha

The second episode of this double review focused around the titular Team Building exercise as the fallout from Richard's revelation that he was now working with Gavin hit. After being initially left bemused by Richard's idea of co-operation, Gavin agrees to sign up to work with Richard when he explains that the technology has advanced to work around his software now. This surprises Gavin who takes interest when he finds out that it could potentially make Hooli and Jack Barker obsolete, allowing him to get revenge on the man who ousted Gavin from the company that he built from the ground up. Richard decides to take this news of a newfound co-operation back to the house where Dinesh, Jared, Erlich and Gilfoyle are waiting for him. Richard wants to explain why he's been gone a week but in true Richard style he's over exaggerating this and has not in fact, been gone for a week, still sleeping in the same bed and leaving the house at mostly normal times. However, when Dinesh explains that he hasn't left the house in six days, that's something that the group take issue with.

Dinesh's lack of leaving the house is not the only thing that the team have taken issue with in this one, and when I say team, more specifically, Jared and Gilfoyle. Gilfoyle hates Gavin to the point where he writes rude, insulting feedback on the forms of people who have been shortlisted. Jared takes a more extreme reaction, getting jealous when Richard starts to look at other companies even if he insists he's more concerned with the company's wellbeing rather than Richard. He decides to take on the role himself and Richard accepts, even if it means working under Gavin. Jared's outburst was one of the highlights of the episode as he explains that he'll kill people and talk them into suicide for Richard, not trusting them at all, to the point where Richard has to ask him whether or not he's actually being serious. If we're talking about spinoff potential, a horror show where Jared becomes a serial killer, going after Gavin's inner circle sounds like something I'd watch, if only because Zach Woods aced this, as he usually does here.

Meanwhile, Sea Food is in trouble. Despite the initial success of their Shazam for Food app, it only identifies what is a hot dog and what isn't. This causes trouble for Erlich when he learns that Jian Yang isn't willing to spend a lifetime searching through pictures of food on the internet so it can work with every food. He wants to live, he tells Erlich. However Erlich says that Jian Yang still owes him the money that they have so until that is spent he can't go, so naturally, Jian Yang spends it on a big, expensive yellow car. Frustrated, Erlich instead turns to Big Head's class, deciding to open up the idea of crowdsourcing the information and getting them to find the pictures of the food. This of course backfires spectacularly for Erlich once the students work out who he is, and they decide that starting their own company seems like the better idea as they will get the results done long before Erlich can on his own, even if he recruits Jian Yang. A frustrated Erlich decides to abandon his shares in the company, giving them to Jian Yang in exchange for the car, but this too backfires when it turns out that Jian Yang's app also has a different use, working out how to identify dick pics, which is apparently, a common problem that Laurie and her company face. Monica is overjoyed however when Laurie talks up Jian Yang's success, think that she's going to be in Laurie's good books, but unfortunately Laurie decides to promote Ed Chen instead, leaving Monica disappointed.

For the most part of this season the group have remained largely on the same page so it was great to see a shakeup of here in the structure of how the dynamic is organized, with multiple players changing faces this chapter. Dinesh is now the only one who is working on the app after Gilfoyle ends up taking the job offer purely because he knows he's the only one who can make sure Richard gets the job done right, and despite Dinesh taunting Gilfoyle for apparently begging for the job, Gilfoyle knows that at least he won't have to look at pictures of dicks for the next year or so. To make matters worse, Dinesh is still trapped in a relationship with a hacker who Gilfoyle is convinced that she knows everything about the house, something made even worse by the fact that Dinesh left his phone with her alone while he went to the bathroom, meaning that Gilfoyle decides to take the house off the grid as she could be anywhere. Dinesh is apparently convinced that she's listening to his every call, so after Gilfoyle tells him what he said about her to him, she's forced to apologise even though Mia may not be listening. He does at least have the comfort in that the app he's working on with Jian Yang has been acquired by Periscope for $4 million.

So these two episodes were another batch of fun installments that saw bad stuff happening to Erlich whilst Richard used his initiative to drive the group in a new direction. It remains to be seen how well the group will get on working with Gilfoyle, and given the series' frequent status quo changes it's highly unlikely that this partnership will last beyond say, three episodes, which would probably be my guess. But it opens it up to an interesting new development and of course it's only a matter of time before Jack Barker works out what they're doing so he could play into things further down the line as well. But for now, it's interesting to know where everyone is at the end of Teambuilding Exercise, and we'll have to wait until the next episode to see where the team goes next. Oh, and to end this episode on an interesting note, See Food was actually an app that really did take place, albeit under a different name, and if you want to learn more about it, it might be worth checking out this article here.

What did you think of Intellectual Property & Teambuilding Exercise? Let me know in the comments section below and check out the next episode of Silicon Valley at 9pm on HBO this Sunday.

About the Author - Milo MJ
Milo is an Arsenal FC supporter and loves TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Justified, Black Sails, The Americans and Person of Interest. He reviews Preacher, Star Wars Rebels, Silicon Valley and Veep for Spoiler TV and will be covering Castle Rock, Counterpart, Krypton, The Mist, Marvel's New Warriors, Rise, Marvel's Runaways, Snowfall, Succession, Star Trek Discovery (which now actually has a trailer!), Trust and Tales From The Crypt. He also contributes to comic reviews on a weekly basis for All-Comic. He also regularly watches and reviews films on Letterboxd, and you can find his ever-changing list of 300 favourite movies here.
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