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Silicon Valley - Tech Evangelist - Review: "PiperNet"



Silicon Valley 5.04 "Tech Evangelist" - Review:
Directed by Jamie Babbit & Written by Josh Lieb

One of the worries that I had with Silicon Valley is that they might be tempted to drag the identity of the mole out to create some more forced drama between the four main characters, with Dinesh taking the heavy end of it due to his connection with Jeff. But that was thankfully not the case as Tech Evangelist sidestepped that problem by having Jared and Gilfoyle pretty much find out the identity of the mole as soon as possible. Jared's long-winded explanation of how they did it led to the revelation of Jeff, who had "exploited our most glaring weakness," according to Gilfoyle.

That was of course going to be Dinesh, who was singing along to The Human League's "Don't You Want Me Baby" before rudely being interrupted. Gilfoyle takes out the anger of Jeff being the spy on his laptop, not caring that it was Dinesh's in the process. Richard is quick to let Jeff know of how much trouble he's in, resulting in not only firing but a potential lawsuit. However, he does have an alternative that would keep Jeff on the team in order to keep Hoover in the dark, allowing to feed him false information without the knowledge that the mole had been revealed. And to make matters worse for Jeff, Dinesh uses his situation to take advantage of him and blackmails him into spending time with him.

The mole plot was almost secondary this week. Richard had gathered the eight CEOs that were the first ones to sign up for his project "Octopipers" - together that were part of his new internet project outside of the office in the one place where people of their generation don't normally go, a bocce ball court swarming with the elderly. It's the perfect place to avoid the mole finding out what they're up to. Richard then goes one step further to reveal that his new internet is now live - and it's called "PiperNet." There is a slight friction between Richard and one of the CEOs in the form of DeeDee, who runs an LGBTQ-exclusive dating app called First Sight, and DeeDee ends up asking if the site's exclusivity is upsetting. Richard doesn't make the situation any better for himself when he is uncomfortable with being hugged by DeeDee.

Tech Evangelist dealt a lot on the subject of religion this week, treating it how another show would handle the topic of an LGBTQ character coming out. DeeDee being a Christian was something that was let slip by Richard during a meeting with K-Hole, an organization that is apparently well-regarded in the gaming world and by Laurie and Richard - who Laurie can even see dancing through the phone in celebration at getting K-Hole to join them. DeeDee ends up running off after the news is broken upset as being outed as a Christian, which is something that even Jared agrees is not Richard's finest moment. Gilfoyle isn't the biggest religious figure but he too takes issue with Richard's handling of the situation, and now that K-Hole's Colin knows about DeeDee being a Christian, he's ready to call the whole thing off and not join PiperNet at all.

DeeDee goes one step further and creates a gay dating site for Christians, which Richard believes he can't have on his new internet as it would mean losing K-Hole. DeeDee ends up heading to Jian-Yang when he's rejected by Richard, playing against our expectations as I was half expecting he'd end up going to Gavin.

Speaking of Gavin, Gavin still hasn't noticed anything about the penis on box design and we get a brilliant gag here about Gavin making a metaphor which proclaims that "The Bear is sticky with honey" that leads to Gavin's men misinterpreting it completely and bringing in a real-life bear. Gavin's storyline may not be connected massively to Pied Piper's this season, but it hasn't shied away from giving us some pretty fun scenes like this one here. But despite all the effort that Gavin is putting into his presentation, his Box 3 will end up becoming obsolete just as soon as Richard gets around to launching Pied Piper.

Jian-Yang has created a bunch of new ideas that are essentially Chinese ripoffs of more famous companies, including Pied Piper. He wants to know why seeing as Richard is coming up with his new internet, why can't Jian-Yang come up with his own, new-new internet? His 10% ownership in the company is proving to be a persistent thorn in Richard's side. One thing that Jian Yang isn't aware of however is Erlich's yellow car that he shows up to taunt Richard with is in fact the same car that Russ Hanneman pissed in after mistakenly believing it to be Richard's in episode six of season four, "Customer Service". Rather than drive away, Jian-Yang promptly decides to leave it parked across multiple spaces.

But Jian-Yang's ten per cent ownership of the company isn't going to be a problem for much longer as Richard goes to see Bighead once he learns that the car isn't actually registered under Erlich. Thanks to an all-too convenient backdoor, Bighead actually finds out that he, not Jian-Yang, is eligible for the 10% as he is legally Erlich's next of kin. Jian-Yang promptly decides to take his New Pied Piper knockoff company with him back to China, leaving Richard and the group behind in his wake, also giving them their old house back.

And this is where it gets a bit frustrating. As much as I'm enjoying Silicon Valley, the chance to move out of their own house after spending the past four seasons in it was something that I kind of wish they'd have stuck with. But now it looks more likely that the team will end up moving back in now that Jian-Yang has moved out. It's perhaps a bit too soon to judge, tonight's episode will probably give us a bit more resolution in that regard about what happens to their old house, but this feels like something that should have been avoided.

But regardless, Tech Evangelist was another effective episode with plenty of amusing moments throughout, even if its reliance on deus-ex-machina proved to be something of a problem. But it is Silicon Valley after all, there has to be at least one deus-ex-machina moment per season or else it simply isn't Silicon Valley. With four episodes left to go, the season sadly ends at eight episodes rather than ten - much like its first season which had a similiar episode count, there isn't much time left in this season now that we've essentially reached the halfway point. Thankfully Silicon Valley is to be renewed for another season, so it looks like we're not quite done with the adventures of Richard and co. just yet - despite the rumours that season six may well end up being the last.

What did you think ofSilicon Valley's latest episode, Tech Evangelist? Let me know in the comments below and catch the next episode tonight on HBO.


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