Silicon Valley 1.08 Review: “Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency”

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Now that’s how you end a season. Even though its first season was only eight episodes, Silicon Valley proved over its short run just how great of a show this is when it’s firing on all cylinders. Tonight’s finale, “Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency,” fully displayed Silicon Valley at its funniest, weirdest, and most celebratory.

When I reviewed the first episode of Silicon Valley back when it premiered in April, I said that one of the things that I liked best about the series was that it was, essentially, an underdog story—a show about these nerdy, neurotic guys as they tried to maneuver their way through the tech world and find success in the industry. In its finale, Silicon Valley provided its characters with quite a bit of success to be happy about, as Pied Piper (after Richard restructured the entire program) reaches a 5.2 on the Weisman scale, almost double what Hooli is able to get with Nucleus.

For a moment there, it looks like Richard is going to be a multi-millionaire with a date all planned out with Monica. It’s all almost too perfect. However, what makes everything come together so nicely, and makes me so excited for next season, is that final scene between Richard and Monica, where she lays out how much more there still is to come for him, and Richard, naturally, responds by running outside and vomiting. It brings everything full circle, a callback to Richard’s first panic attack during the bidding war between Gavin Belson and Peter Gregory in the pilot.

In short, the best way to describe “Optimal Tip-to-Tip” is balance—a balance of success versus failure for Pied Piper, a balance of development in Monica and Richard’s relationship (tension between them can start, but nothing more just yet), and a balance of comedy between the show’s cast. Everyone, from Richard to Erlich to my favorite character, Jared, has a moment in the finale where they had me roaring with laughter (“Most missing children are never found!”). More importantly, though, it’s when all the guys come together (to diagram just exactly what Erlich would do to every single man in the room during their presentation) that Richard has his breakthrough. Although Silicon Valley has mainly been a story about Richard, told through his eyes, with this scene, the show’s writers also showcase how important the rest of the characters are—as being the funny dudes that make us laugh but also as integral members of the Pied Piper team and Richard’s friends.

Ultimately, this first season of Silicon Valley acted as a taste of the potential that the series has, as an appetizer to all the hilarious, dramatic, and just straight up goofy stuff that Mike Judge and company have in store for season two. The underdog story of Richard and the Pied Piper gang is only getting started, but as the conclusion to its first chapter, Silicon Valley’s season finale was fantastic and definitely solidified the show, for me, as this year’s best comedy.

Other thoughts:

- “And we have Shakira!” Hooli’s over-the-topness will never stop being funny.

- Jared, as I said in my review, is by far my favorite character on the show. His sleep deprived antics throughout the entire episode were pure comedy gold. “Very interested, somewhat interested, or not interested at all?”

- And that’s a wrap for season one of Silicon Valley. Thanks to everyone who has read or commented on these reviews. I’ve really loved writing about this how and am looking forward to continuing to do so when it returns.

What did everyone else think of the season finale of Silicon Valley? How did you like the first season overall? 

[Photo via HBO]

Chris is a graduate of Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, where he majored in English and Film. He has been writing for TVOvermind for two years and has written about several different television shows, such as New Girl, Breaking Bad, Glee, and Homeland. Along with writing for TVOvermind, Chris also writes for two of our sister sites, Uncoached and Worthly. Contact him through Twitter (@ckinger13).
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