Silicon Valley 1.04 Review: “Fiduciary Duties”

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When the pilot of Silicon Valley first aired, my only complaint about it (aside from the show’s total lack of prominent female characters which really hasn’t changed at all) was that the character of Erlich really didn’t possess many positive qualities. He wasn’t funny, he wasn’t a good friend to Richard, and he frankly just didn’t bring anything to the show or the story that made me care about him.

Fortunately, over its past couple of episodes, Silicon Valley has been making a case for why Erlich is so crucial to the show. His vision quest in last week’s episode is the funniest sequence the young series has produced yet, and in tonight’s installment, “Fiduciary Duties,” Silicon Valley further proves Erlich’s merit by having him use his talent for making things up to help Richard nail his meeting with Peter Gregory, as the two of them pitch their vision for Pied Piper.

Ultimately, what tonight’s Silicon Valley does is not only garner Erlich a place on the board of Pied Piper but also earn him a spot as a now instrumental character on the series. Throughout the show’s first four episodes, while I have previously enjoyed the antics of Gilfoyle and Danesh more than almost anything Erlich has done, he illustrates tonight that he actually has the most to offer to the company due to one main reason: he’s been there. Erlich might not have been in Richard’s position ever, sitting on what could possibly be a company worth billions of dollars, but he’s the most in touch with the tech world and how it operates; he can talk to people, pitch them ideas, and get things done, a quality that Richard most certainly does not possess as evidenced by his cartoonish vomiting at the end of tonight’s episode.

Even though Richard’s our protagonist on Silicon Valley, the series isn’t afraid to show just how much “game” he really lacks, not only with regard to women but also with how to run a company. He’s a character that has good intentions and smart ideas but, for the most part, fails to put them into practice. Suggesting that Erlich be a board member may have initially been a drunken mistake made by Richard at Peter Gregory’s ridiculous toga party (more on that below), but by the end of the episode, Silicon Valley shows us how it’s actually one of the best decisions he’s made yet, and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out moving forward.

Other thoughts:

One other important development I forgot to mention from tonight’s episode: Big Head has been taken off the Nucleus project and has now joined the rest of the inactive circle at Hooli whose idea for fun is sitting around on the roof and walking to Arby’s for lunch. We can already see Big Head getting a little stir crazy throughout “Fiduciary Duties,” and I wonder if this will lead him back to Richard and the gang or off the show by the end of the first season.

– Peter Gregory’s toga party is absolutely insane and features hired actors and actresses pretending to be interested in people so that they will start up conversation with them and keep the atmosphere lively. Peter Gregory also introduces the party’s main performer, Flo Rida, as “Florida” at his toga party. It’s a simple, easy joke, but I kind of loved it.

– Another great thing about Peter Gregory: his awkward laugh after Erlich says, “Dropbox is winning but when it comes to video and audio files, they might as well be called Dripbox.”

– “Being around angry people relaxes me because I know where I stand.” I think Jared may be my favorite character on Silicon Valley right now.

– One joke that didn’t land for me during this episode: Erlich “accidentally” dressing like Steve Jobs. Felt like Silicon Valley was trying too hard to get some laughs there.

-“I’m McConaugh-classing.”

What did everyone else think of tonight’s episode of Silicon Valley? 

[Photo via  Jaimie Trueblood/HBO]


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