Silicon Valley – Fifty-One Percent

We’ve finally come to it, the launch of Pipernet. Richard is dressed as the Pied Piper and has insisted on taking a group picture to commemorate the historic event.

Two months later and everything has seemingly turned to shit. The office is practically empty and is much darker. A bearded Dinesh runs into a bearded Richard’s office explaining something good has finally happened to them: Users have reached an inflection point. Richard gathers the team for a celebration, announcing they are gaining almost 12,000 users an hour. At the party he thanks the seven developers who stayed loyal to them, especially after K-Hole Games bailed at the last minute.

Silicon Valley
Photo Source: Silicon Valley, HBO

Laurie assumes management of Hooli’s former factory in China. She and the owner, Yao, have produced tons of smartphones and are manually signing each one onto the Pied Piper network. Yao notes Pied Piper won’t know until it’s too late to stop their plan.

Back at the party, Richard runs into K-Hole’s CEO, Colin, who tells him that Laurie’s fired him, even though he followed her orders — including bailing on Pied Piper. Colin tells him that he’s been working on a new game and needs a platform for it. Launching on Pipernet would give the network 80,000 instant users. It’s a win-win deal. Despite the promise of new users, Richard isn’t willing to forgive Colin and rejects his offer and tells Colin to “Kiss my piss”.

Monica tells Gilfoyle she’s noticed Pipercoin value has remained stagnant despite the user increase. The two work all night and find an eighth unknown developer is signing up thousands of users. Monica notes that without an access key, someone would need access to the actual software to sign people up. Only one person has this besides the developers: Jian-Yang.

Silicon Valley
Photo Source: Silicon Valley, HBO

Upon calling Jian-Yang and him demanding to be allowed to move back into the house, they learn that Laurie invested $200 million in Yao’s company after it purchased Jian-Yang’s knock-off Pied Piper code. Gilfoyle and Dinesh suddenly realize it’s a “51 percent attack”: No one controls the decentralized internet, but the entity with the majority of users can rewrite the rules of the space and delete Pied Piper’s users. When Richard returns to the house, the guys break the news that Yao and Laurie currently have 45 percent of users, and it’s growing every hour. Panicking Richard tries to reach Colin but gets his voicemail. He leaves a voicemail apology in hopes of getting his 80,000 users.

In another act of extreme desperation, Richard approaches Gavin and proposes a way for him to get revenge on Yao. Richard would grant the Signature Box III users access to Pipernet, preventing Yao from reaching 51 percent, but inadvertently giving majority share to Gavin in the process. Gavin then uses his advantage against Pied Piper and strikes a deal with Yao and Laurie: a partnership with Hooli and a 20 percent stake in their venture in exchange for eliminating Pied Piper. Yao and Laurie agree and order all the phones in the factory turned off.

Dinesh and Jared go searching for Colin and finally find him in a campground, playing video games in his trailer. Despite being “off the grid,” Colin agrees to help them. Dinesh finally gets his dream and puts the Tesla in “ludicrous mode” to get back to the Pied Piper office in time to save the company.

Silicon Valley
Photo Source: Silicon Valley, HBO

Richard stalls Gavin by pretending to offer him a deal: Take complete control of Pied Piper instead of partnering with the “knock-off version.” Naturally, Gavin wants the power and takes the bait. When Richard hands him the “contract” wrote, Gavin finds the paper to only say, “Kiss my piss”. In the meantime, Gilfoyle gets Colin’s users on the network, securing the 51 percent majority for Pipernet.

The team celebrates their win over Gavin, Laurie and Yao, and a slight increase in Piper Coin value. Mirroring the beginning of the season, Monica takes the guys on a tour of their new offices. To Richard’s surprise, they are upgrading to a huge space with multiple floors to house the hundreds of developers they need to hire. The season ends with looking at the huge building and Richard throwing up.

Silicon Valley
Photo Source: Silicon Valley, HBO

My favorite moment of the episode comes to when Dinesh and Jared are looking for Colin. Someone yells at them for shouting and Jared, in a rare moment of uncontrollable rage, tells the guys that he will kill him. It was so out of character and he immediately apologized for it.

This was a great way to end the season. I really enjoyed the fact that during those two months time where we don’t know what is going on, that we are told that nothing good has happened to them in those two months. In true fashion, they showed that not everything was going to go their way and they had to outsmart the everyone else.

I am curious what they are going to do with Gavin next season, however. In a meeting with the Hooli board members, he was told they were leaning towards selling the company to Amazon and that Gavin would be fired. So assuming that happens it will be interesting to see where he goes next season. It’s Gavin Belson so I am sure he will think of some way to slink back in somehow.

Also, in a random heartfelt moment for Gilfoyle, towards the end of the episode, he tells Monica that he likes her. He then goes on to clarify that he meant it in a platonic way, but now am I sitting over here trying to think of ship names for Gilfoyle and Monica. Gilica? MonFoyle? I don’t know. Nothing will probably come from it, but it’s definitely something fun to think about.

What did you think about the episode? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @NilesHougaboom and be sure to check out The Game of Nerds for your other nerdy needs.

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Author: nileshougaboom

Twitter - @NilesHougaboom Instagram - @NilesHougaboom

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