TV Reviews

Silicon Valley Season 5 Episode 8: Fifty-One Percent Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: The launch of PiperNet finds Monica suspicious of an early success, and the team must race against the clock as their future is threatened. Realizing he’s made more enemies than friends, Richard makes a surprising move. (HBO)

Writer: Alec Berg

Director: Alec Berg

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 29mins

Airs: Sundays at 10pm on HBO Canada (Canada)/HBO (United States)

The best season of Silicon Valley so far ends with the best episode so far.

The episode starts with the launch of PiperNet followed by a time jump to 2 months later where they were finally starting to find success. All of Richard’s original developers remained, except for the game developer. Yao has increased production of phones to connect to PiperNet as part of some sort of plot. While the Pied Piper team celebrated, Monica noticed something odd about the value of their coin as it wasn’t growing with their user growth. The game developer came back during their party to try and launch his game on PiperNet since Laurie fired him from his own company. Richard was not interested at all.

Monica and Gilfoyle worked all night to figure out what was happening and they figured out that a mystery entity was signing on users to the network. This led them to Jian-Yang who wanted to come home. In exchange for being allowed to come home, he told them everything that happened with Gavin and Yao. Laurie and Yao were trying to take control of 51% of PiperNet which would give them control of the network. Meanwhile, the Hooli board was growing restless with Gavin’s progress on the box 3 and were entertaining an acquisition offer from Amazon. This obviously did not sit well with Gavin.

In order to fend off Yao’s advances, they would need to add more users to the network. That game that Richard dismissed and all the users that would have came from it would definitely have come in handy so it was up to them to find the game developer at a remote campground. Richard didn’t have any other options because of all the enemies he’s made along the way. He then got a bright idea to go to Gavin for help. Richard asked Gavin to attack his network to buy them time. Gavin then decided to betray Richard by trying to make a deal with Laurie and Yao. He got them to stop their efforts in order to ramp up his. Meanwhile, Dinesh and Jared took a Tesla to the campground. They found the developer and Dinesh put the Tesla in ludicrous mode to get back in time.

Gavin got Hooli to 51% but instead of eliminating Pied Piper right away, he wanted to gloat. Richard then offered to give Gavin Piped Piper and made a passionate plea that he was the best person to take it while an impatient Laurie and Yao watched on video chat. Richard’s speech worked as Gavin took his offer, however, it was just a stalling tactic while the game was added to PiperNet so they got enough users to take control of PiperNet and kick Hooli off their network. With Pied Piper taking control, Laurie and Yao were no longer interested in working with Gavin.

Because of all of their success, the episode ended with Monica showing everyone their new multi-floor work space which used to be part of Hooli. Richard of course vomited from the prospect of what is to come.

Overall, this was an amazing episode that saw Pied Piper ultimately win out against everybody that have plagued them this season in satisfying fashion. While none of them appear to be out of the picture, it was still fun and often exciting to watch. Gavin is probably out at Hooli, Jian-Yang has retreated back home, and Laurie and Yao have faced a major setback although whether or not they’ll still be together remains to be seen. Other than that, there were several hilarious moments here with Holden’s outbursts, Big Head repeatedly interrupting Dinesh, one well timed outburst by Jared, and ludicrous mode. Either way, it was nice to see them end the season from a position of success and hopefully they can continue from there next season though there will surely be more speed bumps along the way.

Score: 10/10

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