Office Space: 2014 Edition — or HBO’s Silicon Valley — concluded its far-too-brief eight-episode debut season Sunday night, incorporating all the elements that make a Mike Judge creation great. Namely, the balance of high-brow wit and middle school humor was in full effect, with an epic debate about just how efficiently Erlich (T.J. Miller) could pleasure the TechCrunch Disrupt audience leading to a technological breakthrough.
When rival Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) manages to replicate Pied Piper’s compression formula for Hooli’s Nucleus software, an Adderall-addled Jared (Zach Woods) encourages the team to “pivot” — which is exactly what Richard (Thomas Middleditch) does, inspired by the circle-jerk debate to end all circle-jerk debates. There aren’t enough euphemisms in the world for us to break down this scene properly, but just know that the earnestness with which the Pied Piper team tackled the “Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency” equation was breathtakingly funny, especially Gilfoyle’s (Martin Starr) and Dinesh’s (Kumail Nanjiani) jerking gesticulations.
Silicon Valley has already been renewed for a second season, so we’ll see where Pied Piper’s Disrupt victory will lead (hopefully to more delightfully awkward mishaps, because smooth sailing does not suit this crew). We’re especially encouraged by the show’s direction thanks to the episode’s final scene. Earlier in the finale, when the lone female character, Monica (Amanda Crew), expresses interest in grabbing drinks with Richard now that Pied Piper appears to be an abject failure, all signs pointed to a romantic moment by episode’s end. Instead, when the pair are alone, talking about the future of the tech start-up, Richard does not grab Monica for a spontaneous lip-lock; he heads to the nearest Dumpster to puke his guts out. Roll credits.
So for the first time ever, I’ll say: Thanks for the vomit instead of the kiss. It was truly unexpected.