‘Silicon Valley’ ‘Intellectual Property’ Review – Will Richard Hendricks Strike A Deal With The Devil?

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Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) has done what so many people have tried to do in the past: get rid of Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) from his position of power. It’s been four seasons and finally, Belson has been ripped away from Hooli. His antics has caused the company a lot of money and possibly damaged the brand and public image with dead animals and acquiring a company with copious COPPA fees.

His walk of shame from his office to his final meeting is pure karma for all the ‘badness’ he’s committed. The icing on the cake is Jack Barker (Steven Tobolowski) twisting the knife that was already in his back to make sure Belson felt the pain as he came crashing to the ground.

Silicon Valley has surprised me a lot this season, and we’re only three episodes in. Season four is shaping to be the most surprising and suspenseful season since season two. Lacking days of sleep, Richard Hendrick’s (Thomas Middleditch) idea of a decentralized internet is slowly coming closer to fruition.

His decision-making skills have been on the fritz, making choices no other sane person would make. Like Jian Yang (Jimmy O. Yang) stated everso wryly, “he’s a cautionary tale.”

Things begin to be on the upswing when Monica (Amanda Crew) informs Richard his vision was something Peter Gregory was mutually obsessed with. Digging through his notes, Richard tries hard to prove to his former employees he’s sane by proving he and Peter Gregory were on the same wavelength. The one thing holding Gregory back was the perfect compression algorithm, which Richard created.

Just one roadblock lay in Richard’s way. A patent taken out by Belson years ago to steer Gregory away from his passion project to build the foundations for Hooli.

The episode ends with Richard entering Belson’s mansion. After the second season finale, it’s hard to picture Belson and Richard working together on anything. With Belson out of a job, this passion project of Richard’s and Gregory’s could prove fruitful for Belson. Though, I’m not so sure.

Richard has a conscious, but he has played dirty in the past to get to a position of power, albeit short-lived. Last season he bought Bangladeshi user farms to create an uptick in usage for Pied Piper.

Belson’s only major flaw is his arrogance. He makes decisions based on emotion without ever thinking of the consequences that may follow. It’s happened countless times before and it’s sure to happen again. If a deal is made between the two, would Belson, in the process of stabbing Richard in the back, make a fatal mistake that costs him everything? Or does something to cost them both the project and/or millions?

Erlich (TJ Miller) taking over Jian Yang’s pitch is something fans of Silicon Valley are already used to. Whether you hate him or love him, Erlich is the only character in the show who thinks of his next ten moves, even if he’s going based on faulty information from Big Head (Tom Chiou). Being the charming ball of 1970s mutton chops and sleaze, Erlich’s hype of a non-existent app helps him and Jian Yang score $200,000 from Reviga under the suggestion of Ed Chen.

Because nothing ever goes to plan, Chen dumps the project on Monica after learning the app is fake. With Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) and Dinesh doing next to nothing, can they whip up a working demo to show Laurie and save Monica’s job? No, but they can hack up a prototype that would only work for presentation purposes. With Erlich behind the whole thing, the only bet they could hedge is creating a faux presentation that blows everyone away. Would the compression algorithm come into play? I do know with Gilfoyle and Dinesh being hypercompetitive, SeeFood could end up becoming a real app by the time the presentation rolls around.

With Jack Barker heading Hooli, what is to become of the Hooli Box? What about Hooli’s middle-out compression competitor? I mentioned before that Richard would be able to make money and continue to work on his decentralized internet if he sells licenses to use his compression algorithm. Would Hooli become the first licensee?

Also, no matter how many times you think Big Head is being set up to fail, he always, to a fault, comes out on top. For all the hard work Erlich, Richard, Dinesh, and Gilfoyle complete, Big Head consistently finds success without ever trying. Could he become a millionaire again by the end of the season? I do think he might help Richard out again if such a problem were to arise.