Culture of Pop

Silicon Valley Season 4 Review: 4.2: Terms of Service

Silicon Valley season 4 gave us the gift of an episode centered around Dinesh Chugtai and I’m extremely grateful. There wasn’t a ton of deep character development in the episode, but it was still fun seeing Dinesh go into full diva mode and walk around in blazers and whatever the hell was going on with his hair. It’s truly impressive that they were able to make Kumail Nanjiani’s perfect hair look bad.

The crisis in the episode was the discovery that Dinesh had neglected to protect children under 13 with PiperChat’s terms of service. I’m not crazy about the fact that Dinesh made such an obvious and glaring mistake so early on. He admits that Jared Dunn reminded him to do this and he just neglected it. If Dinesh had been a stronger CEO, it could’ve led to more intricate conflicts within the group, while this episode seemed to deflate the tension a lot. So far, Silicon Valley season 4 feels very episodic. Both episodes so far set up a conflict then resolved it within the episode. It’s not necessarily a bad approach to TV writing, but I’m not on the edge of my seat wondering what’s going to happen next the way I was during season 2.

That said, the resolution in this episode was a thing of beauty. After realizing he could be personally responsible for $21 billion in violation fees, Dinesh is at the end of his rope. But, Gavin Belson called him to acquire the company. It was great seeing a combination of characters interact that we haven’t seen before. Sadly, they missed the opportunity to have Gavin recognize Dinesh from the homoerotic painting of him that he bought in season 1.

In this scene, Dinesh attempted to tell Gavin the truth, but Gavin cut him off and explained that he’s taking the entire company. Gavin’s satisfaction as he bulldozed Dinesh made for some nice dramatic irony. The button in which Gavin realized the minefield he’d just bought was a great closing scene.

I’m hoping that this will reignite Gavin’s rivalry with the team. In this episode it was a thing of beauty that he took PiperChat for the sole, petty reason that he wanted to see Jack Barker’s chat history. But, for the future it’d be nice to get some real tension between Gavin and our heroes.

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