Despite a meandering season, the Silicon Valley season 4 finale managed to deliver a satisfying ending, at least superficially. Jack Barker’s ego, Bertram Gilfoyle’s hack of Jian Yang’s refrigerator and Richard Hendricks’ one-night stand with Liz all factored in. The episode had a resolution much tighter than I anticipated.
The final scene showed Richard and Gavin Belson back in the Mexican restaurant. It set up a strong status quo going into the next season. Gavin promised to destroy Richard. This means the show is hopefully past one of its biggest problems: the lack of a strong antagonist. Richard’s immediate, gleeful willingness to threaten to destroy Gavin demonstrated that Richard is still careening towards becoming Gavin. The scene felt tense and character-driven and interesting, making me excited for next year.
That said, some emotional threads in the episode felt lazily unresolved. To an extent it’s good that relationships are up in the air for next season. But, it kept this finale from being fully satisfying. Jared Dunn returning to Pied Piper simply because Richard acted pathetic was believable but uninteresting. Gilfoyle and Dinesh Chugtai returning felt less believable. In fact, it’s not even clear that they will be returning permanently. Either way, it felt like a missed opportunity to drive so many rifts between Richard and the team then leave them unexplored.
The episode wrapped up the business’ storyline nicely, but that’s not what we’re truly tuning in for. We have to wait a year to see the main characters repair their relationships. That’s a little ridiculous. Especially because it’s unclear whether the show plans to actually do the work of repairing them or if everyone’s simply returned to Richard out of an unjustified sense of loyalty.
Overall, this was a funny effective episode. The visual gag of Gilfoyle breaking his glasses so that he’s forced to wear cat-eyed contact lenses for most of the episode was inspired. But, I could’ve used more emotional weight. I appreciate the symbolism of ending on Richard by himself instead of a group scene, but I would’ve liked a glimpse into whether the boys of Pied Piper are currently feeling like a unit or whether they’re deeply fractured.