The Silicon Valley season 4 premiere on Sunday night started off with Richard Hendricks in a fairly desperate position. All of a sudden, we had the former Pied Piper head trying to pimp out PiperChat, the new video-chat application, to tech executives in a fake Uber car. The irony here is that this product was really great, but at the same time Richard hated working on it. He wanted to change things up. He didn’t have a lot of ownership, but he still felt he could do it.
So what did he want to do instead? Basically, use his compression platform in order to build a bigger, stronger internet than ever before. Basically, this was an opportunity for him to be able to reinvent somewhat that was already great and make things better.
Here is the big problem — nobody seemed all that interested in listening to his idea … other than Russ. Russ was back! He’s one of our favorite characters, so even a brief appearance from him was worth celebrating. (Also, isn’t it appropriate that Russ listens to Papa Roach?) Russ made it clear that he was all about the idea; also, he doesn’t know what school his kid attends. The best moment of the whole episode was him swearing loudly while parents and children swirled around him.
When Richard made it home, he was sure that he wanted to quit; that seemed right, since they wanted to fire him in order to instill Big Head as the new CEO. There was a little bit of back-and-forth, but Richard got to keep ownership of his platform while allowing everyone else to use it for the video-chat. Dinesh eventually was voted as the new CEO, which makes sense given that PiperChat would not work without him.
This episode of Silicon Valley was a story about differences — and there is clearly still a big difference between Pied Piper and Hooli. Also, this is a different Richard, and a different dynamic altogether.