Here's Where We Left Off With Silicon Valley

Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO.
Right now it’s an embarrassment of riches on HBO. The Leftovers is here for its final bleak season. Veep is back to make us deeply uncomfortable about our political reality. And now Silicon Valley season 4 is about to premiere on Sunday, April 23, to remind us of the tech industry’s sheer absurdity.
The Mike Judge-created comedy follows a California tech “incubator” that actually comes up with the Next Great Idea: Pied Piper, a poorly-named file compression app. The company is helmed by the constantly anxious Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch), with incubator owner Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller) supplying all the necessary Silicon Valley bluster. Season 3 saw Pied Piper reach the highest highs and lowest lows that a brand can reach in just 10 episodes.
Like Veep before it, Valley has been off the air for nearly a full year after the 2016 finale. Scroll through the gallery for a reminder as to where we left off with the Pied Piper crew. I promise you’re going to need it.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Richard Hendricks

Richard went through a lot in season 3. Although his company finally hits the market with tons of success, the complex-to-understand app fails with users. To cover up this alarming fact — and therefore gain millions from investors, keeping the app afloat — the Pied Piper CEO turns a blind eye to the fake user bots righthand man Jared (Kevin Wood) bought.

This leads to a meltdown during a venture capital meeting where Richard spills the beans, putting a nail in Pied Piper’s coffin. The app is to be sold to the highest bidder. In a deus ex Bighetti, Richard’s best friend “Big Head” Bighetti buys the company with Ehrlich.

The move may have saved Pied Piper from going to archenemy Gavin Belson’s evil empire of Hooli, but Richard’s many poor choices also put him at a lower standing within his own company. Season 4 previews reveal Richard is stepping down as CEO of Pied Piper for good.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani)

While Richard’s stock is lowering within Pied Piper, Dishesh’s couldn’t be higher. The engineer created a video chatting app from P.P.’s algorithm, effectively saving the entire company. We would love to cheer for Dinesh’s coding ingenuity, but he only made the tech to see if a woman in Estonia is “hot.”

Despite its skeevy conception, the simple video chat app picked up an organic following of thousands almost immediately since it’s better than the Google-ish Hooli’s similar offering. The app is also easy to understand when compared to Pied Piper’s mind-boggling original file compression system.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Gilfoyle (Martin Starr)

Like Dinesh, Gilfoyle thinks he deserves more shares in Pied Piper since he’ll have a bigger role in finalizing the video chatting app.

A teaser trailer for season 4 proves the proud Satanist will start saying, “Rad,” and wearing the same exact pajamas as best frenemy Dinesh, so except some weird stuff to go down.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.

Jared ended the season buying fake bots to bolster Pied Piper’s daily active users. Despite this fraudulent-but-well-meaning scheme, Richard is still letting Jared follow him around like his own personal Dwight Schrute.

Previews for season 4 prove Jared is tagging along with Richard as he attempts to make a “new Internet.” Woo!
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Erlich Bachman

Erlich ends season 3 owning Pied Piper with Big Head as part of their Bachmanity venture partnership. He tries to be angry with Richard for his meeting meltdown, but he can’t keep up his rage for more than three seconds. Still, the Steve Jobs-wannabe proves something is different between the friends when he hints Richard shouldn’t “assume” he’ll maintain the same standing in the company after all the fake bot drama.

That proves true in the season 4 trailer when the Bachmanity mouthpiece and the rest of the team attempt to ambush Richard before he decides to quit on his own.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Monica (Amanda Crew)

Monica continues to be the only major female voice among the actual Pied Piper team, which is expected in a tech comedy, but still disappointing. She goes against boss Laurie (Suzanne Cryer) during the board meeting to sell the app, only to realize she was totally uninformed on the vote. While she thought Gavin Belson was the prospective buyer, it actually ends up being Bachmanity.

That’s why Monica ends the season unsure if she still has her venture capital job at Raviga. Since she’s going to need a new job, Monica requests stock in Pied Piper in exchange for a salary.