Who saw that coming?
No, not the twist ending of “The Uptick,” “Silicon Valley’s” Season 3 finale — not exactly. Erlich’s (T.J. Miller) sneaky plan to save Pied Piper from the clutches of Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) did come out of nowhere, and even if savvy viewers were observant enough to put together the financial capabilities of Bachmanity and how it would save Richard (Thomas Middleditch) from squalor, predicting that ending would’ve been gutsy.
Why? Because Season 3 marks the happiest ending for “Silicon Valley” to date — arguably, the only happy ending. And not only that, but the decision to unite all our favorite characters under one roof trims the fat in a way the show was unwilling to do before.
Remembering the previous finales is a bit like recalling a great date that ended with, “Oh, did I forget to mention my boyfriend?” — something Jared wouldn’t understand because, you know, he fucks. They both teased a bright future before cutting you off at the waist in the end. Season 1 found Pied Piper winning TechCrunch, but closed with Richard having a panic attack and throwing up in a dumpster. Season 2 showed Richard miraculously surviving the Hooli lawsuit, but quickly cut to him getting fired as CEO. The twists were clever, but also a bit brutal.
So, as “The Uptick” was winding down, fans were likely on pins and needles waiting for the other shoe to drop. As soon as Bachmanity was announced as the new owner, it felt like there was plenty of time for another windfall. And Judge teased taking us there when Richard and Erlich met up, poolside, post-meeting. Still fuming over how Richard embarrassed him earlier in the day, Erlich fiercely stated how his decision was nothing more than a “business opportunity,” overtly telling his former friend their relationship would remain strictly professional.
But instead of a hard cut to catastrophe, Erlich’s adament stance was interrupted by a smash to their joyful reunion, moments later, surrounded by the rest of the Pied Piper crew. It was an emphatically joyous ending to a season otherwise similar to what came before — still clever and still in line with the show’s spirit. The happy sounds of friendship coming from Erlich’s incubator were a perfect way to close.
But more important than ending on a positive future outlook was how the ending set up such a positive future for “Silicon Valley.”
While tertiary characters have certainly livened things up from time to time, it’s doubtful anyone’s favorite memories of the series focus on Russ Hanneman (Chris Diamantopoulos) or Jack Barker (Stephen Tobolowsky). Even Laurie Bream, played to perfection by Suzanne Cryer, was summed up nicely by her recent exchange with Erlich: “You and I have never had much of a rapport, have we?” All of these supporting players were valuable additions for their time, but they were, in the end, distracting from the core group of primo talent. We want more of these guys (and more of Monica).
Now, it looks like that’s what we’re going to get. With all the extras out the door and Pied Piper built solely on the cast we’ve come to love over the course of three seasons, “Silicon Valley” has set itself up for a bright future. Already renewed for Season 4, this Emmy-nominated gem could just be hitting its stride, and it’s already among television’s elite comedies. Plus, on a night when “people died” in HBO’s darkest of dramas, it was nice to watch something purely good happen immediately after.