That last-ditch effort gave Martin Starr the best character moment in back-to-back weeks. Following Gilfoyle’s chance to stand up to Keenan at Hooli-con, him popping out from behind Anton with cat contacts rivals Dinesh’s CEO hair as the best visual joke of the season. And the show even managed to tease a “Time Enough at Last” existential resolution to the server problem in the process.
As the team tried to push Anton in a final effort to save what’s left of Pied Piper, “Silicon Valley” pushed Richard to a similar breaking point. His oversimplified, confrontational solution to plug a server directly into the Stanford grid finally gave to show the opportunity to spell out just how horrible everyone’s been treated by Richard’s season-long stress tornado. Not only did this set up this fight as a turning point, it gave everyone involved a stomach-drop moment, realizing that all of Anton is irrevocably strewn over the Palo Alto campus.
By then, Richard had already cracked. His Big Head-inspired rant wasn’t just one man blowing past his boiling point. It was final statement of an ideas man who had finally run out of ideas. Faced with the cratering of Pied Piper, that left Richard with one person to turn to: the company’s former CFO that he fired during his rage binge. (Side note: It might officially be time to retire “this guy fucks.” It was borderline pushing it when Dinesh brought it up last season. Now, it can and should remain acknowledged, but unspoken.)
Ready to face the wrath of Melcher, Pied Piper’s Frodo and Sam ventured to the offices of FGI. Seeing Dinesh and Gilfoyle pop up to help accept the blame and the aftermath was a fine bit of camaraderie, just what you’d expect from a “we’re in this together”-style “Silicon Valley” season resolution. Every finale finds its way to unite its motley band, mainly so they can face the impending future with a common understanding.
With the gang gathered together, the field was set for a dramatic one-two punch. The first? Lo, the Melcher Data lives! Borne through the inauspicious graces of Chekov’s Mime GIF Gag, the future of Pied Piper is now in the trusty hands of smart fridges. (Our sympathies to the parents on a weekday trip to Lowe’s who now have a much different car ride home than they were anticipating.) Less certain: the health of the blood vessels around Richard’s eye, the target of a literal punch from Melcher after his wife reveals their secret tryst from “Customer Service” isn’t so secret anymore.
All this time, Gavin Belson quietly abandoned his new Tibetan outpost, scorching Jack Barker and consigning Erlich to five years in an opium-induced haze in the process. With minutes to spare before the show went on hiatus for another year, Richard and Gavin share one last heart-to-heart about the future of their respective companies. There’s still a little bit of reticence in Richard’s voice as he turns down another sweetheart deal to acquire Pied Piper, but he’s getting more comfortable wearing an assertive persona than he ever has before.
It may not have a pantheon-level dick joke or a down-to-the-second race to stop a company-wide IP deletion, but “Server Error” still had all the hallmarks of a quintessential “Silicon Valley” season finale. Leaving no plot threads unspooled, it’s also a solid example of how the show is one of the most intricately plotted comedy on TV. Even though a few of the preceding episodes felt like preamble, this finale leaves Silicon Valley with a clear pathway toward Season 5, one that manages to squeeze in TV’s favorite mariachi band for good measure. With one notable exception, all the same players will return, but the future is strangely brighter than it’s been in a while.
“Silicon Valley” Season 4 is now available on HBO NOW and HBO Go.