Silicon Valley, Season 3, Episode 5: “The Empty Chair”
Written by Megan Amram
Directed by Eric Appel
Airs Sunday at 10pm on HBO
As funny as Silicon Valley can be, it’s rarely a good times show; Richard Hendricks requires a minimum level of crisis in order to reach peak nervous mania, and the show’s writing is at its most inspired when the stakes are highest. Season three of Silicon Valley has consisted of crisis after crisis, allow the show to focus on its strengths. The Empty Chair is a rare reprieve, a lull in the succession of catastrophes.
It’s been 10 days since Laurie fired Pied Piper’s contentious CEO. She’s been meeting with candidates, both qualified and unqualified (Big Head even got an invitation), but no one has gotten the job yet. While Laurie is looking for a new leader, Pied Piper is running out of money. Richard’s solution is to fire all the salespeople, sell all the fancy monitors and office décor, and cancel the lease on the offices. When Richard awkwardly alerts the salespeople that they’re fired, Jan the Man can’t believe Richard is still CTO after a damaging article online speculated that potential CEOs were being scared away by his mediocre code. Richard complains to Laurie about the bad impression the leadership vacuum is creating, then convinces her to let him do an interview with the article’s author. Laurie agrees, but only on the condition that Richard meets with Raviga’s publicity director to give him talking points and prevent him from just transforming into his normal spastic self during the interview.
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