"It says here on your resume that from 2010 to 2011, you... crushed it?" In a "programmer's market," Richard and Jared are forced to consider engineers with questionable resumés and personalities. And, to make room for another Jared who might join the team, Jared is even willing to change his name to OJ, or "Other Jared."
The process is also an opportunity for the show to address, if not fully explore, the dearth of women in the field it depicts. As Jared notes — and again, he could be talking about the show, whose "woman problem" has been criticized and defended for its verisimilitude — "There's a distinct overrepresentation of men in this field." In awkwardly justifying the incentives for a female hire, he adds, "It's just that we're the Beatles, and now we need our Yoko Ono." Not the best analogy. Anyway, this is where the season's newest female character comes in: Carla Walton, as played by Alice Wetterlund.
During her interview, Jared adds to Carla's list of (many) qualifications: "Plus, you're a woman." To that, Carla fires back "I'm not a woman engineer, I'm an engineer," leaving the polite, politically correct Jared tongue tied.
"We want to hire the best people who happen to be women, regardless of whether or not they are women, that part is irrelevant." It's a decent dig, but while it's true that some companies like Pied Piper might not be clear on "why" hiring diversity is relevan it really shouldn't be much of a mystery. An added perspective, one that in this case represents half of the world, would clearly improve Pied Piper's business. Further, to willfully deny that would be decidedly sexist.
Also: A good throwaway line from Jared as Carla exits her interview "I loved the girl with the dragon tattoo."
When Carla does join the team, the show has the opportunity to highlight some of the ridiculousness of workplace harassment policies at the startup level. "When Dinesh calls me retarded frankenstein," Jared explains things that might be construed as harassment, "or he describes me as AIDS lady, or Gilfoyle refers to me as effeminate k.d. lang, I know this is a joke among friends." For exactly that reason, even a company of just a few employees needs clear harassment policies. But here, the show zigs when you thought it might zag, and Carla is the character slapped with harassment accusations. First, can her friend — nicknamed "cunty" — come by the office, she asks repeatedly? She also flaunts her salary and benefits to torture Gilfoyle and Dinesh, but when she's confronted, the viewer learns she's bought a fake Dolce & Gabana bag and otherwise exaggerated her salary to fuck with Dinesh and Gilfoyle.
It's like ellipses but way more baller. #,,, pic.twitter.com/ZepzznUbDh— Silicon Valley (@SiliconHBO) May 4, 2015
Speaking of crazy money, Erlich, Monica, and Richard pay a visit to Russ Hanneman in the middle of this episode to have a board meeting. At the chateau Hanneman, the company's new investor has an artwork that's just three commas to imply a billion dollars. We also meet his son, who has a talking room that acts as his disciplinarian. Says Russ: "I get to be his friend. I've disrupted fatherhood. It's visionary technology."
We also encounter his thinly-written, anti-Semitic foreign girlfriend. But she's not the only underwritten, xenophobic character featured. Jian Yang, basically Erlich's houseboy, is more visible in this episode than ever before, but sadly without any character development. He's supposed to be funny because he lights trash on fire (kind of funny) and has a thick accent (not particularly funny), and basically, he's a placeholder for Erlich and for the show.
I'll say that this wasn't the most impressively crafted episode, and as we're getting into the middle of the season perhaps we're also entering a little bit of a slump. Still, I was taken with the Hooli announcement of a new project: basically a fictional version of Google's
"top-secret" and "visionary" Google X program. This version is called Hooli XYZ (nice one) and it's described as a "moonshot."
Bighead, whom you might remember was a friend of Richard from Season 1 when he was hired out of spite by Hooli, has been appointed XYZ co-lead "dreamer." I want that title! Anyway, the appointment is a sham, Bighead is a bit of an idiot. It's part of Hooli's plot to imply Bighead was Pied Piper's co-founder, and that he and Richard founded the company while working at Hooli to justify the intellectual property lawsuit against Richard.
Last notes: For whatever reason I hadn't noticed the Uber balloon inflating during the opening sequence before this episode, and it's.... beautiful. Also, I'll start noting the songs during the closing credits, since Mike Judge is a genius when it comes to hilariously incongruous music choices. This week was Dizzee Rascal’s “I Don’t Need A Reason.”
Previously: Silicon Valley Recap: Pre-Revenue