With HBO’s Silicon Valley just a few days away from its final season premiere, we’re left wondering: How will the storylines of Pied Piper and the show's beloved cast of characters all come to an end?
In part driven by co-creator Mike Judge's past life as a South Bay software engineer in the ‘80s, Silicon Valley has not only helped cement HBO’s mastery of developing affluent narcissist characters, but the acclaimed show has also served as a televised proxy for Bay Area “tech-life,” captivating audiences in all corners of the country – and around the world. So it was only fitting that season 5 ended on a global high note: PiperNet’s launch as the world’s first decentralized internet.
(Also, the welcomed nostalgia of PiperNet’s HQ switching locations in “Fifty One Percent,” season 5’s final episode, is a warm homage to the series’ opening scene. But setting up shop in the four-story office that once housed bankrupted Hooli is, perhaps, an ominous foreshadowing of what’s to come.)
Cue the recently released trailer for the swan-song season, featuring all manner of breakdowns, yearned debauchery, and lawful headscratchers. In season 6’s opening act, according to the Chronicle, you can expect to see the Zuckerberg-modeled Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) side saddled next to various tech CEOs as they testify their industry’s regulations in front of a fictional Congress, not unlike what the likes of Facebook and Apple have done in recent months.
Here’s an excerpt for Hendricks' heartfelt speech that, too, makes slight jabs at his fellow seatmates:
They track our every move, they monitor every moment in our lives, and they exploit our data for profit. You can ask them all the questions you want, but they’re not going to change. They don’t have to. These companies are kings. And they rule over nations far greater than any nation in human history. They won. We lost. [...] We are in the seat of the U.S. government, a government founded by people who were at one point ruled by kings they couldn’t overthrow. So they came here and founded a new world. Version 2.0, 1776. The way we win is by creating a new democratic, decentralized Internet. One where the behavior of companies like this will be impossible forever. One where it is the users, not the kings, who have sovereign control of their data.
Aside from Hendricks' timely oration, Silicon Valley’s final season appears unmistakably grounded in the show’s realistic tech roots and spirited storytelling; the celebrated quirks and IRL-mirroring idiosyncrasies that’ve garnered the show such a cult-like following.
Jared (Zach Woods) appears to finally lose his otherwise calm edge; Gilfoyle’s (Martin Starr) always dry humor continues to shine; Monica’s (Amanda Crew) reality-checking is as strong as ever; Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani), yet again, appears to be on the verge of another mental breakdown – or, perhaps, just on the cusp of an Oprah ah-ha moment.
But the most telling and bow-wrapping line from season 6’s trailer is the one uttered to Hendricks by, presumably, an employee of his when he returns back to PiperNet's HQ after his trip to Washington: “Way to punch Big Tech in the dick.”
Frankly, that's exactly what Silicon Valley and other like-notable shows, like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, have done to traditional network television – hit them square in the teeth, limelighting what audiences really want to see on screens.
Image: Screenshot via HBO's YouTube trailer for Silicon Valley: Season 6