'Silicon Valley' Recap: 'Articles Of Incorporation'

Previously, in our recap of Mike Judge’s “Silicon Valley” on HBO, by Mike Judge, by us: we know this is going to shocker you, but Peter Gregory turned out to be kind of a douche! Also, Jared (Zach Wood from “The Office”) joined the team to add his mad MBA skills and replace Big Head, who failed upward to a $600k gig at Hooli, where Gavin is trying to steal Richard’s world-changing compression algorithm, Pied Piper.

We open on the Taj Mahal, the coliseum, the sphinx, blue skies, and the disembodied head of Gavin, who’s got the pyramids in his hands, because he’s here to sell us Nucleus, the most sophisticated compression algorithm the world has ever seen, and which he hasn’t even successfully reverse-engineered from Richard’s prototype. That is not stopping him from announcing on the television that he’ll be thieving it soon.

It’s a good thing Gavin isn’t a raving narcissist.

He's got the whole world in his hands.

He’s got the whole world in his hands.

“If we can make your video smaller, we can make cancer smaller. And hunger. And AIDS,” Gavin assures us, the television-watching audience. That is not how hunger and cancer and AIDS work, GAVIN.

Despite the fact that Gavin is announcing Nucleus when it’s nowhere near ready, and despite the fact Pied Piper is far superior (we will take the boys’ word for it), the crew points out that inferior products win out all the time, like Jesus over Satan, or VHS over Beta.

Richard’s first outlay as CEO (besides Mochachino, we guess) is a box of fugly T-shirts. The Pied Piper shirts are Peter Pan green, and look like a guy sucking a dick, “with one behind his ear for later.” For a snack.

'Silicon Valley' Recap: 'Articles Of Incorporation'

Richard is no longer evil and ass-kicking; he is now obsessing on keeping the name — which is already registered by another California business, in addition to being based on the tale of a child predator murderer — because hey, he can’t send the shirts back! They were an online order!

Now Erlich — “cofounder” of Pied Piper (no he’s not) is saying Richard needs to eat some drugs and vision quest for the new name. (That’s how we got HappyNiceTimePeople. SHUT UP.)

Richard will go to Gilroy, garlic capital of the world, to negotiate with the sprinkler company that owns his name. This will not end well.

Peter Gregory is in his office, meeting with two unlucky men who need a quick cash infusion. But he is stuck on Burger King — are they familiar with its offerings? do people … “enjoy” it? He is stuck in some sort of weird Aspergers ideation on sesame seeds and cicadas, sesame seeds and cicadas, sesame seeds and cicadas.


The nice old man in Gilroy is pretty much gonna let him have the name, because foreigners and nobody jerks off to magazines anymore. He’ll give it to him for a grand. Richard has gotten off suspiciously easy. This is not going to last, because Richard.

silicon valley old gilroy dude

Peter is still focusing on the sesame seeds on the “breadings.” They only grow in certain microclimates. Cicadas. Those 173 people in North Carolina who are going to lose their jobs at midnight? Sesame seeds. Cicadas.

The old man isn’t nice anymore. He has read Recode and learned that Richard is in bed with billionaries. On the phone, he hears the boys bring up both Richard’s illegal aliens (Gilfoyle, of course) and, even worse, interns. That will be $250k for the name now, dick.

The intern is washing Erlich’s tarted-up minivan with the Pied Piper t-shirts.

Richard’s credit card is declined because he is out of money, so he goes to the Costco type place to return the celebratory margarita machine he’s bought for the boys. There he sees a terrible young “entrepreneur” with three failed startups for which he couldn’t get funding. Worst of all is the terrible parking app, which is basically “write down the parking lot section you parked in” for helping you find your car. Richard had been politely noncommittal (and horrified) during the explanation of the stupid app, but the young man took that as Richard’s “recommendation” and approval. He is having his mom take out a reverse mortgage to fund it, and it’s all thanks to him! Meanwhile, Richard is here to return his margarita machine for money for food.

Erlich eats a bunch of drugs on his way to Sonora — Sonora pass, to Yosemite? Maybe — but then gets stuck in traffic. The vision quest is starting inauspiciously. It will become more so.

Richard yells at the old Gilroy dude, demanding to know if he is a man of honor or not. It looks like standing up for himself and being firm will work out in his favor as he hangs up the phone. The boys are impressed. He informs them the old dude is on his way to kick Richard’s ass. Jared recommends constantly invoking your own name, so the attacker has to acknowledge your humanity. Jared has been here before. In fact, his name’s not even Jared. It’s Donald. But Gavin called him “Jared” his first day at Hooli, and as he never corrected him, it stuck.


Richard — after he’s discovered hiding behind a door — stands strong at $1000 after old guy finally is cool and will give him the Pied Piper name for only $5k, which is actually super-reasonable. But then he gets a little too much sperm going and moves the number from $1000 to 500. Old guy takes $1k plus gas money. He can negotiate!

And here come the two men into Peter Gregory’s office, yelling that they need their money before they have to fire their workers, and is Gregory giving it to them or not and SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT THE SESAME SEEDS. Ah, but Peter Gregory’s fearsome brain has divined that the two microclimates that sell most of the world’s sesame seeds will be having a simultaneous cicada attack next year for the first time in over 200 years, which will devastate their crops, and so he has cornered the market on Indonesian sesame seed futures. Indonesia has no cicadas. He should be making a $68 million profit. He is very relaxed now, even happy. Would they like some of it as a bridge loan? Maybe $15 million? Do they need more? No, $15 million’s cool, thank you, they say. And are they hungry? Would they like some “B.K.”? Yes, actually, they would like that very much. They sit down to eat their “burgers” and “breadings.”

After holing up all night in a gas station bathroom and scrawling Pied Piper plus Richard’s cell phone number in his own shit on the bathroom wall, Erlich has found a small Latino boy, Rogelio Nunez, who is him in the future and the present which is now, because Time Is A Flat Circle. They’d best get him home since there’s already an Amber alert.

Catch up in the archives!

Silicon Valley Episode Two

Silicon Valley Episode One

TV Show: Silicon Valley

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  • You forgot to mention the awesomeness of the vision quest scene. Technolojesus!

  • Annie Towne

    I have never seen anything Judge has done because yuck, but I am completely in love with this show! I’m so glad you are lending your humorous recapping talents to it. And the Kenosha Kid is right–you forgot the hippy-trippy-swimmy-aloes-vision-quest scene. Far out!