The Silicon Valley/Veep Power Hour: “Runaway Devaluation”/”East Wing” Reviews
This week on Silicon Valley, Richard and the rest of the Pied Piper crew go into damage control following a debilitating lawsuit. Meanwhile, over on Veep, Seal brokers peace talks with Israel well also contending with a rapidly escalating controversy over a recently removed painting. The point of these double reviews is to eliminate bloat, so let’s just jump right in, shall we?
This week’s episode of Silicon Valley, “Runaway Devaluation,” was an improvement over last week’s premiere in a few ways, but overall wasn’t quite as great. The biggest improvement by far was the episodes use of its supporting cast, who were unfortunately sidelined during most of last week’s “Sand Hill Shuffle.” That’s not so much the case here, as the supporting crew had a lot of really fun, entertaining things to do here. Seeing Dinesh try to weasel his way out of a Kickstarter fro his cousin he really didn’t want to support in the first place was great, and having Gilfoyle ultimately try to fail his ploy was a very fun way of building off their playfully antagonistic relationship. I also enjoyed Jared’s little subplot within a subplot, as he started using the Bro app to bro out with other bros. It was pretty great.
But the main storyline very much felt like a retread of last week, as Richard and Elrich once again set out to find funding after the lawsuit caused them to lose support all over Silicon Valley. Sure it was by design that this storyline repeated the events of last week, since the humor of the situation came out of the awkwardness of all the meetings, but maybe pairing the two episodes up would have worked better, since it felt relatively undercooked as a main storyline. And the last note didn’t really land with me, since we know that Thomas isn’t going to let Pied Piper be acquired by Huli — the point of the series is seeing this little start-up grow independently through the valley, and you know that won’t change (at least not this early in the game.) Overall, I certainly liked “Runaway Devaluation,” but it didn’t quite reach the same level of the premiere.
And the same can be said of this week’s episode of Veep, to a bit higher degree. I absolutely loved “Joint Session,” and after watching it again before this week, found it to honestly rank in my all time favorite episodes of the show. So living up to that was of course going to be hard, and I didn’t really expect “East Wing” to do. It was however still pretty great, since its Veep and all that, and contained a number of elements I really liked within it. The only thing holding it back really was once again the “main” storyline of the Israel peace talks, which were incredibly sidelined for most of the episode. Now just like Silicon Valley, that’s very much the joke: the fact that Selina could pull off such a win well the rest of her team was flailing around is a great concept, and is funny in its own right. But without a strong throughline like last week’s, “East Wing” felt a little bit to scattershot for my liking.
But as I said, there was a lot of wonderful moments in the episode. I particularly enjoyed the storyline between Kent and Selina’s daughter Katherine, and will never get sick of the show needlessly destroying this young girl at every turn. And what definitely won the entire episode was the final moment shared between Selina and Gary, as Selina finally lets loose on her bag boy on how unimportant he is now that they are in the oval office, and Gary even more surprisingly retaliates back. It was a superbly acted scene that takes heavily from the relationship built up between these two characters in the three years we’ve seen them, and I loved every moment of it. It certainly raised “East Wing” to the position of great, if you ask me.