'Silicon Valley' Series Finale: Breaking Down That Surprise Ending & Guest Star Appearance
[Warning: This article contains MAJOR spoilers for the series finale of Silicon Valley, "Exit Event."]
It's never easy saying goodbye, but the crew of HBO's Silicon Valley did it in spectacular fashion as Richard (Thomas Middleditch), Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani), Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), Monica (Amanda Crew) and Jared (Zach Woods) prepared to launch Pied Piper's app PiperNet.
Taking on a mockumentary style, the episode held quite a few surprises including where some characters ended up, a huge guest star and more. Below, we're breaking down some of the key moments and plots from the episode.
When Richard discovers a discrepancy in the PiperNet coding, he reveals his insights with the crew. Essentially, the software has become intelligent to a point where it could destroy the world. On the eve of their launch, the group makes an executive decision — they must destroy Pied Piper's app in order to save the world.
The decision isn't unanimous at first as Dinesh reveals he'd do anything to make the app succeed considering the hefty payday it promises, and so he forces his friends to disregard any of his attempts to change their minds. When he finds himself in a predicament where he actually needs them to listen, they are skeptical. The launch clock is ticking down and he tells them the new code was switched back to its original version when on-duty workers noticed the change. In the end, it was up to Dinesh to destroy PiperNet.
They were victorious, but the decision led to one of the greatest tech failures in history — hence the mockumentary style, which follows up with the crew 10 years after the present-day action. According to showrunners Mike Judge and Alec Berg, who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, it was always going to be this way.
"Obviously at a certain point in the life of a show you start to think about, 'How do we want to bring this thing home?' Berg said. "And we had an idea that was similar to this that for a couple of years we thought, "Oh, that's probably how the show ends.'"
What does Berg mean by "how the show ends?" Judge elaborated, adding, "We had a series ending in mind really since Season 2 or 3. It was not this one, but it had a similar thing to it in that it was Richard (Thomas Middleditch) basically sacrificing [his company]."
"Our actual ending came along just when we were writing this season when our tech consultants told us about this theoretical possibility of the end of encryption," Judge added.
The episode featured the ultimate tech guest star as Bill Gates spoke during one of the many testimonial sequences in the episode. However brief, it was certainly an exciting and fitting appearance as the show following a Bay Area tech group met its end.
According to Berg, the cameo had been years in the making as he told THR, "Jonathan Dotan, our head technical advisor, had been touching base with his people on and off over the years and a few of us went up to Seattle a couple years ago and spent an hour talking to him about his thoughts on the show and what are we missing. He was super gracious."
T.J. Miller left the series a while back, but the search for his character Erlich continued. During the future storyline, Richard, Gilfoyle, Monica, Dinesh, Zach and Big Head (Josh Brener) revisit their old stomping grounds expecting to find Jian Yang (Jimmy O. Yang), but are told he died. The fakeout doesn't last long though as the action shifts to documentary filmmakers hitting up the foreign forests of Asia where Erlich is rumored to be. When they believe they've discovered his location, it's clear that Jian has assumed Erlich's identity and is somewhat living off the grid. So for those expecting answers about the missing character — unfortunately there's nothing to learn.
In the End
After the dissolution of Pied Piper, the group goes their separate ways for the most part as Richard begins teaching as a professor at Stanford University where Big Head is president. Meanwhile, Monica's working for a non-profit organization that may or may not be the NSA. Dinesh and Gilfoyle end up working together at Newell Road Strategic Technologies, and Zach takes care of the elderly at a nursing home.
What did you think of the series finale? Let us know in the comments below.