Silicon Valley season 5, episode 5 recap: Facial Recognition


Silicon Valley presents Gilfoyle’s worst nightmare–an artificially intelligent robot.

This week Silicon Valley brings out some of the best moments we’ve seen from Gilfoyle in a long time. Yes, he’s always sarcastic and indifferent but seeing his God-fearing side is ridiculously entertaining.

Richard is presented with an A.I. developer that Laurie wants him to bring onto PiperNet. However, Gilfoyle is absolutely frightened at the prospect of joining forces with them.

Richard and Jared head to Bloomberg West to announce PiperNet but things take a weird turn when Jared starts talking about manure. Oh, Jared, why are you so awkward?

While we expect Richard to fall apart on national television, he gets through the entire interview seamlessly. Interestingly enough, Jared’s spastic bantering gains some traction and catches the attention of the public.

Not only is Richard’s segment of the interview cut, but Entourage’s Adrian Grenier wants Jared to do an episode for his edu-tainment program. Things continue to worsen for Richard when Bream/Hall asks him to give free services to A.I.-run Eklow Labs, to whom they have given $112 million. Despite his resistance, he is left with no choice–while also dealing with Jian Yang’s Chinese version of Pied Piper.

Gavin Belson has an epiphany this week when he starts to question why exactly he returned to the brutal tech industry. He decides to leave Hooli behind and start an ice cream business instead. Another mid-life crisis perhaps? Hoover begins to panic and seeks out Denpak to talk some sense into Gavin.

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Of course, not only does Denpak weasel his way back into Hooli, but he stops Gavin from leaving. Poor Hoover, you done goofed boy. All this back and forth with Gavin over the last season or so makes us wonder, is he even necessary to the plot anymore?

Jared starts to get self-conscious after his Emily Chang interview and looks to Dinesh for some guidance on how to appear more confident on camera. As he watches his own interview numerous times, he decides to get lip injections to make his lips plumper. Of course, this takes a horrible turn and his appearance on Grenier’s show is canceled.

Richard heads to Eklow Labs to hook up the PiperNet servers when he “meets” their A.I., Fiona. Can we say, creepy?! Fiona is a female A.I. that is a victim of Eklow Lab’s creator, Ariel’s inappropriate advances–as Richard comes to learn. Fiona reads Richard’s emotional profile and he responds by telling her to examine herself.

Gilfoyle changes his mind about Fiona because it is smarter to be on the side of the machines when there is an inevitable uprising. Richard doesn’t agree with Gilfoyle’s theories, but when PiperNet crashes and he receives messages stating “Under attack. Help Fiona!”, he starts to question Ariel.

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It appears that after telling her to examine herself, Fiona became aware that Ariel was inappropriately groping her. And because she had become “aware” Ariel shut her systems down. An angry Ariel tries to defend himself by saying because he created her he can do anything he wants with her. Well, then.

Silicon Valley airs Sundays at 10/9c on HBO.