Silicon Valley ‘Binding Arbitration’ Recap and Review

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WARNING: This review contains spoilers

From the first minutes of ‘Binding Arbitration’, you could already tell that we’re heading for the big finale. With both Pied Piper and Nucleus going through some difficult times, they lawsuit comes back to play a big role and give us the confrontation that many were waiting for.

Big Head manages to get his hands on a phone that contains a beta of Nucleus’ entire mobile platform, which sucks. He shows it to Richard on his boat (it was awesome to see them back together). Big Head suggests that they could totally use it to blackmail Gavin asking him to drop the lawsuit in exchange for not showing the mobile platform to the media. Big Head gives Richard the phone because he owed him, but you could also tell that Big Head doesn’t really care much for Gavin or Hooli.

Richard speaks with Gavin on the phone in front of his lawyer who gives him advice. Gavin immediately sees Richard’s “offer” as a threat and makes him see that tech journalists wouldn’t risk going to prison to protect their source, which means that they’d give Richard away on how he got the information and he could end up in jail for 40 years. Richard doesn’t back off and says that “we’ll see what happens”. 

Richard talks about it with the rest of his team and presents something called “binding arbitration”, which is “like a trial massively accelerated”. They meet up with a lawyer called Jerry who seems to be incredibly experienced. He’s a bit weird but he’s optimistic with the case. 

silicon valley - binding arbitration - the daily fandom

Richard and Jerry talk about the case and he assures him that everything will go fine as long as he didn’t have any contact with Hooli while working on Pied Piper. Richard says there was none. However, later on, Jerry asks Richard about a few emails he was exchanging with Big Head and how they were talking about Richard’s girlfriend after he had said he hadn’t had any for three years. It turns out that Richard’s girlfriend was his laptop. Jerry then realises that in one of the emails, Richard mentions taking his laptop in a shop for repairing and being without it for 3 days. During this time, Richard had used a Hooli computer while he ran some tests for Pied Piper. Jerry says that they’re definitely f*cked and Jared adds that, under the law, Hooli could claim intellectual property. Conclusion? It all depends on whether the attorneys at Hooli realise that his girlfriend is actually his laptop, or whether they believe that Richard had a girlfriend.

The day of the trial comes. The first witness that Nucleus calls is Big Head. They talk about how he progressed so quickly but Big Head is often confused and messing up. They want to make it seem like Nelson is a big part of Nucleus and also played a big part in Pied Piper. Jerry things that’s good because it means they don’t have much.

Elrich is next on the stand. Jerry embarrasses him and treats him as a failure in business and technology due to his many failed apps. One of the examples was NipAlert. They have a very loud argument in which Elrich finally admits his failure, unfortunately gets carried away and ends up revealing that NipAlert crashed Richard’s laptop. Hooli notices that and starts their new strategy.

silicon valley - binding arbitration - the daily fandom

Hooli wants to call Richard next. Elrich suggests that he lies saying that he used his laptop instead because, if he doesn’t lie, they’ll lose everything. Once again, a big decision for Richard. When he’s asked about it, Richard comes clean by giving a speech in which he says that he wants Pied Piper to be different and, therefore, he doesn’t want to lie. We’re left without knowing the outcome of his speech.

Schrödinger’s Cat or Jared’s Egg

Even though the major part of the story was obviously focused on the trial and the conflict between Pied Piper and Nucleus, there was still some space for a side-story (that might be more connected to the main plot than what it seems). Jared mentions the egg they’re livestreaming is not moving and he fears that it might be dead. Gilfoyle and Dinesh explain the Schrödinger Cat theory to him and make him believe that he might have killed the egg. Jared calls the museum and asks  them to check on the eggs. While watching the man checking the egg through the livestream, they see that the guy accidentally falls down and dies(?), which means that Jared indirectly killed the guy. I couldn’t help but think whether this, as morbid as it is, would give them a lot of views and save Pied Piper somehow or at least play an important role in the finale.

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24-year-old TV journalist. I especialize in fangirling over TV shows and anime. Currently fighting for fan studies to be recognized as a valid academic field.

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