'Silicon Valley recap: 'Two Days of the Condor' | EW.com

TV Recaps | Silicon Valley

'Two Days of the Condor'

A discussion of the season 2 finale with 'Silicon' star T.J. Miller

(John P. Johnson)

Silicon Valley

Season 2, Ep. 10 | Aired Jun 14

“If you live long enough, you’ll see that every victory turns into a defeat,” reads a quote that I found about victory and defeat on Brainyquote.com. While the guys in Pied Piper may not have been in business for a remarkable length of time, they’ve managed to build a compression technology company that turns triumph to tragedy every time while setting the room on fire, most of the time metaphorically, but this week somewhat literally. “Two Days of the Condor,” the adrenalized finale of Silicon Valley’s thoroughly entertaining second season, brought long-awaited gleeful resolution to the legal battle with Hooli before tossing a whole new disaster into the equation. There’s much to unpack from this sensational send-off, so let’s gather over nine people, thoroughly hydrate to avoid having to drink our own urine and recap the madcap action with our master incubator, T.J. Miller. 

EW: T.J., welcome to the conversation. Our final one of the season, in fact. It’s been nothing short of an adven—hey, why are your eyes red? Are you crying? 

T.J. MILLER: It was an emotional last episode. And I have been smoking marijuana since 4 p.m. June 4, 2010. But my eyes are red because I had two flies fly into my eyes. Which is also a lyric from a song of mine about how sad the loss of honey bee is. Did I mention that I have a satirical pop-folk-hip-hop album called The Extended Play EP on Comedy Central Rec—

EW: You have never not mentioned it, actually. This finale proved to be a stress-charged rollercoaster ride that finished with a satisfying rush, and then while we were catching our breath at the end, we got rear-ended by the car behind us and catapulted right off the track into the Test Your Strength game, where we were whacked on the head with an oversized steel mallet. It was the opposite flavor of last season’s farewell, which saw Pied Piper win TechCrunch Disrupt and solve that most difficult man-pleasuring math problem. We were so close to party time at the end of this episode. But from the jaws of victory—that’s right, Gavin! you’ll never get these! [lifts shirt, revealing underlying IP]—defeat was once again snatched. And this loss is stakes-raising significant: Richard Hendricks, our fearful leader who walked a shaky moral tightrope this year, was fired as CEO. 

MILLER: Dan, you can put your shirt down now. Well, this was by far the best episode of the season. It literally and figuratively blew last’s year dick joke out of my own asshole. The finale left as many questions as answers, and as many quandries and quarries. It was a masterful piece of television. And I can’t even find the words to describe it, so I invited into our discussion a man who’s never at loss for words, and who’s one of my best friends—and worst frenemies—Erlich Bachman.

ERLICH BACHMAN: Please. Never use the word “frenemy” with me.

MILLER: I knew you would hate that.

EW: Whoa—what is… ? I didn’t think it was mathematically possible to get the two of you in the same room. And if I had known you were coming, Erlich, I would have put out my finest narrow silver spoons.

BACHMAN: Let me interrupt right there, Dan… I’d like to say first that I enjoy these recaps, although your writing is far superior to T.J. Miller’s, and I truly respect your publication. It has made white middle-aged women happy worldwide.

MILLER: Dan, what did I tell you? He is barely a tactless person—every time I hang out with him, I am reminded that blowhards nationwide can stop blowing. Erlich blows the hardest.

BACHMAN: Well put.

EW: Let’s rewind to the beginning. We open on the live feed of the injured egg man—an almost Zach Galifianakis—crying out for help from the bottom of a ravine, as heartless bastard Gilfoyle remains oblivious to his pain. (“Even when his sobbing shakes the camera, there is no blocking at all,” he marvels, “and the quality is great.”) As this poor man’s desperation grows, so does the audience watching the stream. Pied Piper has come so far from the tranquil, boring stream of a condor egg that once captured the imagination of Jared and 17 other weirdos. As the feed gains buzz (thanks to a shout-out from Buzzfeed), Dinesh bemoans the fact that they’re going to be handing over Pied Piper to Hooli after last week’s disastrous arbitration hearing (thanks to a blurt-out from Erlich). Gilfoyle, who has ventured far down the left-hand path this season, offers up another of his dark suggestion: Erase the entire Pied Piper platform and pretend that it was an accident. “We can’t give it to him if we don’t have it to give,” says Gilfoyle, citing their Intersite ineptitude, which proved just how bad these guys are with women. They deleted thousands of hours of porn. They are literally the opposite of sex.

BACHMAN: Buzzfeed is the Popsugar of Reddits. We never went down, and that was my favorite part of the experience. And not just that we did it as a team, but when it came down to it, and Jared could shut the f— up for a second, my coding contribution proved that I am not merely a brilliant entrepreneur and probable icon. I’ve got the chops. I’m like Sean Parker, if he knew how to party and could actually code. And stopped wearing washed denim.

MILLER: Your cargo pant renaissance initiative has really taken off.

BACHMAN: May I take this time to interject and say that I’ve enjoyed working with T.J., and I’ll quickly note that without me, he would be one Critics’ Choice Award poorer and unable to justify his constant references to Yogi Bear 3D.

MILLER: That was the greatest talking-bear comedy of all time.

EW: A 13 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes would beg to disagree.

BACHMAN: Obviously you’ve seen neither Paddington Bear nor Ted, the film or the talks.

MILLER: Touché. 

BACHMAN: It’s pronounced “Touché.”

EW: You guys are saying it the same way.

BACHMAN: Oh, you men of letters—spoken word is always elusive to you.

EW: I’m going to continue with the recap, if that’s okay. So, Richard objects to erasism, wanting to see how big they can make this thing before it is legally pried from their cold, sweaty hands. After Manny Pacquiao tweets to his two million followers a link to the feed, Gilfoyle tells fire safety to eff off and overrides the house’s electrical system to make sure the servers can handle all the traffic. He’s not too busy, though, to trade amusing insults with Dinesh. (A Dinesh retort: “Oh yeah? Well, my code base could handle this traffic, f— your mother make a video of it, upload it, and even that video would not rebuffer.”) I’m not sure how the series ultimately will end, but after the resolution of the main crisis, it’s got to be Gilfoyle and Dinesh insulting each other’s craft as they walk off into the sunset, right?

BACHMAN: If this series of events doesn’t end in a beauty shot of me with my always glorious hair blowing in the wind as the tornado called Pied Piper swirls around me, this whole thing was for naught.

MILLER: You’ve got the blowing and hot air covered.

BACHMAN: And the hair.

MILLER: I think you have excellent hair.

BACHMAN: As do you.

EW: I’d like to issue quick props to Jared—

BACHMAN: There should be no propers given to Jared, no matter how quickly.

MILLER: Erlich, you’re pretty hard on Jared. Zach Woods is one of the funniest parts of Silicon Valley.

BACHMAN: Well, I don’t know who the f— Zach Woods is, but I do know that Jared stands in the way of three things: Himself, us, and me. I suppose four actually— the progress of khakis going from pleated to not.

EW: We can’t all find the happy marriage of sandals and socks, Erlich. Like I was saying, I love that Jared only knows Manny Pacquiao as a Filipino senator, not as the second-most famous boxer in the world. I was on set when you guys were filming this scene, and I remember laughing when Zach Woods compounded the joke of his Manny ignorance by ad-libbing a line like, “Hmmm, I know Manny Paquiao the pop singer.” And let’s raise a glass to one of his finest clueless-priceless quips of the season: “I’ve always wanted to be part of a suicide pact,” he savors as the let’s-take-this-company-as-far-as-we-can-until-they-take-it-away action unfolds all around him.

MILLER: I loved the suicide-pact joke—it’s so absolutely Jared. It’s a combination of childlike excitement of acceptance into a group (even if it’s a pact to end their lives) and “How the f— did that come about?”

BACHMAN: Because he has some sense. 

EW: While the egg man becomes a Filipino meme (I could watch hours of that guitar player translating those cries for help to his fretboard) and approaches the nadir of dehydrated desperation (“This guy is going to drink his own piss? That’s too good. We’re going to fail by succeeding,” relishes co-heartless bastard Dinesh), Richard has to rush back to arbitration for the bad news. Which is where we get one of the highlight scenes of the episode: a wonderfully unsettling, up-close-and-personal bathroom meeting between key nerdy adversaries, Gavin and Richard. Gavin helps him put on his tie! (Nice.) But then he taunts Richard, saying that if he hadn’t been blackmailed into this hearing, he would have offered to buy out Richard for $250 mil. (Mean.) Then he asks Richard if he offered him $10 million for Pied Piper right now, would he take it? (Kind of nice.) Richard: “Really? You’d do that?” Gavin: “No, of course not! I’m about to get it for free. I’m just f—ing with you. I’m sure you’ll come up with plenty more once-in-a-lifetime ideas, Richard. Or not.” (Super mean.) No, we weren’t sure what was to come in the arbritation ruling, but Gavin was begging for comeuppance at this point. Silicon Valley can’t reward such vengeful arrogance.

MILLER: That scene was one of my favorites of the season—a juxtaposition of sweet and insidious. I remember when my father taught me how tie a tie while suing me for intellectual property violations… And I actually showed the guitar meme to my wife Kate, because she wasn’t aware of it. I love her empathy, because her response to my “Isn’t that cool?” was “It’s cool if you like to musically express suffering,” and my response was, “Oh, you mean like John Mayer,” and her response was, “Get the f— out of my hotel room.”

BACHMAN: If there is one thing T.J. does well, it’s getting thrown out of hotel rooms.

MILLER: Do you remember that time we were ejected from a Holiday Inn Express very quickly—

BACHMAN: Pun intended and achieved—

MILLER: Because we smoked so much marijuana that the regular Holiday Inn could smell it?

BACHMAN: No, I don’t remember—and that is a good sign it was a good time.

MILLER: Another lyric from—

BACHMAN: Save it, I’ve heard your album.

MILLER: You heard The Extended Play E.P.!?

BACHMAN: Certainly. I heard it smash as I threw it out Jared’s window. The few seconds that did catch my ear were about as pleasurable as listening to the tone that is so low that only dogs can hear it.

MILLER: You mean high.

BACHMAN: Yes, I am.

EW: Erlich, please return yourself to Earth for a minute, because we’re going to talk about you. After Noah sells his house, bound for Arizona (“You’ll be dead in a month,” is your warm send-off), the real estate agent shows considerable interest in your rent-free flophouse masturbatorium, and you’ve got your eyes on a cash prize. And you can’t believe that Jared has left behind a plush Hooli life to hold an extenstion cord for Dinesh and Gilfoyle. With his optimistically cult-y eyes, though, Jared explains to you that all of this is “magical.” I think you’re jealous of that feeling, and you want to be part of that team. So when the real estate agent shows up with motivated buyers—and insults you by calling the house a “total teardown,” and that you’d be fool to turn it down—you move to the side of the noble, while issuing your funniest quote of the episode: “Madame, do not call a man a fool on the transom of his own home. A home that happens to be the world headquarters of a company keeping streaming video of a man who’s about to drink his own urine online for tens of thousands of Filipinos. Does that sound like foolishness to you? So you can tell your clients respectfully that they may go f— themselves.” And the satisfying capper is watching you heroically strap on those carpal tunnel wrist guards, pin your hair back and assume the coding position. This is your hero-who-heeds-the-call-to-action moment, and can I be honest here? You shined.

BACHMAN:  It was hard for me to even consider selling the incubator—something that I have created, loved, and made superior to other like-minded wannabees who do the same. But at that point, I think I was being influenced by a confluence of issues swirling around me, and I think two major factors were these: 1. Jared. 2. The possibility of flipping the house for a figure where I could buy a larger incubator that could accommodate more than just a few people and then whoever the f— Jin Yang’s friends of friends of acquaintances were. I also blame in part the house for the lack of successful apps, and as Nietzsche says, your environment is everything when it comes to success.

MILLER: He never said that. And it’s pronounced “Nietzsche.”

BACHMAN:  T.J., don’t be an a–hole. And it is pronounced “Nietzsche.”

MILLER: And I think you were considering selling because you got a close to seven-figure offer.

BACHMAN:  T.J., if you think I’m that shallow, you have only yourself to blame… I am just doing what I was born to do; cultivate talent, create possibility, and smoke the sweetest motherf—ing dope on the planet. And of course, the universal respect of all the ladies..

EW: Oh, and the reason you had to get off your manatee ass and help in the first place? No coders left. Wouldn’t this have been a logical place for Carla to make an appearance? We met her in episode 4, she was used incredibly sparingly, and before we knew it, she—and the other not-really-seen coders—quit off-screen. Silicon overlord Mike Judge told me that they were hoping to have her in a scene but rewrites scotched that plan, and he’d like to have Alice Wetterlund back season… Anyway, thanks surely to your coding prowess—and Gilfoyle’s commitment to solving all these technical problems (he seemed so activated and happy in his mission, a rare sight)—the stream hits 300,000 viewers. Of course, the house’s electrical system finally crashes and catches afire, and the feed stays online right up until the point of egg man’s rescue. And, of double course, no one pays attention to Jared, who’s responsibly putting out the fire because they’re too busy celebrating: Tiny, pyrhic victory is theirs!

MILLER: [Off Bachman’s confused lookAlice Wetterlund is Carla.

BACHMAN: Thank good God, I was about to say “Mother—-!”, but it seems that’s becoming my catchphrase, so I have to be careful of it’s usage and not to burn it out.  It was like Jobs’ “isn’t this cool?  I’m going to show you something really cool…” He said that a lot, and it was pretty cool. She was a wonderful attempt at an employee, but ultimately you have to have something to be in my incubator, and something even more to be in Pied Piper. And no, it’s not a dick. What you need is gumption and talent, something that all of these incubees have, it just takes a special energy to pull it out of them. And I think we all know who is responsible for that. You see, I tried to relate to Carla, but her negativity was impenetrable—

MILLER: I think you are crass, uncomfortable around women, self-absorbed, and unable to relate to anyone except yourself. And you are just as uncomfortable with the idea of a woman living in the house as you are trying to communicate with Jin Yiang that he can’t burn fish heads.

BACHMAN: I would anticipate that from someone who considers his greatest achievement his standup, which nearly no one has ever seen and he believes is responsible for his “copious amounts of copulation.” If it was a crime to have a bad bitch, as 2 Chainz says, and get it on, you my friend, would be in the clear.

EW: He also said, “When I die, bury me in the booty club,” so that cancels out everything. Can we get back to the recap? So, at the arbitration hearing, the judge throws everyone for a loop with a quirky, twist of a ruling. If any viewers predicted this verdict, I’ll buy you a bottle of Tres Comas, or at least a six-pack of Homicide. The judge notes that Richard did use Hooli equipment for Pied Piper development, and according to Califonia labor code, Hooli has a right to ownership of Pied Piper’s underlying IP, which prompts a smug-as-hell look on Gavin’s face and Richard’s delete-everything text to Jared. But then comes the wallop: Richard breached his contract with Hooli by hiring away Jared, but the judge noticed that the contract language that prevented Jared from seeking employment elsewhere violated his rights, and the state Supreme Court considers such language unlawful. (All of this, by the way, is being explained to Gavin while he’s still sporting open-mouth joy from the first part of the ruling.) Hooli’s draconian employment clause was in Richard’s contract too, rendering it null and void, meaning that Hooli can’t claim ownership to PP’s IP. Cue: Outrage from Gavin and an amazingly uncomfortable thank-you from Pete, our down, out, and damaged lawyer who’s admirably aiming for redemption: “I used to take a tampon soak it in grain alcohol and stick up it into my rectum. That got me high, Richard, and but not half as high as the drug you just gave me. You know what the drug is called? A second chance.” I’m going to miss Pete. The writers found that perfect comedic formula in him: His demeanor was so dry, earnest and straight, yet the things he said were the out-of-control inverse of that. 

MILLER: I loved both Matt McCoy and the character he played—so dry that he would make a desert seem humid, and yet so absolutely absurd that even Erlich can’t get a hold on him.

BACHMAN: If I could get a hold on him, I would wring his neck. Literally the worst attorney—

EW: The race to keep the servers from crashing so they could stream the egg man’s trauma to the world was mere amuse bouche to the main course: Richard’s race to get word to Pied Piper to ignore that previous order to erase Pied Piper. Here, the episode fully kicks into antsy, action-thriller-movie gear with a series of minor comedy errors. Richard desperately tries to call home on cell. Dead battery. Drops car keys and kicks them into the sewer. Barges into coffee shop and grabs phone from pleasant female employee (Monica would have been better friends with her than Carla, Jared) but can’t remember anyone’s number. Scares off guy on street with TMI when he tries to borrow phone to email. Finally gets bus driver’s phone, but email goes into spam folder. Running home, experiences ultimate indignation when passed by mom jogging with stroller. (My mind floated to another Mike Judge moment: the old man in a walker shuffling by a stuck-in-traffic Peter in Office Space). This panicky sequence is hilariously heightened by those cuts to the boys on the precipice of pressing the button that will obliterate their platform: 3… 2… 1……… Wait, let’s have one last toast…. and let’s get some lemons…. no, that one’s bruised…. The contrast of Richard in the most stressful moment of his life with the guys meanderingly deciding which lemon to use in their wheat beer? This is edge-of-your-seat TV, Silicon Valley-style at least.

MILLER: I gotta say, when I read this scene on the page, I thought, “No way. This is too convenient and maybe it won’t live up to last season’s finale—or this entire second season.” But when I watched the scene, I was actually blown away. It wasn’t just a great scene—it was a fantastic episode of television. Like you said, it was an adrenaline rush rollercoaster, from start to finish. My favorite part of the ride was when the lemon squirted into Erlich’s face; it was the ultimate tiny comeuppance. 

BACHMAN: I enjoyed the beer, the adrenaline, the comeraderie, my coding. But least of all that Dinesh is such a pussy, he needs a lemon to drink a beer. 

MILLER: It really is the culmination of the season. There was a lot of pressure on [executive producers] Mike Judge and Alec Berg, and the entire cast. (To the point where Zach Woods had stress dreams that led him to urinate on his yoga mat.) My fear was that the many people that approached me at airports and say, “How long would it take you to jack off eveyrone in this terminal?” would start saying, “Man, this season’s finale was okay, but it wasn’t as good as last year’s dick joke.” Now thankfully, I get a get a whole new round of wrist-guard jerk-off jokes.

EW: The tension is milked even more as Richard pounds on the door and as Erlich opens it, he rushes in with a “Don’t delete it! Don’t delete it!… Did you delete it?” “Oops,” says Gilfoyle flatly, not knowing if this was a good thing or a bad thing that he didn’t, and Richard not knowing whether “oops” meant that he did or he didn’t. Everyone, including the audience, is hanging from different parts of the cliff. As it turns out, the whole system crashed before the deletion, thanks to “Dinesh’s garbage code.” (They should’ve used that never-fail erase method: A bottle of Tres Comas on the delete key.) As Erlich attempts to quote Frank Herbert’s Dune, “The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it,” and I guess, in the end, Pied Piper proved that it had no control over anything. And to reverse an earlier quote by Dinesh: They succeeded by failing.

BACHMAN: Every success is preceded by a failure.

MILLER: Then you’ve got a lot of success coming to you… And I think you ripped that off from Matt Ross.

BACHMAN: Who? Look, there was a lot of tension, anxiety and Jared during those final moments as we waited for the judge’s decision, and certainly the value of the house decreased, but ultimately—if Pied Piper works—not only am I in store for a McClaren, the house may become more valuable as the birthplace of Pied Piper. Didn’t think of that, did you? 

EW: So… while Gavin marches to his doom, aka a Hooli board meeting, the campus is buzzing about Big Head being a mover and shaker, and not the faker that Gavin built him into. Gavin’s yes-man guru proves his loyalty to the falling CEO by seeking out Big Head and offering his spiritual services. So it looks like next season will be the impossible ascension of Big Head—of whom we did not get enough this season—to the head of Hooli, as ridiculous as that seems. I’m hoping that next season opens on his even-bigger yacht with him having paid someone else to take the three of three boating classes to get his license. And a desperate Gavin is a fun-to-watch Gavin, so I look forward to his worming his way back up the food chain.  

MILLER: I think it’s a pretty spectacular joke that the “Guru” will so quickly change face.  I mean that is a fantastic metaphor. He is as Silicon Valley is: A life-changing fraud. That is the paradox of Silicon Valley. They purport to change the world, and to quote Conan O’Brien, “but you don’t. You don’t make it better, you just make it change.” Isn’t that true? I mean, are they really bettering the world as people check their phones instead of talking during dinner? We are more productive, but are we happier?

BACHMAN: If we were happier, then we would likely experience ennui.

EW: Life creates itself in delirium and is undone in ennui.”

BACHMAN: That is poetry. Who said that? 

EW: I can’t remember, but I found it on Brainyquote when I was looking for that other quote….Anyway, we say our goodbye to Russ when he drops by Monica’s office to gloat that he’s back in the three-comma club after striking a deal with Laurie. He also tries unsuccessfully to get Monica out on a date with an invitation to ride in his car with the doors that go, well, you know. In that scene, I realized that Russ had probably run out his life cycle—though the Entourage guys could still be taking their cues from him—but he was a fantastic overblown douche-foil for Richard and the boys. 

MILLER: I think not only will he be back, but I think they dated at one point.

BACHMAN: Really?

MILLER: Yeah. It’s just weird enough to be a proposition of veracity.

EW: When Monica seeks out Laurie for the details on Russ and Pied Piper, things got dark. While Laurie sees Richard’s technology is visionary, she cites PP’s problems with Homicide and Intersite, and that decision to pursue video instead of pioneering applications. And so, Raviga bought out Russ’ interest, which came with his voting shares and board seats, to ensure that Pied Piper is “properly managed.” Monica sputters, “What are you saying? I don’t understand,” to which Laurie ominously returns, “Monica, I believe you do.” That set up the shocking-yet-also-somewhat-logical ending. During a wild game of “Always Blue,” Richard fields a call from Monica, who delivers the grim news: Raviga held an emergency meeting of the Pied Piper board (their 3-2 edge apparently gives them quorum), and he was voted out as CEO. “I just got fired,” announces Richard to the room. Erlich, bong in hand, jokes us perfectly into the end credits with the appropriately self-serving  “And what about me?” (Although this version of it will always be my favorite.) And it’s a nice echo of the disastrous meeting with Intersite CEO Molly, in which she told them to get out of the room and Erlich responds, “All of us or just…?” 

MILLER: Everybody on set was excited by that firing twist at the end, that there was more story to tell. My first thought was, “What does this mean for Erlich?” Did Richard lose his board seat? Has Erlich become more relevant or less?

EW: Richard still has a board seat, according to Mike Judge.

MILLER: He may need this lesson. Maybe it’s tough love. He needs to become an actual CEO, not a morally conflicted urine-stained pile of nerves. To me, the twist wasn’t shocking—it was appropriate. This is a dog-eat-dog world and Richard is catnip. And we’re seeing how Erlich is becoming more essential to Pied Piper. As is Monica… It’s captivating. And I think it was a great honor to end on an Erlich line.

BACHMAN: Agreed. The last word doesn’t have to be the best, but it should always be mine.

MILLER: You know I’m you, right? 

BACHMAN: Yes, I think in a way we all are, or we would like to be. There is nothing riveting about “Always Blue” unless you are high, or you are Dinesh.

EW: The whole season centered on Hooli as the big bad, but as soon as that threat was beaten back—and I know it’s likely temporary—we were served up a new foe that had been inside the system since the season premiere: A Laurie-led Raviga. She was another one used sparingly this season, but the writers seem to have big plans for Peter Gregory’s replacement, for at least the first part of next season. 

BACHMAN: Silicon Valley is full of foes, because everyone has their values in the wrong place. Sometimes that’s what it takes to make a true luminary—

MILLER: —I assume you’re talking about you—

BACHMAN: —I am. And if everyone has their values in the wrong place, and their primary value is that their values are in the right place, then you’re in Silicon Valley. But I don’t see Laurie to be an issue. I’m positive she sees my value.

MILLER: We all do. It’s in your facial hair.

BACHMAN: Fans of mine know, the facial hair is my signature. It’s my black turtleneck. But unlike Jobs, there’s more to my face coif than meets the eye.

EW: And Monica? Wow. Pied Piper’s biggest ally within Raviga—she who risked her job to tell him not to take Raviga’s inflated offer because it would injure the company—apparently caved to her boss’ pressure and chose self-preservation, forced to use her board seat to vote no on Richard. (Not that he’s done much to instill confidence this year.) You know what? The smoking scene was the tip-off that she wasn’t all good. But I’m sure she’ll hatch a plan to help Richard return to the fold.

BACHMAN: Anyone who smokes cigarettes is not to be trusted. Especially if they lie about it. The worst. Lying is the worst thing next to smoking.  [Inhales copiously from water bong]

MILLER: Monica now has a swing vote. And she swung the wrong way. 

BACHMAN: I’ve been down that road. To be fair, he had a miniscule Adam’s apple. 

EW: So, moving along at a brisk pace, what now for Richard? He still has a board seat, and he owns a chunk of the company, so he’s far from out of the picture. Do the first few episodes position him as an outsider trying to fight his way back in? And does this force him to be scrappier, maybe even take a few more strolls down the left-hand path next season?

MILLER: Richard is traversing uncertain waters, and, yes, he may have to continue down the left-hand path. 

BACHMAN: Also he uses his right hand more than he goes on dates. 

EW: And, Erlich, what about you and the rest of the crew? Do you remain together while undermining whoever is installed as CEO and figuring out a way to bring Richard back into the fold? And you do realize that you yourself will not be named the new CE—?

BACHMAN: —I think it is time for the inevitable; I am voted CEO. I know that Laurie will be adverse to this inevitability but she’ll soften up after a few Lipton ice teas and some over-the-line flirtation from me. 

EW: In any case, Richard’s firing is the unforgiving gut punch that will keep us gasping and guessing over the long, cold hiatus. T.J., thanks again for joining us this season. Perhaps we will see you back on the transom of this recap space next spring?

MILLER: You name the time and place, and I’ll be there.

BACHMAN: And what about me?

MILLER: “Try looking into that place where you dare not look! You’ll find me there, staring out at you!” —Frank Herbert, Dune

BACHMAN: “I couldn’t have put it better myself.”—T.J. Miller