On April 21, 2014, HBO renewed Silicon Valley for a second season. It consisted of 10 episodes, and aired from April 12 to June 14, 2015.
During the season, Jimmy O. Yang (Jian Yang) and Matt Ross (Gavin Belson) were promoted to starring cast members, while Suzanne Cryer joined the cast as Laurie Bream to replace Christopher Evan Welch, who played Peter Gregory in Season 1.
Season Summary Edit
In the immediate aftermath of their Tech Crunch Disrupt victory, multiple venture capital firms offer to finance Pied Piper's Series A round. However, while expressing interest, several venture capitalists criticize Hendricks' lack of perceived direction and to come back with a more coherent "vision". Bachman insists that this is a strategy to lower Pied Piper's valuation. He responds to each offer by insulting each venture capital firm. One offer from the company End Frame in particular is revealed to be a scam to steal trade secrets from Pied Piper developers. Peter Gregory dies while on vacation and is replaced by Laurie Bream (Suzanne Cryer) to run Raviga Capital. Bream gives Richard the highest offer of all the VC firms: 20% equity at a $100 million valuation. Monica privately visits Richard to urge them to decline the offer, calling it a "runaway valuation that they could never live up to", which would result in diluting Series A investors in future financing rounds. Richard offers Bream the same 20% equity but at a $50 million valuation. Before he can collect the $10 million, Richard finds out at Peter Gregory's funeral that Hooli is suing Pied Piper for copyright infringement, claiming that Richard developed Pied Piper's compression algorithm on Hooli time using company equipment.
While the lawsuit appears frivolous to the Pied Piper team, Raviga retracts its offer. This has a domino effect, all the other VC firms retract their offers claiming Bachman's behavior was "rude" and that the lawsuit added too much uncertainty. LaFlamme, Pied Piper's attorney, estimates the cost of the lawsuit to be $2 – 2.5 million with the first $80,000 due immediately. Pied Piper cannot afford this retainer, but Hendricks receives a phone call from Gavin Belson. Richard secretly meets Belson at a Mexican restaurant, where Belson offers to buy out Pied Piper at a higher valuation than the initial $10 million offer. Richard rejects outright claiming that he doesn't want his compression algorithm to become the property of the heartless Hooli corporation. Belson convincingly argues that Pied Piper is no different: the ultimate objective of any company is to scale and become a publicly traded corporation just like Hooli. He insists the lawsuit will bankrupt Pied Piper and that Richard should get something out of his company while still possible. Gilfoyle, Dinesh and Bachman reject the buyout while Monica and Jared support it. As Richard is about to accept Belson's offer, he is confronted by Russ Hanneman, the wealthy man who "put radio on the Internet". Hanneman offers them $5 million despite the lawsuit and Richard turns down Hooli's buyout offer. Richard quickly begins questioning his decision after learning about Hanneman's mercurial reputation and his excessive interference in day-to-day operation. Belson meets with his litigators to discuss a strategy for the lawsuit. They decide to promote Big Head to Hooli's "moonshot" department, Hooli [xyz], to make people think he created the compression algorithm and Richard stole it to create Pied Piper.
When Hooli Nucleus fails to carry 4K video at a pay-per-view event, Pied Piper tries to generate publicity by live streaming a stunt for an energy drink company, Homicide. Despite a promising rollout, Erlich's past with the Homicide CEO and issues with the stunt driver complicate matters to a point that Pied Piper ends up quitting the job and instead live-streaming video of an unhatched condor egg. End Frame picks the event up for Homicide with a functioning, but lossy, 4K streambased on the Pied Piper algorithm, leaving Richard infuriated but without legal options to stop End Frame.
The Pied Piper team confronts End Frame about End Frame's theft of intellectual property, and during the visit End Frame brags that their large sales department will allow them to be successful despite their technical inferiority. Hanneman arranges for End Frame to buy Pied Piper, but Richard rejects the deal. Gilfoyle reveals that a post-it note with the administrator username and password he took from End Frame allowed him to retrieve sales contracts Pied Piper could use to poach End Frame's customers. Richard approaches the CEO of Intersite, a porn company with whom End Frame was negotiating a $15 million deal, and offers them a technically superior deal. The Intersite CEO proposes a "bake-off" between End Frame and Pied Piper, to see who can better compress their video data, but the competition is called off when Hanneman accidentally deletes a large portion of Intersite's video library from Intersite's servers.
Big Head finds a prototype Nucleus phone left behind at a bar and, stunned at how bad Nucleus really is, provides it to Richard to use as leverage against Belson. Belson agrees to drop the lawsuit in favor of binding arbitration to prevent the press from finding out about the phone. At the arbitration, Hooli's lawyers don't appear to have a real case. However, an unintentional slip by Bachman leads Hooli to realize that Richard had used a Hooli computer to run a single test of Pied Piper, meaning that per the terms of Richard's employment contract, Hooli owns the rights to Pied Piper. Hooli calls Richard as a witness and, unwilling to lie under oath, Richard admits that he used a Hooli computer. However, while reviewing Jared's contract with Hooli as part of the lawsuit, since Belson also sued for the illegal hiring of Jared from Hooli, the judge discovers that the contract has a clause that makes it unenforceable. Since Richard's contract also has this clause, along with many Hooli employees, the lawsuit is ruled in Pied Piper's favor. Thinking that they had lost Pied Piper to Hooli, Richard sends a text to the team to delete all of the Pied Piper code, but the deletion program crashes before any damage could be done.
Meanwhile, the museum providing the video of the condor egg decides to remove the camera due to low viewership numbers, but the technician taking it down falls and becomes trapped with the camera in a ravine. The feed of the injured technician goes viral, forcing Gilfoyle, Dinesh, Jared and Bachman to scramble to keep their servers online. Despite the high server load starting a small fire, the feed remains online until the technician is rescued.
After it is clear that Hooli has no claim on Pied Piper, Raviga, impressed by Pied Piper's performance during the live stream, buys out Russ Hanneman's stake in Pied Piper, securing three of Pied Piper's five board seats. However, due to the previous incidents with Intersite and Homicide, Raviga has little confidence in Pied Piper's leadership. As Pied Piper celebrates their arbitration victory, Richard is notified that the now Raviga-run board has voted to remove him from the CEO position.
|Picture||Episode Title||Directed by||Written by||Original Airdate|
|Sand Hill Shuffle||Mike Judge||Clay Tarver||April 12, 2015|
|Following, their success at TechCrunch Disrupt, the Pied Piper team find themselves being aggressively courted by every VC in Silicon Valley, while Monica adjusts to a new managing partner as Raviga faces major changes.|
|Runaway Devaluation||Mike Judge||Ron Weiner||April 19, 2015|
|In the wake of Hooli's bombshell, Richard and the guys struggle to find a backer as they face legal and financial woes. Monica struggles to balance her interest in Pied Piper with her job, while a cash-strapped Dinesh tries to put an end to a Kickstarter for his cousin's app.|
|Bad Money||Alec Berg||Alec Berg||April 26, 2015|
|Richard is approached by billionaire Russ Hannemen, who wants to back Pied Piper. Gilfoyle and Dinesh play hardball to get what they want, while Gavin finds a new way to deal with the enemy.|
|The Lady||Alec Berg||Carson Mell||May 3, 2015|
|Richard and Erlich disagree over a potential employee. Dinesh and Gilfoyle worry that someone they recommended will be receiving more money that themselves.|
|Server Space||Mike Judge||Sony Lee||May 10, 2015|
|Gavin continues to cause trouble for Pied Piper. Gilfoyle works on building servers, while Jared becomes Richard's roommate.|
|Homicide||Mike Judge||Carrie Kemper||May 17, 2015|
|Monica wants to participate in a Pied Piper livestream event, while Erlcih reconnects with Double-A, someone he used to mentor. Jared encourages Carla and Monica to be friends.|
|Adult Content||Alec Berg||Amy Aniobi||May 24, 2015|
|The team fields job offers and Russ is distracted by financial news, but Richard realizes Pied Piper could fold if it doesn't merge with a hated rival. Meanwhile, Dinesh tries to woo a woman online; and Gavin looks on the bright side of Nucleus' failure.|
|White Hat/Black Hat||Alec Berg||Daniel Lyons||May 31, 2015|
|Richard gets paranoid about security after he takes pity on a competitor and inadvertently starts a feud. Meanwhile, Jared fibs about Pied Piper's size; and Gavin looks for a scapegoat when he feels pressure from board members.|
|Binding Arbitration||Mike Judge||Dan O'Keefe||June 7, 2015|
|When Pied Piper and Hooli enter binding arbitration, Erlich demands to be put on the stand. Meanwhile, Big Head finds himself propped up, and Richard worries Hooli’s claim could have legs.|
|Two Days of the Condor||Alec Berg||Alec Berg||June 14, 2015|
|As the guys await the verdict on Pied Piper’s fate, an unexpected real-life drama draws a spike in traffic to their livestream and leaves them fighting to hold things together – literally. While Erlich considers his future, Richard scrambles to save Pied Piper’s.|
The second season of Silicon Valley was nominated for the following awards.
- 5th Critics' Choice Television Awards
- Best Comedy Series - Won
- Best Actor in a Comedy Series (Thomas Middleditch) - Nominated
- Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (T. J. Miller) - Won
- 1st Golden Maple Awards
- Best Actress in a TV Series Broadcast in the US (Amanda Crew) - Won
- 67th Primetime Emmy Awards
- Outstanding Comedy Series - Nominated
- Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (Mike Judge for "Sand Hill Shuffle") - Nominated
- Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (Alec Berg for "Two Days of the Condor") - Nominated
- Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series (Brian Merken for "Two Days of the Condor") - Won
- Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series (Tim Roche for "Sand Hill Shuffle") - Nominated
- Outstanding Art Direction for a Contemporary Program (Half hour or less) - Won
- 73rd Golden Globe Awards
- Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy - Nominated
- 68th Directors Guild of America Awards
- Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series (Mike Judge for "Binding Arbitration") - Nominated
- 20th Satellite Awards
- Best Musical or Comedy Series - Won
- Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series (Thomas Middleditch) - Nominated
- 68th Writers Guild of America Awards
- Best Comedy Series - Nominated
- Episodic Comedy - Clay Tarver for "Sand Hill Shuffle"