Post Mortems
Silicon Valley Season 4 Episode 1

Does Silicon Valley's Big Premiere Twist Signal the Beginning of the End?

Did Silicon Valley just boot up its end game?

In Sunday’s Season 4 premiere, Richard announced that he was breaking away from his band(width) mates to pursue a solo career, armed with nothing by the Pied Piper name and his precious compression algorithm. What he didn’t divulge to his now-former cohorts is that he’s going off to create a brand new… Internet.

As leading man Thomas Middleditch speculates, Richard’s surprising move could be both a game-changer and a game-ender. “Regardless of how it plays out, it’s my hunch that the new Internet [gambit] is going to be the thing that carries us to the end of the show,” he tells to TVLine. “I don’t think you can get a loftier ambition than Internet 2.0. It’s such a Hail Mary for Richard. This is really his last shot.”

That’s not to say Silicon Valley will be powering down anytime soon. But Middleditch acknowledges that the show’s central conceit doesn’t allow for a particularly long run. “There’s only so much falling on your face and just pulling it out in the nick of time that you can do before [it gets old].” he maintains. “[Maybe] one of the last seasons could be about how they made their billion dollars… but then it’s not the underdog story that we’ve come to know and love. And I think everybody’s hesitant about turning it into this show that doesn’t live up to the premise we all bought into.”

So, if Middleditch were to slap a number on it? “I would imagine you can definitely expect a Season 5,” he muses. “And then [it’ll maybe end after] either Season 6 or 7.”

In the meantime, the actor teases that Richard spends much of Season 4 “dealing with the fallout” from his “bombshell” decision to go it alone. At one point this season, Middleditch himself began to feel the weight of the narrative curveball. “There is a time coming up when Richard is off in the background doing his own thing, and I was like, ‘Am I still on the show?'” he recalls with a chuckle. “My actor panic kind of kicked in.”