Silicon Valley, Ep. 3.03: The Pied Piper Crew Slow Down the Momentum in “Meinertzhagen’s Haversack”

"Meinertzhagen's Haversack" is a water treading episode for Silicon Valley. The show's forward momentum comes to a halt and the jokes aren't as plentiful.
- Advertisement -


Silicon Valley, Season 3, Episode 3: “Meinertzhagen’s Haversack”
Written by Adam Countee
Directed by Charlie McDowell
Airs Sundays at 10pm on HBO

The end of last week’s episode of Silicon Valley was the biggest blow to Richard’s original Pied Piper vision yet; the new CEO Barker had gone all in on the presumably misguided advice of his salespeople and decided to turn Pied Piper into some kind of appliance. It hasn’t really been explained, but it seems to be some kind of storage for secure information. Barker is only concerned with short-term profits, and the box is about as short-term as it gets.

The episode opens on Richard, Dinesh, and Guilfoyle touring a server farm while a hilariously deadpan engineer tries to show them every possible spot their box could be placed. When Richard meets with Barker to fight for his original platform, Barker points to his Conjoined Triangles of Success diagram, which happens to make a – wait for it – box. Barker might consider letting Richard build the platform after finishing the box, but it’s far from a sure thing.

Richard’s only course of action is to go over Barker’s head by complaining to Bream, their investor. She agrees that ditching the platform would be a mistake, but when Barker forces her to fire him if she wants the platform, she relents. Firing two CEOs in short succession would make Pied Piper look too chaotic, so she lets him stay in place and continue with the box.

The group is about to give in and sacrifice their ambitions and principles to build the box, until Erlich steps in to save the day. He suggests the build their platform in secret, all while pretending to be working on the box. Barker won’t fire them because it will make him look incompetent, and Bream will be happy to have the platform she always preferred. But they’ll have to be wary of Meinertzhagen’s Haversack, which Jared helpfully reminds them means that they’ll have to continue to act the same. So they’ll need to continue to act miserable while they build their platform.

They return to work the next day, ready to work, until Jared makes a hilariously off-color joke about Dinesh’s new chain (keeping things the same also means continuing to make fun of his chain). Richard is taken off guard by the joke, trips on a hose meant to water the indoor shrubbery, and spills all the secret Pied Piper papers he’s carrying. One of the salespeople grabs a diagram for the platform, rushes off to Barker, and within a matter of 30 seconds they’re being called into his office.


“Meinertzhagen’s Haversack” lacked the forward momentum of the first two episodes of the season; it was all about planning to do something rather than actually doing something. Still, the episode had some great bits with Erlich, and Stephen Tobolowsky continued to be excellent as Barker. Tobolowsky’s Southern twang makes him seem folksy, even as he spouts out ridiculous business jargon. Jared was also characteristically great when he decided to join in on making fun of Dinesh for his new gold chain. I almost spit out my drink laughing when he made his crude sexual joke about Dinesh, his mother, and the gold chain in the episode’s final moments.

Silicon Valley is never not funny, but this episode was a bit lighter on the jokes than previous episodes this season. It was somewhat counterintuitive since there was less plot, which should have left more room for pure comedy. Perhaps next week will manage to ramp up the humor and the forward motion.

Stray Thoughts

  • Richard: “Once you’ve seen once space in a rack, you’ve kind of seen them all.” Server engineer: “That’s what I used to think, until I saw them all.”
  • The guy showing them around the server facility has an amazing haircut on his ID badge. It’s the little details like that that really matter.
  • Erlich has to walk closer and repeat “Or do we?!” when no one hears him the first time.
  • Dinesh: “Ocean’s 11?” Jared: “It’s a 2001 casino heist film starring Julia Roberts and eleven men.”
  • Carla briefly appears in this episode, then disappears, presumably forever. She was barely developed last season and it seems like a waste of time to even put her in this episode. This show isn’t great about doing women characters, which is partly justified by how terrible the tech industry is about hiring and promoting women. But more meaningful parts for women would be a nice addition.

Add Comment

10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
22 Different Types of TV Shows
A Saxophonist with a Saxophone in His Hands
12 Different Types of Saxophones
genre titles mash up
The 13 Types of Movies You Can Choose From (Genres)
Crowd enjoying a concert
19 Types of Entertainment – What Do You Like Doing?
15 Different Types of Mustard
23 Different Types of Peas (Plus Harvesting Tips)
15 Different Types of Frosting
7 Different Types of Fennel (Plus Essential Facts)
17 Different Types of Trains
Several semi trucks on the highway
19 Different Types of Trucks – Do You Know Them All?
Airplane soaring through the air
19 Different Types of Airplanes that Dominate the Skies
Cars lined up on the road
26 Types of Cars You Can Choose From for Your Ride
15 Different Types of Goggles
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
Baseball player hitting ball
10 Types of Baseball Bats that Rip the Leather Off the Ball
16 Different Types of Technology
man holding smartphone with vintage case
11 Types of Cell Phone Cases and Covers to Protect Your Expensive Smartphone
Black and Red Tablet Covers
8 Types of Tablet Cases for Kids, Protection, and Convenience
Camera, lenses and other photography equipments.
45 of the Best Online Photography and Camera Stores