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S06.E04: Maximizing Alphaness

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When Richard’s authority is threatened by Ethan, his former manager at Hooli, Dinesh advises him to assert his dominance. Meanwhile, Monica tries to prove she supports other women by participating in Laurie’s female empowerment panel and Gavin pens a book that’s light on tech talk. Jared finally meets his birth parents and decides to fully commit himself to Gwart.

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Original air date: 11/17/19

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(S6, Ep 4) Maximizing Alphaness: Dinesh has just the solution when Richard gets threatened by his ex-Hooli boss. Jared learns some hard truths about his birth parents.

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Season 6, episode 4: “Maximizing Alphaness”

Debut date: SUNDAY, NOV. 17 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT)

Richard’s (Thomas Middleditch) authority is threatened by his former Hooli manager; Monica (Amanda Crew) tries to prove her support of other women; Gavin (Matt Ross) sets his sights on the literary world.

Written by Daisy Gardner; directed by Liza Johnson.

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While I don't dispute that Ethan is a jerk and needed to be taken down a notch, Richard 100% deserved to be mocked for linear-searching a sorted list. Searching and sorting are the ABCs of computer science; how did he even make it past the coding interview at Hooli in the first place?

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Ooof. If Ethan had tried that with Gavin, he would have been Hoovered so hard. Richard needs to grow a pair.

I felt really sad for Jared. The parents are arseholes, obviously, but if Bighead is the only person he had to talk to afterwards, thats even worse.

They finally gave Monica something to do and with a somewhat current subject too. Not proud to admit that, but I am such a Monica - I would have done the same.  I also liked how her morals went straight out of the window a few episodes when the billion dollar offer came in - these are my principles, if you don't like them, I have others.

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Much respect to whoever new Jared is!  I did not see that coming.  

Richard should have tripped Ethan on those ridiculous roller blades.  

I was so sad for Jared with gwart and his parents.  I was hoping that she had some type of human like emotions, but dismissing Jared like that wasnt just socially awkward, it was pretty cold.  I had no idea she even spoke.

So are Jared and new Jared (can't remember his name) going to fight it out?  Clearly new Jared has street fighting skills too, but Jared was raised in the system, and he has suffered two back to back blows so he may want it more.   

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Does it feel a little stale that Ethan was being such a dick to Richard? I mean Richard is the big boss of Pied Piper and why the hell would you treat your boss like that, even if they really needed you?

They even had this in friends where Monica hired Joey as a waiter to fire him in front of the staff in order to gain their respect and make them fear her.

Making the guys total losers, when at this point they are far from it feels a little lazy.

It is almost like Silicon Valley Success either means that you are a socially awkward weirdo, a total asshole. or a combination of both.

I like that Priyanka took Monica's shit project and made it into something awesome.

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6 minutes ago, qtpye said:

I like that Priyanka took Monica's shit project and made it into something awesome.

It definitely shows the difference between them. Monica saw it as something she had to ditch (if only for the sake of not getting herself involved in something controversial) while Priyanka saw it as an opportunity to make the best of a crap situation and do something about it.

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27 minutes ago, qtpye said:

Does it feel a little stale that Ethan was being such a dick to Richard? I mean Richard is the big boss of Pied Piper and why the hell would you treat your boss like that, even if they really needed you?

It's a power move. There is a talent shortage in Silicon Valley (and tech in general), so nobody really *needs* a particular job; in fact, many people act like their employer needs them more than vice versa. Ethan told Richard exactly that - Richard needed him to speed up development time, so he was going to call Richard whatever nicknames he wanted.

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On the one hand: Monica got a plot that was pretty much independent of the male characters! Wow. When was that last time that happened? That it did happen in an episode that appears to have been written and directed by women is probably not a coincidence.

On the other hand: this show continues to have a recurring female character who literally has no voice.

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This season had felt a little listless up to this point, but  the Jared and Monica subplots this episode were absolute highlights for me.

Everything about the interaction between Jared and his birth parents was delightfully absurd. I have to think Zach Woods lends a hand in writing these back-story bits for Jared, so I was delighted to see it get a little more focus. The set-up that it was as a result of getting genetic testing done for his risk of Marfan Syndrome was an amazing slip-in that is so bad, but on point.

Everything about the Monica line was great too and gave her some character beyond "she smokes." The trying to weasel her way in, the "mentoring from afar" and then being bumped from the stage were great. And of course, it all leads to Lori discovering and being infatuated with Gwart"

I also want to see what comes of this Guilfoyle, Jon "friendship"

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13 hours ago, Traveller519 said:

This season had felt a little listless up to this point, but  the Jared and Monica subplots this episode were absolute highlights for me.

Everything about the interaction between Jared and his birth parents was delightfully absurd. I have to think Zach Woods lends a hand in writing these back-story bits for Jared, so I was delighted to see it get a little more focus. The set-up that it was as a result of getting genetic testing done for his risk of Marfan Syndrome was an amazing slip-in that is so bad, but on point.

Everything about the Monica line was great too and gave her some character beyond "she smokes." The trying to weasel her way in, the "mentoring from afar" and then being bumped from the stage were great. And of course, it all leads to Lori discovering and being infatuated with Gwart"

I also want to see what comes of this Guilfoyle, Jon "friendship"

This is already the most we've ever seen of Monica in a single season. I've always suspected they didn't see that the actress had any comedy chops (unlike Suzanne Cryer) but didn't want to get rid of their one recurring female character.

I could have sworn it seemed like they were intending to have her and Richard get together in the first season, but then that was completely dropped. At some point I think they also decided that they just don't do romance on this show at all.

Unfortunately, I did think that she and Richard had some chemistry together in those early flirtation scenes, so that could have worked, imo. Kind of a shame.

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6 hours ago, ruby24 said:

This is already the most we've ever seen of Monica in a single season. I've always suspected they didn't see that the actress had any comedy chops (unlike Suzanne Cryer) but didn't want to get rid of their one recurring female character.

I could have sworn it seemed like they were intending to have her and Richard get together in the first season, but then that was completely dropped. At some point I think they also decided that they just don't do romance on this show at all.

Unfortunately, I did think that she and Richard had some chemistry together in those early flirtation scenes, so that could have worked, imo. Kind of a shame.

I think it was expected that she was supposed to be the "normal one" in all the craziness and is an okay straight man. I was actually surprised at how they are showcasing a more jerky side to her recently (not that its bad, human beings are complex and no one is perfect).

Like I thought she would be the type to be all over women's empowerment in tech. However, (as a woman myself) it is also nice to see a lady who is just in it for money and not someone with an agenda.

It's like why is it so bad for ladies in business to be just in it for the money? Guys do it all the time and I some writers seem to be afraid of showing powerful women who are not Femi Nazis.

I am glad that they did not go the romance route with her because I find it refreshing to see a woman on TV that is not obsessed with romance. Your job pays the bills and most of us ladies have to spend a lot of time building our careers. If romance, happens that's great....if not, it really is not the end of the world if you have a strong circle of family and friends. Heck, there are  a lot more worse things in life than being alone.

Edited by qtpye
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I cant even remember the last more Monica centric episode we got, with her whole own subplot and everything! I kind of love that Monica is just in this for the money and not some greater statement about feminism. There are plenty of men who are just working for money and not for any greater purpose, so why cant woman do the same on television?! It was hilarious watching Monica try to weasel in with "stealth mentoring" to get in on the women in tech conference, and it was awesome seeing Priyanka actually take this crappy project and turn it into something really great, while Monica gets literally pushed off stage. Hey, its also cool to see women working for a greater goal as well! 

Jared is just the saddest sad in all of sads, with his awful birth family and being replaced everywhere. So I guess New Jared isnt giving up his position without a fight, but I wouldn't count Jared out. 

I hated Ethan instantly because he kind of looks like a guy I knew in high school who set fires all of the time, and my suspicions were absolutely correct. 

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Poor Jared, he does not deserve his terrible birth parents and the terrible Gwart. 

I'm always happy when Richard's lawyer shows up

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A little nit picking.  Gavin referred to a 1968 IBM Selectric II, but the Selectric II wasn't introduced until 1971.  Being the dinosaur that I am, I used Selectrics from the 60's through the 80's.

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7 hours ago, Snarky McSnarky said:

A little nit picking.  Gavin referred to a 1968 IBM Selectric II, but the Selectric II wasn't introduced until 1971.  Being the dinosaur that I am, I used Selectrics from the 60's through the 80's.

That was the sound of Gavin putting a hit out on you so you can’t disseminate any more of these vicious lies against him.

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On 11/19/2019 at 2:21 AM, ruby24 said:

This is already the most we've ever seen of Monica in a single season. I've always suspected they didn't see that the actress had any comedy chops (unlike Suzanne Cryer) but didn't want to get rid of their one recurring female character.

I could have sworn it seemed like they were intending to have her and Richard get together in the first season, but then that was completely dropped. At some point I think they also decided that they just don't do romance on this show at all.

Unfortunately, I did think that she and Richard had some chemistry together in those early flirtation scenes, so that could have worked, imo. Kind of a shame.

They absolutely did. But richard then was not an impulsive bizarre nerdy jerk but a shy Dweeby  straight man himself. Monica was Gavin’s assistant. There were sparks. 
 

the characters were different then.

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41 minutes ago, lucindabelle said:

Monica was Gavin’s assistant.

She was working for Peter Gregory's investment firm, and she was an associate, not an assistant. The consistent thing about her character is that she's always had a finance background, so it's not too far-fetched that she's the CFO of Pied Piper now. BTW, Peter Gregory was a fantastic character and the late Christopher Evan Welch is sorely missed.

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On 12/5/2019 at 11:53 PM, lucindabelle said:

And he and Monica never. 

Completely agree. It would be so freaking unbelievable that it would really spoil the show. Hoping that nothing crazy happens in the last episode that renders me unable to ever rewatch the show. 

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