Actual Silicon Valley madman Peter Thiel believes in quite a few bonkers ideas, ranging from immortality to electing President Donald Trump. In August 2016, news broke that Thiel was very interested in injecting himself with young men’s blood in the interest of prolonging his life. This week on Silicon Valley, Richard, Jared, and Gilfoyle meet Gavin Belson’s actual “blood boy,” an Aryan-looking athlete who’s apparently got tech ideas of his own.
Silicon Valley, though bombastic, doesn’t typically mock its subject outright. The men of California’s tech bubble, according to Mike Judge’s sitcom, are as brilliant as they are quirky. The worst we ever see them is egotistical, but at their best, they spout transcendent ideals and hope to improve the entire world. Todd Silverstein, tech advisor on Silicon Valley, tells Inverse, “These guys are creating products aimed at the entire human race.” He praises the show’s persistent humanity and speaks highly of the real Silicon Valley as well.
However, in this week’s episode, Richard’s veneer of brilliance slips just a little. He becomes obsessed with Belson’s handsome blood boy and is unconvinced that an attractive man gifted with a certain genetic make-up should have a say in his company. He discovers that Belson’s blood boy has been smoking weed and eating junk food, and gleefully tells him that tech is for “people like him,” who have somehow earned their spot among the hoodied, flip-flop wearing multimillionaires by growing up dorky.
The moment would induce eye-rolling if it weren’t on a show so careful not to come off sentimental. It’s rare that we see Richard succeed at anything for very long, but he gets an odd, almost cruel moment of triumph when he takes down a blood boy for doing the same thing Erlich does regularly: get high and eat garbage.
Silicon Valley airs Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on HBO.