Silicon Valley’s ‘5 Guys’ Power Rankings: ‘Signaling Risk’

Every week during this opening season of Silicon Valley, A man must have a code will write the ’5 Guys’ power rankings in lieu of writing episode recaps. Hopefully, this, just like the show itself, will continue forever and ever until infinity. Or should I say, until ‘∞’. (That’s right, I too know H.T.M.L.)

Apologies to Nelson Bighetti, who just misses out this week. We’d let him and his ‘Big Head’-edness know that it’s because of that unfortunate candy apple he was eating when he made the discovery of a lifetime, but the audio doesn’t work here. 

1) Richard (last week: No. 1)

Is everyone against me? We’re supposed to be Vikings, but it’s been anything but smooth sailing so far. And we haven’t conquered anything yet. I got played by a woman who somehow did not fully play me when she secured our deal with “Big” Pete Gregory, because she invested 10 per cent of her salary in the company. Then there’s Erlich who’s high and gives away $10,000 of our money so he can get a painting of Dinesh giving it to him—though I guess it means something that he incarnates the Statue of Liberty in the masterpiece? The other two just keep on keeping on with the bickering. Even Jared, my lap dog, is questioning my judgement and his involvement with Pied Piper moving forward. I can’t let that happen, even if it takes a scrum.

Yeah, not the best week. It’s like someone lit a fire under my ass, with nobody in any hurry to put it out. Yet somehow, by the end, I get my logo. With lower-case characters. That’s why I’m No. 1, for those executive decisions.

2) Chuy Ramirez (last week: unranked)

Far from us the intention of calling out Chuy for being a fraud, but the man sure does not behave like a typical gangster. He runs from a gun fight, for one thing. (Of course, we’re not saying that Ramirez’s behaviour shows that he is somewhat not behaving as he should. Just that it isn’t the way gangsters operate.) Ramirez knows about stocks and the likes. He is rich, or at least he is by the end of the episode. He’s making something of himself in ways that Juilliard students would. His art resonates and is great social commentary, if a bit cheesy. (He’ll improve.) It shows he has a sense of humour. He wears a blue shirt when he paints and has red handkerchief. Where’s the license to ill, Chuy? But again, you and me, we good. We good? Yeah. We good. We good.

3) Erlich (last week: No. 2)

Hey look, we crossed right over the freeway for art that those MFers wouldn’t, couldn’t, make. We’re in the business of finding a logo for our company with the stupid name, it’s just five of us, 5 guys [editor's note: Bonus points go to Erlich for using 5 Guys in an episode] who do things differently. From where I stand, it feels like you’re doing things differently as well. You feel me, partner? We’re a cool company, and we need a cool logo, with no lower-case characters like everyone else has. That’s why I came to you. I’ll bend over backwards to not be racist, but in turn I’d appreciate if you didn’t paint me literally bending over backwards. Again, I’m not criticizing. I know that’s the code of the streets, and I respect that. But if there may be a drive-by about to happen, I don’t intend to see it through if and when it does.

4) Gavin Belson (last week: unranked)

On the surface, everything seems perfect with Gavin Belson. He has the perfect life, the perfect company and the perfect minions/workers. But get him behind the TeleHuman and you get to see little cracks in the perfect smile. Though it feels like he’s right there in the room with you—doesn’t it always feel that way?—he’s in damn rural Wyoming. And though audio worked 100 years ago, it’s not working today. You can make all the gestures you want, it won’t matter. He paid 20 effing millions for this company for someone to set it up for him, and someone didn’t do their job. TeleHuman or not, this angers Gavin Belson.

But Gavin also stumbles upon an opportunity with that TechCrunch conference and he finds his smile again. He’s not on the TeleHuman, this is real life and Peter Gregory is right in front of him. While the work of art he just purchased, with Dinesh’s and Erlich’s faces on it, is plenty raunchy, it’s nothing compared to what he intends to do now.

5) Dos Equis cerveza (last week: unranked)

The most interesting beer probably went unnoticed to the untrained eye, but these power rankings are many, many things—but an untrained eye isn’t one of them. The choice of cerveza for the incubator seems surprising at first, considering that drinking Dos Equis presupposes a certain kind of flair and experience with alcohol that the team of Pied Piper doesn’t have.

Lest we forget, the incubator belongs to a man who pronounces Aviato with the world’s worst fake Spanish accent. Of course, he drinks Dos Equis. Probably thinks it means “two horses” too, because he took latin once upon a time at school. (It’s not. It means “two X’s.” I, too, took latin. For four years.)