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Start-Ups: Silicon Valley episode 4 recap: White Oprah’s in the house

For the first time since Start-Ups: Silicon Valley premiered, something strange happened. I found myself, dare I say, engaged in this episode. Maybe it’s the minimal Sarah Austin airtime (despite the fact that she delivered the quote that made our headline), or maybe it’s because the show finally focused on a girl’s journey to entrepreneurship. Somehow, Start-Ups has finally become relevant to what it set out to do – although everyone on the show’s still horrible.

Episode 4 revolves mainly around Kim and her decision to quit Ampush Media, citing that she should be doing something she loves for herself, not for her bosses. “I’m equal parts excited and terrified,” she says. We would be too, since she has no plans on how to raise money, draft a product, hire her team, make the prototype – only vague brainstorm of what she wants to create. That was apparently enough to push her to leave behind a high salary job while unemployment hits an all-time high. Girl, what?

Still, excited by the idea, Kim marches into her office and confidently calls her boss Jesse for a short meeting. Now is her time for “soul searching,” she says, and Jesse jokes that if she were to start a competing company, Ampush would still beat hers. The remark doesn’t sit well with Kim but she takes the high road and assures Jesse her startup won’t touch his market, since it’s going to be something about “event-based style advice.” Again: Girl, what? Her storyline ends with a party at a club called Harlot and Dwight shows up for 30 seconds to freeload off the Ketel One. Natch.

There’s a short montage of the contrast between Sarah and Hermione both interviewing subjects for their respective jobs. While a Canon DSLR record Hermione talking to Dwight in his ratty Sunnyvale apartment, elsewhere Sarah is sitting in her luxurious Four Seasons suite with a professional camera crew. Here, Sarah delivers the most absurd line in the history of reality television, calling her 26-year-old self the “original bloggers of Silicon Valley.” That’s not all! The delusional princess goes on to say, “If Oprah was white and she was in tech, she would be me.” I cried.

Meanwhile, not-Oprah siblings Hermione and Ben go on a third pitch meeting feeling hopeful, since Hermione is wearing a blazer this time. Unfortunately, they get rejected again and realize they may have to put their own capital into Ignite. The two argue that they don’t have any liquid from their 43 other companies to invest. Several scenes later, the siblings run into David at an Appcelerator meetup hoping to get some publicity. David harps on about his broke ass and Ben offers to loan him anything he needs. Hermione, confused as to how Ben magically conjured a couple thousand dollars, explodes. The siblings fight and realize they may not be suited to work with each other while David helplessly watch.

At last, Hermione breaks down, cries, admits she has no friends because she’s so invested in creating Ignite even though we’ve yet to see what exactly she does for it. The episode ends with this Asian dude awkwardly stumbling into the scene. Wait, I get it now. This is why episode 4 has been the best one yet. That guy provided the ultimate lolz.

Next week, Ben and Hermione continue to toy with the idea of dropping each other as business partners. Maybe that’ll clear ways for them to finally hook up.

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