Silicon Valley finale fan theory

Season 6 Episode 7: Exit Event spoiler alert!!!


So you’ve finished the last episode, last season! Wasn’t it so great and awesome?! You’re probably also wondering “who has the thumb drive?”, like everybody else. And yes, I know how I’m 999 years too late in this conversation but hey, I have a theory and you tell me if it has any traction.

“So who took the thumb drive?”

Quick answer: everyone
Slightly elaborate answer: it doesn’t matter where the thumb drive is

I think the question of who has the physical drive is irrelevant because, imagine if you’re one of them and it’s “time to delete Pied Piper”…

What makes you think they’ll put it just in one drive? For all we know they’ve backed it up in the cloud or their personal drives before it even came to the thumb drive. They all could easily have a copy.

Remember, this wouldn’t be the first time they did not delete something they were asked to delete.

I think the last bit about the mockumentary about him fumbling to find the drive was just to throw the public off the scent. I think there’s something else here, but I can’t put my finger in it. If the government and everyone else expects them to delete Pied Piper, you wouldn’t want to walk around announcing to a documentary that you still have a copy of it. That’s how you get sued. So maybe there’s something here but I don’t know why Richard would bring it up.

Even if it was not lost, what would he show? Surely not just the shape of the usb.

“So if they all have a copy of Pied Piper SkyNet, what will/are they doing with it?”

Here’s where I put my tin foil hat HARD lol.

Well, writing-wise, I think the writers don’t really have a set idea of what actually happened. They’re leaving this open for if/when there’s an opportunity to continue the story later on so the story is not written yet.

That said, they can easily write the next film/show as: “They’re all secretly working with the Pied Piper code still, in the shadows”

Hear me out. Actually let me go through some of the characters and maybe you might find this juicy too :D. I’ll mention some of the people interviewed in the finale as well and then I’ll tie everything altogether in the end:

Dinesh and Gilfoyle

Hands down for sure they have a copy of this. Even if it’s not within my theory, they can easily have a copy of SkyNet just to goof around and remote drive Dinesh’s car.

Going back to my theory, they definitely have the most direct access to the code. They can easily have a copy.

Parts of Reddit say that it makes their security company even more plausible. As what one redditor said (paraphrased and sorry I can’t remember where I saw it exactly): With their encryption-destroyer code, they can easily break security in any company and make a market for themselves lol. “Hey, your security is weak. See? I just broke it. Hire us.”

You can take that theory and end it there but I’m aiming for something a bit more…

Monica Hall

A lot of people take Monica’s nervousness and her reaching for the cigarettes as a giveaway. For me it’s not enough. You can easily ask a person who’s actually working for CIA for example, “are you working for the CIA?” and they would have the same response.

For me the only thing that her response shows is that she’s working for an top secret/espionage organization.

Do I think she works for the NSA? Yes. Definitely.
Do I think she had the thumb drive, sold/gave Pied Piper to the NSA or made a deal with them? No.

Her background is business, venture capitalism, and finance to name a few. How would that conversation even start? “Hey I’m Monica, I have a Terminator level code. Let’s make a deal.”

NSA: “Thank you for your service. Now give us the code.”
Monica: “No, let’s make a deal”
NSA: * Proceeds to strong arm / black mail Monica *

What’s in it for the NSA to strike a deal with her and let her work for them? Even if she successfully managed to do so, how would that work?

NSA: “Ok Monica, it’s your day 1. Now tell us about how the code works”
Monica: …

Monica has explicitly expressed how she doesn’t get it right? Remember that episode with the bad UI and said exactly just that?

Yes I think she works for the NSA but not exactly due to bargaining or whatever. I’ll tie it at the bottom, let me just go though the other characters.

Richard Hendricks

Richard was the hardest to theorize for me. Sure, I think he’s part of it, maybe probably heading it still. I don’t really have a strong argument for him other than the fact that he has the “CEO experience” and he act as the moral anchor for Dinesh and Gilfoyle.

Frankly, I think Dinesh and Gilfoyle can easily and successfully just take all of the code and run with it. You can do a theory with them heading this “shadow pied piper”.

The only reason I’d lightly push that Richard’s still heading this is, it would just be an abrupt stop to not include him, and at the same time in the story, there are so many times that Dinesh and Gilfoyle would seemingly take helm only to rely on Richard’s final call in the end.

Bill Gates

YUP. I think he may can be part of this too. Remember, they were/are in Azure(or MS infrastructure). I can’t recall or verify in the show if they remained in Microsoft though. I know at some point they were self-hosting everything and lugging around Anton. The fact they are not doing this anymore means they’re probably with one of the top providers. It could be Amazon too sure, but big entities-wise, I’m sure it’s a pain for procurement, legal, and even transferring of everything so it would be just be easier to stick with what you got.

Also, this is Bill’s line in his “interview”:

“It’s weird.
It really seemed that Pied Piper was going to work.
Something doesn’t add up.”

Bill gates in the interview

Well the best I can realistically pull out of this is he has the curiosity. While this may be a stretch, it wouldn’t be that farfetched that maybe he decides to go Sherlock Holmes on them and since they’re using Microsoft/Azure…you know…

Russ Hanneman

I think he’s in on this too, as usual as an investor.

He claims in the interview that sure he lost his money, but then recouped everything by investing in the “hair transplant sector”.

It’s possible for sure…I just find it…a bit flimsy.

You mean to tell me that the hair transplant sector generates so much money than tech?

The other excuse they can have is this is “10 years later” so maybe Russ earned something good, reinvested it, etc.

But in typical Russ fashion though, I don’t peg him as the guy who does long run. He the “put down 1M today and get 10M tomorrow” type of personality.

Him having more hair in the interview has no bearing. He could easily get a hair transplant and make stuff up. If you’re buying the idea that the team is still working on Pied Piper, maybe this is him establishing his excuse/alibi/front.

Wrapping it all up

I think they’re still working on Pied Piper.

Best guess is that they’re continuing development but now focusing on setting guardrails for it (that’s why it’s a nice position to be in Stanford, an education institution, and specifically in their ethics committee).

Next best guess is that they’re trying to be responsible with it. Either they’re trying to responsibly show this to the government and see how this can be controlled/prevented if/when this approach shows up again (maybe that girl pitching arrives through the same path), they’ll know what to do with it.

Dinesh and Gilfoyle are still the chief tech people and their company is the front and the money provider. Richard can be part of it still but just decided to “travel and go solo”. It’s hard to integrate him in Dinesh and Gilfoyle’s company because Richard’s name is the tarnished name. If clients heard that Richard is working for you, they might just walk. Richard knows this.

Richard can stay in the shadows but just so it’s more credible, might as well get some side gigs with bighead and Stanford. Would be dubious if you’re 5 years unemployed and somehow sustaining yourself.

Russ is probably funding the whole thing, or at least the security firm front.
(Pied piper probably approached Laurie too for funding or some form of assistance and Laurie probably tried to one-up them again via YaoNet and she may have intended to expose this “secret” internationally to get $$$ but then got busted and caught with some hefty violations like national security or some shiz, that’s why she ended up with the orange jumpsuit.)

and then lastly, Monica acts as the liaison between Pied Piper and the NSA. This is definitely up her alley: negotiations, dealing with people, strategy.

Jared’s probably working with them too in the same capacity, but didn’t pick up on anything outstanding about him in the finale.