Fifty-One Percent
Silicon Valley | Season 5 | Episode 8

Fifty-One Percent

TV-MA | 30 MIN

Written and Directed by Alec Berg

Dressed in a Pied Piper costume, Richard excitedly rallies the company for a group photo and congratulates them as they count down the launch of Pipernet.

Two months later, the darkened Pied Piper office is nearly empty. A bearded Dinesh runs into Richard's office explaining they've finally found some success: Users have reached an inflection point. Richard gathers the team for a celebration, announcing they are gaining almost 12,000 users an hour. Then he thanks the seven developers who stayed loyal to Pied Piper, especially after K-Hole Games bailed at the last minute.

"A good thing has finally happened." — Dinesh

Laurie assumes management of Hooli's former factory in China. She and the owner, Yao, have produced 400,000 smartphones and are manually signing each one onto the Pied Piper network. Yao notes Pied Piper won't know until it's too late to stop their plan.

K-Hole's CEO, Colin, shows up at the Pied Piper office. He tells Richard that Laurie's fired him, even though he followed her orders — including bailing on Pied Piper. Colin has a proposition for Richard, though. He's been working on a new game and needs a platform for it. Launching on Pipernet would give the network 80,000 instant users. It's a win-win deal. Despite the promise of new users, Richard isn't willing to forgive Colin and rejects his offer with a taunt: "Karma's a bitch."

"I find parades to be impident displays of authoritarianism." — Gilfoyle

Monica tells Gilfoyle she's noticed Pipercoin value has remained stagnant despite the user increase. The two work all night and realize an eighth unknown developer is signing up thousands of users. Monica notes that without an access key, someone would need access to the actual software to sign people up. Only one person has this besides the developers: Jian-Yang.

The team learns Laurie invested $200 million in Yao's company after it purchased Jian-Yang's knock-off Pied Piper code. Gilfoyle and Dinesh suddenly realize it's a "51 percent attack": No one controls the decentralized internet, but the entity with the majority of users can rewrite the rules of the space and delete Pied Piper's users. When Richard returns to the Hacker Hostel, the guys break the news that Yao and Laurie currently have 45 percent of users, and it's growing every hour. Desperate for users and time, Richard tries to reach Colin, but gets his voicemail. He leaves a voicemail apology in hopes of getting his 80,000 users.

"He hates me, everybody does. Honestly they're right. I'm an asshole." — Richard

In another desperate effort to save Pipernet, Richard approaches Gavin and proposes a way for him to get revenge on Yao. Richard grants Signature Box III users access to Pipernet, preventing Yao from reaching 51 percent, but inadvertently giving majority share to Gavin in the process. Richard is blindsided when Gavin uses his advantage against Pied Piper, striking a deal with Yao and Laurie: a partnership with Hooli and a 20 percent stake in their venture in exchange for eliminating Pied Piper. Yao and Laurie agree and order all the phones in the factory turned off.

Searching for Colin, Dinesh and Jared finally find him in a campground, playing video games in his trailer. Despite being "off the grid," Colin agrees to help them. Dinesh puts the Tesla in "ludicrous mode" to get back to the Pied Piper office in time to save the company.

"Kiss my piss." — Richard

Richard stalls Gavin by pretending to offer him a deal: Take total control of Pied Piper instead of partnering with the "knock off version." Naturally, Gavin wants the power and takes the bait. In the meantime, Gilfoyle gets Colin's users on the network, securing the 51 percent majority for Pipernet.

The team celebrates their win over Gavin, Laurie and Yao, and a slight increase in Piper Coin value. Monica takes the guys on a tour of their new offices. To Richard's surprise, they are upgrading to a huge space with multiple floors to house the hundreds of developers they need to hire.