"Start-Ups: Silicon Valley" is in its fourth week and, quite frankly, we're concerned. Where is the team effort? The only people pumping any drama juice into this fledgling reality wreck have been attractive frenemies Hermione and Sarah. It's time for someone else to step up and contribute. And, no, having David offer more of his sex-related TMI comments does not count.
Tonight's episode is actually light on Sarah, much to our dismay. It begins at The Villa, where Hermione and brother Ben are working out with a meaty personal trainer named Adria. Hermione wants to do some boxing, so Adria invites her to throw jabs at his padded hands.
"Can I pretend that you're someone I really, really hate?" she asks, displaying her tiny fists of fury.
"Like who?" he wonders.
"Hmmm. Sarah Austin."
Uh, oh. Did someone say: "Live-stream cage match?" (If so, I'm putting my money on Ms. Way).
Turns out that Hermione hasn't been sleeping well for days. Too much pressure. Too much stress. If she and Ben can't sell their life-expectancy app, Ignite, very soon, the world just may come to an end. Or so it seems.
Ben worries, however, that she's spending too much of her time on other projects.
"I've given up everything for Ignite and I expect the same things from her," he grumbles in that fancy British dialect of his.
Cut to: The Firewood Cafe in San Francisco, where Kim has met up with Dwight for a "sanity check" (Oh, is that on the menu? We'll have the same.). For the 500th time, Kim is talking about how she feels her career is stalling and that she's not going anywhere and blah, blah, blah .... (Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz). She is starting to get on our nerves. Just leave Ampush, already!
Dwight talks about how scary it is to run your own company. How he's living on the edge all the time.
"It's so much fun, though," he says. "I don't think I can get a kick out of anything else anymore."
Meanwhile, at the Four Seasons Hotel, Sarah, looking yummy in a skin-tight blue dress, is doing work on her video blog and bragging about how good and original she is.
"If Oprah was white and she was in tech, she would be me," she says. And that's just about all we see of Sarah tonight (Can you feel the ratings plummet?).
Later, we hook back up with Hermione, who is now wearing her Next Web hat and going to interview Dwight in his tiny Sunnyvale apartment, which apparently doubles as a land fill. It's very Silicon Valley, Hermione explains, pointing out that mammoth businesses in the area started in simple garages and we love the way she prounces the word as "garriges." Dwight, of course, isn't fazed by the ridiculous mess all around him. He just wants to get the word out about his automotive website, Carsabi.com, all of which makes for absolutely scintillating TV. ... Not.
From there, we shoot over to Kim's much nicer apartment, where she's trying to get her makeup just right because this is the day she plans to quit. She figures that she may be walking away from about a million bucks and walking into the great unknown, with no paycheck. Just thinking about it makes us pee our pants.
When Kim arrives at Ampush, she tells her pal, Lauren, that she's sweating and feels like throwing up. Ick. Just not on your nice shoes, girl.
"Be yourself and you'll be fine," advises Lauren. Of course, that's easy for her to say. She's not about to walk away from a million bucks and throw up all over herself.
Kim goes to see her boss, Jesse, and tells him that she's in a "soul-searching phase" and that it's time to do something else.
Jesse asks her if she has any plans. Kim says she's not going to start up an Ampush rival and Jesse cockily replies, "We'd beat you if you did." Oh, insulting.
Jesse tells her not to overlook the fact that Ampush will be rapidly growing in the near future and that she'll miss out. He also warns that starting a new company will require that she wear many hats (or turbans) and that's something to think about. Still, he wouldn't dream of holding her back -- even if it will be a big loss for Ampush.
Afterward, Jesse gives Kim what looks to be a token hug. Kim lets out a big breath and doesn't vomit.
Meanwhile, Hermione and Ben, who have struck out twice with potential investors, now place their hopes with Javelin Ventures. They find themselves at a pitch meeting, in front of four white guys, and trying to explain the life-expectancy virtues of Ignite. (We've heard this pitch before). The four white guys have lots of questions, most of which come off sounding like the adults in Charlie Brown cartoons. In other words: Gibberish.
Then, one of the white guys says that, if they can make this thing work, there's obviously a "big pot of gold" at the end. Suddenly, he has our attention.
After the meeting, Hermione tells Ben that he nailed the presentation. They leave feeling hopeful. But later, at The Villa, they get the word that Javelin has passed, deeming the Way project "too early stage and too high of a risk." So much for that pot of gold.
Now, a frazzled Hermione is wondering why Ben can't take some money out of one of his other companies to fund Ignite, but Ben says it doesn't work that way and we fear that he's about to give us a lesson in accounting. Meanwhile, they're going to owe $140,000 to Lunar, the company that is designing their product and they haven't got the cash. The sibling tension is mounting.
Back to Kim: When our brave girl gets home, she pours herself a glass of wine and calls her mom with the news. Mom is surprised, but she's the type of parent who has always told her daughter that she can do anything she sets her mind to. So she wishes Kim good luck and that's that. (Why can't we all have parents like that?)
Later, we catch up with her at a night club celebrating her big milestone with her gal pals. Lots of booze is consumed. Then Dwight shows up and even more booze is consumed. Dancing and flirting ensues.
"At the end of the day, he's a dude," Kim tells us. "And if the opportunity presented itself he would totally try to hook up with me."
OK, so why is that not happening? Because hardly anything happens on this show.
Still, we consider the episode to be a rousing success because we're 47 minutes into it we have yet to hear David speak. But wait: Our luck runs out when the show finally catches up with David, who is attending a networking event to get the word out about his app. He grabs a light beer and makes the rounds.
Later, Hermione and Ben show up at the event and David finds it a "little off-putting" because they're kind of competitors. Whatever. Hermione cries on David's shoulders about their financial woes and David can relate.
"If it makes you feel any better, I have about $700 to my name," he says.
Ben tells David that, if he needs money, he might be able to make him a loan -- which shocks Hermione, who has heard Ben tell her that there's no money for their start-up.
"I'm seriously about to break," she growls and we start to wonder if that cage match we envisioned might be better suited to these siblings.
They start to argue in front of David, who can only look on awkwardly. Bleeped-out curse words are exchanged. Fingers are pointed. Then Hermione tosses her glass, letting it shatter all over the floor.
"That's how I feel right now," she says.
Outside, Ms. Way turns into a blubbering wreck. "I'm pushing myself SO hard!" she wails. Ben wipes her tears and he and David envelope her in a great big hug.
Ben assures Hermione that he cares more about her than their dumb ol' start-up. "I love you and I'll always be there for you," he says, gingerly leading her back into the event.
It's a lovely way to end the epsiode, but will their truce last? Not likely. The previews for next week hint at more tense times between the Ways and possibly even a rocky breakup. Have those boxing gloves ready.