When we last left our self-absorbed posse from "Start-Ups: Silicon Valley," siblings Ben and Hermione had just engaged in a messy verbal throw-down. Can they recover and get past this? Or is their relationship -- and their start-up -- doomed?
We catch up with them at The Villa, where Hermy is wallowing in humiliation and self-pity.
"I totally embarrassed myself last night, in public, in front of everyone," she moans.
Ben tries his best to boost her spirits, while reminding her that they've got a lot of "bloody hard work" ahead of them.
Complicating matters, Hermy's 27th birthday is approaching and she's concerned that she doesn't have anyone to celebrate it with. Poor thing.
Well, it just so happens that Jay, Marcus and David are out shopping for a gift for sad little Hermy -- at a sex shop, of all places! Yes, they want to get a gag gift, but as David eyes all the vibrators and whips and harnesses and leather, he wonders, "What can we find that she doesn't already have?" (Oh, you naughty, Hermione! We never knew).
Jay, however, isn't quite convinced that this is the right gift idea. "Nothing good can come of this," he mutters. Little does he know that his words will turn out to be prophecy.
Meanwhile, Kim is at home in her apartment, facing her first day away from Ampush. Yes, it's terrifying to be jobless, but still, she's damn excited. She has Lauren and a couple of savvy business guys come over to drink some wine and discuss ideas for her company.
Kim explains that she wants to develop some kind of fashion-oriented website aimed at helping Gen Y women dress appropriately for "high-end events." But what to call it?
Kim, apparently a kick-butt gymnast as a kid, is thinking about naming it after some kind of Russian gymnastic move called the Shushkova (?). ...
Her friends look on with blank faces and undoubtedly many viewers across America do as well. Is this the dumbest idea ever?
Kim then demonstrates a Shushkova (or whatever), doing some kind of weird handstand on her couch. It earns warm applause, but that doesn't mean she's Gabby Douglas -- or that she has a good domain name.
Later, David visits the folks at Appcelerator to drum up support for his fitness app and things are looking good. Jeff, the CEO, is willing to be his mentor and help recruit sponsors, but he demands that David commit himself to the project and get his butt into the office every day.
"You need to be accountable," Jeff says. "Help me help you." (To which we're thinking: David accountable? Really?)
The episode also spends a little time with Dwight, the least developed character on this silly reality show. And we can see why: Dwight spends some time with his parents in Los Gatos, who seem to have all the charisma of wheat grass. Dad talks about math stuff and "infinity" and we fight the urge to change the channel. Later in the hour, Dwight talks more about his car website and it feels like someone has put us in a sleeper hold. Damn, when this series started, we thought Dwight would be a blast to hang out with. Boy, were we wrong.
Luckily, we make our way to the Four Seasons, where we finally catch up with Sarah, who was almost a nonentity last week. Her absence had us wondering just how smart this show's producers are. How can you go almost an entire episode without your beautiful, sexy villain? That just defies every reality TV rule in the book!
Anyway, Sarah's getting her hair done in order to hang out later with Ben for what she swears isn't a date. But why, then, is she making her hair all pretty? "This is just the way I am," she explains.
The way Sarah is, also, is a little devious. She knows Hermione won't be pleased that she's getting together with her bro, so what does she do? She calls her to put her on board. Turns out that Hermy has already heard about it from Ben, who has labeled it a date.
"So, do you like my brother?" Hermy asks.
"No. We're just hanging out as friends."
"So, you're not attracted to him?"
"We're just hanging out as friends. ... I gotta go."
With that, Sarah and Ben peel off in Ben's fancy British car and wind up at a fair, where they play some games, down some really fatty fair food and go on some rides.
Ben delves into a touchy subject when he asks Sarah about the state of her rocky relationship with his sister. He says he'd really like the two girls to be close, as if there's a chance in hell for that.
Later, Ben and Sarah try out some mechanical bull-riding that consists of a lot of suggestive hip-thrusting and hard bouncing, leading Ben to worry about his sperm count. From there, it's on to the Ferris wheel, where Ben, now full of beer, makes his move and lays a big smooch on Sarah. She smiles and drinks in the kiss, even though Ben looks like a little goofball in his straw cowboy hat.
The next day (at least in TV time), we return to The Villa to celebrate the birthday of Hermione, who looks absolutely ravishing in a sweet pink dress and lofty blue pumps. The party is attended by all the usual suspects, as well as Michael and Amy, a couple of venture capitalists Ben hopes to impress.
When Sarah arrives, Hermione immediately wants to know all about her frenemy's non-date.
"Well, it kind of turned into a date," Sarah explains.
"Oh really," says Hermy. ... "Did you guys hook up?"
Talk about a really awkward conversation. Please move onto another subject. But, of course they don't. Hermione wants to know more and Sarah explains that she and Ben have "chemistry" together. Hermione then flashes a very fake smile, no doubt feeling the urge to squish Sarah under one of her blue pumps.
Please, bring on the gifts someone! That's the cue for the guys to hand Hermione the sex toys. Will she be offended?
Not only is Hermy not offended, she appears to be overjoyed. She straps on her new "equipment" and starts prancing around the yard, pretending to hump Jay and whoever she comes into contact with. (Much pixilation was deployed during the making of this scene).
Some of the guests yuck it up, but others look away in disgust.
That's when Ben calls Hermy aside to give her a good tongue-lashing.
"As funny as that was, it just cost us a half-million dollars," he says, referring to the venture capitalists, who apparently were appalled.
That brings us right back to where we were a week ago -- with the siblings going at it with bleep-filled rants. Hermy tells her brother that she's gotten to where she is today without him and he wonders if they can really work together.
Meanwhile, viewers everywhere wonder how much more of this can they take.