‘Silicon Valley’: What Thomas Middleditch (and Other Cast) Really Thought of the Series Finale

Silicon Valley just closed out its sixth and final season on HBO. The comedy show about Northern California’s tech mecca has enjoyed positive reviews from critics for its writing and acting. Spoiler alert for the series finale of Silicon Valley below.

Over the course of the HBO show, protagonist Richard Hendricks’ data compression company Pied Piper has transformed an algorithm into an entirely separate internet. But Richard, the bumbling and crisis-prone CEO played by actor Thomas Middleditch, is a textbook case in tech failure, right down to the last moment of Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley
Thomas Middleditch as Richard Hendricks on Silicon Valley | Eddy Chen/HBO

Thomas Middleditch’s reaction to the Pied Piper-themed series finale

In the last episode of Silicon Valley’s final season, the main characters realize that their precious compression code, which required years and years of hard work, is dangerous. It’s so good at encryption that it will eventually be able to break into everything–which would create a privacy disaster. It’s the ultimate failure for a show, a town, and a main character that all live and breathe failure.

“It seemed like a good objective for the finale,” Alec Berg, the writer and director behind the series finale, told USA Today. “It’s about ‘How do you define success?’ In this case, success is not destroying the world.”

Thomas Middleditch of Silicon Valley
Thomas Middleditch | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Sundance

Lead actor Middleditch also revealed what he thought about Silicon Valley’s finale.

“The show is equal parts about failure (and) success,” he said. “As the characters [said], they’re going to succeed at failing. To do that to the thing you’ve dedicated your life to is the ultimate falling on one’s sword.”

Once the Pied Piper leaders decide to tank their app on purpose, the resulting “noise” causes rats to run rampant through the city.

“That it pays off in an actual depiction of the Pied Piper fable … was an incredible stroke of genius,” Middleditch said.

Other cast members weighed in on ‘Silicon Valley’ Season 6, Episode 7

“I’m really happy with how it ended,” Middleditch told USA Today. “Series finales are tough and this one was so satisfying. Where Richard ends up in a classic Silicon Valley bittersweet ending is perfect.” 

Zach Woods, the actor who plays Jared on the HBO show, told Entertainment Weekly that season 6 was his favorite season. However, the Silicon Valley series finale “surprised” him.

Silicon Valley actors
Zach Woods, Thomas Middleditch, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani on Silicon Valley | Eddy Chen/HBO

“It is not what I was expecting at all — and it was much better than I was expecting,” Woods said. “I thought it was sweet without being saccharine.” Because EW did the interview before the finale premiered, Woods lamented that he couldn’t say much more.

“As a fan of the show, I found it very satisfying,” he concluded. “That’s a boring answer.”

‘Silicon Valley’ creator explains how they got tech giant Bill Gates on the show

Fans of the HBO series will have noticed a certain Silicon Valley titan who appeared in the season 6 finale: Bill Gates.

The ultimate episode of Silicon Valley takes on the structure of a documentary; it has a similar style to that of the HBO doc released earlier this year about the collapse of the tech company Theranos. In the finale, documentary filmmakers research Pied Piper’s failed launch ten years after the fact and interview tech CEOs, both real and fictional.

“It’s weird,” Gates says in the episode. “It really seemed like Pied Piper was going to work. Something doesn’t add up.”

Silicon Valley creator Mike Judge told USA Today that Gates’ cameo “worked out perfectly.”

“He was actually a really good actor,” said Judge. “It was pretty amazing to have Bill Gates in it.” It had been a dream of the executive producer for a long time.

“Somebody had asked me around season 2, ‘If you could get anybody in the show …?’ and I just threw out, ‘Bill Gates,'” Judge remembered. “We finally got (him).”

Mike Judge says the season 6 finale might not be the very end

The series finale also shows the documentary crew tearing through a jungle trying to find original Pied Piper investor Erlich Bachman. However, they only discover his enemy, Jian Yang, played by Jimmy O. Yang.

“We just liked doing the mislead,” Judge admitted. “It’s funny that you don’t know exactly what happened, but somehow Jian Yang got all of Erlich’s money.”

Cast of Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley actors Amanda Crew, Martin Starr, Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods, and Matt Ross | FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO

USA Today also asked executive producer Alec Berg if he might get the Pied Piper band back together again–either to destroy and/or save the world.

“I’d be open to it,” Berg said. “I love working with the guys.” The writer-producer implied that anything is possible.

“Nobody died in the finale – well, we don’t know that for sure – but they’re all around,” Berg said. “So who knows?”