S02E09 - Binding Arbitration

No: 17  |  Season: 2   Episode: 9  |  Air Date: 7-Jun-15  |  Ratings: 1.87


After Big Head finds a prototype Nucleus phone left behind at a bar by Hooli engineers, he gives the phone to Richard to use as leverage against Gavin Belson. After a round of awkward lawyer aided negotiation Gavin's lawyers agree to drop the lawsuit and settle for binding arbitration. Pete Monahan, a disbarred lawyer, agrees to represent Richard on spec because he is no longer allowed to practice law in a real court due to suspected sex crimes. Monahan interviews Richard and reveals that Richard had indeed used a Hooli computer to run a short test of Pied Piper while his personal laptop was being repaired, meaning that Hooli would own the rights to Pied Piper. Their only hope is that the Hooli lawyers do not discover this fact, and initially they do not, as they seem to be centering their case on establishing Big Head as a capable engineer who had a hand in Pied Piper. However, when Erlich is put on the witness stand he inadvertently reveals that Richard's laptop was in the shop being fixed, giving the necessary clue to the opposition. Richard, who is unwilling to lie under oath, finally admits that he used a Hooli computer. Meanwhile, due to low viewership, a technician is sent to take down the condor egg camera. However, he falls and becomes trapped in a ravine, and it is all live-streamed on Pied Piper's system.

Director and Writers

Director: Mike Judge
Written by: Dan O'Keefe


Big Head: Soon we can sail it to fucking Hawaii or Sausalito. Three more classes, and I get my boat license.
Richard: Oh, really? How many classes does it take?
Big Head: Three. It's three classes. I heard you can pay somebody to take the test for you, but I just haven't got around to it yet.

Pete: Was I in possession of cocaine, amphetamines, amyl nitrate, also known as poppers, at the time of my arrest? In large quantities. Did I have consensual intercourse with two women under the age of 18? Repeatedly. I admit this. Did I violate the Mann Act and transport them across state lines for sexual purposes? Alleged but not proven. And, boy, they tried. They tried.

Pete: I have reviewed your case and it is extremely strong. Thank God. I do, every day of my life. It's only by His grace that I was able to survive that plunge into the ravine and 11 months in the state penitentiary.
Richard: I'm sorry, were you in an emotional ravine or did you actually go into a ravine?
Pete: Both.

Jared: They have the manpower. We have the perseverance. Triumph of the will.
Dinesh: He's the most cheerful person I've ever heard quote Hitler.

Gilfoyle: Well, right now, because you don't know whether it is or not, it exists in both states, like Schrodinger's cat. Like what? It's a quantum mechanics thought experiment that an Austrian physicist came up with to help understand quantum states. So he imagined putting a cat into a box with poisoned food. There's a 50/50 chance the cat eats it.
Jared: That does sound rather Austrian.

Erlich: They're trying to say that Pied Piper was created at Hooli, whereas I'm living proof that it was created here in my incubator. I nurtured Richard like a little baby. I was his patron, like the Borgias with Da Vinci.
Richard: Actually, the Medici were Da Vinci's patrons. The Borgias poisoned people.
Erlich: Say Medici again.
Richard: Medici.
Erlich: Shut the fuck up.

Gilfoyle: Are you telling us this entire case hinges on people believing that Richard had a girlfriend?
Dinesh: We are fucked.

Lawyer: It seems like everything you touch is made dramatically better, Mr. Bighetti. You make a meaningful and crucial contribution to everything you do, do you not?
Big Head: Wa wait. I'm I'm sorry. Do I not? Are you asking if I do do that or if I don't do that?

Lawyer: And what about the Hooli AIDS and Cancer Societies of which you were president? Did you have anything to do with those?
Big Head: Honestly, not really. I actually remember when they told me I got the AIDS thing, for just a second I thought they were telling me that I had AIDS. But then I realized, no, I was just the president of the AIDS thingy. But for a second it was pretty scary there.


"Stretch Your Face" by Tobacco (Opening title music)

"Evil Friends (Jake One Remix)" by Portugal. The Man feat. Danny Brown (End-credits music.)

Notes and Trivia

Matt McCoy who plays arbitrator "Pete Monahan" once played "Lloyd Braun" on the "Seinfeld" series, which is where Executive Producer Alec Berg began his career.


When Erlich takes the yogurt out of the refrigerator the camera cuts away, but when it cuts back a few seconds later the container is opened and a spoon is already in the yogurt.


The building that is used in the outside shots of the Palo Alto "Arbitration Center" is actually located at 150 East Olive Avenue, Burbank, CA. (Google)


StarringThomas MiddleditchRichard Hendricks
StarringT.J. MillerErlich Bachman
StarringJosh BrenerNelson 'Big Head' Bighetti
StarringMartin StarrBertram Gilfoyle
StarringKumail NanjianiDinesh Chugtai
StarringAmanda CrewMonica Hall
StarringZach WoodsDonald 'Jared' Dunn
StarringMatt RossGavin Belson
StarringSuzanne CryerLaurie Bream (credit only)
StarringJimmy O. YangJian Yang (credit only)
Guest StarringBen FeldmanRon LaFlamme
Guest StarringPatrick DanielTech Guy
Guest StarringAly MawjiAly Dutta
Guest StarringMatt McCoyPete Monahan
Guest StarringKaren StrassmanHooli Lead Counsel
Guest StarringBrian TichnellJason
Co-StarringCate CohenMelinda
Co-StarringStephanie Rose Feldman
Co-StarringJules HartleyHooli Assistant Counsel
Co-StarringBart McCarthyJudge Underwood
Co-StarringDiallo RiddlePaul