S03E05 - The Empty Chair

No: 23  |  Season: 3   Episode: 5  |  Air Date: 22-May-16  |  Ratings: 1.71


Richard is upset that Laurie seems to be ignoring him and interviewing a seemingly endless line of potential CEOs for Pied Piper, including Big Head. Also, when Jared discovers that Jack Barker has nearly bankrupted the company, Richard, acting as CTO, makes the decision to fire the sales team and move back to the "Hacker Hostel". Later, when Richard sits down for an interview with tech blogger C.J. Cantwell he mistakenly complains about Laurie's leadership; however, at the same time of the interview, Laurie reveals to Monica that she actually plans to make Richard the CEO of Pied Piper. Meanwhile, Jared, Dinesh and Gilfoyle sell-off the assets in the office, including Dinesh's hard drive filled with personal information and Pied Piper confidential data, but they keep Jack Barker's chair and present it to Richard when he is finally named as CEO. Also, Erlich's planned merger with Big Head, which he named "Bachmanity", goes forward exactly how Erlich has planned.

Director and Writers

Director: Eric Appel
Written by: Megan Amram


Big Head: Wait. So all my assets? That seems like kind of a lot.
Erlich: It is a lot, Big Head. We're both giving up a lot. And we're both gaining a lot also. And that's what every successful partnership is about. Committing fully, blindly, and without concern of the consequences, like marriage.
Big Head: Right.
Erlich: Oh, here. Get this down. In the event of a tie vote, any disagreement shall be settled with a toss of a coin of Mr. Bachman's choosing.

Richard: Apparently, Jack's empty fucking chair is a better choice than I am. So, maybe... maybe ask the chair, see what it thinks.
Gilfoyle: Say what you will about the chair, but at least it never told me to build a fucking box.
Dinesh: True. Compared to Richard, it's a lot sturdier.
Gilfoyle: And it has a lot less of Barker's ass rubbed all over it.

Laurie: You are in an emotional state, and when you are emotional, you become highly inarticulate.
Richard: Well, I don't say that's true.

Erlich: Jesus! This is a good apple. Where did you get this?
Big Head: Oh, I have a fruit guy.

Jared: I have a fragile posterior. My aunt used to call me "glasshole."

Richard: She-she... she's calling us the next Clinkle. Clinkle, Laurie. Clinkle. You... you do know what happened to Clinkle, right? Do you want us to be Clinkle?
Laurie: Please, just stop saying "Clinkle." It jars the ear.

Dinesh: Look at these fucking maggots. Crawling all over our garbage, leaving their slime of mediocrity.
Gilfoyle: I thought you'd feel right at home in a marketplace, haggling, selling your monkey paws, looking for Indiana Jones in a wicker basket.
Dinesh: Okay. Marion was in the wicker basket, Indiana Jones was tipping them over, you fucking idiot.

Gilfoyle: Geek Squad.
Man: The computer's right here. You're not wearing the shirt.
Gilfoyle: I spilled coffee on it. I'm a nerd.

Jared: Well, how about that? I made my first sale. I've organized a lot of estate sales, so this is kind of my wheelhouse.
Gilfoyle: What?
Jared: I have a lot of elderly friends.

Jared: In other good news, we've managed to fill out our engineering team.
Erlich: Did you tell them that my Fage's off-limits?

Erlich: Big Head, I would hope that a handshake deal would be good enough for you. Because we're headed down a long road, and that road must be paved with trust. Blind trust. And you bringing in these so-called experts really gives me pause, and it insults my honor.

Erlich: Big Head, you can insult me all you want by involving your self-described shylocks, but to insult Richard and humiliate him, that's like kicking a child who's done nothing to deserve it. I may not be able to finish my ramen.

Richard: I probably can't say how fucking pissed off I am that Laurie Bream is out there gallivanting around the Valley, interviewing every dickhole on Earth for my job, including Big Head... a man that I fired by the way, and no offense, I like him. I do actually, he's a close friend of mine, been that way for years. He is a bit of a simpleton, his name's fucking Big Head.

Dinesh: These offices were nice. Now everything looks so bare.
Jared: Yeah. There is a certain sad vulnerability to it. Have you ever seen a naked dead person?
Dinesh: No... No... No!

Jared: Well, what's gone is not necessarily lost. Okay, we just need to find it. I found my retainer in the school dumpster. I found my biological father in a militia up in the Ozarks. This should be no problem. Don't worry, Dinesh, we'll find it.

Erlich: From the ashes of whatever happens here will rise the Phoenix that shall be known as Bachmanity.
Gilfoyle: That's what you're going to call your company?
Erlich: Yeah, well, before it was going to be Bachman Capital. Because I provide the Bachman, and he provides the capital.
Big Head: Yeah, but then, we compromised, and made it Bachmanity, 'cause it's Bachman from him, and then the "Etti" from me. So it's two syllables each.
Erlich: Very much into keeping score, this one.

Erlich: As long as we're trading apples for comparable apples, I've got a fresh and juicy that's ripe for the picking.

Jared: My captain! O Captain! My captain! Rise up and hear the bells. Rise up... for you the flag is flung... for you the bugle trills.
Richard: All right. Dismissed.

Jared: This is honestly like the best birthday gift that I ever could've asked for.
Erlich: It's your birthday?
Jared: Oh, I don't know. The CPS worker couldn't find my birth certificate, but... maybe now it is.

Jared: In other good news, we've managed to fill out our engineering team.
Erlich: Did you tell them that my Fage's off-limits?

Jared: I read that the woman who started Pegg'd built her entire app using a team of coders from India, she never met in person. And it only cost $15,000. So, yeah, so we figured why limit ourselves to a few expensive people in the Valley, when we could afford a full complement if we outsourced?


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

"Jugadora, Jugadores" by Mala Rodriguez (End-credits music.)

Notes and Trivia

When Jared says, "O Captain! My Captain! Rise up and hear the bells. Rise up, for you the flag is flung. For you the bugle trills," he is quoting the Walt Whitman poem "O Captain! My Captain!". The piece is considered to be a mourning poem, and was written to honor Abraham Lincoln after his death. The poem was referred to in the Robin Williams movie "Dead Poet's Society" in a scene where the students stand on their desks and recite the poem, a scene which was coincidentally spoofed on Saturday Night Live less than 24 hours prior to this episode airing.

There is a deleted scene from S02E09 "Binding Arbitration" where Richard and Erlich met Pete Monahan (Matt McCoy) after he got off the bus in front of the offices where the arbitration was to take place. In that scene Erlich commented how Richard, wearing a suit, looked like a "ventriloquist dummy". In this episode Erlich (T.J. Miller) makes the exact same joke, however this time it made it in the final cut.

In the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards Thomas Middleditch was nominated for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series" for the episode "The Empty Chair".


When Gilfoyle drills Dinesh's hard drive there are metal shavings everywhere. However, when he lifts the drill and blows on the drill bit there are no longer metal shavings on the drive or the table.


The establishing shot of the restaurant exterior taken when Laurie and Monica met for drinks was taken at Joya Restaurant and Lounge, 339 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA. (Google)


StarringThomas MiddleditchRichard Hendricks
StarringT.J. MillerErlich Bachman
StarringJosh BrenerNelson 'Big Head' Bighetti
StarringMartin StarrBertram Gilfoyle
StarringKumail NanjianiDinesh Chugtai
StarringAmanda CrewMonica Hall
StarringZach WoodsJared Dunn
StarringMatt RossGavin Belson
StarringSuzanne CryerLaurie Bream
StarringJimmy O. YangJian Yang
Guest StarringAnnie SertichC.J. Cantwell
Co-StarringFrank BirneyOld Man
Co-StarringErin BreenJan
Co-StarringKeye ChenDang
Co-StarringDustyn GulledgeEvan
Co-StarringChelsey IrelandReceptionist
Co-StarringPhillip JeanmarieDon
Co-StarringEddie LiuDoug
Co-StarringJay MandyamSanjay
Co-StarringShannon McClungKeith
Co-StarringMiljan MilosevicGrozdan
Co-StarringSigrid OwenElisabet
Co-StarringAzie TesfaiDawn Simon