Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
“Halt and Catch Fire” continues the escapades of last week’s hijinks as we get three separate and very different interviews with our three leads. We see that IBM isn’t a force to be reckoned with here as the lawyers drill two of the three in the bunch. In his interview, Gordon really doesn’t take to well to pressure, but does stand up for himself when his skills are undermined, something we see him react to later. Cameron on the other hand is as crass and bold as she usually is and definitely keeps her raspy, quick-witted attitude we were introduced to in last week’s “I/O” premiere. On the contrary, Joe’s interview is a bit different. Instead of the having the swarm of lawyers glaring, it’s just an old pal from IBM.
Post interrogation and a little fightback from the three, we discover Joe’s end goal: he wants to build a machine that’s twice as fast and half the price. By presenting this to Gordon and Cameron, he pins the two against each other which gets them both to work straight away. This is Joe when he’s calculating and can move all the pieces around the board. It was interesting to see him lose this ability going through the episode and regain it before the cut to credits.
“Tomorrow, you start building tomorrow.”
In Joe’s new role as “Chief Product Manager” he shows that he’s one hell of a motivator, telling the PC division, “Let’s have a lot of fun, let’s make a lot of money,” and telling Gordon that, “Tomorrow, you start building tomorrow.” This leads Gordon to a place of high motivation that leads to confidence that leads to happy moments in the bedroom. One thing that felt shoveled in for the sake of drama was the jealousy from Donna. This is something that subtracted from her character and put her in that stereotypical wife role we’ve seen time and time again. Let’s hope she can defy those odds going forward.
The heavy hitter this episode came in the form of a “raid” from IBM stealing the employees of Cardiff Electric (I guess they only adhered to the “let’s make a lot of money” part of Joe’s speech.) Things got pretty weary here as Joe didn’t have a plan to get out of it all. The calculating, in control man we’ve seen was just as in the dark as the rest.
The episode ends with a fight between Joe, Gordon and Cameron, with each having a reason to be upset with one another. It was a nice trio of necessary drama which led to Joe giving a story that was partially (or possibly entirely) a lie to get the two back to where he needed them. What wasn’t a lie, though, was that the three of them needed this situation to succeed.
Altogether this was another great episode of “Halt and Catch Fire,” proving that the drama is something to catch on your trip through Sunday night programming (I feel I have to use that word in these reviews.) I was glad to see more Cameron this week, with most of her scenes paying off, especially the ones with her and Joe. It’s fun to watch the two compete for control, with Joe using his power and Cameron using her smarts. Gordon still seems to be a step down in comparison to the two, so I hope he can step up sooner or later. The best thing about this episode was seeing that Joe isn’t the man who is always good at what he does, and that he can be backed into a corner and completely lose his sh*t when he is. Given that this episode is titled “FUD” (fear, uncertainty and doubt), it’s certainly something that both the cast and we the audience have.
Which character are you finding the most electric in “Halt and Catch Fire?” Has the show found its footing? Let us know in the comments below.
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