Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
This week’s episode of “Halt and Catch Fire” saw our three leads very separated for the majority of this superb episode. Everyone was on different paths trying to bring in something beneficial to Cardiff Electric. While each character eventually is sent back to square one, it was definitely wildly exciting to see them go and reset.
The episode opens with Gordon not able to help a poor little bird and transitions to him in the same position with his workers. He ends up laying off 46 people, something he says he isn’t qualified to do. Joe knocking Gordon’s ability to keep worthwhile employees around spawned some gruff in Gordon to stand up to Joe. I rather enjoyed this small moment as it’s been rare for Gordon to actually prove to be as dominant a character as Joe or Cameron. Gordon is tasked with building a machine we know from last week has to be twice as fast for half the price, and in addition to that has to be portable and weigh no more than 15 pounds. Joe seems to have the ambition as always as he talks the talks, but leaves Gordon and Cameron to proceed with the walking.
I rather much enjoyed Donna this week as she continues to impress not only with her skills, but in the respects of not falling into the stereotypes and actually being a strong and useful female character in this period piece drama. She eventually becomes the inspiration for the new initiative approach Gordon presents to his team of programmers. Continuing with the symbolism of the bird, it was Donna who donned the idea of the hardware adjustment and the person who had the strength to end the bird’s life. This new plan she comes up with to split the motherboard into two chips and layer them made since to Gordon and the team except for Brian. He eventually fired him after he realizes why he hasn’t advanced due to his negativity, something Gordon desperately doesn’t need.
Joe was the standout this episode with some shocking scenes. Joe and John teamed up to find more capital to invest in Cardiff Electric. While opportunity did present itself, it wasn’t good enough for Joe. After meeting with Mr. Cardiff himself, it was set in stone that John should handle all of the finances, something that takes the control from Joe which we as viewers know isn’t going to fly here. We meet Susan Emerson, a rich southern billionaire who Joe and John approach for investment. She nonchalantly throws out the offer of $10 million for 80% and Joe is none too pleased with this loss of control in particular. On top of that, she barely knows what she’s buying into. Joe grills her at her own dinner table about her lack of knowledge and traits to keep a company afloat. This sets off the silent explosion of her pushing the deal forward to the controller of finances, John, who accepts. What I really like about Joe’s character is that he is willing to do whatever it takes for him to maintain control and not wander out of it. It was a shocking power play for him to seduce Emerson’s husband, hitting her where she had no defenses. The look on her face as the epiphany arose that her son wasn’t quite as straight was immensely satisfying.
Cameron had interesting scenes this episode as she went on a one-off adventure struggling to find the proper code that’s small enough in memory to work. Her scenes weren’t the strongest this week, but she did provide some laughs with her rebellious behavior. I liked her scene with John though; it was like a father/daughter style talk with John giving Cameron some angle of guidance that she seems to need. As mentioned before, she hits a roadblock like Joe and Gordon. She ends her day of struggle, thievery and drinking with her ever growing weakness in the form of Joe, or at least sex with him.
This was a very enjoyable episode of “Halt and Catch Fire” to just sit back and take in. I love that our three leads had little interaction and helmed their own tales. Although each plot was counterproductive in terms of work completed for the company, it was nice to see each character struggle and to see what they would do in these conditions. Gordon still has some standing up to do, while Donna proves to be an interesting as ever character to watch. Cameron is still rebellious and something that satisfies on a weekly basis. Joe is unpredictable, and I’m very curious to see what else he’s willing to do to keep control, be it for better or for worse.
What story were you the most invested in this week? Are you saddened by the loss of Bowser the Bird? Let us know in the comments below.
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