Halt and Catch Fire: “Giant” Review
“I WANTED TO BE HIM.”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Halt and Catch Fire lacked impact this week and instead went for the convoluted episode that was “Giant.” This episode scrambled its direction and just had too much going on for even a focused mind to enjoy. Even in the case of multiple events, those events should be interesting and worth watching.
Let’s start with Gordon: the cream of the boring crop. I’m about fed up with his character. I’m not angry that he wants to play things safe, nor the fact that he’s upset when he has to redesign a redesign, it just sucks, for lack of a better word, that his character is so incompetent. We’ve seen everyone pass him up in terms of power, control, and overall on-screen captivity. His role in this episode was to marry design and hardware, something he (understandably) couldn’t do. His interactions with his daughters had good intention, but he still came off as weak. There were even little moments in this episode that further solidified his inability to be superior in any manner. We see him having a dream near the episode’s start about seeing a dead version of himself (a look in the mirror would suffice, am I right? Too harsh?). Later we see him cut himself with a knife as he fails to repair the sink. Finally at the episode’s end, we see him in an almost manic state digging for “the giant.”
Donna’s story headed to a place where we expected it to go. She went on the business trip that was planned in last week’s episode. Throughout the trip, Donna was bold as she naturally is. She showed this in both a formal and informal setting, convincing heads of the company she works for to get rid of there struggling PC business (maybe we will see this come into play?) We also see her channel her inner “Susan Fairchild” and play the piano in an intimate bonding moment with Hunt (boss). This all led up to the two getting even closer in the elevator with Hunt telling Donna to be bold, something she takes the wrong way. Last week I hoped for something outside of the cliche affair that was brewing, and we slightly got that this week. This whole time we were expecting Hunt to make the first move and for Donna to either resist or give in, but in a slight turn of events it was in fact Donna who stepped up and mistakenly kissed her boss. I did feel it was cheap in the show’s writing to make it look like he was actually coming on to her for weeks only to change that in the last second. As a side note, it was hard for me get upset with Donna over her actions given everything I said regarding Gordon in the paragraph above.
Joe and Cameron’s story revolved around a designer named Simon Church. We later learned that this was Joe’s past lover, one who he became very close with. We rarely get to see Joe in a position of inferiority, so when he sees Simon for the first time it’s quite peculiar why that is so. After Simon revealed the truth about his relationship with Joe to Cameron, she isn’t upset, however, she is scared that someone who Joe was so close to is back in his life. Installing more fear is when Simon tells her that the reason they split apart is because he told Joe that he loved him. I felt like this story could have been stronger. I felt there could have been more here to further develop Joe’s complex character. In the end, we see a vulnerable Joe who doesn’t know if he’ll leave Cameron or if he can commit to anyone ever.
In other minor parts of this episode, we see John Bosworth actually play a role in Cardiff. He aids in getting a new designer after uncertainty falls upon Simon (then we see him quickly break the deal). He also had a pretty intense argument with Mr. Cardiff that showcased just how much care for this project he has accumulated over the time. Mr. Cardiff wants this whole project scrapped when the cash ceases to flow, but given John’s fight and everyone else who’s putting their life blood into building this PC, it’s safe to say the show will go on.
“Giant” presented us with an episode that was ripped like a piece of paper and thrown in the air. Things were all over the place and the tones didn’t mesh well. Gordon continued to be the show’s bore point, with his character sinking lower and lower. Both Cameron and Donna showed they can be bold, although both of these stories culminated in a kiss that would break hearts. Joe’s character had a complex journey this episode, further developing and further revealing his ability to love another human being. There are three episodes left, so let’s hope for a strong trio of episodes to end the show’s first season.
Did this episode do a good job in developing Joe’s character in particular? What are you hoping to see as the show ends its first season? Let us know in the comments below.
*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
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