Amy Richau reviews the second episode of Halt and Catch Fire season two…
In the second episode of Halt and Catch Fire, ‘New Coke’ Gordon’s storyline starts to intersect with Mutiny’s (beyond his marriage to Donna) while Joe finds himself trapped in the basement in a new job.
Was anyone really surprised to find out that Joe’s free spirit girlfriend Sara has a rich father? Me either. As cute as Joe and Sara are together it’s hard to believe Joe has changed so completely overnight. When Joe does meet Sara’s father Jacob Wheeler (James Cromwell) Jacob tells Joe quite bluntly that he knows that Joe will have a hard time finding a new job in the midst of offering him a job at his own company.
Sara isn’t happy about Joe taking this job offer, or moving from Austin to Dallas, but Joe thinks it’s too good of an opportunity to pass up, even after he realizes the job is in a low-level data entry purgatory.
Gordon finally settles in to set up his dream computer workshop in his garage, but rather than working on a new project he finds inspiration fixing a bug in one of Mutiny’s games. Unfortunately Gordon’s excitement in fixing this bug overshadows his role as parent and Gordon is reduced to bribing some of Mutiny’s employees to keep quiet about failing to pick up his kids at school. Gordon is clearly looking for a new project to dive into, but his cocaine habit is clearly impairing his judgement in a big way. Note to Gordon: it doesn’t make you healthier to admit to your doctor that you did some cocaine when you then lie to him about stopping it months ago.
Things at Mutiny continue to be a bit of a roller coaster. Donna is excited about the new chat program and a hacker fan clones Mutiny’s most popular game Parallax in what ends up being a unique job application. Donna and Cameron have a hysterical lobby scene where they both panic about being over and/or under dressed for a big venture capital meeting which is then followed by a depressing interview scene where the men at the VC firm clearly are more concerned about Donna and Cameron’s ovaries than their clothing or business ideas.
While Donna and Cameron are in synch with the VC firm, they are getting on each other’s nerves with many other company decisions including hiring Bosworth (who was released from prison at the end of the first episode) and hiring the previously mentioned hacker. Mutiny is still essentially a frat house fire hazard with more passion than direction.
After a few awkward run-ins with Mutiny employees Bosworth decides he is not in fact ready to dive back into the tech world. Bosworth’s post-prison story line is one I am looking forward to this season as his character in many ways took the biggest chance in season 1 only to be rewarded with time behind bars. Bosworth and Cameron’s father-daughter relationship is both sweet and sad as both of them do not appear to have support from their actual families or much to care about in their lives beyond their careers.
As the episode ends it looks like Joe has an idea up his sleeve after gifting Sara’s father for the underwhelming job opportunity and that the new hacker employee Tom might have come up with a game changing tech advancement letting dozens of people use the same phone line to access Mutiny. Donna gives Cameron an ultimatum about making big decisions without checking with her first, and Gordon once again becomes obsessed with an idea he thinks will help his wife’s gaming company.
Overall ‘New Coke’ did a fine job of furthering a variety of storylines and adding some depth to many of Halt and Catch Fire’s main characters. It will be interesting to see how much the characters storyline’s intersect further on in the season and if Mutiny will eventually involve everyone in the show.
Amy Richau is a freelance entertainment and sports writer. Follow her on Twitter.