Amy Richau reviews the third episode of Halt and Catch Fire season two…
‘The Way In’ is a fitting title to Halt and Catch Fire’s third episode as several characters were maneuvering to find new places in their work and personal lives.
Gordon’s triumph in last episode (if you can call fixing a bug a triumph) is overshadowed by an epic fail this episode. Gordon’s self-taught attempt at software coding for Mutiny, Sonaris, ends up derailing the budding game company, forcing Cameron to shut down the entire network. Gordon is full of energy (thanks to cocaine and Jolt Cola) and enthusiasm, but he again has zero common sense – launching his new software program without proper testing or permission from Donna or Cameron. If Gordon wants a way into Mutiny he’s going to have a lot to make up for after the Sonaris disaster.
Gordon’s software disaster also strains Donna and Cameron’s already delicate working relationship. Cameron is understandably furious with Donna after finding out that her husband is responsible for Mutiny’s network issues and is clearly surprised (and not in a good way) when Gordon reveals that Donna has been paying Mutiny’s outstanding bills behind her back. It doesn’t help that when Cameron tries to call Donna for help Joe answers the phone.
If there was any question about how Cameron feels about Joe before that scene there is a lot of clarity now. Cameron’s desperation to talk to Donna is superseded by her unwillingness to say one word to Joe. It’s not entirely clear if she it too mad, embarrassed, or furious to talk to Joe but Cameron’s feelings for Joe are not even close to being resolved.
The reason Joe answered the phone is because Donna and Gordon are over at his and Sara’s new Dallas apartment for dinner. The couples are mismatched in every way possible (from dress to sense of humor) and Sara pleads with Joe to stop acting like another person (sorry Sara, but I think this is the real Joe). The dinner also gives Joe an easy way to reveal to Gordon that he did not get a penny from the Cardiff sale – something Gordon was completely unaware of.
In addition to the software emergency, Cameron is also challenged this episode by her new hire Tom who accuses Cameron of re-working previous storylines and puzzles in her new Parallax level. While Tom is unnecessarily harsh in his criticism he may also be correct and Cameron seems to know it. Tom wins a few non-jerk points later on in the episode when he helps Cameron calm down after a panic attack when it appears all of Mutiny’s subscribers have jumped ship.
Bosworth’s episode starts out with a hot vintage car and a hotel interlude with a hot flight attendant (who turns out to be his wife). But things cool down pretty fast after Bosworth’s wife asks him to not attend their son’s rehearsal dinner. Bosworth isn’t able to keep himself away and parks his hard-to-miss car right outside the restaurant where his family is gathered. In a heartbreaking scene Bosworth’s son come out to the car and listens to his Dad’s speech, which is more of an apology for not being around much in his son’s life. Luckily Bosworth’s son does not appear to hold a grudge with his Dad and even invites him to attend the wedding. Bosworth declines and surprises his son with his well-loved car before taking a bus trip to an unknown location.
Joe is also looking to position himself in his new family/job with his now fiance Sara. Joe proposes to Sara’s father, Jacob, that two divisions of his company be merged together and Jacob practically falls over himself saying yes to Joe. Whether Jacob’s belief in Joe is due to his ideas or merely his love of his daughter is unclear, but Joe is clearly in the driver’s seat after his brief stint in the basement. The look on Joe’s face as he made an appointment with Jacob in front of his supervisor was priceless – just wait, that look said, something big is about to happen.
After this episode Donna and Gordon will need to set some work boundaries, but it does appear Donna’s commitment to Mutiny is as strong as ever. While Tom certainly lacks tact, he might be a creative match to Cameron who can push her to stay original. Joe is poised to make a big impact at his new company and has a light bulb moment at the end of the episode (why are the computers working 9 to 5 when they don’t need to sleep or eat!?!) and looking at the scenes from episode 4 it looks like Joe will try and lure Gordon back into a new partnership. Is the gang getting back together again or is this just another detour?
Amy Richau is a freelance entertainment and sports writer. Follow her on Twitter.