Amy Richau reviews the eighth episode of Halt and Catch Fire season 2…
Halt and Catch Fire’s eighth episode “Limbo” might as well have been called “Panic” as all four main characters in the show are faced with turmoil. While Joe’s storyline took an unexpected and heartbreaking turn, Gordon’s storyline became officially groan-worthy in my opinion. Which is a shame as Scoot McNairy has done a great job with this role.
The central storyline to “Limbo” once again involves the future of Mutiny with a good dose of Joe MacMillan. Joe has the tables turned on him in “Limbo” as his quickie marriage to Sara and decision to leave Westgroup Energy is met with a handshake and smile by Sara’s father Jacob. Joe offers his help and guidance to both Jacob and his Joe-like replacement Jesse, but neither of them show the slightest bit of interest in Joe’s ideas or opinions. They might as well have pushed Joe down a flight of stairs they were so eager to get rid of him.
Joe’s quick departure from Westgroup and his father-in-law inspired honeymoon road trip all seem a bit too good to be true. Something is clearly up, and Joe finds out what during a late night sex romp with Sara by the Westgroup mainframes (why they choose Westgroup for this purpose makes about as much sense as it sounds).
The reason Westgroup was so quick to say goodbye to Joe after his unsuccessful attempt to acquire Mutiny is because Jacob and Jesse have plotted to steal Mutiny’s network and customer base. Which is exactly what they do. The heartbreaking part for Joe is when it becomes clear that there is nothing he can say to Mutiny that will convince them that he had nothing to do with Westgroup’s actions. The audience may finally believe that Joe has changed during “Limbo”, but none of Mutiny’s employees are buying what Joe is selling in the slightest.
Before the Mutiny shocker Mutiny employees host a backyard house party for its users in an attempt to thank their loyal customers. This event proves to Cameron something she has been blocking out for weeks. The heart of Mutiny is the online chat application Community, and not the games Cameron has put her heart and soul into.
It’s a great moment between Cameron and Donna when Cameron admits that she has been holding Donna’s ideas back. When Cameron starts to focus on how Community can improve Donna’s eyes light up with excitement – it looks like Mutiny is about the make a new leap forward . . . until disaster strikes.
Rounding out “Limbo” is a frustrating Gordon subplot that involved hallucinations, paranoia, and a break-in that leads to Gordon’s arrest. I’ve never been sure where Gordon’s brain damage storyline was heading, but up until now I was willing to go along for the ride. In this episode however, I found myself cringing every time Gordon appeared on the screen. How many bad choices can one character make in a season and still be interesting?
Amy Richau is a freelance entertainment and sports writer. Follow her on Twitter.