Warning: Spoiler Alert
This time it really seems that Joe MacMillan has his priority’s in order and he’s finally ready to follow what’s in his heart and do the right thing. So why did I finish the latest episode of the AMC Original Series “Halt And Catch Fire,” with the nagging suspicion, that Joe will once again screw things up? Perhaps because we’ve witnessed the self-destructive streak in MacMillan, that seems to pop-up anytime his horizons look rosy.
This is the man after all that left IBM, by flooding their computer center. Last season we watched him destroy his romance with Cameron Howe, by dumping her vision of the personal computer she designed, then ended his relationship with Cardiff Electric, by setting a truckload of their new computers on fire.
Life suddenly got real for all the characters in this episode. Even the Coder-Monkeys got serious, as one of their own got badly injured and financial matters caused dissension in the ranks. Some of these young techies showed they can get quite capitalistic, when talk of big money arises.
We start the hour in the home of Donna and Gordon Clark, we realize something’s wrong as we hear a clock ticking quite loudly, which then morphs into a voice that sounds like it’s emanating from under water. We realize it’s Gordon’s voice when he tells Donna his medical condition isn’t a death sentence. Clark’s arrived back in Dallas after visiting his brother Henry in California and finally tells his wife his doctor informed him that he’s suffered brain-damage.
Donna volunteers to resign from Mutiny and stay home and take care of him, but he says that would break his heart. He tells her that he’s already contacted four of his former engineers from Cardiff for his new venture, his office will be just 23-feet from his bed and he won’t have to drive. It appears he’s come to grips with his medical situation and he’s overcome his fear and found direction.
Jacob Wheeler and MacMillan are discussing the offer that they’re about to make to purchase Mutiny, Wheeler suggests building them an office complex away from Western-Group Industries. Joe suggests that Western-Group purchase the house that Mutiny occupies, as well as the block to give them plenty of room for expansion. Jacob says he loves the idea and tells MacMillan to close the deal.
Tom Rendon brings his mother Karen over to Mutiny to meet Cameron, she tells Howe that it’s been a long time since she’s seen her son this happy. She thanks Cameron for that and then she thanks her for lunch and says goodbye. Tom kisses Cameron and thanks for having his mother over, when the phone rings. It’s Joe telling Cameron that Western-Group wants to acquire Mutiny, then he says this is good Cameron. She stands there silently while Joe asks if she’s still on the line.
MacMillan arrives the next morning and meets with Howe, John Bosworth and Donna, he hands a one page proposal to Cameron. She looks at it for a minute, then passes it to Clark, whose eyes grow large when she looks at the document. Bosworth has pretty much the same reaction that Donna has and they start discussing details with Joe.
Cameron starts to freak and says we’re not taking the deal, but MacMillan interrupts her and asks that they leave the past behind. He says the proposal’s great for her and her employees. He then says that she’ll run things and he’ll stay out of her way. That inspires her to present the deal to the Coder-Monkeys, however the way she describes the new situation sound terrible. They’ll be working for an oil-conglomerate and have to wear ties and jackets and punch a time-clock, all of which was untrue. However the Coder-Monkeys show their support by chanting Mutiny and she tears up the proposal and Joe walks out.
The four engineers come over to Gordon’s house and he tells them his plan’s to build a personal computer line, with the base model selling for an affordable $800, but the consumer could add all the buttons and whistles they wanted for an additional cost. He then tells the four engineers to bring in their most recent pay-stubs and he’ll match their salaries.
MacMillan has Bosworth in for a meeting at Western-Group and John tells Joe upfront, that what ever they discuss John’s going to tell Cameron. Joe says that’s exactly the reason he contacted Bosworth, as he believes in Cameron and in Mutiny and he realizes it’s a good deal. Jacob Wheeler pops in to introduce himself and tells Bosworth he’s looking forward to having him on board. Joe says to Bosworth that he’s got Cameron’s ear, but he shakes his head and says the girl’s in love.
Donna takes a couple of days off from Mutiny to spend time with Gordon, but the engineers are in the zone. She asks one of the engineers Larry, how her husband’s doing and she said he’s doing great. She then asks him to watch out for Gordon and make sure he’s alright, leaving Larry looking puzzled.
Rendon then shows up at Western-Group and tells Joe that his mother cried when she saw the proposal of what Tom would get if Western-Group acquires Mutiny and cried again when her son told her he wasn’t getting the money. Joe asks Tom why he came down to the office to tell him he was upset, when he could have just called. Rendon responds since MacMillan invaded his space, he wanted to return the favor, but Joe says that Tom came because he realizes it’s a great deal.
Back at Mutiny, the Coder-Monkeys are attempting to piece the proposal together, to find out what Cameron turned down. Each employee was to receive one percent of the purchase price along with a weekly salary, Howe comes out and tells them the offer was for five million dollars. Bodie demands a vote. He and Arky both vote to sell.
Wonderboy, Carl and Bosworth all vote not to sell and Cameron asks Tom his vote, when the phone rings. Lev’s in the hospital, he was set-up by some homophobes in Community and the guy he thought he had started a relationship didn’t exist. Instead they beat him bloody when he showed up for what he thought was a date.
Unfortunately the fake account also used a phony-address, so there’s no way of tracking who beat up Lev. Donna, Cameron, Tom and John go to the hospital, but Lev’s unconscious. Cameron of course blames the police for not acting, even though they are without any clues.
Sara Wheeler has lunch with Joe and her father and she tries to tell Jacob that she’s decided to break-up with Joe. Wheeler says she’s never had any patience and because of changing dynamics, she’s throwing away a relationship with a man who loves her and has her best interests at heart. MacMillan chastises his boss for talking to his daughter like that and says Sara sees the best in everyone.
Jacob decides that they’ll meet again at the same restaurant in a week and continue the discussion. MacMillan asks Sara what he has to do to win her back. She says he needs to get away from her father and start his own company. She then gets in her car and drives away.
At the hospital Cameron asks Tom how he was going to vote. He tells her he loves Mutiny and wants to be there for a long time, but he loves her and wants to be with her for a long time as well. He then says to her, Mutiny is her company and the decision’s hers to make. She says that Mutiny belongs to them all and says she’ll call Joe and take the offer.
MacMillan and Wheeler have a celebratory drink after Joe gets the call and MacMillan starts talking about the big rollout they need to have for Mutiny’s new game. However Wheeler disagrees with him and says the games are going to fade away while Community becomes the big draw. Joe says he promised them complete creative control and Wheeler says that was smart.
The engineers build the new computer in two days, one of them boasts that it took them a year to build the Giant, six-months to build the Giant-Pro and this time just two-days. Gordon tells his engineers how proud he is of them and how Joe’s going to be excited about their accomplishments. One of the engineers asks Gordon if he’s referring to MacMillan and Gordon’s clueless as to what the engineer’s talking about. The brain-damage playing games with his memory.
Cameron’s shocked to see Joe at the hospital, he says they told him at the house what happened. He then says to Howe not to sell Mutiny to Jacob Wheeler, he’ll ruin it. He won’t mean to, but he’ll take away everything that’s special about it. He then tells Cameron he’s removing himself from the equation.
MacMillan goes to see Sara and tells her he’s giving Western-Group, his two-weeks notice. He then asks her what she wants and she says she wants to get married that day and in two weeks, move to California. He smiles at her and says you got it.
The final scene takes place at Mutiny as Cameron walks back into the house. She says that Mutiny’s hers and she’s not selling.
The Story Continues Next Sunday Night at 10:00 pm on AMC.