Warning: Spoiler Alert
Even when Joe MacMillan attempts to do the right thing, he ends up alienating people he tried to help. Rather than allowing his former girlfriend Cameron Howe, to sell her company Mutiny in a deal that he setup, MacMillan resigned his position with Western-Group Industries and told Cameron not to consummate the deal. However, he failed to realize just how low Jacob Wheeler would sink to show his new son-in-law that he still held the winning hand. Although Joe’s a master of playing both sides against the middle, Wheeler’s played the game far longer and has likely forgotten tricks, that Joe has yet to learn.
MacMillan’s far from the only character on the AMC Original Series “Halt And Catch Fire,” dealing with unforeseen problems in the latest episode. Gordon Clark’s brain damage’s becoming more apparent each week, dulling his skills and making him incredibly paranoid, leading him to lose his employees Ed and Larry and spy on his friend Stan.
Cameron comes to grips with the reality, that in order for Mutiny to stand out from the rest, they have to make games less of a priority than their chat-network Community. Gaining new game subscribers has flat-lined for Mutiny, while Community’s become the tail wagging the dog, a point that she finally accepts and understands, after talking with a subscriber.
The episode begins at Mutiny headquarters, as Cameron’s writing code with headphones on while Donna stands in front of Howe’s desk. Cameron takes off her headphones and tells Donna, that Joe told her not to sell Mutiny that they’d ruin it. Donna’s shocked, as Cameron distrusts MacMillan and she’s always bad mouthing him, however she says she believes him. Donna says that almost all the employees wanted to sell and Cameron says she’s not apologizing. Donna says they best find a network pronto, Cameron agrees.
Joe and Sara arrive at Jacob Wheeler’s office and inform him they just got married at city-hall and Wheeler’s upset that Sara didn’t tell him before they got married. He asks Joe if the idea emanated from him and Sara says she’s the one who came up with the plan and she insisted on it. She then tells her father she’s going to share the news with Caroline, which causes Wheeler to realize that he and Joe are about to have another discussion, because Sara hates Caroline.
MacMillan tells his new father-in-law that he truly appreciates Wheeler giving him a job and so much support, but he and Sara are leaving Dallas and heading to Silicon Valley and live in California. He says he’s sorry to drop all this on Jacob at once, but Wheeler says perhaps this is for the best. He says no hard feelings and shakes MacMillan’s hand and wishes him good luck in all his future endeavors. He then tells Joe that he’s got a ’57 Bel-Air convertible in mint condition and tells him they should borrow it for two weeks and have a honeymoon.
Gordon and Donna are in bed asleep, when he wakes up in the middle of the night. He’s kind of half sitting up when he sees Jules Duffy standing at the foot of his bed and she says Hi Gordon. Gordon freaks and turns on the light, then realizes he hallucinated seeing Jules. He turns out the light and tries to get back to sleep.
Mutiny’s holding a picnic for their subscribers in the house’s backyard. There’s a huge paper banner with Welcome Mutiny Users in spray-paint. Everybody’s pumped for the party except for Cameron. She stays involved working writing code and fine-tune the new game they created.
Gordon and Larry are putting together computers, when Clark tells Larry they just got 250 orders to fill. Larry gets nervous and asks how just the three of them will assemble all those units and Gordon says they’ll hire a couple of kids to help them. The conversation breaks off when Ed comes into the garage with their buddy Stan, back from California. Gordon asks Stan how things are going on the West Coast and Stan says he’s looking at a bunch of different projects to get involved with. Gordon says unless Stan wants to grab a screwdriver and help, he better leave as they’re very busy. Stan tells the guys he’ll be at a local restaurant if they want to meet him for lunch, Ed and Larry say they will. Gordon snaps his fingers at the two engineers to get back to work.
MacMillan’s back from his honeymoon and goes to Jacob’s office and meets his replacement, Jesse Evans. Evans has gone the entrepreneurial route, he built a network and then sold it to Oracle. However he’s very excited to take over what Joe started with Western-Group. He says he expects to be operating in four-markets in the second quarter, then 24-markets by the fourth quarter. At that point his voice becomes just a droning sound as Joe’s tuned him out, now regretting his decision to resign.
The subscribers of Mutiny have now filled the backyard, as people are eating, talking and playing games. Cameron still has yet to make an appearance and Tom Rendon finds her in her room working on some stuff. She’s gone against Rendon’s wishes and copy-protected the new game they designed and Tom gets upset. Howe as usual gets defensive and lashes out, telling Tom to break up with her. He says he doesn’t want to break up, but he has the right to get upset with her. She asks well why don’t you quit Mutiny? He says he’s not quitting and that he loves her.
Cameron’s eyes get huge and she asks you love me and Rendon says she’s twisting his words. However she says no, that’s exactly what you said. Tom’s about to respond, when John Bosworth comes into the room to introduce his son James to Cameron and Tom.
Larry and Ed return from lunch with Stan and they bring him back a sandwich. Then they tell them they’re quitting, that they’re both too old to take a risk with a start-up. Gordon thinks that they’re teaming up with Stan and are starting a new company, but they tell him that’s ridiculous. Clark tells them to leave and says they’ll be on the outside looking in. They say he’s likely correct and then leave.
The phone rings and Gordon gets a call from one of his daughters, who are both at summer-camp. He thumbs through a copy of Byte Magazine while he talks to her, then sees an ad on one of the pages and curses. He tells his daughter it wasn’t anything to do with her then cuts the call short. Gordon’s suddenly obsessed with an ad for JGL Custom Computers, $799 Standard Model. We’ll Build It For You. This is exactly the same thing Gordon’s doing with Clark Computers and he believes that Stan, Ed and Larry have stolen his idea and are behind this company.
MacMillan and Evans have a conversation, in which Evans makes very clear that Joe’s no longer needed at Western-Group Industries. He says this is his project now and he’s got everything under control. Then he wishes Joe good luck in California and MacMillan realizes it’s time for him to leave.
Gordon arrives at the picnic and shows Donna the ad, saying they stole his idea and then telling her his theory about Stan, Larry and Ed. Donna says that’s silly and he shouldn’t ask them if they’re involved, he’s just feeling the sting of betrayal because Larry and Ed quit. Clark says he’s going back home to get some rest, Donna says that’s a good idea.
Cameron finally comes out to the party when Lev and Yo-Yo arrive, Lev’s on crutches but says he wasn’t going to miss this. Donna gets Cameron to get on the microphone and thanks everybody for coming. She says she’s got a special announcement to make, that Mutiny’s new game will be online the next day, but gets little reaction from the crowd. She then asks how many of them use Mutiny for the games and a small portion of the guests respond.
Joe returns to the apartment and Sara asks him about his replacement and she can tell her husband doesn’t like him. He says that he’s very young and doesn’t have the background to successfully run the division. Sara tells Joe that he’s a force of nature and he’s going to take California by storm. She then suggests they go out that night and produces a baggie with four pills, MDMA. They take one each and start getting ready to go out.
A teenage girl seeks out Cameron at the picnic and thanks her for saving her life. She says she’s found a bunch of people she can relate to on Community and now she realizes she’s not a freak. She hugs Cameron and we can see by the expression on Howe’s face, this moment’s meaningful.
Gordon drives over to Stan’s house in the dark and breaks into Stan’s garage. He sees some personal computers on the work bench and starts looking through all the shelves when Stan walks in and turns on the light. Stan washed out in Silicon Valley, the computers are repairs he’s doing to get some money. He asks Clark if he’s back on Cocaine again and Gordon says of course not, why would he even think that.
Stan tells Clark that Donna told Larry to keep an eye on him and let her know if he did anything weird. Suddenly Gordon thinks that Donna’s trying to destroy the company. Just then the police arrive, Stan called them when he heard someone in his garage and allows the officers to take Gordon into custody.
Cameron goes up to Tom on the porch and asks why he’s been avoiding her since he said he loved her. Rendon says he does love her, in fact that word likely doesn’t do justice to the feelings he has for her. You can see in Cameron’s eyes she feels the same way, but she refuses to say the words. They kiss instead.
Joe and Sara are flying high at a dance club, Joe’s looking like Don Johnson’s younger brother, rocking the Miami Vice look. They each take a second pill and Joe says there’s one more place they have to say goodbye to. Next thing we know Joe and Sara are about to have sex in the server room of Western-Group Industries. However they’re interrupted as a bunch of Western-Group Coder Monkeys, excitedly run into a room. Sara leaves but Joe stays to check out what’s going on.
Jesse Evans walks into the room and praises his Coder Monkeys to the heavens, then pops a bottle of champagne and turns on a computer monitor. Western-Group has commandeered Mutiny, taken over their site and are now calling it West-Net. Joe’s face turns white, he goes down to the limo he and Sara are in and tells the driver they have one more stop to make.
Cameron apologizes to Donna about being stubborn and not embracing Community before this moment. She says she wants to get really involved and they start brainstorming. Donna calls for Carl to write down their ideas, but he’s frozen in front of a monitor. When he finally speaks he says Mutiny’s gone. West-Net now has all of Mutiny’s subscribers and they’re controlling all the chat rooms.
Joe’s still zonked on drugs when he stumbles into Mutiny and asks to see Cameron. She comes out and glares at him, he says he didn’t know, Jacob locked him out. He’s been on his honeymoon and moving to California. You can see Cameron’s not buying anything he says and Bosworth tells MacMillan he better leave. Joe tries to collect his thoughts enough to say something, but he fails and just leaves the house.
Cameron’s sitting on the floor in the hallway, looking desolate when Donna comes to talk to her. Clark ask Howe if she believed what MacMillan said, Cameron responds not a word of it. Donna asks what do they do next and Cameron’s eyes widen, before the screen goes black.
The Story Continues Next Sunday Night at 10:00 pm on AMC.