Halt And Catch Fire: Health Issues And An Uneasy Reunion

Photo Courtesy Of AMC
Photo Courtesy Of AMC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The characters in the AMC Original Series “Halt And Catch Fire,” could really use a group-therapy session, in which everybody opens up and admits their true feelings. (That is except of course Western-Group Industries Chairman Jacob Wheeler, perhaps the most secure man on the planet.) Our core players are desperately in need of human contact, but none of them seem to be able to establish it. Not with each other or their loved ones, they just lurch from crisis-to-crisis, because they’re always hiding something from somebody and it always comes back to haunt them.

The manure hit the fan early and often, throughout this episode, as everybody felt like they were on precarious ground throughout the evening. Information got released in an uncomfortable fashion, which in turn opened up a cauldron of anger, betrayal and unexpressed feelings.

We start off in the Dallas apartment of Joe MacMillan, whose just finished getting reacquainted with his fiancé Sara Wheeler, who just got into town from her home in Austin. A little later she checks the mail and finds a packet from her ex-husband, she takes the phone and calls him from the bathroom. MacMillan asks if she’s alright, then spots the packet, it’s a copy of the pre-nuptial agreement she and her former husband had drawn up before their marriage.

Cameron and Tom Rendon are in her bed, talking about the new game they want to design for Mutiny. Tom then tells her he has to go home and get ready for work, he climbs out her bedroom window to keep the Coder-Monkeys from realizing their together. However he doesn’t sneak out undetected as John Bosworth sees him climbing out from the driveway.

Donna walks in the door just as the girls are getting ready for school. She asks Gordon if it would be terrible if she had a beer and her husband tells her to have two. She then starts talking to Gordon about setting up an invoice system with the network they’re leasing, Clark says he can take care of any paperwork and save her the trouble. Donna says that after the Sinorous incident, Cameron wants him to stay away from the company, so she better handle it. Gordon then droops the bombshell that Joe’s his contact at the company they’re leasing from.

Instead of sleeping for a few hours, Donna jumps back in the car and heads to Mutiny. She tells Cameron that Joe’s involved and that she was unaware until moments before. Howe thanks her for her honesty, then tells Clark she needs to be alone for a while to collect her thoughts. As Donna walks out, we hear Cameron trashing her bedroom.

Gordon meets with Joe and tells MacMillan that he has to inform Jacob Wheeler what’s going on and MacMillan at first refuses to. However he quickly softens his stance and tells Gordon that he’ll take care of it and that Mutiny will have a formal written agreement.

Clark goes next to an appointment, with his doctor after blacking out in the previous episode. Seems that Joe inhaled toxic vapors over the years building computers and he’s suffered brain-damage. The doctor tells him that brain-tissue doesn’t regenerate and that his symptoms will likely get worse and happen more frequently.

Gordon calls Donna from a payphone on the street and tells her he wants to take her out to dinner that evening, but she says she’ll be tied up with Mutiny. She says perhaps they can go out over the weekend, then quickly says good-bye and hangs up. Gordon stands there with the now silent handset and finally hangs it up.

Bosworth walks into Cameron’s bedroom as she’s starting to put it back together. He tells her to stop for a while and the two of them should talk. She tells John she’s angry and hurt that MacMillan’s back in her life, Bosworth says he doesn’t like him either, but he knows how to make money. He tells Howe that she has Joe right where she wants him, he’s looking for forgiveness and hoping to set things right.

MacMillan meets with Jacob Wheeler and he tells him his proposal about leasing their mainframe and Wheeler says it sounds promising. Joe says he knew his future father-in-law would feel that way, so it’s been in operation for the last three weeks. Wheeler states that MacMillan did this behind his back and he says that Joe brings something to Western-Group that’s been lacking. He’s hungry and never happy, Wheeler gives him the charge of the new division, but he says he wants to meet with a Mutiny representative the next day.

Joe goes back to his apartment and tells Sara about the deal and she asks why he didn’t tell her upfront? He says he wanted her to be proud of him when it was up and running, but he’s fibbing and she realizes it. When she finds out it’s Cameron’s company, she says the plot thickens but he responds that was the only way to get Gordon to help him. She says she’s proud of him but they can’t have any secrets between them, she’s still recovering from getting kicked in the teeth from her ex-husband.

The next morning, Donna’s going through morning-sickness and Gordon’s lost in thought when the doorbell rings. Gordon finally hears it and MacMillan’s at the door wanting to talk to Donna. Clark says that’s probably a bad idea as Donna doesn’t like Joe. However he waits for her and then asks her to meet with Jacob Wheeler, she says she can’t as it’s Cameron’s company. He tells her to relay to Cameron he expects her to be pleasant and professional.

Gordon picks the girls up from school and says let’s have an adventure, where would you girls like to go today. They say in unison they want to go to his mother-in-law’s house, as their grandfather has an advanced edition of this arcade named Nintendo. His mother-in-law asks Gordon if he’d like a drink and he accepts the invitation.

Cameron arrives at Western-Group and Joe tries to talk to her, but she asks the receptionist if Wheeler’s ready to see them. She’s quiet at the start of the meeting, until he compares Mutiny to what Cameron considers a far inferior company. She says her company does what that other company does better and with far lower overhead due to their coding system. Wheeler asks her how somebody gets really good in her craft, she spied a copy of Sports Illustrated on his desk and she asks what makes Wayne Gretzky so outstanding. He says practice and patience and she prompts him to explain further and he says a load of God-given talent. She smiles and says your words not mine, then shows him her presentation.

Gordon and his mother-on-law are getting polluted in the living-room while his daughters are in the den playing with the Nintendo. She tells Gordon he’s fun and he agrees that he is fun, then jokes it’s Donna whose always so serious. They get on the subject of money and he thanks her and her husband for lending them money and support when times were tough. She thinks he’s talking about repaying the money and he finally writes her a check for 23 grand.

Wheeler’s enchanted with Cameron and tells her he’s impressed. He then says what about this guy, nodding towards Joe. He asks can you vouch for him, he’s marrying my daughter. Although we see the shock in her eyes, she plays it off perfectly, stating Joe’s a Hell of a guy and then congratulating MacMillan.

Joe chases Howe down to the garage and he says he just wanted to say she did a great job in the meeting. She turns around and with a face filled with fury, she says I thought I was your mark, but it’s him. That’s why you’re marrying a billionaire’s daughter. He says that has nothing to do with it and then asks her if she read the letter he sent her. At that moment Sara walks up and introduces herself to Cameron. Howe’s very genial and tells her it’s a pleasure meeting her and then heads to her car.

Later that evening, MacMillan hands Sara a pre-nuptial agreement that he’s already signed. He says he wants nothing from her, except herself. She says they’re moving too fast and she’s heading back to Austin, she doesn’t know for how long.

Tom tells the Coder-Monkeys he’s got a date and needs to take off. Cameron heads into her room and breaks down crying, but Rendon climbs in through her window seconds later. He hugs her as she cries.

The Story Continues Next Sunday Night at 10:00 pm on AMC.

The Last Ship: Norfolk Brings Mixed Results

Courtesy of TNT
Courtesy of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Neil Sorensen (patient zero) makes his reappearance since season 1, washed up on a nearby beach. Not sick and apparently not a threat to these people just trying to stay disease free, but there is a sense he may be hiding something. They have no idea.

Chandler and his team comb through the White House, searching for anything or anyone of value. Meanwhile, Dr. Scott reports via video conference with the CDC as to their progress. A slight but obvious smile creeps in with the plan to mass produce the vaccine and distribute it all along the eastern seaboard.

While the ship attempts to brush itself of and lick its wounds, Chandler knows some adjustments need to be made. Despite Lt. Foster’s pregnant status, standing operating procedure that a pregnant sailor after 20 weeks cannot remain at sea, Chandler offers her a promotion out of necessity. Based solely on her qualifications to do the job. Next he and CMC Jeter confer about the status of Lt. Granderson, following the stress of being shot and losing her dictator mother. She is recovering physically, but is in no position to speak to anyone.

The crew was able to decrypt a file they secured from their ‘field trip’ to the White House. The result was an infection map. A map of the United States that shows levels of infected. Naturally, the coasts are the most concentrated. As Foster zooms into Norfolk, their next stop, 70% infection rate. They also view a video file where they Secretary of the Navy eludes to the notion that there is a ‘new network’ of facilities selected to mass produce the vaccine. Within this video file, are codes that correspond to the secure locations of these new facilities.

What feels like entire Nathan James starts working on nailing down the viability of these facilities. The tone in the room would suggest they’re not having the best luck. Then Dr. Scott’s expression perks up. Not only does it seem like good news, but the person on the other end of the line is specifically familiar.

Back to Sorensen on the beach and the status is dramatically different. As patient zero he is also a carrier. There is death and infection all around.

Tex helps Bacon train with some good old-fashioned heavy bag work. 20 pounds in 20 days. Dr. Scott enters the area just as they wrap up. She strikes up conversation with Tex about being onboard again. He gives a lazy excuse about preferring the ship as his ride when she cuts him off. She asserts that he cares about these people more than he lets on. Dr. Scott’s alluring nature notwithstanding, he locks up. Then admits that his reason for leaving was his daughter. This is clearly a sensitive subject.

Slattery and Jeter debrief the crew about what’s next. They will be landing in Norfolk soon and with that comes a two-fold mission. Search for survivors and hopefully family. There is optimism as they approach. Seals, sailors and pilots. While the presence of military personnel is a positive, the news of survivors and specifically survivors related to the Nathan James crew is less so.

Chandler gives one of his resounding speeches to those military personnel. A motivating moment in where if they execute this particular mission correctly, it could tip the scales in their favor. What follows is footage of the various pilots and crew taking off in various directions. You don’t even need to have any connection to the military to feel a sense of pride and patriotism with a scene like that.

Jeter pays Lt. Granderson a visit. Her depression and hate is palpable. Her frustration on some level is misdirected and Jeter tries to alleviate some of that burden. Whether it helped or not, is yet to be seen.

The teams have broken up to secure the various sectors of the city. Foster and Green are in Foster’s old neck of the woods while Slattery and Tex move on Slattery’s territory with Garnett in hers. Foster finds a note that gives her a next direction. A bowling alley. Or more directly, a safe zone. Inside of a minute, we have a Foster reunion. Mother and daughter embrace.

Sorensen is sleeping in a contaminated sleeping bag in a camp site with other survivors. One of which wakes him and demands to know why he’s not sick. Sorensen retorts with, “I could ask you the same question.”

Back on the Nathan James, Dr. Scott confers with someone of note while the seamen around her give updates as to which aircraft has touched down and at what prospective lab site. Michael, Dr. Scott’s husband, was last seen in headed to China.

Slattery and Tex find a campsite of their own to search through. No sign of any human survivors, but Tex does find something interesting. A Slattery family photo album. Finding their personal effects brings out an emotion not yet seen by him.

Foster’s mother, it seems has cleaned up. At least in the better sense of saving those they can. More importantly than that, Kara is having a hard time articulating certain details. Lt. Green is a ‘friend’ and the otherwise glorious news that she was with child was skipped altogether.

Some of the men have found their families and are requesting to stay. A request, it seems, Chandler is willing to grant. Then he drops in on Garnett, who is needless to say not one of group previously mentioned. What she found was evidence that they left. Going through records, mounds of records, and the wrong names in those records. Garnett, normally a stalwart of composure loses it. Understandably so.

In Port St. Lucie, Sorensen finds what feels like a cult based on virus related coincidence. “The Chosen” survivors. Missionaries of the new world.

What’s left of the Chandler clan return to their home. Chandler’s home is remarkably in order. At least compared to the others we’ve seen. Seeing the evidence of his wife, is a little bit more than he can handle. But like the good Commander he is, he internalized and collects himself. He then gives his kids the rest of the truth talk. All pretty straight forward, up until the bombshell that he is resigning his commission to stay with them. His daughter seriously disagrees with his decision. Especially within the context that her mother, Chandler’s wife never would have signed off on it.

Slattery and Tex make their way to Slattery’s old home. Tex identifies that Slattery wants to stay as well. Slattery cannot bring himself to ask the Captain based on what the Captain has already sacrificed. Inside, Slattery leaves a batch of the vaccine and a note that is addressed to “my dearest Christine”.

After restoring power to the bowling alley, Lt. Foster tells her mother that she has to prepare to leave. They share pleasantries, then Lt. Green walks up and extends his hand and says, “it was a pleasure to meet you ma’am.” Mother Foster without warning grabs him and kisses him on the lips.

Mother Foster: Take care of my girl…and the baby.
(She looks at Kara)
Mother Foster: What? You think I don’t know? I’m your mother.

Chandler’s father walks out of the house while Tom Chandler does yard work. He insinuates that Tom is procrastinating because he doesn’t know how to go back to the ship and tell his crew he’s quitting. The hostile conversation that followed was intense but appropriate. Tom feels he can’t leave without his wife to be there on the off-chance that ‘worst case’ rears its ugly head. His father assumes the blame for his wife. Not all burdens are Tom’s to bear.

Jed Chandler: Whether you like it or not, you’re Noah. And that ship is your ark.

Back on the Nathan James, the crew is restocking supplies when Foster and Green return. Garnett appears to be improving emotionally, but embraces a drawing she found that her daughter. It may be premature, but she may also be embracing the acceptance stage of grief. Dr. Scott is not quite there yet. CDR Tom Chandler has reversed his decision and his family seems to be more than alright with it.

Upon his arrival he makes a b-line Granderson’s location. He is joined by Lt. Foster and CMC Jeter. Granderson immediately stands at attention. CDR Chandler tells her that he told her mother they would not be there without her (Alisha Granderson), and that has not changed. He extends a closed fist and she opens her hand. He drops in her hands Lt. bars. She is being promoted to full Lieutenant.

(Chandler approaches Slattery who keeps his gaze off in the distance)
Slattery: You don’t have to say it.
Chandler: I’m glad you’re still with us Mike.
Slattery: You didn’t think about staying with them?
Chandler: It’s all I thought about.
Slattery: You mean I could’ve had my first command?
(They both share a ****eating grin)

Sorensen eavesdropped on a conversation between the head cult leader and the guy who wanted to know whey Sorensen wasn’t sick. He interjects that the ship with a cure is no rumor. Then asks them what they are prepared do about it.

Wayward Pines: Is Lot 33 The Bridge Back Home?

Photo Courtesy Of FOX
Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Fans of the FOX network miniseries “Wayward Pines,” witnessed back-to-back mind-blowing episodes in chapters five and six, of this ten-part production. The fifth episode entitled “The Truth,” revealed that the town of Wayward Pines, existed in year 4028 long after humanity had ceased to exist. Episode six explained in detail how Dr. David Pilcher and his sister Pamela, put together his plan to restore humanity in our planet’s distant future.

Pilcher along with a security guard he employed Arnold Pope, turned to kidnapping to populate humanity’s new home, starting with a brilliant physician that lost his medical license for prescribing too much Oxycontin. Pilcher tells Pope that he’s giving second chances to people who deserve them, including Pope himself.

The kidnappings seemed to have gone on for 15-years, as we know Beverly got kidnapped in 1999 and they were still occurring in 2014. That was also the year that Pamela, Pope, Megan Fisher and Pilcher put themselves into suspended animation through the cryonics process. They were the first revived and then decided who would become members of their first control-group to populate Wayward Pines.

After watching the fifth episode, I was convinced that there had to be a bridge that connected Wayward Pines to our era. How else could Pilcher have had two conversations with Ethan Burke’s boss Adam Hassler in 2014? How could Sheriff Arnold Pope have gotten Burke’s wife Theresa and his son Ben into Wayward Pines. When Pilcher tells Ethan that he underwent the cryonics process in 2014, my first thought was perhaps those events took place before Pilcher took his 2000-year nap.

However about 24-hours after watching the telecast Thursday night, I realized that the David Pilcher that had those two conversations with Adam Hassler, wasn’t the shaggy-haired younger version of Pilcher that went to sleep in 2014. In both those conversations, Pilcher appeared as he does in 4028 losing his hair and with far more lines on his face. Which leads me to the conclusion that a bridge from Wayward Pines to our era, does indeed exist and possibly hiding out in plain-sight.

A new element to the story got introduced in “Choices,” the existence of “Lot 33.” To the naked-eye “Lot-33” looks like a plot of undeveloped land with a chain-link fence around it. However the plot’s right in the middle of town and we find out the victim of the last reckoning Peter McCall thought there was more to the lot than met the eye. Could “Lot 33” be where that bridge to our era exists and if so, how does one utilize it?

To be certain, a bridge from 4028 is a far-fetched notion, but this is a series that’s based on far-fetched notions, that humanity will start it’s fall in just 80-years and that our species has been supplanted by the mutant Abbies. So accepting all that, would a bridge between eras be that much more of a stretch?

We’ve seen the older version of David Pilcher in 2014, the question remains how did he get there. I’ve not read any of the novels in the series and have steered clear of any spoiler-articles, so this is pure conjecture on my part. However until given a better explanation, I’m thinking this is indeed a credible theory.

The Story Continues Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.

Wayward Pines: Welcome To The Future Ethan Burke

Photo Courtesy Of FOX
Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Viewers of the FOX network miniseries “Wayward Pines,” learned in episode five that the town that claims to be “Where Paradise Is Home,” exists in the year 4028. Thursday night, we found out the genesis of the project conceived by Dr. David Pilcher and why the occupants of the town, used to live in our era. We get the information through the explanation that Pilcher gives to former Secret Service Agent, turned Wayward Pines Sheriff Ethan Burke, after he’s brought back to the town via helicopter.

Before Burke’s told about his new reality, we witness a scene of destruction. Our first sight’s a badly-bent street lamp, as the camera pans downward we see that it’s bent due to a now dead woman crashed into it in her car. As the shot widens we see a sign for Wayward Pines lying in the road, along with several dead bodies and numerous fires that have broken out. In the distance we see a group of hysterical people running and screaming.

We see a man approaching the town from the opposite direction, at first we can’t make him out however as he nears the camera, we realize it’s Pilcher. But he’s far younger than the man we know and sports long hair. His eyes grow with horror as he surveys the death and destruction around him.

When we return from the commercial break, we see the town of Wayward Pines as it looks on any typical weekday morning. However a little girl riding a pink bicycle looks up at the sky and notices the chopper flying overhead, containing Pilcher, Burke and Nurse Pam. It lands at what’s known as the “Complex” and the three of them go inside and we a rather good-sized production facility that’s fully staffed. Pilcher explains that all the workers in the complex are volunteers and make great sacrifices, to devote their lives to this cause.

Pilcher’s summoned via loud-speaker to another part of the complex, Nurse Pam tells Pilcher she’ll take care of Ethan’s arm that got sliced up by an Abbie in the previous episode. As she stitches up Burke’s arm she says she realizes he’s likely very angry with her right now. She says she hopes by the end of the day, he’ll have a better understanding of what they’re doing.

There’s a page for Pamela Pilcher and the nurse says to Ethan that duty calls. Burke asks her if she’s David’s wife and she giggles and says she’s his sister. She tells Ethan that David got their mother’s good looks, while she inherited her stubbornness.

Ben’s looking melancholy before Theresa heads off to work and she asks her son what’s wrong. He mentions a poster he had in his room, about the earth’s population constantly growing and that made him feel insignificant. However he suddenly has started wondering if he truly could make a difference and he finds that prospect scary. Theresa asks what made him start thinking of that and he said science class.

Theresa heads to her job at the real-estate office and witnesses the office secretary Henrietta, telling their boss Bill McCallum that he can shove his job where the sun doesn’t shine. She says she should have gotten Peter’s job as an agent, instead he brings this cutie-pie in for the position. Burke tries to tell Henrietta she doesn’t want the job, but her boss tells her to stay out of it. He asks the secretary what’s she going to do, take another job out-of-state?

Burke follows Henrietta to her car and starts apologizing, but the secretary cuts her off and starts complaining about the town. She talks about Peter getting killed and says that it had nothing to do with graffiti, he was onto something with his theory on Plot 33. Theresa asks her what’s Plot 33 and the secretary, shakes her head saying for Burke to stay away from it. Burke starts telling her about her conversation with Mr. Johnson, the man she gave the house to Henrietta says that talk like that will get her killed, gets into her car and drives off.

Ethan alone in the room that Pam stitched him up in, suddenly hears the growls of one of the Abbies and he follows the sound. He walks into another room and gets terrified when an Abbie jumps to the front of his glass case, he’s even more frightened when Pilcher enters and turns on the lights and Burke sees exactly what the creature looks like.

Pilcher says to Burke the Abbie doesn’t like him and he puts the creature to sleep with some gas that he pumps into the cage. Ethan asks who are they and Pilcher responds a distant relative, Burke asks how distant? The doctor starts to tell Burke the beginnings of Wayward Pines, he says that back in the 1990’s humans started realizing how badly they were effecting the environment. However Pilcher’s company through a series of DNA testing, determined that the environment had started mutating our genes. He tried warning the scientific community about it, but they laughed at him when he made his presentations.

David had just one ally, one believer in his theory his sister Pamela. After being laughed at during another presentation, Pilcher told his sister he was giving up his fight. He said even if the scientific community believed in him, it might be too late. Fighting alone, his cause was hopeless. Pamela said he still had her and he sarcastically said he and his ex-junkie sister would save humanity. Pamela smiled and said, perhaps one day we will.

Turns out that Kate and Harold Balinger, aren’t happy serene couple we thought they were. They’re part of a rebel faction along with a deliveryman named Ted that want to blow up the fence and return to their lives. Ted’s supposed to deliver Harold parts to construct a bomb with, but he accidentally dropped off the package at the real estate office. He doesn’t trust McCallum, but the couple tell him he needs to retrieve the package.

David Pilcher skips ahead a few years in his story, he’s now gained credibility and notoriety due to his book “The Coming Crisis.” At a book-signing a hypnotherapist named Megan Fisher approaches him and says he needs to be the catalyst to save humanity. He says though he’s starting to get some scientists to agree with him, most scoff at his theories. She says then leave them behind and take who you need to build a society for the future.

Inspired by her confidence in him, Pilcher decides to build a society for the future using cryonics. He’ll set-up a new society, inhabited by citizens that will help his new community grow and thrive. He realizes he needs somebody to kidnap the people for Wayward Pines and approaches a security-guard from his company named Arnold Pope.

Pope was a good man who fate beat-up, he lost his father before he can remember. However he didn’t let that stand in his way as he went though grade-school getting all A’s on his report-card. Then he lost his mother to cancer in 1987 and Arnold lost his way, ended up doing two-years in a teen correctional-center, then two years in prison for heroin possession. As Pilcher tells Arnold he knows about his background, the security-guard braces himself to get fired, but Pilcher tells him he wants him on a new project. Helping people get the second chances they deserve.

The first person Arnold goes after is a brilliant physician who lost his medical practice for prescribing too much Oxycontin. He lost everything he had including his wife and family and now worked as a butcher in a grocery-store. Arnold sneaks into the apartment and knocks the former doctor out with a rag coated with ether. Later that afternoon, the doctor would be the first member of the new society to get preserved by cryonics.

Over the next few years, Pilcher recruited volunteers to run the complex, while kidnapping hundreds of people to populate his town. Finally in 2014, Pelcher, Pamela, Megan and Pope got frozen, he set the controls for them to get awakened 2000-years later, according to his statistics when humanity as we know it was extinct.

When they regained consciousness, Pilcher realized he was correct and set about waking up others and start giving Wayward Pines it’s citizens. It took two-years to get everything running smoothly and they built the fence, not to keep the residents in, but the Abbies out.

He then tells Ethan that the reason he woke him up, was because the town was disintegrating and needs a hero, Pilcher thinks Burke can fill that role. Ethan says that you can’t rule people through fear, secrecy and surveillance, that Pilcher has to tell the residents the truth. The doctor replies he can’t do that, the people will go into a mass panic. Burke says that Pilcher doesn’t know that, but it turns out he does.

The doctor reveals that Ethan and the current residents of Wayward Pines are Group B. The first group that was revived Group A, were told the truth when they awakened. Everyone handled the news calmly at first, but after a couple of years realizing they were the sole surviving humans drove them mad. The scene that opened this episode, showed us the final moments of Group A’s participants. They either ran away and got destroyed by the Abbies, or killed themselves.

The doctor says they’re living in the Dark-Ages right now, but Enlightenment will soon be upon them. Ethan asks where that enlightenment will emanate from and Pilcher says from the children. That young minds are far more flexible and can easily accept a new reality, Burke asks if his son Ben knows the truth and Pilcher tells him yes.

David says that there’s a faction right now that’s trying to escape, he doesn’t know who they are but they want to blow up the wall. Burke says he’s not going to allow anyone in the town to get killed. He says that he’ll make certain that all are safe from a rogue group, the Abbies and from the reckonings.

The final scene takes place at the toyshop of Kate and Harold, Balinger has constructed the bomb and installed it in one of his music-boxes. He says he doesn’t want innocent people getting hurt, Kate asks how many people that the town-leaders have killed over the years. She says she wants to leave and get back home, but she can’t leave Harold behind. He promises her they’ll leave together.

The Story Resumes Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.

Mr. Robot: “f_society”

Courtesy of USA Network
Courtesy of USA Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

“What I’m about to tell you is top-secret. A conspiracy that involves a group of people secretly ruling the world. I’m talking about the guys no one talks about. The guys that are invisible. The top one percent of the top one percent. The guys who play God without permission. And now I think they’re following me.”

Elliot stands in a coffee shop and eventually sits down, uninvited, across from Ron. As in Ron’s Coffee Shop. He removes his hood and begins to speak. “You’re Ron. But you’re real name is…” Elliot speaks to Ron with a comfort and ease that will not be typical. He outlines a number of details about Ron and his establishment that feed into a bigger issue. Elliot is tech savvy to be sure. That was just the beginning.

Elliot: You’re wifi is good. So good in fact that it scratched that part of my brain that doesn’t allow good to exist.

Elliot began intercepting all of the traffic on his network. Thus, tipping him off. Elliot decided to hack Ron’s Coffee. Ron runs a website called Plato’s Boys. Elliot then starts in with a number of computer technical terms that I am not even going to try to understand much less transcribe here. All of was mentioned so that Ron now knows that Elliot is in control. Control of everything. Emails, files, pics, all of it. Ron intensely asks Elliot to leave or he call the police. Last thing a guy running an underground child pornography site should want.

Elliot: Personally man, I was hoping it was just going to be some BDSM stuff. You realize how much simpler that would have been?

This prompts Ron to fall back from an offensive approach to more of a pleading approach. Claiming he never hurt anyone. Elliot can relate to being different, at least on a conceptual level. Elliot clearly has issues within himself if not a full-blown disorder. He is awkward and distant, but somehow this conversation is coming rather easy. To distract the subject at hand, Elliot tells a story about his late father. Then when Elliot tries to reassure him that Ron has nothing to worry about anymore, Ron gets defensive assuming this is all a blackmailing scheme. Ron resists the blackmail idea. Elliot is not shaken. This was personal on some level. Even said, “I wanted to do this one AFK (away from keyboard)”.

Elliot begins to collect his things as he prepares to leave. Suggesting that he knew there was a chance Ron could flee upon hearing the news and have his techs wipe the servers. So Elliot made sure to include a time stamp and location on his anonymous tip. This is the part where Ron becomes more than eager to pay whatever amount Elliot wants. He slowly begins to head for the door pulling his black hood over his head. Then says something that redefines our initial perception of him as he passes by the cops coming to detain Ron.

Elliot: That’s the part you were wrong about. I don’t give a —- about money.

Elliot continues his inner monologue on the subway when a disheveled man on the subway begins to annoy him. The man says, “exciting time in the world”, pulls his hat over his head at that’s the end of that. Next Elliot walks into his rather un-hacker like job looking very uncomfortable. Before he can even put his stuff down, he’s called into his boss’ office. There was a new hack. Gideon (boss) and his childhood friend Angela are in full panic mode, but Elliot is impressed by the pages he’s seeing.

Even around Angela, he is awkward and distant. Angela suggests that deep down, Elliot hates working for a cyber security firm that protects large-scale businesses. She’s absolutely right. Enter Angela’s boyfriend. Elliot immediately shuts down and leaves the conversation.

Elliot goes to see his therapist, Krista. Forced to in the beginning, but now, he likes her. On an interesting level and not a romantic one. Hacking her was easy. Even down to her latest loser relationship care of e-Harmony. Michael Hanson. Hanson, on the other hand eludes him presently. No digital trail to speak of.

Krista: What about society disappoints you so much?
Elliot: I don’t know. Was it because we collectively thought Steve Jobs was a great man? Even when we knew he made billions off the backs of children. Or maybe it’s because we know all of our heroes are counterfeit. (quick montage of Lance Armstrong, Bill Cosby, Tom Brady) The world itself is just a big hoax. (all of which was in his head. He never actually said any of that).

After an attempt to drive Krista off the right path, Krista redirects and asks him about the men in black that were following him on what I must assume was from a previous session. He dismisses the idea and claims the meds she prescribed are working.

Back at the office Angela’s boyfriend makes yet another attempt to hang out with Elliot. An idea that Elliot clearly wants no part of. Ollie, strike one out of the gate, is exactly the opposite of what it seems would pass for friend material in Elliot’s world. His likes on Facebook include George Bush’s talking points, Transformers 2 and the musical stylings of Maroon 5 and Josh Groban. My wife’s going to hate the shot at Josh Groban, but win fight the fights we can win. Once Elliot snaps out of his own monologue, he gives Ollie just enough optimism to get Ollie to leave. Ollie for the time being is the least of the evils as it pertains to Angela.

“E-Corp”, the largest conglomerate in the world and their largest client walks in the room. Elliot refers to them as “Evil Corp” and now he has to help to protect them. Tyrrell Wellick introduces him. Tyrrell who is a current VP tries to strike up a techy conversation with Elliot. Unlike the President of the department, Tyrrell actually is tech savvy. An executive running Linux seems to intrigue Elliot on some small level.

At home in his stuffy apartment, Elliot reflects on the big bad machine that runs our lives. The thing that convinces us to work to make money, to spend the money. The thing that keeps us trapped. Not long after Elliot breaks down in a corner of his apartment. The kind of painful cry that leaves him trapped in his own loneliness. He has no friends or family to lean on, so he turns to recreational morphine. Shayla, his dealer comes by and tries to make this meeting more than it is. The temptation of ‘Mollies’ persuades Elliot to make a bad decision. With a naked Shayla in his bed, his phone alerts him to a new Instagram post concerning Krista. Time to find out who Michael Hanson really is.

While Elliot spies on Krista and Michael, he again sees the men in black suits who he believes are following him. Krista and Michael depart the restaurant. Michael gets in a cab. Elliot calls the cab company claiming to be a patron that left his keys in the cab. Hoping to get that cab’s next location. Just then, the disheveled man from the subway approaches the men in black suits panhandling. Elliot finds Michael outside the next location abusively trying to get a dog to do its business. He asks to use Michael’s phone to call his mom. All just a ploy to access Michael’s phone. Elliot dials a number and lets it ring a few times before hanging up. Then quickly deletes the number from the recent call list.

At 3am, Elliot gets a call from a frantic Angela. Evil Corp got hit again. This time its bad. So bad that Angela is concerned that Lloyd, the tech on call, can’t handle it alone. Elliot arrives within the hour. The chaos within the code is intriguing. Elliot and Lloyd tag team on separate terminals by the time Gideon arrives. That’s the point when Elliot suggests that this is no ordinary attack. He thinks they have a root kit in the system. Even I know how chaotic that can be. It can take, delete and change from the inside. By trying to defend themselves they just spread the virus everywhere. They have to shut it down. In person. Gideon takes Elliot to the company jet.

On location, Elliot takes over. There is one infected server still running. Elliot takes a laptop and connects directly to a server. He is able to redirect the traffic and switch the servers while the rest boot up. He takes the rest of the time to search for the hacker’s marker. That thing they want you to see. A hacker always leaves a mark. Their signature, if you will. “fsociety00.dat” and it wasn’t even hidden well. Elliot believes this is message left for him. Instead of deleting it, he reconfigured the access to the root directory so only he can access it.

On the plane ride back, Gideon opens up to Elliot. Evil Corp which is 80% of their business is considering leaving All Safe. Deep down, Gideon believes All Safe closing its doors would not be thought of as a bad thing in Elliot’s eyes. Ironically, Gideon feels comfortable talking to Elliot. This prompts Elliot to make a promise to find these hackers.

On the subway, Elliot maps out the next steps in his head. Then Mr. Disheveled appears again, only this time, the two men are alone on the subway. He’s wearing an old employee jacket whose chest reveals a patch that reads “Mr. Robot”. Then he says something that will escalate this episode.

Mr. Robot: I’m getting off here. I think you should join me. But only if you didn’t delete it. If you deleted it, we’ve got nothing to talk about.

Elliot gets off the train at the last second. He tries to engage this Mr. Robot but doesn’t get any answers. Not until they arrive. Deep in Brooklyn. While they wait the man tells a story about his father, who essentially stole for a living. “Everyone steals”. He wasn’t free. He was in prison, whether he actually was or not. This man aims to break Elliot out of the societal prison he’s in.

Once they arrive, he takes Elliot into a building. Inside this single story building near Coney Island, we find what looks like an old stand up video game and slot machine warehouse. It’s a nice front for what they are really doing. Working on “the project”. On the subway ride home, Elliot has a hard time navigating between what he believes is real and a potential delusion. Angela is waiting at his building and confirms that he indeed saved All Safe last night.

Elliot cannot find Mr. Robot anywhere. While he attempted to dig up anything on Mr. Robot, he also ran through the dat file and believes there is enough to turn them in to All Safe. Later he returns to Coney Island and isn’t received well. Mr. Robot invites Elliot take a ride on a nearby Ferris Wheel. A great place to inform Elliot that he won’t turn them in and to let him in on the “project”. The single biggest redistribution of wealth in human history. Erase the debt. They want to take down Evil Corp. Elliot’s task is to put Terry Colby’s (President of Evil Corp) terminal IP into the dat file for the FBI to find. Thus, setting in motion the biggest revolution the world has ever seen.

Following a Neil Diamond accompanied montage, we see Elliot add a blue envelope to the white one he had already prepared. He places the white one on the board room table in the meeting Mr. Robot anticipated. Colby even congratulates Elliot on saving them from what should have been a much more serious result. Angela struggles to convey her part of the meeting and Colby has her removed both from the room and her position. Huge mistake. Reluctantly, Colby tells Elliot that she is out and will be replaced. Elliot casually replaces the white envelope with the blue one. Not so casually that Tyrrell didn’t notice though.

Colby: Now, let’s get to the heart of this thing. I can’t sit here and look through a packet for the next twenty minutes. Who did this? Who did this?
Elliot: I found the configuration file of the root kit with a pattern of IP addresses. (slides the blue envelope toward Colby) Once you decrypt it, you’ll know where the hack came from.

Nineteen days later, no signs of a revolution of any kind. No arrests. No FBI. No Colby. And no one or no thing active at F Society. No sign of Mr. Robot. To take his mind off of the lack of a revolution, Elliot decides to continue hacking Michael Hanson. Elliot calls disguised as an employee from fraud prevention. He asks specific questions that should lead to a successful hack. But they don’t. He’s missing something. Michael Hanson is not his real name.

Elliot confronts Michael Hanson (or whatever his name is) AFK just as he did Ron of Ron’s Coffee. He demands that this man break up with Krista tonight. He has digital proof that he cheated on his wife with seven different women. All are empty threats as long as he breaks up with Krista tonight. And tells her the truth. As Elliot puts it, her radar needs fixing. And lastly, Elliot will need something from Michael. He looks down at Flipper, Michael’s black Yorkshire Terrier. Justice for an abused pet.

The next day Krista appears to be the one that needs therapy. He mentions needing to speak with Angela and Krista suggests real human interaction is what he needs. Advice that she has a hard time verbalizing. He does just that. Angela is not mad at him, she’s embarrassed. She also doesn’t want Elliot defender her. If she’s destined to lose, he needs to let her lose. Then he says ok and hugs her. Even Sheldon Cooper would’ve been surprised at that turn of events.

Not to be outdone in the moment, the televisions in the office can be heard. A news report implicating Terry Colby in the massive hack. Claiming is was a pressuring technique as part of a contract negotiation. The revolution has begun. Elliot stands in Times Square revoling in what he was able to start. His victory is short lived as the very next moment he is asked to step inside the car by a man in a black suit. When he turns, there are three more men in black suits.

He is taken to an office in a large Manhattan building. Inside a high story office, there are a number of men in suits. All blurry and making quite a fuss amongst themselves. There is chaos in the room. That is until Tyrell welcomes Elliot.

Elliot (to the camera): Tell me you’re seeing this too?

Courtesy of USA Network
Courtesy of USA Network

Tyrant: Searching For Direction

Photo Courtesy Of FX Network
Photo Courtesy Of FX Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Al Fayeed family and Abbudin struggle to come to grips with their new reality, in the FX Network Original Series “Tyrant.” As the family branches in Abbudin and California, deal with the death of Bassam/Barry, Colonel Mahmoud attempts to identify the rebel agent that killed 12 Abbudin soldiers in the previous episode. Our first image of the evening’s watching Mahmoud scouring surveillance tape, trying to see the face of the rebel agent who detonated a truck disguised as an Abbudin soldier.

Our next stop’s the bedroom of Jamal and Leila, as the couple finish making love. Leila asks her husband if he’s alright and she realizes he’s still obsessing over the death of his brother. The President says that Leila may not have liked Bassam, but he loved his brother. Unfortunately he should have realized 20-years-ago, that his brother didn’t have the same love for him.

Leila tells Jamal that she loved Bassam, because he was his brother. However she says feels relieved, that he’s gone and that they’ve put that chapter behind them. Jamal’s facial expression shows that he doesn’t share his wife’s sentiments.

However Barry’s not dead despite the hostile conditions he faces, as he tries to find his way in the middle of the desert. We see Bassam plodding along, his skin already the color of a lobster. He needs to find some signs of civilization soon, or he truly will die alone in the desert.

Back at the palace, Ahmed’s sitting in a chair wearing a powder-blue business suit, while taking hits from a bong in his bedroom. The weed’s smell wakes his wife Nusrat, who asks him what he’s doing? Her husband responds that the Minister of Energy Development’s getting ready for the work week.

Ahmed’s at the Shunshin oil-refinery in the desert, when the aide to the Chinese Ambassador approaches him about the plans for the ground-breaking ceremony, the following day. He tells the President’s son that the way things are planned, the crowd will get blinded by the sun, as they look to the stage to see Jamal and the Chinese Ambassador. Ahmed tells him this is the desert and the sun’s always somewhere, then he says to the aide this is his country and his oil and he knows what he’s doing.

Ihab Rashid tells his followers that they have to assassinate Jamal at the ground-breaking ceremony the following day. One of the rebels replies, they’ve got no supplies or guns. Rashid responds they don’t need guns, just one pistol and one man to fire the gun and put a bullet in Al Fayeed’s skull. Ihab’s second in command, says they’re all well-known and pictures of each of them are on the watch-list. Malik, the rebel that blew up the truck, says he’s not on any watch-lists and tells Rashid if he gets a gun at the ceremony, he’ll kill Jamal.

Ahmed returns to the palace and a soldier tells him that his father wants to see him. He enters Jamal’s office and his father asks Ahmed his suggestion for the new Minister Of Energy Development. Ahmed looks back at his father with a confused smile and says that’s his job. Jamal asks if the Minister shows up for work high on drugs, or insults one of their Chinese partners, when they try to rectify a mistake.

Jamal tells his son the people hate him, even though they don’t know him. They hate him for being Jamal’s son and getting everything that they want. He says they think you’re a lazy fat slob, then asks his son why he’s working so hard to prove them correct? He says if you don’t want the jobs, just let me know. The job of being the Minister of Energy Development and the job of being his son, Ahmed says he wants them both. Jamal says good and kisses his son on the forehead, then says together we’ll change their opinions.

Molly’s back at her home in Southern California, lying awake in her bed in the middle of the night as he teens Sammy and Emma are sound asleep on either side of her. She looks like she’s numb and lost, not yet really accepting that her soul-mate’s been taken from her. She lies there staring at the ceiling and twisting her wedding band.

Once the sun goes down, Barry finds that the desert turns far colder, as he walks through the night seeing his breath in the air. Exhausted he lies down and falls asleep on the sand, taking advantage of the cooler air to replenish his strength for his journey the next day.

Malik’s at his job as a dish-washer at a café, when he’s summoned by one of Rashid’s men. He meets with Ihab and Samira Nadal and eats and talks about the buzz he got from blowing up the truck and killing the soldiers. He tells them that it was a rush to feel the heat and the blast and realize he was still alive and walking away without getting caught.

Ihab reminds him this is a different situation, this is a gun not a bomb and he might be killed by soldiers. He says to the couple that he’s very clever and even if he dies, if he kills Al Fayeed he’ll know his life meant something. A female co-worker comes out and tells Malik his boss is looking for him, he tells her to say he’s in the bathroom. She looks at the three of them and shakes her head, before she walks away.

Bassam wakes up as the sun’s blazing down on him, his skin’s nearly purple. He has a flashback to his childhood, he’s crouched down at a river bank running his hands through the water. A man in a uniform says to him it looks like it’s been here forever, but tomorrow it will be gone. He says that’s how it is in the desert Bassam, it rains and a river forms, but the heat of the sun makes it disappear by the next day.

Barry sees some sort of a reptile just a few feet away from him and tries to grab it so he can eat it, but he slips and tumbles down the dunes. However, the fall turned out to be a blessing in disguise as he sees camel tracks and starts to follow them, realizing that’s his best chance of getting rescued.

Molly tells Emma she needs to leave the house and try to acclimate herself with being home and asks her daughter to join her, but Emma says she’s not up to facing people that day. Molly gets into Barry’s car, as Sammy borrowed hers and she starts to cry. After she composes herself, she drives past a gaggle of reporters and videographers at the end of her driveway.

Jamal meets with his advisory staff and talks about the ground-breaking ceremony, the following day. His uncle Tariq advises as head of the Abbudin military to cancel the ceremony. He says that due to the limited military response to the truck bombing, he can’t be sure the rebels will stay away from the ground-breaking.

The President stands up at the head of the table and tells Tariq and the rest that he’s trying to present Abbudin as a peaceful nation to their Chinese partners and the world. He says cancelling the ceremony, or responding with a chemical attempt won’t bring tourism and businesses to Abbudin. He says that cancelling the ceremony isn’t an option.

That night as Barry walks through the desert, he gains some hope as lightning starts flashing through the sky. He suddenly stops and starts reaching towards the sky for the rain that he expects to fall. However it’s just heat-lightning and Barry spends another night without water as he sleeps on the sand.

Ihab and his second in command start drilling Malik with questions, making sure that he’s got his cover identity down straight. He’s pretending to be a journalism student at a nearby college and he’s a photographer for the school paper. When Rashid asks him what he should say if anyone asks why he’s approaching the stage, Malik responds he’s trying to get a good image for the paper. He’s told that the gun will be in one of the port-a-potties near the stage.

Colonel Mahmoud finally gets a clear image of Malik’s face and he recognizes him. He heads to the café he works at and speaks to the young woman we saw talking with Malik earlier in the episode. He asks the woman if that’s Malik and though she recognizes him immediately, she says the image’s blurry. He then shows her a picture of Rashid and asks if she’s seen him, she remains silent.

He says he doesn’t want her to lie, or turn in her friend so if she recognizes them she should just remain silent when he asks her again. He then shows her the two pictures and she keeps her mouth shut, he thanks her for her bravery and loyalty to Abbudin.

Molly heads to a Catholic Church and slips into the Confessional Booth. She tells the priest that she hasn’t gone to confession since 1997, as she met and married a man who was of another faith. The priest asks what her husband would think of her being there and she says she thinks he’d approve, he died a few days earlier. She then says it all seems unreal and she needs somebody to tell her what to do, how to grieve and to be a good mother.

Barry’s still following the camel tracks, when a sand-storm comes out of nowhere and forces him to the ground in the fetal position. The sand hits his body in wave after wave, feeling like a thousand razor-blades against his skin. When the wind finally ceases, he looks down to see the camel tracks were covered by the sand. He falls to his knees and starts shouting Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, God is Great, God is Great. He then starts weeping and falls to the ground.

The ground-breaking ceremony takes place and Malik’s able to get past the security screening. He goes into the port-a-potty and grabs the gun. He then takes his position with the other photographers as Jamal takes the stage and starts talking to the assembled crowd. Malik walks towards the stage and pulls out the pistol, but he’s shot before he can fire his weapon. Still on his feet he fires his gun, but hits the Chinese Ambassador’s wife in the shoulder, before someone puts a bullet between his eyes.

Molly holds a memorial ceremony for Barry in a church, as the contribution basket goes around, she reaches into her purse and finds only Abbudin currency. A man and his teenage daughter sitting behind her, give her a hundred-dollar bill to put in the basket. She thanks them after the ceremony, the man introduces himself as Jimmy Lytton and his daughter Natalie. He then tells Molly he’s an attorney and says if he can help her in any way over the coming days to please contact him and he gives her his card.

Two men with camels find Bassam passed out in the desert. They believe he’s an escaped prisoner and they’ll collect a reward for turning him in. They bind his hands and feet and still unconscious, they put him lying sideways on the back of one of their camels.

Jamal’s waiting for the Chinese Ambassador at the hospital and asks about his wife’s condition, the Ambassador says she already went through one operation on her shoulder and she’ll have further surgery the next morning. Jamal starts to apologize and the Ambassador tells him to stop. He says his nation can’t make a commitment to a country that fails to keep his wife safe.

Jamal says listen to me, the man behind this will have his head on a stake the following morning. He promises justice to the Ambassador. We then see soldiers unloading canisters of chlorine and Sarin gas, before the screen goes black.

The Story Continues Next Tuesday Night at 10:00 pm on FX.

Halt And Catch Fire: The Boys Are Back In Town

Photo: Courtesy Of AMC
Photo: Courtesy Of AMC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

When all’s said and done, the major difference between Joe MacMillan from the AMC Original Series “Halt And Catch Fire,” and the hapless bus-driver Ralph Kramden from the Classic TV series “The Honeymooners”  is that MacMillan’s get-rich-quick schemes actually work. MacMillan even has his own Ed Norton, embodied by Gordon Clark, the guy who does most of the work, while Joe gets most of the glory.  Just like Norton, Clark keeps getting involved with projects with MacMillan, despite knowing that he’s likely to end up in a manure pile.

Episode four begins in the Clark’s kitchen as Gordon’s getting his daughters ready for school, while his wife Donna gets ready for work. Donna’s not feeling great and asks her husband if she’s got a fever. Gordon puts his lips to her head and pronounces her cool as a cucumber and she heads off to Mutiny.

Joe has a meeting with one of the middle-management members of West-Group Industries, the oil-company he’s employed at and owned by MacMillan’s future father-in-law Jacob Wheeler. The man he’s meeting with Ellis Mortimer, oversees the company’s mainframe computer system and Joe’s come to pitch him his newest idea.

He tells Mortimer, that the computers are only in operation on Mondays through Fridays from nine to five. He suggests leasing the mainframes to third-party companies, while they’re not being used. He tells Mortimer its pure profit and little overhead. Mortimer says that he’s afraid that third-party companies could get access to West-Group’s data and Joe explains that they would cordon off a section for each outside user. They wouldn’t have any access to West-Group’s confidential information.

Mortimer then asks MacMillan if he’s so high on the project, why doesn’t he present it to his future father-in-law? Joe’s flustered as he didn’t realize Mortimer was aware of his relationship with Sarah. Ellis looks him in the eye and tells him he was there before her first marriage went south, and he’ll still be there when Sarah tires of Joe.

Donna walks into the house that Mutiny’s based in and gets Cameron, then the two of them address the Coder-Monkeys about their new reality. Because of the loss of revenue after Sinorous destroyed the network, they no longer have any money to pay the employees. What Cameron and Donna offer instead of a paycheck, are shares in the company. There’s silence for about a minute, until Tom Rendon stands up and says he’s in, then most of the Coder-Monkeys follow his lead.

However, Yo-Yo and another programmer say they’re out. Cameron tries to talk to Yo-Yo, as he’d been there from the beginning, but he says he won’t work for free. She tells him he always wanted to get into game-cartridge design and here’s his excuse. He replies that he doesn’t think the shares will ever have any value and leaves the house.

A while later Howe comes out of her room and finds John Bosworth standing at the kitchen table. She asks him if he’s ready to start working for Mutiny and he responds, she can’t pay him, she’s looking for volunteers. He tells her he was on this side of town, so he brought her breakfast and then started looking at her folder of invoices. He says he’s got some ideas he thinks will help if she wants to listen, she tells him she’s all ears.

Donna and Lev are in one of the rooms working on Community, the network’s chat-rooms and Lev tells Donna he wants to go back to gaming. She says he can handle his responsibility it’s only six-rooms, he corrects her and tells her there are 18-rooms, they’ve tripled in less than a week. He asks Donna to go to Cameron for another Coder-Monkey, she responds that when they reach 30-rooms she’ll talk to Howe.

Donna walks into the kitchen as Cameron’s telling Bosworth that they sent out update disks to all their users, but still many have cancelled their subscriptions. He says Howe gave her subscribers a venereal disease and she’s not going to win them back with penicillin, she needs to send flowers. He says they need a salesman to go to their largest former subscribers and sweet-talk them back into the fold.

Cameron suggests using Lev and Donna tells her she needs him for Community and tells her the growth they’ve made. John interrupts their discussion and tells them, this is the moment they’re supposed to ask Bosworth to become their salesman. He then says after a couple of times of turning them down, they’re supposed to plead with him until he grudgingly takes the position. Bosworth’s onboard and things are looking brighter already.

Joe’s back to his old tricks at West-Group Industries, going through a back-window to get his company to realize his vision. He enlists one of the maintenance workers to pull all the wires from the mainframe up through the floor. He then tells the man he can take it from there and the worker asks what he puts on the work-order. MacMillan slips him some money and asks what work-order? Apparently he gave the man enough to walk away without further questions.

Cameron has a brainstorming session with the Coder-Monkeys to design a new game, but the only suggestion comes from Wonderboy and Howe’s underwhelmed. Just then Rendon walks into the house and Howe busts him for being late, he apologizes and sits down and joins the session. Cameron says she wants to design a shooter game, but she wants something fresh as the target for the game. Bodie suggests they shoot ET to death, to keep him from eating all the user’s Reese’s Pieces, he gets a groan from the group. Cameron says they’ll reconvene the next day, then tells Tom he has to show up on time, or it will hurt morale.

Gordon’s using his new-found free time to get into shape and he’s taken up jogging, sporting a bright-red track outfit. He’s spent, but then he sees Joe’s sitting on the bench on the Clark’s front-lawn, so he pushes himself to run up the driveway and asks MacMillan if he wants a smoothie.

They head into the garage and Joe starts pitching his idea to Clark, who thinks it’s a great idea until he realizes Joe wants him involved. He asks Joe if Sarah’s just some woman he hired to pretend she was her fiancée so MacMillan would seem normal. Joe replies he just wanted to give Gordon, the right of first refusal. Clark says thanks but no thanks.

Bosworth approaches the first house and a teenage boy answers the door, John asks if his dad’s at home and the teen’s mother comes to the door and asks what he wants. John tells her he’s the sales-manager for Mutiny and wanted to know why her son cancelled his subscription. She responds she cancelled it, due to the fact he spent all his time on the computer and has no friends.

John asks how many friends he had on Mutiny and the teen replies he has 32-friends, plus another 6-7 guys he just plays games with. The mother looks shocked, she says she never hears her son talking to anybody. He smiles at Bosworth and says his mother’s a Luddite, then tells her they communicate through their keyboards. John smiles at the mother and tells her their generation doesn’t grasp it, but to kids her son’s age Mutiny’s their place to congregate, their church.

He tells the woman he’s sorry to have bothered them then turns around and starts to walk away, but she asks him his name again. He knows he’s closed the deal and a big smile breaks out on his face before he turns around, then he says John Bosworth.

Cameron calls in Donna and tells her with their limited resources she’s decided to cut some network activities. She tells Clark that she’s eliminating Chess and Backgammon then tells her she’s eliminating Community as well. Donna’s crushed and asks why she’d do that, it’s gaining subscribers and takes up minimal bandwidth. Donna says she thinks it’s a bad plan and Howe says her comments are noted, Clark picks up her purse and heads home.

Gordon heads into his bathroom and nearly strokes out when he sees Donna lying fully clothed in the empty bathtub. She says she’s been there since he came home with the girls, she desperately needed alone time. She then tells Gordon about Cameron’s plans to cut Community and he responds that’s her baby and he realizes why she’s so down. He says that the concepts brilliant and it will be hugely successful, but his words fail to brighten her mood. He leaves her in the bathroom and we can see by the expression on his face he’s going to team-up with Joe to make his wife’s vision come true.

Cameron heads to Orson’s Family Foods to get some munchies in the middle of the night and sees Tom Rendon collecting carriages in the parking lot, with an Orson’s name-tag on his shirt. He tells her he used to work their during high-school, the owner’s giving him some late night shifts so Tom has some money. Cameron suddenly realizes that’s why Tom’s coming in late and she feels like an idiot. He tells her where her favorite candy’s located and says he’ll see her later.

Clark and MacMillan meet in a parking garage and Gordon tells Joe his terms. He says he’s in charge of the project and he doesn’t want to get paid, instead he wants Mutiny to be Joe’s first customer and to cut them a great-deal. Joe says we do this tonight, Gordon shows him a list of what he needs and MacMillan says pick it up and meet him at a bar at eight that night.

Donna’s not giving up on Community without a fight and she asks Cameron if she’s used the feature, Howe lies and says yes. Clark asks her what’s her favorite room and Cameron can’t bluff her way out of it, finally she says she knows what Community is. Donna says that she really doesn’t and walks out of the room, so Cameron logs into one of the rooms and she starts chatting with Tom.

They’re having a rather flirty conversation, when suddenly Gordon’s name comes up. Rendon types Gordon = Donna’s husband? Cameron types back, No Gordon the guy who saddled her with two kids and now she’s trapped! However she hit Control, the letter D and the exclamation point, which shared their conversation to everybody on the network. Tom comes in and tells her, a few minutes later Donna sees the message.

Gordon and Joe meet at the bar and Clark gives MacMillan the receipt for the equipment, Joe takes some money out of his pocket and says he’ll give Gordon the rest in a few days. Suddenly Clark realizes that they’re breaking into West-Group Industries and going into the mainframe without permission. Gordon says he feels like punching Joe in the face and MacMillan tells him to go ahead, however they leave the bar and head for West-Group.

Donna and Cameron meet outside and Clark asks her how Cameron thinks Donna can command any respect if Cameron degrades her. She says if you have anything to say about Gordon, tell me to my face and don’t ever bring up my daughters again. Howe apologizes, but the tension between them is palpable.

Gordon’s slotting all the boards into the mainframe and MacMillan says he’s going to get them both a can of coke. As Joe leaves the room Clark takes a step back, then suddenly gets dizzy and passes out, hitting the floor face first. He regains consciousness just as Joe returns and he says he tripped over a cord and fell, then goes back to work.

The next morning Bosworth enters the kitchen of Mutiny and starts to pour himself a cup of coffee, but Cameron walks in and takes the pot from him and pours them both a cup. She then tells John she’s done asking him to work for Mutiny, she’s telling him he’s working for Mutiny. She then says his first assignment’s helping her run the company better.

He tells her when he was her age, he was putting ham radios in boxes at Cardiff, all he did was pack boxes, punch out and drink beer. He says it takes time and she asks how long, he just smiles at her as Rendon walks in the house, John formally introduces himself to Tom.

A little later Tom’s in the backyard cleaning up all the cans on the lawn and Cameron comes out. The two start flirting with each other and the moment we’ve expected since we met Rendon happens, as the two start making out.

The final scene takes place in the Clark’s bedroom, with Gordon talking to Donna through the bathroom door. She says she thinks she caught the flu their daughter had, Clark tells her he has some great news for her. He says that the consulting job he worked on the night before, paid off big time. He says his contact at the company’s allowing Mutiny to lease their mainframe for just three dollars an hour, so now she can have a thousand rooms for Community.

Gordon’s words finally penetrate Donna’s skull and her mood brightens for a moment. He asks her if she’s vomiting and she says she is and she’ll meet him in the kitchen in a minute. However as the camera pans wide in the bathroom, we see Donna’s got a home-pregnancy test and the results are positive.

The Story Continues Next Sunday Night at 10:00 pm on AMC.

The Last Ship: End The Tyranny, Take Back The Ship

Courtesy of TNT
Courtesy of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Almost as year ago we began a journey to stop a planet wide epidemic. 80% of the population already lost and a single Navy ship charged with creating a cure and staving off catastrophe. By the conclusion of season 1, a cure was found but that’s where the good news ends. While the Nathan James worked to find a cure, the world as they knew it began to change for the worse. In addition, Ms. Granderson (Mother to Lt. Granderson played by Alfre Woodard) is playing God as it were, selecting those she deems worthy. To make matters worse, XO Slattery (and by some extension CDR Chandler) no longer have control of the Nathan James.

The crew slowly tries to find the right moment to retake control while appearing to comply. Quincy Tophet took a bullet to protect Slattery in last season’s conclusion and is currently bleeding out. They need Dr. Scott. Granderson’s men are searching the ship for the primordial strain and pretty much anything else they can carry. The lower ranking crewman know something has to happen before they get locked in the ship. One says for the other to meet him in the DC locker, then makes a break for the edge of the ship diving into the water.

Dr. Tophet is fading. Dr. Rios comes to help. Slattery notices that in his medical bag is the primordial strain. Lt. Green patches up CMC Jeter when Chandler shows up. Jeter is to stay with the Chandlers while the rest decide to hit Granderson where it hurts. Chandler’s guys have disguised themselves as workers to infiltrate Granderson’s plant. The plant is not for manufacturing, but instead is for eliminating bodies from Olympia. Literally, workers place bodies on a conveyor belt and send them into an incinerator.

Green backs the truck in and attempts to fit in. When that doesn’t work, Green knocks out the questioning worker. Then right on cue, Chandler jumps out from the stack of dead bodies. The team take out all of the workers and halt ‘production’ on Granderson’s plan to eliminate those who are not worthy. As the team moves through the plant, they come across a man who raises his hands to say he’s on the right side of this. And will take them to the ‘rebel’ leader. The highest ranking ‘warlord’.

Our ‘diver’ (O’Connor) has made it back onto the Nathan James and is adjusting the heat. Granderson’s team try feverishly to find the primordial strain but won’t find it, because it’s not there.

Tex almost gets hit by a kid hell-bent on trying to keep anyone with Granderson off his turf. There is a real concern that Granderson is collecting people to die, healthy or not. Tex is able to talk the kid down and convince him to tell him exactly what’s going on right now.

Sam, Chandler’s youngest doesn’t feel well or look well. The Jeter babysitting the family plan just became more difficult.

On board the Nathan James Garnett and a handful of the crew stage a wonderful almost brawl in order to gain leverage, access and a new resting place on the mess decks. Upon their move to the mess decks, Garnett again distracts the guard in charge allowing two other crewman to escape undetected.

Tex, after learning what he knows, is able to sneak into AVOCET as one of the ‘worthy’.

The meeting between Chandler and the Warlords starts off like a Tarantino close, but cooler heads prevail. “Operating under the premise that my enemies enemy can be my friend”. The Warlords are planning to take AVOCET tonight.

Granderson’s team on the Nathan James just pieced together that the blonde woman and child are not nobodies. They are the wife and child of the Dr. dying a deck above them. Before they can take them Bacon steps forward to inform them that they would not be taking them anywhere. Garnett adds a little perspective then Mrs. Tophet volunteers to go. Thus creating leverage over the doctors and their attempt to keep the primordial strain from Granderson’s team. In order to keep the strain safe, Quincy has to do something. He has to take one of the pieces out of the equation. He pulls his stitches so he can bleed out buying the rest of the Nathan James time to seize control of the ship. Once sacrifice to save everyone else. The scene is graphic to say the least.

The elder Granderson makes a feeble attempt to convert the younger Granderson. That conversation ends abruptly when Lt. Granderson informs her mother that she is qualified to accept her mother’s surrender.

With Tophet dead, Granderson wants Dr. Scott back on campus. As they board the elevator, Tex appears as AVOCET Security to escort them. When the elevator doors open, the one person in the elevator still on Granderson’s side has been taken out. Leaving Tex to escort Dr. Scott, or not.

The bad guys discover that Kara’s pregnant and plan to use the unborn fetus to reverse engineer the primordial. Tex and Dr. Scott see her being brought in unceremoniously. Chandler and the Warlords get ready to knock out the power. Which they do at literally the last second before Dr. Med School tries to perform an amniocentesis to extract the embryonic fluid.

With no power Granderson calls the plant immediately only to get Lt. Green who is doing a lovely comical impression of the automated message you hear every time you’re on hold with a service provider. This prompts Granderson to send as many troops to the plant as possible.

Foster is able to appeal to a medical aid in the room with her eyes. The aid unlatched one of her restraints. This frees her right arm which she uses to stab the doctor in the heart with the very large needle.

Back on the Nathan James, Slattery was able to free himself from the room they stuffed him in by way of a hidden hatch. Slattery plus the other three crewman makes 4 loose on the Nathan James. On the mess deck, Bacon was able to grab a butter knife. He has cut his restraints and suggests to Garnett that the time to make a move is now. At the same time Slattery makes his way to a control room. Where he can not only see guard movement but also that a few of his men are already securing the armory.

Chandler’s team takes the west wing while the Warlords take the east. The two teams advance right about the time Granderson gets all of the bad news. At the plant, Green from an elevated vantage point takes out Granderson’s men like fish in a barrel.

On the ship, Slattery communicates with his three men using some form of Morse Code. They show him via the cameras that they have night vision gear. It’s at this point that the butter knife is making its way around the mess. At the right moment, Slattery cuts the lights. And just like that, Granderson’s men are neutralized. When the lights come back up all that’s left are Nathan James sailors.

Jeter returns to aid the Chandlers. A street kid apparently tipped off AVOCET to the location of the Chandlers. They do their best to hide behind furniture and evade the flashlights from outside. The AVOCET team advances regardless and meet their immediate fate.

Green escapes the power plant on foot. The elder Chandler convinces Jeter to take the second van and help his shipmates, Green included.

Inside AVOCET, amidst the chaos, Lt. Granderson tries to get people out. In the process, Granderson’s lackey finds her and in the struggle gets shot in the abdomen. Not unlike Tophet’s injury.

On the Nathan James, the repossession of the ship is almost complete. But they forgot about the Helo’s circling above. O’Connor makes a mad dash for the high-caliber gun on the ship’s deck. It takes a few shots, but he takes out the Helo.

With everyone pretty much secure, (Titus Welliver-character name not given-head Warlord) finds himself face to face with Granderson with nothing but his assault rifle between them. Curiously, they are on a first name basis. Face to face or so I thought. Granderson hid a guard in a dark corner and with one head nod he takes out the head Warlord. Shortly thereafter, Chandler finds him. All the Warlord can muster is: Roof. They went to the roof.

On the ship everyone was accounted for except the over zealous cop that is responsible for setting in motion the death of Tophet, the capture of Kara and the detainment of the entire Nathan James crew. He finds Slattery and there is a brutal fight. In the end the cop gets what he deserves. A fireman’s ax to the chest.

Slattery is able to send out a message for all of Baltimore to hear (somehow?). The Nathan James has been restored and AVOCET has been taken. Anyone in support of Amy Granderson is to surrender immediately. Which leaves us on the roof. With a guard on either side, it takes Chandler only a few sentences to convey one important truth. Granderson has lost. Even her men won’t engage. The conversation escalates to a point where both are shouting. She actually believes in her mind that what she was doing was good. Yet even after they had the cure in hand, she continued to kill off those she deemed unworthy. When a few of those unworthy were Chandler’s family, that is a detail he cannot dismiss. So, she’s given a choice. Tell her remaining troopers to stand down and stand trial of a jury of her own peers or perish. Surprisingly, she complies and calls everyone off. But she was never going to face a jury of her own peers (likely those she deemed unworthy), so instead she took the cowards way out and injected herself with essentially liquid cyanide.

CDR Chandler arrives on the Nathan James with his family in tow just in time to witness one of the casualties being carted away. When Dr. Scott meets with Slattery, he gives her the primordial strain and informs her that it was Dr. Rios and Dr. Tophet that saved it. Chandler returns to his quarters to find it ransacked. He then outlines a plan that involves finishing what they started in Baltimore, then off to Norfolk so his crew can hopefully find their families, then on to what’s next. Which they will figure out in time.

A long musical montage later and they tie up a series of loose ends. Tex is back on the ship. Kara is fine and helping the medical staff. Green is reassured that Kara is alright. Lt. Granderson is not dead, and of course CDR Chandler is back at the helm of his ship. Ending with Slattery joining him on the deck as they look out of the observation of those lost in the battle. They both look out across the water and Chandler says one simple thing.

Chandler: So this is home?

Tyrant: A New Era In Abbudin

Photo Courtesy Of FX Network
Photo Courtesy Of FX Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Last summer on the FX Network Original Series “Tyrant,” we met the Al Fayeed brothers, the oldest Jamal, next in line to succeed his father as President of the mythical Middle-Eastern nation Abbudin and his younger brother Bassam. The younger brother fled the land of his birth and his family 20-year-earlier, changed his name to Barry and became a Californian pediatrician. Now married to an American doctor and the father of a teenage son and daughter, he and his family traveled back to his homeland last year, to attend the wedding of Jamal’s son.

Barry had only planned to spend a long weekend in Abbudin before flying back home to California, when his father died on the day of the wedding, elevating Jamal to the Presidency. The new leader asked his brother to remain in Abbudin as his chief-advisor as he was finding his way and to his wife and children’s amazement, Barry agreed to help him.

After being back in Abbudin for just weeks, Barry deduced that his brother wasn’t fit for the Presidency and for the good of the nation, he planned a bloodless coup. Along with an assist by the United States Ambassador to Abbudin, Barry planned to oust Jamal from the Presidency, allowing Jamal and his wife Leila to retain their assets and move to one of their other homes outside of the country.

Jamal however found out about the overthrow attempt in last season’s finale and sentenced his brother to a death sentence. We return to the Middle-Eastern nation four months later and we encounter a teenage couple spray-painting graffiti over placards of Jamal’s picture. A graphic tells us they sprayed “Free Bassam, Free Abbudin,” on the posters before sneaking into the night.

We get our first look at Barry in his cell, he appears gaunt and has grown a long unkempt beard and he’s reading, when Jamal comes into talk to him. There’s a chess-table set-up outside the cell, the brothers have played an ongoing game during the President’s visits, but Barry doesn’t feel like playing this time.

Jamal tells his brother that he looks thin and Barry responds his appetite hasn’t been strong, then asks to be allowed to see his wife Molly. The President ignores the request, saying he’ll get Barry some of those cookies he likes, from a nearby bakery, the younger brother asks if that’s a peace-offering? Jamal snorts then says he’s waiting for Barry to apologize to him.

Bassam says he’s sorry, then he says he’s sorry that he got them into this position. Jamal says that’s not the apology he wanted and Barry says he did what he had to do and now asks his brother to do the same. The older brother chuckles, saying he’ll decide when to make his move, he might keep Bassam locked up for life then leaves the prison.

The brothers’ uncle General Tariq Al Fayeed, leader of the nation’s military shows Jamal’s wife Leila, pictures of the graffiti and asks when her husband will execute Bassam? Leila says that Jamal won’t discuss it and Tariq says while Bassam lives the people have hope, once he’s executed the masses will forget him and his message.

The failed coup-attempt, ended relations between Abbudin and the United States and the nation now has aligned itself with China and they’ve started building the Shunshin oil-refinery in the desert. Jamal and his son Ahmed watch as workmen build the facility. The President tells his son he’s naming him the new Minister for Energy Development. Ahmed says he knows nothing about the oil-industry and Jamal says they’ll learn about it together.

The son doesn’t appear pleased with the prospects and tells his father he’s involved with some investors in Dubai and they’re trying to build a boutique hotel in London. Jamal tells his son to let the investors know they’ll have to get themselves another partner, he’s staying in Abbudin.

Ihab Rashid the leader of the rebels, was supposed to be taking on Jamal in an open election, however that got cancelled after the coup-attempt. The rebel factions are still fighting and they take out a soldier and send one of their own men in his uniform in a truck behind the barricades. The driver leaves the truck, then detonates the bombs attached, killing seven soldiers in the strike.

Jamal meets with his advisers and Colonel Mahmoud informs the President that the rebels took out seven-soldiers. The President asks his advisers how they should retaliate and Tariq says that the rebels are located in Al Jaffa and he recommends a limited chemical-weapons strike. Tariq authorized the use of chemical weapons against his own countrymen, 20-years earlier killing thousands. Jamal asks to speak to the General outside the conference room.

Jamal tells his Uncle he won’t become a pariah and the use of chemical weapons is out. He tells Tariq to talk with Mahmoud and find where the rebels weapons are stashed and to bomb the weapons depot. He then says to his uncle that Tariq would never have dared brought up chemical weapons to Bassam, he says his brother’s in a cell, but Jamal keeps Bassam’s voice in his head.

It’s renovation day at the former American Embassy, as the Chinese are soon going to take over the facility. Plaques are being removed from walls and furniture’s being carried out, while Molly’s on Skype with her son Sammy in California. He and Emma are both back in the States and have gone back to school, while Molly awaits word on her husband’s fate. She cuts the call short when CIA Agent Lea Exley, the only American official in Abbudin enters the office.

Molly tells Exley about all the efforts she’s made trying to secure Barry’s release and the CIA operative tells her she’s doing a great job. Molly asks if she should stop her efforts, but Exley implores her to keep pushing and to keep hope alive, although both women get little comfort from that statement.

Barry’s childhood friend Fauzi Nadal now an anti-government journalist, goes to the rebel camp to talk with his daughter Samira. He’s gotten them each documentation to emigrate to Denmark, where Fauzi says they can fight the battle from a distance. Samira says she can’t go and that he should follow the example of his friend Bassam and stay and fight. The expression on Nadal’s face tells us that the message resonated with him.

Ahmed’s drunk and attempting to shoot a whiskey bottle from 20 feet away but misses his three shots by a wide margin. His wife Nusrat chides him for not telling her that his father appointed him the new Energy Development Minister, but Ahmed says he wants the two of them to leave Abbudin. Nusrat tells her husband that Jamal would disinherit them as well as the child they have on the way. She clutches her belly and says that their child’s an Al Fayeed and she wants that child to have all the benefits that go with that name.

The weapon depot gets destroyed and Ihab Rashid’s taken to a man that others claim gave up the location. The man starts crying, as he says that he did not give up any information, but he believes their cause is hopeless. He says all they’re doing is killing each other and that Jamal’s too powerful to overthrow.

Rashid tells the man he realizes he’s not the informant, as he lacks the guts to be a traitor, he pushes him away and tells him to take his wife and move to Beirut. He then tells the rest of his followers that any of them can leave with them. He says they’ll get more weapons and keep striking Al Fayeed until he falls.

Jamal’s mother comes to speak with him and Leila on Molly’s behalf, asking her son to let Bassam see his wife. Jamal tells her he won’t do that and asks her to leave. Leila says that until Jamal executes Bassam he looks weak, that pundits are saying he can’t make up his mind. He says the Chinese are coming the following evening, she says that Bassam should get executed in the morning.

Molly and Lea are talking in Molly’s office, when a group of soldiers enter the room and escort Molly out. The good news is she’s getting to see Barry, the bad news is their executing him in the morning. They have five minutes together, he asks about the kids and tells her where all the documents are. She says she has a million things to say to him and she doesn’t know where to start.

He asks her to tell him she forgives him and what he did was worth his life, but she bites her lip. He says everybody lies here, except for you. She grabs his face with her hands and says that Jamal called off the elections and curtailed free speech, just as Barry predicted. However she says he’s inspired the people and tells him about the “Free Bassam, Free Abbudin” movement. She says he made a difference.  A soldier comes in to take her away, Barry says he’s ready and he’s at peace. They kiss and she’s escorted out.

The next morning, Bassam’s hosed off and then given some ragged garments to wear. We see them slip a black-hood over his head, then we head to the scaffold where the President, his family and advisers are seated in a box. A man’s taken out to the scaffold, as the noose is put around his neck, Jamal rises from his seat. He nods his head, the trap door’s released and the man’s hung and his body stops moving. Jamal leaves the podium, shortly followed by Leila, who rushes into a bathroom and vomits. She then composes herself, Jamal’s in the shower letting the water soak over him, she joins him in there and she hugs him. However something seems off.

That night just before the Chinese delegation arrives, Jamal’s mother finds out that Bassam’s dead. She screams at her son and calls him a monster, he has some aides take her upstairs. Moments later Jamal, Leila and Ahmed greet the Chinese delegation.

The final scene takes place in the desert, as a chopper sits on the ground while Jamal and a soldier carrying a body walk through the sand. When they lay the man down, we see it’s Bassam, the soldier injects him with a hypodermic-needle and Bassam wakes up. The President hung another man in his place and gave Bassam a sedative to knock him out. Jamal says he could have forgiven Bassam for killing him, but he couldn’t forgive Bassam for forcing Jamal to have Bassam’s blood on his hands. So he says you can depend on this land you claim to love so much for your survival. Jamal and the soldier, climb into the chopper leaving Barry to fend for himself in the middle of nowhere.

The Story Continues Next Wednesday Night at 10:00 pm on FX.

Halt And Catch Fire: Nightmare On Nerd Street

Photo Courtesy Of AMC
Photo Courtesy Of AMC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

There are no truly good or bad characters so far in the second season of the AMC Original Series “Halt And Catch Fire,” although all of them are capable of having selfless, as well as destructive moments. In the episode entitled “The Way In,” we saw a lot of those destructive moments while still leaving time for some selfless acts. Much like the nation in 1985, our characters are in a state of flux as they attempt to find a foothold where life’s deposited them.

We start out in the home of Gordon and Donna Clark, as Gordon’s sitting at his computer trying to perfect a mapping program he’s developing for Mutiny. Donna takes the headphones off her husband’s head and tells him it’s time for him to take their daughters to school. He tells her he’s close to completing the program and she says he’s been obsessed with it for the last two weeks. He tells her he’s named the program Sinorous.

Tom Rendon shows up for his first day at Mutiny on a bicycle, explaining to Cameron he doesn’t have a car. She asks if he has a horn, he replies he left it at home along with his rubber nose, leaving the viewer to realize this will lead to another rocky relationship for Howe.

John Bosworth pays a visit to former Cardiff Electric executive Barry Shields, who stored Bosworth’s vintage Mustang while he was in prison. John says his ex-wife got the house, the government got all the rest but he still has his ride thanks to Shields. Barry says that Bosworth more than earned the favor, putting food on his family’s table for 20-years. He shouts in glee when Bosworth climbs into the car and starts up the engine.

Joe MacMillan’s beyond miserable working in the data entry department of Jacob Wheeler’s oil-company, he suggests to his supervisor Eugene Bowdich a way to minimize reoccurring errors. Bowdich tells him that data control takes care of that situation, then suggests that MacMillan develop a hobby, Bowdich says his hobby’s collecting Tito Fuentes records. Joe asks his supervisor if he’d like some coffee, then leaves the office and sits down on the floor of a hallway.

Lev is giving a presentation for a new game he’s designed to the Coder-Monkeys, his concept’s that a pair of hands grab a dish of Jell-O from a refrigerator shelf and if you grab the plate you win the game. Yo-Yo and Bodie think that the game would be tons more fun, that if the Jell-O was rancid and the object was to poison the family to death. Cameron quickly puts a stop to the sniping, then asks Rendon if he has any avenues to explore, he mentions something and Howe asks if his idea has a story and Tom asks if it has to? The conversation’s further proof that these folks aren’t on the same page.

Cameron then hands out floppy-disks to everyone that contain copies of chapter 22 of Parallax, their most successful game. She tells them to look it over during the next few hours and then they’ll meet back later and discuss everyone’s opinions.

Bosworth’s driving his car with Johnny Cash blaring on the stereo as he sings along. We see him pull into the parking lot of the El Royale Hotel, an attractive blonde tells him he’s late and John asks if he’s making her late for her other boyfriends? The woman smiles and says let them wait, as they enter the room.

Sarah Wheeler’s going through a bout of writer’s block, when Joe calls and complains how rudimentary their systems are in his department. He suggests they invite Gordon and Donna Clark over for dinner, she replies she thought those people made them uncomfortable. Just then Bowdich belly’s up to Joe’s desk and MacMillan says he needs to go and hangs up. Bowdich asks if that was a personal call, Joe remains silent and picks up the phone again and asks to speak with Jacob Wheeler. He tells the person on the other end that an appointment at 4:00 pm would be a perfect time for him. Bowdich’s face loses all color as Joe hangs up the phone.

We head back to the El Royale and we find out that the attractive blonde that Bosworth had some afternoon delight is his ex-wife Ginny. She’s still a flight-attendant, apparently the same job she had when she first met him, calling him the man in 25-B. She then tells him that she just got a new long overseas route with a layover in Tokyo. That could put a crimp in plans for future meetings, but he says he’ll just come by the house.

She says she doesn’t think that’s a good idea and he says he’ll see her this weekend. She responds she hopes he’s joking. He asks her if their encounter was just a bribe to keep him from coming to Galveston and she asks him to promise he won’t go down there. He stays silent but sort of nods his head.

Joe waits for Wheeler to finish his phone conversation, then Jacob says let me have it. MacMillan suggests that the company combine data collection and analytics into one department. The move will curtail the leaking of data, decrease risks and increase profits. Wheeler says enough and MacMillan smiles and says he isn’t finished, Jacob says that he is and for Joe to go ahead and do it. He then asks whose in charge down there and Joe tells him Eugene Bowdich and Wheeler says to fire him and gut the entire staff. He says things will work better if MacMillan hires his own team.

Joe’s thrown for a loop by Wheeler’s reaction, then says he’ll need a few days to get his act together and Wheeler says take as long as he needs. As Joe turns to leave, Jacob says that if you’re on a packed train it’s okay not to take an empty seat, your stop might be next, or you could be a Good Samaritan. But some think they don’t deserve it, implying that he has confidence in his daughter’s fiancée.

Gordon and Donna are flabbergasted to find a message on their answering machine, from Joe inviting them over to dinner with he and his fiancée Thursday night. At first their conversation centers on what this fiancée must look and be like, Donna imagines a blonde fashion-model type, a woman who’s haughty. Gordon thinks she’s more submissive, after Joe’s experience with Cameron. However to Donna’s surprise Gordon wants to go to the dinner.

Back at Mutiny Headquarters Cameron’s asking the Coder-Monkeys their thoughts on the new edition of Parallax and the room stays kind of quiet. Bodie then says he likes the female vampires with the fish-bodies, Cameron then asks Tom what’s his opinion and he says they should talk privately later. However Howe forces him to voice his thoughts and he tells her he hates the game.

He then goes on to say that Cameron’s taken the story from one chapter and the graphics from another and then threw them in a blender. He then mentions a character that he wanted to grab by the pubic-hair and have the character transport him to another game. Howe then goes into her room and starts pacing and thinking over what he said, likely agreeing with everything Rendon told her.

Gordon says to Donna that they should beg off of the dinner, but she won’t hear of it telling her husband he should have declined the invitation when they received it. She goes off to get ready and he starts quoting Marlon Brando as Jor-El in Superman, saying that earthlings are good but need guidance. He then sends Sinorous over to Mutiny.

Gordon and Donna are dressed up like they’re heading to a fancy restaurant, while Joe and Sarah are sporting chinos and t-shirts, which makes for an even more uncomfortable start to the evening. Donna says that the place is cozy and Joe says they have a bigger property out in Austin, acting ashamed of their tiny apartment.

Bosworth sits in his Mustang and watches Ginny holding-court, outside of the restaurant they’re holding the rehearsal dinner for his son James’ wedding the following day. John doesn’t leave his car parked across the street from the restaurant, but he’s still far too close for her liking.

Back at Joe and Sarah’s apartment, Gordon tells MacMillan’s fiancée to make sure that Joe doesn’t hold out on her, with the windfall he got from the sale of Cardiff Electric. Joe then tells Gordon and Donna that he didn’t receive a penny from the sale, that Nathan Cardiff ripped up his check in front of him.

Yo-Yo summons Cameron from her room and tells her that Mutiny’s being affected by this rogue program, that’s not only infecting the network and their subscribers, but it’s erasing the games. Rendon says they have to shut the network down, but Cameron tries to get Donna on the phone. She gets the number where Gordon and Donna are at from the babysitter, then gets totally shocked when she hears Joe say hello on the other end. She remains silent and he hangs up the phone. She tells the Coder-Monkeys to shut down the network.

Bosworth’s son James climbs into the passenger seat of the Mustang and says that everybody knows he’s there. He then asks his father can’t he pick up a phone and John says he wanted to say this in person. He then puts on his glasses and reads a toast he had prepared to read at the rehearsal dinner. He says he wishes he could have been around more often in his son’s life and wishes he was a better father, but he’s extremely proud of his son.

James asks if he can take the speech to show it to his fiancée Lisa and Bosworth hands him the note. He then asks his father to come to his wedding the following day and Bosworth says that Ginny would implode. James says that he and Lisa want him there and John says some other time, then shakes his son’s hand.

Joe and Gordon are on the patio, drinking the bottle of wine that the Clarks brought with them. Clark says that Joe should have told him Nathan stiffed him, he’d have spoken up for him. Joe smiles and says he works in a basement and lives in an apartment, that’s smaller than the bathroom of his place when he worked for Cardiff. But he wouldn’t trade his life with Sarah for the check, he says she’s really special.

Donna comes out and says that Mutiny’s tried to get hold of her all night and their phones are now tied up, she says they have to leave. Gordon says it was really good to see Joe again and he’s sorry the evening had to end so soon. They leave the apartment and Joe looks lonely and very sad.

Donna starts ripping them as soon as she gets in the car, while Gordon says he was impressed with Sarah and she makes Joe happy, which in itself is a minor miracle. Donna says that MacMillan has her snowed, just like he snowed everybody at Cardiff.

Tom and Cameron are trying to assess the damage of the situation when the Clark’s car pulls up, Howe and Tom come outside and greet the couple as they’re getting out of the car. Cameron makes some snide remark about their dinner and then they get informed that some rogue program called Sinorous destroyed the network. The tension increases ten-fold, when it’s revealed that Gordon wrote and sent the program, Howe starts to go after Gordon but Yo-Yo restrains her.

Gordon tells her to calm down he’ll buy them new servers, but Rendon says the problems not server related the program destroyed games and original programs. Howe laughs that Clark scorns anything original, that he’s a sell-out. Gordon responds that if it wasn’t for Donna that Mutiny would be history, she’s paying the bills and keeping the company afloat. Donna tells Gordon to go home.

Later Donna tells Cameron that they’ve got two servers operating, Howe then says that while Donna works for Mutiny, Cameron lives there so she needs to take care of things 24-7. She then tells Donna to go home to her husband and if she pays a bill behind Howe’s back again she’s fired.

James is inside the restaurant talking with Lisa, when the valet hands him a set of keys and says your car sir. Lisa says that’s not your car, it’s Bosworth’s Mustang that he gives the couple as a wedding present. John takes a Trailways bus back to Dallas.

The following morning, Donna takes a cab back home and crawls into bed. Gordon apologizes for sending the program without telling her, she blames herself for not stopping him. He asks how bad is the damage and she gives him a look, that tells him to shut his mouth. She then grabs her spread-sheets and clutches them to her chest as she gets into bed.

Cameron goes into a full-blown panic attack just before Tom enters her room, she tells him to give her a second, then starts gasping for breath. He tells her to breathe, then sits her down and tells her to either nod or shake her head, he asks if he should call a doctor, or if she’s on medication, she shakes her head to both questions.

He then tells her to listen to his voice, and he walks her through one of the early adventures of Parallax. He tells her when he first encountered the game, it was like rediscovering the Wizard Of Oz, only better because he was inside of it. He then tells her how gifted and special she is and she regains her composure.

Joe punches his time-card then slams the door open to the department, Bowdich is on the phone and Joe tells him to meet him in the main-frame room. Bowdich says he’s just finishing his call and MacMillan growls now. While he’s waiting for Eugene, he watches as the computers come to life as the clock strikes 9:00 am. Bowdich walks in and MacMillan asks if the computers are only working from nine to five and Bowdich confirms that. Joe says then the computers are idle for 16-hours a day, Bowdich reacts matter-of-factly but a huge smile crosses Joe’s face. He’s found his new frontier.

The Story Continues Next Sunday Night at 10:00 pm on AMC.