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Halt and Catch Fire S01E10: "1984"


There was only one way for Halt and Catch Fire to really end, and on that note, as much as I want a second season of the AMC drama for my own personal reasons—mostly the music and also Lee Pace's face—I can't help but feel like "1984" managed to say everything that needed to be said. 

In the end, the Cardiff Giant came to emulate its namesake more than anyone could have imagined. What was once envisioned as the ultimate technological package—an actual dream machine for the times—would ultimately go down in history as a serviceable but unremarkable machine, stripped of everything that made it special or authentic. Gordon made the transition from unhappy corporate cog to unhappy corporate executive, and while the genres are worlds apart, Gordon's final scene in the conference room emulated Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog with its implication that yes, our protagonist has won, but he's lost too much along the way to be truly happy with his victory.


All of Cardiff's idea people are gone, and the comments of those left behind—"If Joe MacMillan were here, he'd have us building a spaceship"—imply that they're just fine with being "fine." With Apple, Microsoft, and other huge names already leaps ahead of Cardiff—the Macintosh talks!—the sense that Cardiff is already failing is impossible to shake. The theft of Gordon's shiny new Porsche, just days after he bought it, is practically prophetic. The experience of working on the Giant may've been life-changing for Cameron, Gordon, and Joe, but the sad reality is that the finished product was not the revolutionary game-changer it was meant to be. The sales will be strong enough, but the press surrounding the release of the product already reeks of disappointment. The Giant is "good enough," but given what we know (and if they're being honest with themselves, whose those remaining at Cardiff Electric know) about what's on the horizon, "good enough" is actually going to be far from that. 


Of course, the crux of Halt and Catch Fire has never actually been about the technology that drives the plot (however, ArkhamNative's techsplanations throughout this season have offered a fantastic coda to each episode). While some have compared the series to a 1980s version Mad Men, Halt and Catch Fire's time period and the careers of its core characters don't quite carry the same weight with Joe, Cameron, and Gordon as Mad Men's do for the likes of Don, Peggy, and Pete. Where Mad Men is a very nostalgic show at times, completely enmeshed in its era, Halt and Catch Fire has always looked toward the future. Where the general aura among those at Sterling Copper & Partners is that the future is some terrifying thing and that the good old days are gone, the fears that plague the characters on Halt and Catch Fire are that the future is going to be awesome—and they're not going to be a part of it. 


Sure, we can draw tons of parallels between Don Draper and Joe MacMillan, what with their tall, dark, and mysterious pathological liar routines, but there are some key differences that set the two apart. Don Draper knows who he is, and it's his tireless denial of the truth about himself that tends to get him in trouble. Joe is a chameleon. Throughout the entire first season of Halt and Catch Fire, we've seen him take on roles as effortlessly as he changes his socks, and while that's a handy skill to have when you're a crazy Patrick Bateman clone who will literally do anything to make a sale, it's not exactly helpful when you decide you want to forge real relationships with real people. Joe's relationship with Cameron was a very positive experience in that sense... until it wasn't. She helped Joe solidify himself as an individual, but in the process, she came to see that what was hiding underneath the silver tongue and bravado was just a sad, scared little boy who so desperately wanted to be the dreamer he remembered his mother as, but lacked the imagination to do it on his own... or rather, he lacked the bravery to embrace his own imagination. 


As a drama about the personal computer revolution, I'm aware that Halt and Catch Fire stumbled in places, in particular because it seemed perfectly willing to bill itself as such, only to evolve into a drama that relied heavily on the nuances of its kooky characters. Cameron is "the future" and as such, she's pretty obnoxious and eye-roll-inducing at times. As the series progressed, it became obvious that Cameron earned every bit of her prodigy title and, if anything, also served as the cautionary tale against judging rough-around-the-edges geniuses for their (lack of) social graces rather than their contributions to the world. One can argue that at least Cameron made contributions. Everyone on this show was an A-hole, but not everyone managed to bring about the revolution that they all believed would justify their actions—which is not to say that accomplishing awesome feats automatically excuses dickhead behavior, but in the grand scheme of awful things these people have done to each other, Cameron's crimes are relatively tame. 

If there is one character whose evolution I am truly interested to see in the event that Halt and Catch Fire receives a second season, it has to be Donna. I think that we learned more about Donna in these last two episodes than we did in most of the ones that came before. Her dissatisfaction with her life has been obvious since the pilot, but who could've known what mutineer hid beneath her mom persona? Donna's adventures in being drunk and stoned for most of "1984" were kind of amazing. Given that tech is often accused of burying the contributions of women, the fact that Half and Catch Fire ultimately allowed the two women in its cast to have the happiest endings is telling and welcome. 


I'm not convinced that all is well in Donna and Gordon's marriage, even with the decoder ring and his career successes. Gordon wears his disappointment on his sleeve, and even at the height of his newfound success, his contentment is debatable. Plus, as we've already established, Cardiff Electric is in serious danger of fading from the silicon landscape. If Gordon isn't already binge-drinking behind his desk, it's really only a matter of time until he starts—and therein lies the ribbon of unspoken sadness winding its way through Halt and Catch Fire's finale. It seems everyone has the sense that this victory was in vain, that it doesn't matter anyway, and that the high hopes of imaginative men and women will not explode in a blaze of glory, but fade from existence like a funny dream in the morning. 

Cameron said that Joe will be a footnote in history, but she was really talking about Cardiff as a whole, and the Giant, both in terms of public history and her own personal history. Working on the Giant consumed her life for months. It was everything—but now that it's over, it was nothing. In yet another one of Halt and Catch Fire's displays of hilarious WTFery (see: torching a truckload of computers, getting off on electrocution, and stealing a Cabbage Patch doll in the middle of a hurricane), we learned that Cameron essentially invented online gaming, meaning her Mutiny company is most assuredly poised for world domination or something. While her inspiration for Mutiny and the resources she has on hand to fuel it came out of her experience with Cardiff, when legions of Mutiny devotees read the visionary Cameron Howe's obituary, her time at Cardiff will likely only get a line—maybe half a paragraph at best. 

If Halt and Catch Fire should find itself halted in it's tracks with only this single season to show for itself, we can at least appreciate it for the human tragedy that it was, regardless of whether that was always the show's intention. For a time, the key players at Cardiff came together to create something wonderful, but through their own flaws and hubris, they ultimately failed to deliver the mythical product they set out to develop... and sometimes that's just what happens. Projects lose traction, or they turn out to be poorly timed, or they blow up in their maker's faces. Of all the various huge names in personal computing in the late '70s and early '80s, how many still hold their elevated place in the kingdom? I mean, poor RadioShack is a joke these days. 

Whether Joe, Cameron, and Gordon were building computers or cars or EZ Bake Ovens, the result would have been the same because the chemicals added to their mix came from themselves, not from the software they were coding. 



NOTES

– So: Do you want a second season? 

– If Halt and Catch Fire gets a second season, what would you like to see? Where do you think the show can go from here? 

– Yeah, I had to google the 1984 Apple commercial. I'm a baby, okay? 

– You know how so many old-school sitcom plots just don't work now that everyone has a cell phone? I'm so programmed to accept that everyone on TV has one now that I was half expecting Joe to whip out an iPhone out during his computer BBQ to text Cameron a pic captioned, "Will u take me bak now?" 


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/2/2015

Season 2 : Episode 10

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I've just got round to watching HaCF and I was pleasantly surprised, not being a big fan of previous AMC shows.
I think I would have enjoyed it more, though, if the story had been told in 8 episodes, rather than 10, cutting out most of the Joe stuff, which bored me and felt as if it was irrelevant filler.

It seems to me that all the stories they wanted to tell have endings of a sort, so they should be happy with that and leave it there. The alternative is likely to be a hastily written season 2, where convoluted plots try to keep all the season 1 characters in play.
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I will be fine if this was just a little flash in the pan. I had the weird experience of being Gordon and Donna's children's ages (I think the older one) during the time frame of this story, so the next year when I was in third grade, we had Apple computers in school and an actual computer class. Maybe it was only once a week, but I do know as a result I am more technologically savvy than my bosses but don't know as many tricks as our 23 year old paralegal. I was a little, not confused but distractible during the last little stretch of the season finale (honestly how I was for most of the season except the stretch leading to and at Codex) that I kept rewinding. But honestly, I didn't get to watching it until sometime late Saturday afternoon when I'd finished laundry and the dump runs and that is never a good sign for a show, which I never watched on Sunday nights.
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I definitely want a 2nd season. Like most shows I enjoy, this one was about characters, the billed tech plot was peripheral imo. I disagree about Cardiff's failure through the characters' "flaws and hubris" as MaryAnne stated. Possibly hubris, but I hardly think it's a flaw that the technology of the time wouldn't permit the dream they had. We saw how hard Gordon worked to build hardware that would allow Cameron's operating system to function. The stuff we take for granted now just wasn't available in that time (no...srsly....your smart phone could arm wrestle 1000 Cardiff Giant PCs and win without even knowing it was in a fight).

Which leads to another point. I felt that the characters going their separate ways, Cardiff's impending irrelevance, all of the Pyrrhic Victory you eloquently described in your recap, was a bit contrived, forced, and unnecessary. The show touched on this in an earlier episode, and it certainly seems like the reasonable conclusion that normal people would come to...or maybe that's the point....these people are NOT normal. But the course of action that satisfies all parties, is to sell the Giant as is, and start working on the next one, which will be "the dream." The moments when Gordon and Joe tuned into their business side was correct. You can't build your dream if your company tanks. If everybody's unemployed, guess what? There will be no Cardiff Giant with a soul for sure. So you do what you can to stay afloat, and that affords you the time and money to build what you really want, at a slower pace than the one that nearly killed them all, and it even gives Cameron and Joe time to add in all the things that her OS did NOT have that they thought of after the fact. That was probably the most annoying thing about Joe and Cameron. They NEVER were happy with what they had. It is utterly unrealistic to do what they were wanting to do....create THE perfect machine in one grand, ultimate, never-to-be-topped release. I mean, that's the psychology of those two characters....to create something so epically groundbreaking that it would be remembered forever. A noble goal, but not one grounded in reality. The fact is technology moves along and will allow more things. Even Cameron and Joe themselves kept coming up with new ideas. Did they expect those ideas to one day quit coming? They will NEVER have the perfect machine down, because their own minds will never stop creating. If they kept waiting until it was "perfect" and "the dream," they never would've put the Giant out. In the real world, this is called scaling your product, and it's not just a savvy business decision. It's the only real way to ever get anything to market. You have to put something out sometime. And even if you ever thought you created the ultimate machine and your brain had literally no more ideas to give....somebody else will top it 6 months later. That's the way it goes, and it's something that these characters never realized. That frustrated me as a viewer, and it's also what made the show so compelling.....when characters can get on my nerves, that means a show has done it's job. It created people realistic enough for me to yell at the TV about how stupid they were. That doesn't happen with a crap TV show.

A few things I had questions about from my own history: at the end you mentioned Cameron basically invented online gaming. Wasn't this set in the early 80's? I am old enough to have been a teen in the early 90's, and I well recall that online anything was a novelty at that point. I can't believe that a decade earlier it was a thing, and I felt like that was a bit of an anachronism. She also mentioned modems and connection re-vamps that permitted a 9600 baud rate. I know for sure that in 1992, 14,400 bps was considered warp speed, and I still have an old tech mag from 1992 with a cover that explicitly says "Warp speed modems arrive at 14,400!" The standard issue on the average PC at that time was a 1200 bps modem, 2400 if you wanted to pay for an upgrade and put it in yourself. I just don't think 9600 was anywhere in the loop back in the early 80's. Granted, that pushes back into my childhood when I do not remember tech stuff. But I was pretty well aware of what the latest and greatest was in the early 90's, and working backwards, I'm just not sure about all that.
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2nd season please. To strike gold with your four (five as Toby Huss's contribution to this show cannot be understated or undervalued) leads that were often better than the material made this a show that if some minor kinks were worked out could be so much better. They set the groundwork for something great, to see it canceled would just be another example that AMC isn't all that the media and critics (like here at TV.com) present it to the public as being.

If canceled I'm sure we'll see Lee Pace, Kerry Bishé, Scoot McNairy, and McKenzee Davis find great roles elsewhere. Toby Huss always has and always will be working cause every genre wants him. (To me my favorite Toby Huss characters will always be as the voices of Hanks neighbor 'Khan Souphinousinphone Sr.' and Hank's dad 'Cotton' on 'King of the Hill'.)

If they couldn't do better for a cast with that much talent (that really have some nice reels to put on their resumes with their performances in this project) then maybe the fault is with AMC?

Fingers crossed they don't give up on it. Love to see another season. Lee Pace found his 'THE ROLE'; Don't take it away from him.


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Also, what will I do without another season of Mackenzie Davis's spot on duplication of Mary Stuart Masterson's 'Some Kind of Wonderful' hair style?
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110% all of this Whedon! I personally loved the show start to finish. The flashbacks to the TRD-80 that I traded in for a stereo! LOL

Donna's exit interview was all kinds of awesome. Reminded me a little of the movie TED and his attempt to not get hired ('that's because they all had their mouths on you r wife's bawx"). Can I just say, despite one of the most distracting moles in television, I am totally smitten with Kerry Bishe'. She is just all kinds of beautiful in the most wholesome way.

And nice call on Cameron's hairstyle. NOw for the 2nd season addition of Molly Ringwald to the cast!
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Kerry Bishé was playing one of the most honestly written female characters you'll find on television. So incredibly awesome in those final episodes.
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It's a shame that HaCF had such low ratings. Wonderful smart show. It's time for Lee Pace to break his tradition of acting in early cancelled shows.
I don't understand why people (and also tech guys and girls) didn't like that show. May be it's coz of summer time? This show should've been aired in the fall.
THis show has it's own vibe and atmosphere. May be Netflix would pick that up?
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The series improved so much as it went along. Episode 9 was brilliant! Really want a 2nd series. The true hit of the season. Well done AMC
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Didn't get the finale. What's with Joe burning up the truck of Giant shipment and then abandoning ship? And now what with Cameron and her new "company"? Did they develop something for/of/by/with...Cardiff? Season 2 or did AMC abandon ship like Joe did? I enjoyed the series but the finale kinda want me to rewrite the OS for this machine.
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I'm with you on Joe walking off. Any clue where or who Joe was going to see? Felt a bit lost there.
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..and a day or so goes by and nobody says a word about that truck.Please ..the show and its world is pretty small to lose that detail.
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If AMC can't see that they have a great show in the making, they're crazy. Not to mention they have their hands on great actors like Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, and Kerry Bishe. If they cancel the show execs will be reminded of their stupidity by the future success of the actors involved in the project.

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Excellent show. A great way to wrap up a long season long storyline and at the same time keep the show going (dear god I pray). Yes, they got the product out there. But are they truly happy with it? What is innovation, really? They compromised too much and lost too much of themselves along the way. What a thought provoking way to end the season.
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  • I loved this show but sadly it was discarded by most of the audience so whilst I would LOOOOOVE a second season, AMC would need to be in a very magnanimous mood to renew it. The acting was excellent and I enjoyed the plots and the drama
  • I can't really comment on the similarity to Mad Men which I've never felt compelled to watch - to me Mad Men feels real period drama eg dead past whilst HACF feels more like just yesterday...
  • To me ep. 9 was the true season finale after all the Vegas shenanigans (those two episodes there ware thrilling TV!) whilst ep. 10 was a bit the aftermath and, perhaps, set up for a second season? But it also worked OK as a series finale if necessary.
  • I'd be curious to know how Gordon (who clearly is already missing Joe) deals with the boredom that is running a company on a day to day basis... In truth, sure the Giant is now just another convenient cheaper pc but surely that doesn't prevent them, rather enable them, with all the cash coming in to invest in R&D and potentially built something new and better?
  • Also, what happens to Cameron (and Donna)'s Mutiny? I can already see the problems with that idea that nobody is a boss... How do you run a company like that...
  • And Joe... what will he find after star gazing...
  • I hope Bos is back if there is a Season 2 - loved that character's evolution over the season
  • All in all, I really enjoyed this show and this 'team' that was at odds with each other most of the time but still, in spite of what they may have done to each other in the process, you really want to root for them. Great TV!
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Great points! You never know what AMC will do. After all they did renew Hell On Wheels for a 4th when a majority of people didn't like season 3.
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Yep but Halt and Catch Fire's ratings are a lot lot worse even though it airs on Sunday (vs. HoW's on Saturday) and being its first season, I am not very optimistic...
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I've greatly enjoyed this show - I think the characters, especially Cameron and Joe, have a lot of evolution left to explore. I love the 80's genre and the story has a lot to be told. It would be great to see an alternate-ish reality where Cardiff (or any other companies the four lead characters create) go against Apple and Microsoft. It would be a shame if AMC didn't renew this for another season especially when it has a pointless show in terms of storytelling in Mad Men. Don't begrudge us this fine show!
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Ended on a whimper. Would definitely like another season. I need to know if Donna succeeds.
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I really liked it. Hope they give it a 2nd season.
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I watched all of Season 1 and really wanted to like it. I didn't care about any of the characters, and by in large the show always felt a bit depressing. I read that the show did hire a top notch consultant for the tech side of things, so that's good. But, I had a hard time believing that Joe and Cameron could actually be a couple in the first place, so how am I going to care if they break up etc...You know what? This show is like chicken wings, some good flavors, but in the end, not enough meat.
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On the other hand, I really enjoyed the other new tech shows, Betas and Silicon Valley. They both had bigger principle casts, likable characters and story lines.
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I was curious how they were going to tell a story about computers in the early 80s but set in the real world. I didn't know how they would pull that off without re-writing history somehow. I also wasn't looking forward to 60 minutes of smarmy tech contrasts between 2013 and 1983. Thankfully those lines were kept to a minimum with the only line that stuck out was a reference to touch screen pads. And they also told a compelling impactful overall story without having to change history. I guess I forget what things were like back then, but there were tons of computer options out there, and at that time things weren't close to a one or two computer monopoly for home computers. Commodore 64, Texas INstrucments, Tandy 2000, plus the video game systems.

this was an overall well told story, but the story is done. The ratings weren't great so there's not much financial justification for a 2nd season, and there is no storyline justification either, so any additional seasons will be sort of forced. Joe accomplished his goal, but was unfulfilled since they had to castrate the Giant in the final minute. Cameron has creative control over her own computer product that doesn't conflict with Cardiff or anyone else. Donna has a computer job, and Gordon is running the computer division of Cardiff and after fighting so long to be "finished" and so anxious to kick Joe to the curb, now that he is done he realizes he was only fulfilled by immersing himself in that work, and that he cannot do a thing without Joe's vision and drive.

This first season fit into the real world well enough that it could've been real. If they do a second season, they would risk having to change history like by having Cardiff invent America On-Line or something and then the show becomes something else. The moral seemed to be that the computer game wasn't about the smartest or hardeset working company winning in the end, it was just a race and a lot of espionage and circumstance creating the winners and losers and general dumb luck. But that's reality...

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I'm hopeful but very cautious for a second season. AMC tends to lean towards giving shows a shot. It's hard to remember back before Breaking Bad was a ratings hit, but it's first season began and ended with around 1.4-1.5 million viewers. Even season 2-4 had lackluster ratings for the critical acclaim it had (barely getting above 2 million viewers, usually still in the 1.4-1.8 range). The first part of the final season was between 2.2 and 2.98 million viewers. The huge spike in viewership came in season 5b that ranged from a low of 4.41 and a high of 10.28 for the series finale. (All ratings info is live viewership). Though, HaCF's ratings have been well below BB's first season (at least the numbers I've been able to find - it's been incredibly hard to find up-to-date ratings info on the series but it's averaging on the whole for its run .7-.8 million, and that's taking into account a 1.2 pilot and dipping as low as .55) so who knows. Low Winter Sun was cancelled and its ratings never dropped as low as HaCF's. This is of course looking at total viewership, when you get into the key demo I think HaCF is performing a lot worse than BB ever did - with key demos topping out at .3 million, going as low as .19 million. If HaCF is renewed for a second season I would be willing to bet that there's a complete overhaul of the show - which the season 1 finale would definitely allow for.
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I do want to say how Cameron and Joe's assessment of Joe is wrong. He's not a fraud because he didn't have the technological ideas, he never claimed to be a tech genius. He's the visionary and the leader, and his role is to take all the ideas of Cameron/Gordon types and turn it into something, which he did. I can understand Cameron's being pissed for her OS being abandoned by Joe, but her final words for Joe weren't profound or insightful at all. It was actually pretty lame and inaccurate.

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I agree - my experience of good leaders is that they do not necessarily invent things themselves and they are not geniuses but they can identify great ideas and, most importantly, make them happen. So many people have amazing ideas but getting them made into reality is the challenge and Joe was good at that and at enthusing people.
I think Cameron was hurt and so kicked back at Joe by trying to hurt him back. She was a little mean but she is very young and Joe did do a few dodgy things to her to be fair...
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It's interesting how women find Donna to be such a hero. She was offended that Joe and Gordon didn't beg her to join Cardiff from day one, despite her working for Texas Instruments and Gordon/Joe being on the verge of being fired or jailed almost everyday. So this "crime" was all the justification Donna needed to start leaking information to her old HS friend because she wanted to get more attention. Wah-wah ... Then she makes a fool of herself throwing herself at this TI loser inbetween leaking all of Cardiff's secrets not thinking for a second about her own children. And as a result of all of HER actions, the Giant is completely ripped off in the form of the Slingshot, and they castrate the Giant to make a faster version of the boring Slingshot, Joe feels like a failure, Cameron is destroyed, and Gordon has to swallow his balls just to keep things together. Then when Gordon finally has job security (and part ownership) offers her a job since she never said what she wanted, she's like "oh, its about time" then she's finally happy. Donna is a villain and if this behavior and personality is what counts for a heroine to female viewers I feel sorry that there aren't better ones out there.
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I didn't like how Donna's character developed. I thought her character could have been so much smarter and had more potential than just a miserable house wife.
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- Yes I would like a 2nd season
- I'd like to see Donna & Cameron succeed & Gordon ultimately resenting them because he may have money now but he feels like he is accomplishing nothing. I would like that old lady up at the observatory to have been Joe's mother & I would like him to be back. Come on Lee Pace is mesmerizing!

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Yes he is! :)
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We need season 2 just to see Joe pay the price.
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I think the show presented a nice microcosm of the early days of the PC revolution: The clash between visionaries and bean-counters, talent and ego, big plans and the inevitable flow of history, was at least representative of how things really went down in many cases.

That Giant succeeded, while ultimately failing, was all par for the course. Gordon and the other remaining Cardiff people celebrated their modest success, while being vaguely dissatisfied with where it left them, and not knowing what to do about it. That Cameron, Donna, and the code monkeys, arguably the real brains behind Giant, would ultimately take their talents elsewhere, was almost inevitable. And Joe, the consummate "Rolling Stone", would never be happy with just "OK" either, and was bound to move on as well, in this case finally chasing the dreams he had as a boy.

Where that leaves us for season 2, if we get one, will be a bit of a challenge for the writers, but if they end it all here, the story at least feels fairly complete and self contained.
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Historically speaking it was the clone manufacturers like Cardiff that were the big successes of the eighties PC revolution. Companies like Dell and Compaq may not have been particularly innovative but they ended up controlling nearly half of the desktop market. Apple on the other hand may have been more cutting edge, but the Mac was never more than a niche product and the company would've went under if Microsoft hadn't bailed them out in 1997. A second series might see Cardiff just churning out beige boxes, but the money they'd be making would move Gordon into JR Ewing's league.
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All true. My comments about the Giant succeeding, but failing, were more about the hopes and dreams of the people behind it than whether it made money. They may have succeeded financially, but did it at the cost of their souls, betraying the ideal of building something truly revolutionary, all to ensure their place on the "3rd shelf". And while Macs never grabbed a big part of the market themselves, they showed Micro$oft the way to take the lion's share with Windows.
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I still think this show is boring!
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insightful
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yeah I just don't really like anything in this show the characters, and the overall look, writing and so on and really tried hard to like it force myself to see 8 eps and kept telling myself that it will get better soon.
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I am happy with the finale. Part of my dream ending did came true. Gordon and Donna did made up and they sort of became rich. It is unlikely they will be a season two so we could imagine a happy ending for the couple. People do change and Gordon can change.

I am happy for Cameron as well. I couldn't care less about Joe.

The only sad part is Bosworth not joining them at the victory.

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Yeh! A quick check in with Bosworth would have been nice!
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"1984" worked as both a season finale and unfortunately a series finale if it doesn't get renewed. I am hoping for a second season because these characters could go many places in terms of story and development. I think everyone getting the happy but at cost ending was very fitting. I felt so bad for everyone but not Cameron. She got basically crapped on the whole time and wasn't used to her full potential so when she started her Mutiny Company and told Joe to shove it I was like, "RIGHT ON!" However I will say that her words to Joe about his mom letting him fall off the roof were a little harsh. As for Joe lighting the truck on fire I wasn't surprised that he did that and wouldn't even be surprised if he was the one who was behind Dondon's car jacking. It's f'ed up I know but if we remember when Joe left IBM he ruined the basement of servers and disappeared. So that's totally in line with that. It was a great show even though it took a bit to find it's path and I really want a season 2. In that Season 2 it's The Girls against The Boys.
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Good insight. I wondered the same thing about the carjacking. Too much of a coincidence to not be instigated by Joe. IMHO..
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I thought that what happened in the finale was somewhat unexpected, each main character splintering off in their own self serving direction, but I suppose it would be an appropriate ending for the series as a whole. I'm so disappointed in Joe, but happy for Donna and Cameron, can't quite care what happens to Gordon. I thought that the show left the door open for a second season and the show runners (as of this morning) still seem hopeful they will have their second season (curious if AMC will pass or stand behind the show despite poor ratings). Time to take a risk, AMC.

Thanks JenMo73 for all your hard work and your insightful recaps. I always looked forward to reading them. Great analysis and questions, always a must read for loyal fans of the show.
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Hey thanks!!!!! Hopefully I'll see you next season or the next discussion worthy show! :)
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Can someone explain to me why he lit the truck on fire with the first shipment?
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I think he did it because he hated the product he created. It was just ordinary nothing unique about it.
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I've really enjoyed this show. I'll be gutted if there's no season 2. A lot of really strong characters, well acted, and a pretty good storyline. Please renew. It's been my favourite show the last 10 weeks.
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Sheesh, Joe got it worse than anyone, Cameron laying on the hard truth even using his own experience he only opened up to her about and beating him with it.
Gordon was happy with their success but frustrated by Joe still reaching for something undefinable. The achievement that few could pull off and be more than content with; but for Joe it was like ash in the mouth.
Some considerable talk about the next thing and creativity and it all walked out the door with Cameron, both Gordon and Joe seemed broken and hollowed out without their respective muse.
Loved the Gordon and Donna discussion before the carjacking about Joe at the movie complex not to even see anything and having bought some popcorn to "appear" normal.
This show didn't let us off the hook with a contrived or even moderately happy ending, despite a win for team Cardiff, but I won't be forgetting it anytime soon either...
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On another subject - MaryAnn are you still reviewing Graceland? Without trying to sound like your PR person your reviews and take on the characters are great and fun to read. Though stuff got serious with Paige while Briggs and Mikey are gonna burn down the corrupt LA Gang Unit - Graceland style!!!
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I love this show but jeez that was a bit too depressing for my liking. I actually think it might not get a second season but I hope i am wrong.
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I really enjoyed it. From the description, I wasn't so jazzed, but I watched the pilot and was so hooked. I binge watched to catch up, and never looked back. It didn't feel that dated, even though it was a period piece. I was a teenager in the 80s, so it was even oddly comforting. The characters were super compelling...Mainly Joe, but also Gordon, Cameron and Donna, all in their own right. The finale was good, not great. I'm sure I have no idea where this is going, or even if it will get picked up, but I'd love to find out.

Sidenote: Who else was super excited when Gordon shaved off his dumb seventies beard?!!! Hooray!!!
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Actually, I was a teenager in the late eighties. Just needed to put that out there. I'm not THAT old. ;)
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This summer, Halt and Catch Fire became my favorite Sunday night show very quickly. It has spirit, unique characters and just enough crazy for my taste. I hope it gets a second season!
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There were flashes of what could have been an interesting show, but I never really felt it came together.
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Sometimes they went a little too weird with it, and the show should have been more tech-oriented, but overall I really enjoyed it and would very much like to see a second season. Hopefully a second season will be a little less of a downer.
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It already alienated some viewers because its first episode was too tech-oriented. I think it should have started "softer" and perhaps intro more tech in the end.
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Yep- it was a shame as it got pretty fun and thrilling when they got to Vegas...
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