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I’m not sure where to begin to on this one. “Up Helly Aa” was supposed to be a grand party and a celebration of success. It was (sort of), but it wasn’t without major hurdles, disappointment and as usual, sacrifice. I will admit I wanted Joe and the gang to go to Comdex and have the super happy ending. They sell the Giant, make money and the team’s mark in their world is solidified. However that was more was a season finale outcome rather than a penultimate episode. As I was watching I kept wondering what was going to happen, what drama could they create (besides The Giant not working) and how to strain the character relationships more because everything seemed like it could be wrapped up in a 15lbs portable computer. The first half was exciting and fun the second half is where it all crashed. The team’s relationship with each other is in jeopardy (as usual) and the success of the Giant is at stake with another portable and the arrival of the Macintosh. It was one “Helly” of a ride and definitely some great stuff to discuss. Let me turn on my 80's Boombox and get started...

Donna was trying to rekindle some magic with Gordon only to have her attempt blow up in her face. I loved the playful side of them and I do like their relationship but unfortunately the little moments can only patch the deep cracks that have been around for years.Gordon still thinks that Donna should “jump” with him but Donna says that they already did that when they married. To only jump once sounds a little boring, so I understand Gordon here. In the morning the team visits a hot booth and to Donna’s surprise and anger it’s Hunt and Wacky Neighbor Guy pitching a portable PC called the Slingshot. Not only does it look like the Giant but also it’s faster and cheaper. Dis-freaking-aster!!! Donna attacks Hunt because she realizes that he has been pumping her for information to make his own portable. Of course Gordon and Donna are going to have it out and it brought to light Donna’s feelings of being miserable and her kissing Hunt. She admitted he was giving her the attention and praise that she needed because Gordon had checked out and choose the Giant over the family many times. Ok, I suppose I understand Donna (a little) but her needs and feelings totally f’ed the success of the Giant. A marriage is hard work and you can’t give up on it, just as Gordon said.

Do you think Donna justified her kiss?

Was her statement of “it wasn’t an affair but it should have been” a little harsh? Or a wake up call for Gordon to find a balance?

Are you disappointed in where the writers took Donna’s character? Why?

Where will Gordon and Donna’s relationship go from here? Will this make them stronger? Or are they done?


Gordon once again proved that he excels in dire situations. He also showed that he doesn’t give up. He was quick to make decisions that were for the success of the team, his ruse with the two brothers from Sunnyvale to get a suite and then the ultimate decision to take out Cameron’s OS from the Giant to save the project. While the first was entertaining the second was brutal to watch. After the argument with Donna, Gordon started drinking and took apart The Giant for probably the 100th time. I’m not sure how I feel about him taking out Cameron’s OS, ok maybe I do, SELL OUT. I know I was shocked and at the same time impressed because he found a solution. It was heartbreaking to see everyone’s emotions. You could feel how guilty Gordon and Joe felt and Cameron’s pain. By removing Cameron’s special creation it made the Giant cheaper and faster than the Slingshot thus making it superior but not unique. Gordon’s choice was so they could still have a chance at survival and be successful but it’s was a high cost because it absolutely upset Cameron and the vision to be different from what was already out there.

Did you like how Gordon called out how he fired his neighbor durning the Demo?

Will he forgive Donna? Has he already by giving her the credit for the motherboard?

Do you agree with Gordon taking out Cameron’s OS?

Was it a sell out move?

Should he have consulted the team first?


Cameron really hasn’t found a place where she truly belongs or where her talents will be appreciated to there full ability. She smartly created a way to get people up to the Cardiff suite for a party. Her display was creative, attention getting and definitely did what it needed to do. At the party she also grabbed the attention of the Xerox guys from California. One in particular told her she should go to California and take advantage of all the opportunity that would await her brilliance. She even has a wholesome fun experience with the Xerox guys; they ate pancakes and watched the sun come up. This did not go unnoticed by Joe; he even said California would be a good for her. However she has deep feelings for Joe and those will probably hold her back. Well they were going to until Gordon ripped out her OS and Joe approved the decision by saying it was what was “best for the machine”. It was a devastating blow for her and as she begged Joe to put it back in but the look she gave him, she knew the answer. She knew that he would try and sell the faster, cheaper and “empty” version of the Giant and left. Hopefully she will now realize to take advantage of a new opportunity.

What did you think of her display?

Did you catch her reading the hotel bible? Any significance? Or just because it was there?

Would you have left as well or would you have supported the team?

Should Cameron go and check out California?


Joe used the magic of Vegas to his advantage but he also succumbed to consequences of what can happen there as well. Meaning he gambled, won, lost and finally broke even. In his eyes the Giant was the future of technology.They were to be so successful at Comdex that he was envisioning them “burning it to the ground”. This seemed to be the case when they first arrived. With a plan set in motion by Gordon, Joe posed as a person from IBM, convinced the failing printer brothers to back out and secured a suite. The party seemed to be a hit and even though the Giant wasn’t turning on Joe “turned on” the attendees with a fantastic “razzle dazzle” speech that would make Billy Flynn proud (oh yes a Chicago reference) and he didn’t have to demo it until the next day. He even starts to line up a possible order, but once the Slingshot debuts (before the Giant) there goes everything. All the hard work, the possible order and the vision, dead. Joe tries his best to out sale Hunt; unfortunately Hunt hits Joe with some very hard truths. The Slingshot just had to be “ just good enough” so people would buy it over the Giant. Oh and that they will never create anything original because they are in the compatible business. Ouch! Well when Gordon presents Joe with a product that is good enough to beat the Slingshot he makes the painful decision to go for it. It’s all about the project but this time he knows he has hurt Cameron and tries to explain it her. He asks he to stay but his words mean nothing. At the Demo Joe is giving a sales pitch; it doesn’t feel like a “Joe Original” there is fakeness about it. Joe pauses during it because he sees a reminder of Cameron’s involvement but someone asks, “What is unique about it?” it snaps Joe out of what ever he was feeling. Now we get the “Joe Original” pitch. Holy Cow this was so awesome and not at the same time. It was the pitch of all pitches but it was everything opposite of what Joe was trying to prove and create. Uniqueness is absolute garbage and nothing compared to speed because speed is what people really want. That was until Joe heard these words, “Hello, I’m Macintosh.” BOOM!

What did you think of all of Joe in this episode?

Will he be regretting his words and decision after seeing the Macintosh?

How can he make up with Cameron? Do you want them to reconcile?

What will his next move be?

How cool was The Macintosh unveil?

And lastly….

With one episode left where do you see all this going or ending? What would you like to see for the season finale? The promo said Season Finale next week so that is a glimmer of hope that it won’t get cancelled….right?

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And for anyone still wondering what the episode title, "Up Helly Aa", means, it's the name of the Scottish festival Joe tells them about in the car, where the participants surround a replica of a Viking longship, and "burn it to the ground". Just a wee bit of Gaelic to prepare you for Outlander, which premieres later this week.
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I was going to put that in my thoughts above but totally forgot to! Thanks! Outlander looks good!
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To answer a few questions from the review:

Yes, they should absolutely have taken the fancy OS out. If Gordon could remove the extra hardware in a hotel room while downing a few bottles of beer, it could be added back in as an upgrade later. What they needed right then and there was a platform that could take on the competition in a spec war and win, which the stripped down version did. Save the value added frills for when you've got a bit of market share.

Cameron was being childish, insisting on keeping a "Giant" boat anchor, that was slowing their system down, and making it easy meat for the competition. It might have made them unique (sort of - see below), but would have prevented them from getting the up-front sales orders and operating income they desperately needed at that time. She should have been willing to take one for the team, and come back to fight for it later.

The Macintosh reveal at the end came as a big shock to Joe, but really shouldn't have. The Apple Lisa had been out for nearly a year at this point, with a graphical user interface and mouse, foreshadowing the more successful Macs to come. Since the Giant's "friendly" operating system was still text based, Lisa already had them beat in terms of user friendliness. But seeing the Mac for the first time, Joe must have seen the writing on the wall, and known he was backing a dinosaur. Cameron's dream of a friendlier user interface was going to come about, but Cardiff wasn't going to be the company that brought it to market.
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I think the relationships are strained as usual, but in the end things will be all right because this bunch of people is used to strained relationships. They have many bumps on the road, but always find a common ground eventually. So, I'm not really worried about that part.

The show presents two very different and interesting female characters, Donna and Cameron. Personally I love Donna, and would have problems to deal with someone who handles papers with her hand dirty of mustard... Donna is pretty, supportive, smart, sensitive. And I think Gordon takes her for granted.

Yeah, Joe turning 180 degrees in his sales pitch against uniqueness was funny and sad. He obviously wished he were pitching the other way around, exalting the Giant's unique features. But Joe is more of a salesman than he is a visionary.

Gordon and Joe weren't sell-outs. Gordon's decision was a sensible marketing move. They are not in the art business, it's business business. They are making a product first and foremost.

Cameron's idea, as I said in ArkhamNative's tech review, is superfluous. It only makes the computer slower, more expensive, and consumes memory and for what exactly? We now have the benefit of hindsight. We know what works and what doesn't, and having a chatty personality has never been a priority for computers. Imagine life in a busy office. Do you need a therapist or a tool? Even the "Hello, I'm MacIntosh" spoken in that electronic voice is a cosmetic feature. The Apple computer became a success because of its practical features and because it had a graphic interface and a mouse.

What I don't understand is how the copycat company could market the Slingshot with just a picture, while Cardiff had the real thing to show and the guys were in real panic because it wouldn't work. Now, they say just a nice poster would have the same effect? Also, it seems the Slingshot strategy seems to be a bit of a stretch. They'll be taking orders on a product which we don't even know if it works, or how well it works. It seems the wacky neighbor would go at such lengths to "kill the Giant" but why would a company get on-board in such a risky adventure?

But Cameron is moody and often childish. It would be stupid of her to make any long-term decision based on the way she felt after her chatty OS was taken out of the Giant, so I'd expect her to reconsider. She should be perfectly aware her real contribution to the Giant was the reversed-engineered BIOS. But the writers may milk that rift between the team and her in order to make more drama.

No John Bosworth this week (except for his name being used by Joe to get a hotel room). Perhaps he'll appear in the finale. I'm trying to figure out what the finale is going to be about, but I'm having problems. The COMDEX was the metaphor4ical delta where all waters of the story streams flowed to. other than that... Joe is going after Cameron? Gordon and Donna are going to try to patch things up in their relationship. Come on, there's gotta be more than that, especially something related to the business and to computers. I think the ending is pretty open, which is good. It's nice to be surprised.
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I thought the same thing about COMDEX being the top of the peak and I too am left wondering about the finale. I'm sure it'll be great because the show got better with episode. We will see....in the promo Donna has her arm in a sling....hmmmm.
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Maybe she tried to use the Slingshot... har, har, har....
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We did actually see, briefly, the actual slingshot computer during the demo, though it was turned off.

Later Brian asks Gordon how the Giant solves its cooling problem, so the slingshot may still have problems. Perhaps Whitwell expected to resolve them after they bought out the bankrupt PC division of Cardiff Electric?
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I missed that part. It was so brief.
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No worries, lots of people didn't see it. And arguably everybody misses something on the first viewing. Maybe even the third or fourth viewing, too. Darn complicated, layered show. :-)
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I agree. I find it mostly unbelievable. They had less than a month after Hunt intercepted Gordon's fax of the schematics, and only a day or so advance knowledge that Cardiff would not be at COMDEX. There's more drama to come, but the Slingshot is dead in the water, and that was always the most likely outcome.
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I think the problem with the scene is that it didn't feel relevant. The Cardiff boys and girls jumped through all those hoops to get the Altair, I mean, the Giant working. Joe even ruse that ruse with stripper girls to deviate the potential clients' attention from the Giant because it wasn't working. And now all the Slingshot guys needed to do was to show a turned off computer with possible cooling problems (which might as well have been an empty shell of a computer for all we know) and some nice poster and they get thousand of orders and break Cardiff in the process? Something doesn't add up.

I know Mr. "Wacky Neighbor" had plenty of personal reasons to "kill the Giant" even at personal financial risk. But why would a company embark on such a risky and dubious adventure? Because now all they've got is an inferior model which is slower and more expensive than the Giant. Even if they made a modest investment in their plagiarism, that's money they'll lose. And for what exactly?

Anyway, I agree it's a complicated, layered show.
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I loved this episode. The highs and the lows. I did not see Hunt coming at all so slingshot was a cruel but nice surprise.

I loved Donna and Gordon so I wish there is a happy ending for both of them in the finale.

With the low ratings, I doubt the show will get a second season. I will keep my fingers crossed. I do hope there is a proper ending if there is no season two.
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What would your proper ending look like? :)
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Most importantly Gordon and Donna make up and make lots of money through Giant and either retired somewhere exotic or start their own company. Bosworth gets released on a technicality (lots of murders got away on less). Cameroon works for Mac.

As for Joe, I do not actually care...ha!

One can only wish...
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Do you think Donna justified her kiss? - NO, JUST PROVED SHE'S A WHORE!!! A WHORE I TELL YE! A WHORE!!!!!

Was her statement of “it wasn’t an affair but it should have been” a little harsh? Or a wake up call for Gordon to find a balance? - MORE WHORE SPEAK FROM THE DIRTY WHORE!

Are you disappointed in where the writers took Donna’s character? Why? - Do you mean disappointed because they made her A WHORE! A WHORRRRE!

Where will Gordon and Donna’s relationship go from here? Will this make them stronger? Or are they done? - Gordon could become her pimp and the dirty whore can support the family with her whorish shenanigans.



Did you like how Gordon called out how he fired his neighbor durning the Demo? - had to be done because of the betrayal by Donna..... THE WHORE!

Will he forgive Donna? Has he already by giving her the credit for the motherboard? - he was just trying to drum up geeky customers for his whore wife to make some money whoring herself out

Do you agree with Gordon taking out Cameron’s OS? - yep

Was it a sell out move? - yep, but it was a business decision. But they should have softened the blow by announcing it as an add on.

Should he have consulted the team first? - possibly, but Joe would have sided with him



What did you think of her display? - smart

Did you catch her reading the hotel bible? Any significance? Or just because it was there? - I'm sure some significance can be given to it

Would you have left as well or would you have supported the team? - Cameron is all about the idea, not the reality, so I wasn't surprised she left

Should Cameron go and check out California? - yes, it would suit her idealism, but she would probably just get exploited for her ideas there as well



What did you think of all of Joe in this episode? - proved that he was more interested in making his mark on the business world than an innovator in the field

Will he be regretting his words and decision after seeing the Macintosh? -
yes and no. He got his deal.

How can he make up with Cameron? - it make take a while because she needs to be a bit less naive

Do you want them to reconcile? - not really

What will his next move be? - leveraging his order for expansion

How cool was The Macintosh unveil? - meh, I'm not a mac guy



With one episode left where do you see all this going or ending? - a buyout of Cardiff by IBM

What would you like to see for the season finale? - Donna discovering crack and becoming a full blown CRACKWHORE!!

The promo said Season Finale next week so that is a glimmer of hope that it won’t get cancelled….right? - 40/60 in my mind. Its solid but hasn't caught on with a decent sized audience


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OMFG!!!!!! I laughed so hard that it threw me into a coughing fit and I cried! Ahahahahahahaha! I totally needed that! Anyway as always thank you for bringing your special thoughts. Love them!
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I AM SPECIALS!!!

Donna is still a whore tho....
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It was a really soul-wrenching episode. Joe's, Cameron's, the Giant's. It did really feel like the right thing to do was to choose the answer nobody wanted. Damn TV show. :-) Still one more episode to go, though.

Another twisted thing is that the pie-in-the-sky ideas Cameron yearned for seemed to be embodied in the Mac, yet the PC clone business and the project's goals were the opposite. So there we were at the end, with the prototype Mac in its shrine, seeming to be the future and having a soul, yet history clearly shows the PC, the cheap, soulless servant, won 95% of the pie. (I prefer Macs, fwiw.)

As for Gordon & Donna, any start at a resolution to that stagnant situation in earlier episodes was good to see. I didn't even want to blink during their argument, it was that intense. I didn't want to miss any of it.
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Soul-wrenching is exactly the work, this show keeps tearing strips off the characters, it's like the cost for attempting something different. I just fall into that hopeless Cameron dream state, eg,

Watched an episode of the Apprentice when a team had to sell paintings, one was just paint slung on a canvas and one was convoluted dark visions of a fairy tales in a continuing theme. The paint slung on a canvas sold more and at the end Trump was like [not what he actually said, trying to summarize] Sure the fairytale pictures may have been great but the adult themes may alienate some of the market and you want to sell, it's about business and not art

It kind of came as a shock that the most bland, visionless and inoffensive art would come off as the best seller but this show and history has proved this to often be the case and this same story must have broken more than a million hearts of more than a million dreamers throughout human history.
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I loved Dondon's (Donna and Gordon put together) argument! Zingers both ways yet so much truth on both sides! It was a fantastic scene. I also felt that the MAC was everything Cameron originally wanted to be a part of. So it's the age old question PC vs. MAC (Speed vs. Uniqueness). I also prefer an Apple Life!
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yes, but Macs don't talk to you. They are servants, tools as well. And MACs and PCs are becoming more and more alike. You may choose a MAC for some specific reason, but the market has established some basic demands consumers have and computers have to meet them first of all.
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Great episode, hoping it doesn't get cancelled but where will season 2 take them, taking on the Mac?
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Well, historically the Mac was just a 5% blip versus the 90% IBM clones, so there's not much to "take on". But thematically the team put a lot of importance into giving their computer "soul" (make it seem friendly) like Mac does. I'm not sure where they'll take the story next, but I expect that the show creators have a multi-year plan.
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