A Halt and Catch Fire Community
Sunday 10:00 PM on AMC

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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