‘Halt and Catch Fire’ episode 3 review: The biggest Joe MacMillan surprise yet

Halt and Catch Fire -Is “Halt and Catch Fire” starting to find more of its place, or struggling when it comes to its characters? There were ironically times during tonight’s third episode where we felt a mixture of both. We understood Joe MacMillan more, and were perplexed by him simultaneously.

The moment we saw Lee Pace’s character kissing another man, we were certainly floored … especially after that pseudo-ironic “Mad Men” imagery of a cart of alcoholic beverages. Does this mean that Joe is gay, bi, or just shrewd? It is the previous sex scene with Cameron that really makes this complicated. We see this personally as just how far Joe is willing to go in order to orchestrate a deal. This all came in the middle of a frantic search for investors, as the project was trying to find a way to get the funding it needed to withstand the onslaught from the folks over at IBM.

We appreciate many of the risks that were taken throughout here, as Gordon started to become more and more involved in the project to the detriment of his own marriage. One real example of how this hurts him? Having his wife be the person actually  being forced to kill an animal outside. Much of this was subtle and in a pure “Mad Men” style, which is probably why we enjoyed it so much.

The real issue that we have here is Cameron, who so far acts like a rebellious teenager at times and a genius at others, and always seems to end up around Joe. This relationship is interesting, but also doesn’t move forward in the same way that we would really like it to. We want to see more movement here when it comes to the computer build, since that is what the show’s focus should be.

In the end, we’re still a little torn on the show. Its moments of how great Joe can be are often marred by the occasional weakness, but there is so much right here artistically that it’s worth sticking with. Grade: B+.

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Photo: AMC

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