“Halt and Catch Fire” got so close at times Sunday night to finally being a success story for Joe MacMillan. He finally made it to COMDEX, but for the first 55 minutes or so, just about anything negative that could possibly happen to him did. It was pretty easy to question whether or not he was ever going to be able to turn around this presentation.
To make matters worse, he had to deal with his hotel room being scrapped, his resources compromised, and Donna’s former boss Hunt completely stealing their plans for a portable and announcing the Slingshot. This completely derailed everything that they wanted to do with the Giant.
The only thing that they were left with? The reality of having to abandon much of what made their project unique in hopes of driving their price down. This was in the short-term a victorious move for Joe. It allowed him to make a splash when he could have a computer that was better than the Slingshot, and actually managed to start to drum up excitement.
Unfortunately, he managed to find a way to do this and still be wrong at the same time. At the end of the episode, Joe ran into his biggest enemy yet, and one that he never saw coming: The Macintosh. Cameron had been the one to devise the “personality” for the giant, but this was what was abandoned at the last-second. Her move ended up being the right move, the revolutionary move. What they have now is something that lacks any of the buzz or the fire of COMDEX’s big winner.
In the end, maybe Joe didn’t create a disaster with his low-cost computer; but, he hardly set himself up for the future. This was still a thrilling episode, and throughout, the only thing on our mind was why AMC hasn’t renewed this series yet. Grade: A-.
What did you think about this episode, and do you think that things will get any better for these characters in the finale next week? Share your thoughts now with a comment.