Halt and Catch Fire: Giant
July 14, 2014 6:51 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Joe receives a visitor from his past.
posted by drezdn (17 comments total)
 
My relationship with this show is getting weirder. I like it, but there's so much cheesiness and randomness to it that I can't help but MST-watch it at the same time. When Gordon was revealed to be digging a pit in the backyard, I couldn't help but narrate, "Hey, honey. How was your trip? Long story short, I killed a drifter."

The "Let's not be Apple" parts with D.B. Woodside were hilarious, tho.
posted by Etrigan at 8:57 AM on July 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


After yelling at the TV for the obvious foreshadowing between Donna and Business Trip Guy (and thinking back to Homer Simpson's "Think unsexy thoughts... think unsexy thoughts..."), I was surprised that he was the one who pulled back. He'd had his hand on hers all night, etc. But it was an interesting choice to have her be the "aggressor" and the guy quickly regret it.

I don't care how late it was: there's no way two guys in 1983 Dallas would hold hands and embrace/kiss in public like they did. Never mind that one of them was black, too. PARTICULARLY after they had that whole incident at the strip club to bring Joe's situation (whatever it is) into focus.

See, it must be getting better. I'm not calling him Lee Pace anymore.

Why the hell would Gordon start digging in his own damn backyard?
posted by Madamina at 9:18 AM on July 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


The whole show is like a drunk person attempting to appear sober... featuring among many other oddities, a lead engineer just suddenly deciding to dig his own grave... and yet somehow Cameron doing standard jealous girlfriend stuff ends up being the strangest part.
posted by SharkParty at 10:07 AM on July 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


Did he kill the drifter? I'm confused - how does breaking a window cause a fallen power line to ... ahhh. Were they even a drifter?
posted by destructive cactus at 1:05 PM on July 14, 2014


So at least we know why Gordon and Donna's marriage is shaky: Gordon lost the handle when his computer project didn't pan out.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:17 PM on July 14, 2014


The Cardiff Giant stuff is so completely on-the-nose (and relentlessly spelled out) that I am really hesitant to assume there's secret depth to his dream about being the dead body.
posted by SharkParty at 1:43 PM on July 14, 2014


I totally thought Gordon was hallucinating that the body by the downed power line was Joe.
posted by Madamina at 1:57 PM on July 14, 2014


No danger there... Joe uses electricity to prepare for sex.
posted by SharkParty at 2:12 PM on July 14, 2014


How long do you think until one of the leads contracts HIV/AIDS? I knew it would come up, considering it's the 1980s and Joe has sex with men, but it's definitely a shadow over the show.
posted by Small Dollar at 3:12 PM on July 14, 2014


Did he kill the drifter?

No, that was just me being weird. I didn't even connect it to the dead person from earlier. I'm not entirely convinced that wasn't some kind of dream sequence / psychotic break.
posted by Etrigan at 3:28 PM on July 14, 2014


Ah, I got confused - I was trying to link the grave to the poor storm-electrocuted person. Anyhow, to actually comment about the show: I'm really glad that they're finally giving these characters some depth, or trying to. I guess/hope that they just haven't gotten to everyone yet.
posted by destructive cactus at 4:27 PM on July 14, 2014


Small Dollar: “How long do you think until one of the leads contracts HIV/AIDS? I knew it would come up, considering it's the 1980s and Joe has sex with men, but it's definitely a shadow over the show.”
Well, his ex-lover did tell him he was sick when they were at the hotel, so…

Etrigan: “I'm not entirely convinced that wasn't some kind of dream sequence / psychotic break.”
That's what I was getting at. I think Gordon has an untreated mental illness.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:59 PM on July 14, 2014


I think he's digging a heat sink. Also, Fairchild, what a name, what a firecracker.
posted by unliteral at 5:46 PM on July 14, 2014


This was probably my favorite episode so far. George seems like he's starting to go the way of the guy from Pi.
posted by drezdn at 8:02 PM on July 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Aaaaaand we're back in the pit of sludge.

Instead of the world of tech development in the '80s that was taking shape over the last couple of episodes, we get a lot of histrionics and emoting from the core characters as they rage, weep, and punch their way through the script. Gordon goes crazy, John flips out, Donna gets horny ... it's the Idiot Plot, the primary weakness of the first few episodes, back again.

And Cameron, who had moved on from Joe and was living in a hacker house and getting her hookups with hunks and punks, is now somehow back together with him, and she's his girlfriend, and in looovvve, oh please don't toss me aside you irresistible mysterious man.

It's as though each episode kind of works in isolation, with the characters assuming in the various archetypal roles that this week's story needs. But nothing feels consistent to me, like a real tech company developing hardware and software. I don't get the feeling the show cares about PCs even as a metaphor, the way Mad Men cares about advertising in America; it's just a bunch of geeks putting together a geeky predecessor to STEVE JOBS'S GLORIOUS IPHONE.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 2:12 AM on July 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


How long do you think until one of the leads contracts HIV/AIDS?

Guest star but close enough. When the designer says he's dying it was meant to evoke a connection to early AIDS for those who'd lived through it.

There was also another clever evocation in the episode, the Newsweek about the 414s, one of the oldest hacker groups. I'm glad they seem to be taking the narrative in a different direction than "Cameron is a hacker" which would've been bad.

They haven't been perfect in their representations of source cultural material but this is one of their better efforts. I'm still watching.
posted by scalefree at 7:42 PM on July 16, 2014


This sounded familiar; I think Seymour Cray did some digging, something about helping the fairies get into his basement.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:44 PM on May 30, 2015


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