Halt and Catch Fire: Infiltrator
June 29, 2015 12:00 AM - Season 2, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Boz argues the philosophy of what constitutes a pajama, and we learn he has a cousin. Gordon gets some bad news, while Joe unveils his plan to James. Cameron adds a new fire hazard to Mutiny and meets a tall, dark mannequin.

Between Terminator quotes, Cameron and Tom plan the future killer app of the service. Donna decides it's 5 o'clock somewhere, and learns who's the benefactor behind the cheap processing power to Mutiny. Gordon hears two names that will impact the future of his household, and neither promises anything good. Joe unexpectedly faces more hardship from his personal than his professional life.
posted by lmfsilva (7 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Man, I hate to see old Gordo go through this "shoe's on the other foot" thing with Donna. Especially since each has news the other really needs to hear but they can't seem to find the time to tell each other.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:44 PM on June 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

Gordon sure went fast on the grieving thing. Someone needs to tell him that MAYBE he should have a very important talk with Donna that no, can't wait, before he starts making a bucket list filled with death-defying things.

And so, it's 1985 and the big N was finally mentioned. While they're not in the same business as Mutiny, it was a big game changer since the company exists in a post-crash world and consoles are about to take back gaming. If their new killer app (also, if someone is curious over what a C64 FPS might look like... here's one) is released around the same time as Mario, I can see the company surviving only thanks to Donna's efforts in the community, and then Jacob Wheeler takes over, and they become PlayNET to Jacob's AOL. This, of course, if it doesn't literally catch fire first (although that's becoming HCF's "Don Draper jumps off a window").

Like Cameron, I don't know what to make of Joe. I mean, he looks committed, but it's easy to make grand gestures of commitment with a past that includes flooding a server room and torching a first batch of a flagship computers and then running for the hills both times.

Also, "Admiral Eyebrows".
posted by lmfsilva at 9:27 PM on June 29, 2015 [6 favorites]

Boz is shockingly accepting for a good ole' boy in Texas in the 80s.
posted by drezdn at 12:26 PM on June 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

In a way, I think it's the old "wait, you're gay, and you're perfectly fine, so..." thing.
The moment a "the gays" go from being a talking point or a moral danger from the liberal coasts to a friend or even just someone close, it gets really a lot hard to hate on a group that until then existed only as a concept in his life. Of course, there are always homophobes, but Boz has been shown as nothing but a perfectly decent human being.

Plus, his old world is gone and isn't coming back. The kids at Mutiny accepted him with open arms into theirs, I think he at least owes them to be a bit more receptive to it. And that's what he's doing.
posted by lmfsilva at 4:42 PM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

I posted about this on Tumblr, but I need to weigh in here as well, since people actually read this. (Four people, but still.)

Considering as how:
- 1985 was the height of the AIDS crisis
(a) President Reagan wouldn't even acknowledge AIDS for another two years, when Rock Hudson died
- HCF is set in Texas, which could charitably be described as a red state
(a) School kids in Austin -- a more liberal city than Dallas -- were apparently being taught that AIDS was "God's punishment for homosexuality"
- Rumors that people could contract AIDS from sharing glasses, toilet seats, etc., were still pretty rampant
- Mutiny is basically a frat house

...I have a hard time believing that Lev's outing would have played out the way it did. I'm all for more narratives of non-stereotypical gay men who aren't villains or victims, but for historical reasons this just seemed off to me. If Lev's sexual orientation plays a role in upcoming episodes, I wish they'd telegraphed it with a little more subtlety...like having Lev read Naked Lunch while wearing a Husker Du tee shirt or something.

(Also, hi, longtime viewer, first-time reader.)
posted by pxe2000 at 9:23 AM on July 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

I loved how the scene in the disco was totally an homage to Terminator.

Though that VHS copy of Terminator, that would have been a rental in a different case, because to actually buy a movie back then you had to shell out some serious money, as I recall. (Which is why the fees for lost movies were so very high.)
posted by Catblack at 9:32 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

This show has gotten a lot better, but it their version of the 80s looks and feels a lot like the 90s with some 80s props added as a veneer. The shooter games they're talking about are way ahead of the curve for consumer modems and C-64s. So, too, are the social and personal sensibilities of the characters.

I mean, there wasn't a Suncoast in Texas in 1985: there wasn't one anywhere! Not to mention that VHS prices of the time were priced for rental shops not consumer purchase. They were like 85.00 per tape.
posted by absalom at 11:34 AM on March 19, 2017

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