Halt and Catch Fire: Heaven Is A Place
August 3, 2015 6:56 AM - Season 2, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Following last week's events, Westgroup faces millions in losses from Cameron sneaking Sonaris into a Mutiny tech demo for Joe. Cameron leads Mutiny without Tom and Boz get back to work, but struggle to get network time. Joe signs his divorce papers. Gordon goes to therapy, and the truth comes out.

Finally, Don Draper appears, torches Mutiny and jumps off a window.

At this point, it's still a toss between season 3 and cancellation.
posted by lmfsilva (10 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
And like in season 1, if it ends here, it's a good place to end things with. If it's picked up for a third season, it's also good.

Some thoughts:

As sociopathic as MacMillan was during S1, Cameron almost topped him in the last two episodes. First, she knowingly wrecked Joe's marriage to stick it to Westgroup, and then, in the middle of a marriage crisis a friend and business partner is going through, the first thing on her mind is propose bolting to California (knowing she'd get at least half of Gordon's Cardiff money in a divorce)? Maybe there's a reason Tom didn't follow her to California, and that reason is that she has the potential to become as toxic as Joe.
I understand that people didn't like Joe, Man of Mystery of season 1 and focusing on Cameron and Donna was the right move for the show, but from what I've been reading, most reviewers gloss over that Cameron can be as bad as him. In addition to consciously or subconsciously trying to break up two marriages, she saw Donna's community as a folly, and seemed to get more and more resentful as it became the flagship product of Mutiny. She lured a lot of kids under the impression they were all equals in the company, but when it became relevant, she grasped control even tighter.

Yay Yo-Yo and Boz back in Mutiny! It was predictable that Boz, while fitting like a tailored glove wherever he landed, realized that at that point in his life, Mutiny beats brown-nosing every middle-manager to climb back on the ladder.

As the writers put out in this Vox interview, in a season about connecting people, Gordon seemed to be disconnected from everyone else. His marriage was falling apart because he didn't want to distract Donna, and almost ended up killing it. He missed out on a chance to become even richer (instead of sinking all his money on an hail mary move to SF) and a potential key figure in the market by not talking to Joe. When he wins (as in, Donna not dumping him), he still loses.

And speaking of him, Joe MacMillan becomes Peter Norton? Had to. That was one hell of a power move, and... he's right. You can't trust anyone. Just as everyone shouldn't have been as trusting of his real intentions in s1, he left himself open to be screwed from every angle in s2.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:57 AM on August 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

“BREAKOUT.exe: The Stunning Turnaround of ‘Halt and Catch Fire’” Andy Greenwald, Grantland Hollywood Prospectus, 03 August 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 4:36 PM on August 3, 2015 [4 favorites]

I've been really impressed with how the writers have handled Cameron's anxiety and depression, but after the last two episodes I'm concerned that -- AMC willing they get a third season -- she's going to end up portrayed as a "crazy bitch" stereotype. They haven't connected her poor decision making and manipulation to her mental illness, but I'm so worried they're going to go there.

As someone who destroyed some friendships and made bad decisions when I was Cameron's age -- in part due to my own struggles with anxiety, depression, and PTSD -- I can see the context for Cameron's difficult behavior, even as I recognize it for what it is. I'm also thankful for a complicated antiheroine on a stylish cable drama. That said, Cameron's arc has the potential to go into an ugly, unsympathetic place, and that leaves me ambivalent.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:31 PM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Well it only took me two seasons to realize that Toby Huss is the voice of Cotton Hill, but I finally figured it out during his corporate party monologue. Much like The Dude's rug, John Bosworth is the character that ties the whole show together.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:16 PM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

That finale was Art. Not Joseph Conrad maybe, but at least serious Indie dramatic film quality.
Joe is turned to the Dark Side because no one ever trusts his good intentions. Donna and Gordon choose to stay together and then realize they want different, incompatible things. Cameron is so self-unaware that she thinks a free plane ticket and no acknowledgement of her feelings for Tom will patch things up.
I was begging for Tom not to show up on the plane at the end, and thankfully the writers had the guts to stick to it. The fake-out was perfect, subverting Cameron and Tom's happily-ever-after ending with Boz's happy ending.
posted by cardboard at 7:34 AM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

This episode did a great job as either a finale or a set up for season 3. I'm hoping it does get renewed though. It seems to finally be getting critical acclaim.
posted by drezdn at 3:50 PM on August 5, 2015

I hope it gets renewed too. It's Marc Andresson's favorite show, surely he could fund it for a while?

I recognize that Cameron is an antihero but all of the non-genius parts of her remind me of what I was like at that age, and so I empathize with her too hard to dislike her.

I wish they'd given Sarah an actual character - it felt like she was mostly there to give Joe a reason to go darkside again.
posted by rednikki at 9:15 PM on September 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

Let's all celebrate at the Mutiny barbecue.
posted by drezdn at 1:13 PM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

except we won't be celebrating the third season, but that Kerry Bishé will be on television for another year, just to keep in character.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:58 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

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