Halt and Catch Fire: Flipping the Switch
August 30, 2016 6:24 PM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Gordon and Donna's personal life bleeds into work, causing tension at the office. Joe meets with the MacMillan board.
posted by Pong74LS (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I loved the difference between board meetings at MacMillan and Mutiny's strategy meeting really worked. I'm not sure if it's two sides of dysfunction or if Mutiny is actually the healthier workplace. Mutiny's four heads are so much better than a room full of yes-men, even if it's just Donna enjoying her post-lunch buzz with Bos. Gordon coming back and apologizing for the outburst, his talk with Cameron at the house -- they all actually communicate, and it's nice to see that on TV. Even the Clark marriage can be in trouble and still loving in the same episode.

I'm not totally clear on what Bos noticed at the SwapMeet offer delivery. Were they in a borrowed conference room? Is SwapMeet just those two guys?
posted by gladly at 6:30 AM on August 31, 2016

SwapMeet was tiny, and they weren't missing people because of an all-nighter - they just didn't have many people, or much work done. That's my guess. They just had an idea.

I really liked how the Mutiny leaders acted to patch everything up, too. Sure, they're frustrated with their situation and are living on top of each other, but they all want the same thing and will apologize and have heart-to-hearts in the hopes of trying to get towards that thing.

It was also funny to see Joe's insecurity manifest as Cameron walked away - "you don't have to buy anything - I give it away for free!", pfft, okay, man.
posted by destructive cactus at 9:15 AM on August 31, 2016

Yeah, SwapMeet is def a small company that dresses up to look more impressive than they are.
I mean, games of the era (who are usually some of the most work-intensive applications on any era, outside operating systems) employed around... maybe a handful for an 8-bit computer title to 10-20 people for an Amiga.
A proto-ebay/Craigslist, of which we know very little how it operates (does it processes payments, or is a subscription message board that facilitates meeting of traders?) could well work with just a few coders, a receptionist and a part-time PR / sales rep / numbers runner, particularly if they were not operating their own servers.
Boz is by far the most experienced of the main characters. He probably saw the little hints here and there - nobody at work, nobody to pick up the phone or greet him and VC lady at the waiting room, probably looking a bit too clean and organised (particularly when compared to Mutiny), and mentioning an all-nighter when both owners looked fresh enough.
Donna and Cameron could have missed the signals or just play it safe. Boz had the experience to see through and pull the power move on them - Mutiny was also buying manpower, and they had little.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:57 PM on August 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think it was partially "This is a smaller shop than we thought" but also "This is a smaller shop that used to be bigger and is hemorrhaging money and will likely be out of business soon so we can offer them peanuts."
posted by Etrigan at 7:50 AM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ok, Joe might become slightly less punchable, and he could become less of a useless manager for Ryan. Yay!
posted by Pronoiac at 12:38 AM on March 1, 2018

I liked the inversion of Cameron showing up to give a talk at Joe's class at the city college - an inversion of how we originally meet Cameron way back in s1e1.
posted by kaibutsu at 6:52 PM on March 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

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