Halt and Catch Fire: A Connection Is Made
September 24, 2017 10:24 AM - Season 4, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Joe tries to find a brand for Comet. Donna has a tough decision to ensure the future and success of Rover.
posted by lmfsilva (13 comments total)
The title really takes me back to the early dial-up days. A connection is made, after 5 or 6 break up.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:38 AM on September 24, 2017

I clutched my heart at Joe's little knowing look at Hayley in the diner, and him talking to Gordon - "she's like me". That could have been clunky but it was so organic and gentle and just...made me feel good.
posted by colorblock sock at 3:29 PM on September 24, 2017

Interesting that it's a hot dog restaurant, of all things.
posted by Small Dollar at 4:02 PM on September 24, 2017

It's hard to rate all the heartbreaking moments in this show, but Joanie realizing her mom's praises for her are fueled by wine and then apparently forgotten is up there.

Donna is coming apart at the seams the more she realizes the person she has become no longer jibes with how she used to be / how she probably still pictures herself sometimes. The first scenes are a brilliant setup — Meeting 1: You're harming your friends so you are quitting and here is what you will say. Meeting 2: Who can say why he left? It's a mystery! This is her life now, being cutthroat and manipulative. Oh, also she stressed someone into a heart attack. She is taking on the very traits that she hated in Joe MacMillan in season 1.

Rather than have a moment of reflection/reckoning after her DUI she paints herself as the victim of a "cop quota". Later, she seems closer to cracking when she meets with Cam which she has been dreading and working to avoid. Rather than Cam lording things over her or giving her a hard time or whatever she was imagining, Cam is no-nonsense and beyond reasonable signing the papers without even talk of compensation. Then she finds out Cam is no longer hiding the fact she wrote the code from Joe. Then Cam is actually empathetic and showing genuine concern for her. The arrival of the MCI van cuts the visit short and leaves ambiguous whether the meeting will have her go home and think about how to make things better or if she'll just have more wine.
posted by mikepop at 8:03 AM on September 25, 2017

Donna is in clearly a bad place right now, and now can't even hide behind her work, since Diane swept the rug from under her feet for a mistake she wasn't even marginally responsible for. The best she can do is take a break and walk away from VC, because yeah, she can play cutthroat, but her talents still lie elsewhere, and maybe Diane's life was actually not the dream she thought it to be when she had the big summer house to herself one weekend.
I think her best way to go is to quit, and since Cameron seems pretty nonchalant towards her and now has seen how the "parasitic relationship" works, try to build something together again, because reminiscing about Mutiny's Community looked the most fun she had in a while.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:36 AM on September 25, 2017

It's been said here before, but I just love how "lived in" all the characters relationships genuinely feel in this show. All these moments where Joe is sitting down just having a beer with people, I just keep remembering how much I HATED him. How much THEY hated them, and how much those relationships evolved over the shows run and - most importantly - how all that growth and evolution really comes out in all the conversations, all shape of their arguments with one another, the form of their bitter snipes.

As a credentialed tech history nerd, I really enjoyed the earlier focus on the actual technology and have sort of mourned its loss. But, that's the thing, this season doesn't *need* explanation. You don't have to understand motherboards or operating systems or modems anymore, everyone just knows what the web is. It's the apotheosis of all the seasons that have come before: the machine was build. the machines talked. the network spread. Those plots had to incorporate at least a little bit of how the technology operated. Donna putting chips on both sides of the board. Mutiny's wall of modems. Joe running cables in the middle of the night into the mainframe room. Viruses and countermeasures.

As soon as season one showed a search bar, though, all the viewers knew everything they needed to know. None of that exposition is needed, so the show is free to focus entirely on the social aspects of this world all of these folks have creates. Not just with the characters themselves, although that's also wonderful, but weird communities and fan pages and etc.

The amazing tech of season four is really nothing less than our relationships with one another, and how these machines facilitate those relationships. I thinks it's kind of beautiful.

(... he typed into a computer for people he'd never met.)
posted by absalom at 4:43 PM on September 26, 2017 [7 favorites]

As painful as Donna's story is to watch right now, I love that the show didn't take the easy way out and make Trey or Diane the villain or responsible for Donna's undoing. Donna's not the victim of anything except her own pride, and I think she can recover from that. Another great choice in Donna's story was the writing during her first scene with Joanie, making it such a great bonding moment for them, and then turn the same scene so sour.

I clutched my heart at Joe's little knowing look at Hayley in the diner, and him talking to Gordon - "she's like me". That could have been clunky but it was so organic and gentle and just...made me feel good.

Oh yes, it was a lovely moment for Joe, and I think without that talk, Gordon doesn't have the realization at the end of the episode.
posted by gladly at 7:23 PM on September 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Bonus via AMC: Comet and Rover
posted by lmfsilva at 3:32 PM on September 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

The Comet page includes a link to The Howe of it All, including a Fan Art Gallery.
posted by mikepop at 10:26 AM on September 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

I know I shouldn't be near a production studio because my first reaction was "those scans are too clean, they should have sourced a mid 90s handheld scanner or a crappy flatbed scanner" for something that was on screen for like 5 seconds.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:05 PM on September 29, 2017

Amusingly, if you search for anything on the "Rover" page, you get the same note apologizing for not finding what you want and offering some other AMC sites as search results instead. Who wrote this lousy algorithm?
posted by mikepop at 1:28 PM on September 29, 2017

I searched for "president" and got this!
posted by Mila at 6:26 PM on September 29, 2017

If anyone is curious, the whole list of results is here.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:15 AM on September 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

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