Halt and Catch Fire Review: Brain Storm

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Is good simply good enough... or just the next step towards something better, something more innovative?

On Halt and Catch Fire Season 1 Episode 6, the computer that Joe, Gordon, Cameron and the team at Cardiff Electric have been slaving away at to make faster and cheaper finally works. And it's quite an exciting moment to see John hit the button and bring it to life.

But it's quite something else to think of the next possibilities that will truly separate it from its competition. It’s one thing to be faster and cheaper, but to be unique? To have a personality?

Its kind of fun to see Cameron continue her rise from the frustrated “child” just writing the BIOS to creating and exploring to make that computer something truly special.

But it’s understandable to see the roadblocks that continue to rise up along her path and the doubters of that.

I was worried that the drinks she has with John would be him making sexual advances because she kissed Gordon in front of everyone in the office (but that’s just her being pissed Gordon doesn’t take her seriously and is spreading gossip through his frustration.)

Instead, he has a serious conversation about why she loves computers and that drive she has to love something and want others to love it too.

Though it’s his serious warning about watching out for others trying to bring her down because she is the “future.” It’s plain to see, but changing the course, sparking something different isn’t the easy path. Yet, I love that John, who got sucked into this whole PC ordeal by accident, is rooting for her, even almost excited for what might come next.

So to have that possibility of the computer “talking” to you and you entering commands, giving it that personality is an cool turn.

But a lot rests on Joe and Gordon to make that transition to not just look at their finished product as finished.

It makes it much more interesting that each creation and technological aspect of work stems from the personal dealings of the characters (such as Cameron with her bunny.)

Really centering again on Joe, this lonesome man trying to find an identity, trying to put up this facade (expounded upon perfectly with the repetitive scenes of waking up, getting dressed and even styling himself after the billboard) and just making something of himself.

But he’s so emotionally closed off that getting a scene where he builds a fort with Gordon’s children or shows off their storm zappers (in uber dramatic fashion) begins to give him a real human side, even setting off his own spark of creativity.

It’s like his emotional armor seems to slowly slide away also on Cameron’s doorstep, admitting he is alone and doesn't have anyone.

And if this scar story is actually the true one (and I hope it is and a heartfelt openness of his true self), then I’m super pleased with the character’s growth. It’s a small step for sure, but one that looks to set the wheels in further motion personally and for the business.

It’s certainly going to pit Gordon against Joe (especially with Donna in his ear), but will it be because he’s just trying to stand up for himself or because he believes that innovative path of Cameron’s could ruin everything?

He too had a personal journey for the hour beginning with that struggle to reach the flower to the Cabbage Patch adventure (at least he didn’t have to face off against Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sinbad) to seeing the downed power lines. A bit obvious in his sort of epiphany if you will, but the core characters are all lost in their own right, trying to find the path that truly allows themselves to be something more.

Sometimes the characters are more alike than they realize. If only they could just work together...

Do you think Joe finally told the truth about his scars?

Landfall Review

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Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.

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Halt and Catch Fire Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

Time comes when… well you gotta grab your balls and jump, am I right?


You're just a thousand-dollar suit with nothing inside.