Halt and Catch Fire Season 3 Episode 4 Review: Rules of Honorable Play

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If Donna and Cameron's relationship is the most important aspect of Diane's firm investing in Mutiny, they're going to be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Donna's losing interest in keeping it real with Cameron, and on Halt and Catch Fire Season 3 Episode 4 she takes lying to a completely new level. 

Not that I blame her. I'm starting to wonder whether there is a long-term role for Cameron at the company she started. 

It's hard to be a fan of Cameron's. She may be intelligent, but it's almost an idiot savant type of intellect. She has a singular focus and everything else suffers as a result.

She's not taking care of herself. Now that she has help from the Swap Meet owners and programmers, she doesn't want to play ball with them because it means changing her code, which just so happens to be all she has left before Mutiny became something.

Cameron doesn't make decisions. She's petulant. She calls Doug and Craig the big one and the little one as if she's in grade school and speaking their names will make them more real. 

When she got the call from her stepfather about getting her father's things before he and her mother sold the house, I wondered if it was a way to show us Cameron's mental age was arrested when she was nine due to the death of her father. 

The Little One - Halt and Catch Fire Season 3 Episode 4

Cameron chose to share what happened with Craig, and they were getting along really well. She even asked him to consider dumping Doug, seemingly so they could continue working together and Mutiny could sever the ties with Doug. 

When she ultimately told Donna she thought they should get rid of both of them because they weren't needed, it was surprising. But it was also a huge mistake on her part.

Can I ask you a question? When did you know you were losing Cardiff?


By falling asleep, overworking after telling Donna she was going to change the code to better mesh with Swap Meets, it kind of made Donna wonder who would be the bigger asset to Mutiny. At least in Cameron's eyes. And once she thought about it, it made sense to me, too.

Cameron is a pain in the ass. Donna is like her mother. She knows if she uses the truth to address Cameron, Cameron will flip out. So Donna used Diane as an excuse to keep Doug and Craig on board. 

It's all terribly insulting to everyone involved, but Cameron doesn't exactly leave open many avenues of communication. Will Donna start to push her out? If there are no more secrets in the coding, is she needed?

Teamwork and Acquisitions - Halt and Catch Fire

And what is up with Boz? Is he really that unhappy being away from his family? What have I missed? 

Granted, anyone can get annoyed talking to Joe, but it was unclear why he was so rude to Diane at the charity event when she was trying to tell him she was interested in him. The timing isn't great, as she is still married, but he stopped being interested in cigarettes, champagne and parties? Dang.

Then the business with Gordon and the team at the laser tag place. No need to bite their heads off, Boz! They were happy to see you. They could have had the opposite reaction. How would that have felt.

Team Leader - Halt and Catch Fire Season 3 Episode 4

After all, Gordon was smashed in the head earlier. That was highly unpleasant.

As someone who has been taken to a game of laser tag for a team building experience, I thought that was pretty cool. However, WTF was that all about? Why is the girl on the team so darn ornery? Don't they know anything?

At the very least, let's not kill each other. We're a team. And what was Gordon doing running across the field to physically tackle the main dude? These geeks really don't understand the concept of laser tag. Or I really don't understand geek culture and how they interpret things. Or both.

There has been a lot more emphasis on Gordon's illness lately. Is he heading for a fall? Did his illness have something to do with why Donna decided to ask Cameron to stay on with them at the house? 

I'm not sure why I have so many questions right now. I really need to talk all of this out. I hope you're here for the discussion!

Charity Event Joe - Halt and Catch Fire Season 3 Episode 4

Who else was proud of Joe for calling out the jackwagon who thought he was a funny man making light of gay guys getting the gay flu or whatever he called AIDS? Joe is such a great character.

He has to be regretting pulling Ryan out of obscurity to be his right hand guy. Ryan is sort of worthless. He has no original ideas and couldn't even stay quiet for longer than 10 seconds.

Good is the enemy of great. If anything's worth pursuing, we'll remember it tomorrow.


But even with his annoyance at Joe's side, Joe was able to pinpoint the next big thing. He's asked Ryan to tackle the arpanet, which is the early foundation of today's internet. I don't know how he does it, but Joe always has his finger on the pulse of what's coming.

Can you see a time when Joe might be able to provide one or more of his old friends with a place to work? Could Cameron lose her job at her own company only to find her way back to coding for Joe, and be integral at starting the internet as we know it today?

She is not meant to be a front lines business woman. If she and Joe could learn to work together again, they could probably move mountains, just like the old days. Even with the arguments, it's hard not to miss those days.

What do you think is coming our way? Hit the comments Halters and let's chat!

Don't forget you can catch up when you watch Halt and Catch Fire online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Rules of Honorable Play Review

Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
  • 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (71 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Halt and Catch Fire Season 3 Episode 4 Quotes

Donna: Oh. OK. But nobody calls him John.
Diane: I do.

Cameron: But I don't need the object-oriented code. I can keep track of the looping in my head.
Doug: Oh, I get it. You're that good?
Cameron: Yeah. Aren't you?