The fourth and final season of Halt and Catch Fire is only a day away.
Scoot McNairy took the time to speak with me about where Gordon is as the season begins and what it's been like being a part of such an impactful series.
I hope you our conversation, below, which has been edited for clarity.
TV Fanatic: Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 picks up a bit after the previous season finale. What did you find most surprising about the time jump whenever you first saw the script?
Scoot McNairy: I thought it was brilliant. I thought that they really did an incredible job of how they were going to piece it together and also make the time move so quickly, but, also for the audience to understand how they're moving forward with the editing and the script.
They've always done such a great job at finding ways to push through time that make it understandable and visually helps the viewers to sort of get through it without missing a beat. They deliver so much information within the time jump.
What frame of mind is Gordon in as the season starts?
Well, he's the best we've ever seen him. I think his company is up and running. His family and his daughters are doing as fine as they can as teenage daughters. And he's happy. He's very happy, and he's acquired all these things and has distant goals. There is this certain sense of Gordon that you see.
We've never seen him like this! He's finally gotten to where he wants to be, and he's at a position where he wonders, does he settle, or does he not, can he be happy with the work that he's done and settle, or does he have to continue searching? That's sort of the question of the season.
Will he be able to sit with this, or is he going to eventually be tired of getting everything – all of his dreams and goals coming to fruition or will he want to keep searching for more?
Are we going to see more about his health issues in the final season?
I don't want to spoil anything for you, but you know, right now it's subsided, and he's feeling better than he's ever felt. He's always got this in the back of his mind, but you know, his happiness and where he is in his life right now has overcome his illness. I think for the time being this is not something that we are going to play with in this final season.
And what are his relationships like with each of the main players? Especially Donna and Joe?
I think with Donna, they've found a place of, you know, look the relationship didn't work. They're divorced. They have two children together, so they're still married and they will always be married until these kids, you know, grow up and get out of the house. So, they get along great.
They share information with each other. There is no hate in this relationship. It is a relationship that just didn't work out, and they're both adults about it, and they're moving forward with their lives.
In regards to Joe, I think his and Gordon's relationship had gotten to a place where they've almost switched roles. You got Joe sort of in a really dark place, sort of struggling with his life and he is watching out for the next thing. So, what is the next thing, and his relationship with Cameron? J
Joe is someone who really helps Gordon out during his tough times and I feel like those roles, in a way, have reversed as Gordon has really come into his own and he is sort of there to help Joe along with his struggles and what he wants out of his life.
Who has had the most significant impact on Gordon?
I everybody they encounter has somewhat of an impact on us and all three and four characters, even Bosworth, Cameron, Donna, and Joe are the culmination of who Gordon is. You know, they are incredibly passionate people who just love tech and want to change the world and make the world a better place through the eyes and through the work that they do. And they have all had an impact.
They're all different impacts, what he gets from Donna is completely different than what he gets from Cameron. What he gets from Joe is completely different than what he gets from Donna and Bosworth, and so, I think these four characters are super dominant in Gordon's life.
He takes something different from each of them, and I feel like in this season, he is sort of the center piece to all of these people's struggles and what they're going through, and he is sort of the guy who mends these relationships together.
Whereas before, I felt like he was on the outside and the other characters were sort of mending the relationships and the characters together. I feel like with Gordon being in the place that he is at right now, he is a leaning post for these other characters at this present time.
His friendship with Cameron is a mainstay that I have really enjoyed the way that has played out. Does that surprise you how those two characters have created such a great bond?
Not necessarily surprised me. I just love the arc of it. We started out with two people who couldn't even stand in the same room together, I mean, they just hated each other and to come over the course of a decade and have Gordon sort of look at Cameron as almost like a daughter or a little sister, I think is wonderful.
It just shows that people and the passing of time and people forgiving and forgetting and allowing change and forgiveness in their lives. It also represents people growing up and getting older and realizing the importance of things in life.
And I love the relationship that Gordon has with Cameron, and I thought McKenzie did a wonderful job with all of the work that she did with it and I had a lot of fun working with her and developing that relationship on screen.
What has it been like encapsulating such a specific time and place, through that tumultuous time for computers and when the magnitude of what the characters were doing is so overwhelming today? I mean you guys were recreating history.
Yeah, I mean, tech has moved, I think everybody knows that tech has moved so fast and at such a rapid rate, we can't slow it down. It is moving so fast. The tech is just a metaphor for human relations and relationships. These computers are developed and designed and created from algorithms, so these computers are still just a sense of us, of people and humanity, and I have always thought that the creators have put an underlining sense of something more.
Season two was about chatroom's and community, but it was also a sense about humans trying and acknowledging that humans need community, they cannot be isolated. They need community. Season four, I feel like they really focused on search, and that is no different than humanity, it is always in search of something and the parallels that the creators and the writers have sort of taken certain themes and undertones of what a computer does and relating it to humanity, I think is no different.
So, we have moved forward with tech, but we are also moving in a place forward with humanity and how we communicate, and obviously, I am in disagreement with the way the world is in regards to social media.
I think it is damaging, but there are positives and negatives to everything and there is a lot of people out there that didn't have a sense of community and didn't have a sense of validation and friends, that now have them, but with that being said, it's a different kind of relationship with other people that they have now and not the same relationship that people had with each other 50 years ago, but more people can have relationships.
Halt and Catch Fire has never rested on its laurels, how many shocking moments are we in for before it is all over?
I think you're in for quite a few.
If you had your choice, what would be your perfect ending be for the group? And for Gordon in particular?
Um, I don't want to tell you that, because the perfect ending for these characters is the ending that they did. I couldn't be more happy with the way that they wrapped up the show and the realism that they kept within the characters and within the dynamics of this show and what the show is really about. If I told you what the perfect ending was, I would be telling you what the ending of the show is.
Oh, that is good to know. And in what do you hope that viewers take away from all of your work when all is said and done?
I would say this, take the time every day to close your computer and connect with someone physically, mentally, and be present.
Good answer. And what is next for you?
I've got a couple projects that I'm starting on. You know, I have taken two or three months off to spend with my family and be with them and at the present time. I can't talk about what I am about to go do next, but I start back working at the end of September and what I have coming out is a Netflix show called Godless.
Directed by Scott Frank. It should release just before Thanksgiving, and it is a Western set in the 1880s with a predominantly female cast. It shows the empowerment and the strength of women in the 1800s, and I couldn't be over the moon to see the progress and how it has come together.
Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 1 kicks off a two-hour premiere Saturday, August 19 at 9/8c on AMC. Don't miss it! You can catch up as best as possible before hand when you watch Halt and Catch Fire online right here on TV Fanatic.
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.