Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 4 Review: Tonya and Nancy

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Cameron is the Tonya Harding of the story.

Giving her the benefit of the doubt was difficult because she hadn't earned it. But Joe has changed, so it seemed Cameron could, too. Maybe it was too early to make that call.

Cameron isn't one to fully rationalize situations before she acts. She bases too much of what she does on gut reaction, and what she did on Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 4 was no different.

Recentering - Halt and Catch Fire

From the onset of "Tonya and Nancy," it was obvious Cameron was feeling off. 

The more interested and connected Joe was to his new venture and his old friend and partner, Gordon, the further away from him she felt. It didn't escape Joe, and he supported her need to find something to stretch her mind and her sense of belonging.

That was particularly difficult when Cameron's desires were no match for Joe's. She bought a motorcycle, and it was on a long ride she found land, and it was on that property she purchased where she put an Airstream trailer for the two of them to live in until she built a house for them to live out a fantasy life she'd created.

Joe: Does this long, long trailer mean you're movin' out?
Cameron: No! This. This is for us. We'll have all this room to just do what we want.

Knowing she was going through something significant, Joe never expressed his disgust at the inside of the camper, and he was there for her first night as a landowner to Christen her new home.

In her mind, Cameron was creating a life in which Joe would be by her side, away from the work he loved. She was annoyed at the idea Comet was built around a human touch, and Joe and Gordon wouldn't listen to her ideas about crawling the data with an algorithm. She found Rover appealing.

Tanya and Donna - Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 4

That juicy nugget ultimately tipped off Donna to the reality of her Rover team. They hadn't made magnificent strides in the span of one month at all. Cameron had infiltrated her team and delivered a Hail Mary pass, so Cecil looked like a much better coder than he was.

It's easy to see that Cameron decided to paint herself in a magnanimous light by "doing the right thing" by Boz so he wouldn't lose everything including his marriage and his job. If she just helped his small team get past the hard part, they'd succeed, Donna would succeed, and she'd have Joe to herself.

That wasn't a very well thought out plan.

Cameron can't make decisions for others. Donna wants to succeed in her own right. She doesn't want Cameron's interference, especially because the competition is her daughter. 

While Donna may have had qualms about seeing the rise of Comet, they all drifted away when she realized how confident the work made Hayley and how much her girl enjoyed it. 

Fun and Games - Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 4

On Joe's part, he's never been happier. His friendship with Gordon is the best it's ever been. The two are finally at the same place, even agreeing while they are being offered many opportunities to sell Comet, it's not about the money. It's about so much more.

Joe: What are you really excited about?
Gordon: This. Here. You and me.

Comet went from being a small, family run operation to a full-fledged business in no time. The opposite was true of Rover. But instead of Cameron being proud of the accomplishments of the people she loves, she defected and cut them off at the knees.

There was really no better analysis of the entire year than to compare it to the feud between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.

While Nancy was shy and continually winning the favors of the nation despite falling on her ass and getting up over and over again, Tonya seethed and saw no other way to stop her other than a cheap shot, cutting her down with the hope she couldn't rise to win in the end.

But we all know how that story ended. Will Cameron's story end in the same fashion?

The Ontologist - Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 4

Look at the addition of Dr. Katie the Ontologist to the Comet team. She brought with her sunshine and excitement, bonding the team even further than they were before she arrived. 

Before she got there, the team already had nicknames and a jovial working environment. After she got there, they were celebrating by way of the Comet Awards and watching ice skating competitions together on television. Selling the company seemed like the craziest idea.

But Cameron infiltrated Rover, securing them level A financing and their celebration party was full of whispers, half truths, and outright lies. Donna looked like she was going to throw up. The two companies, one supposedly on the fast track to success, in no way mirrored one another.

Even worse, Joe believed the business he loved and had worked so hard on for the right reasons, for once, was going to be destroyed. And the woman who had set out to destroy it was sitting right in front of him. 

Joe had been trying very hard to understand and support Cameron, but he's going to have a very hard time with this one. Gordon, too, has been betrayed. Cameron just made one of the biggest mistakes of her life. To what end?

Will she wind up a cautionary tale like Tonya Harding or will she receive another chance? 

I'm not going to weigh in this time. I'll leave it up to you, dear readers. What should happen to Cameron?

If you want to see some of her other errors in judgment, you can watch Halt and Catch Fire online. She's had a few.

Tonya and Nancy Review

Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (20 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 4 Episode 4 Quotes

Promise me whatever the offer is you'll consider it.


Hayley: Hey, is Scientology a religion or a cult?
Joe: Cult!
Hayley: They obtained nonprofit status in October. Never mind, I'll figure out where it goes.