It was nothing too dramatic, just the end of a life.
The end of a very important life came on Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 7, and the way it was portrayed felt very natural. A shaking voice, a bit of shock, the catch in someone's stretching silence a little too long leading to possible panic; these are the reactions people have when learning of the death of someone they love.
We can only hope the final moments of life are as beautiful and shared with memories as significant as what Gordon experienced before he left this earth.
So many of the recent storylines have allowed Gordon to die peacefully.
He was struggling with an affliction that occupied a lot of his time. Up until meeting Katie, he was documenting every moment that might have led to a diagnosis or a cure; I'm not quite sure which.
But after his conversation with her and the realization he had learned nothing after filling dozens of notebooks with the clues of his symptoms other than wasting time on notebooks that languished his drawer, Gordon was continuing to quench his new thirst for life.
Reuniting with Joe and having that easy friendship again was such a blessing.
Joe has come so far and matured to such a great degree that he's a comfort to everyone. He was through so much on his own that being back in the same world as the people he loves isn't something he's willing to squander.
His close relationship with Gordon's children, too, has come at a time when the kids' parents can most use the help. Parenting isn't an easy job, but having someone in your inner circle you can trust who your children trust, too, is a pretty special arrangement.
The friendship between Joe and Gordon was so unique because it was symbiotic. They're such different people, and they give and take from each other in ways that correct the insufficiencies in the other's personality.
The same is true of Gordon's parenting style with Haley. He
doesn't didn't exactly have the luxury of being her pal because he had to make sure she was making the right decisions.
But doing that didn't necessarily mean he knew what he was doing or that he would ultimately make the right decisions, even with Donna at his side working together to do what was best for Haley.
Donna: How short are we talking?
Gordon: Well, um, it's pretty short. Shorter than Dorothy Hamill's, but not as short as Mark Hamill's. Somewhere Mid-Hamill.
Honestly, I kind of like Haley's haircut. It makes her look sassy, but it is one of the tried and true life tropes. Women frak with their hair when going through something tumultuous in their life. It starts at a fairly young age, too.
But not wanting to be Haley's pal didn't mean Gordon didn't understand when he might have missed what happened with regard to school and her work at Comet. When she said she got an A on an exam but didn't want to return to Comet because it wasn't fun anymore, the pieces started fitting together.
Haley wasn't slipping at school because she wasn't there or was failing to understand, it was because she was uninterested and lacked the desire to function at school. At Comet she excelled because she wanted to and enjoyed it.
That's also why Joe tried to say he understood so well what Haley was going through. Maybe he should have offered a better solution to getting her to do well in school while working at Comet.
Maybe now that Gordon is gone, he will.
Joe: Nobody knows better than me how impossible working with your father is. He's moody, impatient, ungrateful, and the know-it-all problem is legendary.
Haley: He's standing right there, isn't he? [laughs]
Joe: Would I be saying all this if he was standing right there?
Haley: Yeah. [laughs]
Joe: OK, then you answered your own question. Look, you're part of this place, and we need you.
Haley: Did my dad hear that?
Joe: Of course he did.
The conversation between Joe and Haley while Gordon listened in was beautiful. Gordon understood everything, but it was sweet to see him sweat over the issue. His love of family was never in question.
And now that Donna has had her talk with Joe, hopefully, she'll be on board with sharing some of her parenting duties with him.
If their conversation could have come at a better time, I'd like to know when that would be. They said everything that needed to be said without going too far overboard into mushy territory.
I wonder, though, why Joe decided to go to Donna's when left to his own devices. Was he just ready to put the past behind him, or did he really think she was still trying to do away with Comet through her work with Rover?
Jesus Christ! You won! You got Haley and Gordon and Cameron! You got everybody! What else do you want?!Donna
The two of them are so much alike, which is why Gordon would be so drawn to them both. They're the loves of Gordon's life. Joe was the only thing missing as Gordon passed through the end of his life.
And Cameron and Gordon were the two loves of Joe's life. Gordon and Cameron, perhaps, of Donna's, too.
Donna, I get it. It hurts to be thought of in that way. I've been there.Joe
Donna's friendship with Gordon was still so solid. It's hard not to imagine that someday, after they had time to process everything, they might have considered giving love a try again, when raising children and thriving in business wasn't still a priority.
Donna's respect for Cameron hasn't waned, and getting to the end of her game showed Cameron believed the prize would be finding your child. Who thought that was coming? Or perhaps only a mother who played the whole way through came to that conclusion.
The foursome was (and is) so intertwined they'll never be able to step back.
That's why it made so much sense for Donna and Joe to be in the same place at the time Gordon died. They had drifted so far apart, but the people who loved Gordon more than anybody else were together at the moment of his death. There's something Karmic in that.
I knew Gordon's time was up when he was speaking about the re-launch.
Oh geez. Where'd I get so dirty? And where did the time go?Gordon
It was those little moments of which he used to make a note. He might have made similar remarks earlier in the hour, but that one really stood out. I also noted he was very warm when the air conditioning wasn't working but chalked it up to being sweaty after the conversation with Haley. Nerves.
So when he looked in the mirror and the tell-tale blue lights of the afterlife shot through his vision, I was as ready as I was ever going to be.
Still, Gordon earlier wondered, "Who Needs a Guy?" Quite a few people need a guy, Gordon, when the guy is you.
With a gaping hole left in the foursome, we'll find out what happens next.
Will Donna take the managing partner role at her company or will she find a way to work with Cameron again to expand her ideas outside the Airstream and games to something evolutionary and life altering?
Will Cameron open up and stop seeing with tunnel vision? Can she keep the man she loves by allowing her emotions to flourish instead of being cooped up and stifled?
Will Joe's dreams of an expansive company and a life like Gordon's come to fruition, one with a wife and family, and perhaps a family business?
How will Gordon's death help center everyone to stop chasing dreams and escaping life by living life and creating dreams in the process? That was the plan of Boz and Diane. Will they lead the pack?
If you watch Halt and Catch Fire online, come back and share your thoughts after you have seen this beautiful, if heartbreaking episode. Otherwise, I want to hear from you below. What do you expect for the next three to end out the series?
Rest in Peace, Gordon Clark.
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, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.