Halt and Catch Fire Season 1 Review “Adventure”

Halt and Catch Fire (AMC) Episode 5 Adventure (3)

On the latest episode of “Halt and Catch Fire,” it was deal-making time, and it was quite the “Adventure,” to be sure. As ever, the lion’s share of it fell to Joe, but by the end, Gordon pulled a valuable assist, much to Joe’s amazement- although, to be fair, it was Gordon who very nearly sunk the deal in the first place.

After wowing some potential investors early on in the episode, Joe did the same with some potential Japanese clients with the tech that could be used to make the team’s proposed portable PC a reality. The company the clients represented was Kazoku, who had just come out with a lightweight watch with a mini-television on it- kind of like a precursor to the way we now watch video on our phones, only even smaller.

The idea Gordon had was to use their LCD screen material for the PCs, since they were ideally lightweight in a way that would also bring down the overall weight of the proposed portable PCs. Using an in with his stepfather, Gordon set up the meet, and Joe drove it home, but then Gordon scuttled it by mouthing off in the bathroom to a horrified Japanese businessman. The next day, Joe begged them for a second chance before they could leave, only to discover that Gordon had done the same- and had already succeeded without Joe’s help. Awkward!

Meanwhile, Cameron was dealing with an aggressively annoying and vindictive manager, who she eventually usurped in a creative coup involving an early computer-based game called “Adventure,” hence the title of the episode. Thankfully, a friend of mine explained this part to me or I would have been somewhat clueless. Basically, it was an early version of online gaming commonly known as LAN (or Local Area Network) parties, in which a group of computers within a small area- i.e. an office, as was the case here- were synced so that everyone could share in the game at hand.

So, after accosting Joe about firing the manager and letting her take over, Cameron polled the team about who had come the farthest in the game, making it a point to ferret out the “cheaters” who had used “back doors” to work around various roadblocks in the game. Those who fared best were given a pass and Cam picked for the team. Those “coder monkeys” who either played honestly and didn’t get too far- or didn’t admit to cheating- were let go…as was the manager. Game, set, match, as they say. Point goes to Cameron.

Cameron also won the more unexpected match of going toe-to-toe with Joe’s dad, who he blew off every meeting with, but who showed up at Joe’s place while Cameron was there, cornering her for a not-so-subtle talk that involved his reiterating that Cameron should come and work for him at IBM, and how tongues had been wagging about her ever since she turned them down during the Cardiff raid. He also tried to poison her against Joe, but Cameron wasn’t going for it, even though some of what Joe’s dad said was almost certainly true, at least to a point. Once again, point goes to Cam.

That was really it, but this was an engaging episode, nonetheless. It was fun seeing Cam hold her own against Joe’s dad and the manager alike, and the whole early online gaming thing was fascinating. I also thought the stuff with the Japanese businessmen was engagingly cringe-inducing. You just knew after a point that Gordon was going to screw it up, and so he did, royally. I do hope that his wife does not, with that whole situation with her boss, who was clearly flirting with her. Hopefully, she doesn’t go there, because I like her and Gordon as a couple. Plus, that guy was kind of a dick, right? Talk about “all hat, no cattle”…

What did you think of “Halt and Catch Fire”? Were you captivated by Joe’s dad’s tales of what Joe had been up to in the past? How about the big reveal about Cam’s dad? Do you think Donna will cheat? Will Cam and Joe make up and get involved again? What will be the next hurdle everyone faces? Sound off below, and see you next time!