Tonight’s Halt and Catch Fire episode, “And She Was” catered to everything fans love about the show. We had so much happen in this episode and yet it never seems rushed or forced. This season so far has really been about four main things: Donna and Cameron’s relationship, Gordon’s health, Joe MacMillan’s “Next Big Thing”, and Bosworth’s place in all of this.
Tonight’s episode covered all of those and all the places they intersect so beautifully, and on top of that, we had some of the best cinematography so far this season.
First and foremost, Donna and Cameron’s strained relationship is taking its tole. With secrets all around, lies being told, and both of our leading ladies struggling to balance their working relationship with their friendship, the fireworks were bound to come, and they came in the form of Cameron making a unilateral decision without Donna, only for Donna to have to face her own lies when she confronted Cameron about it. We can see both Donna and Cameron breaking down at this point in the season. With Cameron freaking out about losing parts of her soul with Mutiny and the potential of an IPO, and Donna feeling constantly like she’s playing second fiddle to the Great Cameron Howe, it was good to see the way that Donna, at least, still wants to work things out with Cameron. There’s little that’s more refreshing than the way this show gives us such a complex, complicated, real relationship between women. It’s a feminists fantasy brought to life.
Directly related to Cameron’s state of mind is the fact that, in tonight’s episode, she finally learns about Gordon’s neurological problems. So far this season, we’ve seen Cameron and Gordon kind of going at each other like quarreling siblings, because they act like they don’t like each other, and yet they seem to be the most compatible people on the show. They have a pretty solid friendship going this season, and nothing was funnier than watching them take over the girls’ Nintendo and spend all weekend trying to beat the game. It was also very telling to see how Cameron’s reaction to finding out how sick Gordon is was to go to Joe and demand he give Gordon credit for what he had done. She and Joe have such a history, but I really do believe that it was out of her loyalty to Gordon, in spite of their past, that she did so. It’s always so electric to see Cameron and Joe on screen together, because it’s always so obvious that each of them is basically addicted to each other’s draw, but they’re so toxic to each other, and you want them both to just get away from the other before they ruin each others’ lives again, but at the same time, the chemistry that Lee Pace and Mackenzie Davis have on screen together is so intoxicating, isn’t it?!
While we talk about chemistry, it’s worth mentioning that I’m not really that into the whole Bos and Ms. Investor Lady weirdness. I don’t know if it’s the actors lacking chemistry or if it’s supposed to feel just a little off because of how conflicted Bos is about his place in this world right now, but it’s just so awkward and weird when they’re together. Bos’s clear disconnect with the California life makes me think that he’s probably gonna go back to Texas at the end of this season. I’ll sure hate to see him go, too.
One thing that isn’t one of those main points that I just feel the need to touch on is how beautifully this episode was shot. Anybody who has ever watched this show is no stranger to very beautiful cinematography. This show deserves all the cinematography awards there are and I still call BS on the fact they haven’t won an Emmy for that, but tonight was especially beautifully shot. There were a few scenes that I just feel the utter need to highlight.
There are dozens of shots from tonight’s episode I could do this with, but those three are ones that really stood out to me tonight. This shows artistry is just so impressive.
As I said, the one main thing we haven’t covered that this episode gave us a GREAT taste of is Joe MacMillan and how he’s working towards his “Next Big Thing”. This episode, we got to see Joe and Ryan working together and finally seeming to really be friendly, which I guess answers Ryan’s “Do you even like me?!” from last episode (I’m still pretty sure Joe and Ryan are gonna bone, so there’s also that). They’re going behind the board’s back on this new, big risk for the future that Joe and Ryan have cooked up together, and we get to see some great character development with Ryan as well as a big shocker at the end that I won’t spoil, just in case you haven’t seen, but needless to say, I have a feeling Joe MacMillan is back. The real Joe we all know and love in his complexity.
If there’s one eternal truth about Halt and Catch Fire, it’s that nobody can outmaneuver Joe MacMillan.