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HALT AND CATCH FIRE Episode 2 Recap – Joe is on a Mission

This week’s Halt and Catch Fire episode focused on the aftermath of IBM coming to Cardiff and why Joe MacMillan is so determined to reverse engineer a IBM PC. Check out last week’s Halt and Catch Fire recap here.

(Spoilers ahead!!!)

After the meeting with IBM, all went well and they all began their work. Cameron Howe is the only one who sort secludes herself from everyone. She has the personality of an incredibly confident young woman whose confidence might end up being her downfall at some point. She’s kind of a rebel and we see her also stealing shirts, when she goes shopping for new clothes. She sleeps in the office on occasion and uses the bathroom as her own bathroom as well. It seems like she might not have her own house. She also secludes herself in her office room and blasts music up and doesn’t care what Joe or Gordon say to her. With their plan on this whole reverse engineer project, she isn’t even allowed to talk to Gordon or see what he and Joe come up with. Joe visits her a lot in her seclusion and even leaves the binder full of their work with her, which he isn’t suppose to do. After she steals some shirts, a few guys approach her and it turns out that they’re people who work at IBM, and they offered her a new job. She didn’t actually take it. When Joe approaches Gordon and Cameron who were in an argument over the binder, Joe and Gordon get into a fight and Gordon rips Joe’s shirt and we see that Joe has scars all over his chest. Gordon and Cameron stand there completely shocked and we see Joe break down and describe what happened.

He was bullied as a kid, because he was into things that the other kids weren’t. He tells them every little thing about his past and we find out that this is probably why he’s so hell bent on making this reverse engineering work. He wants to create the next best thing and it seems as if he wants to do it to prove that his nerdiness has been a good thing. I guess he wants to prove to his bullies that he is a badass. I think this is a perfectly legit reason to be so determined to master something. Rise above all the bullying and make a huge name for yourself so people see that whatever you love is okay. “We’re all unreasonable people, and progress depends on our changing the world to fit us, not the other way around,” he says, and tries to get Cameron and Gordon to realize that they need this just as much as he does. The next morning, they both come back to the office and get back to work. Lee Pace is really delivering some of his best work to date. He was made for this role!

There’s also the moment in the episode where Joe sees a store with stereos in it that looks to be going out of business. He goes inside and at first, checks out all the stereos and suddenly asks the salesperson why he thinks the place is not doing well. Joe then starts turning on all the stereos and causing a scene and also pushing the salesman who threatens to call the cops. This is the moment that we see the emotional impact the bullying he went through as a kid as affected him. He just wants to help people and help himself, even if he’s doing it a bit arrogantly. All his arrogance and brilliance is now officially okay. We understand.

Also, Gordon at one point lies to his wife about who Cameron is and says she is actually a man. When Gordon’s wife visits him at work, with their daughter, she meets Cameron. He later confesses to lying about it. Which is another moment that shows the interesting marriage between these two.


What do you think will happen in next week’s Halt and Catch Fire? From the previews it looks like Joe will be introducing the idea of portable computers! Comment in the comments section below with your thoughts!


Find Karin Abcarians directly on Twitter @Danger_Karin and be sure to follow @Screen_Invasion for the latest in entertainment news and reviews!

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The Author

Karin Abcarians

Karin Abcarians

Karin Abcarians is an advocate for geek girls everywhere. She runs the REAL GEEK GIRLS and REAL GEEK MOMS features. She's a writer, movie buff, and loves about 45 million shows. She's Captain America's biggest fan. Her alter-ego is BatKarin. Also, she loves Leonardo DiCaprio more than you do.