TV Show: Halt And Catch Fire
Episode Titles: Search / Ten Of Swords
Original Air Date: October 14, 2017
Episode Numbers: 4×09 / 4×10
Donna celebrates a milestone with her closest allies; Cameron contemplates saying goodbye; Joe confronts an uncertain future.
Okay, I’m writing this while still recovering from the perfection of the last two episodes of this show so bear with me if this doesn’t make any sense. That was a beautiful finale, though, wasn’t it? All I wanted was to see everyone on here find the thing that gets them to that thing and I think these episodes did just that. I enjoyed everyone’s scenes and where we left them.
Bos and Diane: After getting a clean bill of health, Diane (after getting an answer from Donna) and Bos decide to go on that trip they’ve been talking about and live their life seeing as many countries as they can. Diane’s story about Bos wanting to take a picture of each shamrock they came across in Ireland was hilarious. So touching how Diane reacted earlier in the episode when Bos nonchalantly dropped that the doctor told him he’s probably going to live through the 21st century. So happy these two found each other and are genuinely in love with each other.
Bos and Cameron: Yes, this is just one of the scenes where I couldn’t help but cry/tear up. Their father/daughter relationship is one of my favorite things about the show so I’m glad they got a great last scene together and, oh, how beautiful it was. I loved that Bos didn’t tell Cameron to stay or to go, but offered her sage advice which she can use to decide for herself. Their scene really felt like the actors were saying goodbye to each other onscreen and that’s partly why I couldn’t stop the waterworks.
Joanie: Her going to Asia backpacking and exploring was probably the right decision at the time, despite what Donna says or thinks. Joanie has no responsibilities right now so it was the right time to do this, have her figure herself out and what she wants to do with her life. This is her walkabout. I was in tears (this is going to be a recurring theme during this review, I’m warning you now) during her phone call to Donna. It started out all well and good and then she mentioned Gordon and how being in that shrine felt like he was still with her and I just lost it.
Haley: It broke my heart when the girl at the fast food place rejected Haley’s invite to go see the Natural Born Killers together. Just sucks that she didn’t feel the same way, but Haley’s going to be alright and will be stronger because of it. Granted, she got herself a boyfriend and dressed more like a “normal girl” during that time, but in the end, she dumped him and I think that was just the beginning of her finally accepting who she is. It made my heart swell when she started listening to Gordon’s tapes to calm and center herself and how that made her feel close to him.
Joe: He’s a humanities professor in college?! Who would have thunk it? I actually thought it was a perfect fit because he has so much knowledge and wisdom to impart and who better to impart that to than college students? They might not all be there because they want to be there, but I assure you that there’ll be one or two who’ll get what Joe’s talking about and I bet that’s enough for Joe. I know it’s silly, but I started tearing up when the camera panned around his office and we see a picture of Cameron on his bookcase and a picture of Gordon and Haley on his desk. Oh, my heart. He truly loved Gordon like a brother.
Joe and Comet: It sucked that Yahoo beat them to the punch, but them’s the breaks. Even if nothing came out of it in the end, his experience with the company was priceless and got him to bond with Haley and get to know her. And he got to spend time and work with his best friend and they were able to create this fantastic site thanks to Haley’s idea. You can’t put a price tag on that.
Joe and Cameron: The writing was definitely on the wall with these two so I wasn’t too surprised about their breakup. Guess Comet was the one thing that was keeping them together which is kinda sad if you think about it. I wonder if Comet was a success, how long would they have stayed together. Would they even have stayed together?
Cameron: Not too surprised either with Cameron and Alexa not working out. It sounded great initially, but their work ethic just didn’t gel together. I was dreading Cameron going back to Florida because I wanted her to stay and work with Donna again and, guess what? I got my wish!
Donna: She could have spent most of the episode swimming in that pool and I would have been fine with it. But thankfully she didn’t. Her turning the firm into a much more casual and less-buttoned down place of business was GREAT and it even gets Diane’s stamp of approval. I loved how she got the male partners to take a break by having them play video games and seeing them actually enjoy it. I loved that party she threw for the women at her company and her speech was fantastic. Women supporting women. That’s how it should be, not women cutting down other women to get themselves further up that ladder. If you’re that type of woman, shame on you and karma will bite you in the ass.
Saving the best for last…
Donna and Cameron: the last half of the episode from when Cameron showed up at Donna’s house to say goodbye up until their last scene together outside the diner was absolute perfection. This was everything I wanted for them for the finale and I got even more. I’m not ashamed to admit I cried my eyes out several times during their scenes because I was that emotional over the fact that they’re talking again and are honest with each other and…gah, my emotions.
Loved how they teamed up to help salvage Haley’s project with Donna removing the hard drive and Cameron trying to extract the data from the drive. Unfortunately it didn’t work, but it led to Cameron suggesting to Donna that they should work together again. Donna was totally taken aback by this and was utterly left speechless. Notice she didn’t say yes, but she didn’t say no either.
I already said I loved Donna’s speech; my absolute favorite part was of course her name-checking Diane and Gordon and, of course, Cameron: “People like my last and best partner, Cameron Howe.” Excuse me while I go and fling myself into the sun. I bet that would hurt less than dealing with all these Donna/Cam emotions. 😭 This is the part where I actually yelped and started sobbing because I couldn’t contain my emotions anymore.
Cameron falling into that pool was so perfect and definitely cut the tension that has been building throughout the episode. Great way to provide us with some levity. And I’m sure someone smarter can come up with an allegory of her falling into the pool and Donna’s love for swimming in the same pool. Haley coming out (see what I did there?) to tell Cameron that her falling into the pool was the funniest thing she’s seen and then Cameron and Donna saying to each other that sometimes they think “Haley’s gay” was awesome.
Then both of them going to Comet one last time and talking about the possibility of their new venture Phoenix and how it’s going to be like and how it’ll end with the same events as when they were on Mutiny, but this time instead of not speaking to each other, they would still be friends. I got confused for a bit during this scene because I thought it was turning into a flash-forward thanks to the Phoenix sign lighting up behind them, but then it dawned on me that they were just fantasizing.
I loved that they ended up spending the night and the early morning together just talking (oh how I wish we got to see the entirety of their scenes) and grabbing breakfast at the diner. And of course this is where we see Donna getting an idea for something and excitedly telling Cameron before she leaves town: “Cameron, I have an idea.” Beautiful. Just absolutely beautiful.
Other random thoughts and observations:
– Oh hello, Lillian Kaushtupper from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, playing the psychic Joe goes to visit.
– The Comet commercial was very well done and it was such a shame it didn’t see the light of day because Joe wanted to respect Haley’s wish. After it ended and Joe said a few things…then he mentioned Gordon and then he couldn’t go on, yep, I got choked up.
– I loved that we got one last Joanie/Haley scene before the series ended because their relationship is so pure and beautiful. How rare is it to see two sisters who genuinely care and love each other? Such a breath of fresh air.
– Donna losing it over Yahoo! was such a hoot. I wonder how many times they had to shoot that scene.
– Cameron’s reaction when she saw Donna in that red dress = my reaction. 😍 Yowza indeed. Also, Donna trying to play hackey-sack while wearing the dress was adorable as was her saying “I don’t get it.”
– Donna hugging Cameron in the kitchen and telling her “I’m gonna miss you” was another tearjerker moment.
All in all, I think this last season was the show’s best season. The characterization was so rich and left me fulfilled. I was very happy watching this season and I’m so glad that AMC gave them advance notice of this being their last so it allowed the writers to properly map out how they want to end the show.
I keep coming back to the word “beautiful” because it’s the perfect way to describe this show and especially this season. The reunion between Donna and Cameron was beautiful. The episode that dealt with Gordon’s death and the impact it had on everyone was beautiful. The Joe/Haley friendship was beautiful. Donna’s relationship with her daughters, the ups and the downs, it was beautiful. Joe and Cameron’s relationship and their reunion was beautiful (even though it didn’t work out in the end). Just lovely stuff all around.
I’m going to miss the hell out of this show and these characters. I wish everyone well in their career and I hope to see them again soon. I’m really excited to see where Kerry and the two girls playing Haley and Joanie show up next.
Thank you for four amazing seasons, show. It was a lovely ride.