Halt and Catch Fire is an interesting way to take the temperature of our current television climate. It is a very, very good show, with all of the hallmarks of a prestige cable drama, and yet it’s nobody’s favorite. Still, we’ve been covering Halt and Catch Fire since the first season, and Marisa has always found something about it that spoke to her personally, so she decided to write about the individual episodes as it heads into its final stretch. Read her reaction to the previous episode, “Goodwill?” here.
Endings are hard. I know it seems like everyone is leaving.
Joe left, with nothing but his own “Dear Haley” letter to say goodbye. But then again, was Joe ever really, fully anywhere? Does he even have an essential self, or is he like a liquid that changes his shape to fit into his surroundings?
Joanie left. And sure, it feels like it was really easy for her to go. She was so confident, arguing with your mom every step of the way about how this is certainly, definitely the right decision for her. But maybe you should take a moment and think about how hard she works at making it look effortless. Maybe, if you stare hard enough, it’ll look like you’re the one who’s more sure of herself.
Hound Dog Girl left. I must admit, that was a tough one.
Cameron left, packed all of her belongings into her trailer, and set out for the road. Or did she? Cam is the opposite of Joe. She will always be the person who she is, and while she tries to pretended like that person is nomadic, her roots grow deep. After all, roots aren’t about standing still—they’re about anchoring yourself to one spot so you can grow in different directions. Joe was always chasing the next big idea, but Cameron kept coming back to the people who were meaningful to her and hoping the idea would come later. She’ll always come back.
And your mother? Well, for better or for worse, your mother will never leave you. Donna doesn’t get enough credit for her stability, her ability to right the ship and keep it moving no matter what’s in its path, be it near-bankruptcies or browser wars. And Gordon? Well, he’s definitely gone, but he’ll never leave you, either.
But keep in mind that endings aren’t the thing, they’re the thing that gets us to the next thing. You will see Natural Born Killers. You will find someone who likes Kids in the Hall as much as you do. You will get past your latest crash, get your computer working, and go on and do great things—and then, to someone else (Donna perhaps), it’ll look as though you’re the one who’s leaving. It’s most satisfying when you get to do it on your own terms, knowing that it all keeps going, even after the ending.
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