I don’t know how many of us are left that are still watching AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire (two weeks ago, it was headed toward record-breaking lows for the network), but I am sticking with it because I’ve come this far, goddamnit! If I can stomach the last three seasons of Dexter, I can surely manage one full season of Halt and Catch Fire, right?
But folks, it is bad.
Anyone who watched at least the pilot may have a rough idea of who the characters are, and what they are endeavoring to do: Build a PC to compete with IBM and Apple. In this week’s episode, the engineer Gordon Clark literally had a psychotic break while babysitting the kids and began digging huge holes in his backyard to find an old computer he had built and scrapped years before. Meanwhile, his wife was out trying to f*ck her boss from Texas Instruments. Elsewhere, Joe (Lee Pace) — who had a brief fling with a man earlier this season in order to thwart an investment deal he didn’t like — is now suddenly dealing with an old boyfriend who came back into his life to say goodbye because HE HAS AIDS, and of course, the old boyfriend is interfering with his relationship with his programmer, Cameron (Mackenzie Davis), with whom Joe has had a casual booty-call relationship for most of the season. At some point, I blinked, and they were suddenly serious about one another, so much so that Cameron feels threatened by Joe’s old boyfriend with AIDS. Oh, and the Texan-shitkicker boss (Toby Huss) — otherwise known as the show’s only decent character up until this week — threw a punch at a homophobe to defend Joe, even though he f**king hates Joe.
Bros before homophobes.
And that’s where we are in Halt and Catch Fire. All the work on the PC they’d done this season looks like it’s about to be scrapped in favor of the COMPUTER THAT GORDON DIGS UP OUT OF THE GROUND. It’s called THE GIANT, because of course it is.
Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers, who created and run this show, barely had any experience before creating Halt and Catch Fire, and clearly no one really put much thought into the series beyond the pilot (which, again, was pretty good). I have never seen a show go the wrong way so quickly. It reached its nadir in this week’s episode with a scene so cringe inducing that it recalled the infamous treadmill scene from Dexter.
Here it is, folks. The worse television scene of 2014.
Yes, Joe did use a live current as foreplay. Yes, the live current passed through his body and, yes, Cameron went pseudo-orgasmic when she touched his hand. And yes, Joe really did use the pun, “I’M TURNING YOU ON.”
And yes, there are GIFs. OF COURSE THERE ARE GIFS.