If you haven’t heard of AMC’s drama set against the backdrop of the 80’s tech scene in Texas, you shouldn’t feel bad. What you should do is go out and buy the box set or binge watch the whole thing on Amazon Prime because while it might not quite match up to the likes of Mad Men or Breaking Bad yet, Halt And Catch Fire is well on its way. With its low ratings despite the high praise it garnered, it’s honestly a miracle the show even got a second season but it’s here, and it’s shaping up to be something spectacular.
From the outset it’s made clear that we’re starting almost from scratch. The company that Joe (Lee Pace) and Gordon (Scoot McNairy) built up in the first season, Cardiff Electric, is being sold off while Mutiny, the company started by Cameron and Donna is teetering on edge of becoming something great. Cameron and Donna seem to be going from strength to strength (kicking ass and stealing stolen computers) while the boys are slowly crashing.
Joe, who dramatically left the company last season after setting a shipment of computers on fire, is holed up with new girlfriend, Sara (Aleksa Palladino) but it’s almost painfully obvious that he’s crawling out of his skin. After being snubbed during the buyout, it’s clear Joe’s headed for a new bout of inspiration/self destruction while Gordon, now an extremely wealthy man with all the time in the world, looks as lost as ever (and definitely has a coke habit – nose bleeds and jitters? Come on).
The episode is far from perfect, the opening scene with Joe and Cameron being lovey-dovey seems a little too on the nose and their relationship was never the ideal, far from it. Their pairing was always something that never really worked and Cameron giving him the boot last season was honestly a high point. Joe’s new squeeze didn’t seem particularly interesting either but here’s hoping she sticks around long enough to become more than just someone for Joe to ruin. It’s early days yet but season two is off to a good start, hopefully Halt And Catch Fire will find its legs and blow everyone away this summer.