The next wave of disruption in tech is coming to "Halt and Catch Fire"

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28 May 2015
Halt and Catch Fire
Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy),  Donna Clark (Kerry Bishé), Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace), Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis)
Photo: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
"Halt and Catch Fire"
Sunday, May 31 at 10/9c on AMC

          It’s March 1985. More than a year has passed since Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) set fire to a truck full of Cardiff Giant PCs, the last in a long string of destructive acts that burned the people that made the machine possible: Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy), Donna Clark (Kerry Bishé), Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis) and John Bosworth (Toby Huss). The Giant is about to go the way of the dinosaur, like any number of personal computers to enter the market in the wake of IBM. The lesson is harsh but clear: in history, only the truly disruptive ideas are destined to matter.
          The next wave of disruption in tech is coming, and it may well land at Mutiny, Cameron and Donna’s start-up company. Cameron’s vision for the company – a subscription service for people to play games on a hosted network – has become a reality. But the company is hanging on by a financial thread, and the limitations of its computing power and lack of new games could spell doom. If Mutiny is to survive, it will have to organize and it will have to innovate. As more subscribers use Mutiny to chat online, Donna champions the social aspects of the service, while Cameron pushes the gaming side. The competition creates real tension between the two women and inside the company, as Cameron’s ideal of a leaderless organization becomes increasingly untenable.

          The hunger to innovate, the exhilaration of doing something that matters: these are driving forces not only for Cameron and Donna, but for Joe, Gordon and Bosworth as well. Joe has returned from his self-imposed exile a changed man, with a new love, Sara Wheeler (Aleksa Palladino), and a new commitment to honesty, sincerity and decency. But his passion for tech remains, as does his genius for the breakthrough idea and the charisma to put it across to his new employer, Jacob Wheeler (James Cromwell), the CEO of a Texas oil conglomerate and Sara’s father. After an uninspiring final year at Cardiff, Gordon is willing to put aside his suspicions about Joe to explore the next frontier of tech. Their discoveries become critical to the fortunes of Mutiny, a development that places even more stress on the startup. The wounds of the past still fester for Cameron and perhaps even more for Bosworth, who paid the highest price for Joe’s recklessness at Cardiff and is now pursuing his own reinvention at Mutiny.
          The Information Age is dawning, and with it an entirely new way for people to connect with one another as human beings. For the men and women of “Halt and Catch Fire” who are caught up in this pivotal moment in history, pursuing their dreams may carry a high cost. Because in the real world, human connections – between husbands and wives, lovers and friends – can be surprisingly fragile.
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