“Halt and Catch Fire” is getting ready to reboot. The AMC computer drama will return for Season 2 Sunday, and fans will finally find out what the crew at Cardiff has been up to since the release of the Giant. Joe (Lee Pace), Cameron (Mackenzie Davis), Gordon (Scoot McNairy) and Donna (Kerry Bishe) managed to sell their personal computer at the end of Season 1, but not everything was hunky-dory. Relationships were strained, and the true value of their success was called into question after all of the Comdex Chaos.
Here’s where things left off for each main character in the Season 1 finale, “1984,” last summer:
Still reeling from the betrayal of Joe letting Gordon remove her operating system from the Giant before the demo, Cameron decided to exit Cardiff in the finale. The young coder instead made the move to launch her own company, Mutiny, an Internet precursor video-game service that connected players over phone lines. To make up her bare-bones staff, she poached Cardiff’s whole software team, much to Joe’s chagrin.
Cameron had some new rules for her company -- which was operating out of her house -- and chief among them was that there were no bosses or titles. This was going to be a passion project. Cameron also gained an unexpected employee when Donna decided to join the radical startup.
However, Cameron’s biggest moment in the episode came when Joe visited in an effort to convince her to come back with Cardiff or start a new company with him. She rejected his proposal, instead eviscerating him for his lack of vision and insecurities, telling him he will never build anything. This relationship did not end on good terms last season.
Fans never saw Gordon Clark happier than he was at the beginning of “1984.” The engineer had finally sold his computer and was determined to celebrate, even if Joe was more infatuated with the Macintosh and Apple’s new Super Bowl ad. Plus, on top of building the computer, Gordon and Joe had won an 8 percent share in the company as a result of the Giant’s sale.
So, Gordon went out and bought a Porsche, shaved his beard and arrived at the Giant’s launch party on top of the world. He even sneaked off to give Donna the cipher ring. Everything appeared to be coming up Gordon until his Porsche was stolen on the drive home. The violent robbery seemed to shake him out of his reverie and force him to confront a terrifying question: “What’s next?” Without Joe (who we will get to in a minute), Gordon was left in charge of Cardiff, but with no clear vision of where to take the suddenly successful company.
Having returned home from the group’s Comdex coup, Donna decided to part ways with Texas Instruments and take advantage of Gordon’s newfound success by enjoying the unemployed life. Donna lived it up, smoking some old marijuana she found in the garage and spending her days in a bathrobe. However, she too was rattled by the carjacking, suddenly feeling without purpose.
Gordon offered her a job at Cardiff, but Donna wanted to be a part of something new. Luckily, she had another offer and decided to join Cameron’s team at Mutiny instead.
Oh, Joe. All he had wanted to do was break into the personal-computer market and change the game. Well, in the finale, the salesman was faced with the reality that while the Giant would sell, no one would remember it. Haunted by Apple’s marketing campaign for the Macintosh, which promised to challenge IBM, Joe hatched a plan to couple the Giant’s release with an innovative software project. Unfortunately, Joe had no ideas of his own, and, with Cameron poaching the company’s software team, the plan was not a reality.
The real blow came with Cameron’s scathing speech about Joe’s lack of character and vision. The tirade appeared to unhinge him. He returned to Cardiff, seemed to sleepwalk through the party and then burned the first truck of Giants.
When fans last saw Joe, he was far away from Cardiff at the Fiske observatory. Leaving his truck with a friendly gas-station attendant, he planned to walk through the woods to the observatory where a mystery woman was living. Who or what is he looking for? Fans will have to wait to find out.
Watch the trailer for Season 2 below:
Season 2 of “Halt and Catch Fire” premieres on AMC Sunday at 10 p.m. EDT. Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.