“Let me make one thing perfectly clear, this is my company and I’m not selling.” In episode 7 of “Halt and Catch Fire” Season 2, “Working for the Clampdown,” Cameron (Mackenzie Davis) reached a turning point in her struggle to be the best boss of Mutiny. She may also have reached a turning point with Joe (Lee Pace), whose plea for her not to sell her company seemed to genuinely move her after a season’s worth of resentment and antipathy. Mackenzie Davis, the actress behind Mutiny’s fearless leader, caught up with International Business Times to breakdown the episode’s biggest moments.
International Business Times: What does Cameron’s big “this is my company” declaration really mean for her?
Mackenzie Davis: I feel like it was one of the most important episodes [for Cameron] this season because there’s so much flip flopping in her trying to figure out how to be a boss in this role that doesn’t really come natural to her and trying to figure out is this [Cameron’s] company, is this [Cameron] and Donna’s (Kerry Bishé) company or is this a democracy. She’s gone back and forth a few times this season and even within this episode – she makes a unilateral decision on behalf of everyone, then she has this epiphany with Tom (Mark O’Brien) that it’s everybody’s company and then finally here comes Joe. I think the whole episode is about her trusting her gut and making the decision to stop being some idealized version of a boss and saying, “This is my company and every time someone tries to guide me it’s a catastrophe.”
IBTimes: Through most of the season, the obstacles standing in the way of Cameron’s vision have been things she perceives as the establishment – Joe and West Group, potential investors, the power company, etc. – but in this episode she runs into conflicts with her own employees. Is this the most isolated she’s ever been?
Davis: I think one of the fulcrums of Cameron’s personality is this idea of loyalty and being able to trust the people around her, which results in this sort of cult leader type boss, which is what you see when she tears up the contract and has her minions worshipping her. That’s starting to become unsafe and the only safe thing for her to do is to isolate a little more and have some stability herself. She can’t always depend on her workers being there to applaud her radical sensibilities and behavior.
Watch Cameron tear up Joe’s contract in front of Mutiny in “Working for the Clampdown” below:
IBTimes: This seems to be the end of the idea that Mutiny is a democracy. Was it ever?
Davis: It’s not authentic. She doesn’t want to admit that parts of her want to be famous and autonomous. She wants to embody the hacker who does what she wants, but this episode is the first time where she is authentically like, “Let’s be totally honest with each other. This is not a democracy. This is my company and you can work here if you want to, but I’m not going to cow tail to your demands.”
IBTimes: Speaking of authenticity, what does Cameron make of Joe at the end of this episode?
Davis: I think she believes him. I really love that scene because Lee [Pace] plays it so beautifully and so unembellished. All last season Cameron was begging Joe to tell her something authentic about himself and he never would. It was always some bull s---, fantastic story and here he finally offers up an incredibly intimate detail about his life. I think she’s so tired in that moment and thinking, “I don’t want to fight with you. I don’t want to try to figure out what you’re doing. I just want you to tell me what you want and set me free.” I think they are sort of saying goodbye to each other in that moment.
IBTimes: What about Cameron and Donna? Will there be new tension between them after what happened to Lev, seeing as Community played such a central role in the incident?
Davis: I think so. I don't think she will directly blame Donna for Lev, but, let's be clear, Community is Donna's thing. A lot of the reason that she decided not to sell was that Joe said that [West Group] would strip games and make it all about Community. I think Cameron's new outlook will affect all of her relationships.
Watch a sneak-peek scene from Season 2, episode 8 below: