Season 3, Episode 5
Donna and Gordon decide to treat themselves to a vacation at home instead of camping. Bos and Cameron return to Texas. Ryan and Joe have a revelation.
Halt and Catch Fire returns Saturday, August 19 9/8c.
At Mutiny, Gordon checks in with the coders to get Swap Meet progress reports. A coder informs him that users are ignoring the “no buying” rule and swapping items for money.
Donna urges Cameron to allow Doug and Craig to integrate credit card transactions into Swap Meet. Cameron refuses to relinquish a piece of Mutiny to credit card companies and tries to assuage Donna’s concerns by reminding her that Swap Meet has doubled in size every week. She suggests they revisit the topic when she returns from her trip on Monday.
At Joe’s apartment, Ryan shows Joe a map of ARPANET networks. Joe inquires about Steve Wolf’s NSFNET. Ryan downplays it as a crude, bottlenecked network where commercial use is banned. A man knocks unexpectedly on Joe’s door. Joe lets him in as Ryan leaves.
Bosworth and Cameron arrive in Dallas. Bosworth talks excitedly about finally meeting his grandson. Cameron, who plans to retrieve her father’s motorcycle, says she hasn’t told her parents that she’s in town.
Donna and Gordon decide at the last minute to cancel their Fourth of July camping trip and instead spend their kid-free weekend at home.
Bosworth plays with his grandson at his son James’ house. James leaves for a work function.
Ryan walks down the hall toward Joe’s apartment and sees Joe hugging the man from the previous day. Ryan knocks on Joe’s door. Joe answers in a disheveled state, surprised to see Ryan on the Fourth of July. He lets Ryan in.
Cameron leaves an awkward message on an answering machine, saying she’s in town.
While cooking dinner, Donna sidles up to Gordon. They make out.
Cameron meets Tom at a restaurant. Tom apologizes for not reaching out to her. Cameron gruffly jokes that he should pay the dinner bill to cover the costs of the San Francisco plane ticket he didn’t use.
Joe takes in the cityscape from his balcony and questions the city’s transient nature. Ryan argues that San Francisco is exciting because it affords second chances. “You never know what the hell’s next,” he says. Joe laments that he may not have another “next” in him.
Gordon and Donna dance in their living room after making love.
James arrives home and yells at Bosworth for making the baby’s crib, a task he’d planned on doing. He accuses Bosworth of trying to become a family man now to make up for being a bad father.
Donna and Gordon make love again. Afterwards, Donna admits she’s not a fan of camping. Gordon looks surprised by her admission and stares at Donna as she falls asleep.
Cameron visits the old Mutiny house and finds a flask that she hid on the roof. She relaxes and drinks alone on the roof.
Ryan wakes up at Joe’s apartment. As he leaves, he glimpses Joe crying in his bedroom.
Cameron and Bosworth park down the road from her mother’s house, where a garage sale is being held for her father’s belongings. They see a man purchasing the motorcycle. Bosworth urges Cameron to stop the sale. Overwhelmed, Cameron tells him he isn’t her father and storms off. Bosworth leaves without her.
Gordon throws away a memento from a camping trip he once took with Donna. He cancels breakfast plans with Donna and instead works on his ham radio.
Cameron walks up to a house and knocks on the door. Tom opens the door.
At Mutiny, Doug and Craig ask Donna for permission to move ahead on the credit card integration. Donna says she needs to discuss it with Cameron, who hasn’t showed up yet. Doug points out that there’s a community petition to let users pay with money.
Donna stops by Bosworth’s office and learns that Cameron never boarded the plane back to San Francisco.
Lev informs Donna that Cameron already checked out of her motel. Donna tells Doug and Craig to begin work on the credit card integration.
Joe and Ryan work at Joe’s apartment. Joe answers the phone and abruptly tells Ryan to leave. A doctor informs Joe that they have the results of his HIV antibody test. After the call, Joe goes to his balcony and smiles with relief.
Donna meets with coders to prepare them for the credit card interface, which goes live that night. Cameron arrives and tells Donna she found a solution that will enable money transactions. Donna says they’ve been working on a credit card interface all week.
In private, Cameron suggests they use bank routing numbers to handle financial transactions, saying it would be free for users and would only require one new hire. She yells at Donna for making a big decision without her, but Donna points out that Cameron was gone all week. Cameron explains that she was with Tom — and that Tom called Donna the best thing that ever happened to her. “You anchor me,” Cameron admits. They hug.
Joe tells Ryan to focus on NSFNET. He explains that Steve Wolf pulled a brilliant move by eliminating support for regional networks and creating a bottlenecked network — so that if the law changes to allow commercial use, home users would flood the network. “We are going to create a regional network right there,” he says, pointing to a spot on his diagram. Ryan snaps, frustrated by Joe’s recent behavior. Joe admits he’s had a tough week.
At home, Cameron calls Diane to thank her for being patient. When she offhandedly mentions Diane’s refusal to fire Doug and Craig, Diane clarifies that she approved Doug and Craig’s dismissal. Cameron hangs up, reeling from the news of Donna’s deceit. She runs to her room and curls up in bed. She takes a wedding ring from her pocket, puts it on her finger and smiles.