Season 3, Episode 9
Donna envisions a new future for the Internet and attempts to bring everyone together at Comdex. Gordon takes on a strong-willed Joanie.
Halt and Catch Fire returns Saturday, August 19 9/8c.
Flash forward four years to 1990. Donna watches a sign go up in the lobby of Diane’s office: Amador Gould Gilson Emerson. Emerson is Donna’s maiden name. She’s newly divorced.
Donna settles in to her new office at Diane’s company, where she now works as senior partner. She glances at a notepad, where she has scribbled Cameron’s flight information from Tokyo to Las Vegas, as well as phone numbers for Joe. She picks up the phone but quickly hangs up.
Bosworth stops by Donna’s office to congratulate her on the new job and asks if she’s going to COMDEX. Donna says she is skipping it this year.
Joe sits in his home office and speaks on the phone with a business associate. The associate pitches him various projects. Joe passes on all the ideas.
Donna meets some tech clients at a bar to prepare them for their trip to COMDEX. An associate introduces Gordon to Donna, not knowing that Gordon and Donna were once married. Gordon and Donna pretend to flirt. Gordon congratulates Donna on the new job and introduces her to his date, Michelle.
Donna calls Joe and asks him to deliver a memo to Cameron at COMDEX. Donna believes she has a perfect project for Cameron. Joe refuses to help and hangs up. Donna nevertheless faxes the memo to Joe.
After flying in from Japan, Cameron arrives at COMDEX to promote her Atari game, Space Bike IV. A COMDEX representative brings her to the Space Bike signing booth.
At the Clark residence, Joanie, who is now 14, mocks Gordon’s dating video, in which he explains that he owns a regional network that is part of NSFNET. Gordon tells Joanie that he has a date and asks if he can take Joanie to her friend’s party early. When he finds out that parents won’t be at the party, he refuses to let Joanie attend.
Joe shows up at the Space Bike booth and gives Cameron a “Parallax” floppy disk to sign. She smiles at the joke.
Cameron and Joe stroll around COMDEX. She tells him about living in Japan for the past four years and asks if he’s still consulting. He explains that he’s waiting for the right gig to come along. She recognizes the Manning brothers from the year she and Joe attended COMDEX with Cardiff Electric. Joe recalls buying out the Manning brothers’ suite after pretending he was from IBM.
Cameron and Joe listen to the Manning brothers’ bumbling presentation about their new dot matrix printer. They run off when the brothers start to recognize Joe’s face.
Michelle arrives for her date with Gordon. Joanie tells Gordon that she left a message with Donna to get permission to attend the party. Gordon introduces her to Michelle.
Cameron and Joe retreat to a quiet corner of COMDEX and play a game with the tchotchkes that they collected from the booths. She urges Joe to stop blaming himself for Ryan’s death and stop depriving the world of what he does. “What is it that I do?” he asks. “You bring people together. You create change,” she says. She invites him to an Atari party.
Gordon, Michelle and Joanie cook dinner. Donna calls Joanie back. Joanie begs Donna to let her attend her friend’s party and passes the phone on to Gordon. Donna sides with Gordon and expresses surprise at Gordon’s new cooking skills.
Cameron and Joe dance happily at the Atari party. Donna shows up and proposes a new project to Cameron. Cameron refuses. Donna insists they make amends. “I think about Mutiny every day, and it makes me furious,” Cameron says. She grabs Joe and leaves.
Gordon serves dinner to Michelle and Joanie. Joanie declares that she’s a vegetarian and sulks at the table. Gordon sends her to the living room and apologizes to Michelle. Joanie starts playing Michelle’s dating video. Gordon shuts it off.
Gordon walks Michelle to the door and apologizes for his daughter’s behavior. She hugs him and says she’ll see him at the office.
Gordon storms into Joanie’s room. Joanie accuses him of dating an employee because he was previously Donna’s employee. “You could do better,” she tells him.
Cameron storms onto the balcony of her hotel room and seethes about Donna. Joe confesses that Donna called him a few days ago and asked him to bring a project idea to Cameron. He says he refused and never even looked at Donna’s idea. “Why are you here?” she asks. “I came to see you,” he says.
Cameron walks inside her room. Joe follows her. They kiss and make love.
The next morning, Cameron quietly leaves the room while Joe is asleep.
Gordon and Joanie watch TV. Gordon feebly gets up from the couch, weakened by his neurological disease. Joanie helps him walk upstairs and insists they switch rooms so that Gordon doesn’t have to climb the stairs.
Cameron stops by Donna’s hotel room on her way out and admits that working with Donna was the most fun she’s had in her life. Donna asks Cameron if she read the project memo. Cameron says Joe never showed it to her, then asks what the idea was.
Joe arrives back home and goes to his fax machine. He picks up Donna’s memo. “WorldWideWeb,” it reads on top.