Season 4, Episode 1
So It Goes
Gordon enjoys success while Joe works to keep their web project afloat. Cameron extends a business trip. Donna launches a new venture.
Halt and Catch Fire returns Saturday, August 19 9/8c.
Gordon eavesdrops on Cameron and Joe’s conversation from a different phone. Cameron informs Joe that she told Tom about their one-night stand and that they both agreed she should work remotely from Tokyo.
Seven months later, Joe and Gordon try to call Cameron at a designated time. She doesn’t pick up.
Flash forward seven more months, Joe hunches over a computer in his basement office. He argues with Cameron on the phone about her work pace and blames her for their slow progress. He hangs up. Gordon reminds Joe that their ISP business, CalNect, is thriving and that Loadstar, their browser, does not need to be an overnight success. Joe ignores his advice.
Flash forward seven more months to September 1992. An AOL executive meets with Gordon and offers to acquire CalNect’s user base. He warns Gordon that AOL will dominate CalNect when they expand out West.
Joe shows Gordon a smart new browser named Mosaic and complains that they could have produced an equally impressive browser if Cameron had fixed the bugs instead of going radio silent for five months.
Joe takes Gordon camping for his 40th birthday. While collecting firewood, Gordon has a vision of Joe from the night they reverse-engineered the IBM PC. He snaps out of his reverie.
Over the campfire, Joe continues to complain about Cameron and points out that she still owes them a final version of Loadstar.
Three teenagers play Cameron’s new game, “Pilgrim,” in a rec room. They complain about the abundance of puzzles and the lack of violence.
Cameron and a group of Atari executives watch the gamers through a one-way mirror. Cameron interrupts the focus group and asks the teenagers what their favorite games are. They immediately list off “Mortal Kombat” and “Street Fighter II.”
Cameron tells the executives that these gamers are not their target demo. She suggests they instead target players with higher GPAs and immersive sci-fi interests.
Gordon stops by Joe’s office. Bulletin boards are plastered with Post-Its containing the URLs of all existing websites. Gordon asks Joe to abandon the browser and help in the day-to-day operations of CalNect so that they can survive the threat from AOL.
A tech company waits nervously at the offices of venture capital firm AGGE. Donna strides in and listens to a pitch from a team that has been developing a browser. Donna defunds the group after deciding that they are not visionary enough.
Gordon throws an extravagant birthday bash at his house, featuring a performance by Blue Man Group. Cameron quietly arrives at the party.
Gordon welcomes Cameron, who immediately apologizes for her radio silence on Loadstar. Gordon forgives her but warns her that Joe is angry. Bosworth shows up with Diane and hugs Cameron, who explains that she’s in town to promote a game.
Diane takes in the lavish party with Bosworth and predicts that CalNect will not fare well once AOL arrives on the landscape.
Cameron finds Joanie inside and hugs her. Joanie practices Japanese, which she’s been learning from language CDs that Cameron sent her.
Joe shows up at the party. Gordon warns him that Cameron is there.
Cameron joins Joe and asks if Joe is mad at her. “Wouldn’t you be?” he asks, then leaves. Cameron starts drinking.
Donna hosts a dinner party at her house and comes on to one of her guests. They make love afterwards.
Gordon brings sheets for Cameron to sleep on his couch. She asks Gordon if she’s cruel. He insists that she’s not.
Cameron wakes up with a hangover and plays Mario Kart with Gordon. She gives him a copy of “Pilgrim” and invites him to a focus group. Donna arrives to pick up Joanie and Haley and startles when she sees Cameron. She asks if Cameron has seen Mosaic. Cameron says she was surprised to learn that Donna wasn’t behind Mosaic.
Joe participates in a CalNect business meeting.
Cameron stops by Joe’s office and gives him the final version of Loadstar. Joe blames her for squandering their edge over Mosaic. She tries to talk about their relationship, but he evades the subject and gets back to work. As she leaves, she notes that Joe will need more Post-Its soon, given the pace at which the web is growing.
Gordon sees Cameron leaving the office.
Donna listens to a pitch from a young tech company called Rover. She tells them they need to generate a bigger idea if they want more money.
Joe excitedly tells Gordon about a new idea of building an index of websites. “Did Cameron put you up to this?” Gordon asks. Joe implores Gordon to “wake up” and return to his roots as a “builder.”
In the Atari observation room, Gavin, an Atari PR executive, asks Cameron to include game controls in the manual for “Pilgrim.” She refuses to tell players how the game works.
Gordon stops by Atari and accuses Cameron of riling Joe up. He suggests that perhaps Cameron is cruel after all.
Gordon and Donna catch up over dinner and discuss Joanie’s refusal to go to college. Gordon complains that Joe is fired up about a new idea to index every website on the internet.
Rover reconvenes with Donna and pitches an idea to index back issues of magazines. Donna shoots it down. Elliot points out that the number of websites has grown 500 percent in one year and proposes they use their algorithm to index the entire web and make it searchable. “That’s the idea,” Donna says.
Meanwhile, at CalNect, Gordon starts to sift through Joe’s Post-Its.
Joe calls Cameron at her hotel while playing “Pilgrim.” He apologizes for his behavior. Cameron tells him that Tom left her and that she’s not returning to Japan.