Season 4, Episode 8
Cameron helps Donna pack up; Bos makes his famous chili; Joe helps Haley recover a memorable keepsake; Gordon and Donna fight.
Halt and Catch Fire is currently not in season.
Flash back to 1976. Gordon and Donna unwind after a visit from Donna’s parents. Donna mentions that her parents offered to buy them a house in Dallas. She points out that she would have more time to work on projects if they had free babysitting help. Gordon refuses to leave San Francisco and accuses Donna of flip-flopping on where to live. Their argument wakes up baby Joanie. Gordon storms out.
Donna soothes Joanie in the middle of the night. Meanwhile, Gordon grabs a snack at a gas station.
In the present day, Donna, Haley and Joanie arrive at Gordon’s house. Donna instructs them to put red stickers on items that they want to donate and green stickers on items they want to keep.
Donna asks Cameron to pack up the living room and put some music on. Cameron looks through Gordon’s records and becomes paralyzed by the choice. Donna picks out a Dire Straits record.
Joe folds Gordon’s clothes. Donna empties out kitchen cupboards. Cameron packs electronics. Haley removes a poster in her bedroom. Cameron pockets some photos of the group back from the Giant days. Donna finds a photo of Gordon and Katie on the refrigerator. Joe sits down with a book that he found in Gordon’s coat pocket.
Donna checks on Haley in her room.
Donna visits Joanie to help pack up her room. She discovers a stash of unsent college applications and demands an explanation. Joanie storms out.
Donna tells Joanie that Gordon would be devastated if he knew she didn’t apply to college. “It’s a good thing that he’s not here to see it then,” says Joanie in front of everyone.
Donna smells cigarette smoke wafting from Joanie’s room. Cameron offers to talk to Joanie.
Cameron checks in with Joanie in her room.
Haley asks Donna where Gordon’s clothes are. Joe tells her he just dropped them off at Goodwill. Haley admits she wanted Gordon’s green sweater. Joe leaves with Haley to retrieve the sweater.
Joanie vents to Cameron about Donna’s need for perfection. Cameron urges Joanie to give Donna a break and lists off the benefits of going to college. Joanie interrupts and says she already knows.
Haley listens to headphones in the car with Joe. Joe invites her to play her music on the speaker. She puts on “Fish Heads” by Barnes & Barnes.
Donna tells Cameron that she finished Pilgrim and loved the ending, which reveals that the Pilgrim is a kid. Cameron smiles and thanks Donna for playing the game. Donna tries to apologize to Cameron for lashing out over the Rover algorithm. Cameron insists on forgetting the entire incident.
Joe tears through bags of donated clothes at Goodwill in search of Gordon’s green sweater. An employee tries to stop him. Joe asks the employee to hand him an unopened bag but the employee refuses. Outside, Joe gives his car keys to Haley and instructs her to pull the truck up to the drop-off dock.
Katie stops by Gordon’s house and tells Cameron that she’s moving to Seattle. She shares her hope that Joe will continue to lead Comet.
Haley pulls up to the loading dock at Goodwill. Joe runs out with the unopened trash bag and jumps into the truck. They drive off as the employee yells after them.
Joe and Haley laugh in the truck. Joe rips open the bag only to realize it’s not Gordon’s clothing.
Donna greets Katie and offers up any items that Katie might want to keep. Katie reveals her love for a photo of Donna and Gordon when they were young and fierce-looking. She admits that she used to be jealous of the parts of Gordon that Donna got to experience during their marriage.
Donna tells Cameron that Joe has a great rapport with Haley and Joanie.
Cameron finds Katie crying in the living room. Katie reveals that it’s the spot where she found Gordon’s body.
Joe and Haley pull up to the curb as Katie gets ready to leave in her car. They wave good-bye.
Haley asks Joanie why she didn’t apply to college. Joanie reasons that she wouldn’t have gotten into any colleges. She figures that Haley, at least, turned out perfect in every way. “Not every way,” says Haley, implying that she’s gay. They hug. Haley asks if Joanie is going away, too. Joanie doesn’t answer.
Bosworth cooks chili in Gordon’s kitchen and urges Joe to try some. He tries to joke about Gordon but Joe says he’s not ready yet.
Donna finds Bosworth cooking chili in the kitchen.
Donna joins Cameron in the backyard. They cry for Gordon and admit to missing each other. Cameron shares that she’s having trouble talking to Joe because he wants children, while she does not.
Joe, Donna, Cameron and Bosworth gather in the dining room for chili. Joanie and Haley join them laughing. They reminisce about Gordon together.
Flash back again to 1976. Donna comforts baby Joanie while talking to her mother on the phone. She insists Gordon will come back home.
Gordon drives to a quarry and jumps off a cliff into a lake. He yells with jubilation as he breaks through the surface.
Gordon returns home and finds Donna singing to Joanie — the same flashback from his final moments of life. Donna hugs him and tells him never to abandon her like that again. “I won’t,” he says.