At the office of Mutiny, Cameron Howe‘s Internet gaming startup, she and Donna Clark team up to fix network lag issues. After a bit of convincing, Cameron agrees to let Donna develop online chat rooms called “Community” in exchange for Donna taking on some managerial duties.
Meanwhile, Gordon Clark exits his job as president of Cardiff Electric after the company is bought out. While waiting to collect his check from the company sale, he runs into Joe MacMillan, who now lives in Austin with his fiancee Sara Wheeler. Nathan Cardiff, despite the sale of his company, remains furious at Joe and coldly shreds Joe’s check and says his payout went toward the Giant PCs that he burned. Joe returns to Austin empty-handed but is reassured by Sara that they don’t need money. Joe proposes to Sara. She accepts.
With dubious exits at Cardiff and IBM in his past, Joe begrudgingly accepts a job with Sara’s father, Jacob Wheeler, a Texas oil giant who heads up Westgroup Energy in Dallas. Joe is disappointed to find that he’s been assigned a low-level data entry job.
Cameron hires John Bosworth following his release from prison.
A Mutiny subscriber named Tom Rendon clones Mutiny’s top game, Parallax, and distributes it for free. Cameron confronts the hacker but ultimately hires him after he shares a technology that will allow multiple users to play Mutiny games on a single phone line.
Now wealthy and alone at home while Donna works at Mutiny, Gordon struggles to come up with new project ideas to fill his free time and briefly goes on a cocaine binge. He decides to create software that will track the number of people on Mutiny’s network. He deploys the program, Sonaris, without warning Donna and it ends up infecting Mutiny’s drives, as well as the drives of connected subscribers. Mutiny loses its subscriber base, forcing Cameron to put salaries on hold.
Despite his ex-wife’s warning to stay away, Bosworth stops by his son James’ rehearsal dinner and gives him his classic Mustang as a wedding gift.
Unsatisfied with his entry-level job, Joe approaches Jacob Wheeler with a proposal that will boost efficiency in his department. Impressed, Mr. Wheeler tells Joe to fire his supervisor and rebuild his own department. Joe then devises a time-sharing scheme to rent out Westgroup’s computer network during off-hours. Gordon agrees to help Joe reconfigure Westgroup’s mainframe for dial-in access on the condition that Joe lease the network to Mutiny at a discounted rate.
Bosworth helps Cameron get Mutiny back on its feet, going door-to-door to personally convince Mutiny’s top subscribers to rejoin the network. Meanwhile Community thrives. When Cameron threatens to axe Community, Donna convinces her to give it a chance and accuses Cameron of marginalizing Community because it wasn’t her idea.
In the midst of an office-wide nerf-gun fight, Cameron and Tom come up with an idea for a first-person shooter game in which users play each other on the network. Exhilarated by the idea, they kiss and begin sleeping together.
Donna finds out she is pregnant.
Gordon tells Donna that he convinced a client to lease out his network for $3-an-hour. He eventually reveals that his contact is Joe, sending Cameron into a fit.
After experiencing symptoms like joint pain and dizzy spells, Gordon visits and doctor and is shocked to learn he’s suffering from brain damage. He doesn’t share the revelation with his wife.
Joe presents his time-sharing idea to Jacob Wheeler. Jacob likes the idea and asks to meet with Mutiny. Despite her suspicion that Joe is using Mutiny as part of some master plan, Cameron meets with Joe and Jacob and impresses Jacob with a Mutiny demo. When Sara sees Joe talking earnestly with Cameron after the meeting, she breaks off their engagement.
Jacob tells Joe he’s going to raise Mutiny’s rate to $5-an-hour, but Joe convinces him to lower the increase to $3.50. Joe informs Cameron and Donna that Westgroup will raise Mutiny’s rate to $5 but is willing to lower it to $3.50 if Mutiny meets several benchmarks, including porting to an AT&T computer that runs on Unix.
Unwilling to let Joe control them, the Mutiny team fakes a Unix demo by jerry-rigging the cable television line. Joe sees through their ruse and storms out of the house. He later tells Jacob that Mutiny ingeniously devised broadband service in 24 hours and proposes they acquire Mutiny.
Gordon and his daughters visits his brother Henry in California and tells him about the brain damage. Gordon meets with Jules, Henry’s high school girlfriend, to discuss Henry’s alcoholism, but they end up having sex. When Henry finds out, it leads to a shouting match, and Gordon and the kids are thrown out of the house.
Donna asks Cameron to drive her to Planned Parenthood for an abortion.
Gordon tells Donna that he has brain damage.
Joe meets with Cameron, Donna and Bosworth to discuss Westgroup’s acquisition offer. Cameron asks the coders if they want to sell out and defiantly shreds the offer amid a chorus of boos. However, the coders later piece together the offer and learn that they would have earned 1% of the sale price and seen their salaries rise dramatically. They’re also surprised to find that Cameron owns 90% of the company.
Gordon assembles a team of former Cardiff Electric employees to work for his new company building customized computers directly for clients. In the middle of a pep talk, he alarms his staff when he talks as though they’re still working on the Giant at Cardiff Electric.
Sensing tension in the house, Cameron informs everyone that the offer was for $5 million and holds a vote on whether to sell. Bodie and Artie vote to sell. Bosworth hesitantly votes no. Tom hesitates but is interrupted before he can vote.
Cameron and Donna visit Lev at the hospital after he’s severely beaten by a gang of men who pretended to flirt with him on Community. In the waiting room, Tom tells Cameron that he’s only interested in selling because his mother was recently laid off. Cameron decides to sell Mutiny but is convinced otherwise by Joe, who learns that Jacob intends to scrap Mutiny’s game production.
Joe begs Sara to come back. She finally agrees but proposes they marry straightaway and move to California in two weeks. Joe gives his notice to Jacob and is later introduced to his replacement, Jesse Evans, a slick Silicon Valley transplant.
Tom tells Cameron he’s upset that she listened to Joe while dismissing everyone else’s opinions. He admits he loves her.
Mutiny throws a party for its most loyal subscribers. Cameron realizes that subscribers are predominantly joining Mutiny for Community, not for the games, and apologizes to Donna for being so unreceptive to Community.
Worried about Gordon’s mental health, Ed and Larry tell Gordon they are quitting for more stable jobs. Gordon later spots a magazine ad for a company similar to his. Thinking Stan stole his idea, he breaks into Stan’s garage and is arrested.
To mark their last night in Dallas, Joe and Sara take MDMA and party at a club. They go to Westgroup to make illicit love in the mainframe room, where Joe overhears Jesse and his team celebrate the creation of WestNet. Meanwhile, the Mutiny team goes into panic mode as they realize that Westgroup stole their users, cloned their interface and renamed it WestNet. Joe accuses Jacob of intellectual property theft. Jacob appeases Joe by inviting him to network with VIPs at the Westgroup shareholders meeting.
Despite Tom’s objections, Cameron sells Extract and Defend, the game they created together, in order to keep Mutiny afloat after the WestNet takeover. She then breaks up with Tom so that she can devote herself fully to Mutiny. Tom quits Mutiny.
Gordon gets lost in a parking garage while searching for his car and sustains serious injuries after falling down a stairwell. At the hospital, a doctor informs Donna that Gordon is suffering from psychological issues that go beyond his brain damage.
As Joe prepares to deliver the keynote address at the shareholders meeting, Cameron pulls him aside and kisses him. She then gives him a floppy disk with a copy of Mutiny’s new interface. He inserts the disk into a Westgroup floppy drive.
In the middle of his address, Joe shocks the audience by revealing that Westgroup stole the idea for WestNet from Cameron. Soon afterwards, Westgroup’s computers go haywire as a virus — spread by Cameron’s floppy disk, which contained a copy of Sonaris — infects the entire network. Jacob is fired in the wake of the Sonaris damage.
Sara leaves Joe on the grounds that he still loves Cameron. Joe reluctantly signs the divorce papers.
Mutiny is back in business with a new accountant and a new network called Telenet, but Cameron worries that she’ll never control Mutiny so long as they’re using someone else’s network. She finds an IBM mainframe in California that could serve as their own network but Donna says it’s too old and expensive — and too far to transport.
Bosworth leaves Mutiny for a more stable job at his son’s company. As he settles into his new job, he looks unhappy with his boring colleagues and traditional work environment.
In an effort to salvage Joe’s relationship with Westgroup and Sara, Gordon gives Joe an anti-virus software that will erase Sonaris from infected machines and also inoculate them.
During a fight, Gordon admits to Donna that he had an affair and wonders if their relationship is broken beyond repair. When Donna shares her marital woes with Cameron, Cameron suggests they relocate to California for a fresh start.
Donna goes to Gordon with a list of terms to move forward with their marriage: They will purchase the IBM mainframe with their own money and move to California, where Gordon will work for Mutiny at her side.
Joe pitches Gordon’s anti-virus software to venture capitalist Timothy Bondham and secures funding. When he calls Gordon to deliver the good news, Gordon tells him he’s moving to California to work for Mutiny. Joe, feeling betrayed, neglects to tell Gordon about the funding.
Cameron invites Tom to move to California and is disappointed when he doesn’t board the plane with the Mutiny team, including Bosworth. Meanwhile, Gordon reads an in-flight magazine and curses when he sees an article about Joe’s latest venture: an anti-virus software company with $10 million in funding.
Joe tours his swanky new office space — located in the Bay Area.