Season 2, Episode 6


Joe approaches a new opportunity.

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Full Recap

At home, alone and unable to reach Sara in Austin, Joe leaves her a message, begging her to return to him and their life in Dallas. The second he hangs up, the phone rings, but it’s Jacob Wheeler informing Joe that he’s made a few last second tweaks to Mutiny’s contract and needs to see him.

At Westgroup Energy, Joe looks over the terms of the new contract and tries to dissuade Wheeler from raising Mutiny’s hourly rate to the market rate of $5. Wheeler makes it clear that he views Westgroup’s relationship with Mutiny as a landlord: tenant one and nothing more. When Joe objects, Wheeler reluctantly allows his future son-in-law the latitude to negotiate with Mutiny, but insists he goes no lower than $3.50.

Gordon, with Joanie and Haley in tow, pulls up to his brother Henry’s house in California for an impromptu visit. After a warm greeting, the girls go off to play with their cousins. Gordon asks Henry about the family’s automobile shop and asks if he can take the girls by later. Henry suggests they grab a beer at the local watering hole.

At home, Donna reveals to Susan that she was pregnant but miscarried. She hasn't even told Gordon. Susan comforts her and Donna suggests that maybe it was for the best.

Cameron and Tom furtively make love in her bedroom. The coders, suspicious about the true nature of their relationship, decide to fake an emergency in the offices that forces Tom to scurry out Cameron’s bedroom window, where he is busted by the waiting coders. Back inside the house, Cameron runs into the offices to confront the emergency only to find Joe standing ominously in the doorway, with the new contract in hand. “So this is Mutiny,” he says.

Joe presents the $5 rate to Cameron and Donna, who accuse him of pulling a bait-and-switch with the price. Joe threatens to lease the network to a different company if they can’t come up to the new fee.

In private, Donna advises Cameron to keep her cool while she bargains Joe down to a more affordable rate. This is a negotiation, she maintains. Meanwhile, Tom shows Joe to the kitchen for some coffee to assess his technical knowledge. Though Joe’s business acumen is impressive, Tom judges his technical expertise lacking.

When Joe refuses to budge from $5, all of the stress Donna has been under comes to a head. She melts down - crumpling up the contract and throwing it at him. Her fit prompts Joe to march out mid-negotiation. As Donna struggles to regain her composure, she reassures Cameron that Joe is bluffing. Cameron, however, isn’t so sure.

At a local bar, Gordon tells Henry about his brain damage. He admits he hasn’t told Donna, for fear she will sacrifice her work to care for him.

At Mutiny, on the heels of Joe’s exit, the network suddenly goes offline. Cameron screams at Donna in front of everyone for provoking Joe to pull the plug. Bosworth fiercely quiets Cameron, noting that Donna is clearly going through something. Bosworth urges Cameron to go easy on Donna, whom he maintains is merely behaving the way that Cameron behaves every day. He adds that Donna could use a friend right now, implying that he knows something she doesn’t.

While catching up with Henry, Gordon learns that their father is planning to sell the family auto body shop. When Henry excuses himself to the restroom, Gordon recognizes the bartender, Jules, as Henry’s high school girlfriend, who is now a single mom with a twelve-year-old son. As they reminisce, Jules alludes to Henry’s regular presence at the bar. A slight flirtation between the two is broken when Henry returns.

Donna visits Joe at Westgroup to ask how they can rectify the situation. He offers to ink the contract at $5, then reduce the price to $3.50 once Mutiny meets several technical benchmarks. Donna balks at the final of these, that Mutiny be made compatible with AT&T Unix, saying that a new operating system would require a major coding overhaul, but agrees to consider the idea.

Back at Mutiny, Donna and Cameron discuss Joe’s offer. Donna realizes that extracting these concessions from Mutiny was likely Joe’s plan all along. Overhearing their discussion, Tom suggests that Mutiny fake a Unix demo for Joe and then transition to Unix at its leisure after being granted the reduced rate - he doesn't believe Joe has the technical expertise to know the difference.

The Mutiny team rigs up a fake demo using a coaxial cable television line and by concealing the guts of a Commodore 64 inside the shell of an AT&T Unix computer. Bosworth advises them to simply switch to Unix honestly instead of attempting to trick Joe, but Cameron refuses to let Joe dictate her company’s vision.

Henry walks in on a nostalgic Gordon looking at old photographs, “You always were the prodigy,” he tells him. Gordon offers to drive up to Sacramento the next day in order to convince their father not to sell the shop. He borrows Henry’s truck, but instead of going to Sacramento, Gordon visits with Jules to confirm his suspicions that Henry has a drinking problem. By the lake, Gordon and Jules smoke pot and reminisce about high school. They kiss and it rapidly escalates to sex.

The Mutiny team watches closely as Joe begins the demo. He appears to be buying it as he admires the new home screen and mail program but when Joe opens Mutiny’s chess program, he notices that all of the supposedly human players on the network open with the same move each time. He quickly sees through their ruse, and rips the box open to reveal its guts. “Unix, you couldn’t do it,” he fumes. Cameron says that on the contrary, Mutiny was perfectly capable of converting to Unix, but considered it a waste of time. Joe storms out.

Cameron follows Joe outside and begs him, “Don’t do this to me again.” Joe counters, explaining how he’s the one who put Mutiny on the network to begin with. “You did this to yourself,” he tells Cameron and leaves. Donna joins Cameron outside and explains that she has something she has to tell her business partner.

After making love, Gordon tells Jules about his brain damage and messily begins to vent all his pent-up fear and anxiety. After Gordon admits that he hasn’t told Donna any of this yet, Jules cuts him off and yells at him for using her to dump his troubles on.

Cameron drives Donna to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. She tells Donna that it isn’t necessary to do this if she’s doing it for Mutiny. Donna insists that that’s not the reason she’s doing it. At the last moment, Cameron accompanies Donna inside, a show of support for her friend and partner.

Gordon returns to Henry’s house, where Henry drunkenly confronts Gordon about not actually going to visit their father in Sacramento. He smells the weed off Gordon, who admits he met with Jules to discuss Henry’s drinking problem after their father told him that Henry leveraged the shop into the ground. In front of Gordon’s terrified daughters, Henry accuses Gordon of sleeping with Jules and orders him to leave his house.

From a motel room, Gordon calls Donna and asks her to sing to Haley, who is having trouble sleeping. He lays the phone next to Haley and cries as Donna, alone at home, sings a lullaby to her youngest daughter.

Joe reveals the way he tried to leverage Mutiny with benchmarks to Wheeler and describes how Mutiny tried to fool him. They might have failed to do so, he explains, but in the process of attempting to, they demonstrated the innovative genius which makes them truly special. Joe doesn’t want Westgroup to simply be Mutiny’s landlord any longer. “I think we should acquire them,” he tells a receptive Wheeler.