Season 2, Episode 9
Reeling after a rival's launch, Mutiny takes measures to ensure survival; Gordon pays a price to quell his paranoia.
Halt and Catch Fire is currently not in season.
With Westgroup having cloned Mutiny and appropriated its users, Cameron and Donna plan their next move at a shooting range. Cameron decides to sell Extract and Defend, the game she and Tom created, in order to keep Mutiny afloat.
After a long drug-fueled night at the Starck Club, Joe is awoken by the ringing phone. It's Gordon, asking to be picked up from jail. As Joe drops Gordon off at his car, he urges Gordon to clean himself up. Gordon, in turn, encourages Joe to leave Texas and never look back.
Tom confronts Cameron about selling their game without consulting him. Exhausted, and with no time for his hurt feelings, she assures him she knows what she’s doing and closes the door in his face.
Using the address from the Byte magazine advertisement, Gordon visits JGL, the company he believes has stolen his made to order PC idea. He is happy to learn from a security guard that the company has recently gone out of business, and therefore his paranoia was unjustified.
Donna meets with Jesse and threatens legal action unless Westgroup compensates Mutiny for the similarity of the two services. Jesse easily brushes off Donna’s threats as the scare tactics they are. As she leaves, Donna is surprised to learn that Joe was not involved with the WestNet takeover.
Gordon looks for his car in the parking garage, but can't seem to find where he left it…
Jacob Wheeler visits Joe and Sara at home. He brings a gift for Sara and asks for a word alone with Joe. Outside, Joe accuses Wheeler of stealing intellectual property and threatens to go public with what he knows. Wheeler warns Joe that he’ll have difficulty finding future work without Westgroup on his resume, given his already checkered work history. Toward burying the hatchet, Wheeler invites Joe to Westgroup’s annual shareholders meeting to receive credit for his contributions to WestNet.
Wearing a suit, Bosworth stops by Cameron’s office to tell her something important. When he sees what difficulty she is having selling Extract and Defend, however, he changes his mind and departs.
Gordon continues to search for his car. A building worker notes Gordon’s confused state and asks if he’s feeling okay. Gordon makes excuses and continues his search.
Cameron, Donna and Bosworth sit in the waiting room of Funtime Games, the only game company that expressed interest in Extract and Defend. Donna informs Cameron that Joe had nothing to do with the WestNet takeover. Cameron processes this information as they are called in to meet with two Funtime assistants. Instead of bringing Cameron, Donna and Bosworth to the executives sitting in the conference room, however, the assistants usher the Mutiny team into their cramped, windowless reception office.
Sensing her husband’s inner turmoil, Sara encourages a reluctant Joe to attend the shareholders meeting and claim ownership of his original vision.
Cameron gives an Extract and Defend demo to the Funtime coders. The coders seem excited at first but claim the development costs are out of their price range. Sensing the real decision-makers are elsewhere, Bosworth excuses himself from the meeting and strides into the conference room where he pitches the game directly to two Funtime executives, saying it would boost their image to sell an American-made game instead of repackaging a game made by their partners in Japan.
Back at Mutiny, Cameron and Donna report that they sold the game to Funtime for $50,000, enough to allow them to find a new network and make payroll. The coders explode into cheers.
Exhausted, confused and frustrated with his inability to find his car, Gordon falls down a stairwell and injures himself. He calls for help, but nobody comes.
When Tom sarcastically congratulates Cameron on the sale, she calmly breaks up with him on the grounds that Mutiny requires 100% of her attention. Tom bitterly accuses Cameron of being more like Joe than she thinks.
Having taken Sara’s advice, Joe prepares to deliver the keynote address at the Westgroup shareholders meeting. Jesse tells him a reporter wants to speak with him. Joe sees “the reporter,” Cameron, standing in the doorway.
In private, Cameron tells Joe that she knows he wasn’t responsible for the WestNet takeover and that she wishes he wasn’t going to California. She kisses him. He kisses her back, but then pulls away. Before parting, Cameron gives Joe a floppy disk containing a copy of Mutiny’s new interface. “What it could have been,” she says. After she departs, Joe inserts the disk into a computer. “For Joe, always,” reads a note on the interface. Joe smiles and goes upstairs to deliver his keynote.
At the shareholders meeting, Joe takes the stage and delivers a rousing speech about WestNet. He trails off mid-speech, however, and when he resumes, gives Cameron the credit she is due for innovating WestNet. “If we skate past that, we’re doing violence to the one thing, maybe the only sacred thing, in our business: innovation,” he says. Joe’s words are not popular with Wheeler or Jesse, but he takes his seat next to Sara knowing he has done the right thing.
A building worker discovers Gordon in the parking garage and calls an ambulance. To Gordon’s horror, he spots his car as he’s being wheeled away on a gurney. Inside the ambulance, Gordon breaks down, realizing how badly he needs help.
Back at Westgroup, Jesse is attempting to minimize Joe’s remarks from the podium, when he is interrupted by a problem with the computers. Panic ensues as the Sonaris virus spreads like wildfire through Westgroup’s system. Meanwhile, Cameron lies down in her backyard, calmly watching rain fall from the sky as her virus, which was hidden on the disk she gave Joe, brings Westgroup down around Joe’s ears.
Bosworth informs Cameron that he’s leaving Mutiny for a more stable job. Cameron unsuccessfully tries to dissuade him.
At the hospital, a doctor tells Donna that Gordon was lost in the parking garage for several hours and that he’s suffering from psychological issues, likely brought on by stress. This is not Gordon’s brain damage, he assures her, this is something different. When Donna attempts to break this news to Gordon, he accepts that he needs help.
The movers having taken their possessions to California, Sara and Joe fight in their empty Dallas home. Joe defends himself, saying that Cameron sabotaged him and set him up. "You're something that happens to people who deserve better," she hurls at him. "I deserve better," Joe replies, but Sara insists that he still loves Cameron and leaves him, this time for good.
On the phone, Cameron goes over last-minute logistics with a Funtime Games assistant and learns that Tom was the one who originally tipped them off to Extract and Defend. Regretting the way she treated him, Cameron rushes outside and tries to stop Tom from riding away on his bike. “I couldn’t have done any of this without you,” she pleads. “No,” he replies bitterly. “You did this all on your own.” He rides away.