The wheels of Halt and Catch Fire keep turning. Cameron and Donna continue to be at each other’s throats. Joe is finally getting a step ahead of his peers. Gordon is continuing his wayward journey of the world. And by the end of the episode “10Broad36,” through an act of rebellion, Mutiny discovered something that may lead them out of the dire financial situation they’ve been in all season. The season’s much remarked step forward in quality is now hitting its stride.
The only open discussion of Donna’s pregnancy the last couple of episodes was limited to Bosworth, but the episode opens with her telling her mother that she experienced a miscarriage. Though nerved with every word she spoke, it appeared that maybe she was too relieved that the potential child was gone. It was a similar too-good-to-be-true scenario when Gordon got to California to go visit his brother and his family. Gordon tells his brother of the disease eating away at his brain and his brother appears ready to console and help in anyway possible. But that quickly falls apart as Gordon learns about the real struggles that have hit his alcoholic brother in the time since they last saw each other.
But back home at Mutiny, the company’s central issue beyond making compelling content for users remains just keeping the lights on and operations going, which their under-the-table deal with Joe allowed them to do. But when he tries to nearly double the amount of cost to use his network it results in meetings and arguments between Bosworth, Cameron, Donna and Joe. As Joe is playing the company like a marionette, Cameron and Donna keep clashing. Bosworth, who knows of Donna’s pregnancy, wishes Cameron would open her eyes to see beyond the lens of Mutiny and into the flesh and blood that power the company. That tension remains at Mutiny’s core because though it might not be a place with a traditional power structure, the company is Cameron’s, and she doesn’t want anyone messing with it.
That commitment to real independence will be questioned as Joe ended the episode with the idea of buying the company. What’s interesting right now is the tension between Donna and Gordon, considering the reduced amount of time that they spend with each other. Gordon just cheated on Donna, he still hasn’t told her about his disease which is eating at him emotionally in a way that the physical toll doesn’t appear to be showing yet. And Donna has Cameron there for emotional support for the abortion of a child Gordon didn’t know existed. The show uses personal politics posturing as company politics to keep the narrative moving, but each week this slowly shifting marriage is the show’s volatile emotional core.