'Halt and Catch Fire': "Working for the Clampdown"

Cameron makes it clear this isn't a democracy.

Annette Brown, AMC

The revolutionary ideals of Mutiny were finally pushed. No matter the amount of punk music blasted throughout every scene, the amount of talk of “family” or that no person was above another, Mutiny was, is, Cameron’s child. She privately butted heads with Donna earlier this season and only begrudgingly compromised when her feature, Community, appeared to be taking off. But those disagreements should’ve been a good heads up that no matter the offer, she isn’t going to compromise her company.

Joe comes to Mutiny with an offer that would give the company some financial stability that it has never experienced. Cameron, always skeptical, leads the company into a frenzy, calling the potential capital infusion “selling out” and rips up Joe’s offer sheet. But the rest of the employees eventually piece together the contract and are surprised to see the just how much money ($5 million) was being offered their way. On top of the fact that Cameron owns 90 percent of the company — a company they have been told is also theirs — they now feel that their contributions are meaningless. Joe tries to woo Bosworth and Tom, but as Mutiny is in a vote for the company they scramble to go see Lev, who got beat up by a gang of bros that were pretending to chat with him online. At the hospital, Joe comes to see his fellow employee and to offer a word of warning to Cameron about this potential deal.

Mutiny was at the forefront of the show this week, but the opening quickly addresses the central issue of Gordon’s declining health. Donna appears to take it as well as one could suspect, even though she, like Gordon, isn’t exactly sure how this will manifest. Her mother is less receptive to the news and lists a string of Gordon’s crazy stunts that Donna pushes back upon, because all those moments weren’t bouts of madness, but endearing displays that made Gordon the person she loved. Not quirks to be explained away by a disease. Gordon continues to move forward in the hardware space from their garage, but even Donna wants to be sure that he isn’t again over committing himself to another project.

The season’s weakest subplot of is the strange mix of business and personal relationship between Joe, oil millionaire Jacob Wheeler, and his daughter Sarah. The initial confusion that Donna and Gordon expressed about their relationship adds to the feeling that Sarah is just a means to an end for Joe. But that dynamic of power is an issue so many of these characters face. And as the episode closed, Cameron, in the Mutiny office, bluntly stated that she wasn’t selling her company. That power dynamic showed that no matter the rhetoric, Mutiny never was a revolution — or even a democracy.

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