Full Metal Sneakers: Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 5 (AMC)
Halt and Catch Fire: Season 4 Episode 5 “Nowhere Man”
Halt and Catch Fire is back (despite all odds, thank goodness) and I could not be happier. HACF has one of the most bizarrely disproportionate quality to viewership ratios of any television show that I have ever watched.
This week we saw how friends can often be our cruelest companions and how betrayals are often instigated by our own selfish mistakes. Enjoy!
If anyone knows why I called this recap “Full Metal Sneakers,” let me know :)
As usual, if you haven’t seen Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 5 *Spoiler Alert*
Who Is the 'Nowhere Man?'
Poor Bos, he has provided needed support for almost everyone on the show and still his friends all emotionally batter him when he needs them most.
Normally, I would suggest that he created some of his own problems by withholding the truth from his friends but he straight up told Gordon and later told Cameron. Sure he most likely should have gone to Dianne directly, but things weren’t going well between them and he was afraid it would be the final straw.
Gordon certainly could have bailed him out, but he was too worried about the wrath of Donna and Diane to help his friend (and later he told Donna which is a mistake he makes all the time).
Cameron almost certainly could have bailed him out but she made him beg her to write the algorithm for Rover that she desperately wanted to write (just to see if she could).
Even worse, because she was so invested in convincing herself that she only wrote the algorithm reluctantly under duress to help Bos, when he comes to her again, despite his obvious distress, she shuts the door in his face.
And then there was what Donna did (sigh, more on this in a second).
I know he is a fictional character, but he is a fictional character I care about, I hope he is okay.
Anyway, I don’t think Bos is the Nowhere Man referred to in the title and I don’t think Gordon is the Nowhere Man either.
The most likely ‘Nowhere Man; would be Joe (...or all of us).
Joe tells Gordon that for the first time ever, he can no longer see what’s coming in the future of technology and Gordon responds by reminding him that that is the common condition of the vast majority of humanity.
Gordon’s speech was similar enough to the lyrics from the Beatles song that I will reproduce them here:
Nowhere Man, don't worry
Take your time, don't hurry
Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand
Doesn't have a point of view
Knows not where he's going to
Isn't he a bit like you and me?
Donna Goes “Full On” Villain
If I were an expert in breaking up ‘amounts of blame,’ when considering John Bosworth’s heart attack, I would pin the blame:
Remember, the fix Bos brought to Donna saved the day, it took Rover from a loser to a winner at a time when the other high-level sharks were smelling Donna’s blood in the water.
You could make the argument that regardless of the source, Bos saved Donna’s ass.
Despite that, Donna knows Bos got outside help and she just won’t look at it as a fortuitous accident.
She is so single-minded about getting to the bottom of the algorithm mystery that she repeatedly angers and frustrates her entire successful Rover team moving the deck chairs so that she can expose the looming iceberg.
Finally, at a casual dinner with Bos and Dianne, Donna waits until Dianne goes to the bathroom and then lays into Bos so hard that he goes into cardiac arrest.
Even though Bos just saved her bacon, she calls him a liar, accuses him of exposing the company to her enemies, implies that he hides behind Dianne’s skirt, and says in no uncertain terms that she only hired him to make Dianne happy.
And, believe it or not, that wasn’t even the worst thing she did.
Donna knows how close Bos and Cameron were and when Cameron lets on that they had an argument she doesn’t even try let Cam off the hook for being to blame.
And even after this, when all the smoke clears, she still is committed to playing detective.
Donna has literally lost all perspective.
She believes her pain came from being emotionally available and vulnerable so she has responded by making herself emotionally unavailable.
She wakes up every day and the armor she puts on in the morning is designed only to search and destroy, not to care, not to balance, not to love.
Donna has become the emotional equivalent of a shark, if she stops swimming, even for a second, she opens herself back up to all of her sadness, trauma, and pain.
We know, deep down, Donna is a great person who feels all being nice got her was heartbreak. I hope by the end of this season she can find success, fulfillment, and joy in rediscovering her old self and her old friends.
I should mention that at the end of the episode, Donna seems to figure out a secret level of Cameron’s game suggesting that there was more to the game than reaching the end of being rewarded only by starting over (to apply whatever you learned the second time around).
You might ask me why I don’t hold Cameron more responsible for what has happened. Okay, Cameron is less responsible because when she found out Bos was in the hospital, she was reflexive, realized her part in what happened and IMMEDIATELY came 100% clean with Joe (not just a little clean, she even told Joe that she helped Rover primarily because she wanted to prove the algorithm could be written).
Cameron is less responsible because, when she had the chance, she accepted responsibility for all of the damage and pain she had caused and was responsible for both with Tom and with Joe.
Men Are So Silly
If you think about it, Gordon is really responsible for most of the drama this season and most all of it happened because he just cannot keep his mouth shut with his ex-wife.
Why is Rover beating Comet?
Because Gordon told Donna about Joe’s idea to create a website that catalogs websites (well, Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin may deserve at least a bit of the credit for this discovery in the real world).
At the end of this episode, Donna figures out that Cameron wrote the algorithm.
How did she figure it out?
Because Gordon told Donna that Bos was $300,000 in debt (Donna connected the information from Cameron about her fight with Bos and Bosworth’s debt).
Gordon should have 100% known that Bos did not want Donna to know about his debt (why else would he have told Gordon about it and begged for money in the first place?)/
I get it, Gordon isn’t always all there, but someone needs to remind him snitches get stitches (okay, fine, how about ‘Loose Lips Sink Ships?’ Is that one better?).
Joe has also been kind of an idiot lately.
He has been really emotionally withholding as he attempts to bring Cameron to heel (to annihilate everything that makes her Cameron and make her more like another Joe). This week he had the balls to say:
“I've been really understanding with you, beyond patient.”
If understanding means withholding and patient means distancing, Joe was understanding and patient with Cameron.
Wouldn't it be nice if, finally, Joe learned how to be a better man here?
One thing I found interesting is how this episode finds ways to highlight the similarities between Joe and Donna, even down to the angry dogged willingness to break everything around them just to get whatever it is that they both want.
<The similar looks on Joe and Donna’s angry and driven faces could have been enough to start a Reddit theory suggesting that secretly they were really brother and sister>
I can't resist the urge to go full-on John Oliver here, so:
Ok, to wrap it up, Gordon is now shacking up with Dr. Katie Herman and Tom showed back up to let Cameron know that he and his new girlfriend were having a baby and to get Cameron to sign the divorce papers.
Q: Who Was Most Responsible For John Bosworth's Heart Attack?