A ghost haunts the season (or series) finale episode of "Halt and Catch Fire" reflected in the episode name "1984."
At the end Cameron, joined by Donna, becomes one of the creators of the future of the internet - really where the future is - the women characters aspiring to connect people, to create a company with no bosses and all will be winners if the company succeeds.
Meanwhile, the male characters are at the end. Joe seems to have burned his bridges and off to stargaze at a remote observatory - maybe more successfully than as a child when his mother let him fall off a building while looking at the stars.
Gordon sits at Cardiff having succeeded at making the better 1983 clone of the IBM which Cameron notes at best would be footnote in the history of computers. The reviews already point out could be better. He draws a blank on what will be the next product that will keep the company going and puzzles over the resemblance of Cameron to the person in that Apple commercial. About that ghost haunting "Halt and Catch Fire"....
On January 22, 1984, 77.62 million Americans were watching the Super Bowl XVIII and not one was watching to see the commercials. I am certain there are avid fans who remember the game between the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Raiders. But most remember the groundbreaking Apple commercial directed by sci-fi legend Ridley Scott that rocked the world of advertising.
As was noted by another writer in The Ultimate Brand Story: Launch of the Apple Mac “1984″ :
Every good brand story should -at least- 7 basic elements; the setting, the characters, the sequence of events, the exposition, the conflict, the climax, and the resolution.
...The essential characters of any good story are the protagonist and the antagonist; hero and villain. In the case of Apple’s 60 second spot, the hero is Apple and the villain is IBM. Simple.
Protagonist (the hero). The protagonist is the hero of the story, every good story has one. In the case of Apple’s Mac launch, the Mac is the hero. The Mac is portrayed as the underdog -athletic woman- (played by Anya Major)- who will liberate society from “Big Brother” (IBM).
Antagonist, (the villain). The villain’s role is to counteract the hero and provide the platform for the conflict (see below). The 1984 ad cleverly portrays IBM as the villain (played by David Graham), although it does not go so far as to say that, all the insinuation point to this. Brilliant!
There was a lot of promise reflected in that commercial, but in a way it was over-promising. In the end, there is so much hope and so many failures reflected in Gordon's puzzlement and Cameron's plans symbolically presented by that commercial:
Maybe that is the truth about "Halt and Catch Fire" - it tells a story about characters caught up in a time of hope and change.
Cameron and Donna - the women - are about the new era just starting to unfold. The internet where, yes, the hardware has to be right, but it is in a supporting role.
Gordon, the traditional American male, is the old, unable to relate beyond the hardware and unaware that he will forever be relegated to a supporting role.
And while Joe, the male who grasps the concepts of the new, knows there is a future that cannot exist without the hardware - after all 30 years after 1984, "the cloud" is supported by advanced hardware. But what Joe understands is that in the future you cannot fear gazing at the stars even though you may fall.
As usual, there is much here to write about - Donna's choice to go with Cameron's new firm symbolically named "Mutiny" after the car-jacking incident is a story unto itself. And I may write more later.
But I'm satisfied with "Halt and Catch Fire" even if there isn't a second season. I do hope there will be a second season without being haunted by the specter of the Apple commercial that hung over this first season.
Edited by phrelin, 04 August 2014 - 01:36 PM.