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Halt and Catch Fire - Up Helly Aa - Review

I could never really tell where this show was going. Sometimes I thought this might be an underdog story in which our group prevails. Most times I think it was too dark, and our group would end up crushed. I wanted to believe in the dream - that Cameron and her ideas represented the future - but throwing all caution and common sense into a business gamble seemed to be leading to a massive crash.

The past two episodes kept me guessing the whole time. I was happily surprised when the tone shifted in The 214s, and Gordon, Cameron, Joe, and Donna decided to go Comdex anyway – despite the arrest of Bosworth and the government seizing the company assets, including The Giant. I found myself swept up in the mania that had gripped Bosworth, rooting for the unconventional methods for getting their machine seen, and hoping their dreams would prevail. And then it all came crashing down when Donna’s ex-boss stole the idea – not what I was expecting from the almost-affair Donna subplot – but a much better storyline.

The biggest “duh,” slap on the side of the head, moment came though with the introduction of the Mac, with all of its personalization and more that Cameron had been fighting for. I knew enough about computer history that I should have seen this coming. Yet I didn’t. The year through me a little. I thought of the Mac taking the industry by storm in the late ‘80s, and this was ’83. But now that I think about it, it makes sense that it might have been first introduced about then.

The ending of the episode – with The Giant stripped of its OS that gave it its soul, and Joe getting a first glimpse the Mac (the real future) – would be a fitting place to close out this story, which leaves me intrigued as to what’s planned for the final episode. It may be just resolution to the character stories and Cardiff, but I’m wondering if there’s a final battle left in the fight for The Giant. We’ll find out in the finale tonight. If a possible second season is still being considered, and I haven’t read confirmation either way, The Giant might not be quite dead yet.

I stated in my last review that I found part of this first season sluggish, with too much repetitive focus on Gordon’s issues. The show seems to be making up for this in the final few episodes with an emotional rollercoaster. I’ve been loving the inclusion of the period party music to amp up the energy of the scenes, and love how the team, for a while anyway, came together to make this dream happen. If you haven’t seen the show yet, and are looking for a summer series to marathon, this is a good one to check out.

Let me know how you think this is all going in the comments.

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