If “Halt and Catch Fire” doesn’t return for a second season on AMC, there probably will not be riots in the streets among its fans.
Which is not to say that a second season would be unwelcome — not by any means. But Sunday’s (Aug. 3) finale did a fairly good job wrapping up the story it told over 10 episodes, giving viewers a bit of closure to the season’s arc while leaving things open-ended enough to allow for more material in a potential Season 2.
That’s not something a lot of people might have said after episode 3 or 4. But “Halt and Catch Fire” really found its footing in the second half of its season as Kerry Bishe’s character, Donna, and her relationship with her husband Gordon (Scoot McNairy) really came into focus. It was apparent early on that Donna was not the typical cable-drama wife holding back her brilliant, tortured husband, and as the show explored her strengths and foibles and how she and the prickly, passionate Gordon navigated their marriage, it became a rather interesting domestic drama on top of what was going on at Cardiff.
If there’s a second season, in fact, the show’s most problematic character could very well be Joe (Lee Pace). Maybe his vision quest to the observatory (where presumably he’s going to see his mother?) will set him right, but the season ended with him in such an odd place that it’s hard not to see that as at least a little bit intentional.
Guys like Joe McMillan have hardly disappeared from the corporate world, but “Halt” showed what was maybe the beginning of a changing of the guard. People like Cameron, who’s seeing ahead of her time in creating a proto-Xbox Live company, and Gordon and Donna, who have the skills and drive to make these machines, are becoming ascendant in the show’s world, and guys like Joe*, who look great in a suit and can sell just about anything, most of all themselves, aren’t necessarily the alphas anymore.
(*Insert “Mad Men” comparison here. The assertions that “Halt and Catch Fire” feels like a later-period “Mad Men” are valid, and in particular the idea that the times may be passing the lead character by make the similarities even harder to ignore.)
All that in mind, though, I’d be happy to see a second season of “Halt and Catch Fire” if AMC can somehow make the business side of it work — overall ratings have been fairly slim, but the show connected with a subset of affluent viewers that could possibly keep it afloat. A show centered on Gordon, Donna and Cameron, with Joe trying to find his way and break back in, could well be worth watching.
What did you think of the “Halt and Catch Fire” finale, and the season as a whole?