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  01x08 - The 214s
 Posted: 07/22/14 13:33
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Previously on AMC's Halt and Catch Fire...


All because you didn't like the name!

I just had to come down.

What, what are you doing?

We're right on track to have our prototype ready for COMDEX.

In November.

The PC program is out of money.

Once the last dime goes you shut it down.

Cameron: A bunch of teenagers broke into Los Alamos National Lab's computers.

Also into some cancer center and a big bank.

I need you to swing by my office, first thing in the morning.

Gordon, what are you doing?

I'm looking for the giant.

Man on recording: Everything that you conceive of yourself as being is an illusion. There is no self. Take a deep breath in.


Recording: Allow yourself to experience everythingness and nothingness. As you breathe out, let go of fear. You can choose to leave the familiar...

I'm fine.

Recording: ...or stay in the safe oblivion of pain, ignorance...


Sorry. I'm sorry.

Recording: ... and a blank page.

Gordon: We need a lot of shrimp on ice.

Bosworth: $2,000?

Gulf white, preferably.

And not frozen 'cause people will know.

But two grand for shrimp? What, are you gonna try to drown someone in 'em?

It's crazy.

Anyone who means anything throws a lavish party.

At COMDEX, lavish equals shrimp.

Did we get a decent booth location?

I'm on hold right now.

Well, how much is that gonna cost?

18 grand.


You're not gonna ask me 50 questions?

You gonna blow the balls off the numbers?

Yes, sir. Yes, hello.

That's correct. 27th through the 2nd. I'm sorry, can you hold?

Maylene, this phone is clicking now, too.

Can you get someone in here to fix it?

Yes, sir.

Hello, sorry about that. What is it?

C-23. Thank you.

Commodore, Tandy, Cardiff Electric.


Gordon: That is huge, that is huge.


It's so big, I'm telling you. I've been there.


You all right?


You're not upset about COMDEX?


Why would I want to go to COMDEX?

It's just for salesmen, right?

They can just turn it on to see what I did.


You know, I'll miss you while I'm there.

Yeah, me, too.

(both laugh)

You tell Gordon yet?

I keep putting it off. You think he'll be upset?

Gordon Clark?


Pretty amazing, huh?

Debbie: I'll take your word for it.

Well, it's hard to explain if you haven't actually been there.

I mean, I don't want to oversell it or anything, but it is spectacular.

There's gonna be over a thousand booths this year.

All the heavy hitters show up.

You got Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mitch Kapor, you know?

IBM takes over two hotel floors, and the party scene...

the party scene is unbelievable.

Donna and I were there in '81, we started at the penthouse and worked our way down, hitting every corporate party with decent booths.

You got us rooms at the Norwick, right?

'Cause staying there is key, otherwise you spend the whole week waiting in line for a taxi.

Trust me, I know. I learned the hard way.

Wait, are you going, too?

Joe said he only needed one room.

You're going to COMDEX without me?

I'm sorry. It was arranged the week you were out sick.

I forgot to tell you.

Bullshit you forgot to tell me!

Cameron's not going either.

Oh, well, if Cameron's not going, then all right, then.

Look, it's not like your role is essential.

Yeah, I only built the damn thing, Joe.

COMDEX is about selling it and that is my area of expertise.

What about the demo? What if there's a glitch in the system?

Like when you debuted the Symphonic?

I was trying to avoid bringing it up, but the fact is, people still remember what happened in '81.

I can't afford to have the stink from that distracting potential buyers.

But if I need any troubleshooting, you're my first call.

I didn't kill myself all these months for you to get all the glory with the Giant.

You plan on seeing me at booth C-23 on Monday.


Recording: ...breathe out, let go of fear.

You can choose to leave the familiar or stay...


(theme music playing)

Donna: Hunt?

What are you doing here?

Donna, hey. Uh, um...

How long have you been out here?

Not long.

I was just, um...


This was a mistake.

No, no. I just...

I thought after Lubbock that...

I shouldn't be here.

Could you just forget you ever saw me?

Of course. You don't have to worry.

But you really can't show up like this.

I know, it won't... it won't happen again.

I promise.

Donna... I want you to know I think you're an amazing woman.

Everything all right over there?

Noticed you guys had to dig up your back lawn a while back, resod everything.

Just wanna make sure there's not some sort of ugly weed I need to look out for.

Oh, uh, no. The heat killed off some patches.

We just didn't water enough.

Oh, yeah. (chuckles)

Gordon: Donna?

I need to talk to you.

Look, I know we promise to discuss any purchases over $50, but before you explode, this was an emergency situation and I had to act fast.

What do you mean, emergency?

Joe's trying to box me out of COMDEX and I don't have to tell you what a snake he is, but there was only one room left on the Strip and flights to Vegas were shooting up.

I had to put the $455

charge on our credit card.

I just... I have to be there.

Whatever you need to do.

(stammers) Oh, are-are you sure?


Donna, you're the best.

Oh, my God. Thank you.

Oh, I gotta figure out what suit I need to bring.

Look, I know you think I look good in blue, but I don't want to risk anyone thinking I'm with IBM, you know?

Morning, Maylene.


Now, sweetheart, you know I can't talk business till I get my "ker-fee" in me.

Nathan, well, I didn't realize you were coming by.

Can I get you anything?

Cup of joe. Maylene knows how you like it.

I'm fine right here.

Wh... what brings you by?

A little while back you asked me for money for this PC project.

Oh, you told me to shove it, if I remember correctly.

Thank goodness you did. I was able to shift some things around...

I've reconsidered.

I see.

I thought if my old pal John Bosworth wants something from me, I should give it to him.

A little early in the day for a drink, ain't it, John?

You havin' fun, Nathan?

Hey, Boz, we just got a...

Who the hell do you think you are, waltzing in here like this?


What is your name again?


Get the hell out of my office, Cameron.

Why do you think I have a damn secretary?

Don't make me say it again!

All right.

My God, John. You're a bit jumpy today, aren't you?

If you don't mind, I got a meeting.

My main concern is differentiating this from the other PC compatibles.

Press will want to lump it in with all the others.

Well, Cameron's operating system

is unlike anything else on the market.


Uh, yeah, it's interactive.

Um, I can just show it to you.

You're barking up the wrong tree.

No, you want this machine to stand out from every other machine on the floor, you gotta stop talking about the machine and you gotta start talking about the people that made it.

They bled for this.

The future's coming whether we like it or not, but it ain't written anywhere that it includes any of us.

And getting there ain't free. There's a cost.

People who put up the money, they like to take the credit, but the credit belongs to them that built it.

This machine is the future.

Make them see that.

(inhales deeply)

John Bosworth, you're under arrest.

Can we do this outside?

We're gonna do this right here.

What the hell's going on?

Sit down, sir.

Make sure no one touches these computers.

Everyone, please be calm and stay where you are.

We're gonna be shutting this company down.

Once we have what we need, you'll be searched and cleared to leave.

No company property will be allowed to leave the premises.

For now, just sit tight.

We'll have you outta here as soon as possible.

Step back from your keyboards, folks.

Stop typing, please.

Man: Stay where you are. Heads up.

(lock clicks)

They think John did it?

Go try that door over there.


(clicking, banging)

Ow. Ah...!

Do you have a key to this room?


(Knocking on door)

(knocking continues)

Come on.

Sir, take your personal belongings and get out.

But I...


Agent: Get that out of here.

(typewriter keys clicking)

He's not in. I'll tell him you stopped by.

Oh, no, thank you. That's fine.

I'll just... I'll catch up with him later.

Oh, as long as you're here, I need you to sign his goodbye card.

Goodbye card?

You didn't hear? You two seemed so close.

Was he... was he transferred?


Would've been nice to have a little notice.

Did he say where he was going? Is he leaving Dallas?

He didn't say and I didn't ask.

(clicking resumes)

(voices overlapping)

Do you know anything?

Let's go back to your place, figure it out.

All right, I'll see you there.

They're looking for evidence of hacking, computer crime.

Bosworth couldn't do that. He knows maybe three people who could.

Are you a part of this?

Bosworth came to me, okay?

He asked if I knew about the 414s, about hacking.

It was so easy.

They were practically... like, the bank has no security whatsoever.


I'm sorry.

We were gonna put all the money back in Cardiff's account as soon as we made some sales and we came back from COMDEX.

I mean, we thought he'd never notice.

Everybody out.

Gordon: It's all a misunderstanding.

Joe: It's not a misunderstanding.

We'll be laughing about this in 24 hours.

Gordon, you're wrong.


What's going on?

Did you know about this?

I didn't know anything about this.

Yes, you did. You were involved.

I was not involved.

Yes, you were.

You were involved from the...

I did it.

I was trying to save the company.

We were completely out of money.

You two are perfect for each other.

You're both psychotic.

If I hadn't done this, we would've been shut down weeks ago.

All your work would've been shelved.

Don't act like you threw a bake sale. You robbed a bank.

It was Cardiff's money.

Once we sold the computer, we would've made it back and then some.

You should've come to me. We could've made a plan.

Now all of our careers are in jeopardy.

Your careers? I could be going to jail.

Oh, my God, you two. I'm so stupid. God, I'm stupid.

Stop including me in this. I'm just as upset as you are.

No, you're gonna come out on top of this somehow.

Every time something terrible happens, you seem to benefit.

IBM finding out we reverse engineered their PC, Cameron losing her work on the BIOS.


Oh, yeah.

He crashed it for publicity and let you twist in the wind.

Did he fail to mention that to you during pillow talk?

Is that true?

I'll bet you're the one that turned Boz in.

Now you're top dog.

Joe, answer me.

Yes, I did it. For publicity, which we got.

I'm sorry you had a bad day for the sake of our project.

"A bad day"?

Are you really in a place to cast judgment right now?

And why the hell are you attacking me, Gordon?

She stole the money!

I put my life into that box.

Like I didn't?

You gave it a name and a handle.

You didn't build a damn thing.

He's right. You only destroy things.

You've never created anything.

I created both of you.

(garage door whirring)

So, it's over? Everything?

We're back to...

we're back to where we started?

Oh, my God, I...

I can't believe this is happening again.

Any openings at TI?

Donna, what do I do?

Gordon, I'm sorry. I... I just...

I can't deal with this right now.


I'm sorry, I have a meeting.


(Handset clicks)


(Line hums)

("Face To Face With It" playing)

(Ping-Pong balls bouncing)

I might end up crashing on my parents' couch again.

I heard he took the money to pay off gambling debts.

Horse racing. He's an addict.

Jail should be a good place to work on that.

That's why you don't hire some ancient good old boy to run your computer business.

Yo-Yo: I bet they send him away for a while.

Coder: At least he knows where his meals are coming from for the next 10 years.

Lev: You ever talk to him about code?

He's like a caveman.

Yo-Yo: He's a scumbag.

(line ringing)

Man on phone: Hello?

Joe MacMillan, Cardiff Electric.

How you doing, Jim?

Oh, hey, Joe.

We gonna see you out in Vegas this year?

That's just what I'm calling you about.

I wanted to give you an opportunity to get in early.

A small order now, before COMDEX, before the prices skyrocket.

Ah, I think we're gonna stick with IBM.

But IBM doesn't make a portable.

Well, not one they've announced yet.

Where did you hear this rumor?

I don't know. Everybody's talking about it.

Is there a release date?

I hear early next year.

Thank you, Jim.

Sure. You bet.




I finally got them down.

Why don't you go to sleep, sweetheart?

You look terrible.

No, I want to wait until Gordon gets home.

Has he called yet?


This kinda thing been happening a lot since...

Since he dug a hole in our back yard?

Mom, this kind of thing has been happening since the day we met.

I'm just asking, sweetheart.

Work okay, at least?

Hunt is leaving TI.

Oh, my goodness. What happened?

Did he get fired?

No, he resigned.

No notice.

Well, they love him over there.

Why on earth would he do a thing like that?

Mom, I think I made a mistake.

When we were in Lubbock...

Something like this was bound to happen.

Mom, I didn't sleep with him.

Then what are we really talking about here, honey?

I don't know. I don't know. I just...

I thought... I thought he wasn't interested, but then he was here last night, outside the house.


Well, nothing, really.

He got all flustered and left, and I think he'd been out there for a while.

Does Gordon know?

Mom, what am I gonna do?

Your daddy and I love you, and we love Gordon because you love him, but here you are, miserable, continuing to hold up this entire household while he's off God knows where.

We will continue to support you and help you any way we can, and we'll do so gladly until we die.

But, Donna, you need to think long and hard about why we keep ending up back here.

And you need to figure out what is best

for you and for your children.

(crickets chirping)

(engine starts)

(tires screech)


What are you doing?

Hey, honey.

Is that the Giant?

Yeah, and I also got milk.

I noticed that we were out.

Gordon, did you steal that? Isn't that evidence?

No, no, no. If it was evidence, they would've seized it.

Gordon, this is not good. I don't know what you're thinking, but...

Donna, I need you to stop looking at me and thinking,

"Here we go again. It's the Symphonic all over again."

'Cause it's not, okay?


Look, Donna, it's not. I promise.

Look, this... this right here, this is shit.


Okay, you were right to pull the plug.

You were right to tell your dad to stop giving us money.

You knew? How long did you know...

Hey, hey, hey. Look, I was angry for a long time, but I'm not anymore.

You were right. Okay?

Are you worried about me? Is that what this is?

Let me do the worrying this time, okay?

I got this. I have a plan, all right?

I'm gonna find Cameron and Joe and we're gonna do this together, okay?

I need them. I can't do this on my own.

You can't do what on your own?

Go to COMDEX. I'm gonna go to COMDEX and sell the Giant, just like we'd always planned.

Damn Nathan Cardiff.

That's crazy. That's insane.

I love you, but Cameron is some sort of wanted criminal now.

And who knows where...

I know it's crazy.

I know, but you're crazy, too.

No, no, you forget that, but you are.

We were both crazy and then all of a sudden, you decided you needed to be the sane one.

Yes, because...

That you needed to take care of me, but you don't.

Look, be crazy with me.

I need you to be behind me, Donna.

I need you to support me on this.

I am behind you, Gordon. You know that I'm here for you.

Thank you.

Listen, the coders think that Cameron went down to Austin.

If I leave now, I can make it there by morning.

Then Joe, then back here to pack, then COMDEX.

I'm gonna sell a computer.

My own computer, just like I always said I was.

I can promise you that.

(garage door whirring)

I love you.

(keypad beeping)

(line rings)


Mom, it's me.

Sweetheart, what's wrong?

Is everything okay?

The girls and I need to come and stay with you for a while.

Okay. Have you talked to Gordon about this?

Can you just come pick them up first thing in the morning?

I'm gonna talk to Gordon when he gets home and I don't want them to be here when I do.

(game beeping)

I got next game.

("What Do You Got Against Love" playing)

God, I would've paid money to see you break into Cardiff Electric.

Does Joe know it's in your garage?

No, I came to you first.

Look, I know that we've had less than an ideal working relationship, and I'll take some of the flak on that.

Yeah, and you've been kind of a dick to me outside of work, too.

Well, let's focus on what we do have in common.

What if we take the Giant to COMDEX anyway?

You know? And orders start coming in?

I mean, Cardiff won't turn down that kind of money.

He'll be forced to reopen the department.

Why do you even care if I come?

Because you are responsible for half the machine.

We're the talent, not Joe.

No, I'm in enough trouble as it is.

Okay, okay. Well, it was worth a shot.

And I want you to know that even though that we've had our differences and I'm not entirely clear on what the function of your special OS is, I'll try and do it justice at the demo.

I know what you're doing.

It's not gonna work.

Okay, well, let me make sure I got it.

It's better than MS-DOS because it does things like ask you how your day is going and corrects you if you make a command wrong.

(snaps fingers) Oh, wait, no, I know what I'll say.

It's like having your mother inside your computer.

How's that?


Come on, Joe. We know you're in there.

Open up.

(rings doorbell)

He's probably hiding.

Well, what should we do now?

Take this as a sign we shouldn't be involved.

Wait, wait, come on.

Do you have 30 grand on you?

'Cause I sure as hell don't, and right about now the checks for our booth, our suite, and our trip have just bounced.

And if we're really being honest with each other, he's not a bad talker.

You have a key.

Shit, he cleared out. He's gone.

He's not gone, this is just how he lives.

On purpose?

God, I know nothing about this guy.

Other than he likes glass.

I'm gonna call Donna. I don't want her to worry.

(phone keys clicking)

(phone ringing)


(ringing continues)


(Ringing continues)


(keys clicking)

(keys clicking)


Gordon: I don't remember. It's been...

Cameron: Oh, come on. I wanna hear about it.

Honestly, I don't even remember.

I'll tell you my first time.



it was, um, the Apple II.

Oh, God, jeez. I feel so old.

I'm good.

All right.

Uh, my mom's new boyfriend got it for me for Christmas.

Some pathetic attempt at winning me over.

But by New Year's I had disassembled it and reassembled it four times.

How long did it take you to disassemble your mom's new boyfriend?

He hung in there till Easter.

(both laugh)

You never really mention your family.

There's not much to say.


Well, it was a few weeks before Christmas and I saw the Altair on the cover of "Popular Electronics"

and I just had to get the kit.

But I was in school and up to my ears in student loans, and I'd just spent my last nickel on getting an engagement ring for Donna, which cost serious money I didn't have.

Oh, let me guess. A big diamond.

Me and Donna used to write each other these little love notes, but they were encrypted. We...

we developed our own poly alphabetic cipher...

(chuckles) Geeks.

Anyways, I designed the ring myself and incorporated the cipher into it, and the only way to break our code was with Donna's engagement ring.

(laughs) Wait, you proposed to your wife with a decoder ring?

I know.

Gordon, wow.

I was 23, you know?

Anyways, she likes puzzles, and it was nice, you know?

It was platinum with sapphires and stuff.

Anyways, I was gonna give it to her over the holidays.

Well, Christmas Day comes and I go to get the ring and it's gone.

You shoulda seen me.

I mean, I tore that apartment upside down looking for it.

And Donna comes in with my present and she's yelling at me to stop ransacking the apartment and open it.

And there it was, the Altair computer kit.

And I knew she hadn't borrowed the money from her parents because she hadn't even told them about me yet.

Would you believe that she found the engagement ring and pawned it to get me the Altair?


And she said to me,

"You can buy me a ring once we've sold our first PC."


It's hard to imagine you and Donna ever being my age.

I got it for her.

What, the decoder ring?

Yeah, last week.

I knew we were gonna nail it at COMDEX and sell the Giant.

So I had the same jeweler in Berkeley make one up and send it out to the office.

It's hidden in my garage right now.

I'm gonna give it to her when I get back next week.


I hope we sell the Giant.

We will.

(door opens, closes)


What are you doing here?

I'm not gonna stay. I just came to ask you a question.

You came all the way to New York to ask me a question?

It's easier to tell when you're lying when I'm looking right at you.

Let's have it.

Is IBM developing a portable PC?

We are.

So you could crush my machine?

Crush me?

I had nothing to do with it. The team's down in Boca.

For once, can you tell me the truth?

It may come as a shock to you, Joe, but you're not the center of the universe.

Even if I knew you were making a portable, you think I could alter the course of the aircraft carrier that is IBM, make them build one just so I could hurt you?

You're out of your mind.

If it makes you feel better, we're at least a year away from market.

Now, if you wanted to ask me about computers, you could've called me, so why don't you have a seat and let me know why you're really here?

I got what I came for.

Sit down!

Now... let's start again.

You've been in Dallas since April.

Where were you before that?

After you deigned to tell me the truth, I drove across the country to figure out...

am I her son or your son?

Even if she was dead, she must've lived an entire life after you sent her away.

Places she'd been, people who knew her.

I talked to everyone I could, trying to find the part of her that was me.

Oh, Joe.

Do I remind you of her?

Is that why you hate me?

I love you.

And I loved your mother.

You let me think she abandoned me and then told me she was dead

23 years before she was.

I'm not going over this again.

I sent her away because she almost killed you.

And, yes, yes, I lied to protect you.

She let you fall, for heaven's sake!

At least she took me up there.

Because she was high.

She wanted me to be a dreamer.

Your mother wasn't a dreamer.

She was lost.

A real dreamer, someone that matters, makes something out of nothing.

And that only happens with hard work.

You understand that.

You always have.

You're more like me in that regard, and thank God.

Now, if you move back, I'll find a place for you.

You'll be back on track soon enough.


People have short memories.

Not me.

Joe, you and I both know you have to come back down to earth eventually.

You're here now.

The hard part's over.

I need to be the primary on the portable.

Run the whole thing.

That's what you want, I'll figure it out.

I'm glad you're back, son.

(door lock clicks)

What are you doing here?

We came to look for you last night.

Did you sleep in my bed?

Yeah, you know, you should really get a couch.

You know, me and Donna have...

Stop, I just came here to get my things.

You're leaving?

I'm going back to IBM to build a portable PC that will actually see the light of day.

Are you kidding me?

It's what I should've done from the start.

You go back to IBM, you go back on everything you stand for.

That'll be you failing us.

I just told you I was wrong.

(Gordon laughs)

I finally get it. I finally get how you operate.

Great, get out of my apartment.

Gordon: No, no.

Throughout this whole thing, you needed to be in control, make every decision.

You have everybody at the company bow to your will.

But when you're finally faced with a real opportunity to be a visionary and lead in a battle that's worth fighting for, you're just gonna move on.

You know, you can spin a good word, Joe, even though you're not an engineer and you are certainly no visionary, but I never thought you were a coward.

And you never know when to shut your mouth!


Bring that fire to COMDEX and we'll kill.


Think about it.

How many companies had their CEO hauled off in handcuffs last week?

There's over a thousand exhibitors there.

It's nearly impossible to stand out in all that noise, but people will be lining up to see the train wreck that is Cardiff Electric, and when they do, we blow them away.

But we don't have the Giant.

I stole it, took it. I got it back.


you stole it?

You're crazy.

You're damn right.

Eight months ago, I was a miserable sales engineer whose favorite part of the day was clocking out.

Yesterday, I broke into a crime scene

to steal the state-of-the-art computer that I helped create.

Cameron, the brilliant programmer, months away from a college degree and a promising career in software, she dropped out, ended up hacking into the computers of a national bank.

John Bosworth, Texas good ol' boy, president of the "I Hate Joe MacMillan" fan club.

John Bosworth hatched a plan to embezzle thousands and thousands of dollars just to keep this project alive.

You... you made us all crazy, so don't act like you suddenly found sanity.

We have the Giant. It is ready to go.

The only thing we need is money.

I'm sorry?

We... we... we need... you know...

we need your money, Joe.

This is all I have.


These clothes, that car, that's all I have.

I'm sorry, Gordon.

I guess someone was buying my act after all.

How much is the car worth?

Such a beautiful car.

Let it go.

Look, I'm telling you, Donna, I'm on a roll.

They're both on board.

I got Joe to sell his Porsche so now we've got enough money for COMDEX.

What's this?

I'm going with you.

You are?

Oh, Donna. What about the girls?

They're at my parents'. I guess I am crazy.

Good news... Donna's coming.

Wonderful. The more the merrier.

We've gotta make one last stop before we go.


Get inside.

Pretty stupid idea you coming.

Barry's your lawyer?



Barry does paperwork, but he's my friend.

Put up my bail before I even thought to ask.

They're never gonna believe you did this alone.

You don't have the technical knowledge.

Did you know that damn bank was using a DEC-20 running TOPS for their dial-in account management time sharing system?

I kid you not. Turns out, if you do it quick enough, before the exception handlers are invoked, you can control-C out of the user program and then you're left sitting with a terminal session on an account which has some pretty interesting privileges, including running Kermit.


Oh, I had a good teacher.

Now, why'd you come?

We're going to COMDEX.


No kidding. How did you manage that?

It's kind of a rogue operation.

Well, that's just as it should be.

I'll be all right.

Oh, come on, now.


Knock 'em dead.

Do that for me.

Get the hell outta here.

("Red Eyes" playing)

(car engine starts)

Donna: All right, everybody ready?

Joe, Cameron: Yep.

Gordon: We're good.

We're off to Vegas, COMDEX!

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