“Halt and Catch Fire” thoughts, Season Four, Episode Seven: “Who Needs a Guy”


Extraordinary even by the series’ own elevated standards, “Who Needs a Guy” provided the crushing payoff for four years of Halt and Catch Fire. It’s not the first time the show has tugged on its many strings until they all either knotted or came apart in a single scene; the conference-room battle between Cameron and Donna last year comes to mind just for starters. Nor is it the first time the show has handled a character’s death with sensitivity but without sentimentality; again, it did so last season with the suicide of Joe’s apprentice Ryan. But it is the first time these two strengths have been combined, and the effect is stunning, like getting hit with a feather and, somehow, being knocked clear across the room. Written by Lisa Albert and directed by Tricia Brock — both of whom effectively abdicate the episode’s awful final minutes to the show’s surviving core cast, about the smartest thing a writer and director could do — it’s one of the hours we’ll turn to when we want to make the case that Halt and Catch Fire is one of the finest dramas of the prestige-TV era. It left me a wreck for hours. I’m still gutted. I loved it.

I reviewed this weekend’s absolutely stunning episode of Halt and Catch Fire for Decider.

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