Halt and Catch Fire (2014) s03e03 Episode Script

Flipping the Switch

1 (announcer) Previously, on AMC's "Halt and Catch Fire" I know you're frustrated.
I'm frustrated because this was supposed to be temporary.
It is temporary.
(Joe MacMillan) You've gone to a lot of trouble to be here.
You got three minutes.
I know that something's coming, and I'm terrified that I'm gonna miss it.
SwapMeet is our competition, and we don't want you to help us compete with SwapMeet.
We want you to help us buy them.
Come meet my partner, and 70% of the company is yours.
I don't wanna work with you, Joe.
I'm going to work for Joe MacMillan.
(static hissing) CQ, CQ, is this frequency in use? (static hissing) CQ, is anybody out there? Hello? This is KC4L.
Can anybody hear me? (static hissing) What's that? Uh, it's a radio that I made.
What does CQ mean? It's what you say when you're looking for other people who've made radios.
Comes from the French word sécurité, which means safety or security.
You can hear it when you say "secu, secu.
" Did you want something? I wanted to say good night.
Oh, God, Lump, I'm so sorry.
Did you brush your teeth? Okay, I'll be out there in just a second, okay? Daddy's in the closet looking for people with radios.
(blows) (scoffs) That thing made it from Texas and the KitchenAid is still in storage? Are you really gonna stand there and try and pass yourself off as someone who ever used that mixer? Are you sure this is the best place for all this? No, I'm pretty sure it's the worst place for it, but since the place that I was gonna use isn't available, - I'm making do.
- Okay, sorry.
Have you found anyone? No, the connection sucks.
Is it the antenna, maybe? I don't know.
Could be.
Or it could be that all the guys that were out there when I was a kid are too busy running companies to have time for hams.
Yeah, or they moved online.
There must be some new kids out there.
I'll be out in a sec.
(music blaring on headset) CQ, CQ, for shit's sake, is anybody out there? Hey, Cameron and I decided to have a weekly project meeting to streamline the SwapMeet integration and we thought that you'd be a valuable addition.
Yeah, sure.
If you want me there.
Yeah, we do.
Do you want me there because you think I might have something to contribute or because you want me to feel like I have something to do? How about just because I respect your opinion? 'Cause I just don't want you to feel like I can't self-start because I absolutely can.
No, of course you can, but the coders look to you.
I feel like you could be a valuable liaison.
And I want you there.
I'll be there.
You know I don't really have a choice.
You're my ride.
("Absolute Beginners" playing) There's nothing much to take I'm an absolute beginner And I'm absolutely sane As long as we're together The rest can go to hell I absolutely love you But we're absolute beginners With eyes completely open But nervous all the same If our love song - Mr.
- Ryan, welcome.
I didn't realize it was, you know, gonna be such a big party, so I That was very thoughtful.
Thank you.
This is really a beautiful place you have.
- You know, it's dark.
- Mmm.
Can't really see what everything looks like, but from what I can tell, it's it's so Asian.
I'm glad you like it.
Yeah, it took me a while to find it.
I don't really know the city that well.
I grew up in Burlingame.
It's not far.
Just yeah, we didn't really get to come to the city that much.
I really do like it, though.
I mean, look at it.
It's just so Asian.
You sure do have a lot of friends, huh? I wouldn't really call these people my friends.
Most of them don't even know whose house they're at.
Except for Ken over there.
Ken knows exactly where he is.
You know what? I'm thirsty.
Why don't we open this up? As long as you're still smiling So whereabouts do you live now? Or are you still in Burlingame? Oh, no, I got out of there a while ago.
I'm in Los Altos now with a bunch of college buddies.
They're really jealous that I'm working for you.
I was telling them about how the office is on the top What do you do for fun? Oh, um, you know, the usual.
Video games.
But mostly I just love to code.
I can't tell you how curious I am to see what you have in mind for me.
You came to me, Ryan.
Yeah, I know.
I have a ton of ideas.
I'd love to show them to you.
But I know the company is focused on user version 2.
0 right now.
So I'm just ready to pitch in.
Is that what you think I'm looking for? All right, someone just came in who I really need to speak to.
Hey, it's a party.
Try and have fun.
If there's reason To feel all the hard times To lay down the hard lines It's absolutely true.
(static hissing) (man's voice, indistinct) (theme music playing) What are you doing up? (sighs) Joe MacMillan? Really? Do you have any idea what you're getting yourself into? Well, I was hoping to learn something Look, I know you must be feeling real special right about now.
Joe's great at that, but trust me, he will burn you.
Look, I know I should have probably talked to you about it He did it to me.
He did it to Gordon.
Even Donna, the nicest woman on the planet, doesn't speak to him anymore.
You think you're gonna be any different? I don't know, Cameron.
Listen, I get it.
Really, I do.
And I'm willing to give you a pass just this once.
Come back to Mutiny.
Be a part of something real.
I don't even think the guys would have me back.
Well, the guys will deal if I tell them to.
What do you say? Okay.
You just made a really dumb call.
I told her you weren't home.
She wouldn't leave.
She was here for like an hour just staring.
Dude, where've you been? I got hammered and passed out at Joe's.
Oh, wow.
Hey, was that fun? I don't know what the hell it was.
Okay, that makes absolutely zero sense.
Well, we thought it made a lot of sense.
Well, you guys are the heads of the company.
Of course you should be the ones to bring the offer over to SwapMeet.
Gordon, it's a formality.
Bos can do it.
It's not a formality.
It's about perception.
And the people that you're buying, especially since they're coming to work here, need to view you and Donna as the ones in charge.
Gordon, we've already met with them a gazillion times, okay? We've had lunch.
We've had drinks.
They know we're in charge.
God, if I had it my way, they'd just send us the disks and we could call it a day.
Okay, look, it's dropping off an envelope.
You don't mind doing it, do you? Do you want to make it sound any less important? - I would be happy to do it.
- Thank you.
Okay, so the whole company is gonna bend over backwards because she can't get over herself.
No, I don't think it's a good idea for us to go either.
The heads of the company don't tender the initial offer.
We wait for the counter and only get involved when the real negotiations begin.
That's how you show them who's in charge.
Mm, okay.
Okay, up next, how are we doing on the speed of the background graphics? Well, we'll never get under half a second at 2,400 baud.
We're gonna need to use Huffman, or even better, Lempel-Ziv compressions so we're not sending all the bits through.
Okay, since when are we doing a graduate seminar on information theory? Our guys can't handle that.
No, no, no.
That's smart not sending all the bits through.
We preload the most common backgrounds on the diskettes users already have and just send the catalog numbers.
Okay, so just send the index to the scene.
Okay, that's good.
I see that.
That's good, right? No complex coding.
Well, you'll have a limited set of images and the user will get tired of waiting for the same-old same-old, but, yeah, it's great if that's what you guys want to do.
- Great.
- Great.
So we will preload the data.
Thank you.
And now for what I thought was going to be the only unpleasant topic for this meeting evidently I was wrong replacing Ryan.
Oh, I went by his house this morning.
He is not open to coming back.
What? You didn't harm him in any way, did you? No, he was fine when I left.
I mean, he's a moron, but he was ambulatory.
You know, I want you looking for people at that class tonight.
Oh, God.
Hey, look, I'm already covering for you at this lunch.
And don't complain about being asked for by name by the next generation of coding talent.
You should be very flattered.
Even if I find someone, it's gonna take forever to catch them up.
Ryan really understood the guts of the neighborhood code.
And if we're gonna build out SwapMeet alongside it, we need someone who really gets it.
Well, uh, who wrote the original code for that section? - Tom did.
- Great, which one is Tom? None of them.
He didn't make the trip.
- Why not? - He just didn't.
- Okay, was it a money thing or - No.
- Well, then get him back.
- No.
If you can't get Ryan, getting the programmer who originated the code makes the most sense.
Look, Gordon, I said no.
Can we just drop it, please? Why am I even in this meeting if no one's gonna listen to a word I have to say? We are listening.
We're simply disagreeing.
No, Donna, you're disagreeing.
Because you are opining on subjects about which you do not have all the information.
I am opining on subjects on which I am fully informed.
No, Gordon, you really aren't.
A lot happened while you were off doing other things.
Oh, damn it, Donna.
You know what? I screwed her once, okay? Jesus.
Excuse me.
What the hell was that? Please, like Cameron doesn't already know.
The walls in our place are so goddamn thin, she can hear it every time I take a shit.
I invite you to a meeting and this is the way you behave? - What is wrong with you? - I am sick and tired of being punished.
Okay? I agreed to the move.
I bought the mainframe.
I fixed the mainframe.
I've let her live with us.
Everything I've been asked to do, I've done.
I shut you down because Tom is Cameron's ex-boyfriend.
So what? So it's obviously a sensitive subject and I was trying to steer you away from it.
So you thought my infidelity would be a wonderful topic? You brought that up.
While I was off doing other things.
Like everybody in this room doesn't know what that means.
- I was talking about the mainframe.
- No, you weren't.
No, you weren't and don't pretend that you were.
It's always there, Donna.
Every time I look at you, it's always there.
This is not something to discuss here.
We'll talk about it at home.
What's the difference? Man on radio: Hello? Greetings from the ether.
Is anybody there? I'm right here.
Can you hear me? I'm right here.
This is KC4L, over.
Hello? I'm right here.
Can you hear me? Right this way.
First time dining with us? No.
I wish.
- Oh, hello there.
- No, don't get up.
- (both chuckle) - Oh.
Where's Cameron? Oh, she is preparing a guest lecture she is giving tonight.
She's so sorry that she couldn't make it.
We'll have to soldier on without her.
May I get you something from the bar? You know what? I will have a gin and tonic, please.
- Very well.
- Thank you.
Nice choice.
(laughs) And what's your excuse? I just like drinking at lunch.
(laughs) So, the official SwapMeet offer is happening today? Yes, John Bosworth is taking it over later this afternoon.
- Exciting.
- Yeah.
Will he go over with you and Cameron? No, he's our advance man.
He's taking care of it.
- Whenever the ladies are ready.
- The usual, Jason.
Chicken paillard.
It's thin, crispy, and somehow still juicy.
I don't know how they do it.
Uh, you know, I will try the mushroom ris risotto.
You still wear your ring, huh? - For work.
- Mmm.
Men can't seem to handle the idea that sexual availability and business acumen can exist in the same body.
It simplifies things.
So when you say John Bosworth is your advance man, what exactly do you mean? ("War Songs" playing) I like new fashion I like old stories Like my sister used to tell This is the voice This is the picture I like romantics, but I don't like Steven Old men Whatcha doing? Oh, I'm just working on 2.
0 with Brent.
I figured it was all hands on deck, so I would jump in and help out.
Don't do that.
I've already got a Brent.
That's not what I hired you for.
Hey! Excuse me.
Excuse me.
Hey, man, why did you hire me, then? I'm beginning to wonder that myself.
Old men love war songs Love Vera Lynn You know, I just I didn't know what I was getting myself into.
You know, and I wanted to fix things so bad, but, I don't know, she just doesn't seem to want me there.
I mean, she says she does, but that's what she thinks I want to hear.
(door opens) Oh, wait.
- (door closes) - Donna? That's my wife.
This is KC4L signing off.
Hey, Donna.
- Oh, hey.
- Hey.
I, uh, finally got the ham working.
You know I was always planning on moving out, right? Like, this is not exactly an ideal setup for me either.
It's not like I like listening to you take a dump.
You know, just for the record, Donna never said anything to me about whatever problems you guys were having.
She would never do that.
(door closes) (scraping) (German accent) I have the letters of transit.
A very important document.
- It's the SwapMeet offer.
- Oh.
And Godspeed to you, sir.
How was lunch? Extremely delightful.
I had risotto, which is rice, but not.
(laughs) What else did you have? I had a few several gin and tonics.
- You okay? - Yes, I'm great.
You know, my ex worked those long-haul flights and I was away on business half the month.
We barely spent any time together.
Still managed to get on each other's last nerve.
I don't know how you and Gordon do it.
Well, apparently, not so well.
I think your husband's all kind of tricky, but, by God, I know he cares.
I can feel it from 50 paces.
There are men out there who've done a lot worse, Donna.
But it's hard to turn that into good news.
I want you to come to this meeting.
- Right now? - Right now.
(door opens) You must be John Bosworth.
Diane Gould.
I'll be your backup this afternoon.
Oh, pleasure to meet you.
Didn't know I needed backup.
Well, you don't, of course.
I just knew you'd be here and I thought it would be a nice way for us to meet.
Seems a little quiet.
Yeah, I noticed that.
And the parking lot seemed empty.
Yeah, I noticed that, too.
Maybe we should get a tour.
We're giving them 600,000 of my hard-earned dollars and a piece of your company.
That earns us a poke around.
Doug Sheridan.
So nice to meet you.
- Hey.
- This is my partner Craig Bausch.
Craig, John Bosworth.
Nice to finally put some faces to the names.
This here is Diane Gould, our partner.
Of course.
Pleasure to finally meet you.
This is quite the delivery committee.
While we're here, we thought we should have a look around.
Oh, of course.
(chuckles) We pulled a pretty epic all-nighter last night, so we're kind of down to bare bones.
But you should be able to get a sense of the place.
(sips) I know I speak for all the investors when I say how delighted we are with the growth of the individual user base.
That tastes terrible.
- I mean, that tastes just like ugh.
- (men laughing) Look, we may not have seen it at the start, but the people have spoken and you truly are the thought leader that we always knew you were.
Huh? So 2.
When are we doing this? Well, production can have disks ready to ship in a matter of months.
Man: The question is, is it better to start charging at the beginning of the year? Man #2: Or do we flip the switch in September and hope that the charges get lost in the list of back-to-school expenses? What do you think? When do you think we should start charging for the new user version? Well, I I mean, I thought you weren't going to charge.
(laughs) Hold on, I'm I'm sorry, what's your name again? - Ryan.
- Ryan, right.
Of course we're gonna charge.
I mean, what's the point of developing a user base if we don't turn them into paying customers at some point? And my gut is telling me sooner rather than later.
What a surprise.
I see a spigot and I want to turn it on.
Man #2: The focus groups we've done indicate we'll be losing 30-40% of our users whenever we do it.
It's just a matter of how big you want to grow the base beforehand.
Man: And, unfortunately, people are going to hate you for a little while.
Sorry, couldn't be helped.
Well, it's been a long time since I cared what people thought about me.
My gut says September.
What's our price point? Man #2: If we can stay below the $15 threshold, consumers seem willing to shine it on.
Man: Oof, that sounds awfully high.
Can't we keep it under 10? Man #2: No, the fact is for a one-time annual expense of this kind $14.
That right there.
That that has my vote.
Yes, please.
What do you think? Yeah, I-I guess $14.
95 sounds good.
Well, if Ryan's on board, huh? So that's it.
Come September, we start charging $14.
(door opens) - You okay? - Yeah, of course.
Look, I know it tastes bad, but this is the right move.
- Mmm.
- I promise you, all right? (door closes) (knocks) Gordon: Can I come in? What is it? Hey, I I just wanted to say that even though it does make perfect sense to hire the person who wrote that code, I didn't realize that that was someone that you had a thing with.
So if I seemed insensitive earlier today, I'm sorry.
And just Tom and I wrote that code together.
Just, you know, FYI.
It wasn't all him.
And I hope I didn't make you feel like you living here is the cause of all of our problems.
You're not gonna start talking to me about your wife, are you? No, I'm not.
Just 'cause I really I don't think I can handle that.
Look, I still don't think that we should all be living under the same roof, but obviously there's something else going on.
That's all I wanted to say.
So when are you guys moving out? (both laugh) Jesus, you got every goddamn mug in the house in here.
No, I don't.
All right.
Hey, good luck tonight.
You, too.
I just don't understand how the wind gets into Candlestick.
- I mean, there are walls.
- (Doug laughs) Wind's a Giants fan.
It does what it needs to do.
It beats the hell out of sweating bullets in Arlington.
Yeah, well, that's why I'm a Houston fan.
Air conditioning like God intended it.
Where was God when Nolan Ryan left that one hanging for Will Clark the other day? (phone ringing) You want to get that? No, it's fine.
This is more important.
(ringing continues) Yeah, hey, we appreciate the extra attention, but don't you fellas have a receptionist? Of course we do.
She's at lunch.
Late lunch.
We do a lot of business with the East Coast.
So we work through lunch a lot and then we, you know, have it later.
Can somebody answer the goddamn phone? Everybody's really spent from last night.
It was a real ball-breaker.
What'd you do that for? Oh, I'm not comfortable with it.
No, it was a figure that was arrived at when we were operating with less than current information.
The value of our company is in our intellectual property, our loyal customers, it's not out there.
No, it sure as hell isn't.
Come on.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Where are you going? Oh, we need to reassess.
Bosworth, I assure you the company you're bidding on is a lean, mean version of itself.
Oh, I'd say it's a lean, mean version worth about 400K.
400,000 sounds like a good place to start.
No, it sounds like a good place to finish, son.
If you can find someone willing to pay north of 350, you should go for it.
- Wait, he just said 400.
- Oh, I'm sorry.
My mistake.
- 325, how's that sound? - (phone ringing) We just saved you $250,000.
I'd think you'd be happier.
I am happy, very.
I'm just a little surprised by how completely off-book you went.
I thought this was supposed to be handshakes and how do you dos.
You see an opportunity, you take it.
That's the sport of it.
It could have gone the other way.
But it didn't.
(engine starts) - (knocks) - Mr.
MacMillan? Uh, I just wanted to say that that I don't think you should charge for the user version.
Why didn't you say that in the meeting? I've been here for, what, a week and you plunk me down in some senior staff meeting.
What was I supposed to say? I just agreed with everyone else.
But that's not right because it's not what I think.
I'm sorry you couldn't keep up in the meeting.
You made a promise to people that you wouldn't charge them.
I didn't promise that I wouldn't ever charge them.
Of course you did.
You said freedom from fear is a right and you shouldn't have to pay for it.
And in a perfect world that would be true, but it's not the world we live in.
- Then why'd you say it? - Because I believe it.
But I've got a board and investors and I've got people to answer to.
But you're ruining the product.
I am the product.
I know.
("The Boy in the Bubble" playing) It was a slow day and the sun was beating On the soldiers by the side of the road There was a bright light A shattering of shop windows The bomb in the baby carriage was wired to the radio These are the days of miracle and wonder This is the long distance call The way the camera follows us in slo-mo The way we look to us all The way we look to a distant constellation That's dying in a corner of the sky These are the days of miracle and wonder And don't cry, baby, don't cry, don't cry It was dry wind And it swept across the desert And it curled into the circle of birth And the dead sand falling on the children Cameron: No, I was at Austin Tech.
I never really finished, but then I started working and there was just no real time to go back.
Man: Thanks again for coming.
Feel free to start.
(engine stops) What, no kiss this time? What do you want? You gonna tell me I'm a horrible person? Go ahead.
I'd be well within my rights to want that.
What I'd really like to say is is thank you.
Really? For what? Everything, I guess.
How could I have risen from the ashes if you hadn't burned it all to the ground? Is that why you stole my best coder? Who, Ryan? Come on.
The Valley is crawling with Ryans.
No, actually, he's incredibly talented.
Do you want him back? What are you doing here? Did you follow me here? No, Cam, I don't have time to follow you.
I'm a I'm a student.
(laughs) Why is that funny? Because it's a lie.
Well, maybe I got tired of being told I was just a salesman who couldn't code.
I God, I don't know what kind of dress-up game you're playing, but, yes, you're a student.
I might not ever be great at it, but I'm not unteachable.
Joe, I know you got this whole humble Zen master thing working for you, but come on.
Save it.
I'm not buying it.
You don't have to buy it, Cam.
Haven't you heard? I'm giving it away for free.
Bosworth: Cam.
How were they last night? I didn't see them.
They were in their room when I got home and gone before I left this morning.
It was quiet.
Yeah, that's not always a good sign.
Well, it's better than screaming.
I've heard quiet make you beg for screaming.
("Leaving You" playing) - Put that there.
- (clears throat) Hey.
I want to apologize for my outburst yesterday.
It was totally inappropriate.
And it shouldn't have happened.
So if I made anyone feel uncomfortable, then I'm sorry.
Well, that little speech made me very uncomfortable.
- I'm kidding.
- It never happened.
- Come on.
- What? - It so clearly did.
- It's a thing you say.
Okay, look, we don't have to discuss this ad nauseam, but we thought saying nothing seemed equally stupid.
So we're saying something.
We are aware that bringing a marriage into the workplace is complicated and we're doing the best we can, okay? Now, can we try to get back to where we were? Okay, great.
The big Ryan-shaped hole.
Did you find any prospects last night? No, but I decided we don't need anyone.
- Of course we do.
- No.
Not if I do it.
Oh, I don't know.
I feel like you're already spread pretty thin.
No, he was right.
Getting the person who originated the code makes the most sense.
That's me.
Well, but you should have some help.
We just bought a company.
Maybe one of them can help.
No! Look, I'd just have to explain everything to them.
It makes double the work for me.
All right, if you think you can handle it.
Yes, I can.
Okay, so we got a call You got to be kidding me.
You're moving on? Yes.
Did you have something you wanted to say? No.
No, no, go ahead.
It's your meeting.
- We got a call - She can't do it herself.
The company spends a third of its time waiting for her as it is.
He's not wrong.
You could do a bit more delegating.
I do, just not when it's something that I think is truly foundational.
But you think that everything is foundational.
Look, if she says she can handle it, she can handle it.
Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
Gordon, what is your argument? You're just sinking the company by taking on all these - No, she's not sinking anything.
- Can we please just focus? (overlapping arguing) I want you to pack up your stuff.
Starting tomorrow, we'll be working out of my place.
If we're not charging for 2.
0, we've got to find a new income stream.
Don't smile.
We might fail.
Ah, watch out You might get what you're after Cool babies Strange but not a stranger I'm an ordinary guy Burning down the house