Halt and Catch Fire (2014) s04e07 Episode Script

Who Needs a Guy

1 You need school to learn and to make friends.
- You can't fire me! - Hey.
Previously on AMC's "Halt and Catch Fire" Diane: You are going to get her to sign a release.
And then you will step away.
Get yourself together, Donna.
I'm tired of holding your hand.
Haley needs this place.
You don't give a shit about her beyond what she can do for this company.
That's why you're not a parent and you never will be.
JOE: One of you wants kids.
The other one doesn't, so you just keep it to yourself.
I love you.
So what are we waiting for? Ice, baby I saw your girlfriend And she was eating her fingers Like they're just another meal But she waits there [Phone rings] In the levee, washes Min' cocktails With a plastic-tipped cigar [Keys clacking] [Ringing continues] This is Cameron, leave a message.
[Machine beeps] Hey, Cam, it's Bos.
Look, if you get this in the next few hours Hello! Hey.
What, are you screening your calls? No, I wasn't.
No, that's all right, that's all right.
I'm just glad I still rate a pick-up.
Of course you do.
Hey, listen, what are you doing the next few hours? Uh, I I don't know.
I'm just here, you know I need you to meet me in Palo Alto at noon.
Is everything okay? No, everything's fine.
I just need a quick favor.
Bos, please don't ask me to do something Oh, no, it has nothing to do with work.
I just need you to meet me at 350 Hamilton Avenue at noon.
Can you do that for me? Um what is it about? Does it have to be today? That's my girl.
350 Hamilton.
Don't be late.
Good morning.
Holy shit.
Good morning.
Um Wasn't there something you were supposed to give me yesterday? What do you mean? Your biology test.
Weren't you getting that back yesterday? Yeah, I did.
I got an "A.
" Well, that's terrific.
Where is it? You want to see it? Yes.
Yes, I would.
Well, if I say I got an "A," I got an "A.
" If that's true, then maybe we can talk about you coming back to Comet a few days a week.
But I don't want to.
You said that I would keep working there as long as it was fun.
[Spoon clinking in mug] And it's not fun anymore.
[Sighs] You're seriously not gonna say anything about the haircut? Do you seriously think that that would help? [Indistinct talking] [Gasps] Holy shit! Well, we need witnesses.
Since she brought her daughter [Chuckles] Why didn't you tell me? Well, because we're not making a fuss.
Yeah, but I would have dressed up.
You're perfect.
[Laughs] - Hey.
- Hi.
Thank you for coming.
[Indistinct conversations] Read it and weep with joy.
Now, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself because that's my nature, but Rover is crushing the competition your ex's company included.
No disrespect.
We can call it Comet.
Well, they're getting walloped.
Our traffic is phenomenal.
It's twice what Comet is seeing.
How long is it taking people to find what they're looking for? Uh, 35 seconds a visit, down from a 1:20.
Users in and out.
Happy customers, Donna.
[Clears throat] So, I hear that you're taking some well-earned vacation time.
Where you going? Or more importantly, uh who you going with? I'm not going anywhere.
Just a little local R&R.
Good for you.
A little me time, eh? Thanks for keeping me in the loop.
You take care of yourself.
No one else will.
[Chuckles] Am I right? I'm right.
[Chuckles] Woman: What am I looking for? Time.
[Tape fast-forwards] Man: Yeah.
I get e-mail.
I use the computer in the library.
[Fast-forwarding] Man #2: You mean that Prodigy thing? What am I What am I looking for? - Hey! - Landscaping supplies.
What are you doing home? A/C at the office finally went out.
Everyone's working from home while they fix it.
- Oh.
- What are you doing home? Bos got married.
What? Yeah.
They just decided to do it this morning.
I guess they finally worked things out.
They said it was for practical reasons, but I don't know.
When they were up there saying their vows, looking in each other's eyes [Chuckles] Are you getting misty? I'm not.
I'm just happy for them.
All right, all right.
Stop pressuring me.
I just hope it works out for them.
You know, better than it did for our sorry asses.
I mean our other relationships, not this one.
I get it, I get it, I get it.
You're not in a rush, are you? Well, yes, I want to get back to work.
The new project is starting to hum.
I want to show you some of the videos I've been shooting.
Oh, please.
I lost a whole morning because of this.
The public perception of the Internet is really surprising.
Alexa's coming tomorrow, and I wouldn't even have picked up if it was anybody but Bos.
Or you.
I would have picked up for you.
Go on, get out.
- Get out of my apartment.
- Okay.
You're out of toilet paper.
Maybe I'll come out there tonight.
You want to come out to the Airstream voluntarily? I might need some toilet paper.
Oh, that's fantastic! You can meet everybody.
Okay! [Door closes] [Dishwasher whirring] And then I had to spend hours coaxing Billie out of the corner.
[Spits] And when I finally get her to move, Bing gets a wild hair and starts bouncing all over the walls.
Look! And now look at them.
Perfect little angels.
Hey, come here, come look.
Joe: I thought we were going for a hike.
We are, I just want to, um, make one minor tweak to the collision detection.
It will take two seconds.
- [Keys clacking] - It sure is pretty out here.
Oh, my God.
Look at this.
We should build a house.
Something with a nice deck.
[Scoffs] I mean, Billie is bad-ass.
Nothing major.
Just a couple rooms two, maybe three.
But then, what, Gazebo just instantly retreats unless there's food? We should have a fireplace in every room even the bathroom.
Fire pole? Stripper pole.
[Keyboard clacking] Any kind of pole.
[Clacking continues] I feel like our hiking window is slipping away.
It has been a pleasure to fall asleep and wake up in your work space.
I swear to God, two minutes.
I know you believe that when you say it.
Wait, wait.
Can I take you to dinner tonight? Oh, you feeling guilty? Yeah, a little.
[Chuckles] Please? We'll go into town, we can sleep in the big bed.
Now you're talking.
I'll call you later.
Hey, wish me luck! Luck? What the hell would you need that for? Hmm.
[Laughs] Oh, my God! How short are we talking? Well, it's um it's pretty short.
Like, shorter than Dorothy Hamill's, but not as short as Mark Hamill's.
Uh, somewhere mid-Hamill.
Well, is it pixie-ish? Is it like Audrey Hepburn or Mia Farrow? Donna, Donna, Donna, it is not that kind of haircut.
Okay, it's not fashionable.
You're not gonna like it.
Why would she do that? She has such beautiful hair.
Well, I think maybe she's trying to work some stuff out.
You know, make some kind of statement.
All 15-year-old girls should be just put on an island until they're ready for civilized society.
I think some girls just struggle more than others.
Oh, come on.
Haley's fine.
I just wanted to give you a heads-up before you saw it.
[Coffee pouring] Hey, I appreciate you taking them this week.
I really just needed some uninterrupted time.
Um how are the meetings going? [Sighs] I toggle between boredom and horror.
Someone shared a story about narcotic-induced constipation that I will never be able to un-hear.
Yeah, I'll just be happy when it's all over.
Oh, and as a lovely humiliation coda I got kicked off Rover.
Shut up.
What happened? Oh, just everything.
Cam, Bos, Diane it was a perfect storm of awful.
Well, I'm sorry.
I mean, at least we're not direct competitors anymore.
It'll make it a lot easier when Comet kicks Rover's ass.
[Scoffs] Oh, yeah? What makes you think that's ever gonna happen? Well, we're doing pretty well.
About to launch a big marketing push.
Do you know what your user numbers are? Yeah.
We got 50,000 hits a day.
Rover's doing twice that.
The average user finds what they're looking for in 35 seconds.
That's impressive.
Yeah, it is.
But it's also what makes it vulnerable.
What do you mean? I'm not convinced this fight gets won by the site that keeps traffic moving.
I think it might go to the one that keeps users around.
Oh, look, it makes so much sense.
Why are we working so hard to become the fastest site when we could become the the stickiest? If we can keep users hanging around, then we can start locking in advertisers.
But the whole point is to deliver them to other sites.
No, but we could still do that.
But it could also be a destination in itself.
Look, a-according to Donna, we're not even close.
- Whoa, whoa! Donna? - Yeah.
What does she have to do with anything? Nothing.
She stopped by this morning, and we got to No, no.
We're not taking business advice from Donna.
Who cares where it comes from if it's a good idea? She's our direct competition.
Why would we listen to what she has to say? Because she's a really well-informed player in the field.
We're not gonna be derailed by Donna.
We're gonna move forward with this marketing plan, and I'm really excited about what they're What's the point in coming up with a marketing plan when we're gonna end up redesigning the whole site? Because we are not going to redesign the whole site.
Hey, I'm really sorry to interrupt, but we are freezing out there.
I don't know what that guy did yesterday, but I think he's trying to cryogenically preserve us.
[Indistinct talking] The average visit to Rover takes 30 seconds, okay? Whereas the average visit to us takes well over a minute.
I don't trust that data.
You're being ridiculous.
Are you sleeping with her again? Am I sleeping with my ex-wife? Yeah.
We're going at it like rabbits.
And Katie she's cool with it.
Been spending a lot of time together.
Much more than usual.
She's the mother of my children.
We see each other.
I shouldn't even have told you the idea came from her.
Then you would have thought it was a great idea.
But it did come from her, and I'm not taking business advice from someone who's goal is to dance on the carcass of my company.
Okay, come on.
She's not that bad.
Besides, she's not even Look, she's she's in a different place now, all right? She has other things to worry about.
Besides, her daughter works here, for Christ's sake! You really think she's gonna go out of her way to try and destroy a company that her daughter works at? But her daughter doesn't work here anymore.
Now is the perfect time for her to strike.
She's not a ninja, Joe.
[Loud crackle] [Employees groan] I got it, I got it! [Doorbell rings] Oh, my.
I'm sorry to barge in.
It's just Gordon told me the news, and I Please, come in.
[Chuckles] We weren't trying to keep it from anyone, it just all happened so quickly.
Are you pregnant? [Laughs] Honey, Donna's here.
And she brought something massive from Tiffany's.
- Oh, it's - You shouldn't have.
Hey! What? I didn't know Tiffany's made a box that big.
Look at you all happy and healthy.
Hi! Good to see ya.
Yeah, feeling good.
Ready for another dinner.
Different restaurant, though.
[Chuckles] I just wanted to say congratulations.
I'm I'm so happy for you.
Well, we really only did it for tax reasons.
Yeah, on account of me almost dying.
Oh, I don't know.
You pledged your troths.
I feel like that's romantic.
Well, that's what people keep telling us.
[Chuckles] Uh, sweetheart, can I have a minute with Donna if you have time? Mm, sure.
[Grunts] Geez! This thing's heavier than hell.
Oh, it's just it's a punch bowl, I Oh! Punch bowl.
Oh, sweetheart, where do we keep our punch bowls? - Put it in the pantry.
I'll take care of it.
- Okay.
Or you can just put it right in the back of Diana's car so she can exchange it for a nice piece of jewelry.
What the hell do I get? You get Diane.
Fair enough! [Chuckles] Donna first of all, I owe you an apology.
I was rough about Rover.
No, look, no apology necessary.
It was a complex situation.
Water under the bridge.
I wanted to let you know that I'm getting ready to step back as managing partner.
Really? We got the message loud and clear about not living forever.
And if I want to spend time with my new husband managing partner is not a part-time job.
When were you thinking about doing this? Soon-ish.
[Sighs] I wanted to let you know that if you still want the job I'll back you.
Oh, I Of course.
I do.
I mean, I can't just anoint you.
No, of course.
But I do have a pretty jumbo-sized vote.
[Laughs] Thank you.
Should we celebrate? Some champagne, gin? You know, just water would be great.
Sorry, I know it's a little insane in here, but Ah.
No, no, it's it's perfect.
I didn't know what to expect when I heard "trailer in the woods.
" - Yeah.
- Ha.
I feel like I just walked into your brain.
Oh, no, my brain is not as tidy as this.
Do you want to see? - Of course.
- Okay.
So it's all still pretty basic, but what I've been trying to do is create bots with distinct personalities and whose choices change depending on on the circumstances they're in.
- Self-learning A.
- Exactly.
So it's not just the player acting upon the game, it's the game acting upon itself and then the player has to try and catch up.
So this is Bing and Billie, and this is Gazebo.
I have a bunch, but these are kind of the main three.
What I'm really trying to do is create a world in which actions have consequences, you know? Mm-hmm.
I mean, I was trying to do that with Pilgrim, too, but I guess that game was too solitary or hard or whatever.
But, um, here, I feel like I'm creating characters that have the ability to accrue memory and and and and develop a personal narrative and and change over time.
And it's all just feeling really immersive and complete.
- Really great.
- Yeah.
I mean, I was expecting great, so I'm not surprised.
So do you want to see some of the more, um, in-progress work? Um sure.
Or maybe we could go for a little hike, talk more big-picture.
It's just so gorgeous out here.
Um [Chuckles] Okay.
So it wasn't really what you were looking for? Oh! No, no.
It's just sometimes I think the ideas can get bigger when the space around you does.
Let's I've been trying to get out for a hike all day.
Let's Let's get out there.
Joe: We can call a guy.
I already called a guy, he made it worse.
So did you.
Look, it's a bad breaker.
I can fix that.
It's more than a bad breaker.
You sure you don't want to call a guy? You guys, this is not rocket science.
Thanks for the afternoon off.
I didn't give you the afternoon off.
You're supposed to be working from home.
What did I say? All right, I'll see you tonight.
Can I bring anything? Nope.
Got all that covered.
You're a take-charge mama jama.
Try not to blow anything up.
I'll try.
Cam said Donna was looking pretty rough when she came by the Airstream last week.
Is something going on with her? Cameron said she didn't seem like herself.
Why is Cam gossiping about Donna? She was concerned.
Look, I just don't trust the woman.
I know she's your family, I'm not supposed to have an opinion about her, but I don't trust her.
Haley cut all of her hair off, okay? Short.
Like a boy.
Donna came over this morning to talk about it, except Well, short hair doesn't mean anything.
Um Well apparently, I shouldn't have barked at you the other day.
But it's really tough hearing something about your kid that you don't know about.
Can I make one suggestion? It's really important for Haley not to feel isolated right now.
This place is such a great fit for her.
I wish you'd let her come back.
I want her to, but she seems pretty intent on hating me right now.
[Sighs] She trusts you, though.
Hmm? I mean, she took you to that restaurant, didn't she? [Breaker clicks] [Fluorescent lights buzz] [Sighs] [Phone rings] Clark residence.
Haley, Joe MacMillan.
Oh, my dad's not here today.
Actually, I'm calling to speak to you.
I hear you're not interested in coming back to Comet, and that really bums me out.
It bums me out, too.
So come back.
I don't think that's a good idea.
Of course it is.
We need you.
I don't know.
I I just What? I just don't think I should be working for my dad or with him, or whatever that arrangement was.
Look, nobody knows better than me how impossible working with your father is.
He's moody, impatient, ungrateful, and the know-it-all problem is legendary.
He's standing right there, isn't he? Would I be saying all this if he were standing right here? Yeah.
[Laughs] Okay, so you answered your own question.
You're part of this place.
And we need you.
Did my dad hear that? Yes, he did.
And he knows it's true.
Tell him I'll see him tonight.
I'm gonna take that as a yes and inform the Potstickers.
We'll see.
[Receiver clicks] [Receiver clicks] She'll see you tonight.
What, did she say that in a in a nice way, or like a threatening way? Nice.
[Sighs] Now the air's not coming out at all.
- It's fine.
- It's not fine, Joe.
Don't get me wrong, the bot technology is impressive.
But Blizzard is already doing something similar, and so is Origin.
And I can totally compete in that arena.
But what about an entirely different arena? What if your software was used on the surface of Mars? Or in the human bloodstream? What if Gazebo could be used to defend the immune system? You know just as well as I do the technology you're working on isn't going to just live inside a game.
Yeah, and that's a very easy thing to say.
But I've been working on games for a long ti No, I don't mean to pretend that I know what it's all gonna look like.
Can I ask you a personal question? Yes.
What's the deal with you and Donna Emerson? Things seemed pretty prickly at M.
I know you two worked together on "Mutiny.
" We did.
So what happened? We didn't share the same vision for our company.
Did she try to push you out of your comfort zone? - Um - [Chuckles] Hey, don't worry.
You're the visionary.
I'm just here to make sure you have everything you need.
[Explosion] Well, the land grab is over.
I'll give you that.
Well, this is a great way of turning a weakness into a strength.
You know, in my interviews, I'm finding that people are mostly just scared of the Web.
They're afraid they'll get lost in it.
Yeah, I know.
That's why we'll give them shelter.
I mean, the end game doesn't have to be to get wrapped up in some software package.
It can be to make Comet a home on the Internet.
What if we took an aggregate of the top searches.
When Kurt Cobain died, we were flooded with searches.
How amazing would it have been if if we had a little write-up about it on the top of the page.
That would have been great.
It makes possible a truly symbiotic relationship between user and content.
People will be interested in the site because the site is interested in them.
Yes, exactly.
This is what I was getting so excited about.
We could have entertainment, news - Sports.
- sports, uh stock market.
And, yeah, sure, we would deliver people to other sites, but they always come back to us.
Yes! How much longer is this gonna take? Just two more seconds.
You and Cam, I swear to God no sense of time.
[Whirring] See? Who needs a guy, huh? Who needs a guy?! [Phone ringing] - Joe MacMillan.
- Cameron Howe.
So where are you taking me to dinner tonight? Ah.
About that, um Alexa invited me out for dinner, and I kind of said yes.
Yeah, I'm really sorry.
I I know I said that I'd take you out, but Oh, it's okay.
Um, just got started on something with Gordon, and I'm happy to stick with it.
Really? Okay.
Because she wanted me to meet this guy who is working in human-computer interaction at Stanford, and then before I knew it, she invited us both to dinner.
Sounds like things went well.
Uh actually, no.
She was.
A little underwhelmed by what I showed her.
What? Yeah, she, um I mean, I think she knew the programming was good, but she said I was thinking a little small.
When was the last time you heard that? I don't know.
It's been a while.
Have fun tonight.
Thank you.
You're great.
For the record I have thought about building a place out here.
I think "re-launch" would be better.
That's a substantive change.
Saved the whole project.
Well, "launch" subsumes design.
Says who? You can't re-launch something without redesigning it.
Of course you can.
Okay, you can but you wouldn't.
[Clears throat] [Humming] Happy? Yes.
All right.
Aw, jeez! Where'd I get so dirty? Where did the time go? I gotta meet Katie in an hour for dinner.
Maybe we should get into this tomorrow? Oh.
Not a problem.
Well, I mean, what's the point in launching into something, you know, when I gotta get out of here in 15? Of course.
Hey great work today.
Where are you taking her tonight? Uh, nowhere.
The girls are going to the movies, so we're gonna stay home.
It's a really good idea.
I know it is.
- Donna.
- Joe.
Is something wrong? No.
Everything's fine.
Everything's great.
I just, um I was hoping you could give me some clarity on something.
Um, okay, well, I don't have a lot clarity to spare, but what's on your mind? Why would you give us potentially useful market research? I'm sorry, what? This morning, you saw Gordon.
He came back hopped up on some information that you gave him.
User numbers, length of visits.
Why would you share that with us? Well, why wouldn't I? Because you're our direct competition.
Okay, well, first of all, I'm not on Rover anymore, so I'm not your competition.
- And, secondly - What are you talking about? You just came over to get Cameron to sign away the algorithm.
What can I tell you, Joe? Shit changes fast.
If you're off the project, how did you get those numbers? Are they even real? [Chuckles] Wow! The old Joe MacMillan ego, just, I mean, volcanic.
What do you think? I I I have time to just sit around and, what, plot against you? Wouldn't be the first time.
I promise you I don't give a shit about your company.
The only reason I ever even cared a little bit was 'cause my daughter worked there, and now that's not even true.
So, really, I give it just no thought at all.
Actually, Haley does still work there.
I spoke to her this afternoon.
Did you? Yeah.
She happens to be someone I care about very much.
Oh, well, lucky her 'cause she's so bereft - of people that care about her.
- Donna, look! Gordon and I are getting started on a new idea that sprang from a whiff of a hint of a nothing comment you made, and I just want to be sure human to human that you're not planning to do something to screw us.
Jesus Christ! What kind of person do you think I am? You tried to get me kicked off the browser project.
You stole our idea for the Web index, and those are just the California crimes.
Don't get me started on Texas.
Okay, you know what? You're right.
I am not a trustworthy person.
The best thing you can do is to leave me the hell alone.
Believe me, nothing would make me happier.
- Unfortunately - Jesus Christ, you won! Okay, you won! You got Haley and Gordon and Cam.
You got everybody.
What more do you want from me? - Ow! - [Gasps] [Grunts] Oh, my God! [Gasps] Sure they're not broken? I'm pretty sure.
[Ice crackling] Level with me.
How come you're off Rover? Oh, it's a long story.
But the short version - it wasn't up to me.
- Hmm.
Sorry I got in your face.
I don't think I deserved this.
[Sighs] You have to know I didn't do that on purpose.
Donna, come on.
Of course I do.
And I would never do anything to interfere with Comet, really.
I'm not that person.
Even if Haley weren't there, I I just, I wouldn't.
Donna, I get it.
It hurts to be thought of in that way.
I've been there.
[Sighs] [Clears throat] [Door opens] Donna? What are you doing here? What are you doing? Joanie: Mommy, Mommy? [Donna humming] Baby, no Don't you cry [Joanie cries] Baby, no Dry your eyes [Sighs] Are sure you can drive okay? I'm fine.
Well, uh I hope it goes great whatever the idea is.
Really, I do.
And what are you gonna tell people? Punched a wall.
'Cause I couldn't find what I was looking for on Rover.
[Chuckles] Gordon? Gordon, where are you? [Sighs] [Dialing] [Line ringing] Hello, you've reached Gordon Clark.
I'm not here right now.
Please leave a message.
[Beeps] Hey, there, it's me.
You will never guess who I just spent a very civilized hour with.
I mean, I guess it didn't start out civilized, but [Chuckles] [Beeps] Donna? Gordon's dead.
[Phone rings] This is Cameron.
Leave a message.
[Beeps] Cam? It's me.
[Grunts] Damn it.
[Phone rings] [Sighs] Come on.
[Grunts] Mmm.
What happened? What? [Sighs]