warning S4 Halt and Catch Fire, until 4X05
recaps and comments about Cameron’s choices , words and actions, and I would
like to contrast it with my understanding of what 4x05 “Nowhere Man” revealed.
half of S4 we are kept much in the dark about what’s going on with Cameron. We
just mostly know how it appears to Joe, Bos and Gordon. Joe thinks she’s
searching for something out there, to reinvent herself. Gordon - the outdoor
man who loves camping - calls it 2 giants living on a timble. Bos jokes about
space bikes. Nobody takes it seriously, just like Donna didn’t take Cam
seriously and thought of her as an impulsive child in S3, but it turned out
that junior had married, bought a house and had worked on a better solution
than credit cards even. And the reveal
about Cam’s game Pilgrim in 4x05 suggests that Cam knows why she bought the
land, the airstream and why she wants Joe to make love to her there. Cameron is
the sole person who is not “searching”. Instead, she wants her loved ones and
especially Joe to find and understand her. If Joe was the mystery man
throughout the seasons, Cameron was the mystery woman.
conversation with Bos in S1, we know that Cameron always had communication
issues, especially when it involves her feelings. It’s not something she will
just grow out of. Discovering the program language Basic helped her find a
language to communicate. She’s a coder and thus her language, communication and
actions are coded. More, especially the
S1 episode where she pitches her OS idea to Joe as wanting to make people fall
in love with the machine, while holding a toy up, it becomes rapidly clear that
toys and games are her tools of connection and communication. It is how she
reaches out to people and reveals something about herself. Cameron is at odds
with Gordon for 2 seasons, until they start to play Nintendo together. Bos
rarely understands her games, but he tries (love that moment when he asks the
coder monkeys to help him get out of the damned cave), and he knows the games
she develops tend to be about her. Donna and Cameron have a stellar
working-friend relationship, but the misunderstandings begin to heap up once
Donna’s chat pushes Cameron’s games out of Mutiny, until eventually Donna
pushes Cameron herself out of Mutiny. Her relationship with Tom hits off while
they play a physical shooter game and work together on making a virtual/digital
version of it. So, for example the particular scene where she pitches the OS
idea to Joe while holding the puppet in S1 is Cameron actually revealing that
she wants to make him fall in love with her. Similarly, Joe is rewarded with a
passionate night with her at Comdex 90 (and unbeknownst to him at the time her
heart), when he figured out the lighter game.
viewers and her friends and lover regard her airstream as a childish game, they
not only sell her short, but expect Cameron to just grow out of her
communication handicap. She will always need these tools. She is not immature,
or lost to herself. She is trying to show and communicate something. Her
heartbreak and disappointment over nobody figuring out her message via her
Pilgrim game, not even Joe, is not so much about professional failure but her
failure to communicate her soul, heart and vision adequately. Cecil commenting
that not even he can explain her coding work to connect his rudimentary code to
her solution and it is at another level entirely emphasizes this.
isolation in the airstream is a physical manifestation of Cameron’s
communicative isolation. But it does not mean she has stopped trying to
communicate the same message she put into Pilgrim. Instead of making a “new
digital game”, she uses an entirely different medium: Cameron uses material
tools and physically tangible items. So, when Joe told her to move on from the
Pilgrim failure and make a new game out of nothing, Cameron actually took his
advice. She just did it with real world items, like a builder, which is quite
unprecedented for her, way out of her comfort zone. And she picked these new
tools for Joe. He took the step in S3 to learn BASIC code, telling her that
even if he might never be great at it, he is not unteachable. He loves HTTP and
HTML because it’s such an elegant, simple code that almost anyone can learn and
use to make something out of nothing. Joe’s personal coding of expressing
himself isn’t programming code though, but metaphors: the browser is a stadium
or a doorway and HTTP is the roseta stone. Simple, real world, physical items.
He is a physical guy:
bats to hit for the fences and breaking the bat when he feels betrayed by his
a car with a sledge hammer to turn her on and show her he’s a prime specimen in
a low voltage live current to turn her on
torches to shoot for the stars and dispel a hurricane
a shipment of empty, soulless portable computers (after Gordon tried to
compliment Joe that the Giant was like him)
wins her heart with lighters
betrays his passion, his love and need for her at Comdex 90 in a very physical
waits for her for years in a basement, where they used to have sex
hasn’t changed. She’s very much trying to use Joe’s metaphorical language,
initially in Pilgrim, because she was 5000 miles away from him, and when that
fails she uses the physical world to show him those metaphors. Pilgrim and the
airstream are Cameron’s mixtape for Joe.
Let us look
at the evidence of my claims above, and I’ll start with Pilgrim and what Donna
discovers about it:
says he was once on TV as a “pilgrim” over the phone reconnection. And thus
overall Joe is the intended “pilgrim” in Cameron’s game.
clicks the “key” item in the menu when she starts the game. In other words, the
path and the discovery is a crucial “key” to understanding the game and consequentially
avatar reaches an area with what looks like flames in the air. I’ve read recaps
and reviews who think those orange-brown things flying in the air are broken
pieces of the puzzle, but I’ve watched every previous image of the game and it
has nothing to do with the puzzle. And since Gordon is feeding his journals to
the flames, and we have PJ Harvey’s lyrics about being on fire on top of it, I
think the things flying in the air that the avatar eventually climbs are meant
to be “flames”. In other words, they are a different version of the lighters
that Joe and Cameron play around with at Comdex 90 where their relationship and
passion was “rekindled”.
avatar hits some type of invisible “airstream”, taking it off balance.
avatar must climb upwards into the sky or towards the stars where the airstream
and flames were, not walk forward towards a future which is just another crappy
version of the present to Cam.
the star level, we see a shooting star landing on an island or continent with a
2D image of the avatar stamped on it. This is the place where the pilgrim gets
to actually play the game.
8 crystals or starlight emanating shards appear. Each shard or crystal acts as
a “doorway” to a partition of the island/continent, and immediately transports
(like Star Trek) the avatar into that piece of the map.
doorway that Donna chose to transport with landed her in the SW of the island,
and a Japanese winter garden with a shrine in the middle of Tokyo (you can see
dark skyscrapers in the background), emanating warm welcoming light and
surrounding torches. The only person Cameron mentioned a shrine in a spiritual
sense to was Joe.
herself says it’s not just a game you play, but a game you live.
that the pilgrim is meant to be Joe, rather than Cameron, but that the island
and continent represents Cameron herself. Unlike what some reviewers claim, Cameron
doesn’t need to be put together or fixed, since the continent is whole already.
What she needs and desires is for her pilgrim to explore her completely. And
her comment about the game being something you live, the game is meant to
represent life or a lifetime exploration. In a romantic sense Pilgrim is Cam’s
proposal to Joe.
is the addition that even if the pilgrim misses the clue to climb the flames,
but instead stays on ground zero, getting himself distracted by picking up
treasures and completing puzzles, he gets transported back to the beginning, to
try again and find the airstream of flames. Cameron drops that hint to Joe when
he calls her up about the game. If this is
about Joe, as I claim it is, then Cameron is trying to say she’ll wait for him
until he figures it out. She’s not going anyplace else.
instinctual level though, Joe does get that the game Pilgrim is a means of
connection between them. He plays it and calls her up when he gets sent back to
the “start”. And when she mentions how beautiful the moon is in San Jose, Joe
looks at the Pilgrim avatar on his screen and decides to spend the night with
her in San Jose. He understood the indirect invitation then.
gets the game and it gets pulled from publication. Cam says dejected that even
Joe doesn’t like her game, while he reassures her he hasn’t finished the game
yet. As he then also advises her to “move on” and keep making other games, she
retreats to be by herself. If of course, the game represents the lifetime she
imagines for herself with Joe, he unwittingly disappoints her by mentioning “finishing
the game” and “moving on”. What we have here thematically is “lost in
translation”, which is of course a book and movie set in Japan. Joe assumes things
about her and the game that are erroneous, including the belief she forgot and stopped
caring about them while making this game, as he claims during his camping with
Gordon in the season opener. Notice how that tent is beautifully lit in the
darkness like a beacon in that camping scene, and just a material iteration of
the warmly lit shrine in the Japanese garden in Pilgrim in 4x05.
playing “doom” and Gordon telling her that the purpose of the game “is not to
get killed”, she returns and “unpacks” by throwing her Japanese past with Tom
in the bins, doing what Joe asked her to do, but in her own way. And after that
she buys the bike, messes around with hardware, rides around the country.
Gordon and Bos later make the link to it being a materialization of the “space
bike”. Space Bike was a game about Cameron’s values and talents: she can make
herself big or small, befitting the environment (proportion), sense of humor,
sense of self, decency and the latter leads to common sense. But the bad-ass
chick on the Space Bike is homeless and unbound, forever traveling from one
planet to the next, only requiring drinks and a shower. Instead of doing it virtually,
Cameron now tries to materialize this.
rides her Space Bike she discovers a plot of beautiful land with a sign that
says “If you lived here you’d be home now”. And come on, it’s a very beautiful
piece of land in that discovery shot, has a fairytale or magical quality to it.
And the sign has three key words: live, home, and now (instead of the future). Whatever
she eventually would end up building there for a house, it has the ideal
potential to be whatever Joe and Cam could want it to be. Think of the scene
between Joe and Ryan in S3 in the basement of Macmillan Utility where Joe
intends to set up the local network connected to NSFNET. So, she buys the land,
but instead of hiring an architect and immediately get contractors to build
something on it, she pretty much leaves
it in its ideal state of a blank slate full of potential. Is that wrong? Of
course not. She shouldn’t be deciding what the permanent form ought to be by
herself. Joe should be part of its creation, so that their mutual vision can be
part of the walls and lay-out. On top of that, even if Joe has asked her to
move in with him, she’s still not officially divorced and they haven’t
discussed the form of their relationship, nor said “I love you.”
actually surprising a little that Joe doesn’t totally get that or hates it out
there. He did hike up to the Observatory in Texas once via scenic route at the
end of S1 a decade before that, walking into Sarah’s life. He’s a stargazer,
right? And yet at the start of S4 he can’t see the moon from his home, blocked
by a hill. Also, with that wool sweater and her long auburn hair in this phase
of S4, Cam reminds somewhat of Sarah.
instead of building a house all by herself on the plot, Cam buys the airstream.
To the owner who sells it to her, with Joe standing right there, Cam explains
it’s a temporary solution, before something “permanent” can be “built” there. We
are introduced to the onthologist in the same episode who stipulates how one
word can have different meanings, using “bark” as an example. The word “airstream”
can be an airstream trailer, but it is also a change in the air caused by heat
as it does in the game Pilgrim. Cam reveals she used to play in the airstream
with her friend in her youth, and Joe asks her what she’d play in it then. “Airstream,”
she answers. Here is Cam’s second hint to Joe how he can play the Pilgrim game.
Oh, and she calls it “perfect”, which was the word of understanding between Joe
As they try
the bed out, Joe asks her why she wants him to consider the AOL money. And she
replies it would give him more time spend time with her, mentions “human touch”.
He asks her whether the long trailer means she’s moving out, to which she
immediately replies, “No,” and clarifies, “She’s trying to buy this jewel to
sweep him away to a magical land”. This is her third game hint: the jewels,
sweeping him into the air, and a magical land.
the trailer out there, builds a hearth and puts up some lights in the air that
have the form of “flames”. This is Cam’s 4th hint. Watch her face of
disappointment when neither Bos, Gordon or Joe take much notice of it.
not just all hints. They are her material recreation of Pilgrim. And here
follows the clue that Pilgrim was created for Joe and her fantasy of the two of
them while stuck, isolated in a doomed marriage at the other side of the world: she’s all happy when Joe promises he wouldn’t
want to miss out on his first night with her in that honeymoon bed, but she is
near to tears when Joe fell asleep on her.
Joe actually visiting the airstream to find her and be with her there, even if
just for a night and make love to her there, we’ve seen two other character
seek her out at the airstream: Bos and Tom. Bos goes out there to help her out
with her plumbing and tells her he’s proud of her getting out of her comfort
zone. She discovers his compass, and he reveals his money trouble, and she is
the sole person who helps him out, on the condition it’s a one-time gift. Tom
goes out there to get the divorce papers signed, gifts her the solution to the
noise mystery in their apartment back in Japan and she apologizes to him for the
pain she put him through and says her goodbye to him.
Why is he blind and tonedeaf to what she’s actually trying to do out there in
her “space trailer”. Basically he’s doing the same thing the Japanese did with
their shrine – rebuilding the original process.
up with Gordon and bring Cameron into the business
with Cameron in the basement, which in the past was the first location both in the
bar and at Cardiff where they had their first sexual encounters. It’s where he
waits for her for 4 years. The basement at Westgroup is also where he had the
time-sharing idea, to then team-up with Gordon and eventually have a “hands-on”
business relationship with Mutiny and Cameron. The number of first downloads of
the bugged browser “loadstar” is after all 69, which is a quite famous number
for sexual position.
her a key to his apartment to come over whenever she wants and needs to
viewers can empathize with Joe trying to recreate the environment and circumstances
that brought them together originally as well as how frustrating it is for him
to have Cameron refuse to step into business with him, while she shares his
bed. Joe Macmillan isn’t the manipulative cutthroat anymore that he was in S1
and so he naturally believes that if he works with Cameron this time, now that
they have reconnected, they could pull it off. His work is his life and he
wants and hopes to include Cameron in that. He tangibly looks forward to
working with her again, since the S3 finale. She’s his muse after all.
steadfastly refuses this, and Joe clearly doesn’t know what to do with it. For
a big part that is because this is how he goes about it with anyone he connects
with and can be himself, by working with them – Simon, Gordon, Cameron, Haley.
He even tries that angle with Joanie. It’s so fundamental to him to have a
working relationship with the people he admires or tries to include, that he
expresses how clueless he is where his relationship with Cam is going to
Gordon, in a subtextual manner in 4x05. He asked her to help him with Comet,
she refused and fled to the airstream, he smashes the wok, goes all S1 Joe on
Gordon the next day until Gordon orders him to take a fresh breath of air. Then
when he comes back with a newly bought wok (while Cam is opening a box with a wok
she bought too), Gordon mentions that Cam is on the phone line. Joe says he
doesn’t even know which problem he’s trying to solve. How he was in the
basement for 3 years (aka waiting for Cam to choose him over Tom and come back
into his life), he finally has his arms around “it” (Cam again), but now he can’t
see it anymore. As Gordon asks Joe whether they’re talking about the future
here again, Joe says he should call Cam again. Gordon then asks him about whether
Joe saw this (Comet) ten years ago in Gordon’s garage. To which Joe explains it
was not about where it would end up, but knowing the feeling of working
together. He could envision how it would feel to work with Gordon, and we can
infer how Joe envisioned that working with Cam would turn him on completely. He
does not know what it would be like to share a life with Cam without working
together. That is why he says he has been beyond patient with her. He’s been
waiting for her to show up at Comet one day and agree to be part of the team,
and to prove to her she can trust him as a business partner.
he’s also insecure and unsure about Tom. His gut always told him to never
regard Tom as a true rival to the intensity that Joe and Cam had even when
separated in S2, nor in S3. Where Joe is a grown man, Tom looks like a kid, and
conservative to boot too. He very much regarded Tom as Cam’s mistake like he
mistakenly sought a replacement in Sarah, and the night at Comdex 90 and the
www project would make her see “the light”. But it didn’t turn out as he
expected it would. Cam did the decent thing – stick to the marriage - with the man
he believes is wrong for her. We can see how afraid he is of what she wants to
tell him that is so urgent she asked him to pull over the car, when she reveals
she saw Tom that day. Joe sags his head and closes his eyes. It’s as if he
fears that Tom and her reconciled. After all, Cam stuck with Tom outwardly in
the way Sarah didn’t stick with Joe. The “facts” seem to prove to Joe that his
gut was wrong about it all.
Joe is afraid to lose her and too afraid to upset her or have an actual fight
with her. And when that first fight occurred, he doesn’t know what will come
But none of
the facts are what they seem. It turns out that his gut about Cameron’s
feelings for him trumping those for Tom was correct. It turns out that she
waited for Tom to leave her voluntarily, that she loves Joe, and thus that she
wanted to be with him since 90 as much as he wanted her to be with him. If he
was miserable in the basement, she was miserable in an apartment in Tokyo,
handcuffed by guilt to a husband (which is what the Stephen King book Geralds’s
Game is a horror version parallel to) she wanted to leave, while denying happiness
to herself. (incidentally Gerald’s Game has a “space cowboy” in it, but he’s a
necrophiliac serial killer).
of unhappiness though has its impact in the present, just in a different way
than assumed. She’s not unhappy that Tom left her, has another woman or having
a baby. But what is important to recognize is that Cameron basically denied
herself almost completely for the last 4 years, and adapted herself to fit the
needs and wants of Tom. Anyone who stayed too long in an unhappy match, denying
their own wants and needs, will recognize that once free from such a
relationship, one is bound to be very reluctant to move into what looks like a
complete life of a new partner: Joe’s home, Joe’s work, Joe’s friends, Joe’s
colleagues, Joe’s business partners. It doesn’t matter that Joe allows her to
be who she is, endeavors to stimulate to do the things she loves or does not
oppose her from doing her own thing even if he’s not a fan of it. She needs her
own turf, see the people that Joe might regard as business rivals. It’s not
enough for him to make room for her into his established life, and quite
unhealthy for her to fit and mold herself to his.
be “their life”, and that is why it’s so important that he too needs to let go
of his own comfort zone and try to immerse himself into this nowhere plot of
land and airstream, and try to imagine what they could built together out there
with “steel and concrete and building blocks”. I don’t think her intent is to fit and lock him
into the airstream, but to “play airstream” where they can brainstorm and
fantasize what type of life they want to build together, while she “plays house”
in his apartment simultaneously. And if he does that, she might even surprise
him how much she’s willing to compromise. When he asked her over breakfast in
4x02 whether she knows what she wants, she looks up and stares at “him”. When
he tells her over the phone he wants to know her in his life, she makes a
little silent fist of victory. And by 4x05 she tells him she loves him.
So, unlike others, I disagree that Cam should just quit her “games”, “grow up” and “move in” with Joe. Joe should not move into the trailer, but he should “play” and discover her there.
ETA: I’m not saying that Cam and Joe shouldn’t compromize. The “airstream” does not represent a permanent home, not even for Cam. What I’m saying is that a)
Joe makes the error to regard it as
Joe’s home vs trailer
b) while Cam herself regards it as Joe’s home AND trailer to build a foundation and discover together what their life together might be like. She does live in his home too. Even people who know each other intimately, the worst and the best, for a decade, but wanting or hoping to establish a lifelong commitment for the first time after all that time, still need game-room to play around with ideas. 3x09, 4x02 phonecall and breakfast were perhaps their first three proper dates.
“Jeremy? Sky?” the couple looked in our direction and they smiled, huge wide smiles telling me they were happy to see him, I had never seen them before. “Mathis Malenious. The lost boy. How are you!” He stood up and hugged them both, his face showing happiness, so much happiness that my heart broke. I hadn’t seen that smile before, never, had I seen his smile reach his ears and eyes, like that, not on that level. I was suddenly so confused, the name? the nick name? never had I heard any of it before “I’m good thanks. God, It has bin such a fucking long time. How is that little rocket of yours?” they looked so happy, the guy never letting go of his love. It felt like a knife right thru my heart, I felt out of place, unimportant, he had forgotten about me in 3 seconds, giving no sign of introducing me or letting me join in the conversation “He’s good. He’s at a football match, so we thought we would come to the pool. I saw you at the club, are you working there now?” I stood up, but none of them gave me a glance. I could feel my throat tighten, tears starting to form behind my lids, so I left them, going down to the beach, to be alone. I had never felt like this before in his presence, before everything his biggest concern in life was me, making sure I was okay, giving me, even more, attention than I had ever asked for, and now, he was distant, not talking, never home. Was it really that stupid of me to think that him coming home, would mean I wouldn’t feel alone anymore? Because right now, I felt alone again, so alone.
sea, sun and sand | a three part playlist for the summer
part i.sea 1. we move like the ocean - bad suns / 2. west coast - the neighbourhood / 3. luna - bombay bicycle club / 4. hold back the river - james bay / 5. luv, hold me down - drowners / 6. seaside - the kooks / 7. hold me down - halsey / 8. oceans - coasts
part ii. sun 1. she moves in her own way - the kooks / 2. gold - imagine dragons / 3. love like this - kodaline / 4. lost boys - the 1975 / 5. mardy bum - arctic monkeys / 6. kids - mgmt / 7. cocoon (acoustic) - catfish and the bottlemen / 8. i’m good - the mowgli’s
part iii. sand 1. dancing on quicksand - bad suns / 2. stolen dance - milky chance / 3. laura palmer - bastille / 4. blue jeans - lana del rey / 5. tiptoe - imagine dragons / 6. houdini - foster the people / 7. buzzcut season - lorde / 8. jump into the fog - the wombats
August wrap up! I read five books this month and bought ten 😅
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater:
5/5 - totally in love the writing, the setting and the characters!
Ten Thousand Skies above you by Claudia Gray:
3/5 - Be Aware: Seriously Second Book Problem! I didn’t really like the main character in this one, but I am curious how the series will end!
The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones:
3/5 - This months owlcrate book! Very intresting setting, the romance is a little bit annoying ans boring, but very diverse characters! Definietly worth reading!
Lost Boy by Christina Henry:
4/5 - Dark and gritty Peter Pan retelling! Some plot points weren’t well developed with a forced romance, but it had pretty good character development and Henry’s writing is very intriguing!
Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan:
1/5 - boring, forced instalove, unnecessary angst and I rolled my eyes sooo often at this book.
here’s the full audio of the drama CD track from the newest Free!ES DVD Vol. 3 that was released today. a few translation excerpts can be found here and here but I don’t think a translation of the full track is out yet. if anyone wants to take up the job, here’s the track!
Characters: Y/N (Reader), Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester (mentioned), Mary Winchester (mentioned), Castiel (mentioned), Rowena (mentioned), Crowley (mentioned)
Pairing: Reader x Dean
Warnings: 12x03 spoilers, abandonment, self blame, rejection, it’s Dean so…
A/N: Okay so this is a little short one shot I did not have time to write but 12x03 left me no choice. It takes place after the events of that ep so Spoiler Alert.
It will also be a sorta part of my Halloween count down or atleast add a little extra to to. Check the #A Supernatural Halloween for other posts.
Thank you so much to the ever brilliant and my amazing friend Erin @blacktithe7 for betaing this for me.
***My fics are not to be saved nor posted on any other sites without my express written permission.***
Dean looked up when you closed the door behind you, and your eyes caught his. They were red and glassy. There was no doubt in your mind that he had been crying and drinking. The almost empty whiskey bottle next to him was a big clue. Not that you needed one. You knew him.
“Hey.” You smiled, trying the best you could to hide your worry as you walked down the stairs towards him.
“What are you doing here?” Dean questioned with a frown, making you shake your head and grin at him.
“What kinda greeting is that?” you teased him, trying to get him to smile but with no luck. He just mumbled an apology and gave you a quick half-hearted hug. He was so much worse off than you had initially feared.
“Dean…” you tried, but he waved you off with a fake smile making your heart clench. You wanted to throw yourself into his arms. Hold him and tell him everything was going to be okay, but you knew him. He had been your best friend for over a decade, your boyfriend for a little over a year now. You knew if you wanted him to talk, to open up to you, you would have to ease him into it.
I was tagged for this by both @wchwriter and @december-soulstice. It’s taken me a while to get to this, partly because it’s hard for me to pick 10 songs, much less 10 songs I’m currently into. So, these are 10 songs that I like, sometimes ones that get stuck in my head, and they’re in no particular order.
List 10 songs you’re currently into and tag 10 people.
Thanks @sleepingmistress for the tag <3 You can tell a lot about a person from the music they listen to. Rules: Put your playlist on shuffle and list the first 10 songs, tag 10 people. 1. Heaven in Hiding - Halsey 2. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) - Green Day 3. Loner In Love - Busted 4. LOST BOY - Troye Sivan 5. Move Along - The All-American Rejects 6. Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) - The Wombats 7. Nina - Ed Sheeran 8. Pity Party - Melanie Martinez 9. One - Ed Sheeran 10. Don’t Mind Me - Walking On Cars