It’s the dawn of the internet age as the fourth and final season of AMC’s tech drama “Halt and Catch Fire” gets going Saturday, Aug. 19. And that means exciting and uncertain times are ahead for the characters, including – but not limited to – AOL jokes.
“We’re finally getting into some of the information and storylines that I remember,” says Scoot McNairy, who stars as troubled computer engineer Gordon Clark, “because I guess I was like 16 and finally we hit those AOL discs. … I remember going up to (the music store) and having to pay $15 for a CD. And I remember seeing them in the mail and going, ‘I can’t believe they’re just giving these out.’ ”
The two-hour premiere finds techies Gordon, Joe (Lee Pace), Cameron (Mackenzie Davis) and Donna (Kerry Bishé) navigating the early days of the Web and Internet browsers and pondering their personal and professional destinies as the ever-changing tech world continues to wreak havoc on their relationships. New to the cast this season is Anna Chlumsky (“Veep,” “My Girl”), who stars as Dr. Katie Herman, chief ontologist and a key figure in this season’s Search business venture; and Susanna Skaggs as Gordon’s daughter Haley.
“We pick up in Season 4 and Gordon’s in a really good place,” McNairy explains. “He’s sort of gotten a team together, and Joe and Cameron and Gordon are sort of working together to start a new company. And you get to obviously see the hurdles and the heads butting as the three of them work together. We have some new characters that get introduced who become very, very predominant characters, some of which get really close to Gordon’s character.”
For McNairy, primarily a film actor whose credits include “Argo,” “Our Brand Is Crisis” and “Non-Stop,” “Halt” represents his first television series. He calls playing Gordon for four seasons a “100 percent” satisfying experience and is grateful to AMC for allowing the cast and crew bring closure to the story.
“Every season we did, we never knew if we were coming back,” he says, “and every season we did, we left sort of open-ended in case we didn’t need to come back. So that’s always an unsettling feeling when you’re not getting closure on your character, and I feel like this fourth season it was very generous of AMC to give us a (definite end) so that we could wrap it up. And I think Chris (Cantwell, the showrunner) just did an incredible job putting a bookend to this story.”
“We worked with one of the best crews I’ve ever worked with,” he continues. “Everyone was so generous and compassionate toward each other, and they all worked so damn hard on the show and so many hours, that I really had a wonderful time coming to work every day and hanging out with and being around these people. And yes, the character played a huge part in that, but … I knew how great they were when I was working with them, but when you leave them, that’s what stays with me the most.”