Spanning for 4 seasons, AMC network’s period drama, ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ is known for some of the most shocking plot twists. In one such twist, Gordon Clark met his shocking end, which, even after 4 years of the series ending, has kept fans confused. So, why was Gordon killed off? Keep reading to find out more!
- Gordon Clark had been battling terminal illness
- Gordon’s death was an off-screen business
- Actor Scoot McNairy on the death of his character
The final season of ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ offered one of the most shocking deaths of the series. Gordon Clark, played by actor Scoot McNairy, finally surrendered to his terminal illness that first sprung up back in the second season. While it was always a matter of time before this inevitable outcome, the fact that the character managed to push himself across till the last season always had everyone secretly hoping that he would make it through. However, the writers had something else in mind and we are none the wiser!
Gordon Clark had been battling terminal illness
As the plot of ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ goes, Gordon Clark has been one of the most fascinating characters of the series, battling a tumultuous past. Once a promising engineer, his career went spiralling down after a humiliating public failure of a computer he had co-created with his wife, Donna, that refused to work at COMDEX, a trade show for the computer industry. Determined to revive his failed past, Gordon moves to Dallas with his family where he takes up a job. However, life sure had more lemons to throw at the poor guy. He is unhappy with his job, embarrassed at his failure, and as if that was not enough, the writers decided to give him a terminal illness.
In the second season of ‘Halt and Catch Fire’, Gordon starts experiencing health problems nobody could provide any explanation for. Initially, it seemed like the health problems must have generated from taking drugs. Soon after, a medical diagnosis revealed that Gordon is suffering from a degenerative brain disorder that is untreatable due to exposure to toxic substances as part of his job. What’s worse is Gordon is left to face his terminal illness all alone.
Gordon’s death was an off-screen business
It was probably a kind move on the part of ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ creators to kill off Gordon behind the screen. The character’s death was dropped as news at the end of season 4 episode 7 a few moments before Katie had arrived for their date, who later let Donna know about the shocking news over the phone. Apparently, Gordon’s death, a few episodes before the series end, was a welcome move since nobody wanted the show to end on a depressing note. As confirmed by actor Scoot McNairy, the creators wanted a stroke to be the final blow that takes Gordon out, but they fared against its on-screen demonstration in trying to be creative about it.
Speaking of why killing off Gordon was a great idea, McNairy told “TVLine”, “I thought it was a great idea in regards to the story. It brings a sense of realism to it. Then it became a discussion of when to kill him off … They wanted to kill him off in [Episode 7] because they didn’t want to end the show on a sad note. So it gave them the opportunity to end the show on a high note, and not make it all about Gordon’s death”.
Actor Scoot McNairy on the death of his character
Although most people including the cast and crew of ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ knew that Gordon was fighting a terminal illness and could not be expected to go on forever, his death came across as quite a surprise still. Not to mention the shock value that the character’s death had created, even actor Scoot McNairy felt that the creators had played well with the minds of the viewers for an impactful end for Gordon. He said, “I got a lot of questions about Gordon’s health [at the beginning of Season 4], and my response was, ‘Gordon is in a really good place this season’. I’m glad that creators [Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers aka “the Chrises”, put the health issue on the back burner to get it out of the viewers’ minds, and then hit them with a sudden death for more shock value”.
However shocking and heart-crushing it might have been, Gordon’s death and the way it was treated in the show were undeniably beautiful and nostalgic. Speaking along the same line of thought, McNairy said, “I will say this: what they did with him after he died was just as smart and beautiful as what they did with his death”.
Would you have liked to see more of Gordon on ‘Halt and Catch Fire’? Let us know in the comments below!