The Mustard Chef is at it again. (Spoilers)
It is week two into the first season of Halo, the show nobody really asked for. I gave last week’s episode a C- knowing from watching a few people on YouTube that episode 2 was set to have absolutely no action scenes whatsoever. This was presented as a bad thing and honestly after seeing episode one it actually made more more interested in the show. Can the showrunners for Halo have characters talk to each other in something other than GI Joe idioms? We’d have to see to find out.
Episode 2, Unbound, continues the story as Master Chief and Kwan escape UNSC custody and fly off in search of adventure. Specifically Chief is after Soren-66 (Bokeem Woodbine) a prior Spartan soldier and one of Master Chief’s friends. Soren’s job is to be the guy that Chief kinda let run away in training, and by kinda I mean he gave Soren five minutes after which Soren’s ship was shot down and he was badly disfigured in the process. Soren now lives on a set of asteroids where the bandits and thugs hang out.
The whole episode reminded me of science fiction films from the 80s like Demolition Man and Total Recall. Most of the episode takes place in the dirty, grungy, crowded underbelly that is a series of asteroids hooked together by cables that the denizens use monorail carts to get around. Honestly it’s the most interesting set piece so far, and you could throw 80s Arnold in here and nobody would be able to tell the difference. The close up sets still look cheap, but overall it’s an improvement on episode 1. There is not a lot that happens in this episode outside of Chief learning that the artifact is the key to the ring, a powerful Covenant weapon, and that he is tied to it somehow.
Meanwhile over in Covenant space, the Covenant learn about Chief, about the artifact, and set forward to capture both. Or one. Or both. Dr. Halsey uses some trickery to get the Cortana program greenlit over her immediate superior’s objections. The Cortana program is described as a way for the UNSC to control Spartans not just physically, but mentally. Soren shared with Master Chief how happy he is now the he’s free, and we learn that Master Chief can’t taste food. If you’re wondering whether this show is going to be sharing time for everyone’s trauma, the answer is yes.
Honestly I found this episode exponentially more interesting than the first, apparenty in stark contrast to the people who watched them back to back. Is it a good show? Not particularly. It feels like they set the car at 100mph for the first episode and then slammed on the brakes in episode 2. Kwan is also out of the picture, at least for the moment. It feels like she’ll be going on a solo mission to try to kill the man that betrayed her planet to the UNSC. A real Dr. Breen moment.
Oh and Master Chief doesn’t wear his helmet for most of the episode, which is some bullshit. Pablo Shrieber is really trying his hardest to do everything wrong that Pedro Pascal did right.