Credit where credit is due. (Spoilers)
I dropped off of watching Halo after episode four and only came back now that there’s a few episodes I can watch right in a row. It’s been obvious pretty much right from the announcement that nobody involved in the Halo TV series gives two shits about Halo as a franchise or seems interested in crafting a good story based around the game series. Kyle Killen and Steven Kane saw the opportunity to helm an adaptation of a popular game series and I can’t blame them for taking it. The writing however is atrocious and it’s been hard to justify just taking the sub hour every week of bad writing, exposition, and just nonsense garbage.
Episode 5 of Halo is my favorite episode so far, because after all this time they finally have a good fight sequence that we haven’t seen maybe since episode 1. It’s also the first time the show feels like it’s had any stakes with the characters. The CGI has its ups and downs, but it’s great to finally see all out war in the show. We finally see various Covenant aliens in action from the grunts to the Jackals and the Elites. The brutes appear and look great, and the whole episode just leads us up to the Covenant getting away with the artifact and us left wondering what will happen next.
But the writing is absolute trash. The showrunners went all in on hoping that Kwan would be a character the audience embraced but she is such a horrible and unlikeable person. Kwan’s scenes are a detriment to the show overall, she’s not a good person that the audience feels sympathy for, she’s now actively ruining the life of Soren, and her scene in the episode ends with her pointing a gun at his unconscious body. The idea that Kwan tricks Soren, a specially trained ex-Spartan, is stupid. In a justified world Soren would have dumped her in a prison cell on his base and continued on with his life waiting for Chief to come back. Or have her get run over by a car, who cares.
Almost every character in this show sucks, barring perhaps silver team. The weird rivalry between Halsey and Miranda Keyes is stupid, as are the persistent threats by Parangosky to pull funding from the project, which is just completely nonsensical. Does anyone really believe the UNSC is going to stop funding research into a weapon during a war against the Covenant? Actually with how incompetent the UNSC is, I think it’s plausible that they would cut funding for what might be their key to victory out of petty personal politics. No wonder the colonies hate the UNSC.
Not as good as episode five but one of my favorites, and not because we see Charlie Murphy’s o-face. Well maybe partially because of that. Episode 6 of Halo is 99.999% dedicated to “who cares about Kwan” and we know ultimately that it’s trying to draw suspense over the last we see of Kwan being her pointing a gun at Soren. At this point I hope Soren wakes up and blows a hole through Kwan’s face with a hidden pistol but we all know that’s not going to happen. All of this is inevitably leading to her back on Madrigal helping her people fight against the UNSC. Because who cares if the universe is wiped out in a war with aliens, humans bad.
But one thing I can say about this episode is that it moves the plot forward. We finally see the Halo ring, John Spartan has finally shown his willingness to kill Halsey, and we got an explanation for what happened with Chief back on his homeworld. I think most of us were expecting that Halsey would have killed John’s parents, but the idea that they leave a terminally ill clone behind to die after a few months is both stupid and nonsensical. Halsey is out of the picture in name only, now having a direct off-site link to Cortana still. Who the hell cares? At least the showrunners teased that we’ll finally do in season 2 what we wanted for season 1. Chief spends far too much time with his helmet and armor off.
It’s amazing how many people know full well that Makee is a very obvious, poorly veiled spy for the Covenant, and yet those same characters trust her. Maybe they also saw her buttcheeks from episode 2 and want to see them again. I can’t blame them, they were nice buttcheeks.
Halo you bitch! Episode 7 kicks off with a flashback to let us know Kwan was also an asshole before the events of the show, just in case you didn’t know. The showrunners use the whole driving into the storm visual technique that was more artistic and impressive when Terminator did it thirty seven years ago. Meanwhile Soren is back on The Rubble because the showrunners presumably didn’t have the confidence of resolving that scene. It still amazes me that the show is setting up Kwan as a sympathetic character given her persistent idiocy and tantrums. It’s nice to see Soren back on The Rubble and doing his piracy stuff again.
Kwan gets fed some PCP from a coven of witches that results in her hallucinating being killed by Chief over and over again. I wish I was joking. It is clear that the writers knew what the audience would want by this point; seeing Kwan get killed over and over again. Kwan has a heart to heart with her dead dad during her PCP trip, and he gives her the inspiration to stop being such a petulant asshole. Character development! If only it happened naturally. Soren finally goes back for Kwan and the two uncover the next macguffin; a portal that I assume will go straight to the Halo ring where Chief ends up in season 2. Adolf Von Hitler Bin Laden Seacrest aka Vinsher Grath gets blowed up concluding his boring storyline.
It’s incredible how stupid the show thinks the audience is, given the conversations between Keyes and Parangosky where they openly say “what if Chief finds out we kidnapped him as a kid?” Have more characters talk about things they already know so the audience can listen in, show. Makee literally makes it clear to Chief that she thinks humans are unworthy of saving, while he talks about how humanity is ultimately worth saving. Someone is really proud of that coke spoon finger sword effect, because Makee uses it at every possible opportunity.
Kate Kennedy as Spartan 125 continues to be the strong female character this show desperately wants but refuses to give proper acknowledgement to. Kwan is a garbage female lead. Meanwhile if the side story had been about Kai ripping out her chip and then going through her own path of self-discovery similar to Chief but with less sex it would have made for a much more interesting B-story. She was cooler in the scene rehabilitating by lifting a Warthog with people in it than Kwan’s story has been the whole season. Damn the writers on this show suck.
And then Makee asks Chief if he wants some sex and he says “yes please.” Funnily enough the sex scene between Chief and Makee has less nudity than their prior nude scenes, and wow did they make it awkward by showing Cortana also watching along with the viewer. Makee briefly considers killing Chief with her finger coke spoon laser knife but apparently decides that bed game is just too good because she rips the implant out of her finger and then stares at him while he sleeps. Cortana explains to Halsey that John is no longer alone, to which she says “he always had me though.” Cortana doesn’t note that Halsey never offered Chief some some sex, but she seems to be thinking it. The sex scene thankfully is not shown on film. John Chief Spartan was kidnapped as a kid and grew up an emotionless isolated soldier who probably had his first encounter with horniness less than 72 hours previously after cutting out his emotion chip. Makee was kidnapped as a child and raised in an environment of an alien religion. There’s no way that sex wasn’t awful and awkward.
It all leads here. Despite how utterly moronic it is, I will admit episode 9 had my attention more consistently than the other episodes in this season. Also kudos to them for blowing the budget and having a big-ass fight scene toward the end. Turns out Halsey’s comments about the clones dying earlier wasn’t just a point of world building but foreshadowing that actually took me by surprise given how long we’ve been with this version of her. The audience gets the joy of watching Halsey die knowing that there’s a possibility we get to see her die again. And of course we can always savor the brutal death of her assistant Dr. Molester. I’m hoping that dude wasn’t a clone, because Halsey would absolutely leave that dork to die in her stead. Maybe they do know what we want. Kai takes a blow to the back of her head as a reminder not to take off that goddamn helmet in a fight.
The episode culminates on Hesduros where we get to see Silver Team unleash and receive a brutal ass beating. Kai does what every character should have done since Makee appeared to the UNSC and puts a bullet in her stupid chest. I’m guessing she won’t be back for season 2. Despite the fact that 028’s grievous injuries had absolute dog-ass CGI effects, it was interesting to see Spartans actually get injured. I’m sure she’ll be fine for season 2. Can’t say so much about John Chief because the show killed his ass. Yep, in case you were wondering how much contempt the showrunners have for Halo, they killed the main character at the end of season 1.
Now obviously we’re going to get into a Search For Spock situation and I have no doubt Cortana will be able to bring Chief back sometime in season 2, but it’s really fitting for a show that feels like it was written by AI at times, to have the main character killed and then his corpse puppeted by Cortana. Just striking imagery, even if it was no doubt unintentional.
What a bunch of crap.
Season Rating: D-