TV Shows

Halo (Ongoing)

Will post updates at the top as episodes come in.

Episode Nine

Well that was quite the emotionally satisfying finale! The story of Makee and John was short lived, and tragic in so many ways. Some don’t ever heal from the wounds of the past, and the indoctrinations of their future. This timeline’s John 117 was lucky enough to let go of both, and became the unstoppable Master Chief from the games. But now, I’ve formed a deep connection with the soul inside the shell and I wish to see it return.

The action was middling because the guns for his allies had seemingly infinite ammo while yet again Chief is switching it up. Hopefully this improves for the second season. And yea, finally I had the reaction of “please, you are in unknown space with your ship, them helmets should be on at all times.” Yet, I wouldn’t get to experience the actors and actresses’ faces as they delight in the possibility of the spectacle unfolding. So, I’m willing to forgive that detail.

The soundtrack was soaring, epic, and right on cue for the emotional bits. The CGI certainly improved in certain spots such as the prophets. Speaking of, reading people complain that they would never bow to a human… Oh wow, look, it’s as if the villains are capable of having long-standing plans to achieve their goals.

Overall, it was good ending to the first season. Characters are developed, heroes are defined, anti-heroes and villains as well. Worldbuilding has been established, hints have been dropped for more potential places. And the story now has a new jumping point: the possible location of the Halo ring.

Episode Eight

Could you imagine hating a TV show because the main character, god forbid, kissed someone? And then had sex? Wow, way to announce to the entire world that you, as a critic, are a sexless, virgin. Oh no, your science fiction character gets more action than you? Time to draw the line, this is a bad show! If this is what drew the line for you, then you haven’t been paying attention to the very show you’ve been hired to critique!

Imagine you’ve had no emotions your entire life, and, for the first time ever, are experiencing the chemical imbalance known as lust and love. Imagine you’ve been chemically castrated by the government, by those you live to serve. Imagine you’ve realized you’ve been indoctrinated for years and years. Imagine you now found someone who has gone through much the same experience, albeit for the enemy. The other individual knows what it’s like to be special, and in that, you find a solace together. God forbid, your show has character development.

Imagine you’ve been raised by the so called enemy and they’ve shown you more compassion than any human has. You’ve been indoctrinated for years and years to be the savior of that so called enemy, the covenant. You’ve been tasked now to infiltrate and earn the enemy’s trust. You’re a honey pot. And your target just so happens to be experiencing emotions for the first time since being chemically castrated. You achieve your goals and in that moment, experience the magic of sex for the first time. The influx of emotions you now feel are greater than the indoctrination forced upon you. You truly connect with the person beside you. (If only someone would connect with the maiden-less critics, then maybe they’d possess the knowledge to understand this episode).

And then, just as you’ve formed a connection with this other person, you learn that the masters of humans are just as bad as the aliens that have indoctrinated you. They both seek the same goal: to be as gods.

Spoiler Shoutout to a Certain Critic

The critic over at Forbes is a special, maiden-less breed who wrote “So in conclusion, Master Chief is about to cause the Fall of Reach by having sex with a Covenant spy.” All I can politely say, is, did you actually watch the show you are paid to review?

I don’t get paid, but I actually watched the show.

Because if you did, as you claim, then you’d know that his act of sex had little impact on the fall of Reach. Catherine and her hubris is what contributed. Catherine and her special projects, Catherine and her ‘killing of communications’. Or perhaps Makee getting tortured once again causing her to experience a traumatic flashback to getting tortured by humans as a child. All Master Chief aka John 117 did was show her that humans can love, can care, can change. He was the only one that tried to connect, to find hope.

Everyone else, yourself included, showed that humans are ugly. That they don’t care about a person as an individual, they don’t care to learn the intricacies of being. They merely judge and pass judgment without knowing the whole of events. Pro-tip: try actually watching the show you claim to review.

Episode Seven

This episode was a nice relieve from the focus being on Master Chief, and helped tell Kwan Ha’s story some more. She got a minor conclusion to her story by wrapping up the rebellion against Vinsher on the planet Madrigal, and setting the plot for what’s coming next.

We got a glimpse at the AI such as guilty spark from the games, in a drug induced vision. And hints that there’s some sort of technology hidden under the planet, powered by the fuel in the soil.

All in all, as usual, I’m excited for more episodes.

Episode Six

That beginning was so satisfying. It’s rare to give your masters a taste of their own medicine. The episode brought much needed answers and emotional satisfaction. I was just along for the ride, stopped thinking about the show. That ending was the cherry on top. Our first look at a halo ring. I really hope they renew this show for more seasons.

Episode Five

That episode ran the emotional gamut culminating in rage. Understandable pent up anger, and a glorious fight to behold with UNSC vs Covenant. Despite Kai never reloading, or anyone for that matter, and Chief somehow always picking up different guns instead, it was quite enjoyably to watch.

The dangling threat of John’s mental freedom is still in the wind. CGI has improvement as the show has gone on. That ending bit was a nice tease of more to come. And it was lovely to hear John call out Cortana, and those naysayers out there too, with his line about the game. I’m, as usual, excited for more.

Episode Four

Another episode depicting the tragedy that befalls individuals brainwashed by their superiors or agency oversights. That to take away somebody’s memories is to remove who they are. And to quote Soren, “There are no more heroes.” Nobody has the strength to stand up and fight for what they believe in. They’ve seen what happens to those that do, they meet death’s door. The entire episode is a slow psychological horror at both knowing our beloved characters could be wiped out by an evil mind, and that such events actually happen around the world daily. Rebellion is snuffed out, brutally and utterly, and the minds of the civilians continue to praise the heavens that their leaders walk on. If they aren’t brainwashed, then they live in fear. Time to go see the mystics and free our minds.

Episode Three

Oh look, the first medium to accurately portray Hunters and not shy away from the sheer horror of their existence! And y’all whined that it didn’t follow the lore. Anyways, the opening was pure horror for me, with needles and surgeries, but I still liked that inclusion, I felt that their world could show us anything. I half-expected to see nudity, and they delivered on that front too! Cortana was awesome, as was hearing the voice actress from the games. I can’t wait for the next episode.

Episode Two

What an interesting type of programming shoved down the throats of millions. The show seems to have a self-awareness of the meaning of the word, that the government programs individuals into corrupting their morals and ethics to become slaves and thralls. But there is a stronger code inside all of us, to know when something is simply wrong. This is what Master Chief is representing. That dull ache at the back of your mind that’s sickened by everything those in power ask of you, except he is the fantasy made real, the one that acts. He takes action. And through him, we get our vicarious victory against the powers that be. Yet therein lies the trap. We get pacified, and our ability to act for real gets further diminished in our minds. We continue to be complacent. For all that Halo is worth, and for all that antigovernmental sentiment, it is still a tool against us. With all that in mind, there’s a chance individuals might be inspired to be better. To do better. To know that some commands are wrong and should never be carried out. That being said, episode two is off to a great start.

No action to be found in this episode. Lots of worldbuilding, always enjoyable. Soundtrack is one of those I’ll be listening to outside of the show. I love the sound work overall, the thumps of the armor as they walk, the clank and rumbling of the train cart through space.

Showing John’s upbringing was a lovely touch, as was making our point of view into the UNSC’s raising of the Spartans as negative. Immediately you can tell that John is indeed a victim, as is his friend, Soren.

Overall, I liked this episode as well.

Minor Spoilers

That closing arc of going willingly back into the fold knowing that you may be destroyed in doing so is poetic and yet, I feel a pang of worry for our hero. That he’ll be brainwashed, and overrode, reduced to being the faceless mask of the video games. It’s a nice change to actually worry for the protagonist instead of knowing everything will be okay due to plot armor (like Marvel’s most recent outing, Moon Knight).

Episode One

Around 40 minutes in, I suddenly understood all the middling reviews. The parallels to current governments is strongly on the nose. Yes, the government would kill you, distort your message, and lie to the general public all to keep the black gold flowing into their pockets. You cannot interfere when they decide to ravage the landscape and local populace for natural and heavy minerals. Rio Tinto knows this well.

Halo as a show is off to a great start. It’s jam-packed with goodies such as the radar from the games, and the ammo counts, to the sound of a shield recharging. There’s even a Mass Effect reference at 34 minutes. We get to see all the old favorites besides Master Chief, like Dr. Halsey and Commander Keyes and his daughter, Miranda Keyes. With all that aside, and watching it with no expectations nor preconceptions, or comparisons to the source material, I am thoroughly enjoying the show. In fact, I didn’t want the first episode to end; I want all the episodes now.

I like that they went with their own reality for the show, it gives creative freedom. It’s not like the games brought anything new to the genre besides the Spartans and their suits. Larry Niven’s Ringworld series would like a word. Aliens attacking humanity ain’t exactly fresh. The graphics for the aliens in the show could use a bit of a touch-up as the feeling of CGI and fakeness was too strong, perhaps a different technology or method could have been used? I enjoyed how they introduced the Spartans to us with the idea that they are cold and unfeeling killing machines. To the people trying to survive without being robbed blind by the UNSC and their black gold demands, the Spartans are essentially boogeyman. The government’s own special hit squad, and you’d be na├»ve to think they don’t have that in our present times.

And now the face reveal! I dig it, and it fits the storyline! Did people not understand that? If you’re raised your whole life with the notion that this Spartan is a killing machine. Unfeeling. Alien to you. The boogeyman. And then you see that it is all together too human? You start to realize things, the gears in your head start to spin. You, who have been raised to question things, will now question this. What happened to him? Who did this and why? You empathize with him. He is no longer this unfeeling thing, but a thing that feels and understands you. And it wants to help you. Now that goes against everything you’ve known, and you want to see where it goes because the alternative is death. Moving on, Pablo Schreiber is excellent and I love seeing his performances.

The opening sequence was another aspect I liked, as it shows the surgical scars on John’s body, and then the cool animation of the armor being sculpted onto his body as if by nanites or something. I liked that the girl was Korean, and the commander lady in charge is Indian as it helps establish credence that the UNSC really is a worldly organization, that humanity has truly spread themselves out amongst the stars.

I loved where the end of the episode went. It gave Master Chief agency over his life, and set him onto his own path. He’s breaking free of the chains set upon him by his corrupt masters – and that message we simply cannot have in today’s day and age.

Overall, I highly recommend it. Once again, I love seeing more science fiction shows pop up. I think that if you watched it without comparison to the grail games on high thrones, you’ll find it enjoyable. And if you are not one of those, and you like sci-fi, you’ll like it.

Random Thoughts

I had read several user reviews in addition to the official critics, and I disagree that this version of Master Chief is a perversion of the character. If anything, this version is the best depiction because he’s finally his own character. In the games, he’s always been nothing but a puppet, slave to Cortana or the UNSC, even to the player. By not giving him a face, the player can imagine themselves as the Chief, and roleplay that way. He’s a great poster boy for militaries around the world – does horrific shit, never questions orders, never rebels. A perfect killing machine. Now I could be totally wrong by later episodes, but it seems to me that he’s realizing to the extent that he’s been manipulated by his superiors and is starting to rebel. He’s starting to think for himself. And that is an imagined world I wish to see more of.