It would seem we’re already at HALO The Series Finale! The first season of Paramount’s new show, based on the HALO games, has ended. However, has it stood up to expectations and will the first seasons ending lead us to the second season. Additionally, we’ve got some key moments that stand out for the finale episode. Either way, Pablo Schreiber does a fantastic job at bringing the character of The Master Chief to life. Welcome to HALO The Series Season One Finale Review , Episode 9 “Transcendence”.
I’m going to say some of the best moments in this series come from the characters you would not expect. Both Doctor Catherine Halsey and Admiral Margaret Parangosky stood out really well. Halsey’s effective usage of deploying the Spartans against each other was brilliant. However, Spartans vs Spartans does feel somewhat strange to some of us. Additionally, we could compare it to the slightly controversial storyline of the HALO 5: Guardians video game.
WARNING – This article contains FULL SPOILERS for HALO: The Series Episode 9!
Less Action, More Talking
One thing the HALO series does is the use talking things out. Obviously, the games are made for the sense of fun gameplay. However, with a TV show, you need to take a different approach to storytelling. While I think many would have preferred the use of the series to be more action-packed, the conversations do have their uses. Additionally, HALO as a franchise has lots of conversations, especially around the creation of the Spartans as well as ONI and Doctor Halsey’s participation in the program.
When we finally get to the action, the series does perform. However, it does feel short at certain moments. The Spartan’s dropping into the Covenant Holo site to secure The Artifact was fantastic, because of the references. Such as when Master Chief jumps in he scares a Grunt who happens to be sleeping. This same type of thing frequently happens in gameplay. Additionally, a Spartan kicks off the mask of a Grunt, a similar gameplay tactic that is frequently used.
A standout actress in the HALO series ahs to be Shabana Azmi as Admiral Margaret Parangosky. Those who have read some of the Halo books and stories will know that this character is a dangerous woman. However, Azmi’s portrayal brings her more human in a sense, but she is still someone you would not want to cross I think. Hopefully, we’ll see her return for the second season, as ONI are going to need to be a bit more full force coming up.
Actual Fighting, Finally!
The hoard of Elite Warriors did work well. Additionally dropping in Covenant battle units such as Brutes was sure to excite fans of the games. Especially the use of bringing in Atriox, one of the main villains in the Halo series right now. However, his looks aren’t exactly the same. I’m going to commend the series for making use of traditional HALO music for the sake of these scenes. It really brings them to life in more detail and connected them with fans of the game.
HALO The Series Season One Finale had Atriox taking on Master Chief is something that is a little close to home for some HALO fans. After all, it was Atroix who defeated The Master Chief in HALO Infinite. Additionally, it does appear that this Brute has been set up as a pivotal character for the upcoming games. However, is this the end of him in the series? Perhaps so, as it seems he and the other warriors were all blown away by the Artifact. Hey, there is a HALO soundtrack called “Blow Me Away”.
Well, it would seem that Halsey’s (Natascha McElhone) planning somewhat failed. However, I did not expect them to kill over her lab assistant anytime soon. Actor Ryan McParland really brought some unique moments to the character of Adun. Additionally, he also seemed to have brought some rather creepy unexplained moments. Such as attempting to kiss the flash clone of Halsey. Little weird don’t you think? Anyway, Halsey’s plans may have come to an end.
Doctor Halsey does manage to escape and apparently has time to make a little journal entry into what is next. However, where does her character actually go from here? Well, it appears she has some helpers, how they know of her remains to be seen. I’m a little confused with Halsey’s story but glad we’re being left on a mystery with it in a sense.
In watching Halsey, it is clear she is very much like her in-game counterpart. Her work is everything to her, so while I would not class her as a villain yet, it does still come down to how you see it. This episode does show us what lengths the doctor is willing to go to to protect her freedom and her work. Additionally, to her, the ends justify any means. I’m interested to see how her story is handled in the second season and what is actually next for her. Clearly, ONI will not let it slide.
Kwan Ha’s Storyline
The use of Kwan Ha (Yerin Ha) still feels off to me. In fact, I stand by my point that the whole storyline just did not need to be included. Additionally, it does feel like the writers just forgot about that avenue? Seriously we’ve ended the first season of the show, yet had no filling conclusion to what is actually going on with her story, is that it, or is there more? We did have a tease in one of her dedicated episodes, that The Master Chief would return. I hate to say it, but it does feel like that part of the story was just shoehorned in. Maybe Paramount wanted their own Baby Yoda moment?
HALO The Series Season One Finale Has Fallen Short
Overall, I really feel like HALO The Series Season One Finale could have done a hell of a lot more with what we had. The budget from the series is so high, that certain characters and things could have easily been included for the sake of both the story and fan easter eggs. However, that does not appear to be the case. Seriously the end battle could have done with someone like Seargent Johson appearing with a couple of other Spartans. Hell, include Noble Team and make the connection to HALO reach.
The series also seems afraid to kill anyone. Twice in Episode 9, we’re teased with the death of two Spartans from Silver Team. Instead, nothing happens. It seems like Halo can’t sustain the momentum it was able to build in the recent episodes. Some of the storytelling and action have been fantastic, but it seems like the story here had become lost in what it actually wants to be? Already the idea of setting this in an alt-timeline signalled issues to franchise fans.
Sadly as I expected all along and I think many did, Makee was just a pawn being used. I really doubted the Covenant would ever actually use her in a sense. I mean this is the same group that eventually broke out in civil war, after betraying one of their longest-standing species in the games. Charlie Murphy really brought Makee to be more likeable, however, I feel the writing did let her down in some senses.
What Is Next?
Well, that is the end of Season One for the Halo series. However, a second season is already underway and currently in development. Additionally, we do know that Showrunner Steven Kane has stepped down. Announced on February 15th 2022, Paramount+ renewed Halo for a second season, with David Wiener coming on board as the new showrunner and executive producer. Steven Kane will stay on board as a consultant. Also, producer Justin Falvey has suggested the show has the potential to last multiple seasons. Our HALO The Series Season One Finale Review is complete!
One of Halo’s former developers has commented on the series, thus adding more fuel to the fiery Internet discussions right now. Marcus Lehto, who previously worked on all the Halo FPS games until Halo: Reach, weighed in on the discussions via Twitter. Whether his input, fans and critics will have any input on what will happen with the incoming second season, does remain to be seen. One can hope.