‘HALO’ Review: Master Chief Steals The Show

INTRO

Halo has been a cultural phenomenon for over two decades now, and, with video game adaptations becoming increasingly popular, there is no question as to why they brought our beloved spartans into live-action. The Halo TV show, debuting March 24th on Paramount+, aims to bring the game’s world to life, while also introducing a brand new “silver” timeline that exists outside of the original canon.

Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief in Halo Season 1, Episode 5, streaming on Paramount+. Photo credit: Adrienne Szabo/Paramount+



“SILVER TIMELINE?”

The “silver” timeline is where the events of the Halo TV series take place, though the core elements stay the same. Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) retains the iconic olive green Mjolnir armor with the number 117 engraved in white on his chest. While there are similarities, the first two episodes dive into a world of change.

The Pilot begins with an unfamiliar tone as we see what seems to be a rebel outpost. Even weirder, the rebellion is against the beloved UNSC, with a specific hatred for super-soldier spartans. The opening scenes give us a lot to know about how the world portrays who we know as heroes. The planet we are focused on is named Madrigal, and our newly met rebels aren’t in a state of peace for long as they are invaded by the most famous antagonists in Halo, the Covenant. The rebels seem to have lost all hope when Master Chief, accompanied by the all-new “silver team”, arrives to defeat the covenant while leaving all but one remaining survivor of the rebellion.

Yerin Ha as Kwan Ha in Halo Season 1, streaming on Paramount+ 2022. Photo credit: Paramount+



That survivor’s name is Kan Ha (Yerin Ha) and, while she is distraught her friends and family have been killed, her hatred for the UNSC lives on. Kan, although a new face, becomes someone easy to whom you can attach yourself. She accompanies Chief in completing his mission, but ,as he said in Halo Infinite, “missions change, they always do.” We see this clearly when Chief is given the chilling order to execute Kan but instead, he disobeys orders and becomes a target to the UNSC himself, something that took the original game five iterations to do.

The order to have Master Chief apprehended was sent by another familiar face (although much younger), Dr. Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone). Halsey wants to bring Chief in to take control of his mind with yet another familiar character, Cortana. Tension begins to rise as the others are unsure of Halsey’s intentions, Silver Team decides to do what we all would, leave their trust in the Master Chief, and set off to find him.

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Jen Taylor as Cortana in Halo Season 1, streaming on Paramount+ 2022. Photo credit: Paramount+



Although the action begins quickly, the pace of the show is immensely slowed down after this and it seemed as if the cast”s acting alone was keeping the episodes afloat. To find a safe place for Kan we see John (Master Chief) in his most human state, helmet off, asking an old colleague for assistance. That colleague is Soren (Bokeem Woodbine), who shows us the warmer side of the cold universe we entered. Soren, although he still wears his armor (no helmet) is a deserter of the UNSC who is now the leader of an underground city uncontrolled by the UNSC.

We’re not here long, as we learn John has come to complete his machine to make sure Kan is safe. Master Chief enters his Falcon and returns to the UNSC headquarters with an artifact he found in Madrigal which had been flooding his mind with unknown memories. Chief lands and is instantly apprehended by the UNSC and is brought in to talk to Halsey. The episode ends just as we think we are going to see our favorite dynamic duo (Master Chief and Cortana) meet for the first time.

L-R Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief, Kate Kennedy as Kai, Bentley Kalu as Vannak and Natasha Culzac as Riz in Halo Season 1, episode 1, streaming on Paramount+. Photo credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+



Pablo Schreiber plays the role of our beloved hero extremely well as we see a whole new side to The Master Chief. Aside from the cast, though, the show leaves a feeling of wanting to have seen more action, even if the effects were a bit lackluster. Overall the show aims to be a fresh take on the Halo universe, and if that’s a good one we’ll have to wait to see.

RATING 6.5/10

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