Halo TV Series Episode 1: Contact Review

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Halo TV Series Episode 1: Contact Review

Halo Season 1 Episode 1 Review
Halo TV Series Episode 1: Contact Review

In the year 2552, humans on the planet Madrigal fight for independence from Earth, but a fatal encounter with the Alien Covenant complicates things; Master Chief John 117 and his super-soldier “Spartans” join the fight.

The first episode of the Halo TV series on Paramount+ has finally arrived, and it’s a doozy. This episode has both excellent and unpleasant moments. Some of the lore from the source material has been preserved, although there are some new additions and one or two notable departures. There are huge spoilers ahead for the first episode of the Halo TV series: Contact.

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Halo TV Series Episode 1: Contact Review

It’s possible that this isn’t what you were anticipating. The Halo TV series begins with a girl in a town, rather than its hero, Master Chief.

In Madrigal’s dusty bowl, war is brewing. The militaristic branch of Earth’s government, the UNSC, and its Spartans are at odds with a group of rebels. These seven-foot troops are boogeymen to Madrigal’s destitute people; murdering machines meant only to follow commands and crush anything in their path. They’re “Faster. Stronger. Smarter,” as one rebel puts it in Daft Punk style. The propaganda being fed into the Outer Colonies may call them “humanity’s best weapon,” but they’re there to hold the UNSC’s iron grasp securely around the throats of a significant portion of the galaxy.

They shouldn’t be concerned about the Spartans, though. Kwan Ha (played by Yerin Ha, the show’s most consistent actress at this point), the girl from the opening scene, has plans to flee the rock she calls home. As a result, she unintentionally becomes embroiled in an alien invasion of Madrigal called as the Covenant.

The Covenant’s first encounter with humanity is a badass one. It feels like an alien invasion film at first, with humans having no idea who or what they’re up against. This planet has yet to see the wrath of one of the universe’s most terrible species, and it shows. The terror that humans experience when they are pursued by an unknown foe is palpable.

Before invading their base, the Covenant hunts down these humans with great efficiency. Elites quickly break inside the facility and cause significant damage. The UNSC and Master Chief then arrive to annihilate the adversary.

Master Chief, also known as John-117, is not like the other Spartans. His inquisitive curiosity leads him to a mystery object after clearing out the Covenant and researching their ship. The artifact, far from being a faceless brute, reveals John’s visions: a pleasant childhood, a family, a dog, and joy. These events prompt the Spartan to begin questioning UNSC commands and to function as Kwan’s guardian angel, a loose thread that the UNSC badly wants wrapped up — and neutralized.

Doctor Halsey is briefly seen through the Chief’s HUD, watching the situation unfold. She’s been interrupted and told that if she doesn’t make progress with her research, she’ll lose her money. The show then shifts its focus to the Covenant mothership High Charity, which is stunning.

Master Chief and Kwan Ha, the lone survivor of the Elite’s attack, discuss their prior meeting while en way to planet Reach. Her mother was killed as a result of an operation led by the Chief. She was a vocal opponent of the UNSC’s direction who was assassinated for it. Then Chief receives a notification on his HUD stating he must kill Kwan. He starts questioning her mother’s murder and his new commands.

The UNSC is furious because they can see everything that happens on the Pelican. They decide to reduce the oxygen on board remotely and use a control device to shut down Master Chief. Before the Chief lands, the UNSC Marines and other Spartans prepare to intercept him. Halsey, on the other hand, tells the Spartans that they must protect the Master Chief and fight anyone who opposes him.

The ship is stabilized by the Chief, but the Marines immobilize it. The Pelican is then recharged when Chief interacts with the relic that appears to be Forerunner technology and sees further visions. They turn it on and take off.

Yes, there is a human in the Covenant’s employ. As she converses with a high-and-mighty Covenant Prophet, Makee (Charlie Murphy) definitely has some position of influence among the alien civilization. She’s a fascinating allure that attracts both Halo enthusiasts and curious sci-fi fans. While her debut is brief, it is sufficient to establish the aliens as more than one-dimensional antagonists. A well-done task.

I don’t give a damn if Master Chief takes off his helmet or not. Just because he doesn’t do it in the games doesn’t negate the fact that he does it in the TV show.

Master Chief Without a Helmet Has Finally Been Revealed by Halo, and You Can See It Here
Master Chief Without a Helmet Has Finally Been Revealed by Halo, and You Can See It Here

It’s only natural that the Halo series would need to humanize Master Chief, and this was accomplished by enabling him to remove his helmet and appear to the viewer as a normal person. Now comes the arduous task of creating a backstory that justifies your transformation into a super-soldier and transformation into humanity’s final hope for survival. Pablo Schreiber will have to walk in some huge shoes, since he will have to display both compassion and firmness at the same time. With the program still doing strong and a second season on the way, Paramount+ definitely sees where this show is going.

New episodes of Halo stream weekly every Thursday on Paramount Plus

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