Julian Recaps: ‘Halo,’ Episode 2 Gets Leans Into The Tired ‘Chosen One’ Trope

Halo Ep. 2 recap

Hello again, I am back with another review for Halo, Episode 2. After sleeping over the first episode, I thought the series was going to be like a complete re-tread of The Mandalorian. Fortunately, that was not completely the case at the end of this episode, but the story developments still echo the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy territory of the“chosen one” cliche that never existed in the Halo games. It feels like the show is trying to be Halo, but it’s borrowing from other sci-fi properties rather than simply taking what already exists and telling it in a way that is unique for this franchise.

Starting off with a flashback to what is presumed to be the Spartan II Training Facility on Reach, John 117 (Pablo Schreiber) tries to stop Soren 066 (Bokeem Woodbine) from escaping the facility. Understanding how Halsey’s (Natasha McElhone) Spartan augmentation process has affected him and everyone else, John gave Soren five minutes to escape.

Flash-forward to helmet-less Master Chief and lone survivor Kwan (Yerin Ha) journeying toward an insurrection safe haven called The Rubble where they encounter a grown-up Soren, who now has a wife named Laera (Fiona O’Shaughnessy) and a young son, to understand the existence behind the artifact recovered from the last episode. Meanwhile, Fleet Admiral Terrance Hood (Keir Dullea) holds a meeting to discuss Master Chief’s sudden disobedience to terminate Kwan Ha.

Danny Sapani as Captain Jacob Keyes and Natascha McElhone as Dr. Catherine Halsey in Halo episode 2, season 1, Streaming on Paramount+. Photo credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+
Danny Sapani as Captain Jacob Keyes and Natascha McElhone as Dr. Catherine Halsey in Halo episode 2, season 1, Streaming on Paramount+. Photo credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Halsey persuades Hood the only way to reign Master Chief’s obedience is by providing an artificial intelligence called Cortana (Jen Taylor) to which Hood allows Halsey to proceed much to Paraongosky’s (Shabana Azmi) distaste. Back on The Rubble, Kwan witnesses a video feed from Madgrial of Vinsher Grath (Burn Gorman) who is a political figure trying to broker peace between the Insurrection and the UNSC began to take over as leader following the death of Jin Ha executing political dissents.

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Later on, John, Kwan, and Soren visit Reth (Johann Myers) an inmate who was abducted by the Covenant to learn more about the artifact and discover that John is the only person who can destroy the ring and must destroy himself. Master Chief leaves Kwan under the protection of Soren and returns to the UNSC based on the latest discovery.

This was more of a filler episode to understand why Master Chief disobeyed his orders and learn more about the artifact. It was okay at best, albeit still reminding me of The Mandalorian, such as when John is not wearing his helmet in certain scenes, much like how Din Djarin began to go helmet-less. The plot reused the tired clique of the main character being the chosen one to pilot and/or destroy the big bad evil weapon. It was used here when Master Chief discovers information regarding Halo and how he is chosen to destroy it.

Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief, Yerin Ha as Kwan Ha, Bokeem Woodbine as Soren in Halo episode 2, season 1, streaming on Paramount+. Photo credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+
Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief, Yerin Ha as Kwan Ha, Bokeem Woodbine as Soren in Halo episode 2, season 1, streaming on Paramount+. Photo credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

At that point, it became Star Wars again with “The Chosen One” story whereas in the lore of the Halo games, books, and other media, Master Chief was just a soldier doing his job who eventually discovered how dangerous the ring is to all life in the galaxy and was forced to destroy it before the Covenant used it. It was not fate that pre-empted John to do this. Luckily, near the end of Episode 2, it finally got back to being Halo after Master Chief dropped Kwan off on The Rubble and returned to the UNSC.

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Overall I was not thrilled, but still interested in where this show could go. I hope goes into showing humanity’s plight against the Covenant while still telling its own story that hopefully resembles Halo. We saw Admiral Hood in this episode and with hints of Cortana showing up later down the road, I wonder if we’re going to see other characters, such as Sargent Avery Johnson or The Arbiter. Either way, I hope for a good episode next time. 

Rating 2.9/5

Julian Jones is a University of Alabama at Birmingham graduate with a degree in Sociology and minor in Public Health. When he is not watching films, he is an Assistant to Ashley M Jones, Poet Laureate of the State of Alabama. Let him know what you thought of his review by leaving a comment below!

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