Warning contains minor spoilers to Ep8
Episode 9 is the final episode in the first season of Halo so just like the show, I think we should start with a bit of a refresher. An ancient Covenant artifact is found on the planet Madrigal causing the Covenant to attack. The UNSC sends in Silver Team, the Spartans to repel said attack. While on Madrigal Master Chief senses the artifact and returns with it to the UNSC. Dr Halsey who is the mastermind behind the Spartan program wants to study the artifact with the help of Master Chief who can activate it. Halsey introduces Chief to Cortana, the relationship between Cortana and Master Chief grows to what we know in the games, the Chief removes his emotion inhibitor chip as does Kai and they begin to change in what they perceive of the world around them.
Covenant attack again, Makee (The Blessed One) is left behind to infiltrate the UNSC for the Covenant. John and Makee both feel connected to each other and to the artifact and the Halo. All the while Dr Halsy is clearly coming unhinged. All this before Episode 8 and if you are feeling a little rushed reading this it is exactly what I want you to feel because Episode 9 is a ride.
After the events of Episode 8 Master Chief is left battered and bruised but able to convince the rest of his team with the help of Kai to the real reason they are where they are and what it was that Halsey did to them as children. While Chief, Vannak and Raiz go after Makee to try and stop her from getting off Reach Kai goes after Halsey. Master Chief is determined to follow Makee to the Covenant homeworld to retrieve her and the artifacts that show the way to the Halo. To do this they first need to find out where that homeworld is.
One of the greatest parts of the Halo series so far has been the character growth from stale video game characters that would struggle to keep your attention in a show set to this fully fleshed out character that I know have a very vested interest in what is happening to them in this world. Some of the best is the way in which the relationship between Cortana and Master Chief has grown since they were first introduced. While Cortana may be living in his head so to speak, she is an AI presence who is always learning.
The Master Chief needs to put aside the events of episode 8, bring his team together and lead them on a small incursion into uncharted territory within the Covenant homeworld.
Episode 9 ‘Transcendence’ is near on perfect end to the first season of Halo. The story has been coming to this point and all those different interconnecting stories we see from the first 8 all converge in a final act that made me need to remind myself that I need to breathe.
It has been a long time since a show has had me sitting on the edge of my seat, questioning out loud and yelling at the screen for certain characters to do things differently yet in this final instalment Halo has me doing all the above.
The best thing I can emphasise is this. Watch it on as big a screen as you can, as loud as you can take it. You won’t be disappointed.
Episode 9 is available now on Paramount + Australia
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