Halo season 1 episode 9 recap & review: Transcendence

The season finale of the science fiction series Halo follows Master Chief and the Silver Team as they enter Covenant territory to secure the lost artefacts. The series is streaming on Paramount+.

Recap

The power surge from the artefact has affected the UNSC base badly. Master Chief stands on his feet and is badly bruised as he heads to the room where the artefact is kept. He finds Miranda there who tells him that Makee has taken the artefact and left.

When Chief returns to Kai, he finds that Riz and Vannak have her at gunpoint. Chief decides to reveal the truth about their abductions by Halsey to Riz and Vannak.

When they refuse to believe him, Captain Keyes admits that he was also part of the plan. Riz and Vannak are shocked. But Chief convinces them that it’s important for them to find the artefact as they will lose the war without it.

Chief, Riz and Vannak head to the hangar to stop Makee while Kai leaves to confront Halsey.

By the team Chief reaches the hangar, Makee has already left in a Covenant Phantom. But as Halsey’s ship leaves, Kai gets aboard the ship, compromising the shift’s safety.

She confronts Halsey about her true identity. Halsey’s assistant Adun is killed by Kai, but Halsey escapes in a pod. Kai tries to take control of the ship unsuccessfully and the ship crashes. Fortunately, Kai emerges from the wreckage without a scratch.

Master Chief decides to venture into the Aspero system to find the “sacred place” Makee talked about. Makee, on the other side, receives appreciation from the Prophet Mercy for bringing both the keystones back home. Makee asks the Prophet for a space in the great journey the Covenant will soon embark upon. Prophet of Mercy promises her one.

In the ship, Cortana tells Chief about how Halsey planned to use her to take over his body completely.

After some trouble and turbulence, the Silver Team finds the Covenant planet. The UNSC has meanwhile captured Halsey and sentenced her to death.

But soon after Miranda informs her about her sentence, Halsey gets a seizure and dies. Miranda realises that it was the same behaviour that the flash clones Halsey used to replace John and the other Spartans showed. The real Halsey hides somewhere else.

Makee has prepared for a special ritual with the keystones without knowing that the Covenant plans to kill her too with the rest of the human species.

The Covenant begins the ritual with the Silver Team slowly closing in. However, the Silver Team exposes themselves inviting hordes of Sangheili soldiers toward them.

Master Chief is attacked by a couple of Brutes who overpower him. Just as one of the Brutes was potentially going to break Master Chief’s helmet, Makee touches the artefact activating a map in the sky revealing the location of what the Covenant call “The Ring”.

Chief slowly starts walking towards Makee and gets transported to Halo where Makee and Chief meet each other.

John tries to convince Makee to return to the real world. Kai tries to get Chief’s attention back to the battle and shoots Makee. Makee falls and Chief regains his consciousness.

But, by this time, the Silver Team is completely down with only Chief standing on his feet. Cortana asks Chief to escape, but he refuses to leave without the artefact. Cortana tells him that there’s no way he can save the artefacts and the team together.

John asks Cortana to take over his body as she was programmed to. When he finds it difficult to make Cortana do it willingly, he exposes his body to a Brute’s attack knowing that Cortana will not let him die.

Eventually, Cortana takes over Master Chief’s body and helps secure the artefact and get the Silver Team on the ship. Cortana through Chief then helps Riz who’s been badly injured.

In the end, Halsey is seen getting ready to catch a ship while the UNSC has declared her ‘Wanted’. The season ends with Kai asking Chief, “Is that you?” as he looks straight ahead without answering, raising vital questions about John’s future.

Review

  • The episode feels closer to the video game franchise with some cool action sequences evoking the First Person Shooter aesthetics.
  • The finale has a lot of high moments but overall, it does feel like an underwhelming climax given the scope the Halo universe inherently provides and the build-up of the events of the season.
  • The CGI does look poor in some of the scenes and the setting doesn’t provide the boost to the big climax it should have been.
  • The climax poses many questions, the answers to which could be sought in the next season. But again, the most important question will still lurk around Kwan, who disappeared from the scheme of things after the soul-searching she did in episode 7.
  • The finale episode does suffer a bit from the mistakes that occurred throughout the season, but there’s still enough light at the end of the tunnel for those who did enjoy this screen adaptation of the popular FPS video game series.

Rating: 3/5


Also Read: Halo season 1 episode 8 recap & review: Allegiance