Halo season 1 episode 3 recap & review: Emergence

Episode 3 of the science fiction series Halo follows Master Chief as he gets integrated with Cortana while trying to uncover secrets about his lesser-known past. The series is currently streaming on Paramount+.


Makee’s background, before she was taken by the Covenant, is revealed.

She was found by the Covenant soldiers on Planet Oban in the Visper system as a child. She took a book, The Dawn of Angels, along with her as a memory of her childhood friend, Det, who was beaten to death by the guards, moments before the two Covenant Sangheili soldiers arrived.

In the present day, Makee gets ready for her search for the keystone. She also promises the prophets to bring back the head of the demon- Master Chief. Admiral Parangosky, in a move to undermine Halsey’s influence, gives Miranda access to the keystone. She asks Keyes to lead a team to analyse the keystone.

Catharine Halsey has activated a flash-cloned copy of herself. She plans to transfer her clone’s consciousness into John and activate Cortana. In front of Master Chief, she presents this as a temporary measure to analyse the artefact faster.  

She uses real-time neuroelectrical imaging to extract her clone’s consciousness and transfers her to John, leaving the corpse of the clone behind. The body is disposed and a digital version of Cortana materializes in holographic form.

Halsey asks Cortana to analyse the artefact. Cortana encounters a problem in fully integrating with Master Chief. Halsey informs her that she has restricted her from doing so since Master Chief is pivotal for examining the artefact.

On The Rubble, Kwan Ha comes to know about Vinsher’s peace treaty with UNSC. The resistance at Planet Madrigal is falling. Kwan Ha expresses to Soren her wish to go back. In a heated exchange, Soren dismisses her.

After John wakes up, Halsey introduces him to Cortana. But Master Chief remains unaware of Cortana’s real purpose. When Cortana takes over completely, John’s consciousness will cease to exist.

John then tests the artefact. He sees vivid glimpses of his childhood. Cortana puts Chief in stasis, but she’s doesn’t get any readings from the artefact. Only John seems to activate it properly.

In the guise of a survivor, Makee manages to board a UNSC ship. With the assistance of Lekgolo, a species of worm-like creatures, she wreaks havoc on the ship. Although, she doesn’t find any useful information about the keystone’s whereabouts.

Back on duty, John meets the rest of the Spartans. Suddenly, Cortana appears and attempts to introduce herself to the Silver team, angering John. Later, John attempts to look for clues about his visions in the database. Cortana offers to help and they close in on Mamore, a planet where John lost one of his Spartan teammates.

He goes on to reveal that while he doesn’t feel anything on most occasions due to the pellet on his back, on touching the artefact, it’s not the case. He further tries to remove the emotional regulator fitted on him. Cortana informs Halsey immediately. Halsey instructs her to assist him to change his perception of Cortana and gain his trust.

Free from the pellet, John roams around a bit before being triggered by the view of a dog, similar to the one in his visions. He heads to touch the keystone. He sees himself drawing another artefact in his memories.

He tells Cortana about the ice rings he saw in his visions. With Cortana’s assistance, he closes down on Eridanus II as the planet he’s been seeing in the memory flashes.

Cortana informs him that the now uninhabited planet was inhabited once for the Reach for Life programme, which was shut down abruptly one day, due to a plague that infected the planet. Curious to know about his parents, he asks her about them. She responds negatively since no data is available on them.

He then informs Halsey about the existence of a second artefact. John expresses his intention to go to Eridanus II to find out more about his family. Halsey, in a bid to discover more about the keystone, offers to come with him.

On the UNSC ship, Makee tries to access the database for information without success. She tells the prophet that she will be heading to Madrigal. This message is intercepted by the UNSC. Meanwhile, Cortana produces an image of the second artefact based on Chief’s description. They head to Eridanus II in search of answers.

Halsey’s assistant, Adun, expresses concern over the possibility of Chief discovering the truth that could prove destructive. Halsey, however, plans to take complete control of Master Chief, using Cortana, if such a situation were ever to arise.


  • The series has considerably slowed down after the adrenaline-pumped episode 1. The introduction of Cortana and a brief peek into Halsey’s psychology acts as the saving grace of this episode.
  • Makee finally takes the stage as one of the primary antagonists of the series as she promises to kill Master Chief. Her ruthlessness takes over in this episode.
  • Overall, this episode feels rather uneventful. The story arc has not moved forward much, but the groundwork is laid out for significant action to ensue.
  • Episode 3 places a significant burden of a hefty payoff on the coming episodes with the constantly brewing anticipation that’s been built for the last two episodes.

Rating: 3/5

Also Read: Halo season 1 episode 2 recap & review: Unbound

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