The Halo TV series bailed on its best chance yet to actually take us to a Halo ring

Attain has fallen within the Halo TV universe. If you realize something in regards to the lore of the Halo video games, you realize that the following factor that’s supposed to occur is Grasp Chief escaping from Covenant forces above Attain, his ship getting attacked, after which promptly crashing onto the series’ first Halo ring. In different phrases, that is principally the second the place the motion begins. That isn’t what occurred within the Halo TV series. As a substitute, Chief (Pablo Schreiber) and his pals took a reflective tour to a backwater planet that felt a lot extra like a detour than character improvement.

After escaping Attain, Chief and everybody else on the escape ship with him (which is principally the entire still-living series regulars apart from Kate Kennedy’s Kai), go to Aleria, a small grime farming planet with loads of land to spare and practically poisonous soil. After an episode as large and thrilling because the Fall of Attain, this appears like a very HBO-style respite: the form of episode devoted to taking inventory of the characters we misplaced and analyzing the brand new form of the world after a large shake-up. However these reveals earn these reflective episodes with constant high quality earlier than them, and so they have a tendency to make these quiet episodes really feel ever greater and extra vital than the loud ones. That was actually not the case in Halo season 2’s fifth episode.

Picture: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount Plus

In protection of the Halo series’ complete premise, it has no obligation to observe the occasions of the video games straight. Because the present’s announcement, the artistic workforce behind it has been cautious to specify that this series takes place within the “Silver Timeline,” which is totally separate from the canon of the video games. So going someplace aside from Halo after the Fall of Attain isn’t actually a drawback. The drawback is that the present as soon as once more fails essentially the most primary and vital check of doing attention-grabbing issues with these adjustments.

The series appears satisfied that the viewers loves and cares about its facet characters. However they’re simply not attention-grabbing. Throughout this episode essentially the most coherent plotline we spend time with includes Soren (the great Bokeem Woodbine, attempting his best as at all times) and his spouse looking for their baby. We see them query numerous folks across the village, and even discover somebody they assume is protecting their child from them. However by the top of the episode, they uncover that he was actually kidnapped by the UNSC — a corporation we virtually completely know at this level because the army that loves kidnapping kids. It’s a bland, “no shit” reveal that feels each too apparent and completely meaningless on the similar time. One other of the episode’s plotlines includes Riz, a Spartan who was launched simply a few episodes in the past, deciding that she desires to be a farmer now that she is just too injured to be a Spartan.

With plotlines this boring, about characters that the present by no means actually does a good job of convincing us to care about, it’s getting awfully onerous not to lengthy for the round perfection and alien weirdness of the Halo rings that give this franchise its title. So why aren’t we there yet?

The reply appears to lie within the Halo present’s method to the rings generally. The series clearly acknowledges one of many nice strengths of the primary sport was that Halo was profoundly mysterious. However the present is approaching that thriller in a very totally different approach than the unique sport did.

Fiona O’Shaughnessy as Laera in Halo season 2 stands wrapped in a blanket with two people talking behind her on a porch

Picture: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount Plus

For the sport, the thriller of Halo was in how little data you had about each the alien ring and the online game’s world. Other than the fundamental premise of humanity being on the again foot in a struggle towards aliens, virtually every thing else was a black field. So once you crash-land on Halo within the sport’s second degree (a degree additionally known as “Halo”), the trail is obvious for the sport to slowly reveal its secrets and techniques about Forerunners, the Covenant faith, the Flood, 343 Responsible Spark, and every thing else that feels commonplace within the series at present. The TV series, on the opposite hand, determined to make Halo a vacation spot. As a substitute of giving us no lore, it’s been stacking up piles and piles of lore by its first two seasons and dangling the Halo ring in entrance of his by way of characters’ prophetic visions. This path to Halo isn’t inherently dangerous; a well-done buildup and reveal could make for a implausible second in a TV present. However just like the Hatch in Misplaced, the secret’s that you’ve got to present the viewers why the factor is mysterious and vital — you will have to actually show it to us, not simply have characters bombard us with insistent dialogue that it issues. And extra importantly, the characters actually have to get into it will definitely.

None of that is to say that the present has run out of time to make it to Halo, and even that it may possibly’t be good as soon as it will get there. However it’s to say that the journey there to date has felt profoundly misjudged and approach too sluggish, and it’s beginning to really feel prefer it may not occur in any respect. On this episode, Makee (Charlie Murphy) tries to persuade the Arbiter to go to the Halo rings as a result of she insists that the Prophets are mendacity in regards to the Nice Journey, telling the remainder of the Covenant fanciful tales about its significance and transcending the bodily realm, however by no means actually planning to take them alongside on their journey to divinity. Now, I’m not saying that the Halo series is the Prophets and we’re the remainder of the Covenant, however I’m saying that our lack of a journey to a Halo ring is beginning to really feel a little suspicious, and so they’re working out of time to persuade me we’re actually going.

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