Paramount Plus

Season 1 Episode 5


On the run and out of options, Kwan and Soren have a difference of opinion. With the possibility of finding the mysterious Halo on everyone’s minds, John makes a horrible discovery. And the war rears its ugly head.

The episode begins with everyone still on Eridanus II and another flashback to John’s past. One that connects him with Halsey again and appears to serve as the catalyst for her Spartan program plans. The flashback also showcases that Keyes is not as innocent as he seems in the scheme of the project. The story starts to get back into the interpersonal conflict between Halsey and her family as Keyes continues to protect her even from his daughter Miranda.

With the UNSC taking over the area, their plan is to remove the object from the planet and return it to Reach. Unfortunately, the call for his memories is strong or Master Chief and he wants to know more about his past. A desire that becomes amplified when he discovers that his fellow Spartan Kai has removed her emotion suppression technology as well. The moments between the two of them are narratively interesting and I wish were explored more.

Bokeem Woodbine as Soren in Halo episode 5, season 1, Streaming on Paramount+. Photo credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Kwan’s story on Madrigal with Soren is becoming tedious and uninteresting. Their interactions with each other advance nothing and boil down to a petulant child throwing a tantrum to an emotionally abusive parent. Neither one of these characters is compelling nor is Kwan’s story becoming as interesting as the writers want us to believe. She wants to fight for the freedom of the planet with no plan, no allies and no ideas. Her incessant whining makes her arc hard to watch.

Makee continues to hunt for the object as well and her story is interesting, but it hasn’t established any stakes for her personally that would make her an effective villain or foil. The real drama of the episode continues to lie in Master Chief’s memories and what they mean for both the Spartan project and his connection to the artifacts. Something that comes to a head when Halsey’s plans for the artifact cause her to remove her daughter from the project and Master Chief’s memories force him to encounter the artifact again. A scene that is really well done and showcases what Cortana is and the danger the character faces from his own forces.

When the artifact is activated and released, it triggers a series of events that brings the Covenant forces to the planet and a huge battle scene. The battle scene was beautifully filmed and filled with great action. It’s the level of action I expected from the series and the scene did not disappoint. There were even moments that made me excited as Master Chief does something unexpected and against orders.

The fifth episode of the series is ramping up the action, adventure and overall scope of the story in some interesting and entertaining ways. While the Kwan storyline continues to be a weak point, the bigger story with Master Chief and the significance of the artifacts has captured my attention.




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