‘Halo’ Season 2 Vastly Improves on the Controversial First Season

By no means decide a guide by its cowl, and by no means decide a tv present by its first season. It appears what initially got here off two years in the past as a half-hearted, unsure try at adapting the Halo franchise for live-action is now a sure-footed TV outing stuffed with intense drama, navy intrigue, and character improvement for Pablo Schreiber’s Grasp Chief.

The second season of Halo on Paramount Plus nearly looks like an apology letter to the followers. Loads of different manufacturing groups would’ve simply ignored the critics, or blamed the outrage on the medium’s limitations and all of the issues that get misplaced in translation while you attempt to flip a first-person shooter sport right into a tv present. Actually, our personal overview of season 1 tried to vindicate showrunners Kyle Killen and Steven Kane by specializing in simply how tough it’s to painting a personality like Grasp Chief within the cinematic area. However as an alternative of forging forward with that flawed understanding of the story and the fictional sci-fi universe encompassing it, the people at Showtime Networks and Amblin Tv have listened to the group and made main changes to each Grasp Chief and the way in which this new plot unfolds within the typical 50-minute TV format. And the consequence? A assured story that doesn’t a lot backtrack from its controversial selections because it improves on them each step of the way in which.

Halo’s most ardent gatekeepers will roll their eyes at that assertion, however I wouldn’t be shocked if most of them obtained round to rooting for Pablo Schreiber by the point they watched the primary half of season 2.

To know what Halo season 2 will get proper that season 1 didn’t, it’s a must to take a look at what made the video games click on for therefore many individuals within the first place. Sure, it might need needed to do with Bungie’s expertise for making extremely enjoyable first-person shooter video games. Sure, Halo got here out at simply the precise second to benefit from the 3D online game craze of the early 2000s. And certainly, there are few video games even in the present day that may match strides with the franchise’s extremely addictive and aggressive multiplayer mode, which pits gamers in opposition to one another in meticulously crafted arenas and unique battlegrounds to check their mettle in opposition to mates and on-line strangers. However to say that Halo is nearly kickass sport mechanics could be to severely downplay its affect on popular culture over the previous twenty years.

This story could have began as a online game collection to assist promote Microsoft’s Xbox consoles, but it surely has lengthy since moved past that to turn into a multimedia franchise, spawning dozens of books, a number of extra-generic spinoffs, quite a few diversifications, and an intensive lore that would conceivably rival huge names like Star Wars and Star Trek. However extra importantly, what makes Halo so particular is the angle it chooses to method the inundated sci-fi style. The place Star Wars depends on mythology and melodrama, or Star Trek on science and exploration, Halo is, at its coronary heart, a navy story.

That’s crucial side of the Halo universe to get proper when adapting the story for any lively mediums on the market, which in the end goes again to the legendary soldier bringing all of it collectively. Primarily, you need your Halo tv present to mirror on the tragic actuality of the soldier’s life, whereas additionally highlighting the significance of their sacrifice. You need to depict the soldier’s internal name to responsibility and duty, and what it looks like when the entire of humanity is locked in a devastating warfare of attrition in opposition to a way more highly effective foe.

through Paramount Plus

These are all of the issues that flip Halo into an iconic story, and these are all of the issues that had been missing in season 1. This outing, in the meantime, dispenses with all of the pointless character moments and dives headlong into the thick of the Human-Covenant Battle. The primary ten minutes of the season 2 premiere characteristic Silver Staff (headed by Grasp Chief) as they try to evacuate a human colony beneath hazard from imminent invasion. That chilly open is adopted by an epic combat scene the place Grasp Chief engages a number of Sangheili elites and kills them in a most brutally satisfying method.

These first moments are a press release to the Halo fandom: “We’ve heard you loud and clear. That is the Grasp Chief you’ve at all times wished to see, so we’re going to present it to you.”

Not is John-117 haunted by his tragic previous, unable to find out what his function and place is on this universe. Not are we confronted with an insecure, undecisive Grasp Chief, who extra so resembles a person on a journey of self-discovery than humanity’s biggest weapons in opposition to the alien onslaught. This new Grasp Chief has made amends with the character of the Spartan program and is now solely centered on what he does greatest; getting humanity out of no matter mire it finds itself for the time being, leaping at each alternative to do the precise factor, even when it means undermining the chain of command.

The Spartans in Halo season 2 aren’t combating their internal demons. Certain, there are moments the place the collection will ruminate on what it means to be in the midst of this seemingly never-ending, hopeless battle, however not like season 1, that side of characterization doesn’t hog the runtime to a fault, as an alternative taking a backseat and permitting Halo’s pure strengths to play out on the display. Whereas we may undoubtedly see and respect what the writers had been attempting to do with season 1 by way of dramatic illustration, this new action-focused chapter of the story is extra harking back to the Halo we’ve come to know and love all these years.

'Halo' season 2 poster
through Paramount Plus

Sure characters will stay an enigma to the viewers. I can settle for Makee (performed by Charlie Murphy) because the story’s predominant antagonist, however I don’t actually perceive the place she’s coming from on this battle, or what her finish objective is. Nonetheless, I’ve solely watched the primary couple of episodes in season 2, so the jury remains to be out on whether or not the story will shed some mild on Makee.

In the end, by leaning on the franchise’s strengths moderately than Hollywood’s failed generic method for diversifications, Halo season 2 improves on the primary outing and compensates for all of the issues it obtained incorrect. There are even plotlines tailored immediately from the Halo canon, which followers will undoubtedly discover intriguing.

If you wish to see the Grasp Chief kicking some critical Covenant bottom as an alternative of prowling the UNSC headquarters brooding over his existence, then ensure that to catch the Halo season 2 premiere on February 8.


Exhilarating and sure-footed, the second season of ‘Halo’ is right here to make amends and win the fandom over.

‘Halo’ Season 2