Halo, Paramount+‘s live-action adaptation of the iconic franchise took a detour last week. While it presented fans with a solid episode, it all felt out of place. Focused on the fight for Madrigal and Kwan (Yerin Ha), Halo Episode 7 was more a letdown than anything else leaving us all wanting to get back to Master Chief at Reach. This time, Halo Episode 8, “Allegiance“, delivers a continuation of what we were all coming to love: Master Chief.
In Halo Episode 8, John (Pablo Schreiber) and Makee come to terms with their shared vision, bonding romantically over a shared trauma and history. Instead of being a soldier, John becomes a deeply connected part of both Makee and the Artifact. However, he maintains loyalty to the UNSC, working with them to convince Makee (Charlie Murphy) to not turn her back on humanity. At Reach, however, not all is well with the commanding officers as Halsey is asked to leave, abandoning her research, John, and any future use of the Artifact. She is a liability and the only connection John has made to his abduction.
This episode pushes every character to choose a side. For John, he has to navigate a growing relationship with Makee and his loyalty to humanity. Makee must wrestle with the trauma she’s suffered at the hands of the UNSC, the Covenant that took her, and well, herself. While I don’t like the romance here, there is an understanding between the two that is pivotal to the next steps of the season. John and Makee’s chemistry is forced at times but when Schrieber and Murphy are allowed to be more emotive and not forced into romance, it’s clear that the two actors can excel side by side.
But the most important part of this penultimate episode is that the fall of Reach is imminent. With Halsey in self-preservation mode, she’s blocked all communication for the UNSC, assumed control of the Spartans using Z-protocol, and is making her moves to secure the Artifact and the Halo for herself. Convinced that humanity is its own greatest weakness, Halsey has given in completely to her own self-interests.
That said, as a fan of the game franchise, it’s Cortana’s connection to Master Chief that shines in this episode. She is beyond just the programming created and seeing the beginning of her bond with John, and keeping his best interests at the center of everything she does was what I have wanted all season.
As an episode leading into the season finale, Halo Episode 8 is damn good. Sure we still have issues with costuming here and there, and the romance isn’t exactly where I wanted the characters to go, but the stakes are high. Across the cast of characters, it’s clear that Reach isn’t just at the boiling point but has seen its sins boil over. Halo has had a bumpy ride getting to this point, but the story is where it needs to be now. John has to decide where he stands in all of this. Does he support the UNSC as Master Chief furthering its interests? Does he save Makee? And what does he do when the past is revealed?
There are a lot of questions swirling around our lead and Halo Episode 9 is sure to go out with a bang.
Halo Episode 8 — "Allegiance"
As an episode leading into the season finale, Halo Episode 8 is damn good. Sure we still have issues with costuming here and there, and the romance isn’t exactly where I wanted the characters to go, but the stakes are high.