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Halo Season 2 Episode 7 Recap and Review

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Season 2, Episode 7 of Paramount Plus’ Halo sets up for another big battle.    

This is a recap and review of episode 7. Spoilers to follow!

Credit: Paramount Plus

Tying into the end of the last episode, we find Makee and John (having touched the Keystones and having been projected onto the ring world) arguing about whose side will destroy the other if they get there first. Makee seems to hold aspirations that the world could be a place of peace, but John has doubts. As both are approached by their various factions, they let go of the relics, which sends out a wave of energy. 

On the Arbiter’s ship, Makee snags Cortana’s node and runs from the priest who is trying to kill her. Cortana projects herself, distracting him so Makee can sneak up and stab him with a laser sword when he turns around. Makee shows Coranta on a star map where the Halo is.

In the command room, Parangosky, after giving Ackerson some veiled threats, finds out that the Covenant battle group, the Solemn Accord, has entered the Soell system where there is a massive energy source (which is clearly where the Halo is). She sends a fleet, which includes Ackerson’s Spartan-IIIs, despite him arguing his soldiers were designed for special missions, not regular assault. 

John, wandering around the base, is approached by Briggs, who orders him to be shot. John talks the soldiers down, and when she goes to shoot him herself, Kai knocks her out from behind. Kai then admits that she made a mistake. John claims he’s going to get his suit. 

Meanwhile, back in the complex below Onyx (which Halsey believes is a library and Miranda a religious site), Miranda shows the progress they’ve made to unlock the artifact. Miranda says she won’t tell Halsey what was in the section she opened until Halsey reveals what she discovered first. Halsey explains that it was DNA that is both ours and “theirs.” I initially took this to imply that the aliens who made this artifact provided the blueprint for both civilizations, that we share a very distant ancestor, but Halsey explains that she took this as a test the aliens left for humanity, so she went searching for children who carried the genetic sequence.

Miranda reveals that she discovered a round object. As Halsey inspects it, Kwan touches a node on another wall. It lights up, so she takes it. When she does so, it reveals a holographic star map. Kwan moves the glowing ball around, from system to system, in an attempt to unlock the next cipher. Kwan claims it’s not a map but a clock. She moves some more nodes, stars, in the configuration she saw on the drawings she found in the cave months back, which opens the door.

Halsey bursts into it. Inside, they find a glowing bridge that leads to another door that Halsey opens with the orb Miranda found.

This room reveals a laboratory. In it, they find a humanoid husk. As they approach, the room begins to shut down and the bridge collapses. Halsey stops to stare at the now-evident immensity below them – an ancient city. 

Safe in the cave, Kwan notes that the “clock” is spreading and runs away, claiming, “It’s real” and they “can’t be here.”

Back in the facility, Miranda and her mom share a heartfelt moment bonding over research. As Miranda opens the object she had taken from the corpse in the lab, Halsey sneaks away. 

Also meanwhile, Laera and Soren are still in a training ground, and Soren recounts a time as a cadet when he fought a losing battle (beaten by men wielding clubs) but gained his teammates and learned “what type of a person he was.” Laera, understandably horrified, asks what they are going to do about Kessler, and Soren wants to leave him there to experience it. Laera is even more horrified and argues that she stood by Soren without having to go through some warped indoctrination trial. She claims he’s not a Spartan and leaves to rescue Kessler herself. 

Soren watches from above as Kessler and other kids are brought into the facility. Laera races in as men with clubs approach, but then Soren appears and kicks their asses. Kessler, frightened by his dad’s violence, backs away to his mom. Guards appear and grab them away, leaving Soren alone. 

Credit: Paramount Plus

As the fleets engage in the Soell system, the first wave of human ships are quickly wiped out, including some of Ackeron’s Spartan-IIIs. Ackerson protests against sending more, but Parangosky claims this is the battle to end all battles. 

Back in his room, Ackerson runs simulations. As he goes to share what he learns, John barges in demanding his armor. Ackerson tells Kai that the spike (as I suspected) is not a virus but creates a fusion bomb that will destroy everything within a million miles (including possibly the Halo).

Finally, for the first time in the season, John gets to his armor. After speaking with Kai about Vannek, John approaches Ackerson and demands he tell everyone what Parangosky did on Reach. Ackerson claims he’ll be destroyed too, and John tells him essentially “too bad.”   

Kai wants them both to go with the Spartans-IIIs, but John says Parangosky is correct, that destroying the Halo is better than the Covenant getting it. Kai says she’s still going with her troops.  

Back on the Arbiter’s ship, the fleet has reached them. Makee admits that she can’t foresee anything anymore and wants to know how she can prove she’s worthy of his faith in her. He says she has already done so, as she showed him his redemption. She approaches the brand the Arbiter used before and brands her own chest. The Arbiter states that he is thus bound to her, to which she replies they are bound together, to the Ring. Aww!  

In the Command center, Parangosky receives notice that a ship is leaving without authorization. When they hail it, John acknowledges. Realizing Ackerson helped or allowed John to escape, Parangosky has him arrested.

On his Condor ship, John looks at his coin, then blasts towards the battleground and the Halo while Kai readies her squad to jump. 


Overall Thoughts

I enjoyed this episode a lot, but that’s because I absolutely love the “alien archeology” trope. It’s by far one of my favorites in the sci-fi genre, so the parts with Halsey and Miranda (despite McElhorne’s rather wooden performance at times, which is definitely not limited to this episode) I found exciting and fun (albeit a bit rushed). It will be spoilers for you if you haven’t played the games, but there is a great trilogy, The Forerunner Saga by sci-fi legend Greg Bear, that is quite conceptually rich if you enjoy this trope too (I will admit I found the first book dry and the characters uninteresting, but the second two books are very enjoyable).   

Much like his introduction at the start of the season, Ackerson’s character arc is moving way too fast. I enjoy a villain who grows more complex as the story builds, but his obsession with the Spartan-III program isn’t fleshed out enough to make him sympathetic or even completely understandable in his motives, and the timeline of events seems unclear. Has it been days or weeks since Reach? 

While it also felt a bit rushed, I did like that Makee and the Arbiter have formed a bond (mainly because I always liked the Arbiter in the game, and I hope he sticks around). I’ve said this before, but this show really needs to give its characters some downtime. While there are moments of non-fighting, a few minutes of non-plot-related conversation or just banter would really give it some more personality and fun. I’m not expecting Red vs Blue, but something.

As with episode 6, we’ll see if the writers decided to keep closer to the game’s storyline or branch off on their own. 

The next episode airs March 21 on Paramount Plus. 

    T. S. Beier is obsessed with science fiction, the ruins of industry, and Fallout. She is the author of What Branches Grow, a post-apocalyptic novel (which was a Top 5 Finalist in the 2020 Kindle Book Awards and a semi-finalist in the 2021 Self-Published Science Fiction Competition) and the Burnt Ship Trilogy (space opera). She is a book reviewer, editor, and freelance writer. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, two feral children, and a Shepherd-Mastiff.

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