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Halo (Live Action 2022)

Recap: Part Deux

Ancient Alien 1 (who I will call Rudy): "Whoa. This sentient plague is pretty nasty."

Ancient Alien 2 (who I will call Carl): "Don't worry. I made these megastructures that can wipe out all life in the galaxy."

Rudy: "... that's pretty fucked up, Carl. What if there is another way?"

Carl: "No. This way is best. We can't let the terrorists win. Everything biological must die."

Rudy: "Maybe someone will come up with a better way to fight back? Or what if there is a pocket of life that thrives? We would be destroying them too!"

Carl: "Listen. I made these death machines, Rudy, and I'll be damned if I don't destroy all life with them!"

Rudy: "We are life, Carl!"

Carl: "Sacrifices have to be made."

Rudy: "Can we at least make these things self-destruct? That way they don't become a mythical weapon that is sought by rogue mad scientists and death cults?"

Carl: "..."

Carl: "You know what, Rudy?"

Rudy: "... what?"

Carl: "I fucked your sister." *presses DESTROY ALL LIFE button*


Anyway... we saw none of that. There was, I think, one throw-away line about ancient aliens leaving shit lying around the galaxy. Otherwise, this entire series is about chasing artifacts that no one knows actually exists.

The Covenant are aliens that never grew out of their teen angst "I never asked to be born!" phase. They joined a death cult, and are looking for the means of ending all life. No, they don't explain how these baddies know about Alien Death Bomb. They just do, OK?

Over at the UNSC... uh, nobody ever explains how bad these guys are. Sure, they are run by a predominately military council. Sure, they turn a blind eye to one of their scientists committing crimes against humanity (let's be fair though, Halsey would totally commit crimes against all species equally). Anyway, we are just supposed to know that they are very bad. They also are looking for ancient alien death weapons that they have no idea actually exist. They just know that ancient aliens were around millions of years ago, so they probably left functional weapons lying about.


So the story begins with the Spartans crushing a terrorist rebellion. Then aliens come around to fuck shit up, because... I dunno, they evil or something.

One of the Spartans, John, wanders off and finds an ancient alien artifact just lying about in a cave, as ancient aliens do. For some unfathomable reason, the Spartans also leave alive a girl named Kwan, who vows to annihilate the government.

For baffling reasons, John is sent back to base apart from the rest of the team. I guess it is supposed to be to keep this fancy artifact secure. They also put the little terrorist shit on board his transport because security is hard.

So eventually high command orders John to kill the terrorist, and despite her being the most annoying person in the universe he instead deserts the military to protect her and takes Kwan to a pirate haven run by another deserter, Soren, who he once betrayed. But he asks kind of nicely to keep the terrorist safe, and now they are buddies again or something?

So now the story splits in two.

The less interesting story is Kwan insisting on liberating her planet from the governor who is on friendly terms with the UNSC. Who is bad, but we never did get around to explaining why people on other planets should see them as bad. We know that they have dark projects, but publicly the UNSC is just the defenders of humanity from the alien death cult.

Kwan takes Soren to planet Madrigal to rah-rah fight the powah. Blah blah, I guess they kill a bunch of people, so now the planet is free to be terrorists again. Also, Kwan is abducted by desert mystics and told she is a chosen one. She Super Mario Bros her way down a random-ass pipe, and her side of the story is concluded.

On the more interesting (a term used loosely) story, John just reappears at home base and is welcomed back like desertion is no big deal. He pops out a device that controls his emotions, and now he is pretty much the exact same person but mildly woke. A Spartan teammate also goes mildly woke, but John thinks she is too much of a loose cannon.

Anyway, so now John takes a field trip with his mad scientist mommy and finds out he was kidnapped, mind-wiped, and experimented upon as a child. This makes him go, "meh."

He also finds out he has the power to see visions whenever he touches ancient artifacts. This also makes him go, "meh."

The teammate is a loose cannon, remember? So anyway, John meets up with an alien death cult collaborator that wants to destroy all life in the galaxy. This makes him do the totally rational thing of romancing the traitor, getting laid, and then deserting yet again.

But this time he gets joined by his team of Spartans. They kill a bunch of aliens, and now they might be finally getting around to checking out that alien life-destroying megastructure.

... just kidding. The trailer for season 2 looks to be all about the Fall of Reach.

Which, for the record, could be really interesting. But it also has nothing to do with the story of the first season. So everything you just read might mean exactly nothing.

So maybe the second season will be something of a reboot, and I will not feel pain in watching every poorly-written scene. I doubt it, but maybe.
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It may be best if we all just consider that conversation as canon. It fills in some franchise plot holes.
But why did they make him take off his helmet?
They didn't want us to be confused and think that this is Master Chief.

They are very clear that their series protagonist is Kwan John.

Besides, where can you ever have a successful series where the main character barely ever takes off their helmet? That seems unreasonable and stupid.
Season the second, episode the first!
  • Cortana has brainwiped John. Now she is sad he is not brain good. Might die and end series.
  • Or just cut to some time later, when everything is fine. Just fine. Pretend like that last season never happened, OK?
  • Spartans are all sassy now. Foreshadowing! (?)
  • When you fight an alien death cult I guess all that religious tolerance goes out the window. "You will be tolerantly and mostly gently relocated for your safety civilian? WHAT DO YOU MEAN, NO! I'LL FUCK YOU UP, OLD WOMAN!"
  • Spartans sure can run somewhat fast. If only there were some sort of vehicles in the future that could make that running all redundant by moving troops even faster.
  • Aha! The chips have been removed! That is why there is sass! Now there is emotional freedom to watch Shark Week.
  • "Unnatural lights? Man, why should we report stuff like that!? It's not like we expect the imminent arrival of aliens that use energy weapons that make a lot of flashes."
  • Shaman: "To leave our planet with a soul is like abandoning a child." Marine captain: "Oh! I was worried for a while. Don't worry, you won't abandon anyone. We are kidnapping you!"
  • Look, they created CG animations for running, and they are going to get their money's worth out of every goddamn frame!
  • Good thing that MC is Batman now, or else his grappling hook trick would be pretty lame. (Fun engineering fact: the Bat-grappling-hook is probably the most unscientific thing in the Dark Knight's arsenal.)
  • "Sweet Jane Goodall! There are gorillas in that mist!" Or cloaked elites.
  • Looks like the writers forgot about energy shields again, because nobody has those around these parts. Eat shotgun blast, xeno scum!
  • "Everybody turn on your energy swords. OK, turn them off, this armored loser clearly doesn't want to join our dance team. What an uncultured oaf."
  • Alien commander: "I say we take off and sky beam the entire site from orbit. It is the only way to be sure."
  • At least the civvies are saf- oh, the sky beams can hit shit in the air!? How is that balanced!
  • The helmet comes off, so we can see that John does not bear a lot of scars on the outside, but he has emotional damage. Title sequence begins.
  • Relaxing shower time interrupted by that girl from The Ring.
  • "We lost planet Madrigal! Chief, don't be sad-rigal! Xeno bitches are so bad-rigal! It's not just planet Madrigal!"
  • "Children, meet your new daddy!"
  • No more gun-grease pink streaks for Kai. What horrible things have the UNSC done to our poor babies?
  • "Sir, who is he?" "He's the boss." That guy was supposed to be cast as Bruce Springsteen!? Fire the casting director immediately!
  • Nothing like a good slave selling to get people all rowdy! Might be the techno music in the background setting the mood.
  • Soren can't even go out for one date night without his mind turning to business. Quite sad, really.
  • "Haha, that's so funny, John. Why would our enemy do training missions? You sure have a wild imagination!"
  • Uh-oh, Soren is getting henpecked at home. Time to drink up and imagine Pirates of Penzance! "For I am a Pirate King! And it is, it is a glorious thing to be a Pirate King! *soft sobbing*"
  • "Here we give this corporal a medal for leading the evacuation efforts. Yes, we let a corporal lead that mission. No, this is perfectly normal, now turn off that camera!"
  • Oh, Cobalt Team is also sassy, and they kept their pellets in. The existence of which is just common knowledge now. I guess they just decided to retcon personalities onto everybody this season.
  • "You shush yourself, young man! This is my fancy Navy board room, and your non-com ass is to be seen and not heard!"
  • "The enemy just left you alone moments before an orbital strike would have taken you all out? That sounds far-fetched, John. You must have the Cortana-madness."
  • Military intelligence knowingly sending troops into a potential trap? Huh, that actually sounds realistic. The writing sure has improved.
  • Well, that was a long father-son talk about how there is no such thing as monsters. So... we're going to see some monsters soon, aren't we?
  • Retired and disgraced admiral wants John to be her spy. Meh, it's still not as shady as all those years working for Halsey.
  • The pirate crew is totally going to betray Soren, aren't they? Shady fucks.
  • Little shit knows a bit too much about Halsey and the Spartans, doesn't he?
  • "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal! Do you pirates have no honor!?"
  • "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal! You have to tell me if you are a space-cop, otherwise it doesn't count! I bought you, man! We have a bond!"
  • "Sorry, sailor. This room is for freaky holo-sex stuff, not for sharing feelings. That costs extra."
  • Ghost Makee has abandonment issues.
  • Fucking Kwan! I knew that things were going too smoothly! How dare you end the episode like this!
I am a bit disappointed that this season is not a total shitburger. The difference of quality is like night and day, and it looks like the studio listened to all the complaints and the writers started to give a fuck. There is actually character development and shit. Real whiplash, dudes.

There was pain in reviewing a terrible show, but it was also kind of fun. Now the pain is less, but will the joy follow?

I suppose I will have to watch the next episode to find out.
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Episode 2 (while, I know, episode 3 has already come out; I have been busy, OK?)

  • "huehuehue... as I plot my next series of crimes I will ponder a fruit tree and indulge my sweet tooth. Oh, sweet child, it is fine to tell me confidential things, we play games together. Fuck, I killed her with my questions. We're gonna need another Timmy!"
  • They say "show, don't tell", but they show Riz with scars and experiencing pain, and then spend a bunch of time dancing around it like it is a Shyamalan twist. "Ask me what it means!"
  • Kai's role in this episode is just to walk around and talk to everyone so that there can be exposition dumps. I expect the Spaceballs scene to happen where they look at the camera and ask "you got all that?"
  • John yells at the intern why has to change the metal plates on the giant roster board they keep on the wall instead of just updating everything on everyone's personal terminals. Calm down, broski. The kid hasn't even learned how to refill the space toner in the space copy machine yet.
  • Fucking Kwan was seen disappearing down a pipe last season. Then we find out she has snuck aboard Space Tortuga and has been living in a cave and secretly grooming speaking with Soren's kid about monsters. Now we see that she chose the one place where everyone goes around chipped (as libertarian dream colonies do, I suppose?), and has to live on the run from her slave masters (OK, that sounds more libertarian after all). Still an idiot, I see.
  • "Soren can't help you any more! You see, I am here to tell you about his untimely betrayal!" Even though she has hidden herself from Soren and came aboard hiding as a chipped slave, and that no one would have any idea who she is or that her and Soren were once a team.
  • OK, the writing and story is just clunky enough that I can go back to enjoying hate-watching this show again.
  • "Riz, I said stop hammer time!"
  • So now Spartans have been retconned from being abducted mind-controlled children who were experimented on by the UNSC and emotionless killing machines who live only to serve to... "you know, you could just retire and try something else with your life, yo."
  • New dickhead boss is a real gaslighting dickhead. "I am in charge and own you forever. I also think that your report of seeing Elites is fake, even if there was another witness right there. She says she saw nothing."
  • "You can't win without us." Uh, Johnny, you ain't that hot shit that everyone thinks. It's nice to have some skilled infantry, but your war is with spaceships that are glassing planets. How many spaceships have you killed with your muscles, son?
  • Kwan, why are you looking at your reflection in a stoneware plate? You know that's weird, tight?
  • Running! Use. That. Budget!
  • Future hide and seek is hardcore. "Found you! *bang-bang*"
  • You know that wearing armor does not negate physics, right? All those long falls are going to fuck up your Spartans.
  • Spartan is wearing their sealed armor that lets them operate in a complete vacuum. Falls into a bit of water. Comes up coughing water. No, really.
  • "We're gonna need another Timmy!"
  • Spartan drop-out: "I just wanted to hang with all you cool kids, so I pretended I wasn't going blind and jeopardized the safety of every one of my team. I could use a coffee right now. You want coffee, fellow broken down child soldier?"
  • Slimy ONI boss: "Hey, Kai. So I know you admire John, and I was wondering if you could be a narc for me and report on his actions and behavior? To, uh, help him?" "Go fuck yourself, sir. Also, let me waffle a bit and overshare that John is cracking up a bit. But he is totally fine. You should see how Riz is about to self-destruct and get us all killed! Hahaha *nervous laughter continues*"
  • John might not be able to intimidate the corporal into changing her story, but he has a secret weapon. Abuelita thinks he is hunky and needs to be fed. Corporal Perez is doomed to defeat.
  • Riz gets some sexual healing.
  • It sure is nice that the UNSC marine gets to go home to have family every dinner every night. Her family embarrasses her mightily, so you know they are good people. OK, so maybe the one cousin sells drugs, but in this war economy you need a side hustle to get by.
  • "Toast! To death in glorious battle... for the Empire!" Cousin Gowronita is a real one.
  • "I lied about what happened on Sanctuary because I feel like I should have died in the alien attack with everyone else." Perez is pretty dumb, even for a crayon-munching Marine.
  • "Kid, you fucked up, and your lying will end up killing a lot more people. You will be haunted by the dead for the rest of your life. Have a nice dessert."
  • So it turns out that Halsey is captured by ONI dickhead, and he has Cortana helping him mindfuck her.
  • "huehuehue... the problem with torturing me by sending all these clones in to entertain me and then die is that their deaths is my entertainment and not getting answers out of them is the torture."
  • Oh, my spyboy met your spyboy sittin' by the fire. My spyboy told your spyboy "I'm gonna set your hologram pomegranate tree on fire!"
  • Yay, back to the bullshit of having two storylines spliced together in a way that annoys you into seeing half of each!
  • Splice 1: ONI dick has... the artifact! And Cortana is very helpful. Helpful in being cryptic about a 97% chance of... that thing... being probable.
  • Splice 2: John just walks into the boss's office and gives voice commands to the computer, which doesn't ask for a password or anything and tells him whatever he wants to know.
  • ONI dick seems to be ready to bug out. Leave behind Cortana, the artifact, Halsey, and anything of use... but at least he can save his own skin. That's how he earns the big chair, you know.
  • Cobalt Team- scratch that, I want to call them Kobold Team since they are probably all going to get slaughtered. They actually went to a relay on Reach that suspiciously went down days ago and have not been heard from since. There is a massive military presence on the planet, but instead of questioning what happened the ONI dick covered up their mission. Now Silver Team is going rogue (OK, so MC lies and says that they have a mission, but you know that they all know he is lying; he was kidnapped as a child and has no real talent at deception) to find Kobold Team and stop the Covenant advance team and inevitable invasion.
  • Makee lives, and is still serving the death cult. Who could have seen this coming?

Yup. Better than the first season, but they wrote a pretty solid first episode and thought "hmm, maybe we should lower our standards a bit". There is a lot of clutter from all the side stories, random stupidity, and coyness at pretending that the Fall of Reach isn't imminent even though anyone remotely knowledgeable with the franchise knows where this is going and is becoming frustrated that it all happens because of a stupid bureaucrat who is also simultaneously a brilliant spymaster.

At least the next episode will likely have a bunch of morons getting blasted away by spaceship pew-pews. As it is meant to be.
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