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Halo Season Two Sticks The Landing—I Told You So

The season two finale of the Halo TV series does everything a video game adaptation should do and then some, proving a point I’ve been making for well over a year: This show is good.

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Though the first season of the Paramount+ series based on the game franchise of the same name more than occasionally struggled to tell a somewhat new story in an established universe with beloved characters, the second season set out to rectify those mistakes. One episode into this second season, which boasts a new show lead in the form of David Wiener (Fear The Walking Dead), it was clear that the team wasn’t screwing around. Action sequences felt tighter and better choreographed, emotional beats hit when they were supposed to, and the interwoven story threads made for incredibly watchable television.

The season finale, dubbed simply “Halo,” is an excellent proof-of-concept—this show whips, and it deserves a third season.

A flood of Halo lore

If you were one of the Halo TV series naysayers who were bummed about it not being a one-to-one recreation of the games, then this last episode should appeal to you. In its just-under-an-hour run-time, “Halo” includes several of the biggest story beats from Halo: Combat Evolved, alongside some heart pumping action and great payoffs to plot threads that have been dangling this entire season. Truly, the gas pedal is on the floor from the moment the episode kicks off, and it doesn’t let up.

Read More: The Halo TV Series Just Killed Off An Iconic Character

“Halo” begins unlike any other episode in the series thus far: A scientist we’ve never met before is bugging Miranda Keyes (Olive Gray), who’s trying to figure out what’s going on with the mysterious spores she found last episode. That scientist is a little bitchy and somewhat annoying, and it seems that she’s also tampered with the sample prior to Keyes checking it out. We don’t like her.

Moments later, she’s having a water cooler moment with some other scientists when a bizarrely upbeat music score starts playing and her demeanor begins to change. You see, she’s infected with whatever the spores are made of (this is why you shouldn’t touch weird shit in a lab) and she soon succumbs to the infection, stabbing a random scientist in the neck with a pen. If you’re a Halo fan, you know what this is: the Flood, the parasitic aliens that ravage the galaxy and are the reason for the creation of the Halo rings in the first place. Now, we feel bad for her.

The Flood are here, despite it seeming like the series’ pace would never lead us to the terrifying and bizarre creatures. Sure, there were hints of them, all shown through the Kwan Ha (Yerin Ha) subplot, but I didn’t expect the show to go full-fledged-Flood this season—especially considering they are the headiest of all Halo baddies. It’s a bold move, and one that pays off, especially when we finally get a glimpse of the multi-limbed abominations in the flesh.

As the episode progresses, we know that it’s leading to a denouement that mirrors the first Halo game: The Covenant and the UNSC want the ring for different reasons, with many knowing that its ignition will end all organic life in its vicinity.

Along the way, we get some heartbreaking sacrifices and genuinely sad deaths (RIP Kai-125, you will always be famous), and then we get the payoff many have been waiting two seasons for: Master Chief’s Mjolnir boots setting foot on a Halo ring. It’s a sight to see—those vaguely Pacific Northwest mountains, the smoldering wreck of a UNSC ship, plants sprouting impossibly fast from the ground. Master Chief and Cortana are reunited, and some of the better characters from this last season (Ackerson, Perez, Kwan) seem to be alive to fight another day.

We’re here, we made it. And guess who else is here, too? 343 Guilty Spark, the annoying motherfucker from the first games who I wouldn’t trust to hold my drink at a party. Considering the AI Halo ring monitor is universally despised by players and wholly untrustworthy, the cliffhanger reveal that he’s been chatting to both Chief and Makee (the Covenant-allied woman he slept with last season) is a big one.

After this episode, I have to ask: Are you not entertained?

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