Silver Debrief: Allegiance
Welcome back, Silver Team.
Looks like things are really heating up out there (in more ways than one), so let’s get you debriefed.
As John and Makee come to terms with their shared vision of the Halo ring, Dr. Halsey's gambit to fulfil her mission to secure the future of humanity means that everyone must choose a side.
RED VS SILVER
Wait... does anybody else hear— is that Tejano folk music??
The episode begins with John-117 remembering his shared vision of the Halo ring with Makee, drawing a circle into the steamed-up mirror. Makee, too, looks at her reflection in a round mirror, before John enters her room with new clothes and takes her to the city to see humanity as she never has before.
As John and Makee walk amongst the gardens of Reach City, Dr. Halsey ruminates on an instinct she felt from the moment she saw John as a child. Though he was not the fastest or the strongest, there was something about him that was different from the others. Adun notes that now there is something different about the two of them and observes John’s improving health, Cortana confirms that all of his systems are back to normal.
Halsey asks Cortana if she thinks John trusts Makee, to which Cortana says that she doesn’t think he trusts anybody right now. Adun laments that they can’t do anything without John and that he’s turned his back on them, to which Halsey says that she thinks he is discovering that he’s connected to something beyond all of us.
Walking through a park, Makee recites a passage from The Dawn of Angels, recalling her childhood friend on the waste colony Oban who read the book to her and told her of worlds with blue skies and green grass that she never believed could have existed. Observed by a camera drone and military police officers, John and Makee continue their walk.
Admiral Parangosky reacts with shock at the sight of them frolicking in the park, claiming the Master Chief she knew would have torn Makee apart to get the answers he needed. Voicing concern that John suspects both herself and Jacob Keyes being involved in the SPARTAN-II program, Parangosky points out that it wouldn’t have been hard to figure out knowing that Halsey answered to her. Captain Keyes is resolute in his disagreement, convinced they’d know if John did suspect them. It is, he insists, all behind them now. They have to trust John and his approach; he’s a soldier and is always on-mission.
John tells Makee that he saw her on the ring in his vision, and reveals that—following her advice—he let go and mastered the artifact. Makee says she’s felt a connection to the Halo her entire life, like a yearning for home, to which John asks her what it is and why the Covenant want it so badly.
Makee tells John that there’s a prophecy central to the Covenant religion: “Where the stars sparkle like glass, a divine wind will rush through, propelling all those who are worthy on a Great Journey to the sacred ring, where we will become like gods.”
John presses for answers, wondering what happens to those who aren’t worthy, to which Makee says they will be cleansed. He asks her if she believes that humans are truly unworthy, sharing that he’s only seen fragments from his childhood but that what he saw and felt was goodness, a capacity for hope and love. He believes that there is something within humans—something sacred in humanity—that is worth protecting.
Before Makee can respond, John is called over by two military police officers and informed that there’s a situation requiring his return to the base. Makee is startled by a dog barking at her, causing her to instinctively activate her energy blade.
Back at the FLEETCOM headquarters, footage of the glassed remnants of Agade, a city on the colony world Criterion, comes through with reports of 11 million having been killed by the Covenant attack. Keyes orders the feed to be cut and Parangosky tells him to contact Admiral Whitcomb, but Keyes refuses to send ships to aid in the search for survivors, stating that the colony is lost.
John enters and says they need to take the fight to the Covenant themselves, which they can do by allowing Makee to use the artifact to find its other half. Parangosky vehemently disagrees and Keyes asks why John can’t do it, to which he informs them that Makee has been trained in how to use the alien devices in ways he still can’t. Even though she was taken by the Covenant and raised to hate humanity, she still is herself human. Keyes argues that people don’t just manually override decades of indoctrination, John countering that that’s exactly what he’s done, forcing Keyes to agree to his proposal.
Meanwhile, Riz-028 and Vannak-134 examine the Phantom dropship recovered from Madrigal in the hangar. Vannak asks about Kai-125's status to which Riz replies “Getting there… I think.” The scene cuts to Kai in the gym lifting an enormous pipe while surrounded by a crowd of jubilant onlookers. Asking if they’ve got anything heavy, she then lifts a Warthog with several people riding on it, the entire room cheering her on.
In her lab, Miranda Keyes continues her attempts to clean up the intercepted Covenant transmission from the attack on the UNSC Gladius, where she is visited by her father who assures her that she’ll figure it out.
Visiting Makee in her room after relieving the guards, John says that he trusts her and that she will be allowed to use the artifact to find the planet they’ve thus far been unable to find, Raas Kkhotskha. Feeling his connection with her growing, he gifts her a book, Tender Nights, which leads to them spending the night together as Cortana looks on.
Sometime later, Makee wakes to find John sleeping beside her. It is an opportunity Makee could use to kill the Master Chief, fulfilling her promise to the Prophets to eliminate humanity’s greatest hero. She chooses instead to tear the energy blade implant out of her fingernail.
Halsey is astonished to learn from Cortana that John has a ‘girlfriend,’ thinking it to be so strangely ordinary for him. Cortana says that John is no longer alone in the galaxy, Halsey responding that he was never alone because he had her before asking when the artifact test is scheduled for.
Jacob Keyes visits Halsey, telling her that he’s come to say goodbye before she departs, as Parangosky wanted her off the planet by noon—the same time as the artifact test. As Halsey tries to delay for more time, Keyes tells her that she’s become a liability, Halsey retaliates, pointing out that he got to play the ‘good guy’ and was supposed to have her back, and that she doesn’t have time for his self-righteous anger. Keyes agrees, saying that he’s angry with her, at himself, and the system that so easily sacrifices human life in the name of progress, her obsession with which has cost her every relationship she has. Asking her what else she’s willing to sacrifice, Halsey resolutely tells him she is willing to sacrifice everything.
Taking Halsey’s hand, Keyes tells her that he pulled some strings that would allow her to keep her ship, which is fueled and waiting on the tarmac. As he departs, Keyes reminds her to leave by noon.
Adun offers Halsey the finalized contact lens that was made by the scan they took of Miranda during her visit. Inserting it into her eye, Halsey is granted category one clearance, which she uses to access Miranda’s computer and contact Makee.
Warning Makee that the alien artifacts must not be delivered to the UNSC, Halsey tells her that—though she loves humanity—humans are stuck. Once found, she believes the Halo, if it is a weapon, will be used by humans to destroy themselves, and both her gifts and John’s are too precious for the UNSC to claim.
Cortana cuts the transmission as a guard enters Makee’s room, demanding to know who she was speaking to. As the guard leaves, Halsey’s hologram reappears and she implores Makee to convince John to remove the artifact and bring it to her where she can get them off-planet and use the Halo to unleash humanity’s true potential, becoming like gods. Makee finishes the last two words of Halsey’s sentence for her, echoing the Covenant’s own prophecy, saying that she’s heard enough.
Halsey laments how attachment and sentiment are the hardest human flaws to overcome, as people abandon reason for emotion, pride, fear, and love. She tells Cortana that humanity needs both John and Makee to save them from themselves and asks her to signal the Spartans.
Riz, Vannak, and Kai armor up and Halsey informs them that the Madrigal artifact has adversely affected senior leadership, meaning nobody of rank can be considered trustworthy. Invoking Zed Protocol, Halsey activates the emergency Spartan back-channel which is the only way they will receive orders, giving Halsey’s orders the power to supersede all others. Kai asks why the Master Chief isn’t with them to which Halsey responds that John's exposure to the artifact has also compromised him, ordering Silver Team to bring him, Makee, and the artifact to her ship where they will leave Reach together.
At that moment, an alert warns Halsey that Kai is compromised as a hormonal fluctuation is detected—a result of her removing her pellet. Kai says there must be another way to help John, prompting Halsey to remove her from the Spartan channel and orders Riz and Vannak to disable Kai, knocking her out.
Halsey informs Cortana that once they have Makee, there will no longer be a need to keep John to activate the artifact, and so she will give Cortana full operational control of his body. Firm in her evaluation, Halsey says that she will become the best of us all.
PLAYERS AND PIECES
Parangosky, Keyes, and the guard from Makee’s room arrive at the artifact. The guard asks what it is, Parangosky responding that it’s either the hope for humanity or the end of everything. On their way to join the team at the artifact, Makee asks John what will happen after they find Halo, John simply responding that they’ll destroy the Covenant, win the war, and then they’ll see what happens next.
As the transmission clean-up completes, Miranda is shocked when she recognizes that the voice they’ve been hearing from the attack on the UNSC Gladius is Makee’s. Attempting to get in contact with her father, she discovers that the base’s communications have been cut—an action Halsey took earlier as she made her move with Silver Team.
Halsey orders Cortana to prepare to disable John on her command as Riz and Vannak wait for him and Makee to approach. Cortana attempts to warn John, telling him that Halsey has initiated Zed Protocol and that he’s walking into a trap. Choosing to side with John, Cortana cuts the base cameras on Halsey’s screens and leaves to assist her Spartan partner. John sends Makee away, telling her to find a marine, as he prepares to face Riz and Vannak. In the ensuing skirmish, John manages to grab Vannak’s DMR, but Riz flanks and attacks him from the side.
Kai awakens, finding herself cuffed to the support of a stone countertop in the washroom. Managing to free herself by breaking the countertop with her armored legs, she orders a marine she passes to make sure that Halsey’s ship on the tarmac cannot leave—telling him to shoot it down if they have to.
Keyes and Parangosky discover that the base’s comms are down, Parangosky orders the marine present with them to find John and Makee and bring them to the artifact chamber. Makee runs into the marine and is brought to Parangosky, telling her that he was attacked by two other Spartans.
Cortana assists John in the fight against Riz and Vannak, taking control of a Warthog and driving it into the latter Spartan. John manages to tie Riz up in a cable and takes her magnum, shooting Vannak to drain his shields, but he is quickly beaten down as Vannak lands several hits on him and Riz breaks free. Kai enters the fight, resulting in a standstill where Riz has her gun aimed at the incapacitated John while Kai and Vannak draw on each other.
Base personnel begin surrounding Halsey’s ship, Adun telling her that they’re out of time and have to go, but Halsey refuses. As Parangosky questions Makee about how she got away from two Spartans, she explains that John spoke with someone in his head, Keyes recognizing that she’s talking about Cortana, leading Parangosky to conclude that this is all Halsey’s doing.
At that moment, Miranda arrives and tells them to keep Makee away from the artifact, revealing that it was her voice in the Covenant transmission. The marine forces Makee to the ground and uses a stun baton on her, flashing back to her childhood on Oban where she was attacked in the same manner, and recalls Halsey’s words that “humans are the problem.”
Brought to her feet, Makee launches herself at the artifact and grabs it, killing the marine holding her and sending out a violent energy wave through the base, blasting the Spartans away from each other.
John is knocked back into the vision of the Halo ring. There, Makee says goodbye before he collapses.
The latest episode of Declassified, hosted by Sydnee Goodman, features the one and only Olive Gray, who portrays Miranda Keyes. Olive discusses their interpretation of the character, the mix of ambition with an ethical heart and belief in a better future for humanity—while believing that she is the one to help bring that about, reflecting her mother, Dr. Halsey.
Johnathan Liebesman (director of episodes 5, 6, 8, and 9) talks about his experience as a fan of Halo and what this series means to him while breaking down this episode’s climactic Silver Team fight; the incredible 405th cosplay and props community also gets a spotlight, with fans from all over the world who come together to provide tips for making your very own Spartan helmet! And speaking of props, Declassified also explores the making of the Forerunner artifact that has been so central to this story.
And, of course, you get a sneak peek at this week’s finale, which promises to have some truly epic action as the first season of Halo comes to a close.
PARAMOUNT+ INTERNATIONAL LAUNCH
For fans living outside the countries in which Paramount+ initially launched, the streaming service will be available in the UK and Ireland on June 22.
Paramount plans to add more territories over the course of this year, stay turned for more news on that front!
DR. HALSEY’S COMPUTER
Dr. Halsey’s computer has been updated!
This website is an official resource containing a trove of lore from the Silver Timeline. Every Friday, it is updated with new information.
Access the ONI Database to learn about the historical and ecological information of colony worlds (and a certain Covenant construct); read up on Persons of Interest to discover more about the characters—their rank, assignment, and current status.
This week, catch up with the latest orders Silver Team has received, the current status of each character, and additional notes from Adun Saly.
Welcome to the Community Coner, where every hour is Kai-125 appreciation hour—whether she’s lifting heavy machinery or fighting to protect humanity on the battlefield!
You can catch Halo Canon’s breakdowns of the latest episode’s story, Easter eggs, references, and more, as well as a breakdown of the updates to Dr. Halsey’s computer here as well.
END OF DEBRIEF
And here we are, on the precipice of the season’s end!
Beaten, battered, and betrayed, John-117 leads a suicide mission to find the Halo and save humanity. But at what price?