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Halo TV Series

Silver Debrief: Reckoning

Debrief 008
Photo of Alex
  -  22 days ago

Report in, Silver Team!

This week’s episode of the Halo television series was a big’un! As we cross the mid-point threshold of the series, things have really started heating up. While Kwan and Soren are stranded in the Madrigal desert, the Master Chief uncovers critical details about his lost childhood, and a Covenant invasion puts everything in jeopardy as forces converge around the artifact discovered on Eridanus II.

It’s time for a Silver Debrief. It’s time for a spoiler warning. It’s time for...


RED VS... SILVER?

Wait... what? What’s this doing here? I was about to segue into my recap. Ah, fine!

Our good pals over at Rooster Teeth have dropped their own recap of the fourth and fifth episodes, featuring Sarge, Simmons, and Grif. Go check it out.


RECAP: “RECKONING”

The episode begins with a flashback to Catherine Halsey and Jacob Keyes visiting the Reach For Life settlement on the colony world of Eridanus II. Posing as two parents looking to find a school for their child, they are shown to the playground where they find their target: a six-year-old boy playing on the high ropes who rescues another boy from falling. A young John-117.

Back in the present, Miranda Keyes arrives at Eridanus II, her expertise called upon by Jacob Keyes as Dr. Halsey hasn’t yet been able to extract the artifact from its stone cradle. Wishing Kai-125 good luck as the Spartan heads off to rejoin the Master Chief, Miranda enters a Warthog with her father and they head to the UNSC encampment that is set up around the artifact site.

As the Master Chief examines the artifact, Cortana informs him that it can produce more energy than the smaller one found on Madrigal. Dr. Halsey advises him to stay away from it for now.

Meanwhile, on Madrigal, after fleeing an attempt on her life by one of Vinsher’s assassins, Kwan and Soren find themselves stuck in the middle of the desert—the Okjungdong Basin. As Soren examines the bike, Kwan resolves that it is her duty to stay and fight back against Vinsher, which he shuts down by saying that she belongs to him now—she owes him a ship and has to work off her debt. Handcuffing Kwan to the bike, Soren departs to find another means of getting through the desert quickly.

SEARCHING

Natasha Culzac as Riz-028 in Halo episode 5, season 1, Streaming on Paramount+. Photo credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Arriving at the artifact site, Miranda attempts to congratulate Halsey, who pays her little attention as they focus on cutting the artifact out of the rock.

While Riz-028 briefs the UNSC personnel at the base about transferring the artifact to the UNSC Pioneer, Kai asks Vannak what he thinks the Covenant really wants, to which he simply says to kill humanity. Kai pushes and asks him whether he ever wonders why they want to do that, to which he says no, prompting Kai to ask if he ever wonders why he never wonders about these things. Vannak shuts down this line of questioning, saying he thinks the gun grease in her hair might have seeped into her brain to be asking him these questions.

As Kai leaves the base structure, John spots her hair from a distance and approaches her to talk. Asking when she removed her hormonal pellet, she excitedly says that she sees the world differently, but John informs her that he can’t clear her for combat and orders her to report to Miranda’s Condor.

John speaks with Jacob Keyes about his memories, saying that he knows Halsey is lying to him and that he’s chosen to come to Keyes first about this in order to learn the truth. Keyes says that he will look into this matter personally when they get back, not disclosing his own part in John’s childhood.

Back on Madrigal, Makee arrives at the cave just outside the rebel outpost where the artifact was first found, searching for traces of its presence or anything that might lead them to the larger keystone.

Kwan, meanwhile, wheels the bike across the desert terrain and attempts to smash her handcuffs with a rock, eventually succeeding in breaking off the part of the bike Soren attached them to.

SIGNAL

Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief in Halo Season 1, Episode 5, streaming on Paramount+. Photo credit: Adrienne Szabo/Paramount+

Admiral Margaret Parangosky sends a transmission to Jacob Keyes and Dr. Halsey, saying that they can’t afford to have a Spartan with an identity crisis regarding the latest developments with the Master Chief and threatens to cut Halsey off. Halsey, however, effectively threatens Parangosky by saying that she wonders what Fleet Admiral Hood will think about this, as he will no doubt look for a scapegoat to cover up his own involvement. She assures Parangosky that she will ensure John’s memories remain incomplete, he will operate as he was designed to, and he will bring the UNSC the weapon to win the war against the Covenant.

Before terminating the call, Keyes also insists to Parangosky that Miranda should be taken off this project, stating his wish for her hands to be kept clean of anything to do with the SPARTAN-II program.

Dr. Adun Saly, Halsey’s aide, prepares to attempt to cut the keystone from its cradle with a laser, but the artifact sends a signal that incapacitates everybody in the camp and causes them to scream in pain as the cradle begins to crack open. On Madrigal, the luminaries—devices used to detect these ancient alien constructs—pick up the keystone’s signal, and Makee’s mental connection to the device reveals its location on Eridanus II.

Rushing through the base to the keystone, John arrives and sees the exposed artifact. The cradle it was contained within finally shatters and the signal ceases transmission.

Miranda discovers that the noise was some kind of communication, but she is informed by her father that she’s been taken off the project in order to pursue advancements in Covenant linguistics. Angered by this sudden turn, Miranda asks her father exactly what it is Halsey has on him that has changed his attitude in the last few hours. Keyes simply orders her to stop all work on the artifact project, effective immediately.

UNRAVELLING

Bokeem Woodbine as Soren in Halo episode 5, season 1, Streaming on Paramount+. Photo credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

John witnesses a discussion between Halsey and Keyes from a distance, prompting him to speak with Cortana and ask about the vast amount of information she holds—every bit of data the UNSC has amassed that can be retrieved instantly. He asks her to tell him about his adoption, to which Cortana says the database has absolutely nothing on him, the other Spartans, and the origins of the SPARTAN-II program itself.

Driven to find answers, John touches the artifact and sees things with greater clarity than before—his kidnapping by the Office of Naval Intelligence, where he was replaced with a flash clone, and an escape attempt where Halsey holds him...

Returning to the present, Halsey arrives at the artifact and finds John, who accuses her of kidnapping him from his family. Halsey says she promises to explain everything when they get back to Reach, but he leaps at her to attack, causing her to order Cortana to immediately put him into stasis.

Back on Madrigal, Soren returns with a new vehicle but finds Kwan is missing, seeing the bike she managed to unshackle herself from. Using a stun rod acquired from one of Vinsher’s agents, Kwan—having hidden under the sand—stuns Soren into unconsciousness and takes his pistol, aiming the weapon at his head.

THE BATTLE OF ERIDANUS II

Warthog drives through explosive fire in Halo episode 5, season 1, Streaming on Paramount+. Photo credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

John awakens in a state of confusion and learns that Cortana can shut him down, but the Covenant arrive in force before he can take any further action against Halsey. As the UNSC Pioneer crashes, cutting off their air support, Banshees bomb the UNSC site and Miranda orders Kai to join the fight.

Halsey informs Keyes that with the Pioneer down and the crane destroyed, the keystone will have to be brought on-foot to Miranda’s Condor. Riz and Vannak take hold of the artifact and move it out of the cradle, the Master Chief ordering a marine to get all non-combatants into the cave. Meeting Keyes at a Warthog, affixing the artifact to its rear, he informs the Spartans that it’s at least half-a-kilometer to the turning up to Miranda’s Condor. The Chief orders Kai to stay back to provide covering fire for the marines as he, Riz, and Vannak sprint ahead of the vehicle to escort it.

Drop pods start raining down from the Covenant ship, deploying Unggoy and Kig-Yar lances to the field. A supercombine explosion from Needler rounds takes out the marine gunner on the Warthog and an Unggoy manages to kick the driver out, prompting the Chief to board and take the wheel. Vannak and Riz sprint aboard as the Master Chief drives them to Miranda’s Condor, only for the ship to be hit by a Banshee strike.

A Phantom dropship appears behind Kai and more Covenant forces deploy, quickly overwhelming the marines. As a result of the loss of her hormonal pellet, Kai finds herself greatly disturbed by the massacre and starts taking hits that break through her energy shields.

Halsey orders the Master Chief to bring the artifact to her as she spots Miranda emerging from the wreckage of her ship with a crewmember and rushes to help her. The Master Chief disobeys orders to rescue Kai as her shields are depleted and she is blasted back by an explosion; boarding a Banshee and crashing it into the Phantom, the Chief fights his way through the Covenant to reach Kai and brutally dispatches the Sangheili attacking her.

A stray Banshee crashes into Silver Team’s Warthog and sends the keystone tumbling out in the open, where a Spirit dropship arrives and a Jiralhanae warrior drops down. As the Master Chief sprints towards it, picking up a Kig-Yar's shield gauntlet, he is blasted back by the Jiralhanae’s gravity mace and the Covenant escape with the Eridanus keystone successfully retrieved.

As the Covenant prepare to depart, Makee is sent to the surface of Eridanus II in a drop pod where she is left in the clutches of the UNSC.


DECLASSIFIED

Header image for Halo The Series Declassified

The latest episode of Declassified, hosted by Sydnee Goodman, features the marvelous Kate Kennedy (who portrays fan-favorite Spartan Kai-125) to talk about her character’s ongoing development. Kai’s journey of self-discovery has been going on in-parallel to John-117's, manifesting in her with a joy of self-expression that was stamped out of the Spartan-IIs from an early age, but her attempt to connect with John over these developments leads to her being listed as unfit for duty.

Kate also dives into the extensive, months-long Spartan training regime that she, Pablo Schreiber, Natasha Culzac, and Bentley Kalu underwent to prepare for the role and how those experiences bonded them as a team before they’d even stepped into the Mjolnir armor on-set.

This episode further gives an incredible behind the scenes look at the weapons and props of the television series, as well as how the climactic battle on Eridanus II was made, with all the practical stunts and explosions that made it such a spectacle. Like “Reckoning” itself, this episode of Declassified is not to be missed!


DR. HALSEY’S COMPUTER

Entry screen for Dr. Halsey's computer.

Dr. Halsey’s computer has been updated!

For those not in the know, 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.


LINGUISTIC LEARNINGS

Shot of a Sangheili warrior from the Halo TV Series.

Those of you looking to follow in the footsteps of Miranda Keyes in understanding Sangheili, the primary language of the Covenant, should be sure to check out the ‘conlang’ (constructed language) dialogue posted by language creator David J. Peterson, who has worked on Game of Thrones, The Witcher, The 100, and many other projects.

David has been the conlang dialogue up on his Archive of Our Own page, with script excerpts and direct translations. There might even be a revelation or two about the identity of a certain character that you’ve been guessing about with this episode...


COMMUNITY CORNER

Just as we featured some stunning artwork of Kai-125 last week, naturally, upon stumbling upon this piece of Riz-028 (and her large cat, which nothing bad happened to ever), we just had to include it as well!

And, of course, be sure to check out the latest breakdowns from Halo Canon and Installation00 for their explorations of the Easter eggs, core canon references, and lore.


END OF DEBRIEF

Feels like we’ve hit something of a turning point now, doesn’t it? The Covenant now possesses the Eridanus artifact, denying the UNSC the ability to find out what happens when it is united with the one recovered from Madrigal, but both Blessed Ones—the Master Chief and Makee—are with the UNSC.

Stay tuned, Silver Team! Just a few more days until we discover what happens next...