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Silver Debrief: Sanctuary

Debrief 015
L-R Kate Kennedy as Kai, Bentley Kalu as Vannak, Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief and Natasha Culzac as Riz in Halo episode 1, season 2 streaming on Paramount+, 2024. Photo Credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+
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  -  18 days ago

The time has come. Season Two of the Halo television series is here with an explosive two-episode premiere, launching us straight into the action with new and familiar faces as the Covenant threat escalates for humanity.

That means it’s time to bring the Silver Debrief out of cryo. This blog series will release every week alongside new episodes, featuring episode summaries, links to all the amazing additional programming to do with the series (like Declassified), and more.

Be warned: here there will be spoilers for these episodes, and in Halo Infinite there will be spoils in the form of Silver Team’s helmets—but more on that later!


EPISODE SUMMARY: SANCTUARY

The episode begins with John-117, the Master Chief, on an operating table following the events of Season One’s finale. As he is tended to by medical personnel, he is saved by having the Cortana implant extracted from his head.

OPERATION: SHEPHERD

Halo The Series image of the Master Chief carrying Corporal Perez over his shoulder and conversing with The Mother

On the planet Sanctuary, Silver Team assists the UNSC as they attempt to evacuate a settlement with Condor dropships due to an impending Covenant attack, but some of the civilian refugees refuse to leave—having been previously relocated from other Covenant invasions.

Keeping overwatch with Vannak-134, Kai-125 spots lights flickering in the fog on a clifftop and the Master Chief uses a grappleshot to investigate, discovering that communications in this area are suffering from significant interference. After encountering a group of Marines who were stationed at the communications outpost, they are snatched through the fog one by one by an invisible enemy until only the Master Chief and a young woman (Corporal Perez) are left.

A Sangheili lunges at the Chief with an energy sword and is quickly dispatched, but it is quickly followed by more. In the fighting that ensues, the Chief loses track of Perez—eventually finding her injured among the bodies of her fellow Marines. The Chief sees more Sangheili figures appear out of active camouflage, but they retreat and depart; through the fog, the Chief sees a familiar human figure among them.

The Covenant begin glassing Sanctuary, unleashing devastating lances of plasma upon the planet from orbit, wiping out many of the civilians and UNSC personnel. Kai and Vannak help the civilians aboard their Condors, some of which are shot down as they depart, and the Chief returns carrying Perez. The leader of the outpost—The Mother—and her entourage approach the Spartan, telling him to find his fate and that she has seen his death coming soon.

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT

Danny Sapani as Captain Jacob Keyes in Halo episode 1, Season 2, Streaming on Paramount+. Photo Credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Back on Reach at the FLEETCOM headquarters, Silver Team debriefs with the recently promoted Admiral Jacob Keyes who informs the Spartans that Covenant attacks have been increasing across the Outer Colonies.

The Master Chief insists that this case was different because the Covenant were already present before they glassed the planet, asking why they would invade the planet if their intention was just to glass it anyway. Keyes says that the Office of Naval Intelligence will conduct an analysis, and as the Chief makes to argue his case further they are interrupted by the arrival of James Ackerson, who introduces himself as Dr. Catherine Halsey’s replacement as director of the Spartan program.

Later, as the Chief heads to Ackerson’s office, he spots Corporal Perez in a room nearby. Having researched the new Spartan program director, the Chief gives respect to Ackerson for having served in combat, then reiterates that he understands the Covenant as an enemy that acts with meaning and intention. He believes that the Sangheili there were training, but he doesn’t know for what.

Ackerson seeks to undermine the Chief by questioning his mental state following the events of Season One where Dr. Halsey was implicated in crimes concerning unauthorized procedures and projects, such as the creation of Cortana—an illegal artificial intelligence that was implanted into the head of the UNSC’s most important strategic asset, the Master Chief himself.

COBALT TEAM

Joseph Morgan as James Ackerson in Halo episode 1, Season 2, Streaming on Paramount+. Photo Credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Silver Team banters with the Spartans of Cobalt Team, who have notably not removed their pellets, as they complain about Ackerson sending them on a babysitting mission to escort a tech team looking to repair a communications relay in a distant system. This gets the Chief’s attention, leading him to confront Ackerson once more for not briefing Cobalt Team on what happened on Sanctuary.

Ackerson then throws the Chief’s mission report into doubt, questioning how he could have prevailed against so many Sangheili warriors alone who then disappeared, portraying the Spartan as a victim of Halsey’s experiments that have compromised him, meaning that he cannot authorize them for combat missions. The Chief relents, but asks that Ackerson just tell Cobalt Team what they’re walking into.

Heading into the city, the Chief secretly meets with Margaret Parangosky, who is no longer serving as an admiral following the events of Season One. She tells the Chief that he will find Ackerson unresponsive to his theories and that nobody wants to believe that the nature of the Covenant War is changing. Parangosky tells the Chief to pursue evidence of the Covenant’s activities and bring it to her, providing him with a tracking device so she can find him when he activates it, and when the Chief asks what she’ll do for him she says that she will believe him.

A PIRATE’S LIFE

Bokeem Woodbine as Soren in Halo episode 1, Season 2, Streaming on Paramount+. Photo Credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

On the Rubble, a network of habitable hollowed-out asteroids where piracy thrives, the former Spartan known as Soren and his wife Laera observe the selection process for refugees seeking asylum through indentured servitude based on the skills they can contribute. One refugee from Harvest captures Soren’s attention when he claims to know the location of Catherine Halsey, which Soren publicly dismisses but directs one of his men to go after him.

Upon returning home, they find their son Kessler playing with a toy of the Master Chief. Laera criticizes Soren for playing the role of pirate king dreaming of bringing Dr. Halsey to justice while the galaxy burns around them. Laera says that the other syndicate families don’t fear Soren the way they used to and suggests that the three of them should go away, but Soren insists that they don’t run.

Soren meets with Felix and departs with his crew, the Harvest refugee relates a story about a salvage job where he saw a cryo tube containing Dr. Halsey when a side panel fell off a crate before the ship went missing, with Felix being the only one who knows the course it plotted. An alarm interrupts them as they find the wrecked remains of the ship, and Soren orders Felix to accompany him alone to investigate.

As Felix recounts his knowledge of Halsey’s actions and questions Soren’s past as a Spartan, he surmises that the pirate leader’s investment in capturing her isn’t about the money but what she did to him. Upon finding the crate that Felix claimed held Halsey’s cryo tube, Soren begins questioning Felix’s story, only to see his crew steal his ship and jump out of the system, stranding him. Finding the crate empty, Soren is the surrounded by troops that were hidden in the room and Felix states that he is under arrest for the crimes of pracy, kidnapping, extortion, and treason.

THE MONSTER

Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief in Halo episode 1, Season 2, Streaming on Paramount+ 2024. Photo Credit: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

After conversing with an AI that takes on the form of Cortana and Dr. Halsey, the Chief fears that a piece of him is missing now and recalls seeing the figure of Mahkee on Sanctum, saying to him “You should have stayed with me.”

As Soren’s crew returns to the Rubble, Laera sees that Soren is not among them and fears that her husband is either lost or dead.

A Sangheili observes a vast fleet of Covenant ships rising through the clouds, prepared to embark on their next conquest.

Kessler enters an asteroid cavern where he is greeted by Kwan Ha, who tells him about an ancient monster that is coming—markings on the cavern wall showing a circular maw…


CORE CONNECTIONS

“Core connections” is a section that explores some of the cool details and connections the Silver Timeline draws with Halo’s core canon.

At the FLEETCOM headquarters when Silver Team debriefs with Admiral Keyes, they learn that several planets have been lost: Madrigal, Estuary, and FLEETCOM believes that Fumirole is next.

We of course spent a lot of time on Madrigal in Season One, but Estuary and Fumirole are names that might sound familiar to lore fans out there.

Halo 2: Anniversary Terminal screenshot of the colony world Estuary

Estuary made an appearance in Halo 2: Anniversary’s Terminals (Terminal 3 – ‘ONI File: Particular Justice’) as one of the seven planets that was glassed by Thel ‘Vadamee during his campaign against humanity as Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice.

Fumirole will no doubt be more familiar, as it was the setting for the (still jaw-dropping) Halo: Reach live action trailer ‘Deliver Hope.’

Noble Team fought here in April 2552 with the objective of destroying a Covenant battlecruiser, Sanctity of Purification, by detonating a Fury tactical nuclear weapon from inside the ship. When Kat-B320 is critically injured by a Banshee, Thom-A293—the original Noble Six on the team—takes the bomb and uses his jetpack to get it to the finish line, sacrificing himself in the process.


DECLASSIFIED

Title card for Season Two of Halo The Series Declassified

Halo The Series: Declassified returns with host Sydnee Goodman to give a behind the scenes look at the Season Two premiere.

Exclusive sneak-peeks, interviews with the cast and crew about the making of the show, a recap of Season One, and a discussion with Kiki Wolfkill (Executive Producer) and Pablo Schreiber (Master Chief John-117) await in Season Two's debut episode of Declassified.

(NOTE: Some regions may not be able to view this episode.)


SILVER TEAM HELMETS

Silver Team has been deployed into Halo Infinite! With the arrival of the latest content update, players can acquire the helmets of Kai-125, Riz-028, and Vannak-134.

Simply complete all of your weekly challenges on the following dates and secure your ultimate reward!

(NOTE: Kai-125’s helmet was the ultimate reward from January 30-February 6.)

WEEK TWO: RIZ-028
FEBRUARY 6-13

WEEK FOUR: VANNAK-134
FEBRUARY 20-27

Halo Infinite image of Riz-028's helmet

Visors for each member of Silver Team will also be given as free rewards simply for logging in on these weeks. All of these items are multi-use, meaning that they can be used across all your Armor Cores.


That wraps up our first issue in the blast radius of Season Two’s premiere!

Come back later today and we’ll have the Episode Two summary up for you to check out. Until then, secure those Silver Team helmets and be sure to check out the latest Declassified episode for some great behind-the-scenes glimpses into the making of Season Two.