It’s been a while since we watched Paramount’s Halo show. When it first premiered, we thought it was an interesting, strange, interestingly strange adaptation of the Xbox shooter franchise that had some potential. Still, understandably it rubs a lot of people in several different ways. The show’s biggest shake-up is how it explores Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber). Rather than being a simple killing machine that speaks more to his actions, the show’s Chief is quite vocal and takes off his armor in a way that gives the impression that the show wants to provide the character with some humanity. As the Covenant menace looms across the galaxy, Chief – or rather John – has spent much of this season trying to dig into the past he had before eventually becoming a child soldier and plunging into a larger intergalactic conflict.
Parallel to John’s story is that of Makee (Charlie Murphy), a human woman who was taken into the Covenant as a child and has since become a protagonist in their efforts to find the Halo ring that will determine the fate of the galaxy. . The pair eventually crossed paths in episode six. Still, it was this week’s previous episode, “Allegiance,” that their relationship took a turn that many find hard to accept.
As you’ve no doubt heard, Chief and Makee end up having sex during the episode; John removed a pellet earlier in the season that suppressed his emotions, and he has become more emotionally open as a result. As for Makee, she’s starting to feel a camaraderie with him due to their similar ability to decipher the visions left behind by the Forerunner artifact. They had a shared idea of the Halo ring in episode six. So the two give in to their apparent feelings and connect, an event made even weirder by John’s AI partner Cortana (Jen Taylor), is watching the two while this is happening.
While characters who barely have PG-13 sex are pretty crap on TV right now, Halo is a franchise that – despite the many jokes surrounding Master Chief and his suit – is generally pretty sexless. The only other time the idea of sex has been touched upon in an official capacity was towards the end of Joseph Staten’s 2007 novel Contact Harvest. But the Halo show has had no qualms about toying with the idea that John is a handsome man under that bulky armor, as evidenced by the fact that he’s played a man some would consider attractive. In general, if you put someone in armor all the time, people will think the person underneath is hot and run in their fan works with that, regardless of whether it’s in line with the canon.
Lest you think the Master Chief is such a good lover that Makee is about to switch sides, Halo doesn’t let this moment of intimacy linger long enough to be more than a springboard to one of the bigger franchises—Key moments. John’s surrogate mother, Dr. Halsey (Natascha McElhone), is informed that John and Makee are sleeping together by Cortana and orders the two to be captured by his fellow Spartans. Discovered as a mole, Makee grabs the artifact and escapes, but not before apologizing to John and signaling the Covenant to attack the planet Reach.
In the game’s fiction, the UN Security Council established Reach as key in the armed forces’ struggles with the Covenant. It’s the planet you must pass through before you reach Earth, and its fate in the games is to be invaded by the Covenant and eventually destroyed. The original Halo game begins with Chief and Cortana on the run from the planet’s destruction, and 2010’s Halo Reach – the final game in the series from original developer Bungie – offers a more intimate look at what happened during the last days of the planet. Chief was a vital player during the Fall of Reach. Still, the Reach game puts him aside to focus on another group of Spartan super-soldiers who greatly contributed to Chief and Cortana’s escape and the discovery of the pair of the original halo ring that completes the saga. (We probably won’t see Noble Team in the final, but it would be nice if they were recognized.)
For better or worse, knowing the end of Reach will be brought about by a short-lived affair rather than the Covenant’s obsession with Forerunner artifacts feel cartoonishly silly. Maybe the actual Fall of Reach will feel appropriately epic and tragic in the show, or perhaps another weird, huge curveball is waiting to be known. This sex scene won’t be the strangest thing to happen on the show when all is said and done. There are shades of humanity at the moment, but in the end, it comes across more as a way of putting events in place for a catastrophic season finale.
Halo’s first season will conclude this Thursday with the episode “Transcendence”.
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Editor’s Note: The release dates in this article are based in the US but will be updated with local Australian dates as we learn more.