Halo’s second episode may not be the action-packed thriller of the pilot, but it’s an intriguing episode that delves into Master Chief’s backstory and offers great promise for future episodes.
This recap of Paramount+ series Halo season 1, episode 2, “Unbound,” contains spoilers.
Halo season 1, episode 2 recap
The episode opens 22 years earlier. Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) was trained to be a Spartan warrior. He wakes up and heads out late into the night. He meets Soren, who asks him where his armor is? John then pulls his plasma gun. Per the program’s rules, he tells him he can’t let him go. He can even use deadly force if necessary.
Soren pleads by trying to appeal to common sense, how the UNSC and Halsey program his brain to think the unit is more important than their individual lives. John ends up giving him five minutes to escape. He will say his gun is jammed. Presently, John-117 is flying his ship to their next destination with Kwan.
When they travel through and out of “slipspace,” they land in the middle of an asteroid field. As Master Chief maneuvers around them, Kwan sees almost a beard for a space station hidden in among the large metal objects. The station never has had designs to look like one. As he enters the facility aptly titled the “Rubble,” everyone draws their weapons. Lower your guns, says a man who walks out. It’s Soren-066 (Queen & Slim’s Bookeen Woodbine), the young man Master Chief let go twenty-two years ago. He welcomes John and informs Kwan there is a bounty on her head by Vinisher Grath (The Batman’s Burn Gorman), the new head of Madrigal.
Meanwhile, back at UNSC headquarters, a galaxy’s most influential organizations meeting. Captain Keyes complimented his handling of the situation, and he recommended Master Chief be terminated. However, Halsey has an ace up her sleeve as she has Captain Hood question Keyes’ intention about taking down the world’s most revered Spartan. Then, Dr. Haley (Natascha McElhone) unveiled Cortana’s new program! And she even tied Admiral Parangosky to it during the meeting! Cortana will be just like Spartan, even expand on it, but will override Spartan consciousness. In other words, if John were Cortana, he would have blown Kwan to bits.
Hood then pulls in Admiral Parangosky to get her take since Halsey has already tied her into knowing, almost intimately, about the Cortana project. She nods her head and looks at the good doctor, who then smiles at Keyes. “Yes,” she says.
Meanwhile, Vinisher begins to shoot the resistance members who had ties to the General one by one. Back on the Rubble, Soren introduces John and Kwan to Reth (The Wheel of Time’s Johann Meyers). He spent time on a Covenant ship and lived to tell about it. He confirms that it’s an artifact that has to do with the alien races’ religion. When Reth reaches out to touch it, nothing happens, and he laughs hysterically. It doesn’t go off, so he is not a blessed one (but John-177 was able to activate it, remember?).
Well, if you don’t, you do now. Reth attempts to throw the object at the Spartan, and he grabs it in his hand. The burst of the blue energy wave is sent across the Rubble, and Johnny boy has a flashback. The images include what looks like his mother dead and being carried across a room. He runs, with his dog, over a mound of rocks, his father sternly calls his name, and his mother appears to hide something wrapped in a dining cloth napkin from the man.
When he comes to, Reth begins to scream at the Spartan, “What are you?” He also adds, directed at our guy, “Don’t know what you are?” Then, a whopper, “You are different than what they have!” Is Reth referring to Makee (Peaky Blinders’ Charlie Murphy)? He then adds it’s a door! But, to what?
The end of the world, Reth says.
The Master Chief knows he needs to return the artifact to UNSC. It’s dangerous, and he cannot protect it on the Rubble. So, he leaves Kwan there with Soren. His team brings him off the ship in handcuffs. Dr. Halsey has two men grab the case the “weapon” is locked in.
Now Dr. Halsey is not a shrink, evident when John-177 starts to tell Dr. Halsey what he saw in his dreams. She wants not to hear any of it. But what she wants to know is why he chose to save the girl? He feels connected somehow. (They show Makee undressing with visible white tattoos on her back.)
The good doctor then asks, “Why did you come back?” He replies, “There is no one else I can trust.” She thanks him and sees this as a new beginning.
They then show Dr. Halsey opening up the pod where Cortana is stored.
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