What to expect from the second season of the Halo series

Halo is a fantastic series based on the extremely popular computer game of the same name. Its second season has recently ended. It continues the story and complements the fictional world that has been expanding for over 20 years.

Серіал Halo

What is Halo?

In February-March 2024, the second season of the fantastic Halo series premiered on the Paramount+ streaming service. Its main difference from the rest of the stories about the distant space future, where humanity encountered extraterrestrial life, is that it became an adaptation of a huge franchise that has so far consisted mainly of video games and novels, although several web series have also been released. So, to understand what is happening in the series and to appreciate it properly, let’s first get acquainted with this alternate universe.

Halo itself is essentially a giant alien station in the form of a ring with a diameter of 8000 km. It is so large that forests, hills, and lakes are located on its inner surface, creating an amazing ring world. It was here that the developers of the original 2001 game sent its protagonist, John-117, also known as Master Chief, to live.

The game itself was a shooter, meaning that it mainly consisted of exterminating various aliens called the Covenant, who want to destroy humanity.

Шутер Halo: Combat Evolved дав початок усій франшизі

The shooter Halo: Combat Evolved was the beginning of the entire franchise. Source: store.steampowered.com

Halo: Combat Evolved differs from other similar games in that its creators were not too lazy to think through and explain everything that happens in it. And this applies not only to the futuristic but very realistic weapons and equipment used by the protagonist. The Halo itself, armoured suits with exoskeletons, biologically enhanced soldiers, artificial intelligence, faster-than-light movement — all these were elements that sci-fi fans knew well and that already had detailed scientific or science-like explanations.

The game became extremely popular, and very quickly more and more issues of the game were released, and writers added their own stories to the universe. Gradually, the Halo universe got its own history, stretching back tens of thousands and millions of years. So we see that the creators of the series faced a difficult task to please both fans of the series and those who have not heard anything about it.

What was shown in the first season

From the very beginning, the creators of the series stated that they would not adhere to all the canons that have developed over the 20 years since the release of the first game, but they would use references to the original games as much as possible.

В серіалі JДжон-117 знімає шолом. Source: www.axios.com

This gives quite controversial results. For example, the main character in the series is the same John-117, whose role was proposed to be taken over in the original game, but he does not hide his face behind the helmet of the suit for a significant part of the time and therefore looks first of all a human being, and only then a super soldier.

The story takes place sometime before the first game in the series, in the twenty-sixth century. Mankind has already invented a way to move faster than light, has settled a bunch of planets outside the solar system, and has already managed to drown in internal strife.

Later, it met an alien intelligence in the form of the Covenant. This alliance of intelligent races greeted humans with the message that their gods’ will was to destroy us and began firing plasma cannons.

Ковенант не ділить людей на цивільних та військових

The Covenant does not distinct civilians from military among people. Source: www.forbes.com

The Covenant is not trying to conquer the planets inhabited by humans. It is resorting to genocide and has a “good reason” for it: religion. Space war is unprofitable, but if the aliens believe that the destruction of humanity is the will of godlike creatures who lived long ago, no rational arguments can convince them.

Humanity is losing the war to the Covenant, slowly being deprived of one colony after another for 30 years… meanwhile humans continue to engage in petty squabbles. Earth’s colonies are drowning in separatism, piracy, petty political disputes, and intrigue. Much of the first season is devoted to these.

The rest of the plot revolves around John-117’s team and the mysterious artifacts of the ancient Forerunner race. You can do anything to defeat an enemy who wants to destroy you. Dr. Catherine Halsey, head of the Spartan II project, thought so when she conducted experiments on children. As a result, the survivors turned into perfect soldiers, capable of fighting back against both the Covenant and internal enemies.

У серіалі не забувають, що «спартанці» — вищі і сильніші за звичайних людей

The series does not forget that Spartans are taller and stronger than ordinary people. Source: winteriscoming.net

However, over time, John-117 begins to doubt everything that is happening around him, because he is surrounded by too many secrets and everyone around him continues to pursue their own goals. And the protagonist himself finds himself mysteriously connected to an alien artefact.

A rather unexpected and controversial move is the presence of a separate line of Kwang Ha, the daughter of one of the rebel leaders killed by Covenant. Everything that happens to her has little to do with the events of the game series and the main plot of the series. But, apparently, the authors have some kind of plan for her.

Is it worth watching the second season?

The second season of the Halo series is a completely logical and expected continuation. It includes almost all the characters from the first part, even those who were allegedly killed in it. New ones were also added. It’s worth noting that, unlike the first season, the storylines are much better intertwined, so there’s less chance of getting lost among the characters.

Джон-117 продовжує шукати інопланетні артефакти

John-117 continues to search for alien artefacts. Source: www.denofgeek.com

The main storyline remains unchanged: Covenant is trying to get the Halo hoping it helps them to destroy humanity while continuing genocides “in a manual mode”. The United Nations Space Command continue to develop cunning plans for victory, sometimes betraying their own people.

John-117 tries to find out the truth about everything that is happening and get to the Forerunners’ artefacts, and through them — to the Halo. Kwang Ha continues her strange journey, which seems to have become much closer to the rest of the events, but at the same time is getting ever deeper into mysticism. Catherine Halsey continues to reach for forbidden knowledge, while trying to cope with the consequences of her past activities. The rest of the characters are just trying to survive and solve their little problems.

Things worth attention

There are several interesting things in the film. The first one is the Halo itself. In the first season, the audience could only see it from the inside and in only one scene. In the second season, it is shown much more and not only as a bizarre planet, but also as an auto-engineered structure orbiting a gas giant.

У другому сезоні показали битву за планету Рубіж
In the second season, the battle for the planet Frontier was shown. Source: www.space.com

The film also showed the destruction of the Frontier by the Covenant. In the games, this key event is only mentioned, but in the second season, the audience can see that it is a truly horrific thing: cities are destroyed by bombing, the enemy army destroys the population, evacuations are underway, and the few defenders are trying to resist the enemy.

Finally, the series showed the Flood, although it did not explain what it is and why it is dangerous. This is a parasitic life form that plays a key role in the original series of games. These microorganisms infect representatives of intelligent species, conquer them and rebuild their bodies. They are responsible for the destruction of the Forerunners and have the potential to destroy all life in the galaxy. Although in the series, the Flood is more like a standard zombie apocalypse.

Is the second season of Halo worth watching?

In general, the second season of Halo turned out to be quite controversial. On the one hand, the series absolutely lacks the originality and dynamism of the first season. Also it is does not offer such a spectacular variety of technologies, designs of spaceships, and battle scenes.

Спартанці у другому сезоні серіалу

Spartans in the second season of the series. Source: kotaku.com

And the key characters — the Silver Team, led by Master Chief — almost disintegrated. In the beginning of the series the authors actively tried to introduce us to the four super-soldiers, making us feel the problem of their isolation from ordinary life and sympathise with the heavy burden of the “heroes”. However, since the very beginning of the second season, the atmosphere of “one for all and all for one” simply disappears within one episode. It’s quite a contrasting change of focus, as if the directors decided to get rid of all the minor characters.

On the other hand, the second season is still a good space war sci-fi. And, if you’ve already started watching, you’ll obviously be eager to find out what happens next. It doesn’t have any special philosophical depth. However, simple and understandable characters, familiar needs and values, and the desire to save the world while delving into intergalactic adventures — all this captivates the audience. And we should also mention the thoughtfulness and detail of everything that happens around. After all, Halo has always been like this, and sci-fi fans will not be disappointed with the plot or the futuristic scenes and alien landscapes.