‘Halo’ Season 1: Ending, Explained – Has Cortana Taken Over Master Chief’s Consciousness?


The biggest talking point about “Halo” Episode 8 was that Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) lost his virginity to Makee (Charlie Murphy). One side of the internet was angry about it because they couldn’t digest the notion of their favorite fictional character having an intimate relationship. Another side of the internet was glad and wanted him to dance to The Lonely Island and Akon’s “I Just Had Sex” (just kidding). And the rest probably saw it as an emotional and logical plot point in both Makee and Master Chief’s respective character arcs. The episode concluded with Halsey (Natascha McElhone) attempting to flee the Reach with the artifact but getting stranded thanks to Cortana’s heel turn. And it showed Makee sending another EMP-like wave by touching the artifact, thereby inadvertently saving Master Chief and Kai (Kate Kennedy) from Vannak (Bentley Kalu) and Riz’s (Natasha Culzac) wrath.

Major Spoilers Ahead

Master Chief Takes Control Of The Reach

Master Chief wakes up from the explosion and ensures that Kai is alright. Then he goes to look for the artifact and Makee. Miranda (Olive Gray) tells him that Makee escaped with the artifact, and that that was her plan all along. While making his way to the hangar where Makee is planning to board an aircraft, Master Chief finds Vannak and Riz holding Kai hostage in order to force Master Chief to surrender. Because that is the last order, they got from Halsey, and since they’re still programmed to do what they were ordered to do, they are following the instructions. Master Chief tells the truth about the Spartan program, how they were abducted as kids by Halsey, and how they can snap out of it. Riz and Vannak fail to understand. That’s when Captain Jacob (Danny Sapani) steps in to corroborate everything that Master Chief is saying. Riz and Vannak start to believe that Halsey has manipulated them and side with Master Chief.

Master Chief, Riz, and Vannak head towards the general direction in which Makee has gone. Kai goes to catch Halsey and Adun (Ryan McParland). Miranda and Jacob head to the control room. Adun warns Halsey that if they try to take off, they’ll be shot down and killed. Master Chief, Riz, and Vannak fail to capture Makee, and she gets out of Reach. Halsey takes off, and an angry Kai shoots her way into it. Kai confronts Halsey and asks for her real name. Adun tries to knock Kai unconscious but gets killed by Kai instead. Halsey notices that this is an opportunity for her to get away from Kai. So she does by taking an escape pod. The ship crashes with Kai in it. Everyone, from Admiral Margaret (Shabana Azmi) to Master Chief, hold their breath. Eventually, it’s revealed that Kai has survived the crash. Master Chief tells Cortana (Jen Taylor) that he’s going to need her help.

After reviewing the footage of Makee stealing the artifact, Master Chief looks into the Aspero star system as he thinks that is where Makee is headed. When Master Chief says he thinks that that’s the one thing Makee was honest about during their time together, Margaret wonders how both Master Chief and Cortana can trust a Covenant spy’s words. Master Chief asks Cortana to look at the Aspero star system from the perspective of gravitational fields and comes to the conclusion that the Covenant’s holy planet is there, only hidden behind a black hole of sorts. Margaret proposes the idea of sending over 10,000 marines to get Makee and the artifacts. Master Chief advises against it because sending 10,000 marines means losing 10,000 marines. He says that the Spartans will get the job done. The only advice that Margaret gives in return to Master Chief is to keep his feelings aside before confronting Makee.

See More: ‘Halo’ Episode 8: Recap And Ending, Explained – Why Did Makee Bid Goodbye To Master Chief?

Halsey Can’t Be Caught That Easily.

Before heading out, Jacob informs Master Chief that Halsey’s escape pod has been located and that the UNSC is bringing her in. Jacob tries to apologize to Master Chief for helping Halsey ruin so many futures. Master Chief says that the day of reckoning will come when the guilty will be punished. And on that note, Master Chief, Riz, Vannak, and Kai head out. Elsewhere, the UNSC surrounds Halsey and brings her in. Jacob tries to connect with Miranda, but Miranda walks away. Makee walks into the Covenant holy ground to present the artifact. Regret (Hilton McRae) points out that Makee didn’t bring Master Chief’s head, like she promised. Mercy (Julian Bleach) says that they’ve gotten the main thing that they needed: the artifact. Master Chief’s head is irrelevant. Makee asks whether she’ll have a spot among the Covenant when they go on the Great Journey. Mercy says if that’s what she wants, that’s what she’ll get.

Cortana informs Master Chief about Halsey’s plan to let her take complete control of Master Chief’s body and how she learned that that’s not a good thing. Because humanity is one of the best things about humans. While they’re having this conversation, the entire Aspero star system disappears. Then they enter some kind of force field, which takes a lot of strength to maneuver through. Cortana warns Master Chief that if he doesn’t maintain a very precise line through this field, they will be spaghettified by the tidal forces. After a lot of struggling, the ship enters a pathway, much like the ones from “Interstellar” and “2001: A Space Odyssey”, that begins to warp the ship and the Spartans’ perspective. And just when it seems that the ship is going to get blown into pieces, killing everyone in it, they make it through and arrive at the Covenant’s home planet. By the way, that whole scene has to be one of the most visually intense scenes I have seen recently.

Miranda confronts Halsey to talk about how she’s going to be incriminated for kidnapping and treason. Miranda keeps ranting, but Halsey stays quiet and just listens. When Miranda is done, Halsey says that she thought that keeping Miranda away from all these complications would’ve preserved her innocence. But now, she sees that it has only hardened Miranda. She tells Miranda that she’s chasing a ghost and advises her to let go for her own sake. As Makee prepares for the beginning of the Great Journey, Mercy and Regret talk about her annihilating her as soon as they have the location of the planet with the halo around it. Master Chief and the rest of the team dive in (it’s a very cool aerial shot) to the Covenant planet and start to make their way towards the Covenant temple. Halsey goes into some kind of a seizure, and Miranda realizes that that’s not Halsey, but a flash clone, which is taking its last breath.

Is John Not Master Chief Anymore? Where Is Halsey?

The Hierarchs begin the ceremony to activate the artifacts, and that instantly freezes both Makee and Master Chief, and they start to gravitate towards the artifacts. The Covenant becomes aware of the Spartans’ presence and sends in hundreds of thousands of soldiers to take the Spartans down and ensure that the ceremony goes uninterrupted. Riz, Vannak, and Kai provide cover fire while Master Chief tries to get into the temple. He gets into a rematch with the giant Sangheili soldier from the end of Episode 5, and the soldier hands Master Chief his ass back to him. Seeing no other option, Makee touches the artifacts to send a wave blast through the Covenant army, thereby giving the Spartans some time to recover. But touching the artifacts also activates them and reveals the map hidden in them.

An entranced Master Chief starts to walk towards the artifacts again and enters the virtual version of the halo planet. Makee says that she wants to stay there, but Master Chief says that they need to go back. Riz, Vannak, and Kai struggle to get Master Chief out of the trance. Seeing no other option, Kai shoots Makee, thereby killing her and getting Master Chief out of the virtual halo planet. With half of the team down, Master Chief calculates their chances of getting out with the artifact. He comes to the conclusion that if Cortana takes over him, then the artifacts won’t activate, and he can take them out while Kai drags Vannak and Riz to safety. Cortana warns him that there’s a chance that she won’t be able to bring his consciousness back. Master Chief agrees to go through with it and tells her to find the halo and end the war.

After receiving a deathly blow that knocks him unconscious, Cortana takes over and absolutely annihilates the Covenant army. Master Chief (or Cortana) then takes the artifact, and Kai and Vannak drag Riz to safety while keeping the rest of the Covenant army at bay. Without uttering a word, Master Chief stabilizes the injured Riz and then proceeds to sit in the pilot’s seat. We briefly see (hopefully) the real Dr. Halsey sitting at the heritage site of Manassas, writing about human evolution and how the halo is the key to progression. Someone calls her to board a ship. Miranda, Jacob, and Margaret look at the “wanted” poster for Halsey. Kai sits beside Master Chief and asks him if John is in there. Master Chief looks at her but doesn’t say anything. As the camera pushes into Master Chief’s helmet, the music rises, and then cuts to credits. So, yes, it’s obvious that John isn’t there. And Cortana is still figuring out how to bring him back. But for the meantime, Cortana is in Master Chief’s driver’s seat.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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