Halo Ep 3 "Emergence" Review

It's good getting back to Halo and enjoying the show for what it is. I'm just reiterating here, since I didn't last time, this is a separate time-line from the games (and the 30 novels). It has a strong resemblance to the main time-line, but the Silver Time-line, where the show is, remains its own independent entity. I will preference this episode with a warning about the procedure regarding the creation of Cortana. This is all surgically based, and minimal in presentation, you can skip it by jumping from 13:02 to 17:00. And then there's a removal that Master Chief performs later on (on himself) from 37:50 to 39:00. Thought I'd give a heads up in this review in case.


This episode starts with the origins of Makee. It explains the world, she came from Oban: a Waste Salvage colony, and what her life was like before. Being hunted, and constantly on the run to avoid brutality, if not death at the hands over the overseers if she wasn't working on sorting or salvaging something. The Covenant were looking for something that reacted to a relic of their own: the Luminary. Then for her to trick her way onto an UNSC with the strange grunt that had been providing her escort. It does give an answer to the big question of how they were going to get the artifact's information. Ambush with the Crabs. The UNSC protocol is clear to insure that no Covenant force will be able to simply access their network or data. This tells us more about the security that is in place to protect Reach, Earth, and any UNSC colony they can.


This gives a solid contrast to who Makee's grown into over her years with the Covenant. I do want to point out, it took until THIS episode her for to give her name or for her to be referred to as something other than “The Blessed One.” Even then, it was just IF you have captions on. She hasn't been properly named otherwise. She's got the drive to keep trying things to get to the Artifact. It really is just a question of how things keep progressing here. There is one thing it did put emphasis on: Loneliness. Makee's isolated in a few ways. The human in the Covenant forces, with a goal, but still, alone.


Kwan wants to do more for Madrigal than just watch from the sidelines. Soren is protecting her, keeping his word to John. This also does lead him to agree to help her get back to Madrigal. Also make it clear he's getting paid for this. Either by Kwan with what remains of her family's money or from the bounty on her head that Visher out. While not friendly, the pair at least get along. This was a minor storyline this episode. Just some time on the Rubble to touch base and move Kwan's story forward.


Parangosky and Miranda Keyes started their own investigation into the Forerunner artifact. Parangosky wants Keyes running her own “parallel” team, separately from Dr. Halsey's team. Parangosky states that she wants to be “less reliant” on Halsey. This only comes up again at the end of the episode when Keyes' father tells her about Halsey leaving Reach for something. That, and to secure every byte of her data. Keyes at least has a second project with a massive lead since she's got the knowledge of the Coventant's language.


Halsey, meanwhile creates the Cortana AI from a flash clone of herself. The clone shows having all of Halsey's memories up to the point the samples were taken to create her. She also builds a device that Dr. Halsey brought to her and understands the Doctor is after her brain. Having Halsey talking with a younger version of herself, who is going to become Cortana was trippy. A younger Hasley, just from the start of the Spartan program. The less compromised version of herself. It is easy to see the changes. The Younger also asked about Miranda, Halsey's daughter, which the elder evaded. It remains telling how removed from everything else she's become. Halsey is just focused on her science. The rest just seems to fall to the side. She seems estranged from both her husband and daughter. She's playing at higher stakes here on. Time is all that's going to tell how it works out for her.


John gets the Cortana upgrade and we see the progress through which it is created with the Flash Clone of Halsey. Again, separate time-line. This part was potent. While nothing was gory, there was minimal blood, and the worst was a needle through an eye (maybe the destruction of the clone's body in a vat of acid). While minimally invasive, it does a lot. There is also the implantation of the Cortana AI into John's brain It does also reveal that Dr. Halsey is playing at more than we've seen so far. Cortana is just the first step, and likely something that will be slowly revealed. Then there's when the pair first meet. She does try to reach out to John, but he's not really willing to extend a hand as well.


It's clear Cortana, while an AI created from the neural substrate of Dr. Halsey's clone, she isn't just a program. She's AI life, much like in the original time-line. She has her own goals, knows her objectives, but chafes a bit under the orders and limits she's initially imposed with. She is following orders and has no full agenda of her own; just do what she was made to, improve Spartan performance. She does want to get along with John, but the pair have a LOT of work to do. John sees her as a necessary evil, so he just tolerates her. Halsey is making a few choices to shift that view, but this is now added to the ongoing relationships.


Again, with Kai-125, there is something more going on. She watched John-117 remove his pellet and still very much had that concerned look. Just the small moments here and there. Likely she's just meant to have these smaller observational thoughts and moments. It could lead to something bigger. There's just too little known here for now. Here's hoping through. Another Spartan going through some of the same process could be interesting. Or just concern about the break from the military command structure.


John, we see, after removing his pellet really does see the world different. The swell of music and the small changes in his expression. Cortana helps with a bit of commentary, letting us get a better emotional picture of what is happening with John. This, in general was a good section. John acts on instinct to learn more. This gives us just more of a build. It is clear more and more of the memories are getting pulled from beyond the blockage. However, they are pointing toward the Forerunner artifact that John may have had contact with earlier in his life.


This episode gave us a lot. John has done more to revert to human, but still chasing the ideas of helping Halsey and others. Soren definitely gave him good advice with the removal of the Pellet if that section toward the end is anything to show for it. While done to better interact with the Artifact, it has let John be more relatable. Mix in Cortana, and he does get more approachable. There is just more there than the removed person we started the series with. We did get that bit with Hasley and her assistant with their concern about John and his memories. Just creating and building those stakes here. The Flash Clone of Halsey, with its arrival and death leading to Cortana. Just seeing the AI Cortana from the outset was a big thing. Easily she was my favorite character in the original Halo games. Good progress was made on the main story line while Makee and Kwan story lines developed. We got more time to just see both of them separate from their initial supports..

Comments (0)

New comments are currently disabled.

Subscribe to me on YouTubeFollow us on Twitter!
Join our Steam group!