It feels like it might be time to ditch Kwan Ha and Soren, even though it’s not likely to happen. While the duo did have something to offer in the beginning, at this time it would appear that their story is clunking along while the story of Master Chief, the Spartans, and the UNSC and their battle against the Covenant are far more interesting, as it should be. While the last couple of episodes went into a great deal of exposition with little action compared to the first episode, Reckoning shifted into another gear that saw the UNSC being put on their heels as they found the second part of the artifact, but (spoilers) found that it was harder to keep than to find. With John already experiencing a bit of trouble between the influx of stimulation that came from removing his inhibitor chip to the fact that the Covenant and their Blessed One are hot on the trail of artifact, things were bound to heat up in a big way that would reward those that have been watching since episode one.
Halsey and Keyes have been feeling dodgy the entire time according to a lot of fans, and there’s no reason to think that they’re anything more or less at this time since as the flashbacks continue to show more of how they came upon John and started the Spartan program, it’s kind of obvious that they’ve been allowed to operate in a shady manner for quite a while. As John’s memories keep returning thanks to the artifacts, he becomes aware of the fact that Halsey took him from his home, and it’s not surprising at all to find that John wasn’t too happy to find out about this. But when he decided to lash out, Cortana was there to shut him down quickly and without hesitation. To be certain, this is kind of an issue since despite being there to be as helpful as possible, the use of Cortana as a means to incapacitate John, which was one of her primary functions, is enough to make a person think that Halsey won’t have an issue doing this again if the moment feel right.
It is kind of interesting to hear John and Cortana’s back and forth dialogue since the AI does have a sense of humor that is used at John’s expense. The fact that this came on the heels of John’s words to Kai concerning her attitude and behavior following the removal of her inhibitor chip isn’t lost on the audience since Master Chief is seen being a bit of a hypocrite. The fact that he tells Kai that she’s not fit for duty is disputed by Cortana, rightfully so, but it’s clear that there’s more going on than what’s being seen. Anyone that has read the books or played the games knows that Master Chief does care about his fellow Spartans. With the removal of his inhibitor chip, his emotions are obviously coming to the fore in an even greater way, but he’s doing what he can to keep them from showing. His attitude toward Kai shows this, and the fact that he abandons his mission to try and save Kai during the Covenant attack is further proof.
The emergence of the Covenant forces, and the diversity seen in the fighters in this episode is fun to see since it’s still evident that the Covenant is well beyond humanity when it comes to technology and overall physicality. The Spartans are by far the only force that can be depended upon to keep the human race in the fight at this time, but even they have their limits as Kai is seen to freeze up during battle, something that wouldn’t have been likely with her chip still intact. The argument for creating soldiers with little to no emotion versus those that have the normal emotional range of the average human being does come into play in a way since Kai’s inability to stay cool under pressure indicates that without something keeping her calm, she was bound to break down and not view the battlefield with the same calm, cool detachment that John was capable of, meaning that he was right to at least attempt to keep her from combat until she could be checked out.
Pitting Master Chief up against a larger, tougher fighter was even interesting since it ‘s kind of obvious that anything less is going to be so much fodder for him, as he beats one of the Covenant fighters with his hands before trying to recover the artifact before it can be taken. But what’s going to happen in the episodes to come feels as though it might be even more intense since there’s the need to retrieve the artifact, to keep an eye on the Blessed One, who is now bound to act as though she was a captive, and there’s the mistrust between John and Halsey that needs to be sorted out. Things have definitely picked up.