Paramount+’s Halo Episode 9, “Transcendence,” picks up immediately after the events of Episode 8. Makee has used the artifact as a weapon, triggered by human brutality once again, and back on her path to give the Covenant the second piece and wipe out humanity. John-117 is beaten both physically and emotionally as his world and Reach have begun to fall around him. His only hope to save humanity is to undo decades of indoctrination and free his Spartan compatriots Vannak and Riz from Halsey’s mission.
A lot has happened in Halo since Episode 5, where the series caught its stride. While we did take an unnecessary detour to Madrigal in Episode 7, now, with this finale, we’re the closest we have been to the games this series is built from. In a last-ditch attempt to recover the artifact from the Covenant and keep the Halo out of enemy hands, John leads Silver Team on a mission into unexplored territory. Additionally, Halsey’s manipulative scheme to take the Halo and force the human race to rid themselves of humanity has reached its conclusion, for now. Stuck with nowhere to run, Halsey has to confront her sins and the ramifications, or can she pull off one last escape from morality?
“Transcendence” is the best episode of the series because of what it brings to the screen as well as what it sets up for the future of the series. With action and the building blocks that help push the story closer to what we know from the games, Halo Episode 9 puts viewers into a place that has closed its focus on the UNSC, Master Chief, Silver Team, and the fate of humanity —as it always should have been.
Here, the series allows itself to deliver on promises made in Episode 1 with Silver Team airdropping onto a Covenant planet, fighting side by side, and caring for each other. It’s this dynamic I didn’t know that I was sorely missing from the series. Master Chief leading, with his team working together and pulling off combat, makes it feel like multiplayer come to life. Ultimately, Halo has thrived in its action sequences, and in “Transcendence” it’s no different.
Additionally, Halo Episode 9’s final moments see a return of the helmeted and stoic character that people felt was missing over Halo Season 1. While that comes with exciting prospects for Season 2, which was announced prior to the series launch in March, it also solidifies the deep connection between Master Chief and Cortana. My OTP ship may not be explicitly sailing, but the level of trust and care displayed in the last two episodes has me excited for the wife guy Chief is about to become.
As a finale episode, Halo Episode 9 is damn good. It wraps up our main story, sets up Season 2, and ultimately highlights the parts of the series that have kept me coming back again and again. While The first half of the season and Episode 7 were a test of patience, this finale shows that we’re finally where we need to be. And that is beyond excited as a fan of the games, a fan of Pablo’s Master Chief, and someone looking to see more of this expansive world in live-action.
Halo Episode 9 — "Transcendence"
- Rating - 8.5/108.5/10
Halo Episode 9 is damn good. It wraps up our main story, sets up Season 2, and ultimately highlights the parts of the series that have kept me coming back again and again. While The first half of the season and Episode 7 were a test of patience, this finale shows that we’re finally where we need to be. And that is beyond excited as a fan of the games, a fan of Pablo’s Master Chief, and someone looking to see more of this expansive world in live-action.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.