Halo season 1, episode 9 recap – the finale and ending explained


Halo ends his freshman run with a standout episode and some intriguing unanswered questions that will run into the next season.

This recap of Paramount+ series Halo season 1, episode 9, “Transcendence,” — the finale and ending explained — contains spoilers.

Read the season 1 review of Halo.

Halo season 1, episode 9 recap – the finale and ending explained

The season finale starts with the Master Chief waking up from his slumber with his face looking battered, bruised, and bloody. (When will Master Chief learn to NOT take that helmet off?). He begins to roll over and shake his head to get rid of the cobwebs.

When Master Chief begins to chase Makee after finding out from Dr. Miranda Keyes that she took the artifact, Vannak holds him at gunpoint, and John attempts to explain that Halsey kidnapped the Spartans when they were all children. He only lets him go when Captain Keyes admits to having a hand in Dr. Halsey’s experiments. Three Spartans go after Makee, who is headed to her Covenant ship. Kai goes after Dr. Halsey.

Adun, the sniveling little twerp who carries a torch for Halsey’s boss, tries to take Kai from behind with a large metal object. Kai attacks, holding him by his shirt, and Adum watches his boss leave him and sprint for the escape pod. Kai throws him headfirst into the ceiling, snapping his neck instantly. What can you say? Love hurts. Halsey escapes, and the ship is speeding towards the ground.

Meanwhile, the three Spartans chasing Makee are Vannak, Riz, and Master Chief (who is running without his helmet, really?). Unfortunately, Makee escapes with her ship. As they run out to the tarmac, they see Halsey’s boat crash into the ground with Kai in it. Shocked but soon relieved, Kai abandoned the ship, and they saw her climb on top of the runway.

But where did Makee take the artifact? Aspero is the most likely planet, according to Master Chief. Why? Because the area has light coming from the system, it gives the planet a shape that looks like shards of glass. Just like Makee told him. That is where the Halo is and where Makee will be headed.

When Makee reaches her party, she presents the noble ones with both keystones but without the Demon’s head. They now will go on their Great Journey. Makee asks if she can accompany them. She can, if that’s what she wants, one asks. She gives them one of those “of course” lines, but she touches her finger where the weapon once was and that she tore out in the last episode.

Yet, the Covenant’s Nobles embracing of the Blessed One is only for Makee’s benefit. They will let her burn as soon as they make their great journey, just like the rest of the human race.

Halsey survives the escape hatch but is caught by UNSC security. Miranda Keyes walks into her interrogation room, and there is so much hateful history there. Miranda calls her mother before she leaves and gives her the news — she has been served with an article 72. We presume this means the death penalty. Later, Halsey has a seizure and begins bleeding from both nostrils. Miranda knows exactly what is going on. This is a clone, and Dr. Halsey has escaped.

The Spartans arrive to get their keystones back. Still, when they approach the Covenants as they perform their ceremony of putting the artifacts together, Master Chief and Makee feel each other instantly. John becomes lightheaded. He begins to stumble from his hiding place, and a Covenant lookout sees him from below. They are now compromised, but Riz takes out the enemy shooters. However, Sangheili warriors, hidden from view, are now alerted.

In an impressive battle sequence of a couple of hundred Sangheili warriors ascending upon the silver team, Riz takes on the leader and is immediately compromised. The Master Chief comes to her aid and takes on five warriors, while Vannak and Kai provide cover fire on the waves of enemies sprinting to their location. Soon, Master Chief, after taking out several fighters, is pinned to the ground and takes several shots to the head. (For once, the man finally keeps his helmet on). That’s when Makee sees her lover is done for. She touches the keystone, and the activation sends a solar wave that flings hundreds of Sangheili warriors off the mountain top to certain death below.

Immediately then, Makee and Master Chief are transported back to that peaceful planet where they connected. She tells him that they should leave their lives and stay. Master Chief tells her she needs to let go. Both then realize blood has begun to soak through her clothes and around her chest. She slumps to the ground. When Makee lets go of the artifact, Master Chief comes back to the fight and out of his trance. He sees Kai point a gun at Makee. She has shot and killed her. Why? To get Master Chief back in the fight.

But there are too many of them. One warrior attaches a timed grenade to Riz, and when Kai tries to help her, it goes off, knocking them both out. Vannak is down already, being shot when complaining to Kai that she needs to wake up their boss. With only Master Chief left, and no way to get the artifacts and his team off the planet simultaneously, he allows himself to be sacrificed so Cortana can take over his body. His last words to her are, “Find the Halo, win the war.” This is also bad news for the Nobles because they needed the Blessed One and the Demon to active the keystones.

Cortana takes out several enemy combatants, but the leader and one who took out John are tricky. So, she activates her ship to side-swipe the son of ab***h. Before we can continue, couldn’t Cortana have just done that herself since she controls those types of things? Either way, this puts a dent in the Covenant’s plan. The ship provides enough recovery fire so Cortana can control Master Chief’s body to grab the artifacts (which shocks Kai) to the ship, and they escape.

the ending

The season ends with Dr. Halsey on an unknown planet enjoying her freedom as a convict on the run. Finally, as Master Chief is flying the ship home, Kai sits down next to him and asks if everything is alright. The Master Chief does not utter a word (and not one since Cortana took over his body). He looks at her and then at the screen with his helmet still on.

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