Warning: this article contains some spoilers for Halo: The TV Series Episode 8!
The live-action Halo series has made a number of significant changes to the established mythology of the games, and Episode 8 has ushered in what may be the biggest shake-up yet. Master Chief appears to have just lost his virginity.
This is a pretty big departure from the Halo games, where John-117 is depicted as an ascetic super-soldier who only shows a sentimental attachment to his holographic companion Cortana, and has likely never had sex due to being kidnapped into Spartan programmer as a child. The series hasn’t exactly followed that path over the course of Season 1, with Pablo Schreiber’s Master Chief frequently removing his helmet and dealing with a surge of memories and emotions after encountering a Forerunner artifact.
That artifact also happens to be the reason for John’s sexual encounter in Episode 8. The series has introduced a brand new character in Charlie Murphy’s Makee, a human who was kidnapped by the Covenant at a young age and elevated to a position of power in that alien theocracy. John and Makee are seemingly the only two beings in the galaxy who can interact with the artifacts. After experiencing a shared vision of the mysterious Halo station in Episode 6, the two characters give in to the hormonal rush and have sex in Episode 8. And just to make things extra weird, Cortana is watching the entire time.
This plot twist has been the source of some criticism and outrage from Halo fans. Not only is the very idea of Master Chief having sex a hard pill for some to swallow, Episode 8 also uses the Master Chief/Makee romance to set the stage for the show’s version of the Fall of Reach. Though torn between her newfound love for John-117 and her loyalty to the Covenant, Makee ultimately chooses the latter and signals Reach’s location to the Covenant. Because he made the mistake of trusting Makee, Master Chief is about to have a lot of blood on his hands.
Forbes writer Paul Tassi sums up the incredulous reaction some are feeling to the episode:
Look, I don’t care if this is a spoiler, the world must know:
In this week’s Halo episode, Master Chief has sex with a human covenant spy prisoner while Cortana watches and it appears it triggers events that will lead to the Fall of Reach
— Paul Tassi (@PaulTassi) May 12, 2022
On the other hand, Twitter user @Spicy_Halo offers this rebuttal:
The Master Chief kissed a girl and now I can’t relate to him anymore. pic.twitter.com/B44Jn9IgRu
— Spicy Halo (@Spicy_Halo) May 12, 2022
IGN was positive on the new episode and its admittedly revisionist take on setting up the Fall of Reach storyline. Our review said, “It’s a sudden swerve for both characters, not to mention that Halo fans aren’t really accustomed to seeing Chief show affection for anyone apart from his platonic love for Cortana. But it’s a development that works in the context of Episode 6’s dramatic ending. The two characters shared what amounts to a religious experience, and now they’re dealing with all the hormonal aftereffects. This episode actually does a surprisingly good job of chronicling the complete rise and fall of that short-lived romance without the collapse feeling rushed or forced.”
Do you object to the idea of Master Chief getting frisky? Vote in our poll and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.