Halo Season 1 Ending Explained: How It Sets Up the Future

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The season finale of the live-action Halo show has just arrived, and it promises to be an action-packed ending to a series that spent a good part of the earlier episodes building up on its world/universe and lore. While the ending may be as straightforward as it could get, there were some twists that people weren’t expecting, especially right at the end. In that regard, we are here to explain what happened in the Halo season 1 finale and how it sets up the future of the series.

What Happened In The Halo Season 1 Finale?

We saw in episode 8 of Halo that Makee took the Madrigal artifact from the UNSC headquarters in Reach after Miranda revealed that she was the one who attacked the UNSC ship and killed everyone in one of the earlier episodes. Meanwhile, Master Chief was locked in a battle against both Vannak and Riz, who were ordered by Halsey to capture him and Makee.

However, the season finale of Halo opens up with Master Chief trying to reason with Vannak and Riz while explaining to them what Halsey had done to them when they were still children. This was corroborated by Captain Keyes, who had personal knowledge of what Halsey did because he was in it as well. And this led to a ceasefire between the Spartans as they tried to recover the artifacts from Makee, who was on her way to a Covenant ship in the headquarters.

Meanwhile, Kai broke off from the team so that she could go after Halsey, who was on her way to escape Reach as well. However, Kai was able to prevent the ship from escaping the planet by compromising it. Halsey used an escape pod to get away from Kai’s wrath but was eventually captured by the UNSC.


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The rest of Silver Team failed to prevent Makee from escaping Reach but were able to come up with a plan to recover the artifacts from the Covenant when Master Chief and Cortana found out where the Covenant planet could be hiding. As such, Parangosky allowed Silver Team to carry out a covert mission to try to recover the artifacts instead of sending out an entire army of UNSC marines.

While Silver Team faced a bit of a problem on its way to the Covenant planet, it still managed to get there undetected. They were able to bring down the sentries one by one without alerting the Prophets. However, when the two artifacts were joined together, it triggered a reaction in John, and that was what exposed the Spartans’ location to the Covenant. The Prophets were quick to call out the hiding Elite warriors and Brutes that not even Cortana was able to detect.

The next few scenes, which are undoubtedly the best that the Halo series is yet to offer, resembled the same kind of action-packed experience that Halo fans love about the game. Viewers were given a treat as the perspective switched between third-person and first-person to make the battle scene against the Covenant army similar to what you would expect when you are playing a Halo game. You are basically placed in the position of the Spartans themselves as they were battling the Covenant in the hopes of getting to the artifacts.

As Silver Team approached the temple-like structure where the Prophets, Makee, and the artifacts were, they met a roadblock in the form of Brutes that proved to be too tough for them to handle. As the Brutes were beating down on the Spartans, Makee activated the artifacts to trigger a chain reaction that sent most of the Covenant soldiers flying so that she could save Master Chief from certain death at the hands of the extra-large Brute that defeated him back in Eridanus.

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Makee also triggered a map that showed the coordinates of the Halo weapon, to the delight of the Prophets. She also sent both her and John’s consciousness to the same extra-dimensional plane, where only they could get to. However, Kai had to shoot Makee to pull Master Chief out of the trance-like state he was in.

As the battle raged on, the other members of Silver Team got beat down so hard that they could hardly get up. This forced John into instructing Cortana to take over his body so that he could fight efficiently, as there was no other way for them to come out of the planet alive and with the artifacts. And because his consciousness was no longer there, he could also touch the artifacts without triggering a reaction.

With Cortana in control of Master Chief’s body, she was able to defeat all of the immediate Covenant soldiers, including the large Brute that they struggled against. She was also able to remotely control the Spartan ship and bring everyone and the artifacts to safety before escaping the planet.

What Happened To The Artifacts?

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Even though the series opened up with the Prophets obtaining the artifacts after Makee brought them to them, the Spartans were still able to recover them when they invaded the Covenant planet. However, they were only able to do so after Makee had already triggered them and revealed the location of the Halo weapon.

The episode with the artifacts safely onboard the Spartan ship as Silver Team was on its way back to Reach. But it might have already been too late for them because the Prophets must have already seen enough to know where the Halo is and how to get to it. 

In that regard, while the UNSC was able to recover the artifacts, they were unable to stop the Covenant from possibly getting to the Halo. What this could mean for the UNSC is that they might also run some tests on the artifacts to find out more about them and to decipher where the Halo is based on the possible outcomes of their tests. And considering that the Halo is what the Covenant ultimately wanted, we believe that the artifacts are no longer of any use to them.

Where Is The Real Catherine Halsey?

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As the battle was raging on the Covenant planet, the rest of the UNSC officers had their own problems to deal with after capturing Halsey. The higher-ups had already decided to execute Halsey, as it was Miranda, her own daughter, who delivered the news to her. However, before she could get executed, Halsey died on the spot.

Miranda observed that the Halsey in front of her was displaying the same symptoms that a flash clone experiences before it dies. As such, she came to the conclusion that the Halsey that had been working with them was a flash clone all along. That means that the real Catherine Halsey was somewhere out there.

Near the end of the episode and right, after Silver Team had escaped the Covenant planet, Halsey could be heard monologuing in the background about human evolution. She was later revealed to be safe and free somewhere on Reach but was about to leave the planet as it was clear that the series was not yet over with her story and involvement in the entire Halo narrative.

Did All Of Silver Team Make It Out Alive?

One of the reasons why Master Chief wanted Cortana to take control of his body was so that they could save everyone on Silver Team and escape with the artifacts. They were indeed successful when Kai and Vannak were able to get Riz onboard the ship while Master Chief carried the artifact. But did all four of them manage to make out of the planet alive?

Well, in a way, they all made it out alive. Riz was dying from the wounds she suffered in the fight against the Covenant. However, a robotic Master Chief used cauterized her wound using some sort of a blowtorch. Near the end of the episode, Vannak was smiling as he monitored Riz’s vital signs, and that could mean that she was already stable.


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As for John, only his body was able to make it out of there alive. When he ordered Cortana to take over his body, the AI was unsure of whether or not she could bring him back. But she had no other choice but to obey because that was the only way for them to make it out of there alive. So, while Master Chief did indeed survive as far as his body is concerned, we are not sure whether or not his consciousness is still there. This might be something that season 2 will explore.

What Does The Season 1 Ending Mean For The Future Of Halo?

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The thing about the ending of season 1 of Halo is that it set up more questions instead of providing answers. It was indeed full of classic Halo action that video game lovers will enjoy, but the future of the series became open for interpretation after the events of that episode.

For one, the episode possibly sets up the Covenant’s search for the Halo weapon as the Prophets had already seen its coordinates when Makee touched the artifacts. This could possibly set up events that are similar to what we saw in Halo: Combat Evolved, where Master Chief was able to stop the Covenant from activating the Halo. But that leaves us questioning where the fall of Reach might fall into place.

As the Prophets ordered the Covenant to chase after the Spartan’s ship, it could be possible that they would end up discovering where Reach is. It is also possible that they would use Makee’s ship logs to find out where Reach’s coordinates are. As important as getting to the Halo is for the Covenant, destroying the UNSC and the Spartans is just as important to them so that there would no longer be any demons getting in the way of their goals. That is why we are looking forward to the fall of Reach happening sometime in the next season.

Then there’s also the fact that Master Chief is no longer himself because Cortana has taken control over his body without knowing whether or not she could bring him back. This is where the series could take an interesting direction.


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Loyal Halo fans, as early as episode 1, weren’t happy with the fact that Master Chief revealed his face. That’s because he has never done so in the video games. But Cortana taking over his body might lure them back in.

When Cortana took over John’s body, his face was never seen again in the episode. He didn’t talk or show any signs of humanity whatsoever. This could bring about the development of the stoic and robotic Master Chief that fans learned to love from the Halo games. And it could be possible that the Cortana version of Master Chief will never take his helmet off until such a time that she would finally be able to discover how to bring him back.

Finally, there’s Catherine Halsey, who was seen alive and free at the end of the episode. She was always an interesting character throughout the series because she cared not for morality as long as she could find a way to help humanity evolve. How she would contribute to the future of the series would be interesting, considering that the UNSC is no longer willing to take the same route that she did to produce Spartan soldiers. This could lead to the birth of the Spartan-IIIs and Spartan-IVs.

As for Halsey, she might find a way to continue her research elsewhere. She has always been an enigmatic Halo character, and it would be interesting to see where the series would take her down the road in the future.

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