The first episode of the Halo TV series has finally launched on Paramount+, and in addition to having all of the normal Halo franchise hallmarks like the weapons and Spartans and so on, there are a few surprises included. That includes, but is not limited to, a Mass Effect Easter egg.
Spoiler warning: below this, there be spoilers for the first episode of Halo, "Contact," on Paramount+.
Following the massacre by the Covenant on the planet of Madrigal, the lone survivor Kwan Ha is aboard Master Chief's ship. After a conversation between Ha and Miranda Keyes, which is shown both from the UNSC base on Reach and the ship in space, there is a scene on the base where they are watching Ha from a console. Extremely faintly in the background, one Commander Shepherd is requested at the Skillian Response Center.
Now, that spelling isn't how developer BioWare spells Shepard, the protagonist of the initial three Mass Effect video games, but it is absolutely and definitively meant as a Mass Effect Easter egg. "Everybody loves Mass Effect," said Kiki Wolfkill, 343 Industries' studio head of transmedia and Halo executive producer, while confirming the Easter egg's inclusion to GamesRadar+. She added that it came about because the industry is a "very collegiate environment."
The first episode is fairly limited in terms of what sort of Easter eggs and references it does have. One other notable inclusion in the first episode is the fact that Master Chief, played by Pablo Schreiber, does in fact remove his helmet to show his face near the end of it. We've known for some time that the show will deviate from the lore of the rest of the franchise, but just how far it will go remains to be seen.
As noted above, the first episode of the Halo television series, "Contact," is now available on Paramount+. New episodes will release on Thursdays. The series stars Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief, Natascha McElhone as Dr. Catherine Halsey, Jen Taylor as the voice of Cortana, Yerin Ha as Kwan Ha, and more. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the upcoming Halo TV show right here. And you can catch Halo directly on Paramount+ right here.
Have you had a chance to watch the first episode of the Halo series on Paramount+? If so, what do you think about how the adaptation handles itself? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop in order to talk about all things gaming or television!