Halo TV Series: Episode 1 "Contact" Recap With Spoilers

The television adaptation of Halo gets off to a bombastic start. The series' first episode, titled "Contact," picks up on the planet of Madrigal, where we're introduced to a small mining colony. These denizens of the planet establish some of the backstory and finer details of this world and present the UNSC and its army of Spartans as a force that operates in a morally gray area.

Of these people, the story begins to hone in on a young woman named Kwan Ha. Kwan proceeds to go explore a nearby forest with her friends, and when doing so, comes across a ship that belongs to the Covenant. The alien race ends up emerging from this ship and begins attacking Kwan and her friends. Kwan escapes back to her colony where an army of Elites then descends upon the town and begins massacring nearly everyone. 

In the midst of this battle, the UNSC arrives on Madrigal in the form of four Spartans. This group, known as Silver Team, is led by Master Chief. Silver Team ends up wiping out the Covenant forces on Madrigal, but the casualties are high. Kwan ends up being the lone survivor of her colony. 

(Photo: Paramount+)

Following the battle, Master Chief and Silver Team go to explore where the Covenant emerged from and find why they were on Madrigal in the first place. Chief uncovers a Covenant excavation site, where he finds a mysterious artifact lying within. After interacting with the artifact, Chief ends up having a strange flashback to his youth where he can hear the voice of what seems to be his mother. Master Chief then orders Silver Team to return to the UNSC base while he retrieves the artifact and Kwan to take back on his ship with him.   

Halo then shifts and begins to focus on some of the other major players within this universe. One of these characters happens to be Catherine Halsey, who is the creator of the Spartans. Halsey, while a valuable asset to the UNSC, is shown to clash with some of the higher-ups within the hierarchy. It's also teased that she has her own goals and ambitions that the UNSC doesn't agree with. 

While on Master Chief's ship, Kwan interacts via telecommunications with UNSC officer Miranda Keyes, who tries to convince Kwan that she should send a message to other colonies around the universe about the dangers of the Covenant. Kwan is torn on the idea due to her own long-held dislike of the UNSC. She doesn't want to be a pawn of propaganda that the UNSC can utilize. 

(Photo: Paramount+)

Kwan and Master Chief end up becoming acquainted with one another while flying back to the UNSC base and develop a subtle bond. Meanwhile, those in charge at the UNSC decide that rather than keep Kwan alive and use her for propaganda, they'll simply kill her while on Chief's ship so that they can more easily take control of the resources that are now available at Madrigal. The UNSC proceeds to remotely eliminate all of the oxygen onboard Master Chief's vessel, while simultaneously lowering Chief's own oxygen intake to knock him out. Chief fights through this and ends up restoring the oxygen on the ship, and in doing so, directly subverts UNSC orders. 

Now seen as a dissident, the UNSC prepares to attack Master Chief upon his arrival back at the home base. Chief's ship is remotely commandeered by the military so that he can't manually try to escape elsewhere. Kwan proceeds to no longer trust Master Chief following these events and threatens to shoot him. To gain Kwan's trust, Master Chief removes his helmet and makes himself vulnerable. 

Upon arriving back at the UNSC base, the military knocks out the power on Master Chief's ship. Soldiers surround the cruiser and place explosives on the outside wall to prepare to breach it. With a last-ditch effort, Chief ends up picking up the alien artifact that he found on Madrigal. The artifact proceeds to glow strangely before letting loose an EMP blast that knocks out all electrical functions within the UNSC headquarters. In turn, the power to Master Chief's ship comes back online. Chief rushes to the controls of the ship and takes off into space with Kwan, leaving the UNSC behind for the moment. 


If you'd like to watch Halo for yourself, the first episode from the series is now viewable on Paramount+. This first season is set to last nine episodes in total, with new episodes being released on a weekly basis.