Halo Alpha
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Halo Alpha

Aleria is the fifth episode of the second season of Halo. It premiered on February 29, 2024, on Paramount+.

Synopsis[]

In the aftermath of defeat, the survivors struggle to pick up the pieces. On the desolate planet of Aleria, John grapples with an unprecedented loss. Soren and Laera search for their missing son. Makee must tread carefully as the Arbiter grows impatient.

Plot[]

The battle on Reach continues as John struggles to regain consciousness. He lurches up, shouting for Vannak, while Soren and Riz struggle to fight against the fleet. They seek shelter and John sees Halsey hiding. She knows this isn't over, pointing out the ship that's coming back. Soren, Riz, and John return fire when suddenly, it all stops. Soren taunts them and a moment later a Jiralhanae Chieftain Brute crashes through the ceiling. Soren knew he shouldn't have said anything; John tells him to shut up. Riz and Soren defeat the Brute, with Soren taking credit for the kill. A ship arrives with Laera at the helm. Riz grabs Halsey as another wave of grunts and jackals arrive. Kwan wields a machine gun that holds off the forces as Soren and Riz get John inside the shift. Riz can't leave Vannak and runs to him, guns firing, against John's shouts. He watches her disappear into the smoke. A few moments later, she emerges carrying Vannak's corpse on her shoulders. Bullets and explosions circulate around her. An artillery fire strikes her in the back, knocking her down. Kwan and Laera drag her body inside. The ship takes off and John watches FLEETCOM fall, Riz's unconscious body, and Halsey rush to his side. He hallucinates Cortana talking to him, but can only hear Riz. He thinks about Makee and the connection.

John flatlines and flashes back to his treatment after the Battle on High Charity. Cortana begs Parangosky to save John. It all depends on what Cortana will do for her.

Makee watches Reach burns as she leaves its airspace. She's emotional for a moment before turning to the Arbiter, praising him for the great victory. He calls it no victory as they only secured one of the stolen Keystones. He was denied once again by the Blessed One. There is a time and place for every part of the Great Journey, but he's growing tired of her gift and prophecy. The Demon's death is his only redemption. He thinks she protects him, but she feigns no concern for the Demon. She serves a high purpose, as does the Arbiter. He does not want her preaches, reminding her she only lives by his grace. She begs him to take her life if it offends him. He snarls over her and she rolls her eyes before offering Cortana's vessel. It may tell them where the location of the next Keystone is; if she can open it.

John awakens on the ship several feet from where Riz is intubated. He rips off his heart monitor so he can crawl to her side. Halsey watches the scene unfold. He sits on her bedside and asks Halsey if she'll live. She needs tools to perform surgery on Riz. John feels he used Riz's sense of having to prove herself to push her too far, that's why she went back against her better judgement. Halsey reminds him that Spartans don't leave Spartans behind. He blunts says that hat she went back for wasn't a Spartan, because he was already dead. Halsey reiterates that Riz made a choice. He doesn't believe Spartans make choices. She told them where to go, what to think, who to kill, and they did that every time, without question. They followed orders like a machine. He's not a human, because real people have lives. They have families and possibilities. He forces Halsey to look at Riz and tell him what she sees. If that's a woman or a piece of equipment that she leaves on the battlefield, dump, and forget. Halsey merely stares at him so he releases her to sit on a chain. The ONI left them down there to die with no evac or armor. He asks if they've made contact with any of the other teams, with Kai, but there's no way of telling anything. He's been comatose for two days. He wants to go back for the survivors on Reach as he believes they need him. They don't need him and he realizes they're all dead. She feels his fever. John told them what would happen, he told Ackerson, but they didn't listen. They knew already and did nothing. He could have stopped it from happening if he just had his armor. Halsey reminds him Reach was a plan and they need to remain invisible. He picks up on her usage of the term "we" which she claims has always been the case.

Makee tries to open Cortana's vessel by speaking to her. She commands Cortana to emerge in the name of the gods. Cortana points out the little button she could have pressed. Cortana's fascinated by the Covenant ship. Makee corrects that they are aboard a Covenant command vessel owned by the Zealot, Var'Gatani, the former supreme commander of the First Fleet of Solemn Accord, the Arbiter. Makee asks what Cortana is. She explains she's is the most advanced artificial intelligence in the world. Makee wants to know what Cortana is to Master Chief. She says they work together. She knows that John remembers Makee, who wants to see his memories of the Ring. Cortana refuses as it doesn't belong to her. She speaks Shangheili back to Makee. She reminds Cortana that they both are in danger of being useless. Cortana merely disappears.

John wakes up to Kwan standing over him. He sits up as Soren greets him. He's been out for three days. Laera has tried contacting the station but there's no noise. They're planning to land in Aleria, a planet they'll be orbiting soon, and one that Kessler is on. Kwan leads John to another room where Vannak's corpse rests. Kwan stays with him every night. John starts to leave, a move that Kwan questions, as this is his friend. John coolly says it's just a body and his friend isn't there.

Soren's ship lands on Aleria and they rush Riz into the hospital where Halsey takes over as the surgeon. Soren tells John that Riz is still being worked on. They're going to ask around about Kessler. Laera spots something in the distance and walks off. Kwan follows Soren then asks John if he's coming, though Soren knows he won't leave Halsey. John watches a bird fly in the sky.

Soren and Laera enter a shop where the keeper tries to sell them a property. Soren presents a pocket of coins. McCoy asks what they're looking for. They're looking for their son, Kessler, a ten-year-old boy was aboard the Bodegraven transport ship. McCoy asks if Soren is sure the boy is his, since most of the little ones who come through are spoken for. McCoy vents about Reach as he flips through a manifest. Laera sees him in the manifest and Soren asks for everything he has about the kid.

John looks at the UNSC posters that advertise him. Kwan tosses him a jacket. It's time for them to bury Vannak. He refuses because they don't bury Spartans. The moment a person becomes a Spartan their life in the real world ends. They live in a world without burials or funerals. The fallen have already said goodbye. Kwan calls this stupid and knows he'll regret this choice. It makes a difference to her. She must put those who die in the ground or they will follow her. John just watches a bird circle overhead.

Soren talks to a woman about the land. Laera tells him to stop because they're looking for their son. All those people on Reach, the whole planet, is gone. She expects him to feel something about it. He has to keep looking forward. She accuses him of running. He ran from the Spartan program, from the Rubble, and when Ruby Ann came it was all on her. She wants him with her; scared and sad. She moves away from him to stand alone. She takes off her wig and tosses it off the vehicle.

Riz wakes up in the hospital under Halsey's care. Riz muses over Halsey looking exactly the same as she did when Riz came out of the augmentation. All she knows how to do is get shot, get hurt, and get up to do it all again. Halsey taught her everything except how to quit. Riz doesn't do this for her. Halsey did everything she could but the damage is significant and she won't be the soldier she was before. Her body was already diminished, so she'll have to work harder. Riz turns away from Halsey to look at the moon.

Kwan drags Vannak's body uphill with great difficulty. She begins to dig his grave.

Halsey fills John in on Riz's condition. What happened on Reach wasn't personal or strategic, but political. This was about control and who dictates how the war is fought.

Kwan talks to Soren about not being capable of grieving an entire planet because their minds won't let it. She never got to bury anyone; not her people, not her family. Somehow, she needs him to be everyone that's gone. A group of people in red cloaks surround her.

John tells Halsey about his memory of Parangosky being the one who took Cortana out. There's a piece of him missing where there used to be a voice. There was something Cortana said before she vanished. He asks how Halsey chose him. She created a genetic profile and surveyed the children. He asks more specifically why she chose him. He hears shouting and sees the cloaked people in the distance. He leaves Halsey but promises they aren't done.

Kwan fights off the people when John arrives. The woman refuses to let Kwan bury the body. He must burn and find his way. She protests and tries to fight the people away. John yanks her off Vannak and the sheet falls. She gives him a second then says it isn't death, but loss that he's feeling and there's a difference. He tells Kwan to put him in the sky.

Laera and Soren arrive at a plant. Inside is a house with a burning chimney. They enter and knock on the door. A woman answers and a girl threatens they're trespassing. They're looking for their son, but the woman claims the boy is theirs now. The woman claims this is a good home that Kessler likes, and she's not giving him up to a bunch of stranger. Even if their claims of being his parents are true, Kessler was starved and abused when he arrived. Soren drags a furious Laera away. He can handle this negotiation, asking her to trust him. She storms out of the home as he goes inside.

Soren speaks with the women inside. They agreed to give him five minutes and two of those are up. He grew up in a place just like this home. He knows what it means to scratch out a life. There's never quite enough to go around. He's the kind of guy that can get things. The kind of things that can compensate. He knows what an extra pair of hands can mean, showing them his disfigurement.

Outside, Laera hears a noise and follows it.

The woman refuses to sell their boy. Soren tells them the truth; he was born in hell, raised in violence. He was raised without a home, a family, and without protection. He realized he could survive all that except the loneliness. He lives in fear that his son will never know the absence of love. He's grateful they're the ones who took him, because in time, he'd find love there. But he's Soren's son

Laera catches up to the boy wearing Kessler's helmet. She calls out to her son, gently coaxing him closer. She takes off the helmet only to find the boy beneath isn't Kessler. A boy gave it to him on the transport for protection. He saw the boy was scared. Laera asks where the boy is. They took him away.

Soren walks outside and finds Laera. The boy isn't Kessler. Soren starts to grow emotional, so Laera hugs him.

The people of Aleria, Kwan, and John gather in a circle around Vannak. Riz joins them with Halsey. Halsey gives a speech on the losses felt at Reach. She talks about meeting Vannak on Tribute when he was six. John stops her because his family buried him at six and never knew him. John knew him, though. He gives a proper eulogy for Vannak-134. He promises to find the people responsible for his death and end them. He places a torch on the body, watching it go up in flames before walking away. Halsey runs after him as she tries to reason that he'll get himself killed going after Parangosky and Ackerson. He doesn't care as he will find them. She admits to not choosing him. She found him. Whatever built the Halo, whatever left those artifacts behind, left something in him too. He can't run from that. This has been calling to him for his entire life. This is what he's meant to do. He can take them to the Halo where the survival of their species depends on what it can teach them. If he goes after the ONI they won't let him live and he'll put everything at risk. He believes he's already dead.

Kwan watches Vannak's body when she hears a voice saying to join them. She finds the deer from Sanctuary, who claims to speak for all the planets. Kwan realizes she's in a different place. The woman speaks for Madrigal. She reminds Kwan that she is Kwan Ha, the last of the Has. She accuses Kwan of turning her back on them, forgetting her name. The monster is close now and the woman begs her for help and to find her. She calls Kwan a protector and shows her flashes of images. Kwan is then back at the funeral, where only Riz is staring at her.

Makee enters the Orbit of High Charity which fears her. The fleet was recalled and the Arbiter tells her to accept their mission has failed. He only hopes they will take the offering to mitigate his sentence. She calls the Hierarchs liars. He threatens to rip the breath from her body. The Prophets are false with no intention of beginning the Great Journey. It is not their power to do so because they are not Chosen. It is her and the Arbiters destiny to lead them to the Sacred Ring. She has seen it, but he calls her flattery empty. He prepares to attack her for the words she speaks, only to stop when Cortana projects an image of the Halo for them. Arbiter stares in awe over the beauty and serenity it offers. Makee claims that he's doing this because it is his destiny. She needs him to believe in her and her destiny. He knows they'll send every fleet to hunt them down and kill them. She says they'll fail because it is written. He slowly turns and walks away. Cortana appears as Arbiter steers the ship away.

Riz painfully puts on a robe and sees Laera arriving with Soren. She watches the people of Aleria building ships. A woman waves to her and, after a moment of confusion, Riz waves back.

Laera and Soren visit McCoy's shop once more. She needs gloves and barbed wire. Soren wanted to join her, but she didn't think it would be prudent, as he can be emotional. She sees this situation clearly. No one should come between a mother and her child. She slams her new weapon on the table. She caught a scent in the air the first time she was there. She knew from the time Kessler was a baby that there was no limit to what she would do if someone did her child harm.

Soren waits outside for Laera, who got him to talk. The UNSC are the ones who took Kessler.

Riz watches the townspeople and sits in silence. John joins her to tell her they're wheels up in ten. She's decided to stay here. Her fight is over. John refuses that as it's only over when Vannak or Kai says it is. It's over when they win. He orders her to get on her feet. She can only stand with the help of a cane and pain. She knows what and who they lost. She's going to live. He thinks they owe everyone they lost. She calmly says it's just pain and all they can do is carry it. But the more they deny it, the more they run from it, the heavier it gets. If he doesn't make peace with it, then it will crush him. She won't let it crush her. He hesitates, saying she's all he has left. She knows that and hugs him. He walks away from her and over to Halsey, sharing the news of Riz not coming. Halsey joins Riz on the porch, saying that she's no one now. Riz smiles at Halsey and limps over to her newfound people. She leaves her Spartan tags on the chair. Halsey picks them up.

Kai walks through Camp Currahee to meet with Ackerson. He smiles at her and she puts on her Spartan helmet where outside, thousands of marines are called to attention at her command.

Cast[]

Starring[]

Additional Cast[]

  • Stuart Laing as Doctor
  • Johnny O'Dowd as McCoy
  • Timea Udvari-Kardos as Homesteader Woman
  • Rebecka Johnston as Holystander #1
  • Cat Simmons as Garwyn
  • Lara Peake as Fern
  • Eddie Karanja as Boy
  • Aruzhan Ilaikova as Young Acolyte
  • Olwen Fouere as The Mother

Locations[]

  • Reach
    • FLEETCOM
  • Soren's Ship
  • The Arbiter's Covenant Command Vessel
  • Elduros System
    • Aleria
  • Zeta Doradus System
    • Onyx
      • Camp Currahee

Trivia[]

  • This episode title is a reference to the video game location Aleria, which serves as a human outer colony.

Gallery[]

References[]

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