Inheritance, episode seven of the Halo TV series, sees Kwan Ha driving into a sandstorm seeking the desert women who hold the secrets to the Ha family’s past.
Kwan Ha’s storyline has been a mixed bag for the Halo TV series. Early on, she provided a human perspective on the Spartan supersoldiers and the colonial excesses of the United Earth Government and a useful foil to the Master Chief. But after they part ways, she spent much of the series floundering around, an afterthought in the storytelling as she drags Soren-066 along in her fool’s quest of restarting Madrigal’s anti-UEG revolution on the nebulous strength of her family name and wealth, resources that quickly prove no match for the tyrannical Governor Vincher.
Halo episode seven finally has Kwan taking some effective action, even if it kind of leads her back to where she started. Heartfelt pleading eventually does Kwan some good, as the mystics relent and guide her on a vision quest that provides some surprising hints as to why Madrigal is so important, even if the actual visions and morality plays between Kwan, the Master Chief, and Jin Ha feel a bit rote and cliché compared to the sheer emotional intensity of Solace, last week’s episode.
Madrigal’s wealth of deuterium hides a secret: a Forerunner portal that Kwan’s family has safeguarded for generations. Mixed in with Kwan’s visions, we get a glimpse of what looks like a Monitor construct, as well as a mysterious orb in the night sky that looks suspiciously like it could be a Forerunner shield world (resembling Requiem from Halo 4, or Onyx from the books), titanic megastructures dwarfing the Halo rings. For now, the revolution is on the back burner as the visions guide Kwan back to the beginning: the outpost where her father, General Jin Ha, died. Hot on her trail? Governor Vincher and his trenchcoated toadies.
Meanwhile, on the Rubble, Soren can’t seem to leave the Kwan job unfinished, even though he’d presumed her dead in the desert. After dealing with discontent among his pirate lieutenants, Soren is surprised to learn that Kwan is still alive, with a tripled bounty on her head. As irritating as Kwan is, Soren made a promise to keep her safe. And she still owes him a ship and fat stacks of money.
Things come to a head back at the Madrigal deuterium drilling outpost where the series began, (fitting that a Halo adaptation would have a narrative obsession with recursion, I suppose) in a showdown pitting Kwan Ha and Soren against Vincher and his goons. It’s a more low-powered fight compared to the big battles against the Covenant, but it’s a decent action sequence as Soren plays a lethal game of hide and seek against the trenchcoat brigade while Kwan desperately rigs the entire installation to blow. There are even some nice callbacks to the first episode with Sangheili corpses and discarded Spartan gear that play a surprising role. It’s a close run thing, burnt and injured, but Kwan and Soren manage to see it through, knocking out the deuterium drilling rig and taking out Governer Vincher and his goons along with it, and possibly concealing the secrets of the Forerunner portal.
With that victory, it seems like the two are finally parting ways. Soren has his ship back plus interest, thanks to a stash of loot the pair found in the outpost, and Kwan has, ironically, in giving up her plans for an uprising, managed to eliminate the tyrannical Vincher and give herself some breathing room. Soren leaves for the Rubble, while Kwan stays behind to safeguard the desert and its secrets.
I’m sure there are those hoping this is the last we’ll see of Kwan, but that seems unlikely. Madrigal hides more Forerunner secrets beyond the keystone that the Chief and Makee are obsessed with, and if Kwan’s visions are to be trusted, the Chief is going to be back. Halo episode seven leaves me wanting to know more about that portal, and that strange world or construct in the night sky vision. Inheritance is a mediocre episode, given that the emotional stakes of last week’s Solace are hard to top, with some confusing timeline jumps and plausibility holes, and ties things up a bit too neatly, but the lorehound in me is intrigued nonetheless.
We’re down to the last two episodes of the first season of Halo and the Silver Timeline, and I’m curious how things will wrap up, as the Madrigal situation seems settled for now, while things have come to a head for the Master Chief back at Reach. If you’re looking for more Halo content, check out ourfirst impressions of Halo Infinite’s Season 2: Lone Wolves and the crazy fun of the Last Spartan Standing game mode.