‘Halo’s Latest Episode Gives The Fans What They Want: A Fully Nude Master Chief

Spoilers for this week’s episode of Halo, Episode 3 “Emergence” past this point.

Full disclosure up top here: I’ve played a total of five minutes of Halo. I was always a Nintendo kid, went to a friend’s house to play Halo, could not make heads or tails of the controller, and gave up. So I’m probably not the target audience for Paramount+’s new Halo series; but at the same time, even I know there are some basic precepts involved, and the main one is that Master Chief never takes off his helmet or armor.

So in the third episode of the TV show, naturally, we get a fully nude Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber).

To take it a step back here, a lot of the Halo series has been about shaking up — and as far as I understand it, in some places, contradicting — established Halo lore. For what it’s worth, as a know-nothing, I’ve been having a blast watching this very silly, very fun sci-fi actioner featuring worm aliens, kissing trash orphans, three Natasha McElhones, and sassy blue Siri ladies (in this episode alone, by the way). But even for me, the idea that Master Chief immediately took off his helmet in the first episode was weird.

It is, mind you, a logical move for a TV show, and this TV show in particular. First of all, it distances the series from The Mandalorian, another show about a helmeted, armored badass who takes care of someone younger who is key to a conflict in the galaxy. Second, you get to see Schreiber act, and the dude is a good actor.

Image Credit: Paramount+

But then the show’s second episode found Master Chief spending most of his time not just helmet-less, but without his trademark armor as he hung out with former army buddy Soren (Bokem Woodbine). And then in this week’s episode, he took things one step further, stripping entirely naked in order to remove an emotion inhibitor chip, something that was limiting his ability to interface with the show’s MacGuffin, an all-powerful artifact that is helping Master Chief remember his childhood.

Don’t worry, we don’t get to see Master Chief’s little chief, this isn’t Halo NC-17 or anything. The scene is shot entirely from behind in the bathroom as Cortana (Jen Taylor) helps him remove the chip — quite easily, in fact, for something that is supposed to be embedded in his spine. But I digress.

It’s also not a very sexy scene, given Master Chief is shoving a scalpel into his back. It’s much more about him bonding with Cortana, who has been embedded in his brain by Dr. Halsey (Natasha McElhone) and who he does not, as yet, trust. There’s also the metaphoric level of why the show is doing this… In order to understand this version of Master Chief, they are figuratively and literally stripping away everything that makes him who he is. Hence: Master Chief nude.

Image Credit: Paramount+

But also: Master Chief nude, question mark? Even as someone whose experience with the franchise thus far is dying immediately in the video game and watching three hours of this TV show, it’s still a surprising move. Though, that said, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen [Tina Belcher voice] butts on Halo: Episode 2 featured Charlie Murphy’s Makee stripping down as well, showing her taking off the alien garb given to her by the evil Covenant and donning a guise that made her look more human.

One is an outlier, two is the beginning of a trend. Will Halo go even further in future episodes? What’s next, Master Chief has sex? One of the other Spartans was spying on him in the bathroom this week, a soft-core porn set-up if I’ve ever seen one. Or perhaps a Hair style nude musical number on another planet?

Now that we’ve finally seen Master Chief butt naked (and his butt, naked), the sky is the limit.

Halo streams every Thursday on Paramount+.

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Amanda Yeo

Amanda Yeo is The Rant Mag's reporter, covering entertainment, culture, tech, science, and social good. She previously worked in refugee law to assist people seeking asylum in Australia, and holds degrees in both Communication and Laws. After making the switch to journalism, her articles have appeared in numerous publications such as Kotaku, Fandom, and Empire Magazine.

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