We’re back once again with the cast portraying Fireteam Crimson! We’re discussing Episode 9, “Key,” this week. It’s the penultimate episode before the season finale, and I am personally excited. Let’s jump right into this the same way we always do!
You all know the drill by now. Cinematic, go.
Reginald: There’s a meme: Good Guy Lasky. Lasky is, quite appropriately, a good guy. Like, he’s ordered to stop the Master Chief from pursuing the Didact, but gives him a fully loaded Pelican instead. He’s ordered to have Halsey assassinated, so he orders Majestic to rescue her. It’s Good Guy Lasky!
Sam: I thought Majestic was last seen at Cyclone, not Sniper Alley. And Glassman was onboard Infinity with Spartan Miller.
Emily: I don’t believe that Palmer can’t trust anyone else to kill Halsey. She’s blind. She’s told Halsey is a war criminal, she believes it. She’s heavily biased. Halsey also thinks little of her “Spartans.”
Sam: I think it ties into how Palmer thinks of the science types. She doesn’t like them. She doesn’t like Halsey.
Emily: Yeah. Palmer is a proud woman to a fault, and Halsey, a civilian scientist—
Reginald: And a “war criminal.”
Emily: —exploited that. Halsey uses her brain instead of brawn to solve a problem, and that makes her the antithesis to Palmer. She’s the foil.
Jake: Hey, Palmer finally wears a helmet. And for reasons I cannot disclose, my agent has advised me not to say anything else this week.
Sam: Yeah, because you were offering such valuable insights.
The first chapter brought you to Cyclone. Let’s hear about chasing Halsey’s signal.
Sam: It’s interesting that it opens with Commander Palmer saying she wants Halsey found. I think she just wants her found so she can kill her.
Emily: The only big twist was finding Hunters right in your face when you go to open the door in the first structure.
Reginald: I liked that part. That’s my time to shine!
Sam: I was particularly surprised when Sentinels came out. And they started helping us. That never bodes well.
You mentioned Glassman and his party tricks last week. You returned to the location in the second chapter!
Sam: Yeah, and I thought we controlled this location? We activated turrets and anti-air defenses. It was literally the last thing we did last week. We ended on a high note, and now that’s all been reverted?
Emily: Continuity error! Roland says the next signal is at Lockup, but the next chapter took us to Apex.
Reginald: Also, I love how Roland says, “this is very difficult, so pay attention:” and then he says this very slowly and sternly, “you have to hit a button.” He’s definitely the stand out character.
Sam: I thought you wanted to be the stand out character?
Reginald: We obviously don’t exist despite doing all of the heavy lifting.
So let’s talk about the shoot at Apex—
Emily: Spartan Miller says we can’t roll through with the tanks, but Sam found a way.
Sam: I always find a way. The only way they can stop me from moving a vehicle to somewhere it’s not supposed to be is putting a wall in the way. An actual wall, not a dinky little pylon to make the path appear narrower.
Reginald: Tell us about those shields. You raged for awhile on set about that one.
Sam: We had to get out and press a button to weaken the shields. We were in tanks! We should have been able to just blast the control panel to knock the shields offline.
Emily: This whole chapter plays out like a last-minute addition. It was as if they realized they only have enough content for four chapters this week, so they threw in this tank mission and slapped some objectives together.
Sam: They even said at the end of chapter two that Halsey’s signal will take us to Lockup next, but then we’re back at Apex. And then at the end of this chapter, Roland reiterates that the signal is taking us to Lockup next.
Reginald: Yeah, this whole episode just seems rushed. Like the last fight in the second chapter, that just happens. We’re supposed to hit a button to get things started, but things got started before we hit the button.
Sam: It was as if they cut that scene together poorly and ruined any sense of continuity.
Reginald: Exactly, but that’s just how it actually played out. All sorts of bad.
Let’s move onto the good of this episode, then: the last two chapters.
Sam: First off, the deployed shields made driving around the first area rather difficult. We had to run both Warthogs in a single direction instead of crisscrossing because there wasn’t enough space for that.
Emily: I liked all the greenery at the end. It’s hidden behind a door. Who would have thought there would have been such contrast between the cold structure and the outside area?
Sam: I told you back when we shot episode 6 that Lockup is an interesting location full of secrets.
And you got to see more of that location in the last chapter. Tell me.
Reginald: Hawk squad is found in the area. My first thought was that Palmer, who is in the field, deployed Hawk to go with her. And, since she’s trying to kill Halsey, this is a shadow op. She’s trying to track Halsey on her own, and is one step ahead of us.
Sam: And has somehow hidden herself from Roland. But this is a world where nuclear warheads can be outfitted with active camouflage, so it’s not outside the realm of logic here.
Reginald: But nope, that’s not what happens! It’s Elites looking for Reclaimers and trying to get access to a map.
Emily: That does explain why we keep encountering captured UNSC personnel here.
Sam: It’s a shame that Hawk isn’t there as part of Palmer’s shadow op. That would have made her cunning. And, since hawks are hunters, it would have made sense.
Emily: Perhaps the marine squad could have been Fox squad, because foxes are typically seen as cunning animals.
Reginald: It was a missed opportunity, to be sure.
Alright, that’s all for this week, but let’s do something different. What are your predictions for what happens next week?
Emily: Palmer finds and kills Halsey. As long as she’s alive, then there’s a chance of Cortana coming back for Halo 5.
Sam: Same thought, but she finds and kills Jul ‘Mdama instead. Palmer and Halsey reconcile their differences, and that keeps the way open for Cortana to come back in Halo 5.
Reginald: Jul ‘Mdama mortally wounds Halsey and escapes. We keep our antagonist for Season 2, but we lose one of the UNSC’s greatest assets.
Emily: She’d be put into cryosleep to try and save her.
Reginald: Point is, Jul has to live so we have an antagonist. Retrieving his half of the Janus Key would be the driving force of Season 2. We might even be scouring the galaxy to hunt artifacts down in a sort of arms race.
Emily: Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. We’re just talking about the next episode. We’re not even signed on for a second season yet.
Let’s talk locations. Anywhere you’d like to return to?
Sam: There’s the Harvester location. We only used that once. It seems likely we’ll be back and inside the thing. Maybe we’ll even learn what the hell it’s supposed to be or do.
Emily: There was an area behind a shield near where we found Switchback in the Warrens. We’re definitely going to be returning to that location.
Reginald: There’s that structure at the bottom of the hill on Apex that hasn’t been used yet. We’ll be visiting that. There’s definitely a door at the top of the hill too, so we’ll probably be going behind that.
Emily: I’d like to return to Infinity. It’s Jul’s last act of desperation to try and escape Requiem. Remember, he’s keeping the Infinity locked in place with the slipspace anchor, and the Storm Covenant is a fleet of salvage pirates.
That’s all for this week. Coming up, rural citizens claim to have seen bipedal tomatoes roaming the irradiated countryside. We have footage, but we’ll let you be the judge. Join us next week when Crimson returns to discuss the season finale of Spartan Ops.