After what was easily Halo’s strongest outing in episode six, it immediately dawned on me that the absence of Kwan and Soren might mean a double helping for this following episode. As I feared, Inheritance is an hour charged with Madrigal plot that still doesn’t justify why it has any connection to this series.
The tonal shift back to cheesy off-brand Mandalorian with the Madrigal storyline is painfully jarring, but some charm is found on the periphery. Bokeem Woodbine still flaunts his way across the kitschy theatre sets, and an early scene has him basking among his peers back home, embellishing his exploits. There is no attempt to disguise the cheap sets and costumes that look like they’ve been stolen from an old Star Trek wardrobe, yet Woodbine brings the fun needed to pull off what would be an otherwise off-key distraction. Unfortunately, Kwan’s character isn’t allowed to flourish beyond burdened young revolutionary with a spiritual and moral duty. As redeeming as Woodbine’s Soren is, this series seems set on never giving his story or the events colliding with him and Kwan any relevance to the greater plot beats of previous weeks.
Kwan’s story continues with its worst weekly trends, making for what is easily the weakest episode of the series to date. Kwan is not tied to any forward-moving plot but weighed down by the worldbuilding of Halo’s own Tatooine, Madrigal. Each time Kwan’s arc features in an episode, her character must navigate a detour while the rest of the series leaves her further behind. This week it is her partaking in an awakening ritual and exploring the ancient mysticism tied to the land while tripping. Despite the effort of shooting some mysterious iconography and rituals, these vague glimpses of Madrigal’s culture add little substance to the pale imitation of Star Wars’ most overused planet.
Kwan is not tied to any forward-moving plot but weighed down by the worldbuilding of Halo’s own Tatooine
In the end, Kwan’s storyline comes to its annoyingly predictable conclusion – drawing her and her home even closer to Star Wars territory. Her spiritual side mission results in her deciding she’s now to pursue a Chosen One storyline. Anyone keeping up with the series knows that this has already been a feature of both John and Makee’s arc, to great paralleled effect between the pair. Throwing Kwan in as another child of destiny feels about as welcome as the grafted Madrigal storyline, struggling to stay relevant to a show that otherwise proceeds without the boring world and its politics.
Also concluding is our brief and unnecessary chapter with the human villain, Vinsher. Forgettable in every way aside from his neo-Gestapo outfit, this villain only served to provide an explosive wrinkle to what is hopefully the close of Madrigal’s storyline.
Kwan and Soren team up for a bit of action when confronting Vinsher, but we’ve been here and seen this before. It’s a return to an early set from the premiere, which looked rough even then, with the deserted backlot-looking set enjoying been blown up all over again in its budget glory.
Kwan and Soren take the reins this week in an episode lacking in everything that made the previous episodes so compelling, being a return to poorly lit, cheap sets and the tedious human war on Madrigal. Hopefully, this closes Halo’s weakest chapter before returning to the Chief’s engrossing journey.
Review screener supplied by distributor
|PRODUCTION COMPANIES||Showtime Networks, 343 Industries, Amblin Television|
|RELEASE||May 05, 2022|