How Halo Season 2’s Fall Of Reach Is Different From The Games Books

By Kate Bove Published 5 minutes ago

Halo season 2, episode 4, «Reach» adapts the franchise’s iconic Fall of Reach plotline, but the Covenant invasion is different from that of the games.

How Halo Season 2's Fall Of Reach Is Different From The Games & Books

Spoilers are ahead for Halo season 2, episode 4, "Reach."



  • Halo season 2, episode 4 "Reach" crafts a fresh narrative while honoring Halo 's iconic Fall of Reach plotline.
  • Silver Team replaces Noble Team and Admiral Keyes sacrifices himself, signaling a new direction for the series in comparison to the games.
  • Unlike in Halo: Reach , the Covenant steal Cortana during the invasion.

Halo season 2, episode 4, "Reach" adapts the franchise's iconic Fall of Reach plotline, but the way the Covenant invasion of humanity's stronghold plays out differs from the games' and books' depictions. Notably, the Paramount+ TV series takes place in the alternative, standalone Silver Timeline & a version of events that's completely separate from the Halo franchise's core canon. Despite the Silver Timeline cementing itself as a variant of Halo's biggest moments, the series is heavily inspired by the core canon, especially in its much more well-received sophomore outing. But more faithfulness doesn't equal a one-to-one adaptation.

The biggest moments from Halo's Fall of Reach episode replicate the feeling of playing a Halo game, all while taking the characters and story in a distinct, fresh direction. Although the Covenant still surreptitiously invade the planet & starting with the Visegrád comms relay and what really happened to Cobalt Team & the show focuses on its preexisting characters instead of those who were central to the events depicted in Halo: Reach. With its fourth episode, Halo season 2 proves it can forge its own path rather successfully, so long as it uses the core canon as a road map.

7 Halo Season 2's Fall Of Reach Eliminates Halo: Reach's Noble Team


Prior to Halo season 2, episode 4, "Reach," airing on Paramount+, long-time Halo fans were hopeful that Halo's Fall of Reach would include the Spartans of Noble Team. In Halo: Reach, players step into the armor of Noble Six in order to defend ONI's Sword Base, make strategic plays against the invading Covenant forces, and deliver Dr. Catherine Halsey's mysterious package to Captain Jacob Keyes. In the end, Noble Six sacrifices himself so that Keyes' ship, the Pillar of Autumn, can evacuate Reach with Cortana & the all-important A.I. construct Halsey wanted Noble Six to deliver.

Clearly, Silver Team serves as a Noble Team stand-in. Toward the end of the episode, Admiral Keyes (Danny Sapani) makes a sacrificial play akin to Noble Six's by allowing Corporal Perez (Cristina Rodlo) to safely pilot the civilian evacuation ship off of Reach at the expense of his own life. In the wake of Reach's fall, Noble Team's Halo season 2 role seems impossible & and completely redundant. Although including actual nods to Noble Team instead of just echoes of their story would've been great fan service, Halo wisely chooses to dedicate episode 4's runtime to its preexisting characters.

6 Corporal Perez Plays A Key Role In Halo Season 2


In earlier episodes of Halo season 2, Corporal Perez proved she'd play a crucial role in the show's story. When Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) saves Perez on Sanctuary, the linguist and the rest of her comms team are investigating a strange transmission. Although the Covenant glass the planet, Perez is fixated on deciphering the enemy's message. At the end of episode 3, Perez translates the Sanctuary recording for John, confirming what he's been suspecting since the strange events on Sanctuary: the Covenant are plotting a merciless invasion of Reach.

In "Reach," Perez and John make their way to FLEETCOM in order to join up with the UNSC's defensive efforts. On the way, Perez is shaken by the destruction of the city and the loss of civilian lives. While John insists she focus on the mission, the Marine reminds him that there's no training for something so brutal. At FLEETCOM, Perez aids Keyes in the civilian evacuation efforts. When Keyes leaves the ship to ready it for take off, Perez is tasked with flying Reach's survivors off-world.

5 Master Chief & Halsey Are More Directly Involved In The Fall Of Reach Story


In Halo: Reach, Dr. Halsey (Natascha McElhone) is a peripheral character, but Master Chief (a.k.a. John-117) doesn't really figure into the story & yet. Notably, Halo's Fall of Reach storyline sets up 2001's Halo: Combat Evolved, the first-ever game in the franchise. That said, Keyes' escape on the Pillar of Autumn with Cortana is crucial to setting up Master Chief and Cortana's initial team-up. The Paramount+ show takes a different approach to both John and Halsey's roles, creating a brand-new precursor to Halo season 3's looming Flood storyline.

In "Reach," Dr. Halsey, Spartan program and Cortana creator, and ex-Spartan Soren-066 (Bokeem Woodbine) escape their virtual reality-enabled prison cell. The duo eventually meet up with Keyes, John, and the rest of the show's core players. Mostly, it's a chance to see Soren and Halsey's uneasy dynamic. John, meanwhile, leads the charge against the Covenant alongside two other Silver Team Spartans, Riz-028 (Natasha Culzac) and Vannak-134 (Bentley Kalu), the latter of whom is one of the character who dies in Halo season 2, episode 4 after being stuck by a Needler.

4 The Pillar Of Autumn Doesn't Have A Role In Halo Season 2, Episode 4

How Halo Season 2's Fall Of Reach Is Different From The Games & Books

Despite being an integral part of Halo: Reach's ending, the Pillar of Autumn doesn't play a role in Halo season 2, episode 4, "Reach." While it's possible the UNSC's Halcyon-class light cruiser will make an appearance later on in Halo season 2, it certainly isn't carrying Keyes, Cortana, and Master Chief to Installation 04 in the immediate aftermath of the Fall of Reach. Instead, Master Chief's exchange with Keyes implies that the civilian evacuation ship is a Thermopylae-class supercarrier & a ship that, in some ways, fulfills the Autumn's role in its struggle to leave Reach.

3 Ackerson's Departure Sets Up More Tension Between The Spartans & ONI


Halo's Fall of Reach episode doesn't dwell too much on Halsey's replacement and ONI officier James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan). Although Ackerson knew that the Covenant were poised to invade Reach, he dismissed Master Chief's concerns. Instead of alarming the public, he covered up Cobalt Team's deaths and quietly evacuated the planet with other UNSC and ONI higher-ups prior to the Covenant striking the city. Vannak claims Ackerson took Silver Team's Spartan armor with him, and, while it's not confirmed, Kai-125 (Kate Kennedy) might have fled off-world with Ackerson instead of sticking by her Spartan comrades.

2 Admiral Keyes Dies During The Halo TV Show's Fall Of Reach


In a surprising turn of events, Halo changes Jacob Keyes' story in a massive way. In episode 3, Keyes discovers the truth about Cobalt Team: evidence of plasma-scarring proves they were killed by Covenant soldiers near the Visegrád comms relay. After Ackerson rebuffs Keyes' Winter Contingency plan, the admiral decides to stay behind on Reach and fight alongside his soldiers. Toward the middle of the episode, Keyes gives an inspirational speech, shares an awkward moment with Halsey, and oversees the civilian evacuation. Surrounded by Jackals, Keyes sacrifices himself, allowing Perez to finish the evac mission.

1 Makee & The Covenant Take Cortana During The Invasion


While fleeing their cell, Halsey and Soren come across Cortana (Jen Taylor; Christina Bennington), the A.I. construct Halsey built. In Halo: Reach, Halsey's goal is to get Cortana off of Reach so that she doesn't fall into the Covenant's hands. The fear, of course, is that the Covenant could use the A.I. to mount an invasion of Earth. In the show, it's not made clear why the Covenant wants Cortana, but, in a twist, Makee (Charlie Murphy) and her Elite steal the A.I. from her holding cell, setting up a completely new narrative for furture Halo episodes.

  • How Halo Season 2's Fall Of Reach Is Different From The Games & Books


    Release Date: 2022-03-24 Cast: Jen Taylor, Bokeem Woodbine, Charlie Murphy, Shabana Azmi, Kate Kennedy, Natascha McElhone, Yerin Ha, Bentley Kalu, Pablo Schreiber, Danny Sapani, Olive Gray, Natasha Culzac Genres: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Action Seasons: 2 Writers: Kyle Killen, Silka Luisa, Richard Robbins, Steven Kane, Justine Juel Gillmer Franchise(s): Halo Directors: Otto Bathurst, Jonathan Liebesman, Roel Reiné, Dennie Gordon, Debs Paterson, Craig Zisk, Jessica Lowrey Showrunner: Kyle Killen Creator(s): Kyle Killen, Steven Kane Where To Watch: Paramount+

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