Halo Season 1, Episode 3: 11 Easter Eggs And References You Missed
The third episode of Halo has arrived on Paramount+ and, with it, plenty to talk about. First and foremost, Cortana (Jen Taylor) has finally entered the scene. The blue AI we all know and love has been installed in Master Chief's (Pablo Schreiber) head and will no doubt be bugging him for years to come.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for Season 1, Episode 3 of Halo. If you haven't watched yet, consider yourself warned.
Of course, that's not all we got in this episode. From more flashbacks to John's childhood to a Covenant attack on a UNSC ship, there are many noteworthy moments this week. And, of course, tons of Easter eggs, references, and nods to existing Halo canon.
This week's episode references previous games and novels, and even manages to cause a bit of a continuity issue when it comes to weaponry. Take a look below at the 11 best Easter eggs and references we found. Then make sure to sound off in the comments with anything you think we missed.
Previous Halo Easter egg guides:
The episode begins on the planet Oban, which is described on-screen as a "UEG Tier 2 Waste Salvage Colony." Essentially, it looks like a dump. The planet was first introduced in Halo 4, where it was discovered to be home to human refugees after the war with the Covenant.
2. The Dawn of Angels
A pair of kids on Oban are seen reading the romance novel The Dawn of Angels. That book previously appeared on the show in the hands of Makee. The little girl is Makee, who we then see captured by the Covenant, who would go on to raise her.
As the UNSC inspects the device that Chief has brought back, it's remarked that it's over 100,000 years old, pre-human, and possibly pre-Covenant. That means it's from the era of the forerunners, an ancient species of beings that are more or less extinct now.
4. Flash clones
We meet Halsey's flash clone in this episode. In Halo canon, flash clones were made of children who were kidnapped and brought into the Spartan program. The clones were made so that parents wouldn't realize their kids were gone, though they ultimately died.
5. It's Cortana
The AI implanted in John, Cortana, is voiced by Jen Taylor, who also plays the role in the games. The big difference here is that in the games Taylor also plays the role of Halsey, who Cortana is based on. It's not all that clear why that's not the case on the show.
When making contact with the UNSC, Makee lies and claims she was held prisoner after being taken from the planet Circumstance. That planet is a human colony first introduced in the novel Halo: Contact Harvest. It was briefly mentioned in Halo: Reach.
7. Worms, gross
At around 25:35 in the episode, just as Makee ends her call for help to the UNSC, you can see that the Covenant hunter near her is actually made up of hundreds of worms. This is pulled directly from the games.
8. Battle rifles
When the hunters invade the UNSC ship, troops fight back using the iconic battle rifle from the games. However, that causes a bit of a continuity issue as those particular weapons didn't enter the franchise until Halo 2. Given the series is set before the events of the games, this is a bit tricky.
9. The Cole Protocol
After the hunters dispatch practically everyone on the ship, the Captain tells Makee that there is nothing aboard their ship that will lead to Earth. This is likely referring to the Cole Protocol, an emergency order that was able to keep the location of Earth–and other planets with large human populations–from being discovered by the Covenant for decades.
10. The coin
At 44 minutes in, we see young John holding a UNSC coin. It's entirely possible that this is a reference to his ability to see coin flips so clearly that he could correctly determine if it would land on heads or tails while it was mid-air. This was revealed in the Halo: Fall of Reach novel.
11. John's homeworld
According to Cortana, John was adopted at age six after his family was killed by a plague on the planet Eridanus II. In actuality, that's not the case. Instead, he was kidnapped by Halsey.