One episode into Forward Unto Dawn and chill and you got:
Entire thing is a parallel to The Fall of Reach novel which earns it +++ points right off the bat - “so we’re brainwashing kids and then sending them in to exterminate a bunch of overtaxed farmers”
Opening bookend scene aboard the Forward Unto Dawn adrift in space, heading towards Requiem with John in cryo and Cortana entering rampancy.
Lasky’s PTSD and cryo-oriented disability established and Lasky dealing with that is a central part of the story.
Awesome sets, use of CG, and props faithful to the Halo universe’s established aesthetic. Really minute details (like the Covenant glyphs) making it a really authentic visual adaptation of those elements from the games.
Three major female characters established - badass Israeli Colonel Mehaffey, leader of the main character’s squad April Orenski, and Anna Popplewell.
Cameo from some dude from BSG people apparently like as General Black telling us about GNAEUS DOMITIUS CORBULO in a a raspy authoritative voice and then shows up smoking a Sweet William cigar as a nod to Johnson and Mendez
Osric Chau doing a backflip. no… TWO backflips
Lots of POC characters in the ‘worldbuilding shots’ of the episode, establishing what kind of place this is and who goes there - a prestigious military academy for the UNSC’s best and brightest
“stop stepping on our dicks lasky”
Ayelet Zurer is Lasky’s angry and motivational Other Mum
thematic musical references made to Halo 4′s soundtrack
First actual exploration of the Insurrection in a piece of Halo fiction outside the books and does it really well, especially on the morality of the war
And that’s just the first episode. Like… this series is really bloody good.