Hunt the Truth season 1 was a refreshing take on the Halo canon, focusing on lowly Benjamin Giraud, a journalist caught in a situation far bigger than he ever thought it would be. Despite being the polar opposite of the flagship game series, the first season’s uniqueness was what catapulted it to success.
If season one was a personal, grounded take on Halo’s story, then two must be the natural evolution of the first given its multimillion viewing tally. Anchored by a new, stronger but less unique protagonist in ONI agent Maya, Hunt the Truth shifts from small-scale detective story to the full-blown, epic setpiece after setpiece tone of the games that inspired it. No longer restricted to one or two planets, Maya sets off, on the run after going rogue. It’s not only the action or the locations, but the characters she interacts with. Safe to say, the scale is expanded to include more humans of different social classes and even aliens.
This larger scale obviously veers away from the uniqueness of Benjamin’s story. Maya is the typical strong-willed woman we’ve come to see in recent films and TV shows and it shows in her occasionally bland dialogue. The supporting cast too is filled with comparatively cookie-cutter agents and women (sensing the theme here?), and while the action brings a welcome sense of urgency, everything feels a bit too close to the games. If the series is to expand its fanbase, then the first season’s tone is a must next season and not this, which tends to exceed the show’s grasp resulting in unintentionally over the top scenes.
The expansions in themes and scale doesn’t mangle the DNA of this series though. This is still a comparatively grounded take on the fiction, focusing for the most part on the nitty gritty happenings in the Halo universe, just more action-packed. The chief highlight for returning listeners must be Maya’s meeting with Benjamin Giraud, as listeners find out what really happened to him and his actions after last season’s ending.
Hunt the Truth’s biggest success is that it isn’t content to repeat what made last season successful. It continues the momentum, building up until the epic, emotionally-involving conclusion. It switches relevant topics previously discussed with new ones. Yet with this eagerness to try something new, they’ve committed the unfortunate act of letting vision take over the execution. What results is an uneven yet ultimately satisfying entry in this hopefully long line of Halo side-stories. With an ending that leaves strands unresolved, I’m optimistic there will be a third one as I’m anxious what more can they explore in the series’ deep lore.