Only from the first trailer, I realized aura Season 2 would go in a different direction than the first. While season 1 was bogged down by strange narrative choices that didn’t leave much room for its characters (i.e. the Spartans) to do what they do best (i.e. kick Covenant ass), season 2 feels more in line with what a aura should try the program.
According to Pablo Schreiber, the difference is mainly due to tone. “The biggest point where we reach a level that we didn’t reach in season 1 is that I think the tone of this season feels darker,” he said in an interview with The edge.
Schreiber, who plays Chief Petty Officer John-117, believes the action has also improved (I agree) and attributes these improvements to aura‘s new showrunner, David Wiener.
“This year we live in David Wiener’s world,” he said. “(His) view of him, I think, matches the tone of the aura franchise in a way that may be more appropriate than the first season, and it is incredibly successful.”
The first two episodes of auraThe second season is now available and it is very good. I already shared my thoughts on episode 1, “Sanctuary.” While episode 2, “Sword,” is much lighter on the action, it more than makes up for it with the way it reintroduces us to Riz-028 (Natasha Culzac). In the previous season, only half of the Silver Team, Kai-125 (Kate Kennedy) and the Master Chief himself, devoted screen time to their character development. Schreiber said one of his great joys of this new season was correcting that.
“At the beginning of the second season, we started finding ways to differentiate everyone, to give them a little personality,” he said. “Being able to see all of these people that I’ve worked so closely with over the last five years. “Having her moment in the spotlight was something that was really rewarding for me.”
In terms of Master Chief’s other relationships, Schreiber has previously said that he didn’t like the baffling but cheeky sex scene between John and Makee (Charlie Murphy), a human member of the alien enemy Covenant. Schreiber would have preferred a more subtle approach.
“The closer you get to any element of romance or sex, the less ingrained it feels in the franchise,” he said. But Schreiber also doesn’t think Master Chief, as a character, is too serious for romance; it’s just that he would prefer another companion: Cortana. “There is a lot of romance in aura. It just happens to be between John and Cortana, you know?
Of course, it’s not a new idea that John loves his AI co-pilot. (Whose personality was cloned from Dr. Halsey, the woman who essentially created John and all of the Spartans and is considered a mother figure to all of them; make of that what you will.) She almost confesses her love for him in Halo 4, and in Halo 5: Guardians, He goes AWOL for the first time in his life to bring her back. However, one could read that as fierce loyalty, a trait that Spartans are known and loved for, and the Chief considers Cortana a member of the team.
So it was interesting to hear Master Chief himself describe the final moment of “Sanctuary” as romantic. In the scene, John visits a virtual reality room and talks to a hologram that almost looks like Cortana, but he misses the mark. John tells Cortana (Christina Bennington) that she feels like a part of him is missing and that he hears sounds that he thinks could be her.
Although I have never had autonomous, sentient AI implanted in my brain, I imagine that if I had it and it was subsequently taken away from me like Cortana was from John, I too would feel like something was missing. But I may have been too literal. “If you didn’t hear a romantic undercurrent in that scene, then I’m not sure how to explain it to you, but I definitely thought that was it,” Schreiber said.
Of course, if you’re not a Chief/Cortana shipper (personally, I’m a Tom-B292/Lucy-B091 girl) or think of them as just friends, that’s valid too.
“It depends on your concept of romance,” Schreiber said. “When you talk about a life partner, you are talking about someone who enriches you, someone who completes you, someone who makes you better than you were. That’s certainly what the Chief has seen in Cortana.”
It sounds a lot like love to me.