|Season 8, Episode 1 (90)|
|Air date||November 5, 2015|
|Written by||Jon Graham|
|Directed by||Jon Graham|
On his Twitter account, Jon Graham uploaded a picture showing story notes for the first five episodes of season eight. The first four of these episodes were shown to be four individual parts of a full arc called "Odyssey". Later in the month, Jon revealed via a photo that the first episode was re-titled "Fatal Exception".
The episode begins with a brief montage from Arbiter and Master Chief's early moments together to just prior to their deaths, with Chief asking Arbiter to wait by the front gates to the afterlife so they can both go in together right before ending their lives and destroying the apartment. The next scenes show Claire holding a memorial service for them, but renaming them "Amanda" and "Mr. Cheese" to protect them from any players who they might have crossed paths with and angered along the way. When Gregory and Sarah, the two whom Chief and Arbiter crashed the wedding of back in "Wedding", step up to reveal what happened to them, Sarah then goes into further detail and rousing the few players in attendance into agreeing that Arbiter and Chief are better off dead. When she brings up the events regarding Eugene Black and his clan, Claire protects Chief and Arbiter's memory by saying that what Sarah heard is just rumors and nothing more. After Sarah and Gregory step off the dais, Claire looks around as the players vent their anger at Chief and Arbiter.
Meanwhile, out in space, on board a UNSC vessel named the Truth & Reconciliation, a lone Monitor, the PAL-9001, is contacted by Jon Graham himself, PAL's Mission Control contact, and the two exchange words regarding PAL's mission operatives and a new upgrade for him. After Jon ends the call, PAL goes to download the new software, but it causes him to short-circuit and collapse. When he recovers, he now is talking in the leet speak of Master Chief, before meeting up with a thawed Elite that speaks with The Arbiter's voice, but has lost his memories, only being able to see flashes. Renaming PAL to "Chief" since it sounds right to him, though not sure why, Arbiter has PAL answer his questions as to his whereabouts, and how long it has been since being cryo-frozen. When PAL says four years, Arbiter is shocked. Soon after, Arbiter seems to recognize PAL's voice from somewhere, and asks what his name is. PAL replies that his name is "Arbiter" and that Arbiter is his deputy. Arbiter seems to accept this fact and what their mission is, and they soon are approaching their destination. When Arbiter asks about the other pods, PAL replies that they are not to be opened yet. Arbiter was only released because he has to deal with the controls PAL can't use.
Deciding to leave the cryo bay and head to the control room, PAL explains that there might be something there that can help Arbiter remember more of his memories. However, the mention of the name "Cortana" sends PAL back to the cryo bay, only to reveal that one of the pods has beer in it. Though Arbiter is upset about this, it does cause him to realize he remembered something, and confronts PAL as to if Cortana is really on-board the ship or not. Arbiter finds that she's supposed to be awoken with him as she's the commander of the mission, and after a short argument with PAL, PAL begrudgingly goes to wake her up.
As a female Spartan is awoken from her cryo-sleep, Arbiter asks if she remembers anything, or recognizes him. As she replies that she can't remember anything, PAL interrupts to ask that they head to the control deck, only for the female Spartan to apparently recognize his voice and tell PAL she doesn't like him. PAL returns the mutual feeling. As the Spartan demands an answer to what's going on, Arbiter explains everything to her, and after asking PAL where the control deck is, she departs, while Arbiter remains behind to talk to PAL regarding his concerns about his loss of memory. PAL does his best to convince Arbiter to forget about it, and it works. They then leave to join the female Spartan on the control deck.
Meanwhile, back at the church where Claire was holding the memorial wake for Chief and Arbiter, the players that attended are still ranting and raving about the hatred of Chief, Arbiter, and Jon, before Claire shuts them up and explains her reasons for holding the funeral in the first place. After telling them the truth, and Arbiter and Chief's real names, she gives her eulogy about them, explaining how she thought of them as her friends, their heroics with stopping guys like Trent and Eugene, and how she hoped to speak to them again, but finally accepts they are gone forever. The players, however, are left confused by all this, unsure what to make of it.
What none of them know is that a mysterious Elite is looking down at the church from a high cliff edge. He is soon joined by a Spartan, revealed to be Master Chief, meaning the Elite is The Arbiter. Chief asks about a plan the two of them have concocted, but Arbiter knows what they have to do in the server before leaving immediately afterwards. Arbiter tells Chief that they have been on one heck of a path lately, and nothing is going to be the same after what they do in the server. After some more talk, they start to leave, making sure they have everything before they carry out their plan.
Zero Hour arrives, Chief and Arbiter load up, and when Chief starts to mess around, Arbiter reminds him of how they are not just using the ban software anymore, everyone who wants them dead, and what's at stake if they fail. After telling Chief to grab a rocket launcher, load up on frag and plasma grenades, and a heavy machine gun, Arbiter goes back out to look down at the church again. Chief joins him after getting the equipment Arbiter told him to load up on, but when Arbiter asks if he's ready to go, Chief hesitates, drops his HMG down the cliff, and decides to leave, to Arbiter's disbelief and shock.
Back in the real world, Chief drops his controller and takes off, but Arbiter confronts him as to his changing his mind, and Chief explains he's unsure as to whether he still wants to go through with it or not. After some arguing, Chief explains that while they've done a lot of stuff previously, he suggests that Arbiter go it alone since he would have a better chance without Chief helping him. As Chief then walks off after wishing Arbiter good luck, Arbiter trips him with the controller cord, and another argument breaks out between them as Arbiter beats Chief up before explaining that there must be a reason why they have been revived and put back into their figurine bodies, and they need to find out why. Arbiter tells off Chief, but Chief worries about what will happen to them if Arbiter is wrong. Arbiter figures that if he's wrong, the world will come after them and they will go down as the two most sadistic cyber criminals in history, especially if anyone finds out they are still alive.
- Microsoft Sam as Master Chief, PAL 9001
- Microsoft Mike as The Arbiter
- Jon Graham as Josh Butterballs, audience members, speaker, Gregory, Sarah and himself
- Elizabeth Carr-Ernst as Claire Ferguson
- Main article: Fatal Exception/Transcript
- The title of the episode refers to an error in computing which causes a program to crash/abort and return the user to the operating system.
- "Fatal Exception" is the longest running episode of the series, clocking in at just over 1 hour and 17 minutes.
- This is the first episode to contain an instance where there was a typo in Arbiter's captions. "No?q", after Chief asked Arbiter if he "wanted to 1v1" him.
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