Six episodes later, the Halo TV series has gained momentum and pace, with this sixth episode bringing us the realistic fallout from the final episode’s battle. Physical wounds are healed as the Spartans rest, while other psychological wounds continue to fester and sink, with the tension between Master Chief and those keeping secrets reaching a new height.
It’s an appropriately paced episode, giving things time to breathe while pushing the central storylines forward and ensuring much of the main cast has time to shine. As Chakee makes contact with the UNSC and Madrigal is nowhere to be found, we also get a very big and very cool reveal.
Note: This review contains spoilers for Halo Season 1, Episode 6, “Solace.”
halo tv series
At the end of the line : A solid breathing episode offers a quiet internal reveal and a visually impressive cliffhanger.
- Good breathing episode
- Great Ending Reveal
- Madrigal seems non-existent
If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to read our Halo Season 1, Episode 5 review.
The episode begins with John watching wounded soldiers in various states of agony. Kai is among the injured, and notably takes several sedatives to ease her pain, pointing to a Spartan’s hardened systems on tangent with her continuing to struggle to remove her suppression pill. The Leader is clearly grappling with the actions he took in the battle, blaming himself for losing the artifact even as Captain Jacob Keyes praises it for the lives he was able to save.
Storming out, John manipulates the door controls to Halsey’s temporary lab, trapping her and timing the ventilation system to turn off, which will expose her to deadly radiation. Ignoring Cortana and Halsey’s pleas, John asks Cortana to physically stop him, to which Cortana insists she cannot. John rescues Halsey at the last possible second, insisting he was testing Cortana’s limits.
It’s a cold scene that, at first glance, seems somewhat out of place for John. That said, John’s emotional boost over the past few episodes has continually eroded what he believed to be true and any stoic faith he had in him. It’s shocking, yes, but it’s clear that he really doesn’t understand his own limitations right now, never having developed a proper relationship with his emotions.
Sometime later, with the teams back on Reach, a UNSC panel including Captain Keyes and Admiral Parangosky discusses what to do with Makee, while other senior UNSC brass make it clear that superiors are not happy with the erratic behavior of two Spartans, dismissing Marine victims and threatening to take direct control of the Spartan program.
I’ll note here that we don’t see anything from Kwan, Soren, or Madrigal in this episode, which only reinforces my idea that their presence in the previous episode was only to augment the already shortened runtime. Hopefully the next time we check out this eclectic pair things will get more interesting, because despite some interesting hooks, nothing major has really happened over the past few episodes.
John goes to talk with Chakee, who says she’s willing to share information about the Covenant, but only if she can talk to the Master Chief. She says the Covenant took the relic to Eridanus-2 in a star system called Aspero, but the unease between the two is palpable, which only grows stronger as Chakee insists they are similar in being. what the Covenant calls “Blessed Ones,” humans able to connect with the relics.
Something I appreciate throughout this episode is how suspicious everyone is of Chakee. At the end of the previous episode, there was certainly fear that we might see some stereotypical traitor infiltration. Instead, almost everyone is at least nervous with Chakee, aware that there is Something different and right next to her.
John grills Halsey while (unbeknownst to either of them) being eavesdropped on by Jacob and Miranda Keyes, as well as Parangosky. Halsey admits that she replaced the abducted children in the Spartan program with flash clones, clones who quickly developed the symptoms of seizures and died, though their parents never knew the truth.
Parangosky removes Halsey from her position on Reach, giving Miranda a promotion and essentially reassigning Halsey to a remote station where she can research without interfering. This play played, the tension in the ranks of the UNSC officially boils over. It’s an open conflict that threatens the balance of power as much as any firefight, even if fought with words and ranks instead of bullets and plasma.
We also get a brief but tender scene between John and Kai, as the latter continues to recover from the battle. John tells her the truth about their kidnapping. Despite being the half of Silver Team that is no longer emotionally repressed, this scene is the first time we see them bond through their similarity. John also does a quick automated medical exam, confirming that something is wrong, as the relic he repeatedly touched apparently left a physical mark on him.
As Kai gets back to her feet, we get a nice scene of her helping out in the armory with Vannak and Riz. Players in the games are given a nice match in the form of a Spartan Laser diagram, with Silver Team trying to discuss how to use it for more than five hits.
It quickly becomes clear that despite being seemingly removed from the lab, Halsey still has access, blocking various functions when Miranda attempts to analyze Chakee’s blood. Miranda finds herself mumbling an exasperated “drama queen” before leaving to visit her mother.
As Miranda confronts her mother, we apparently get Halsey’s emotion for the first time, with the cold and aloof scientist tearing up and saying she should have done a better job… only for it to be revealed that it’s just her mother. was, yet again, just a game to manipulate someone. Cortana also happily offers to hack into the UNSC firewalls and give Halsey access to monitoring what’s going on in the newly occupied lab.
I have to praise Natascha McElhone’s acting skills, not just in this episode, but on the show so far. She completely and utterly sells how alienated Halsey is from everyone and everything around her, always looking for a new angle, always finding the next human stepping stone in her quest for knowledge.
After John sees Miranda confirm that he and Makee share a similar strange DNA structure, Makee tells John that his refusal or inability to accept what the relic is trying to show him is causing him physical pain. John impulsively decides to grab the relic again, but at least with Miranda’s supervision this time.
As John and Makee move away from him grabbing the relic, he allows her to consume it completely, the pieces literally snapping into place. With the episode closing, we see John and Makee seemingly standing in a green field, but not on Reach. As the game’s signature music gathers focus, we see they’re far from Reach. They stand in the Halo ring.
With two-thirds of the show down, it seems almost certain the season will end with one or both factions finding the ring.
Halo Season 1, Episode 5 is available now, exclusively on Paramount+. For the best experience, watch it on one of the best 4K TVs available.
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