Halo episode 6 review: “A breathless episode that’s the show’s best yet” By Bradley Russell published 28 April 22 Review

Warning: spoilers for Halo Episode 6 ahead. Come back now if you haven’t seen the new episode of the Paramount Plus series.

It all boils down to this. Although there are still three episodes to go, “Consolation” feels like a finale, and that’s to its credit. In a heart-pounding episode, hard truths come to light, Master Chief takes things too far, and Halo – in increasingly confident fashion – delivers its best hour of television yet.

Halo’s previous opening scenes have been twisty, jam-packed affairs. Instead of expanding Chief’s backstory further, “Consolation” is much more immediate. John is seen struggling with his obvious disdain for Halsey after the slow uncovering of her betrayal over the past few weeks. Instead of waiting for the final moments of “Consolation” for the fireworks to go off, the episode immediately kicks into high gear and never stops.

The Chief locks Halsey up in his own lab and sets off a countdown to her unpleasant, liquefied, radiation-filled death. It’s a moment as shocking as it is satisfying. Pablo Schreiber has been masterful so far, keeping John-117’s emotions bubbling below the surface. The moment when it finally explodes is therefore not only well deserved, but incredibly well executed. His intensity spills over every angry and violent line – and even Cortana apparently can’t get him out of that increasingly precarious ledge.

Natascha McElhone – whose cold, glassy delivery has led her scenes to lack energy so far on the show – also excels. Her frenzied screams, coupled with the leader’s decision to lead her to safety a little too long, underpin a great scene. It’s the show’s best moment to date, a sleight of hand that almost tricks the viewer into thinking that Chief is about to splash Halsey’s brain on his science instruments. Once you pick yourself up, you’ll wonder how Halo can possibly top this moment.

Master Chief and Makee finally meet

(Image credit: Paramount)

While the episode doesn’t quite reach those heights, it does pack a punch. This is largely due to the wise decision to place several important scenes in the episode. Everything here really matter and it’s a far cry from ineffectual flab with Vishner on Madrigal or the UNSC all sitting around a suitably stern looking table. Along with the Leader’s torment of Halsey comes the Spartan’s long-awaited face-to-face encounter with Makee, the human spy working for the Covenant.

If there’s one flaw in this episode, it’s that Charlie Taylor’s Covenant Agent plays things a little too close to the chest. Acting is a difficult skill to master. Acting just subtly enough to let the audience know you’re lying, while playing it directly to the actor in front of you, is even harder – and isn’t quite achieved here.

It’s a minor issue, however. The scene itself (and Taylor finally getting the chance to star alongside a human actor) is outstanding. The contrast between the stillness of this moment and the high intensity of the previous one is a well-placed yin and yang. Even before the reveal of the pair being Blessed Ones, you can almost feel the rhythmic unity between Makee and Master Chief. It’s short and crisp, holding back just enough perspective to allow the episode to open up and plumb its emotional depths again in Chief’s second confrontation with Halsey – all without feeling too overwhelming.

After Makee tells the leader the location of the second artifact – which turns out to be a ruse, naturally – the Spartan confronts Halsey again. This is where Chief gets his answers.

Halo

(Image credit: Paramount)

Halsey reveals that the “mutant” children replaced the ones she stole from their parents, only to have them die so they could mourn their “loss”. It’s as unnecessarily cruel as anything in the series so far, and further cements Halsey’s place as Halo’s main villain. The knife is further twisted as Halsey – now iced by UNSC brass and asked to leave Reach – meets her daughter Miranda, who is now running the operation.

Halo hasn’t really addressed their relationship, so when a tearful Halsey finally speaks to her daughter with something approaching empathy, it’s a shock to the system. But the moment is fleeting. Halsey’s true intentions are revealed – the mother-daughter heart-to-heart only serves to get Miranda and Halsey’s iris recognized online in the UNSC system. It’s only because of the show’s restraint with their relationship that this punch hits so hard.

The episode, as befits such a quick start filled with revelations and multiple twists galore, has one more trick up its sleeve. Master Chief, who appears to be slowly dying from his interactions with the artifact, touches the keystone one last time. He releases a wave of energy, then Chief and Makee find themselves on an idyllic planet with blue skies, with a halo-shaped object seen in the sky.

The arrival of what could be Installation 04 is something fans have been waiting for but, as has been the theme of the series, it’s not happening as one might expect from the source material. Ropey green screen aside, it’s a moment of genuine warmth and beauty. These two people – who have fought all their lives for the needs of others – are now one. Master Chief may have started “Consolation” with murderous intent but, in a whirlwind episode, he finally found inner peace in this sprawling universe.


New episodes of Halo air weekly every Thursday on Paramount Plus.


Warning: spoilers for Halo episode 6 ahead. Turn back now if you haven’t seen the new episode of the Paramount Plus series.
It all comes down to this. While there are still three more episodes to go, ‘Solace’ feels like a finale, and that’s to its credit. In a breathless episode, hard truths come spilling out, Master Chief goes too far, and Halo – in increasingly confident fashion – delivers its best hour of television to date.
Halo’s previous opening scenes have been meandering, gap-filling affairs. Instead of stretching out more of Chief’s backstory, ‘Solace’ is far more immediate. John is seen wrestling with his clear disdain for Halsey after the slow discovery of her betrayal over recent weeks. Instead of waiting until the closing moments of ‘Solace’ for the fireworks to go off, the episode hits top gear straight away and never lets up.
Chief locks Halsey in her own lab and sets off a countdown for her nasty, liquefied, and radiation-filled death. It’s a moment that’s as shocking as it is satisfying. Pablo Schreiber has been masterful up until now, keeping John-117’s emotions bubbling under the surface. The moment where he finally explodes, then, is not only well-earned, but incredibly well-executed. His intensity spills out over every angry, violent line – and even Cortana seemingly can’t walk him off this increasingly precarious ledge.
Natascha McElhone – whose cold, glassy delivery has led to her scenes lacking energy so far in the series – also excels. Her frenzied screaming, coupled with the decision for Chief to lead her to safety just a beat too long, underpins an excellent scene. It’s the show’s best moment to date, a sleight of hand that almost tricks the viewer into thinking Chief is about to splatter Halsey’s brains all over her scientific instruments. Once you’ve collected yourself, you’ll be wondering how Halo can possibly top that moment.
Master Chief and Makee finally meet

(Image credit: Paramount)
While the episode doesn’t quite reach those heights, it makes a good stab at it. That’s largely due to the wise decision to place several significant scenes in the episode. Everything here really matters and it’s worlds away from the inefficient flab with Vishner on Madrigal or the UNSC all sitting round a table looking suitably stern. Alongside Chief’s torment of Halsey comes the Spartan’s long-anticipated face-to-face meeting with Makee, the human spy working for the Covenant.
If there is a failing in this episode, it’s that Charlie Taylor’s Covenant agent plays things a little too close to the chest. Acting is a tough skill to master. Acting just subtly enough to let the audience know you’re lying, all while still playing it straight to the actor across from you, is even tougher – and isn’t quite achieved here.
That’s a minor quibble, though. The scene itself (and Taylor, who finally gets a chance to perform alongside a human actor) is outstanding. The contrast between the stillness of this moment and the high intensity of the one prior is a well-placed yin and yang. Even before the revelation of the pair being Blessed Ones, you can almost feel the rhythmic unity between Makee and Master Chief. It’s short and sharp, holding just enough back that it allows the episode to open up and plumbs its emotional depths once more in Chief’s second showdown with Halsey – all without feeling too overwhelming.
After Makee tells Chief the location of the second artifact – which turns out to be a ruse, naturally – the Spartan again confronts Halsey. It’s here where Chief gets his answers.

(Image credit: Paramount)
Halsey reveals that “mutant” children replaced those which she stole from their parents, only to have them die so they could mourn their ‘loss.’ It’s as needlessly cruel as anything on the show so far, and further cements Halsey’s place as Halo’s overarching villain. The knife is twisted further as Halsey – now put on ice by UNSC brass and asked to leave Reach – meets up with her daughter Miranda, who is now leading the operation.
Halo hasn’t really broached their relationship, so when a tearful Halsey finally speaks to her daughter with something approaching empathy, it’s a shock to the system. But the moment is fleeting. Halsey’s true intentions are revealed – the mother-and-daughter heart-to-heart only serves as a way to get Miranda’s iris recognition and Halsey back online in the UNSC system. It’s only thanks to the show’s restraint with their relationship that this gut punch hits as hard as it does.
The episode, as is befitting such a fast-paced entry filled with revelations and multiple plot twists galore, has one more trick up its sleeve. Master Chief, who is seemingly slowly dying thanks to his interactions with the artifact, touches the keystone one last time. It unleashes a wave of energy, then Chief and Makee find themselves on an idyllic, blue-skied planet, with a halo-shaped object seen in the sky.
The arrival of what could be Installation 04 is something fans have been waiting for but, as has been the theme with the series, it doesn’t go down as you’d expect from the source material. Ropey green screen aside, it’s a moment of genuine warmth and beauty. These two people – who have been fighting their whole life for the purposes of others – are joined as one. Master Chief may have begun ‘Solace’ with murderous intent but, in a whirlwind episode, he’s finally found some inner peace in this sprawling universe.
New episodes of Halo stream weekly every Thursday on Paramount Plus.

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