The Halo TV series on Paramount+ just took a massive step backward with the sixth episode: Solace. After a gripping battle at the end of episode five, Halo veers back into the comfortable but annoying lane of slow-paced filler. Why they chase this level of buildup only to fall flat boggles my mind. Yet here I am, enjoying another episode of the Halo TV show and wondering why.
So many fans have written this show off already but sticking through to the end might be worth it. Can Halo redeem itself before the first season concludes? Possibly, but not with more nonsensical changes. Although, omitting the planet Madrigal storyline from Solace was a refreshing change.
*Warning Spoilers Ahead*
Halo Episode 6: Plot Recap
After the Covenant stole the second artifact from the hands of Master Chief, we see the UNSC arriving back on Reach. They nurse Makee back to health and John questions his past with Doctor Halsey.
He tests the limits Halsey placed on Cortana by targeting the doctor directly. Chief learns that Cortana cannot shut him down completely by nearly killing Halsey in the lab. But throughout the episode Chief and Cortana clash with each other. Their relationship is rocky, to say the least.
Later, Doctor Halsey quite publicly confirms the visions John has been seeing and the questions he has because of them. Both Keyes and Parangosky learn everything and things are starting to heat up. Then, after learning about having two Spartans on the battlefield not complying, Admiral Parangosky banishes Halsey from the premises.
Meanwhile, Kai-125 is alive but wounded. Master Chief reassures her and informs Kai that he needs her for what’s to come.
Miranda Keyes inherits her mother’s lab and the responsibilities that come with it. She uses bloodwork and lab technology to find a match between Makee and John’s DNA. She discovers that their DNA is unique only to them.
Master Chief and Makee
While on Reach, Makee agrees to talk but only to Master Chief. She manipulates his newly acquired emotions and pulls on the strings to get him worked up. Makee tells him the Sangheili call her Blessed One.
John then has a flashback to meeting Reth in episode 2, where he learns that a Blessed One can activate the Keystones. Master Chief now knows that he’s connected to not only Makee but the Covenant as well.
Master Chief enlists Miranda’s help and makes contact with the first Keystone again. He and Makee share a vision, waking up on the Halo ring.
The execution of this episode was pretty good. Individuals could love this buildup without knowing anything about Halo. However, the massive fanbase of Halo fans for the last two decades has been waiting for a huge moment like the first reveal of the ring.
This was a terrible example of the poetic beauty this weapon of mass destruction beholds. It would have made for a much more impactful moment if Master Chief was wearing his armor. Furthermore, this reveal never should have been shown from the perspective of being on the ring.
I’m not one to crave a shot-by-shot remake from the games, but revealing Halo from space is an absurd thing to change. In Halo 2, when Miranda sees the ring for the first time and states “So this is what my father found,” it gives the player chills.
It reminisces about the wild adventure that was the original Halo but also screams that this is a brand new ring and will undoubtedly have new tricks. Well, guess what. The Paramount+ version of the Halo ring is new and will probably have new tricks. But they shouldn’t sacrifice the introduction it deserves.
I get that it’s hard to bring that to a TV screen and appease the newer audience, but it doesn’t have to be lame and weak. But that is exactly what the TV show’s reveal was.
Besides the one complaint, this episode was pretty interesting. Seeing the Spartan’s armory was really cool, especially having the Spartan Laser front and center.
But going back to the boring filler is really going to hurt the Halo TV series’ attraction for some of the more hardcore fans. If they would have had Solace begin with a chase of the Covenant ship carrying the second artifact, it could have changed the tone of the episode entirely.
Halo is getting dangerously close to informing the viewers about all the ring’s secrets before they’re even on the damn ring. That is a critical error that is part of the essence that makes the Halo games so great.
The ending of episode six leans more into what I predicted before. This is likely going to end in Reach’s destruction. Now Makee confirmed the first Keystone is on the planet and that’s only going to lead to conflict.
This should, in theory, lead the UNSC to abandon the planet in search of Halo. If they can get there before the Covenant do that is.
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