Halo TV series Season 2, Episode 3 review: The storm clouds gather

A sense of dread hangs over all in the third episode of Halo The Series' second season.

Halo TV series Season 2, Episode 3: Silver Team
(Image: © Paramount+)

Windows Central Verdict

Visegrad is an episode all about rising tension as key players in the unfolding story make decisions that'll have clear repercussions. All the while, the looming threat over Reach grows larger and larger.


  • +

    Uneasy undertone of dread

  • +

    Dark, poignant character moments

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    Great soundtrack


  • -

    Lack of action

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What do you do when you know what's coming and you're powerless to stop it?

In the face of hard choices and growing dread, that question is the name of the game in Visegrad, the third episode of Halo The Series' second season. James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan) of the ONI is up to something, and he's making hard choices even as we find out more about what is driving him. Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) is struggling to explain what he knows is happening on Reach. All the while, the power vacuum of Soren's capture has repercussions for his family. 

A lack of action this far into the season is made up for with some strong character moments, as new motivations are examined while a creeping undertone builds throughout. Here's my review. 

As a reminder, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can grab a month of Paramount+ for free right now!

Halo TV series Season 2, Episode 3: Visegrad

Master Chief's beliefs are being challenged.  (Image credit: Paramount+)

If you haven't yet, you can also check out my review of Halo The Series Season 2, Episode 2, Sword.

Sanctuary was all about reshuffling the deck of power. Sword focused on how different characters are healing. Visegrad, then, is focused on the helplessness of knowing that you're right but being unable to convince others you know what's best, even as the clock is running down.

The gaslighting and doubt that Master Chief has been suffering this season reach a fever pitch here. The resulting conflict without and within adds to the despair of the episode, as precious time is slipping away while no one knows what to think or do. The idea of just how far Master Chief will go to prove he's correct is a troubling idea, but it's one that's being executed fairly well. As in Sword, Chief and Perez have some fantastic moments together, and one particular scene toward the end is a standout for the entire series so far. 

That's aided by the soundtrack. Composer Bear McCreary's score was solid before, but it's given some real time to shine here, especially near the final moments, and this episode delivers some of the most haunting tracks so far.

Morgan's performance as James Ackerson remains a highlight, as he's played off of the more down-to-earth Admiral Keyes (Danny Sapani). It's the first time we've really gotten to see the manipulations of ONI played off against the rougher sections of the UNSC brass, and it works smoothly with the sense of hopelessness and waste in this episode. We also get to see more of what's personally driving Ackerson in some surprisingly vulnerable moments that only reinforce his beliefs, and I find myself more curious than ever as to what his plan really is. 

On The Rubble, side plots pick up a bit of steam — even as they remain the show's slowest section — as Kwan (Yerin Ha), Soren's son Kessler (Tylan Bailey), and Soren's wife Laera (Fiona O'Shaughnessy) are in danger. I'm glad to see this part of the plot pick up the pace, and it serves to shake the feeling of wanting to get back to the Spartans and UNSC whenever we're away from them. 

Halo TV series Season 2, Episode 3: Verdict

Halsey and Ackerson have similar methods, but different goals. (Image credit: Paramount+)

Overall, Visegrad is an excellent showing of restraint and a clear message that the writers of this second season can deliver compelling characters and stories away from combat. The dark storm clouds over Reach are gathering, and if they do indeed burst, I'm curious how the pacing of the rest of the season will fall into place. But burst they must, as we're definitely due some action with the season's halfway point approaching. 

If the remaining five episodes of Halo The Series Season 2 can carry the same pacing, heartfelt story beats, and action — well, maybe double up on the action — then I'm not just interested but outright excited about seeing where we're headed and who is going to make it off Reach.

A reminder: I interviewed the showrunner and some of the cast for Halo The Series Season 2, so you can read that right now to learn more about what went into crafting these characters, plots, and themes in order to adapt one of the Halo universe's biggest events. 

Episodes 1, 2, and 3 of Halo The Series Season 2 are now available exclusively on Paramount+, with new episodes dropping every Thursday. Right now, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can try one month of Paramount+ for free.

Interested in more Halo? Halo Infinite and Halo: The Master Chief Collection are currently available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PC. Both are included in Xbox Game Pass. With continued support, both are some of the best Xbox games available. 

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.