Halo TV series Season 2, Episode 6 review: Tensions boil over into disaster

The sixth episode of Halo The Series season 2 brings in direct Spartan conflict as competing schemes unfurl.

Halo TV series Season 2 Episode 6 Spartan 3s
(Image: © Paramount+)

Windows Central Verdict

Season-long machinations come to light in Onyx, the sixth episode of Halo The Series Season 2. Inter-service conflict on all sides make this episode compelling all around, though limited room for side plots holds the overall momentum back.


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    Harrowing action

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    Strong unfolding central narrative


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    Weak side plots

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Time is against everyone on Onyx. 

With competing plots colliding, the titular sixth episode of Halo The Series' second season brings the simmering cast to a rolling boil. Inter-service conflict has broken out on every side in the Human-Covenant war, with different revelations testing loyalties all around. 

If the first few episodes of this season were characterized with a building sense of dread, the ante penultimate "Onyx" is about the growing rage of those who feel betrayed and what they'll do in the face of said betrayal. Some side plots do distract, as they aren't given time for full resolution, but overall, this is a compelling watch to set up the final quarter of the season. Here's my review.

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

Halo Season 2, Episode 6: Onyx

Kai and Perez in Onyx. (Image credit: Paramount+)

If you haven't yet, you can also check out my review of Halo The Series Season 2, Episode 5, Aleria.

Onyx — a name that will perk the ears of Halo book readers — is a world of secrets, so it's fitting that this episode focuses on different plots coming to light. With Kai-125 (Kate Kennedy) training a new generation of Spartan-IIIs, including determined survivor Perez (Cristina Rodlo), we get some great moments between the two as Kai tries to prepare her students for the harsh realities of dangerous missions. 

Kai has been fun and optimistic ever since removing her control pellet last season, so seeing her more reserved in a position where she has to be aloof by necessity, is a   fantastic change of pace that allows Kennedy to show more a more stoic side. John-117 (Pablo Schreiber) is back in action this episode, and while I'll avoid specifics, he gets some much-needed interactions with a number of characters that help reinforce the core of his character arc. 

Ackerson (Joseph Morgan) isn't present in much of the episode, but we do get to check in with him again, with Morgan delivering another compelling performance, pontificating with Parangosky (Shabana Azmi) on the nature of symbols and stories. It's a noteworthy scene, one that helps shed further light on everything the pair have done and continue to work toward. 

Makee (Charlie Murphy) and Arbiter Var 'Gatanai (Viktor Åkerblom) round out a strong narrative-focused episode, with some surprising turns in the twisted (albeit essential) relationship the pair share. This window into the Covenant feels far more natural here than it did in the first season or even just a couple of episodes ago in season 2, and I'm extremely curious about where this Arbiter ends up. 

The only real weak portion of this episode comes from the lack of resolution in some of the side plots. I appreciate spending more time with characters like Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone), but without a lot for them to do, these stories end up feeling unsatisfying while there's live-or-death stakes playing out across the rest of Onyx.

Halo Season 2, Episode 6: Verdict

Parangosky and Ackerson in Onyx. (Image credit: Paramount+)

Onyx is one of the strongest episodes of the season, with some emotional confrontations that have been building for a while. John, Kai, and the Arbiter are all central highlights for me right now, and I've got my theories as to where all three will be at the end of the finale. 

Not everything has been perfect, but as a whole season 2 has been strong so far, and I'm outright invested in the outcomes that are being set up in the Silver Time. With only two episodes to go, the season is reaching a fever-pitch crescendo, and I'm excited to see where the cast is headed.

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, 3, 4, 5, and 6 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.