Halo TV series Season 2, Episode 8 review: Action and horror unleashed

A dark horror awakens in the last episode of Halo The Series' second season.

Halo TV series Season 2, Episode 8 Master Chief helmet
(Image: © Paramount+)

Windows Central Verdict

An action-packed finale sees a dark, primeval horror unleashed with frightening speed as humans and Covenant battle for the Halo. Big reveals and huge losses make this one of the best episodes of the show, and a cap-off for the much-improved Season 2.


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    Multiple action-filled scenes

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    Chilling reveals

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    The Halo


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    Side plots left unresolved

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As Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) makes his way to the Halo, all the pieces are finally in motion. Meanwhile, an ancient force between human or Covenant reckoning has already been unleashed.

So things stand with the arrival of "Halo," the titular final episode of Halo The Series, Season 2. Final decisions are made, and not everyone makes it out in the ensuing melee. While I'll lament one last time that some side plot threads go unaddressed, Halo is nevertheless one of the strongest episodes of the entire show, with oodles of action and a sudden yet fitting leap into horror. Here's my review.
As a reminder, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can grab a month of Paramount+ for free right now!

Halo The Series Season 2, Episode 8: Halo

Two seasons in, the "Halo" is in focus. (Image credit: Paramount+)

If you haven't yet, you can also check out my review of Halo The Series Season 2, Episode 7, Thermopylae.

Halo focuses on the immediate fallout of Miranda Keyes (Olive Gray) and her mother Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone) bringing back something from an ancient alien container last episode. The resulting outbreak finally introduces the "monster" that Kwan Ha (Yerin Ha) has feared all season, with some tense scenes that wouldn't be out of place in a horror film. No points for any Halo veterans guessing where things were headed, but I'm pleased with exactly how it's handled, as it's clear the threat here is rapidly growing out of control, escalating matters tenfold. 

It's an excellent tonal shift that's juxtaposed against the more traditional action sequences, with Kai-125 (Kate Kennedy) and Perez (Christina Rodlo) trying to survive against the Covenant forces while Master Chief makes his way to the Halo. In particular, one fight toward the end of the episode is a highlight not just here but for the show as a whole. While the show has definitely taken its time building character motivation in some past episodes, the payoff here is genuine investment as it becomes abundantly clear a number of cast aren't making it out.

It would've been easy for one side of the equation to be imbalanced, but the episode manages to keep the equilibrium without issue, which especially impressive given how the runtime here hasn't been expanded past other episodes in the season. Past episodes have often focused on just a couple of characters, giving them the most emotional moments to the rest of the cast's expense, but that's not the case here. Instead, basically everyone gets a moment in the sun, even if we're saying goodbyes (both ambiguous and ironclad) to a significant number of them. 

The only downside is that the season-long feeling of weakness in some of the side plots fully manifest here, as these unanswered questions and threads end up withering into nothing. I'm hardly of the belief that every question in a piece of media needs to be answered, but that's not the case, and I definitely would've appreciated some further information on why certain characters are even here past the first season. 

Halo The Series Season 2, Episode 8: Verdict

Master Chief, suited up in "Halo." (Image credit: Paramount+)

Halo, fittingly enough, is one of the best episodes of the series so far, and sends this stronger second season out on the right foot. Not everything has been perfect and not every question that needed to be answered has been addressed, but this is a satisfactory alternate universe that showcases some compelling "what if?" scenarios for fans of the games. For anyone introduced to this universe through the show, Season 2 provides a great look at some of the reasons that games have resonated with so many people for so long. 

While there's nothing official at the time I'm writing this, I hope this can lead into a third season, and I'm already eager to see just how things will transpire. As it stands, however, Halo The Series can finally stand on its own feet and be proud in doing so. 

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, 6, 7, and 8 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.

  • Ron-F
    A good season finale for a good season. Master Chief went through an interesting character arc in which he is becoming more similar to his counterpart in the games. In the first season he got rid of the emotional controller and found out about his origin, in this season he was able to make connection to people other than his Spartans colleagues and, finally, he embraced his own exceptionality and the responsibility that comes with it.