Season 1 Episode 6
Survivors from battle return to Reach. John confronts Dr. Halsey, and the lies of his past.
In the aftermath of their loss at Eridanus II, Master Chief and the survivors are returning to Reach. A trip that becomes more tense as Chief’s visions of his past continue to plague him. Especially the ones that feature Halsey. At the same time, Kai is dealing with her injuries while Chief deals with his guilt. While the UNSC moves Makee, Chief decides to finally confront Halsey in a way that guarantees that Cortana will not be able to shut him down without killing her. The scene is wonderfully tense and finally gives the character some agency.
The powers that be discuss the Makee situation and things quickly deteriorate to politics. Makee has stated that she will talk, but only to Master Chief. The meeting is way too short. It could have added a lot more tension to the series. Instead, they bring things back to the Halsey vs Chief dynamic. While the scene unloads a lot of the bigger secrets of the series, it lacks the level of tension that the Makee situation creates among the humans.
While it’s good to see many of the secrets finally out there, they still are lacking a dramatic connection to the viewer. Master Chief’s emotional journey is actually really interesting and his connection to Cortana makes things more interesting as he navigates their strange relationship. Chief finally visits Kai, which is something that should have happened earlier. We haven’t gotten a sense of their camaraderie and scenes that showcased it could have done a lot more to give them some dramatic tension.
Makee finally makes her move as Chief’s constant exposure to the keystone causes him physical issues and Halsey finally reconnects with Cortana. Master Chief connects with the object again and it affects Makee in the same way. Chief finally pushes himself beyond the limits and discovers something that will change everything for both sides.
The episode delivers some great dramatic tension and does a great job of moving the story forward. I knew this would be a suitless episode, but it didn’t take anything away from the overall story or its intrigue. I am starting to really enjoy this show and its character layers. It does take things a little too slowly for a show based on a video game, but it is enjoyable to watch. Thankfully, there was only a brief appearance of Kwan and no mention to her subplot and that kept the episode more entertaining.