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Spoilers are ahead for Halo season 2, episode 6, “Onyx.”



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Summary

  • Admiral Parangosky remains a dangerous figure in
    Halo
    season 2, manipulating Master Chief and Ackerson for her own agenda.
  • The rivalry between Parangosky and Dr. Halsey intensifies even from afar, driving key decisions in the Spartan programs.
  • Parangosky’s strategic intelligence and manipulation tactics set the stage for significant shifts in the Human-Covenant War.


In Halo season 2, the Office of Naval Intelligence’s Admiral Margaret Parangosky (Shabana Azmi) lives up to being the core canon’s most dangerous ONI officer. Although the Paramount+ adaptation’s Silver Timeline tells an alternate version of events that will feel largely familiar to long-time fans, certain characters remain fairly true to their video game and book counterparts. Introduced in Halo season 1’s first episode, “Contact,” Admiral Parangosky is one such character. Like Dr. Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone), the broad strokes of Parangosky, from her dubious intentions to her cold, calculated streak, are unchanged.

The sophomore outing’s premiere reintroduces viewers to Parangosky, who claims to be working outside ONI. During her first run-in with a frustrated Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber), Parangosky seems like a potential ally in the fight against Halsey’s replacement, James Ackerson (Jospeh Morgan), who’s incredibly dismissive of what the Chief saw on Sanctuary. When what really happened to Cobalt Team at the Visegrád comms relay is revealed, John meets up with Parangosky again to share his concerns about the Covenant already being on Reach. Over ramen, the Chief realizes that Parangosky never actually left ONI; she was merely playing him.


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In The Core Halo Canon, Even Ackerson Fears Parangosky

Halo season 2, episode 6, “Onyx,” transports viewers to the titular UNSC-controlled planet. Unlike the previous episode, the sixth entry in balances its time between the show’s protagonists and antagonists. One of the second season’s strengths is the friction between Master Chief and Ackerson, especially after The Chief learns why Ackerson was so dismissive of him. The ONI officer knew about the Covenant invasion of Reach and chose not to warn anyone. This play secured Ackerson and other high-ranking officials safe passage off the planet, but it also allowed Ackerson to set his opponents up for certain death.


ONI propaganda suggests that the Spartan-IIIs will continue the fight…

On Onyx, Ackerson’s Spartan-III program, the replacement for Dr. Halsey’s augmented supersoldiers, is well underway. ONI propaganda suggests that the Spartan-IIIs will continue the fight in Master Chief’s honor. However, Parangosky isn’t convinced that Ackerson’s plan to let the Chief die on Reach worked. Over tea, Parangosky relays some information: a ship exited slipspace and landed on Onyx, and there have been sightings of Dr. Halsey traveling with an imposing soldier. For the first time in Halo season 2, Ackerson looks panicked. Much like in the core canon, Parangosky is one of the few people who intimidates Ackerson.


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Parangosky’s Motto Is “Strength Through Paranoia”

Shabana Azmi as Admiral Margaret Parangosky smiles in Halo season 2

While serving Ackerson tea, Parangosky subtly reveals just how powerful she is within ONI. The admiral missed a particular kind of tea from Earth and had scientists on the base spend their time genetically engineering the leaves she so desired. When Ackerson wonders why Halo‘s UNSC scientists would toil away on something like tea, Parangosky replies, “because I told them to.” Parangosky doesn’t just intimidate Ackerson by flexing her power, but by pointing out his flaws. While telling an anecdote, she notes that, “Centuries of work [can be] undone by the smallest of oversights, a reference to the Chief’s survival.


When she meets with John in the season 2 premiere, Parangosky claims she took the fall for Dr. Halsey’s
Halo
season 1 actions.

In the core canon of the Halo franchise, Admiral Parangosky is an equally calculating, menacing presence. The character’s personal motto is “strength through paranoia” — a very telling choice for an officer who trades in secrets and strategic intelligence. While Onyx has a secret Forerunner connection in the core canon, a lack of returns on the alien relic research front pushes Parangosky to reallocate the Onyx project’s funding to other areas. Later, the admiral returns to the UNSC-controlled planet to approve Ackerson’s Spartan-III program. Needless to say, Parangosky’s decisions reshaped the trajectory of the entire Human-Covenant War.


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Dr. Halsey & Parangosky Are Rivals In The Halo Series

Shabana Azmi as Admiral Margaret Parangosky and Christina Bennington as Cortana look at a star map in Halo season 2

James Ackerson’s core canon counterpart notes that only one person who crossed Parangosky lived to talk about it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that person was Dr. Halsey. As in Halo season 1, Parangosky and Halsey are bitter rivals. Frustrated by Dr. Halsey’s constant disobedience and skeptical of the scientist’s Cortana project, Parangosky can’t control the Spartan-II program’s creator. As evidenced by “Onyx,” Parangosky doesn’t have absolute faith in Ackerson, but it’s possible her distaste for Halsey pushed the admiral to approve Ackerson’s Spartan-III program. Even if it means trading lives for time, Parangosky is willing to fund the endeavor.


Parangosky and Dr. Halsey’s rivalry seems as crucial as ever.

While Halo‘s first outing strayed far from the core canon, the rivalry between Parangosky and Dr. Halsey definitely rang true. With the show finally establishing Halsey’s connection to the Forerunner artifact research on Onyx, the scientist and the admiral are poised to quarrel yet again. Parangosky wants to invest in the Spartan-III program, not Halsey’s Spartan-II soldiers; instead of looking into the Forerunner defensive technology on Onyx, Parangosky wants to go after the Forerunner superweapon. In the same way that Ackerson and Master Chief are primed to fight, Parangosky and Dr. Halsey’s rivalry seems as crucial as ever.


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Parangosky’s Plans For The Spartan Program & Cortana, Explained

Cortana (voice of Jen Taylor; performance by Christina Bennington) transmits herself to Onyx toward the end of episode 6. The A.I. helps Master Chief access the Forerunner keystone and reconnect with Makee (Charlie Murphy), the Covenant-raised human who stole Cortana from Reach, but she also visits Parangosky. While the show didn’t initially make it clear why the Covenant wanted Cortana, “Onyx” reveals that ONI let Makee take Cortana. Ackerson removed the keystone from the facility on Reach, but left the A.I. behind because he knew the Covenant would scour the facility for the Forerunner artifact.


Parangosky tells Cortana to stay with Makee and The Arbiter (Viktor Åkerblom) and help them in their mission: to find the Sacred Ring. Once the Covenant find the Halo installation, Parangosky plans to track Cortana’s position. Of course, the admiral doesn’t realize that Cortana is also working with Master Chief. It remains to be seen how the various factions will react to the ringworld — or its true, Flood-starving purpose — but it is clear that Admiral Parangosky will play a crucial role in the future of ONI, the Spartan-III program, and Halo‘s Human-Covenant War at large.


Halo

season 2’s finale airs on March 21, 2024, on Paramount+.

  • Halo Season 2 Hero Showing Master Chief carrying a fallen soldier on the battle field

    Halo

    Release Date:
    2022-03-24

    Cast:
    Jen Taylor, Bokeem Woodbine, Charlie Murphy, Shabana Azmi, Kate Kennedy, Natascha McElhone, Yerin Ha, Bentley Kalu, Pablo Schreiber, Danny Sapani, Olive Gray, Natasha Culzac

    Genres:
    Adventure, Sci-Fi, Action

    Seasons:
    2

    Writers:
    Kyle Killen, Silka Luisa, Richard Robbins, Steven Kane, Justine Juel Gillmer

    Franchise(s):
    Halo

    Directors:
    Otto Bathurst, Jonathan Liebesman, Roel Reiné, Dennie Gordon, Debs Paterson, Craig Zisk, Jessica Lowrey

    Showrunner:
    Kyle Killen

    Creator(s):
    Kyle Killen, Steven Kane

    Where To Watch:
    Paramount+



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