It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for.
Shiro is back!
However, his return isn’t quite what I’d hoped it would be, and something about him doesn’t feel right. On top of that, it was episode five and six of Voltron: Legendary Defender season three, so time was running out for dots to start connecting.
S03E05- “The Journey”
I’m not really a fan of this episode, and I felt confused and anxious the whole time I watched it. I kept checking how much time was left and thinking, “It’s almost over. When are we going to find out what actually happened to Shiro?” We never do find out this episode. Or the next. Or the next. It’s all really vague.
The episode opens with Shiro waking up in a Galra ship with long hair and scruff on his face. He’s obviously in bad shape, but he manages to escape and crash land on an ice planet. During his getaway he sees himself lying on a table, surrounded by Galra scientists. Then there are flashes of a syringe-type device, fluid emptying from a container, and, from Shiro’s perspective, a capsule filling with liquid as the Galra scientists watch. One of the scientists says, “Operation Kuron stage one successful. Begin stage two.” Later, when a Galra commander sees Shiro’s ship fleeing the Galra cruiser, he says that stage three is in effect.
Due to the appearance of another Shiro and him being labeled as an operation, the Tumblr world is theorizing that the escaped Shiro is not the real Shiro. They believe he could be a clone. However, I thought the other Shiro on the table was simply a hallucination or flashback. After all, he’d already imagined a Galra he thought was Ulaz, and both the mistaken Ulaz and the other Shiro had a haze over it. A change in lighting, especially making it brighter and blurry, can often signal a hallucination or flashback.
That said, I think Tumblr’s clone theory could be true simply because something doesn’t feel right about Shiro. The Tumblr world picked up on this different feel from the former Black Lion pilot, too. I didn’t feel the strangeness until the next episode, though. Also, the Voltron fandom has seldom been incorrect when it comes to their theories. They guessed that Keith was half-Galra long before it was officially revealed.
While Shiro is on the ice planet, he is attacked by a monster, and a couple of rebels save him. I was hoping it would be Matt, Pidge’s brother. The rebels tie him up and don’t believe he is a Paladin of Voltron or that he escaped a Galra ship. Eventually, Shiro persuades the rebels to help him, and he uses one of their ships to track down Voltron. We’re taken back to episode three when Voltron leaves the planet with the strange atmosphere, as that’s where Shiro first sees them. However, Shiro is not fast enough to catch them. His pursuit of Voltron ends up taking a week. Right when Shiro is about to die from lack of food, water, and oxygen, the Black Lion senses him and Keith and the team go to rescue their former leader.
S03E06- “Tailing a Comet”
This episode opens with Lance acting as a sniper, which many fans have been eager to see. He’s really become worthy of the sharpshooter title he gave himself in season two. Lance covers the team as they fight some Galra sentries, and we again see Allura’s prowess in combat. She easily takes out at least five sentries with her whip.
After the clash, we are taken back to the castle, where Keith speaks with a recovering Shiro. I wish we’d seen the team’s reaction to Shiro coming back. The exclusion reminds me of how we didn’t see the team’s response to Keith being half-Galra in season two. I feel that both of these moments greatly impacted team Voltron, yet they happened off-screen.
Eventually, Shiro leaves his room and joins the team on the bridge. He has a new haircut and outfit that I don’t love as much as his original look. Shiro mentions that he has a “weird headache,” which only added to my suspicion about what happened to him with the Galra.
Shiro’s return causes Lance to worry about his future on the team, and he talks to Keith about it. He tells Keith that once Shiro takes back the Black Lion, Keith will take back the Red Lion, and then he’d have to take the Blue Lion back from Allura. However, he says that Allura has advanced quicker than any of them ever did and may have more potential as its pilot. “Maybe the best thing I can do for the team is step aside,” Lance says. “This isn’t a participation game. This is war, and you want your best soldiers on the front lines.” Keith assures him that things will work out as they should.
I love how prominent Lance’s insecurities are this season. We are really seeing the layers of his character and how he deeply fears not belonging– he doesn’t want to be a seventh wheel, as he put it in season two. He’s also becoming more conscientious and less self-absorbed, as he is willing to abandon his pilot position if it benefits the team and the fight for peace at large.
Issues begin to surround the leadership position once again in this episode, and it all starts when Keith and Shiro try to give orders at the same time. Keith steps back and allows Shiro to take over, and I thought to myself, “Keith was just getting the hang of this whole leadership thing!” Later, when the team invades a Galra base, Shiro gives several orders from the castle that conflict with Keith’s, and the team continues to agree with Shiro. Keith seems a little upset that the team has reverted back to obeying Shiro, and I worry that this vying for supremacy may test Shiro and Keith’s friendship.
While in the Galra base, Keith at one point wants to scour the ship for Lotor alone, and Shiro says the team should stay together. I love Keith– he’s one of my favorite characters– but in this moment, I wondered why he would say such a thing. Didn’t he learn his lesson about sticking together in episode three? He ends up obeying Shiro, however, so at least he remembered to listen to his team.
I mentioned that Shiro gives orders from the castle, and this is because the Black Lion would not respond to him. Some people on Tumblr use this as evidence to support their argument that this Shiro is not the real Shiro. However, if that were true, then why did the Black Lion bother to sense and then save Shiro in the previous episode? I’m not saying the clone theory couldn’t be true, though. I just think it’s possible that the Black Lion really has moved on to Keith.
Going back to the Galra base, team Voltron aren’t the only ones to attack it. Lotor’s generals arrive and take out their own allies, showing that Lotor has a separate agenda from the Galra Empire as a whole. This will surely cause more issues between Lotor and Haggar, who is already concerned that the prince isn’t properly performing his duties. It is revealed that Lotor has created a ship using the impenetrable material of the comet from episode four, and it is located at the base both the generals and the Paladins attack. Lotor’s possession of this powerful weapon really changes the game and ups the stakes.
The generals also fight hand-to-hand with the Paladins in this episode, and it makes for an epic scene. Each of the generals possess their own style of fighting: Ezor is very acrobatic, and the way she grapples and then pins Keith is reminiscent, for me, of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Acxa uses a pistol and is an excellent shot. Zethrid uses brute strength. Narti is a good mix of strength and agility, and she uses her lizard-like tail as a weapon. Also, it is confirmed that Acxa was the Galra solider Keith and Hunk helped in season two’s “The Belly of the Weblum” episode.
I definitely liked episode six better than episode five. I really loved seeing the Paladins and Lotor’s generals finally meet and duke it out. I’m not sure what’s going on with Shiro, but something’s off, and he seems to be causing issues for Keith and Lance. We’ll just have to wait and see how Shiro’s return affects the team’s new dynamic and what happened to him while he was in Galra hands.
What did you think of episodes five and six of DreamWorks’ Voltron: Legendary Defender?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes