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[REVIEW] ‘Voltron: Legendary Defender’ Season 3 Episodes 5-6

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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.

Spoiler alert!

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.

Voltron-Legendary-Defender-Season-Three-Shiro

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.

Voltron-Legendary-Defender-Season-Three-Paladins

Verdict

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

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About Hannah Ortega

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Hannah found Star Wars, Disney, and Marvel, and a fangirl force was awakened inside her. Hannah’s favorite animated movies are Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, and Aladdin. Movies such as these inspire her writing, which is her biggest passion. Hannah is an aspiring author and journalist, as well as a Christian, a horseback rider, and a cross country runner.
  • Ciara Fael

    I am definitely not trying to say that it’s 100% possible that ‘This Shiro’ is a clone. I do think it is highly probable. I thought this before I ever even read that other people did. Here is why, and it might answer some of the questions you have about the Black Lion too.

    Disregarding the visions, multiple Shiros etc.. that flashback scene gives us two pieces of information. If you remember, Shiro’s Fugitive ID number was 117-9875. When the Galra are talking about him, they refer to him as Y0XT39. Two completely different codes that they wouldn’t have any reason to change. Secondly, if you look up the translation for Kuron, in Japanese, it means ‘Clone’.

    Just with those two bits, it makes me suspicious. Now, I had wondered about the Black Lion too. Why would she find him, if he wasn’t the real Shiro? One of my friends pointed out that even if (I am going to call him Kuron for simplicity sake) Kuron is a clone, and not simply a ‘Winter Soldier’ Version, he would have the same biological makeup. Meaning, if Black was scanning for that Bio Code, that could be a reason. Of course, I don’t know if that’s true or not. Just a theory.

    To be truthful, it wasn’t any of this that made me suspicious. I researched this /after/ feeling something was off. Sure, the long hair didn’t make sense, since his hair didn’t seem to grow in the year he was gone before, but that could have just been a choice by the creators. What really tipped me off were his mannerisms.

    We see Kuron in his room, recovering. Which, I assume, means he had been in a cryopod. Any other time before, at least to my knowledge, Shiro was not the type to hide away. When he gets to earth, he is trying to warn everyone. He takes the role of Leader soon after. Shiro isn’t the type to hide from the team when they need him.

    Another thing was his sudden younger look. And not just because of his clothes and hair.

    Then his interactions with the team also seemed off to me.

    Of course, I might just be reading into it too much. (Or Just really hoping Space Dad hasn’t become… what is being portrayed.)

    • yu

      Damn, very interesting. And I’m glad I found a place to talk about it.
      Yeah, his hair bothers me a lot. To be this long, he must have past at least 6 months. It doesn’t seem the other paladin are fighting lotor for this long.

      I love the idea of a clone…. but it makes me very sad to think that Shiro is still missing. Is the Shiro we know from season 1 and 2 the true Shiro? Or is Shiro dead and they got several clones?
      Damn, it makes me sad… if the Shiro from season 1 and 2 is the true Shiro, then, where is he? Is he dead? In an alternative reality? With the galra?

      I didn’t found his reaction weird btw. Because for him, he was only missing for like 9 or 10 days. Why would things will become different? He still acted the same.
      Btw, I was sad not seeing the reaction of the others. And I’m scared of his friendship with Keith because he’s still acting like the leader. And Keith is still not mature enough. Will he be jealous?
      I want Shiro in a lion again :(.

      But I like his new design. The full black hair with a little white and a t-shirt.

    • yu

      Oh btw, I was just thinking, the possible clone have the memories of the Shiro we know with voltron and the others. So it means they transfer his memories, so the galra have Shiro somewhere and used him to finish the experiment. Question is, what are they gonna do with the true Shiro?

      Argh!!!

      • Bekah Sheldon

        I think it was real Shiro when he was dying and the Black Lion warped in to save him. But then….in the next episode the Black Lion doesn’t recognize him at all. So….. it seems like something happened between Ep 5 and Ep 6?

  • Bekah Sheldon

    Yeah, I just watched it and was kinda worked up. Shiro is the reason I watch the show, and after he returns on the bridge he is just “off”. It’s not him. Something is really wrong. It feels just “wrong” somehow.

    The thing is, ‘shaggy’ shiro from Ep5 did seem to be Shiro. He was emotional like Shiro (they way he gasped in pain), he related to the crew like Shiro (the way he talked with Keith “how long will you rescue me”), and he did unexpected risky/selfless things you’d expect from Shiro (like throwing back the rebel back his gun and earning his trust). If there is one thing about him, its that he is always getting people’s trust first, not coercive at all. And–I’ll point out that the Black Lion DID recognize the shaggy Shiro and come to rescue him. He also has this prominent leg-wound that the camera keeps panning over to remind us of. And he looks kinda malnourished in his prisoner leggings.

    Then….kabam, in Ep6 he’s back on the bridge and he is strong and buff and healthy with no leg-wound. He’s smug and flat. He stops interacting with the team in an emotional way. The only person he still interacts with is Keith, and it is only to undermine him. He seems flat, like a robotic imitator of the real shiro. He says inspiring lines but he says them with no emotion–not like how he said them in season 1 and 2. And he treats the whole crew very distantly–no hugs or anything, even to Pidge/Kate. Also, he seems to be intent on controlling Keith which is really, really odd. Also, there is the whole black lion interaction–the way he awkwardly tugs at the controls and walks out without even trying to talk to the Black Lion…. well…. it looked like someone trying to hide the fact that they never flew the Lion and wasn’t recognized by it.

    So…it seems to me that Ep5 shaggy Shiro is the real Shiro of season #1 and #2….but that between him collapsing in the room alone on the Castle….and him appearing in tip-top shape on the bridge in the next episosde….he got swapped.

    Between Ep5 and Ep6, did the clone tail him, get aboard, and get rid of him? How could this all happen offscreen? How could the Voltron team not realize if Shiro was being jumped in the other room of the Castle?

    That is what confuses me. The new spiffy Shiro certainly seems to be a clone, but the shaggy Shiro really seemed to be Shiro. So…..what the heck happened on the Castle itself between episodes 5 and 6?

    • Bekah Sheldon

      come to think of it, it would be easy for the Galra to send the clone after the real dying Shiro in episode 5–after all, he was sending out a distress beacon to everyone as he was dying there. So then they could have picked up the signal, lurked in the shadows, and when the castle of lions warped in to pick up Shiro, the Galra could have sent the clone to board the ship, track down the real Shiro, and swap out. They would have ‘needed’ the real shiro so that the Black Lion would sense him dying and show up. But after that they could discard him.

  • Also–another reason this would be “fake shiro” — we have already seen the filmmakers forshadow this twice—

    in Season 1, when Shiro is fighting witch Haggar, she makes false images of Shiro and has them attack him

    in Season 2, when Keith is hallucinating in the Blade of Marmora trials, a fake hallucination of Shiro shows up and is really nasty to him and disowns him.

    So already, in two previous episodes, we have moments when Keith has to ignore a “fake” shiro. Even though the two previous times were hallucinations, for story-writing purposes it seems quite significant.

    And for story-writing purposes–the fact that in S3e5 they make such a big deal out of his wounded leg, and then (apparently) do nothing with it….seems to imply that it is a clue that Ep5 and Ep 6 Shiros are not the same Shiro.