After two intense episodes for team Voltron, it’s time for a break and for Prince Lotor to experience a bit of hardship.
Episode three of Voltron: Legendary Defender is a whirlwind for the cunning villain, who is targeted by his own father and people, while team Voltron takes some time to welcome Matt home and make milkshakes. The lighthearted tone continues for the Paladins in episode four, complete with Power Ranger poses and Hollywood director Coran.
S04E03- “Black Site”
A heavy focus is placed on the Galra Empire this episode. The opening includes a shot of Haggar gazing into a kind of mirror she creates with her magic; however, her reflection is of Honerva, not her usual, purple-skinned self. She is obviously exploring her true identity and trying to put the pieces together after accessing Zarkon’s memories in season three and discovering who she once was. I can’t help but wonder if it hurts her to be so coldly regarded by the man she was once united in marriage with. I wonder if, though the Quintessence corrupted her and she only just regained her memories, she still loves Zarkon. Speaking of Zarkon, he’s giving me some serious Darth Vader vibes with his return from the brink of death (and for the second time, at that) and his new, life-supporting suit.
Audiences see Zarkon and Lotor interact for the first time when Zarkon relieves his son of his duties as stand-in emperor. It’s not the warmest of reunions, and I appreciate that Zarkon and Lotor, not just team Voltron, endure relational and positional hardship. Their hostility toward each other, along with the Empire’s struggle to stay afloat and in control of the galaxy, provides depth to the villainy that is often two dimensional in other shows.
Villainy is certainly a good word to link to Lotor, as he does something toward the end of the episode that actually made my jaw drop– he kills Narti. Yes, he murders his own general, and one of my favorite ones, at that. Haggar had taken possession of Narti and was seeing through the general’s eyes, allowing her to eavesdrop, discover Lotor’s plans, and send a Galra fleet to destroy him.
When Lotor charged at Narti with his sword, I honestly believed he was going to kill her cat, Kova. After all, that’s how she sees – I thought from the get go that Kova, not Narti, was how Haggar was eavesdropping. I’m still not sure how Haggar was able to see through the eyes of someone who has no eyes. Also, Kova was originally Honerva’s cat, so it would’ve made sense that Haggar could’ve established a connection with it and used it for spying. Regardless of the logic, I was shocked that Narti was killed off so soon.
As for team Voltron, they are given some lighthearted moments, probably to balance out all the darkness and chaos surrounding the Galra parts of the episode. Pidge returns to the team with Matt, whose crush on Allura is pretty hilarious. Equally hilarious is Lance’s jealous response to Matt’s flirting. It was delightful to see Pidge show Matt around the castle and to see Lance milk Kaltenecker the cow because Allura and Coran adore milkshakes. These humorous, laid back scenes are what make me fall deeper in love with the team, for it’s moments like these (and like the entire Space Mall episode in season two) that make them so human. Even though they’re Paladins of Voltron, they’re still just kids who like to have some fun every once in a while.
S04E04- “The Voltron Show!”
This quirky episode is pretty amusing and clever. In it, Coran is trying to create better “shows of arms” for the Paladins in order to draw in more coalition recruits, but his attempts continue to fall flat. As a solution, he buys a mind enhancer, which turns out to be a parasite that latches onto his brain. The parasite certainly does it’s job, however, as it fills Coran with ideas, energy, and a big time mogul personality. Of course, the parasite turns dangerous toward the end of the episode when it leads Coran to take drastic measures in the name of show business.
The Paladins’ attempts at acting for an audience are delightfully cringe worthy. I especially loved seeing strong, serious Shiro robotically recite his lines and hit cheesy poses. It would’ve been even better to see Keith forced into such absurdity. Another laugh out loud moment comes when the Paladins perform “Voltron on Ice,” complete with cardboard boxes decorated like the Lions.
There are several fun jabs at both the nature of the show (when Coran assigns each Paladin a persona, like humorous Hunk and science wiz Pidge and lone wolf Keith, who is played by Allura) and the fandom (when Coran tells Shiro, who most fans have a fictional character crush on, to put on a tight shirt for a performance). At one point, Coran says that Shiro is the aliens’ favorite character, to which Lance responds, “Wait, you’re the most popular character?” I found this hilarious because, while Shiro is certainly beloved, Lance is almost undeniably the favorite of the real life fandom. Adding to the comedy of the episode are Bi Boh Bi and his noodle-looking alien people, as well as Lance descending from the Red Lion like an acrobat on aerial silks.
These episodes are strong, enjoyable additions to the Voltron repertoire. They provide some humor on the side of team Voltron and some tension on the side of the Galra Empire. Team Voltron is simply a lovable cast of characters, and I especially enjoy their interactions in these episodes.
What did you think of episodes three and four of DreamWorks’ Voltron: Legendary Defender?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes