Voltron Season 5 Episode 2 Review: Blood Duel

Voltron shatters its new status quo with the best fight in the entire franchise.

This Voltron Legendary Defender review contains spoilers.

Voltron Season 5 Episode 2

Last season I felt like the Voltron crew had missed a huge opportunity in not letting Keith be the leader for longer. It felt like they had set up a great new status quo only to rip it away from us. Now I know part of that was a note from the DreamWorks higher ups but still.

Here through we get the same ripping away of a new status quo (Lotor as prisoner, Zarkon chasing him) but it works. It exchanges the new status quo for something even better instead of pushing more engaging plots aside.

It’s also god damn breathtaking. That fight scene with Zarkon and Lotor was so anime in the best way possible. I mean come on, Zarkon PUNCHES Lotor’s sword. That’s AMAZING. The two are screaming and flying at each other nonstop. This is the best action scene the show has done by a mile.

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You can tell they put a lot of time and effort into it because every strike rocks you to your core. The only small downside of the battle is I was totally thrown off by Lotor having the bayard.

I know it was supposed to be a surprise but I had to pause and check to see who actually had the black bayard at this point in the show. Zarkon? Shiro? How did Lotor get it? That took me out of the fight long enough for it to be a nuisance and kept me from fully enjoying it. I get we don’t want to stop the fight but a little clarification would have helped.

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But damn, once that prisoner exchange started the whole episode was nail bitingly intense. You know that can’t really be Sam. So what next? Will Zarkon get away with Lotor? No, he has the bayard! No wait, now they’re fighting! Shiro, Pidge, and Matt leap onto the ship to save Sam. The lions race into the fray. Zarkon and Lotor are animing it up! Shiro, Pidge, and Matt off the generals. Sam pulls the ship out of a dive! Zarkon nearly kills Lotor! 

While it’s sad to see Zarkon go the show needed him out of the way. Lotor was right, he had become a puppet for Haggar. He was also just the first big boss for the Voltron team to take down. He was never going to be the endgame villain. The team was getting stronger and eventually someone who’d challenge them in new ways would have replace him to keep the story interesting.

I’ve got my money on Lotor being the real final boss of the whole series but I’m sure Haggar will give them all a run for their money. After all, with Lotor now allied with the team she’s the new big bad in town.

You know I’m still not totally on board the “trusting Lotor” train but I am starting to believe some of what he says. I genuinely believe what he tells the Paladins while in captivity. He really does want to stand side by side with Allura like their fathers once did; I just think he wants the team to fall in line behind him.

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This episode also introduces an intriguing idea that to end the war they actually make peace with the Galra. It’s not something anyone had ever really considered. Zarkon seemed too hell bent on ruling the universe but he was corrupted by the quintessence. Lotor isn’t in that position. Theoretically he can be reasoned with. Politics! It sounds like a boring idea on paper but in the Voltron crew’s capable hands it’s electric.

Also, huge shout out to Bex Taylor-Klaus for putting in what should be an award winning performance as Pidge. You feel her pain, her anguish, and most prominently her rage. She carries all three of these at once effortlessly.

So… Kuron stage four, hmm? I mean we’re all pretty sure Shiro is a clone right? If Haggar has somehow escalated him does that mean he’ll turn on the team soon? Man, this season doesn’t seem like it’s going to let up!

Big props should also go to Sam. This dude has been a prisoner for years but he gets right into the fray with his kids! Shiro isn’t the only Space Dad in town.

Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Lotor’s hair is still fabulous. Follow him on Twitter! 


4.5 out of 5