This Voltron Legendary Defender review contains spoilers.
Voltron Season 5 Episode 4
Is it premature to say this will be the best episode of the season? Probably, but I don’t care! This episode had everything. The Blade of Marmora space ninjaing all over the place, Paladins in conflict over whether they should help Lotor, and my ever-loving favorite, Galra politics!
I know I keep harping on how beautiful this stuff is but it really helps to fill out the Galran society and make them more engaging. These aren’t just rank and file baddies; they’ve got a history. They’ve got culture. They have depth. It might not make you root for them but it helps you see where they’re coming from.
All of these contenders for the throne don’t get a lot of time of screen but every second with them tells you so much. From their interplay with each other, to Lotor’s descriptions, to them straight up trying to stab each other in the back. It takes real skill to characterize these minor characters but of course Voltron pulls it off flawlessly.
I’m especially taken by the guy who uses bureaucracy to his advantage. In such an action heavy show you wouldn’t think pushing papers would be so valuabe but that guy made it work! “He definitely color codes.” Even Pidge respects that game!
God, I haven’t seen alien space politics like this since the Klingons were fleshed out by Ronald D. Moore in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Without getting too heavy handed or throwing a ton of exposition at us the Galran’s are carefully given a rich tradition and history. Major kudos to writer Mitch Iverson and director Chris Palmer for stuffing this story so full but keeping it moving at a brisk pace.
How gorgeous was the Kral Zera ceremonial grounds? A god damn stunning piece of art that I would just about die to have hanging on my wall. Also the perfect place for some breathtaking action scenes. It may seem impossible for Voltron to keep topping itself but that’s accomplished by simply raising the stakes.
Each of the battles this season feel more intense because they have more weight. It’s not just one planet on the line. Now it’s the fate of the entire Galra empire and by the end of the episode it’s been turned on its head. Lotor may be emperor but it’s of a fractured empire. All of these generals are probably leading their own forces to usurp Lotor.
I have no doubts the events of this episode will reverberate throughout the rest of the series. Zarkon’s death may have been the catalyst but this episode is the true game changer. Nothing will be the same anymore.
I could nitpick why they didn’t explain how they found Sendak but that should come in time. After all the dude has a new fleet! He’ll be back.
In non Galra plotlines, how cute was the little scene with Sam talking with Pidge and Hunk? “Ah, modulating arguments. That’s how your mother and I met.” I want these two to be best friends ever. They both deserve nothing but happiness. It’s especially nice to see Pidge in such a good mood after finding Matt and Sam. She’s had enough angst, let her have some fun!
This is the benchmark for all Voltron episodes that follow. This deserves universal acclaim. Best of 2018 lists. Awards. This proves that Voltron Legendary Defender is the best show on TV.
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Lotor’s hair blowing in the wind is the stuff dreams are made of. Follow him on Twitter!