This Voltron Legendary Defender review contains spoilers.
Voltron Season 7 Episode 4
Well that was… weird.
After the big reveal of the time jump at the end of last episode we suddenly get a wacky comedy episode. I’m not totally opposed to that. “Space Mall” and “The Voltron Show” were both wacky episodes that followed more serious outings. However those two episodes didn’t have the kind of cliffhanger “The Way Forward” did.
It feels awkward to go from such a seismic shift in the Voltron universe to a game show episode. The episode has some moments, I love the fake ads and Pidge faking out the judge and taking out the camera, but it’s completely misplaced. We need to see the Paladins reactions to what they just learned. We need to see them plan their next step. We need to start getting an idea of what’s going on in the universe.
I actually stopped the episode after the first few minutes to make sure I wasn’t watching it out of order because it was such a tonal whiplash from the end of the last episode.
Putting that aside, the episode is fine enough but it also suffers from not really expanding on much with the characters or the universe. The same could be said for “Monsters & Mana” but that at least was well placed and served as some much needed down time for the team. Here we already had the wacky start of “The Road Home” or even the shrinking B plot in the premiere.
The only real moment that functions as growth for the team is when they all vote for each at the end. That was legit touching and it gave Hunk another moment to shine.
Pidge saying, “if anyone is going to go out into the universe and bring people together, its Hunk” speaks to his best traits. Even if he might seem funny (as mentioned in the last review) or a bit of a softy, he still has a super important role on the team. More and more I’m starting to wonder if this is Hunk’s season to step into the spotlight and I’m here for it.
I guess you could also say Bob hints at more powerful forces in the universe but eh, “White Lion” did that far more effectively. I love the idea of their being things beyond the understanding of the team but Bob didn’t do much for me. He didn’t even have the kind of menace that Q, the Star Trek character he’s very clearly modeled after, had. I’m all for jokes (again, see the previous review) but they serve little purpose. It’s all throw away.
Compare Bob to Varkon, another jokey character who seems to be a throwaway. The thing about Varkon though is that he gave us an idea of how the wider universe viewed Zarkon and the Galra rule. He was a FAN! All of his jokes were rooted in world building whereas Bob is just a simple joke character. He’s not awful or anything, just not the level of character I expect from Voltron.
I get the feeling this episode was done as a cost saving measure since it’s all character with almost zero fights and Lion action. That’s totally fine and I’m glad we didn’t get a clip show but this is one of the weaker episodes of the series for me.
Now of course a weak episode of Voltron is still better than a lot of TV. The comedy is still pretty solid and I LOVE the bit where Lotor punches Morvok after his parents insult him. Perfectly represents his character. But still, when the series is usually so excellent? A “meh” episode really stands out.
But hey, that New Jack Swing style ending theme was GLORIOUS.
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter!