This Voltron Legendary Defender review contains spoilers.
Voltron Season 7 Episode 6
It was all building to this.
Every moment of team building. Every argument. Every moment of Voltron up to now was leading to this. The moment the series takes a collective breath. A moment to pause. To reflect. To question. To consider. To ask… why?
It’s easy to miss but it’s been pretty non-stop for the Voltron team up to this point. One intergalactic threat after another. Always fighting for not only their lives but the universe. It’s gotten so bad Lance even jokes about it at the start of the episode.
They’ve barely had any down time until now. What do you do when the fighting stops? When you finally can’t silence the thoughts in your head with training or worrying about the next battle? It’s a scary thought that most of the Paladins have avoided. Even on this long journey they’ve had things to distract them. Saving Kolivan. A game show. Hunk’s food.
But then it’s all stripped away and they have to face everything they’ve been putting off thinking about. Simply thinking. Questioning everything. When the Paladins are left floating in space there’s no distractions anymore. Allura says contemplating the universe will drive you mad but there’s something much worse.
Your own thoughts.
Slowly everyone falls prey to this. Keith especially questions why they’re all even together. Part of this is the exhaustion of floating out in space but you know it’s been on his mind. Why them? Do they really have a bond? Without Voltron what would they be? It starts to get to them all. They’re at each other’s throats.
The series even takes a moment for Allura and Lance to call Keith out for leaving them in season four. It’s a much-needed moment, addressing the abandoned plotline of Keith learning to lead the team. It finally recontextualizes the change forced upon the series of bringing Shiro back early and turns it into a character moment. They’re all angry Keith left them.
But through all this there’s only one Paladin keeping his cool. A Paladin the show had seemed to forget about at times but was quietly developing.
In perhaps the most powerful scene in the series so far, the group is dangerously close to splitting up when Hunk calls them all out. Hunk, the man who once cried during a fight. Hunk, the “coward”. Hunk, the butt of all food jokes.
“You’re all brave heroes who don’t know how to react to being scared and it’s causing you to attack one another. That or you’ll all going space mad. Hopefully you’re just scared. I’m scared all the time, I can talk you through it.”
It’s an incredible little speech delivered by Tyler Labine (who seriously deserves some award recognition.) Hunk’s fear isn’t a weakness… it’s a strength. While the others are brave in their own ways, it’s only because they’ve drowned out the fear with “the mission”. Constant battles. Responsibilities. Hunk has truly been the only one to fear and it made him seem weak. Keith calls him out on this.
“Sorry, Hunk. I guess I just don’t know how to be a coward.”
Hunk doesn’t fire an insult back. Instead, in a very chipper way, he simply responds,
“Right, that’s what I’m saying!”
While Hunk hasn’t had as much focus as the rest of the team, you can look back and see that he’s always been the heart of it. He’s been the one feeding them. Giving them strength and support. He may not have gotten a brooding plotline like the rest of them but he was there.
We all might have complained about why he didn’t “get a plot” but it was all for this. After this exchange we can look back and see just how important Hunk has been. How, even in those small moments, he was bringing the team together. Becoming the soul of it. The glue.
If Hunk wasn’t there? They’d all be dead. He reminds them of just how far they’ve come. Of why they’re doing this. Sure they were thrown together by change but that’s life. It doesn’t matter why they came together. All that matters now is they’re friends. They have a bond. A bond that Hunk is an essential part of.
With that bond they’re able to not only escape the void but their fears. Having faced them head on and made it through thanks to Hunk’s help, they can now move on to the most important part of their journey. Earth.
No matter what happens, they’ll make it through. Why?
They have each other.
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter!