Thursday, February 15, 2018

Voltron: Legendary Defender 2.12, "Best Laid Plans"

Read the previous entry in the series here!
Read the next entry in the series here!

The Paladins' plans hasten toward their conclusion in the penultimate episode of the season.

2.12, "Best Laid Plans"

Written by Joshua Hamilton
Directed by Chris Palmer


Following a motivational speech that re-explains the plan against Zarkon, and as Thace endures more interrogation, the Paladins and their allies set out to enact that plan. Shiro offers himself as bait; Zarkon enlists Haggar's aid in his search and takes that bait, and, despite the Blade or Marmora's recommendation that the mission be aborted in the absence of communication from Thace, the plan proceeds.

Keith offers himself as an infiltrator to spur the plan ahead; Allura takes a moment to apologize to him for her treatment of him. He launches, and the mission continues, with Shiro cutting a path through the Galra onslaught to allow Keith access to Zarkon's own ship. Meanwhile, Thace makes an escape and proceeds along his part of the mission, long since assigned him.

Shiro begins to falter in his lone battle, but receives aid from the other Paladins as Thace is pursued and Keith rendezvous with him. Struggles to keep the Galra at bay and enact the plan to disable Zarkon's ship ensue, but, with a self-sacrifice by Thace, the plan succeeds. The Galra are thwarted, Zarkon's ship sent far away--and the Castle follows, with Voltron forming to enact a final end to the Galra Emperor.


The episode, focusing on a daring strike against the Galra leader, is primarily taken up with intense action. But this is not discordant with medieval chivalric literature--or its own predecessors, such as the Classical epics. Individual and group combats receive substantial attention in such works as Malory's, as witness such occasions as Gawain's first fight after being knighted, or the battles in which Arthur consolidates his kingship, Lancelot's judicial combats on Guinevere's behalf, or the final battle between Arthur and his nephew-son, Mordred. Neither, however, is it necessarily so restricted, although whether because of the strength of tradition or from some underlying other cause is not clear, at least to my eye. So, while what happens in the episode is not, in overall form, out of line with what the medieval the series largely evokes does, neither is it straitly bound to it--but the medieval is polyvalent, so it makes sense that the medievalist would be, as well, and there may well be more to see in the episode.

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