Thursday, February 8, 2018

Voltron: Legendary Defender Rewatch 2.11, "Stayin' Alive"

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

The Paladins' plans approach their enactment in a straightforward episode of the series.

2.11, "Stayin' Alive"

Written by May Chan
Directed by Steve In Cheng Ahn

Synopsis

Allura proceeds to the Balmera to collect a particularly large crystal with which to enact the plan to defeat Zarkon. As she does, Coran contacts her, and they exchange updates on their progress. Allura also confesses some of her concerns, which Coran allays. And when she arrives at the Balmera, she is welcomed by the locals, although the Robeast that had been defeated there receives some attention.

Meanwhile, a druid reports continues espionage to Haggar. She orders specific surveillance.

At the Balmera, Allura is able to retrieve the crystal and get it to the Castle of Lions. Not long after, however, the beaten Robeast re-emerges and attacks; a fight ensues, and the Castle of Lions is hard put to defend itself.

Haggar's orders yield results. Thace, retrieving stolen data, is taken and sent to Haggar for her special attentions.

Allura, under attack, calls for the Paladins to return to the Castle. They do so, form Voltron, and defeat the Robeast. In the wake of the victory, they reunite again, with Allura continuing to hold her hatred for all Galra--including Keith--and the rest looking ahead to the fight to come. Coran confers with Allura about the coming events, as do the Paladins; all look forward to a universe in which Zarkon is no longer a threat--all while Haggar interrogates Thace, upon whom their plans depend.

Discussion

The episode is fairly straightforward, seeming more to serve as notice of what Allura and Coran are about than as offering any particular character development (as the preceding episode does for Lance) or making much of any given trope. There is something of the magical princess about Allura yet, although that had already been treated at some length in the earlier Balmera episodes, and her racism remains as problematic as it had previously been.

One thing it does well, however, is to remind viewers that Allura is not the kind of princess depicted in much chivalric literature; she is active and engaged, and if she is not the fearsome combatant that, say, Shiro or Keith is, she is nonetheless capable in her own right. And even if she has some less fortunate aspects to her character, she is, at least, an equal character, rather than merely an object of veneration, in whose name deeds are done.

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