Thursday, February 22, 2018

Voltron: Legendary Defender Rewatch 2.13, "Blackout"

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

The second season of Voltron: Legendary Defender ends with the expected, climactic battle--and motion towards a new enemy to come.

2.13, "Blackout"

Written by Tim Hedrick
Directed by Eugene Lee


Voltron assails Zarkon's vessel to disable or destroy it utterly. Against Haggar's recommendation, however, and the concerns of his own technicians, Zarkon dons the armor that had been in preparation for him--a mimicry of Voltron--and makes to engage the Legendary Defender personally. Haggar enacts a ritual to drain power from Voltron, and the mighty robot is incapacitated as Zarkon enters the fray.

The Castle of Lions is able to interdict Zarkon's attack briefly, buying Voltron enough time to reactivate and join the battle. Agents of the Blade of Marmora escort Allura to Zarkon's ship to prevent Haggar from performing the ritual again, and more fighting ensues.

Amid the conflict with Zarkon, Voltron is forced to separate back into the five component Lions, and Shiro suffers from it. The other Paladins press Zarkon to buy him more time, and he wakes amid their efforts. Directing himself toward Zarkon, he engages him in a new manner, the Black Lion passing through Zarkon's armor and retrieving at long last the Black Paladin's bayard. Voltron reforms in the wake of it--as Allura faces and bests Haggar, recognizing her for an Altean.

The Castle of Lions and Zarkon's ship come back online nearly as one, and Voltron makes one final blow against Zarkon, defeating him--although he survives, if only barely. The Castle recovers the Lions, only to discover that Shiro is gone, somehow--and Haggar calls for the summons of Prince Lotor.


The series has had some Arthurian overtones throughout, and they continue in the present episode. For if the Paladins are in some ways mimetic of the Round Table, then Shiro is in some ways evocative of Arthur--and particularly so in the present episode. For he is able to recover a weapon that was illicitly acquired or retained, much as the Malorian Arthur is able to recover Excalibur from Accolon (who had it by aid of a witch, not unlike how Zarkon is empowered by aid of Haggar). And although he gravely wounds his foe in the final battle and himself falls, he is not dead--he leaves no corpse that would confirm his death. Rather, like Arthur, who "is not deed / But had by the wylle of our lord Ihesu in to another place," Shiro is simply gone, somewhere other than he would be expected to be after a confrontation that left the Black Lion wholly intact.

The episode is the end of the second season, so the maneuver works to set up the next one--particularly in conjunction with the announcement of Lotor's summons. Those who watched the 80s iteration of the series were no doubt waiting for him to appear; it seems they will now be able to do so, and what the reimagined series does with him will be something worth investigating.

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