Voltron: Legendary Defender is back, and it’s better than ever. Season 1 was promising, and a fun jaunt back to the nostalgia of real transforming toys. You know, when they were made of metal? Season 2 propels the show to the lofty heights of Avatar: The Last Airbender and other classics of the genre.
Stay tuned for a recap and review of each episode. First up, episode 1: “Across the Universe”.
Voltron Season 2, Episode 1 Recap – “Across the Universe”
The new season opens with a bang. We have a new title sequence that’s action-packed, and really emphasizes the joy the Paladins get from what they do.
Think of the scene in any new superhero franchise where the hero is getting used to their powers, and now think of giant robot space cats. That’s the new title sequence.
The actual episode starts with a brief recap of the last season finale. The evil Galra empire has largely made good on their evil plot, and they’ve successfully driven off Voltron and the Altean Castle. Everyone falls into a wormhole headed who knows where, and then the lions all fall out again.
Did you have trouble following what exactly happened at the end of last season? I sure did, and the writers seem to realize it. The very first line of the episode and thus the entire season is “What just happened?”
We immediately dive into some serious timey-wimey wonkiness. Allura and Coran, currently the only two team members inside the castle, are frantically trying to figure out just where the wormhole is taking them.
Coran mashes buttons, Allura does her Minority Report thing, but to no avail. The castle reaches the end of the rift, slips through, and… They’re back again. It’s a time loop, but not without consequence. Coran is a little bit younger, and the mice, well, aren’t mice anymore.
Voltron is proving again and again that it’s not afraid to get weird, and this is the weirdest sequence yet. Time loops are awesome!
Meanwhile, Pidge (the Green Paladin) crash-lands in some sort of floating space junkyard. Although she’s not too concerned at first, she quickly gets bored of waiting for rescue and decides to make her own luck.
I hoped that Pidge had traveled into the future and was among the ruins of the Castle, but sadly it was not meant to be.
Finally, Keith (the Red Paladin) and Shiro (Black) crash on a much more conventional planet. They’re separated, and Shiro is injured from his battle last season. He’s quickly beset by some ravenous animals, and Keith is separated from him by an enormous canyon.
Blue and Yellow don’t appear in this episode at all.
So, Coran is getting younger with each trip through the rift at the end of the wormhole. What doesn’t change? The mustache. We’re treated to an ever-younger series of Corans, each with glorious facial hair. The mice, meanwhile, go through a strange series of permutations, ending as some sort of giant floating amoeba.
They do finally decline to give Toddler and Baby Coran twirling mustachios. Too bad.
Pidge is working hard to get a busted communications satellite working so that she can signal the castle. She’s not alone in the junkyard, and she quickly befriends a flock of very skeptical-looking aliens. They don’t talk, they don’t really help, but they’re sure cute. Pidge doesn’t name them, at least in this episode, but it looks like they’re not going to leave her side. Staring.
The aliens look suspiciously like Pillow Pets. Very intense Pillow Pets. New Toys-R-Us item?
Down on Space Panther Island, Keith finally figures out a way to boost himself over the ravine and reach Shiro. He’s just in time, and manages to save Shiro by reactivating the Black Lion. It’s a nice thematic moment as Shiro is wondering just how loyal the Lion is to him. It had a previous pilot, after all, and now it’s obeying Keith’s commands.
The Black Lion ripping, tearing, and smashing the creatures apart is brutal. Most striking is Shiro’s face during the very brief, very one-sided battle. He’s never seen how terrifying the Lions are from the ground.
Finally, Pidge manages to repair the satellite by activating her own Lion’s power. The Castle sees her navigation beacon and manages to veer out of the wormhole. The episode closes as Pidge warps to Keith and Shiro to rescue them.
- We get a great moment inspired by Castaway or Last Man on Earth as Pidge builds some dummies to talk to. Naturally, they’re her teammates.
- When the Five Lions land in the Castle at the beginning of the episode as it plummets through the wormhole, there’s a great Battlestar Galactica vibe as they bounce around in the hangar. The Castle even looks a bit like Galactica in its space-going configuration.
- Teenage Mustache Coran is only surpassed by Child Mustache Coran. Oh, how I would have loved to see Toddler Mustache Coran!
- Speaking of Coran, I wonder who voiced the younger versions of the character. Despite casting by industry stalwart Andrea Romano, the voice actors are not credited.
- The show continues to have a near-perfect balance of seriousness and humor. It really is the best thing since Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- That’s not surprising of course… This is the same studio that created The Legend of Korra.
Next stop: Hunk and Lance!