We’re about to the halfway point of Voltron season 2, and everything’s coming together.
- The Big Bad is identified. It’s still Emperor Zarkon, but this season the conflict is much more personal. Season 1 felt like Voltron vs. the Galra. This season is Voltron vs. Zarkon.
- The Heroes’ Journey is clear. Each of the Lions has hidden powers, and the Paladins must unlock them. The only way to do so? Character growth.
- Finally, the Paladins have a direct path to victory. The Blade of Marmora (Marmoset) is a group of rebel Galra who resist Emperor Zarkon. If the Paladins can contact them, they’ll prove a valuable ally.
So without further ado, let’s get into it!
Voltron Season 2, Episode 5 Recap – “The Ark of Taujeer”
We open not on Team Voltron, and not even on Emperor Zarkon, but on the activities of a minor Galra commander. Morvok is his name, and not quite the competent font of terror we’ve come to expect.
His current victims are the inhabitants of Taujeer, who have built a gigantic Space Ark to escape their dying world. Morvok wants one of their engines for some unspecified reason, and they’re worried that the Ark no longer has enough power to lift off.
Morvok doesn’t care. He lifts off and leaves the Taujeer people to die.
Also, they are Tardigrades. This is more terrifying than cute if you know what Tardigrades are capable of.
And why do they speak through vocoders? Do the writers keep a dartboard to come up with alien concepts? <throw> VOCODER! <throw> TARDIGRADE!
Meanwhile back at the Castle, Team Voltron is discussing how Zarkon keeps finding them. It turns out several people each think they’re the problem.
- Allura thinks Zarkon is tracking her mind, since she’s the most powerful psychic onboard.
- Shiro’s convinced he’s the one, or more specifically the Black Lion. Zarkon was once the Black Paladin, and the Lion still responds to him.
- Keith believes he’s the problem, due to his suspected Galra heritage. He’s reluctant to tell the others about this, and makes excuses as to why he thinks Zarkon can track him.
- Coran says it’s not Shiro, because the idea of communicating with a Lion over interstellar distances is unheard of.
Ultimately, Shiro says it’s a moot point. He declares that it’s time to bring the fight to the Galra. Pidge works out a way to track down the fleet, and they set off towards (you guessed it) Taujeer.
Pidge’s technobabble as she explains how to find the Galra is nothing short of breathtaking. She’s the new favorite character.
That night, Keith angsts out a little bit thinking about how he might be part Galra. Mostly this consists of looking at his knife and sighing. He has a nightmare, and makes his decision.
He decides he must leave the group so that he can figure out if he’s the one Zarkon can track. If the fleet catches up with him, then he knows. If it attacks the Castle again, then it’s someone else.
It’s a good experiment, and Allura goes with him for similar reasons.
THIS COMPLETELY INVALIDATES THE EXPERIMENT. Even Pidge comments on this, when she says “They’re eliminating, uh, two variables.”
The next morning, the remaining team members are trying to figure out where their leaders have gone. Suddenly, something impacts the Castle, and the Lions launch to check it out.
Lance has been giving the Queen some looks lately, and is a little concerned that Keith might be moving in.
It’s a piece of the planet itself, which is rapidly destroying itself. This is why the Taujeer people need to escape, and they’re overjoyed when the Paladins agree to help.
Even though Tardigrades can withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. They are scary!
The Galra fleet is long gone, but Zarkon quickly realizes that the Castle has arrived at Taujeer. Guess he’s not tracking Allura or Keith after all! He orders Marvok to engage in his battlecruiser.
Marvok is a great character. He’s a military bureaucrat, interested in success but not in the “honor of battle.” He’s played by David Collins, a voice director who’s also worked on many Star Wars video games.
Marvok relents, the fleet arrives, and the battle begins. The Paladins’ goal is to protect the Ark until it can repair itself and lift off.
Meanwhile, Keith and Allura get word of the battle and hightail it back to the Castle. The problem: Their shuttle pod is equipped with an afterburner that Pidge installed. End result: The pod blows up and they’re stuck toodling back home on Keith’s jetpack.
Rare for Pidge’s gadgets to go wrong. But when tech fails, it fails spectacularly.
Since Voltron can’t, well, be Voltron without the Red Lion, Coran decides to step up. He puts on his very best Paladin outfit and gives the Red Lion his very best inspirational speech.
He’s hoping Red will allow him to temporarily pilot it, but instead the Lion takes one look at him and rushes off to rescue Keith.
That’s not quite what Shiro concludes at the end of the episode, but it sure looks like it.
The remainder of the episode is an action set piece. The Lions have a tough time fighting Marvok’s ship without the ability to form Voltron. Throughout the course of the battle, they figure out a few new tricks.
These are going to be great in the inevitable Voltron video game.
The Yellow Lion unlocks the ability to beef up its claws and armor. It has absolutely no effect on the current battle. But hey, beefy Lion.
I predict that Hunk will speak those exact words in a future episode. But hey, beefy Lion.
Lance and Pidge combine their special powers to keep the planet together a little longer. Pidge fills the growing cracks in the surface with vegetation, and Lance freezes them to make them more durable.
Finally (finally!) Allura and Keith arrive. The Lions form Voltron and the day is saved. They figure out one last special power. By combining all their wills, the Paladins can increase the power of Voltron’s sword, making it truly huge.
Like, seriously huge. Final Fantasy huge. Voltron’s sword grew 20 billion sizes that day.
They slice Marvok’s ship in half and the battle is won.
The episode closes as Keith and Allura apologize to the crew for leaving. Shiro comes to the conclusion that since the Red Lion could detect Keith across multiple star systems, then Zarkon must be doing the same with the Black Lion.
They don’t really know what to do about that.
Dark note to end on.
- “You don’t think they’re sittin’ in a tree, do you?”
- “Nope, I’m pretty sure the next layer is acid!”
- Anyone else think Coran looks a little like Doctor Strange in his Paladin getup?
- Speaking of Coran, we finally have his full name: Coran Hieronymus Wimbledon Smythe. Wonderful.
- Why is Hunk straining when the Yellow Lion is trying to push the Ark? He’s just holding down a lever.
- Poor Yellow Lion’s new power didn’t matter at all. Hopefully it gets a chance to shine in a later episode.