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VOLTRON Recap: Let’s Go to ‘Space Mall’ Today!

VOLTRON Recap: Let’s Go to ‘Space Mall’ Today!

Yo, people, readin’ this… it’s a spoiler-filled recap of Voltron: Legendary Defender season 2, episode 7, “Space Mall.” Don’t be readin’ this unless you’ve seen the episode or don’t care about spoilers. Ya been warned, fools!

After a pair of episodes at the beginning of season two that featured no Voltron at all, Voltron: Legendary Defender went hardcore down the forming-Voltron road by having the Lions form-up for the next four episodes straight. Last year, before the first season aired, executive producers Joaquim dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery told me they would only use Voltron for truly necessary reasons, and to me this stretch didn’t represent a reversal of intention, but an acknowledgement that they had truly put their characters into the most dire of situations. Still, it’s nice to get a respite from this and a story just about the characters, with little lion stuff, and “Space Mall” was definitely that.

The realization at the end of the last episode that Zarkon and Shiro have nearly equal pull on the Black Lion was a rough one, as it makes Voltron directly attacking the Galra flagship nearly impossible. He decided in this episode to spend some time creating a stronger bond with the Black Lion while Coran brought the other four paladins to a “swap moon,” where he’d need to barter with space pirates to get the teledove lenses needed to repair the still-broken wormhole beam. He warned them it was going to be a rough time, as the space pirates weren’t to be trusted…however when they got there, they realized the seedy place had become a palatial multistory mall.

While Coran went off to find the trader he was looking for, the other paladins removed their pirate disguises and toured the mall…not knowing that a Galra fanboy calling himself Farkon was the mall’s head of security. Keith watched an alien version of a Ginsu knife demonstration and afterwards asked the seller if he’d seen a dagger like the Blade of Marmora one he carries. The seller assumed it had been stolen and tried to get Keith to give it to him, but Keith refused and got security called on him.

Elsewhere, at the food court, Hunk tried free samples, but tried one from an eatery that wasn’t actually offering them for free and found himself shackled to the sink in the back, possibly forever, until the food-prep droid broke down. Hunk convinced the angry diner owner to let him do the cooking, and since Hunk is a surprisingly good cook, he did a great job, bringing people from all over the mall to try the sustenance that actually tasted good. And Lance and Pidge tried to troll wishing fountains for enough money to buy a retro Earth video game system at a human-goods retailer; a funny riff on the NES Classic Edition, I think.

Voltron-2

Shiro, meanwhile, boarded the Black Lion, which immediately took him deep into space to a broken planet. Shiro got visions from his lion of the past: the planet is where Zarkon used to live, and where Altean King Alfos built the Black Lion. He then went into a nether-realm, like a matrix construct, where he found Zarkon waiting for him, attempting to steal the Black Lion forever. The two fight, with Shiro’s bravery doing okay, but being almost no match for Zarkon’s skills. However the one thing Zarkon hadn’t counted on is that the bond between lion and paladin is built on mutual trust, not ownership and servitude, and the Black Lion eventually freed Shiro from Zarkon’s grip. Zarkon’s connection to the lion became weaker than it ever had been, but not broken forever.

Coran eventually did find the shady part of the mall and a dealer willing to haggle for the lenses, which he naively thought were just table decorations. A hilarious scene ensued, with Coran initially offering the lint in his pocket and the dealer countering with Coran’s first born child. They eventually met in the middle with Coran offering the repeater cube from a few episodes earlier, which the dealer gleefully accepted. But, before he could revel in victory too long, he came across the other four, and their new free-with-purchase space cow named Caltenecker, fleeing Farkon. They all got back to the ship, where Princess Allura had been just hanging out with her pet mice all day.

“Space Mall” was a very fun episode that also had some excellent plot development in the fight between Shiro and Zarkon for the Black Lion. Now halfway through the season, it looks like the Voltron crew might finally have gotten the upper hand in some sense, but we know that can’t possibly last forever.

Images: DreamWorks/Netflix


Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!

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