When you’ve hit such an emotional peak with a season like Season 6 of Voltron, where do you go from here?
Well, it’s simple. you keep the action going and never make too easy or too straightforward for the heroes, and that’s exactly what the showrunners did.
In many ways this season can be split up into two parts, the first half being “The Road Trip Home” and the latter half “The Battle For Earth”.
Going into the first half we pick up where we left off with Team-Voltron and they’re trying to contact Earth as well as find a way to re-energize the Lions given that they took a real beating during the fight with Lotor.
Not only that but we get a series of flashbacks that show us exactly how Keith and Shiro met, and what exactly happened to the former’s father.
Plus we also get a “Honey, I shrunk the kids” feel given what happens to some of our heroes as they’re trying to get something that only creatures called Yelmores can find.
But even after they get said materials Team-Voltron find themselves encountering Lotor’s former Generals and things aren’t as swimmingly as they originally thought. With Lotor gone the power vacuum in the empire is worse than before, and now it’s a free-for-all. Fortunately with a little help from the Altean Mice – and Coran and Acxa – the team was able to escape and be on their way.
But then they find a distress signal that only Blades of Marmora use and find ruins with the “help” of a stranger who explains that many Blades were lured to this planet and were systematically wiped out. Of course, the whole thing was also a trap for Team Voltron as well but once again our heroes manage to get free and dispose of the Druid.
While Krolia had been accompanying the team to Earth, she decides to stay behind with an injured yet alive Kolivan and help find any surviving Blades of Marmora. It is bittersweet for Keith and his mom but they all had to do what needed to be done.
(I still wonder how the Battle for Earth would have gone had Krolia and Kolivan went along for the ride though.)
And after a crazy adventure on an alien game show – no joke – our heroes find themselves in a pickle in “The Journey Within” for the Lions then completely shut down and no one is able to find a way to reactivate them. So they try to tether the Lions together but that doesn’t work and the crew find themselves without their Lions and with only each other to rely on. At first things go okay, but then they find themselves encountering various illusions and sometimes only one Paladin can see the illusion.
Then things get heated and Hunk out of everyone on the team tries – and actually manages to pull everyone together, living up to the Yellow Paladin’s tagline of being able to “lift the team up and hold them together”. During all this, everyone – Keith in particular – comes around and realize that everything that they have gone through – good and bad – is no coincidence. And credit to Steven Yeun’s performance because when he has Keith say, “This brought us together as friends” you believe it. It could have almost sounded corny, but the way Yeun delivered the line and everything else that followed – it worked. And right when that happens the Lions wake up fully energized and the Paladins find themselves facing off against some creature and they immediately draw their bayard weapons. Things get heated up once the creature tries to finish them off but the five Lions come to the rescue and save our heroes. And once they’re back in the Lions they form Voltron and with the help of some bayards the team manages to unlock another upgrade – this time giant rocket boosters – and are able to make their way across several galaxies until they find themselves on the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy, and their home planet, and here is where “The Battle for Earth” begins.
As they get to Earth Team Voltron discovers that Earth has been invaded by the Galra Empire but Sam did manage to get there before that point. After explaining the story to the rest of the Garrison Sam implores that they prepare for an eventual invasion and while everyone agrees Admiral Sanda doesn’t seem so inclined, preferring to do things by the book, even though this is nothing like what she had been trained for, and this is an attitude that pervades the latter half of the season, which ultimately will come to backfire on Sanda later on.
So we meet some new characters – Colleen Holt, as well as Veronica, Griffin, Kinkade, Rizavi and Leifsdotter – and Sam along with Commander Iverson begin to prepare Earth in earnest, eventually creating Altean-Earth hybrid fighters and a battleship called the Atlas. Unfortunately because Sanda decreed that no information about an alien invasion should be divulged resources begin to get scarce and ultimately Colleen decides to bring the truth out, causing the rest of the planet to rise to the occasion and offer assistance.
But no sooner does the first particle barrier get built for the Garrison does Sendak invade, and things go south real quickly. While the particle barrier holds up, a counter-attack using regular fighters goes horribly wrong and even then Sanda refuses to budge. Iverson and Sam ultimately give the order to send out the MFE fighter jets and things work, but Sendak is nothing if not patient.
And when our Paladins finally arrive, they realize it’s going to take everyone to stop Sendak but once again Sanda proves her inability to listen by suggesting that Team Voltron hand the Lions over to which the whole team – including Sam and Iverson – pretty much go, “Quiznak, no!”
As they meet up with resistance groups and look at what Sendak has set up – Team Voltron comes up with a plan to take out the cannons Sendak has been building but the whole thing turns out to be a trap and Sendak knew what our heroes were planning, and just who was the one to rat them out? You guessed it – Admiral Sanda.
But even with that she manages to eventually redeem herself – at the cost of her life – and requests with her dying breath to save Earth.
Meanwhile Shiro the rest of the Garrison make their way to the Atlas and at first they have trouble getting it up and running but Coran using his quick thinking manages to get the crystal that the original Castle ship had been crushed into and uses it to power the Atlas, which works.
After a long and lengthy battle with Sendak’s forces – and a cool fight between Shiro and our new Galra villain – our heroes find themselves with a new enemy – some kind of mech robot. But even with Voltron and the Atlas providing support things still aren’t in our heroes’ favor, until Shiro gets a feeling from his new prosthetic arm, and suddenly the Atlas transforms from a battlecruiser to a giant robot.
Once this happens our heroes are able to finally dispatch the robot and begin rebuilding, and this time the surviving members of the Coalition and the Blade of Mormora – including some familiar faces – finally get to Earth and assist with rebuilding.
Then several months later as the Garrison manages to salvage the wreckage of the robot that fought Voltron Allura and Sam discover that there was someone in the robot, and it was none other than an Altean!
In all, this season was nothing short of fantastic, with the two main halves blending in very well. In the road trip section we finally got some last pieces to the Shiro-Keith puzzle, what happened to some key allies of Team-Voltron, and a cool episode that showcases how trials aren’t really there to defeat you, but to help make you stronger, and can even help you get to where you need to go and in a much quicker way than you think.
With the Battle for Earth it’s about our Paladins – namely Shiro, Pidge, Hunk and Lance – getting acclimated back to their home planet as well as combining forces to save their home. And naturally there’s going to be some foils in regards to people like Sanda – people who want to protect Earth but they prefer to do it by the book even though to stop someone like Sendak you had to throw the old rulebook away, and Sanda wasn’t willing until she was fatally wounded.
And most importantly we get a teaser at the end of this season which you know is going to lead into the eighth and final conclusion of this incredible series.
So how about all of you out there? Are you ready for the final chapter of this show? I am a little of both – excited yet anxious – as of this post but I am looking forward to it. It’s going to be bittersweet once we get to the credits of the final episode but it is going to be one exciting ride!