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Recap / Voltron Legendary Defender S 1 E 011 The Black Paladin

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Zarkon: You fight like a Galra soldier.

After Allura's Heroic Sacrifice in the previous episode, the Paladins and Coran decide to fly into the heart of the Galra empire to rescue her.


  • Adult Fear:
    • For Coran, losing Allura due to her impulsiveness and the danger of a mission. She's all that he has left of his home and his former life.
    • Also Coran when one of the Lions, Keith, decides to take on Zarkon, and he can only scream through the communicator to not fight the latter. Keith is a teenager at best and going toe to toe with an Authority Equals Asskicking Galra Emperor with much more experience than him.
  • Always Save the Girl: Partially justified by Allura being the only one on the team that can open wormholes at will, but everyone considered attacking Zarkon's headquarters as complete and utter suicide never to be even considered before she was taken there.
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  • Anger Born of Worry: While Shiro talks about a plan to rescue Allura, Coran snaps at him that it was Shiro who caused Allura to get caught in the first place. Shortly after that, Coran admits that it wasn't Shiro's fault and that he's just very worried for Allura (who's like a daughter to him).
  • Big Dumb Object: The Galra empire specializes in these, it seems, but Zarkon's base is bigger and dumber than most, being composed of multiple rings orbiting the same center on different planes.
  • Cliffhanger: The Paladins manage to rescue Allura and flee, but as they flee their wormhole is damaged by the witch Haggar, destabilizing it. In the chaos that follows, the Paladins and their Lions are lost somewhere in space, and the Castle is likewise headed to an unknown destination.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Keith engages in combat with Zarkon, and even though Keith is in a lion and Zarkon is only armed with a Bayard, the fight is still completely one-sided in Zarkon's favor.
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  • Doppelgänger Spin: Haggar's fight with Shiro is this, as she taunts him with multiple copies of herself.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After realizing that he can't beat Zarkon even with his Red Lion, Keith decides to keep fighting anyway, so that Shiro has enough time to get the Black Lion and get out of there. He turns off Coran's communication line since Coran keeps telling him to run.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Subverted; Coran tells Keith to not fight Zarkon. Keith refuses to listen, even when he realizes that he can't win.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Haggar is shown to be this. She effortlessly fights Shiro, creating illusory clones of herself to confuse him and conjuring destructive dark energy to attack.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Allura while handcuffed tries to attack Zarkon head on. The druid stops her in her tracks and knocks her down.
  • Like a Daughter to Me: Coran says that he's lost so much, that he can't lose Allura too. His attitude towards Shiro for losing her is very Papa Wolf like.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Team Voltron has two big ones:
    • When Zarkon defuses Voltron with just his will.
    • Also when the wormhole destabilizes and they're all sent in different directions.
  • Mythology Gag: Shiro fights Haggar, who fights back with a Doppelgänger Spin much like their fight in the original series.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Desperate not to lose, Keith suddenly summons a massive beam cannon mounted on the back of his Red Lion powerful enough to do massive damage to the structures, but Zarkon still parries and evades it easily.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Zarkon delivers one to Keith, who keeps trying to fight him.
  • No-Sell: Voltron can't even get close to Zarkon's ship before Zarkon's will over the Black Lion shuts it down, disassembling Voltron.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Coran when Keith decides to fight Zarkon to save the Black Lion and to potentially cut off the Galra Empire's head.
    • Keith when Zarkon unleashes the Black Bayard.
    • Allura when she learns that the team brought Voltron to the Galra Empire.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The essence of the Paladins' plan. It's impossible to win, so they would never try it, so they won't be expecting it, so they might have a chance.
  • The Reveal: Zarkon claims to have been the original Black Paladin and wields the Black Bayard as evidence.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: Unlike the other Paladins, Zarkon can make his Bayard take multiple forms, including shield, sword, gun, whip sword and mace.
  • There Was a Door: Not interested in looking for a door, Hunk simply rams the Yellow Lion head first into the wall closest to where Allura's life signature is detected.
  • Villainous Rescue: Or Defector from Decadence? The Paladins are able to flee at the end of the episode thanks to a betrayal by someone in the Galra empire.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Keith decides to attack Zarkon because he knows that if he gets rid of the Galra Emperor then they could end the war early. Unfortunately, Zarkon doesn't go down without a fight...


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