Voltron Is Back With A Vengeance

Spoiler warning!

When I last talked about Voltron (here) I pointed out how a lot of fans were starting to lose their patience with the show. Mainly, people were suspicious on how Allura, who’s supposed to represent a black teenage girl, looks and barely acts anything like a black person or a teenager. There’s also some frustration on how a Keith/Allura romance might end up being shoehorned in.

And, to be fair, I don’t think the second season was really that good. The first season was enjoyable, but the second season was kind of boring at parts because there was a lot of filler, and the plot could be a little hard to follow. I ended up skipping or skimming through most of the episodes. I know a lot of people complained about the lack of character development for Lance and Hunk, so there’s that.

But now that the third season has arrived, the fandom’s faith in the show seems to be fully restored. And I can definitely say I liked this season the best.

It’s only seven episodes long, which means that there’s less filler and better plot development and world building. The characters of Lance, Keith, and Allura all got more character development (from what I’ve seen online Pidge will be getting an arc next season) and we got some cool new characters as well.

Lotor is a great addition to the show. Suave, intelligent, and devious, he makes a competent and engaging new villain. I especially love his four female lieutenants. It definitely helps ease the show’s problems with a lack of female characters because now we have four new interesting ones who aren’t just stereotypes. My fave is definitely Narti, a blind (and possibly mute) female warrior that is allowed to actually look monstrous and uses a cat as a telepathic tool. I’m definitely looking forward to the new villains.

The Keith/Lance relationship has blossomed from constantly arguing and petty rivalry to true friendship. You can tell how much these two really care for another now; I especially love how Lance has become Keith’s right hand man. I don’t know if the Klance ship is going to become canon, but it’s nice to know that they genuinely respect each other now.

I got to say, though, the best episode is definitely the season finale. In it we go into Zarkon’s backstory and find out he was never truly pure evil so much as corrupted. When he was a young king, you could tell that he was a happy, friendly person who wanted what was best for his people and his wife, who happened to be Altean. But after prolonged exposure to Quintessence, their bodies and minds became twisted, leading to their downfall. It was ultimately love that spelled Zarkon’s doom, as the effort to save his wife led to him dying and coming back as a hollow shell of his former self that has lost all his virtues.

Unlike a certain other show, which has tyrannical, genocidal dictators but tries to make us like them because they happen to cry, this show actually succeeds in having us sympathize with the villain but still understand what he did was wrong and needs to be stopped. It’s hard to know what will ultimately happen, but I can definitely see and actually WANT to find a way for him to be redeemed in some way (either he dies doing the right thing or he atones for his crimes; at any rate, you want to see him restored to his old self).

I still have some problems with this show (Hunk is still mostly used as a comic relief character and something about how Allura is written rubs me the wrong way, it’s hard to explain it), but I can definitely say I’m gravitating towards it better now than I did before. I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen next.

Your Fave is Autistic Part 5: Pidge Gunderson/Katie Holt

So out of curiosity I decided to check out the new show Voltron: Legendary Defender. (Disclaimer: I have no nostalgic ties to Voltron. I didn’t even know what it was until recently. Also, spoilers if you haven’t seen the show.) What did I think?

I thought it was good, but not great. I especially would’ve liked more female characters. But, I did love Pidge. And the reason why was because I could definitely see them (I think Pidge might be non-binary or transgender so I’m using they pronouns just to be safe) as being autistic.

For starters, they don’t like it when people touch their things. I can relate to that a lot. Secondly (and perhaps most importantly) is that they are EXTREMELY smart and tech savvy (more than the rest of the team) and they absolutely LOVE robots, to the point where they form a really close bond with one (and is devastated when that robot can’t be with them anymore).

Another clue is that they’re oddly specific. At one point, when Princess Allura tries to dig more info from them, they go on a tangent and say how they like peanut bother and other peanut products but not actual peanuts (they think peanuts are too dry) and has a bit of a hard time picking up social cues. They are VERY close to their family and fixate on wanting them back and has some trouble forming with the rest of the team (the closest they get to is Shiro, who is very calm and soft spoken and patient).

I think a major clue is their gender presentation. There’s a lot of research that presents a link between autism and gender dysphora. Just google “autism and gender identity” and you should have lots of links to studies and articles on it (there are too many for me to link). And the thing about Pidge is that they were assigned female at birth (unless it’s revealed that’s not the case later), presented as a boy at the start of the series (for plot reasons) and just sort of stayed that way. Even after they said “I’m a girl” they still go by the name Pidge and don’t present more femininely. So I think that’s a major clue that Pidge doesn’t fully align with the gender binary and is probably figuring things out in addition to being autistic.

The show only has one season consisting of thirteen episodes so far but from what I’ve seen there’s enough evidence to suggest Pidge is autistic and non-binary or trans. I can’t wait to see where the show will take this character in the upcoming seasons.