The Red Pen Series: VLDS8 E1 “Launch Date”

Episode written by: Lauren Montgomery

Introduction: The primary effort of #TeamPurpleLion is geared toward securing the release of the pre-December 14th version of Voltron: Legendary Defender Season 8. Our team effort began when each of us, individually, noticed story elements used in a manner that was, rather than subversive, completely out in left field; that is to say, elements like foreshadowing and dramatic tension pulled toward certain events only for those events to have seemingly disappeared from the narrative, causing multiple messaging problems and a general feeling of the narrative “dragging”. Because the writing itself is not objectively “bad” from a technical standpoint (it is, from strictly a craft perspective, quite good), the situation indicated to us that one of two things had to have happened: Either the story was purposely crafted to troll its audience or the story had been changed. As more information began coming to light, it became apparent to us what had happened was the latter.

That position has been, at times, a difficult sell. Although every member of the team is united by a love of good stories, something that unites @dragonofyang, @eliza-lynn and myself on a professional level is our shared background in English literature. In fact, @eliza-lynn and I both teach English Language Arts at the secondary level, which means we have to know the world of stories from both an engineering and reverse engineering perspective. One of the more painful things for us as teachers, when we see discourse in the fandom, is the repeated claim that the “writing was bad”. It takes a certain level of knowledge and talent to create narrative pull, complete with symbolism, foreshadowing, and metaphor, toward certain plot points only to specifically leave those plot points out. However, we thought it might be useful for TeamPurpleLion’s “English Department” to offer something a little different to the fandom than our usual meta. Since we are teachers, we will objectively grade each episode of VLD S8 as though one of our own students handed in the chapter of a story to us, with the same constructive candor with which we would address a student. Our notes will be bolded. Let us begin.

[snarling] [zapping] DOTU Pidge: Hold it, I’m getting all shook up! 

Pidge: I don’t really sound like that, do I, Bae Bae? 

[Bae Bae grunts] [computers beeping] 

[Haha! Oldtron, nice!]

Romelle: You know, back on the colony, Luca and I didn’t always get along. But despite that, I always respected Luca. She had an inner strength that many did not and a desire to be a part of something greater than herself.

[Not only does this make me want to know why her and Luca didn’t get along, but this could potentially set up for the idea of a willing second colony. Romelle is speaking to Luca’s character, credibility, and reliability here, which means they were more than just passing strangers.] 

Allura: If she was so desperate for something to believe in, it may have made her susceptible to being manipulated.

[This sounds like a callback to Season 6 and her experience with Lotor. You’ve mentioned him a lot in S7 but he was markedly absent. I wonder why we’re calling back to him now, and hope the vacuum this is creating in your story is intentional.]

Hunk: All right, that’s all of it.

Hunk Mom: Here’s all our family recipes. And this is something special just for you.

Hunk: [sniffs] Banana cake. Mom, you’re the best! 

Hunk Mom: Well, your father and I are just so proud of you, saving the universe and all. We love you.

[Hunk] Launching tomorrow. The big day. It seems like it was forever ago when we piled into the Blue Lion and blasted out into space. Man, we had no idea what we were getting into! 

Lance: Yeah.

Hunk: But now it’s different. We’ve seen it all. We’re rugged veterans now, going back into battle one last time.

Lance: Mm, yup.

Hunk: Guess that makes us heroes or something? Like the type of heroes that would have their own TV show! [laughs]  Did you watch it, Lance? Ah, it’s so cool! It’s so cool. They got you spot-on, but Coran is like, he’s all superserious and stuff. And Allura is a little I don’t know [White? Is this a social commentary on the lack of diversity in 80’s cartoons?](It also could be taken as the staff’s confusion about Bob’s response to VLD and the expectations set by DotU, with Allura being different from reality and the others being so strange, with Lance being Bob.), she’s different. Keith is friendly! [laughs] He’s happy all the time. I mean, they got it so wrong.

[How funny that they got everyone wrong except Lance. Although it seems like Lance in VLD is the character who took on a subverted Villainous Crush trope rather than Lotor. I’m eager to see how you explore this later.] 

Plus, they’re hinting at some romance between him and Allura.

Lance: What?! Keith and Allura? No, it should be Lance and Allura! 

[Goodness, his main competition is out of the picture and he’s still jealous of any other man being mentioned with her? It’s a little late in the story for Lance to still be behaving this way, and I hope it’s something the character grows out of.] [This is something you’ve shown from Lance in the past, but not to this degree. It’s a little odd for Lance to be jumping at his feelings for Allura this late in the game, especially right before they start this very important mission]. 

Hunk: Ooh, a love triangle. I like where you’re taking this.

[Oh how funny. The “love triangle” was actually Allura/Lance/Lotor whereas in DotU it’s Allura/Keith/Lotor. It seems awfully late for this Keith to suddenly develop feelings for Allura, and since Lotor is gone I’m wondering why you’re bringing up a love triangle again.] [Keith has never had feelings for Allura throughout this entire series, and Lance believes Lotor is gone, so who would be the third person in this love triangle Hunk refers to? ] 

Lance: No, no. It’s not about that.

Hunk: Wait, that’s right. You said you were gonna ask Allura on a date. You asked her, didn’t you? Oh, and she said no. [laughs] Oh. Oh, man. Here I am, rubbing your face in it.

[Hunk automatically assumes Allura would say no, is that a dig on Lance, or an understanding of Allura’s feelings?]

Lance: She didn’t say no. I Well, I never asked her.

Hunk: You chickened out? 
Lance: I was going to ask her, but she’s been spending, like, every day in the med bay. Maybe Maybe this just isn’t the right time.

Hunk: No, Lance. What? It’s the only time. After tomorrow, we’re back in space fighting the Galra. There is no other time, literally. You’re asking her today, and that is final, young man.

Shiro: Everyone, welcome to our final briefing here on Earth. It’s been several months since we began to rebuild, and tomorrow we launch and continue our liberation efforts across all planets still under Galra rule. Commander Holt, what’s the latest from your team? 

[It seems pretty open ended that their mission is just to continue liberation efforts, and they wouldn’t mention anything about bringing down the Galra, or Honerva, considering that’s what the rest of the season entails. Even when Allura at the end of this episode says that they should go after Honerva, Shiro shuts her down, saying that liberation is more important.] (Yes, their motive has shifted to a more nebulous colonialist-minded goal of “liberation from something” now that there is no Zarkon and no Lotor to fight against, which makes Allura’s concentrated goal of defeating Honerva stand out more, completing the narrative triad set up since season 1. It also raises questions about where you intend to go with this, since this creates tension within the team as Shiro is acting as the patriarchy in Allura’s heroine’s journey.]

Holt: We’ve confirmed that there’s still no Galra activity within several galaxies of the Milky Way.

It appears Earth was Sendak’s only target.

Shiro: Where are we with Earth’s defenses? 

Keith:I’ve finished my check-in with all the garrison facilities around the globe. All defenses are up and running. Earth has everything in place to keep itself safe.

Shiro: Great. And Atlas preparations? 

Veronica: Repairs to the IGF-Atlas were completed early last week and it has since passed every test protocol we’ve put it through.

[Based on her jacket, Veronica ranks higher than Keith and on the same level as Holt and Shiro?] 

Shiro: Good. Any updates on the Altean pilot? 

Allura: Still unresponsive. But she could wake any day now. Perhaps if we had a little more time, we could find out who sent her.

[ALLURA RANKS ON THE SAME LEVEL OF THE PALADINS? BELOW SHIRO, AND VERONICA? She’s a princess, which makes her a diplomat. You might want to think about changing her ranking to be equal to or above that of Veronica, at the very least.] 

Keith: There’s no way to know when or if she’ll regain consciousness. We can’t wait any longer. We need to get back out there and end this war before the Galra can reorganize.

Shiro: Keith’s right. We’ll be in constant communication with Earth. When the Altean wakes up, we’ll know. I have one more item to discuss. It’s our last night on Earth and we’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us. We may not be back home for years. So I’m ordering you to take some time for yourselves. Be with the ones you love. You’ve earned it.

Lance: Hey, uh, Allura? 

Allura: What is it, Lance?

Lance: Oh, nothing much. Just, uh, checking in. So, how are things?

Allura:  I’m sorry, but I really need to be getting back.

Lance: Oh, right, yeah. Okay. [stammering] Um, well, I don’t want to keep you, so Oh! Uh, actually, I was wondering if Maybe, if you want to, you could have dinner with me tonight? [stammering] And my family. Dinner with me and my family? My mom’s cooking for our last night together. I just thought you could join us.

– [Hunk’s teeth chattering] – 

Allura: That sounds wonderful, but I can’t.

Romelle: Allura, I know you’re worried about Luca, but we’re worried about you. It’ll be good to get away for a night and clear your head.

Lance: Right, yeah, all that stuff she’s saying. Totally. 

[This feels a little coerced… If Allura said no her friends shouldn’t try and convince her to go on the date.] 

Allura: Perhaps dinner would be nice. I’d love to.

Lance: Really? Awesome! Dinner tonight. Us. Yes.

Hunk: Okay, Loverboy Lance. Now walk away before she changes her mind.

Allura: Pidge, do you have a moment? 

Pidge: Sure. What’s up? 

Allura: Well, you see, I, um – I have a – 

Romelle: She has a date with pointy chin! Where are proper courting vestments obtained on your planet? [It comes across like Romelle is more excited than Allura for this… is it nerves or is she aware of Pidge’s feelings?] (Also interesting how Romelle doesn’t refer to Lance by name, it adds to the lack of seriousness in Lance asking Allura on a date.)

Pidge: Wait. A date? With Lance? – [robot squeals] – Weird.

[Oh wow. Pidge does not look okay with this. This makes me uncomfortable for her.] [The facial expression in this scene for Pidge makes her seem upset rather than “weirded out.” Will this be addressed later?]

Allura: I was hoping that you might be able to accompany me as I choose my proper attire in accordance to Earth’s custom.

[Wow, now she looks angry. That face is similar to how Lance looks when someone else shows interest in Allura.]

Colleen Holt: [laughs] Katie? Fashion? That’s a good one.

Pidge: Well, I heard the mall has reopened. I’ve been wanting to check it out, but I’m grounded.

Romelle: Grounded? I wasn’t aware humans could float.

Pidge: No, no. It just means I’m not allowed to leave my mom’s supervision.  It’s a form of punishment.

Allura:  What are you grounded for? 

Colleen: She’s grounded because apparently my daughter thinks  that running away from home and gallivanting off into space without her mother’s permission is an acceptable activity for a 15-year-old.

Pidge: Well, apparently, finding my brother and saving my father [voice distorts] from an intergalactic tyrant doesn’t get me a pass! 

Colleen: [voice distorts] Not on your life, young lady.

[robot squeals] 

Allura: Please, Colleen. I could really use her help.

Romelle: We will not let her leave the ground once.

Colleen: All right. But only because I know how much Katie hates shopping for clothing.

Allura: – [Pidge growling] – Thank you.

[robot beeps] 

Sam Holt: What is it? 

Doctor: She’s stabilized, but we need to be careful about how we proceed.

[monitor beeping] [people chattering] 

Rizavi: Okay, “Operation Find Allura a Date Outfit” is go. We’re gonna take it one store at a time till we come out of this place successful. Let the hunt begin! [Rizavi sighs] I love shopping. Don’t you, Ina? 

Leifsdottir: It’s a primal urge from when collecting and gathering was a means of survival.

Rizavi: It just calms me. Like skydiving. Now come on, I’m gonna shop this mall so hard.

Pidge: Killbot Phantasm 26: Revengifiance! This is out? 

[Interesting name! Does it have symbolic significance?]

Rizavi: Oh, my gosh! It came out a few days before the Galra invaded.No one was ever able to reach the end.

Store Owner: That’s right.I have one of the few undamaged units left.

Both Pidge and Rizavi: We’ll take it!

Store Owner:  Okay. Great to meet such passionate KBP fans.What have you got to trade? Pidge: Trade? I, uh I don’t really have anything.

Store Owner: I’m sorry, but no trade, no game.

[Pidge groans]

Rizavi: Well, that’s some way to treat a Paladin of Voltron.

Store Owner: Wait, what? You mean, like, from the show?

[Interesting how the humans apparently don’t know about Voltron the robot, considering Sam Holt went back to Earth to warn them about the intergalactic threat of the Galra and there’s a show based on them, however loosely. It’s also a strange meta feel to it, to have the VLD characters interacting with their previous iteration like this when prior to this episode there has been no explicit portrayal of the previous iterations of the Voltron universe, only oblique references to its characters, settings, etc. and even then, the references made still reach back to Beast King GoLion rather than DOTU.]

Pidge: Show? Well, kind of. It was based off me.

Store Owner: My kid loves that show.

The game is yours if I could just get an autograph for my daughter.

Sure thing! Anything for the kids! Ah! Ooh? [chuckles] What? [Pidge, high-pitched] We’re space explorers! You got it, Chief! Far out! [exhales] 

[LOL I love that Pidge is working her mischaracterization for all it’s worth!] 

Coran: Yes? Oh, Lance! To what do I owe this visit? 

Lance: Hey, Coran. I wanted to ask you about Allura.

Coran: Sure. What is it? No one knows her better than I do. Except for maybe the mice. They do have a telepathic connection to her, which seems like cheating to me.

[This line seems like it could end up being verbally ironic foreshadowing later on. I’m wondering whom else Allura might have a telepathic connection with that would seem like cheating.] 

Lance: Right, yeah. Well, I’m going on a date with her tonight and 

What?! But you’re not even royalty! Or Altean! And you’re definitely not Altean royalty! 

[I think this line could be foreshadowing for who she’s supposed to end up with, or at the very least remind the audience that Lotor was both (part) Altean and Royalty.]

Lance: Whoa, Coran. Chill! I don’t think Allura even cares about stuff like that.

Coran: It’s not just about Allura. Did you even acquire permission from her primary guardian?

Lance: Well, who’s that? 

Coran: Well, let’s see. Ah, me! Now count to zingor, then knock.

[Wow, is it the 1950’s?] 

Lance: But Allura already said Ugh! 

[tools whirring, buzzing] [clears throat, exhales] – [buzzing and whirring continue] – [knocks] [soft piano music playing] 

Coran: Ah, Lance. Please, have a seat.

[Oh I guess it is the 1950’s, lol. A reading room, huh? I’m going out on a limb here and assuming this is satire because a father figure interviewing a young man to date his god daughter while sitting in a 1950’s father’s study straight out of Moral Orel, complete with a picture of the girl’s father in the room is pretty over the top in its regressive messaging.] [You could push for progressive here with Lance’s earlier line of “I don’t think Allura even cares about stuff like that” and “But Allura already said [yes]” and have him continuously push that it’s up to Allura, and that he just wanted some advice.] 

[pipe bubbling] Exactly what makes you think you’re qualified for such a prestigious position? For example, who are your references? 

Lance: Position? References? What are you talking about? 

Coran: You see, I’ll need at least two notarized certificates of commendation speaking of your greatness from reliable sources before I’ll even consider giving you my approval. And [laughs] you must do something about that outfit. Altean courting vestments are essential. Seeing as we’re not on Altea, we’ll just have to make do.

Rizavi: Oh, I’ve got a good feeling about this place. Allura, leave this to us. Ladies, divide and conquer! [both giggle] Ta-da! [rustling] I think we’ve done it.

Unilu Shop Owner: Well, hello there. Is this everything? 

Rizavi: Yep. Mission complete.

Unilu Shop Owner: Let’s see, what have we got? A decorative tarp with casing, one foot container and its mirror match, and some miniature chain binding. That’ll be one phoeb of servitude from your small friend there.

Rizavi: What? A year? 

Pidge: A month.I got this. How about you give us all this and I give you an autograph from a world-famous Paladin of Voltron.

Unilu: No! Price just went up to three phoebs.

[Pidge whimpers] 

Allura: I could give you a royal decree of service from the Crown Princess of Alte [sighs] Oh, right, I, um 

[Allura has used her position as the Princess of Altea throughout all of Voltron, and it’s only now that she’s on Earth, and without her crown that she sees that this statement has no weight to it anymore. Is this because she’s on Earth? Or without her crown?] 

Romelle: I can bake you a deca-phoebs’ worth of blomfruit pies. I just need blomfruits.

You wouldn’t happen to sell any?

Unilu: Shipping will cost you ten phoebs of servitude alone.

Allura: Perhaps this was a bad idea. I don’t need the dress. Let’s just go.

Unilu: Wait! I’ll give you a friendly deal.You can have this, for Killbot Phantasm 26: Revengifiance.

Rizavi: No deal! What could you possibly need it for?

Unilu: I’ve been looking to get my claws on that game for deca-phoebs. I’m a huge KBP fan.

Rizavi: Mm-mm, sorry. No can do. I’ve waited three years to get to the end of this game.

[Interesting that the cover of the game also has a creature with elf/pointy ears giving up a blue glowing gem. The argument could also be made that the male figure in the background is a lot like Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop. The story of Spike having to fight his best friend could also compare to Lotor having to fight who he thought were his friends. You might want to tread carefully here, you’ve been caught for copyright infringement before with Macross.] (Considering the visual parallel between the end of season 7 and the cover art of this comic, one has to wonder what the other characters are meant to refer to if we infer that the pointed-ear woman giving up the blue gem is Allura. I’m interested in what this visual will do for the narrative.]

Pidge: Fine, you can have it. We don’t have any time to play it anyway.

[This is so sad. It’s the game Pidge and Lance always bonded over together and now Pidge is giving it up. I hope she is able to get it back and play it with Lance later in the story, otherwise this scene will feel bleak for your audience.] [Or is this a metaphor for Pidge giving up her feelings for Lance in order for Allura to be happy with him? Pidge has been known to be a selfish character, so this would be quite the completion of a character arc so early in the last season]

[Pidge grunts] 

Allura: Thank you, Pidge.

Holt: She’s stabilized, but she won’t speak to any of the doctors.I was hoping a familiar face might put her at ease. Maybe Romelle can help. 

Coran: I’ll see if I can find her. [I would be willing to place money on the fact that Rhys Darby did not record this line.]

[monitors beeping]

[Lance grunting] 

Lance: Man, you can be a real hard guy to find when you wanna be.

– [metal clattering] – 

Keith: Hey, Lance. Whoa! – What are you wearing? – 

Lance: [sighs] Coran made it for me for my date with Allura.

Keith: A date with Allura? Wow! Well done, Lance.

Lance: Thanks, but it could be our last. I can’t keep all these Altean customs straight.

 [Lance has always been one to make fun of Altean customs, such as “Coran knows more magic made-up gobbledygook -than anyone I’ve ever met” in Season 5 Episode 6 “White Lion.” Is this an instance where we get to see Lance mature a bit and accept cultures different from his own?]

[This is possibly the first time that Lance admits that a relationship between him and Allura might not work, a significant step in his character arc since while he didn’t admit it before, we as the viewer have always been shown that, due to Allura rebuffing his advances, him mocking Altean culture, and generally the two not having visible chemistry or romantic tension.]

Keith: Listen, if she’s going out with you, it’s because she likes you. The annoying, stupid, Earth version of you. 

[Or she pities you]


Lance: You watching the sun set? 
[This is an odd question for Lance to ask. Of course Keith is watching the sunset, what else would he be doing atop Black Lion? You might have said “enjoying the sunset” or even have Lance ask why Keith isn’t spending time with his loved ones, as that was Shiro’s command.]

Keith: Yeah. Might be awhile before we get to see it again.

Lance: Man, I’m really gonna miss this place.

Keith: That’s why we’ve gotta end this war. And we’re gonna do it with the Lance that’s the Paladin of the Red Lion. The Lance that’s always got my back. And the Lance who knows exactly who he is and what he’s got to offer.

[This line and the one preceding it need to flow better. As they are written, it feels like there should be more to Lance’s statement about missing Earth. “That’s why we’ve gotta end this war” is an odd response to “Man, I’m really gonna miss this place.”] [Also interesting how Keith specifically addresses the concerns that Lance has had since the beginning without tying his contributions to his romantic endeavors. For a female character this would be pretty revolutionary given the general trend of relegating women to lovers and mothers and so on, but given how he’s acting as the Villainous Crush to Allura in this story, it’s important he get that external affirmation that what he needs isn’t necessarily what he thinks he wants. And right now, he textually still thinks he wants Allura and to date her, when he needs to trust in his sharpshooting abilities, his role as a Paladin of Voltron, etc. that we see him doing throughout the show.]

[doorbell rings]

Lance’s Mom: Come in, come in, my dear! Oh, you look wonderful! Doesn’t she look wonderful, Lance? 

Lance: Wow! You look amazing.

Allura:  Thank you. You look nice, too.


Lance: Well, it’s no Altean vestments, but 

Allura: [giggles] Imagine you in a Forlongian brill hat.

[both laugh] 

Lance: Oh, Allura, this is my mom and Pop-pop. You know Veronica. That’s Rachel, my brother Marco, other brother Luis, his wife Lisa, and their kids, Silvio and Nadia.

Marco: or the time when we were kids and Veronica mixed dirt with water and told Lance it was chocolate milk.

[all laughing] 

Veronica:  Oh, yeah! I still can’t believe he fell for it.

Allura: [laughs] What did he do? 

Veronica: He told on me, of course. Then Pop-pop gave him ice cream and I got none.

Luis: Yeah, Lance was always the baby of the family. It only took you coming to dinner to graduate him to the adult table.

[Instead of making him look good, Lance’s family is trying to embarrass him with stories of selfishness and naivety. As it stands this just further reminds us of the difference between Allura and Lance, rather than making them look compatible.] 

Veronica: Speaking of dates, maybe you can put in a good word for me with that long-haired friend of yours, hmm? 

Lance: What, Keith?! No, no, no! [laughing] No way. No.

Mom: Lance never brings girls home. You must really mean something to him.

Allura: That’s strange. He always gave off the impression of being rather popular with women.

Mom: Oh, he gets that from his father. It’s all talk. But if you can get past that, you’ll find a good boy with a big heart. 

[Oh goodness. I like that we’re getting back story to the subverted nice guy/villainous crush behavior, but this sounds like a “boys will be boys” speech from the mom. I hope your audience isn’t meant to excuse that behavior.] 

Veronica: A toast to family. Though we may be apart after tomorrow, we’ll always remain close at heart. Family is forever.

All: To family! 

[You’ve done some emotional loading here by reminding the audience that Allura no longer has a family. It’s important to remember that when you load your audience with negative emotions that you have to provide some sort of catharsis for not only the audience, but also the character.]

[beeping] [door opens] 

Romelle: I’m so glad to see you’re alright, Luca. We can help. What happened to you? Where’s the colony? 

Luca: So you can betray them yet again? 

Romelle: What? 

Luca: You abandoned us, Romelle. And for the Paladins of Voltron, the very ones who killed our savior Lotor.

Romelle: No, it’s not like that! 

Luca: You’ve sided with the great destroyers! She told us of their lies. She’s going to fix it all. She’ll reunite us with Lotor, with Altea. You don’t stand a chance against Honerva– [gasps] [flatlining tone] [alarm buzzing] 

[ Are you setting us up with foreshadowing that Romelle did indeed betray the colony, or is this build up to show the audience the control over the colony that Honvera holds?] [Interesting how Luca wakes up while Allura is on her date with Lance. The date isn’t necessarily played for laughs as a gag, but compared to the main plot of this episode, it serves to juxtapose how frivolous it is in the grand scheme of things, especially since Luca wakes up and accuses Romelle of betraying the colony, a crime which Romelle herself leveled against Lotor and led to him getting abandoned in the Rift.]

[crickets chirping]

Lance: This place used to be so beautiful.

Allura: It’s all my fault the Galra did this to your home.

Lance: No, it’s not your fault. Besides, meeting you is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Allura: When we were out there, fighting against the Galra, I somehow felt like like we were a family. Each of us was alone, but we were alone together. But now, here on Earth, I see that everyone already has a family and a home to return to once the war is over. Everyone except me. And for the first time, I feel uncertain about what my future holds. It’s silly. I used to think that the team relied on me. That I needed to be strong for everyone else. But now I see it was I that needed all of you. You are my strength.

Lance: Allura, you are not alone. And if I have anything to say about it, you’ll never be alone. I I don’t care if this is only our first date. I Allura, I love you. I have for a long time. I wanna be your family. Earth can be your home, or anywhere you wanna go. It doesn’t matter. I would follow you across the universe.

[Woah… the L bomb on the first date? That’s a bit much!] [Odd that Lance would offer to follow Allura across the universe when he was just telling Keith that he was going to miss Earth, and spends a decent amount of time in the series lamenting that he isn’t back on Earth.] (Lance also spent a significant amount of time in previous episodes talking about what he misses about Earth, and so him promising to follow Allura across the universe backpedals the growth he displays with Keith and admitting that it might be his last date with Allura.]

Allura: You truly feel that way? 

Lance: With all my heart.

[squeals, beeping] 

Lance: Huh? I think he wants us to smile.

[powers up, camera shutter clicks] 

[Lol, why does Pidge’s robot just happen to be here offering to take a picture of them? Is she spying?] 

Allura: If Honerva sent that beast, then our mission must change.

Shiro: No, we have a plan and we need to stick to it. If Honerva’s really behind this, I’m sure we’ll find her along the way.

Allura: Or she’ll find us.

[Nice foreshadowing.]

[crowd chattering] 

Sam Holt: This will be perhaps the most defining moment in our history. The day humankind reaches beyond its home world to help the immense universe of which we inhabit such a small part.

Keith: In the blink of an eye, the world as we knew it became much larger than we’d ever thought possible. And now we rise up to join the fight alongside so many others different from us – [beeping] – but of like minds, to stand firm in the face of tyranny.

Allura: For all deserve to decide their own future as we have decided to spend ours ensuring the freedom of the universe.

Shiro: Each and every one of you has given something to this fight. Many have been lost, but not in vain. Because through their sacrifice, many more will live on. I make you this promise now. We will return triumphant.

[Sounds like sacrifice is going to be major thematic material throughout this season. Looking forward to exploring that.] 

[rumbling] [Pidge, high-pitched] I’m descended from a clan of ninjas!

[Lol, looked earlier like Pidge may have been stealthy like a ninja too. Was it her who sent the robot to Lance and Allura’s date?]

5 thoughts on “The Red Pen Series: VLDS8 E1 “Launch Date”

  • July 7, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Wanna play a game? Find one screencap in this episode where Allura is genuinely, sincerely, happy and enjoying herself? I’ll wait


  • August 18, 2019 at 8:02 am

    This episode consistenly cracked my heart for Pidge. The poor thing gave up her precious video game so Allura could be happy with Lance, even though it was clear how much the game meant to her. More on that — Allura never looks happy with Lance. As in, never. Voltron would have been better with more scenes from Allura’s POV so we knew how she was truly feeling (as opposed to how she was pretending to feel.) I agree; I found Keith’s conversation with Lance a little… odd. Like something was missing? It was weird how their dialogue flowed. Anyway. I’m really enjoying this commentary and you’re all incredibly observant! This website is a gift <3

  • August 31, 2019 at 11:38 am

    I shouldn’t laugh but I can’t stop thinking about Allura’s look of incredulous alarm when Lance dropped the L word on the first date.

    I’m in the midst of compiling all of Allura’s reactions to Lance throughout the series and it is truly baffling that we could be convinced Allura developed genuine romantic feelings for Lance rather than settling after losing so much representing Altean and precious to her; you can also detect Allura’s guilt complex as she feels responsible for the Galra invasion (not helped at all by Alfor in the pilot episode elevating Allura to fix his mistake :/)

  • September 6, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    Siendo sincera creo que el triangulo amoroso que hablaba Hunk era Keith-Lance-allura, eso explicaría la escena del atardecer y tampoco hay muchas escenas genuinas de pidge sintiendo atracción por lance y en cambio con keith hay 3 temporadas enteras!, quizás estaba Pidge consiente que allura se sentía deprimida y que lance no era correspondido y actuó en plan buena amiga a pesar de su mal presentimiento hacia esa cita

    • September 7, 2019 at 10:05 pm

      Hola Stephanie! Gracias por su commentario! Sí, el triángulo amoroso está la broma de la conversación, porque Lance cree que debería salir con Allura, y el programa de televisión sobre Voltron dice que deberían ser Keith y Allura. Pero el programa de televisión es en realidad Defender of the Universe, un programa de 1984. En DOTU, el triángulo amoroso era Keith-Allura-Lotor, con Lotor y Keith en competencia por el corazón de Allura. Sin embargo, en VLD, el triángulo amoroso es en realidad Lance-Allura-Lotor, al menos para esta conversación, porque Allura besó a Lotor en S6. Entonces la broma de la conversación es que Lance está compitiendo con Keith nuevamente (pero no con nuestro Keith) además de Lotor, y nosotros no sabemos con certeza si saldrán porque no tenemos evidencia de ninguna manera. Es solo una broma sobre los dos programas y sus similitudes de triángulos románticos, no todo de VLD.


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