Voltron Force: Dark Blue Review
In this latest episode of Voltron Force: Episode 9: Dark Blue, Vince pulls a Daniel, and does something very brave, brash, and bold, without asking the rest of the team first. The difference in this episode is that Daniel doesn’t have anything to do with it. Once again, we break new ground, on a new Planet, seeing Voltron with a new configuration and weapon. And this time, there is a surprise at the end.
The episode starts off with King Lotor taking a Haggarium bath on Planet Doom, while enjoying his favorite drink. He has enjoyed this method of absorbing the power of Haggarium, as opposed to Maahox’s radiation and injections. He feels stronger with each bath. Although, this preferred method of treatment is not providing him with enough dosage to erase the wounds that Voltron had inflicted upon him. Maahox warns him that they are running out of Haggarium far too quickly, and it is affecting the other projects that Maahox is working on, simultaneously. Lotor questions Maahox’s priorities, declaring that none of his projects should be more important than him. Maahox readily, and humbly agrees, reassuring Lotor that he is Maahox’s “everything”, lacing the statement with strong sarcasm. He admits he’ll just have to get a lot more Haggarium. As he exits, Lotor asks for another drink as well. Maahox agrees to get him another drink, but in truth, he never signed up to be Lotor’s butler, preferring to give Lotor a “neck rub” instead, while he mimics the act of choking. This whole scene, while setting the stage for the reason why Maahox needs a shipment of Haggarium, also gives the viewers a look at how Maahox still has to bow before his King, even though Maahox really runs the operations himself. Maahox needs King Lotor as the figurehead, but he still doesn’t have to like it.
On Arus, in the middle of the night, Vince is having bad dreams which seem to depict every time he has been saved by someone else, like Larmina and Daniel. He wakes from these dreams, and wants to talk to Daniel about them, but he’s fast asleep. So, Vince goes down to the catacombs to talk to a couple of his robotic mice friends about it, until Allura appears. She asks why she wasn’t the only one who couldn’t sleep. He’s embarrassed to talk about it, but she asks him to take a stab at it with her. He tells her he has come to accept his role on the team, but he’s not sure he’s brave enough. Every time, he feels he is putting someone else at risk, in order to save him. She reminds him that he has proven himself many times over, and that this is what being a part of a team is all about. You have to count on each other, and sometimes pick each other up, so you never need to act alone. Allura then gets a call from Pidge, saying the team needs her in the control room right away. She tells Vince, “See, the team needs me”, and assures him that he should get back to sleep, because he has nothing to prove.
In the control room, Pidge explains how they have detected large traces of Haggarium moving through a remote part of the galaxy. And they know it is headed for Planet Doom. This unfathomable amount of Haggarium would enable King Lotor to really put Voltron Force at a disadvantage, so they agree that it has to be stopped, and neutralized. They plan to leave right away and intercept the shipment near Planet Poseidous. Lance asks if they should bring the Cadets. Allura says they can sleep this one out. Vince appears in the control room to say he wants to go, because if it’s Haggarium they are going after, he’s the only one with the raw natural power to combat it. They agree with this solid logic, and Vince rides with Pidge this time.
The Lions leave Arus. We get to see Red Lion leaving his cave, and Black lion leaving the castle. This brings back old school Voltron feelings, when they used to show the Lions leaving each of their respective dens quite frequently. Anyway, it doesn’t take long for the Lions to reach the tanker of Haggarium, surrounded by a convoy of Drule fighter ships.
Lance wants to go right after the Drule fighters to get rid of them, but Pidge and Allura warn him that if any of the Haggarium were to leak into space, the effects could be catastrophic. Keith calls the Commander of the tanker, Cossack, over the COM, to negotiate a peaceful surrender of the cargo. The response is an immediate laser blast across Black Lion’s side. So, the team responds by only using their “claws and jaws” to try to attack the ships, so they don’t harm the tanker. Meanwhile, Vince appears to be listening in on a conversation between Cossack and Maahox, where Cossack tells him they are under attack (and losing). Maahox tells him to initiate the contingency plan, so the cargo is not a total waste. We’re about to find out what that means. Vince already knows.
Vince asks Pidge, “What would happen if the Haggarium spilled into space?” Pidge answers, “Theoretically, it would form the equivalent of a Soul-Devouring Black Hole of Evil.” With that, Vince knows what he has to do, and immediately takes off in the probe pod, similar to an escape pod. They ask Vince what he is doing. He says the Captain of the tanker is initiating the tanker’s self-destruct sequence. Their not sure how he knows this, but it’s not important. His only thought is to get to the mainframe control terminal to stop the bombs from going off and preserving the Haggarium inside the tanker. As we see Commander Cossack and the few remaining Drule fighters escape the tanker, Lance tells Vince he’s being very Daniel right now. Vince boards the ship and heads right for the control terminal. Keith orders him to evacuate the ship, immediately. Vince tells him he can’t. He has to deactivate the bombs. As he frantically pushes buttons on the terminal, and Keith goes in toward the tanker to get him, one of the bombs goes off near the end of the ship, sending Black Lion backing away. A couple more bombs go off, and Allura thinks that Vince did not survive the blasts.
As Allura thinks she should have never allowed Vince to come on the mission, fearing that he’s gone, Vince tells everyone over the COM that he’s all right. He lets them know if he can stop the explosions before the 4th bomb goes off, it won’t breach the tanker. When Allura says he doesn’t need to prove himself to them, Pidge says, “Actually….he does.” There’s not enough time for them to get him off the ship before the next blast. He wishes Vince good luck. As the self-destruct computer starts counting down from 10 to 1, Vince’s Voltcom starts extending glowing wires from his fingers, which connect with the terminal, and start sending signals all throughout the network on the tanker, de-activating the self-destruct for good, just in the nick of time. Vince can’t believe what he just did, as it felt like he talked to the computer with his brain.
We’re not out of the woods yet, Voltron Force fans! The tanker, with Vince still inside, starts to sink and head into the atmoshpere of Poseidous. Vince runs to the cockpit and straps himself into one of the pilot’s chairs.
The Lions go after him following him into the ocean, where Vince’s tanker has crashed.
Allura is the first to refuse to let Vince sink deeper into the depths of the ocean. She pilots Blue Lion to grab the tanker with her jaws and claws to try and hold on. Through the water, Vince can see Allura from the windshield of the cockpit. Vince says he’s sorry, but she tells him what he did was very brave and prevented a disaster. Then, Blue Lion can’t hold on, and Vince sinks deeper. All the Lions catch up to Allura, and they resolve to keep diving, hoping the bottom is close. Pidge cannot reassure them of that. He says nobody knows the depths of the oceans of Poseidous, or if they even have a bottom at all. Since Vince can still hear everyone over the COM, this does not reassure him at all, and he starts freaking out, and hyperventilating. Pidge tries to get him to think logically, and gets him started thinking about data, things he can control. First thing he has to do is check the emergency protocols on the tanker, and the vitals. So, Vince learns that they are taking on water, and he quickly seals off all compromised areas. He also finds out the ship is leaking air, has mixed pressurizations, and is on the verge of imploding. That doesn’t help keep him calm. Neither does the fact that he loses all contact over the COM with the rest of the team. Then, the ship appears to hit bottom, but it is only a large floating rock, which the ship then falls off the edge of, into deeper ocean again. The ship starts hitting more of these rocky structures, until it comes to a stop on one of them. The cockpit windshield starts to crack and water crashes into the ship. Vince climbs up into the hull, and is able to reach a doorway that he can close to keep the water from reaching him. As he closes it, he sees a monster with long tentacles coming in the ship along with the water.
With the door closed, barely holding off the monster, Vince thinks he is safe for now, as long as the Haggarium is not leaking into the water.
The Lions are still in search of Vince, and are having a hard time seeing in the dark depths of Poseidous’ ocean, even with their headlights on. As Pidge thinks about how the Lions are holding up under the pressure, because they’ve never been tested at these depths, he also realizes that they are missing Hunk. Hunk somehow got seperated from everyone else, and is now on his own. He sees a light up ahead and assumes it is one of the other Lions, but instead, he runs into a very large fish with a glowing light coming off its head.
Vince is still trying to think things through on the ship, and using his Voltcom, he sees that the communications satellite on the ship is still intact. He thinks if he can boost his signal through the satellite, he might be able to contact the others to give them his location. He loses the contact on his Voltcom, so he needs to get to the mainframe again. This is where his Voltcom power comes in handy again. He somehow uses the Voltcom to surround himself with a waterproof suit and face mask. A really cool trick, I must say.
Meanwhile, Hunk has run into Lance, after being very scared by the large fish. Who knew the big guy could get so scared? But Keith says the COMs are only working at short range, so they need to stick to a tighter formation. Lance reminds them that they are the Voltron Force, and are known for a formation that keeps all the Lions tightly together. Keith asks Pidge if forming Voltron will work underwater. Pidge says there is only 1 way to find out. And as they start the sequence of “Activate interlocks”, unfortunately, we don’t get to see the whole underwater stages of forming Voltron, which would have been really cool. They instead pan back to Vince swimming through the tanker, being followed by the tentacled monster, as more Haggarium is shown leaking out of the tanker. Then, they go back to Voltron, “…and I’ll form the head!” That whole sequence of editing could have been done better, I think. It was strange that forming Voltron was not seen as important enough to see it all the way through here.
Voltron’s weight makes it sink fast, and if the systems don’t have a chance to equalize, the pressure could be too much. Kieth orders everyone to fire their thrusters. They get equalized, and find a whole pool of those large fish that Hunk ran into earlier, surrounding them. Meanwhile, Vince has reached the terminal, but his monster friend has caught up to him. And quickly back to Voltron we go again. The pool of fish are making it hard for the team to find Vince, and they are trying to avoid provoking the fish. Vince tries to swim away from the monster’s tentacles, but it grabs him and pulls Vince inside it’s jelly-like core. Vince gets an idea to try to use his Voltcom power to use the creature as a conductor to reach the satellite so the team can pick up his signal.
Pidge picks up Vince’s signal. Now, Vince needs to get to the Lions. He remembers that one of the doors led outside the ship to the ocean. He uses his power to ride the creature out of the ship and into the open water.
But the creature’s tentacles end up touching the leaking Haggarium, which drives Vince out of the angry monster. But the Blue Lion section of Voltron catches Vince in its jaw just in time.
Now, Voltron has to deal with all the aquatic creatures getting infected with Haggarium, making them very aggressive. Keith wants to form Blazing Sword to fight them, but Allura stops him. She says it is not the fault of these creatures that they were infected. They need to neutralize the creatures and the spill. So, once again, they need Vince. They form Blue Center, and with Vince’s help, Allura creates the newest Voltron weapon, a Poseidon Freezing Staff.
They use the staff to freeze the fish, and Vince neutralizes them, using his power, through the staff. Now, the bigger problem – the Haggarium. It won’t freeze. It’s freezing point is well below water’s freezing point. Then Pidge gets an idea. Freeze all the water surrounding the Haggarium to make an Haggarium iceberg.
As Voltron follows the floating Iceberg to the surface, he loses power from the configuration changes, and starts to sink. But Hunk gets a quick idea which Voltron has just enough juice left to handle. He forms Yellow Center, and quickly grabs onto the iceberg with a wrecking mace. And launches Voltron onto the Iceberg as it breaks the surface of the water.
As they all walk outside the lions onto the Iceberg, Lance wonders how they are going to get some power back to Voltron, and neutralize the Haggarium. Hunk says he and Pidge have been working on this power issue. He let’s Pidge have the honors, as Pidge uses his Voltcom to hydraulically open solar wings on Voltron. Lance says, “Voltron’s gone ‘Green’.” And Pidge reminds him, that he hasn’t quite yet. Pidge is referring to the fact that the Green Center Voltron has not been attempted yet. But, you can tell Pidge is looking forward to that.
I told you there was a surprise ending. Voltron has solar wings!
As a treat, I have another surprise “ending”. Next week marks the 10th episode of Voltron Force since it debuted on June 16, 2011. I have decided it is time to thank all of the people who are involved in putting together each week’s episode. Here, for the first time ever, are the ending credits, in order. If you ever get a chance, thank all of these wonderful artists for their contributions that make Voltron Force come alive for us every week.
Thank you, Voltron Force!
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