Voltron Force: Flash Form Go! Review
I’d like to start this week’s review by saying you can thank my son for last Thursday’s Episode (Voltron Force: Episode 8: FlashForm Go!). Obviously, he didn’t write it. And he didn’t do any of the animation… or the voices…or the music…or…you get the picture. But the idea for it came from him and thousands of other Voltron fans out there (including me:from old Voltron), who have all been wondering the same thing. Since it seems to take awhile for Voltron to form the 5 lions into one large hero, what would happen if they were attacked by an enemy in the middle of putting Voltron together? This episode answers that and it also puts this series on the next level. We’ll talk about what this means for Voltron fans, from the old series to the new one, after we see what happened to the Voltron Force and the inhabitants of the Planet Arus on a typical day on the farm.
Obviously, with Sky Marshall Wade and the always-violet team of Maahox & King Lotor lurking about, there is never a dull moment for Voltron Force. So, on a normal day on the farms of Planet Arus, why wouldn’t we expect that a Volcano erupts and causes mayhem for anyone involved? Yes, a farmer named Barmy, and his family are plowing and gathering crops before the 2 suns set (sounds like Tatooine, huh?), when a volcano erupts, sending molten lava pouring down the mountain and directly toward their farm. This sends them running as fast as they can.
Red Lion appears out of nowhere and gets between the farmers and the lava, opening his jaws to catch the lava. Don’t forget, Red Lion’s power is fire, the tail is a laser, and when they form Voltron with the Red Center, the Magma Pistols are the weapon. So, Red Lion can take the heat.
Lance knows this won’t stop all the lava, so he asks for help from Hunk in Yellow Lion, and Princess Allura, in Blue Lion. They quickly determine that the lava needs to be diverted away using a deep ditch, which Hunk starts digging with Yellow Lion’s mouth. Princess Allura creates even more of a crater for the lava to flow in.
While the lava is pouring into the ditches, Allura uses her tail to extend 4 hooks to snatch the farmers and get them safely out of harms way. Lance tells the team they have to seal up the mountain where the Volcano erupted. Allura has an idea to use water (Blue Lion), earth (Yellow Lion), and fire (Red Lion) to create a concrete where the lava is centered.
So, they seal up the mountain, and Lance thinks they have accomplished their mission, but Pidge thinks there is no reason to celebrate. He completes a scan of the topology of Arus, and it turns out there are no active volcanoes in the vicinity of those farms where the eruption occurred. He runs a SAT-COM analysis of the area, and is about to ask for some soil samples, when Lance finds somethng to make him believe this wasn’t caused by any “natural” phenomena. Allura finds more evidence to back up that claim. It appears as though a large bowling ball (Hunk’s idea) is putting holes in Arus, causing these eruption anomolies to occur.
Pidge shows the team video screens of all the Exo-Scans he ran over Arus. It appears 23% of the mountains have the same crater holes in them. The forests and lakes are affected as well. But they don’t know what is doing it or why. Hunk thinks it is a giant stray bowling ball.
Keith thinks that whatever it is, it’s looking for the Lions. More specifically, the Lions’ Dens where they are secretly held until called upon for action. At this point, they don’t know if it has found any of the dens, but they do know they need to hurry to find out what it is and how to stop it. Pidge thinks the reason they haven’t found it is because they have only been looking on the ground. So, he widens his scanning to include the whole exosphere of the planet. Now, they are able to capture images of it on the video screens.
Problem is, Pidge says it is moving at Hyper-Mach 3 speed and can’t capture a clear image of it. Lance thinks the Lions can catch it. But Pidge says they’ve never pushed the Lions past Hyper-Mach 2. Vince and Daniel enter the room just in time to hear Lance say that he’s going after this thing with Red Lion, and Daniel asks if he can tag along. Keith warns them that they don’t know what they are dealing with, let alone catch it. Lance thinks the only way to find out is to…. (Daniel answers for him)… hit it head-on! So, Lance and Daniel go after it in Red Lion, and Lance thinks they should be picking it up on the SAT-Scan. He asks Daniel if he sees anything, as the Comet-like object nearly runs them over at amazing speed. Daniel doesn’t think they need a SAT-scan for something as fast as that. Lance thinks Red Lion is fast too. He starts chasing after it, but it boosts its speed and flies away from him like a bolt of lightning (or Hunk on a buffet). Lance re-routes all power to his tail thrusters to boost his speed, but Pidge warns him that his front shields are vulnerable to attack. Keith tells Lance he needs to back off because he is red-lining it. In his words, “The Lions have limits.” I am still trying to figure out what happened in the past that leads Keith to feel this way. Lance pushes Hyper-Mach 2 to catch up to the object, but this time, the object really blows him away, sending him spinning in it’s wake.
Daniel, in his infinite wisdom, asks Lance for a crack at the controls of Red Lion (because speed is his Voltcom power), which only turns on Lance’s ego a little higher. Lance doesn’t take kindly to somebody saying they are better than him, or faster. He also doesn’t appreciate someone trying to be a backseat driver. With Pidge telling Lance to re-route power back to the shields, and Daniel asking if he can help, Lance really lays it into the speedy Cadet. “You saying I can’t do this on my own?! That I’m not fast enough, Cadet?!”
After everything that Lance has seen that the Cadets can do, he still thinks that his experience as Red Lion’s pilot far outweighs anything that Daniel could bring to the table. Be prepared for Lance to eat crow, and admit that he’s not as great as he claims to be. This is why Keith and Lance always had their differences. Lance always thought he was just as good a leader of Voltron Force as Keith was, if not better.
From Lance pushing it too hard, Red Lion’s systems start failing, which makes the lion emit a low frequency homing signal. Pidge warns Lance not to return Red Lion to his cave, because the comet-like object is able to track him wherever he goes. So, Allura says if it’s Voltron that it wants, then let’s give it Voltron. As Red Lion’s power is fading, Lance heads back toward the castle, and Pidge reassures Lance that the plasma cells on Red Lion will recharge when they form Voltron.
But a strange thing happens when they try to form Voltron….
The comet-like object is so fast, that it breaks the Lions apart before they can form Voltron. They try 2 more times to form Voltron, failing each time as they are blown apart by the fast object. This has never happened before, so our heroes need to regroup. Keith orders everyone to retreat back to the Castle.
Can you imagine if the one thing you could always count on in life was suddenly not working, or not there? The Voltron Force has always been faced with tough challenges. But, they’ve always had Voltron to form to save the day. Now, they are faced with the prospect of not getting Voltron together? What will this mean for the galaxy? As they regroup, this is what’s in their minds as they try to figure out how this could happen. Daniel takes them all by surprise by saying he can’t believe it hasn’t happened already.
Daniel has been studying Voltron a long time, and has even timed how long it takes to form Voltron. 36 seconds! Lance thinks it’s natural to take that long if you’re forming a “million-foot robot”. Daniel disagrees. If you’re in a battle, you can’t expect your enemies to stand around and patiently wait on the sideline for the next 36 seconds, while we form the Defender of the Universe. This argument cannot be disputed by the team. And Keith cuts right to the chase by telling everyone they HAVE to form Voltron faster, and he gives Pidge 6 hours to do it.
While Pidge gets to work, Lance spars with a Hologram of King Lotor. They keep using holograms with more and more frequency in these episodes, and interacting with them in ways that don’t seem possible.
Daniel pays him a visit to talk to him about his idea for upgrading the Lions and forming Voltron faster. Lance still has a chip on his shoulder, using phrases like “let the big boys handle it” and “your seasoned superiors”, with a little “our many years of experience” on the side for good measure. And Lance can’t see how a Cadet could think he’s faster than Lance or smarter than Pidge. When Daniel admits he may be a little faster than Lance, that’s about all Lance can stand. He throws a towel on the floor and says, “This is the line. Don’t EVER cross the line!”
Meanwhile, Pidge is trying to show Vince how to perform a systems upgrade on the Lions. “All you have to do is recalibrate the thermodynamic generator and focus the resulting power to the mega-thrusters.” He goes on to say more, but Vince has somehow disappeared.
Vince was actually taken away from Pidge by a very speedy Daniel, in what appears to be King Alfor’s Throne Room. Daniel explains to Vince about his ideas for upgrading the Lions using his speedy Voltcom power, and he needs Vince to help him link it to the Red Lion, and take it out for a test. Vince warns him that Keith and Lance will go super-nova on them. Daniel reminds Vince how he’s always been there for him, and now he needs Vince to be his wingman.
So, they climb in the cockpit, get Red Lion up and running, and Vince links Daniel to Red Lion with a couple beeps on the Screen. As soon as they take off from the Castle, Red Lion is in high gear, which Daniel thinks is awesome. The power boost from Daniel’s Voltcom is clearly working, as Vince is hardly able to talk, because they are traveling at such fast speed. They reach outer space, above Planet Arus, and Vince gets a signal on the screen… their fast friend is near. So Daniel says they should kick it up a notch. Vince thought they already did, but he was wrong.
Vince reads off the speed as Daniel keeps on begging Red Lion to go even faster. Hyper-mach 1….. Hyper-mach 1.5…….Hyper-mach 2….. then something that has never been done by a Lion before…Hyper-Sonic Boom!
With the speed they are traveling, they are able to come up alongside the fast object as though they are slowly passing it on a freeway. At this close range, Vince is able to capture a Mag-Res image of what looks to be a Giant Eye.
Now that they have an image of the thing they are dealing with, Vince thinks they should go back to the Castle, but Daniel has other plans. He comes up behind it and takes the Eye in his mouth using Red Lion’s big jaws. The Giant Eye seems surprised that it was caught and quickly manages to break free and run from Red Lion. Vince is totally amazed. After a fist pump with Vince, Daniel pilots Red Lion back to the Castle.
Daniel tells Vince he can’t wait until his man, Lance, hears about this encounter they had with the Giant Eye. But, I think he forgot he kind of stole Red Lion to go on his secret mission. Lance, of course, goes ballistic on both Daniel and Vince. “You defied my direct orders, in my Lion!” “Do you have any idea how far beyond the line you are?”
The rest of the team appear, and Lance tells them he has the punishing of Daniel and Vince “handled”. Keith tells Lance, “If you ask me, you should be thanking the Cadets, not lecturing them.” Lance can’t believe what he is hearing. Pidge tells Lance that Daniel was the only one who was able to snap a clear image of the probe. While Hunk lets us know it wasn’t actually a bowling ball after all.
Pidge also tells Lance that Daniel gave Red Lion a turbo boost, which means, in theory, they may be able to form Voltron faster. And Allura chimes in that he also managed to wound it, which means there is a way to beat this thing. Lance feels like he’s being ganged up on by the rest of the team. He leaves in a huff, saying he gets that the kid’s a real hero.
Allura goes after Lance and has a one-on-one chat with him. Lance tells Allura he can’t believe he should thank Daniel for defying every order he gave him. Allura says that it sounds exactly like someone she knows (Lance). Lance claims he was never that reckless, but Allura says he was worse. Allura wants him to admit that what Daniel did to boost Red Lion was impressive, but it doesn’t mean anyone is saying that Daniel can pilot Red Lion better. Lance doesn’t want to be replaced as Red Lion’s pilot. She reminds Lance that the Cadets, and their special abilities, are there to enhance the Voltron Force, not break it apart. And she assures him that his time in the Red Lion is far from over.
As Allura leaves Lance with his thoughts, the Castle starts breaking apart as it is attacked by the Giant Eye. The Castle is taking a beating, and even Larmina remarks how the Eye was able to “bowl” through mountains. So, how is the Castle able to hold together? Pidge admits the reason is because Hunk has been upgrading the Castle’s defenses over the last 5 years, using super-steel reinforced alloy with sub-wexler enforced bracing. They could withstand a 9.9 Earthquake and still not spill whatever drink they were holding.
According to Pidge’s calculations, they can only survive this attack for another hour, so Keith says it’s time to go after this evil Eye. Lance says they should use their secret weapon, as he puts his hand on Daniel’s shoulder, assuring him that he’s on his side. The Lions take off on foot from the Castle, with Daniel sitting behind Keith in Black lion.
The Eye and the Lions seem to be on a collision course as they approach each other head-on. Right before they hit, Daniel links into Black Lion and yells, “Flash-Form, Go!” I kid you not. Within 3 seconds, that’s right, I said 3 seconds, Voltron is formed and ready for action.
Voltron then gives the Eye a super Voltron punch, sending it reeling. Daniel starts to celebrate, but Lance tells him they have to keep their eye on the prize.
They go after it into space, and it quickly turns into a giant robeast.
Voltron starts sparring with this Giant robeast, with each side seeming to be able to punch the other, but not doing any real harm to the other.
Allura says they are not making a dent in this thing. Then, Daniel has an idea, and Lance is all ears now. Daniels says we should sharpen our blade with a little speed. Keith yells out, “Form Blazing sword!”, and they go after the robeast, but they can’t seem to catch it. Keith tells Daniel, “whatever you got, do it now!”
As Daniels yells out, “Speed boost!”, Voltron takes several quick cuts with the Blazing Sword against the robeast, and then watches as it explodes in space.
As Voltron appears to have won the day, we see a small eye leaving the site of the explosion, heading toward Planet Doom. Back at the Castle, Daniel tries to spar with the Holographic King Lotor, and is getting beaten and knocked down as he struggles. Lance appears to remind him to keep his fists up, but Daniel gets knocked down again. Lance turns the simulation off, and helps Daniel up. Daniel admits he is not as good as Lance. Lance agrees, but only some things. Lance apologizes to Daniel for how he treated him before, and congratulates him on how well he did through the whole ordeal.
The other members of the team watch as Pidge completes his scan of the Planet’s Exosphere, which does not find any more probes. Keith knows that its mission was to find the hiding places of each of the Lions, and that it may have succeeded. They have to be on their guard, because they have a real good guess as to who it was that sent the probe.
On Planet Doom, we see the little eye showing Maahox where each of the Lion’s Dens are on Planet Arus. Maahox seems to be most pleased.
This was one of the best episodes in the series. It has completely changed the game for anyone who thought they knew what Voltron was about. In the 1984 series, Voltron: Defender of the Universe, you could count on Voltron to form at least once an episode. And every time Voltron formed, they would go through the stages of the Lions coming together to form the feet, legs, arms, body, and head. It was always a stunning sequence to watch, and it was something you looked forward to seeing. In the new series, Voltron Force, it has been fun to watch them form Voltron again. But now that they can form Voltron in 3 seconds, it may lead to bigger and better battle sequences, or it may mean that they can switch from one configuration to another in record time. This means that all the weapons that Voltron has at his disposal, from the Blazing Sword, to the Magma Pistols, to the Wrecking Maces, and even some we haven’t seen yet, can all be formed in a few seconds. This will make the action even better. Hopefully, they’ll throw in a few “old school” looks at forming Voltron, once in a while, just for giggles.
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