Voltron Force: Ghost in the Lion Review
Sven Lives! That was the Twitter hashtag (#SvenLives) that was trending on Sunday Night at 9 PM on Nov. 27, after watching a full day marathon of Voltron Force, from Episode 1 to Episode 16. Our new episode, (Voltron Force: Episode 17: Ghost in the Lion), features the return of Sven, the Original Pilot of Blue Lion in the Original Voltron: Defender of the Universe series from 1984. This episode had to be carefully played out to enable those people who thought Sven had died (or was somehow in a state that he could never return), in the Original Series, to have a back-story that works in this series. This episode didn’t answer all the questions you might have had about Sven, probably for good reason, and it does add a few new questions as well. There are no side-story plotlines in this episode, as the attention is all given to Sven. However, Daniel does learn a good lesson about the use and care for his Voltcom. Vince and Larmina are sorely missed for most of the episode, as the team could have really benefited from their expertise.
This episode starts off with the Voltron Force enjoying some well-deserved R&R on the Beach at Lake Arus. Hunk, who is playing Frisbee catch with Lance in Red Lion, is almost finished the moat for his Sandcastle, which looks authentically similar to the real Castle of Lions. Larmina and Allura (given a full body scan in her bikini as her introduction -nice touch) are playing volleyball.
Keith and Daniel are riding Jet Skis out on the lake, right near where Pidge and Vince are fishing on a small boat. Vince has worked out a way to use sonar frequency to attract different types of fish. Pidge wonders if Vince had set the frequency to “mega-whale”, because a large body was coming up from below the water. As it turns out, it was Blue Lion. Blue Lion came out of the water and landed on the beach. Allura may have thought that Blue Lion was acting like Black Lion, when it left the castle on its own after Pidge and Hunk started messing with its Nexus in “Rogue Trip”. As Blue Lion took a stance like it was getting ready to pounce, Allura started to position herself to assert her dominance, but Hunk quickly stopped her.
Daniel asks Keith who is piloting Blue Lion. Keith suggests it may be a security malfunction or some sort of self-defense protocol may have been activated. He goes to check it out, but Blue Lion gives him the Red Eyes, and proceeds to blow a large stream of water from it’s mouth, right at Keith. This knocks Keith off his Jet Ski and sends him twisting far down into the vortex that was created from when Blue Lion emerged from below the surface of the Lake. Daniel acts quickly to run his Jet Ski down into the Vortex and rescue Keith.
Daniel thinks that insane rescue should be rewarded with some solo time in the Black Lion. Keith says they’ll negotiate that later. Keith, while on the back of Daniel’s Jet Ski, proceeds to activate his Voltcom to create a contained suit around his body. Daniel says this whole situation is why he should probably never go anywhere without his Voltcom. Keith says to consider it today’s lesson. He tells Daniel to punch it and Daniel goes really fast over a wave, heading directly for Blue Lion. As the Jet Ski flies over the water, Keith jumps off the back and activates his mini-blazing swords mid-air, and lands on the top of Blue Lion’s head, with the sword blades sticking in the Lion’s forehead.
Blue Lion shakes its head, and Keith slips off his swords and catches himself on Blue Lion’s left eye. Keith is able to lift himself up long enough to see there is someone piloting Blue Lion, but he is covered and Keith can’t see who it is.
Quickly, Blue Lion shakes off Keith, with Keith landing on his back on the sandy beach. As the Blue Lion tries to get away, Lance steps in with Red Lion to block him. Lance lets Blue Lion know that he is the LifeGuard on duty, and Blue was breaking some of the laws of the beach. They tangle and wrestle each other.
Blue pins Red, then runs off and takes off for the sky. Keith lets everyone know that there was someone in the cockpit, piloting Blue Lion. Allura wonders who would steal Blue Lion. Hunk thinks it is someone who pilots the Lions as well as they do, if not better. Lance tells them he wants to go after Blue Lion, but Keith tells him to wait. Of course, Lance’s ego won’t let him take the fact that he was out-maneuvered by the other pilot. Keith tells him they need to know who they are dealing with before they take action. They head back to the castle to review the security footage, and see if they can tell who it was, and how they were able to get Blue Lion.
As they are reviewing the footage, Hunk can’t believe how easily this intruder gets through all the security checkpoints. Keith asks Pidge if he can be identified. Pidge checks and finds tht the intruder has blocked all identification tags. It’s as if the Castle of Lions already knows this person. Daniel notices that he took Allura’s Blue Lion key from her Voltcom. Keith reminds Daniel this is another reason to never leave your Voltcom behind. Daniel jokingly says she probably didn’t want a Voltcom tan.
Allura asks Pidge to bring up Blue Lion’s security camera feed. The last image they could get was the intruder bypassing the Voltcom remote start sequence, and directly inserting the key into the keyslot. Hunk says, “Wow, this dude is old school.” Lance just wants to know which way he went. Keith assumes he turned off the internal tracking signal. Pidge says he’s correct, but Pidge says they didn’t find his new backup tracking beacon. The homing beacon shows Blue Lion landing on Planet Crydor, which Vince is familiar with. Vince is a little bit of an obscure Planet buff, but from his recollection, remembers Crydor as almost uninhabitable, due to the extreme cold temperatures and flash freezing. He thinks a group of Viking people used to live there, but had to leave, due to the rapid global cooling.
They get set to go, and Daniel is excited to go to beat the Arus heat, but Keith says the Cadets have to stay on Arus in case this is a King Lotor trap. Daniel wants to re-negotiate, and based on his heroic actions when he saved Keith, he is allowed to go, riding along with Lance in Red Lion. Princess Allura will ride with Keith (of course).
As the Lions arrive on Crydor, Pidge notices right away how the cold temperatures are really affecting the Lions. They will need to find Blue Lion within 2 hours before they would have to re-charge. The extreme weather is also interfering with the tracking signal, making it harder to locate Blue Lion. Keith asks the team to split up and do a perimeter search on the ground, and everyone has to stay in the Lions the whole time… NO EXCEPTIONS! After a little while, Allura says this isn’t working. Keith agrees, and says they have to stop and defrost, and the radar is useless. Allura gets up and stands on the exit pad in the cockpit of Black Lion, saying, “When it comes to Blue Lion, I may be the best radar we’ve got.” She activates her Voltcom suit to protect her from the elements outside, and drops outside of Black Lion.
Keith tries to stop her, then go after her, but Pidge warns him that he and his Lion would be lost in the snow in seconds. Lance tells Keith that Allura has always had her own interpretation of “No Exceptions”. Allura turns on her Voltcom tracking of Blue Lion and starts heading toward the signal on foot. When the pinging on her Voltcom gets quicker, she realizes she has found Blue Lion. She sees their mysterious hijacker rapelling from Blue Lion’s mouth, and heading toward a building. She turns on her Voltcom cloaking device (which makes her invisible), and follows him, trying not to be seen. She follows him inside the building, and sees that there is a baby, being held safely inside a temperature-controlled crib.
Allura gasps at the sight of the child, which startles the hijacker. He turns and blasts his pistol in her direction, just missing her. She dodges, then users her Voltcom Bow and Arrow to freeze the hijacker in his spot. However, he has a device on his chest that causes the ice to shatter. He then activates his own Voltcom-like armor suit, which also has two axes as weapons. He uses the axes to send laser bolts toward Allura. Allura, still cloaked, uses a Voltcom ice whip, and knocks the face-mask off the hijacker. She sees who he is, and recognizes him.
Allura removes the cloaking device to reveal herself and says, “It… can’t be you.” Blue Lion’s hijacker then clangs both his axes together, sending a freeze ray at Allura, freezing her in ice.
He leaves her there, saying she should not have come there. Meanwhile, the rest of the team, still split up, are looking for Blue Lion and Allura. Hunk’s Yellow Lion bangs up against Pidge’s Green Lion because Hunk thought he saw Blue Lion. As Pidge tries to explain it away by talking about light refraction in the snow, he gets tackled by Blue Lion. Hunk also gets tackled by Blue Lion. Keith asks what’s going on, but Blue Lion gets to him too. Lance tells Daniel to keep his eyes and ears peeled. On the Com, they here a man’s voice with an accent, saying, “Please Lance, take the team and go. This is your last warning.” Lance recognizes the accent and the voice, and Daniel also knows as well. It’s Sven! Sven appears on the monitor in the cockpit. Daniel excitedly tells Lance that Sven was the Original Blue Lion Pilot, but then he got bit by Witch Haggar’s Cat, giving him some sort of infection (Thus, the back-story is updated). Lance tells Daniel he knows… because he was there. Again, Sven pleads with Lance, “Please Lance, Just Go!”, as you can see he is getting bothered by the infection on his neck.
Lance tells Sven he can’t leave without Blue Lion. Sven tells him, “Then, you won’t leave here at all.” Blue Lion comes after Red Lion, nearly knocking into him. Lance wonders why he’s coming after him and why he stole the Blue Lion. As the Lions stand off from each other, pacing around, Sven tells Lance he had no choice.
Sven says, “He told me if I gave him the Blue Lion, he would give us the cure.” Lance tells him to slow down and explain. Sven tells him the bite he suffered years ago became infected, and cold seems to slow the progression. Then, the pain in his neck becomes unbearable, and he lashes out at Red Lion. Lance tells him not to make him crank the heat. Blue Lion sends an ice ray, coming from his mouth. Lance counters with a heat ray, coming from Red Lion’s mouth. While they are locked in this battle, Pidge comes on the Com to tell Lance to take it easy on Sven, because he guesses the infect is Haggarium-based, and Sven isn’t in control of his actions.
The Lions fight each other, hand to hand, and Lance tells Sven he’s making it hard to help him. Sven says this isn’t about him. Keith gets on the Com to tell Sven there has to be something they can do that doesn’t involve the sacrifice of Blue Lion. Sven says that is not a risk he is willing to take. He sends a steel blade projectile into the icy cliff above the Lions, sending several icy boulders on top of Black, Yellow, and Green lions, trapping them there. Daniel pleads with Lance to help the team out of their new frozen prison. Lance says he just needs a minute to show Sven why he’s Voltron’s Right-Hand Man. Keith pleads with him to let it go, because they need to work as a coordinated team.
Blue Lion starts setting up ice barriers to distance himself from Red Lion. Lance says he promised before that he would not let Blue lion get away again on his watch. After Red Lion chases down Blue Lion, Blue Lion lets Red lion have it with a freeze ray, which freezes up the power generator on Red Lion, rendering Lance and Daniel immovable. Sven says he has to leave to deliver on a deal, but he’d be back by nightfall to pick them up, if they survive that long.
Sven gets back to the building where the baby was left, only to find the baby is gone. He starts hollering, “Where’s my son?!! Where is he?!” By this time, Allura is free, and she’s about to tell Sven she has no idea what happened to his son, when they both hear a baby giggling. Turns out, Maahox has Sven’s infant son. Maahox tells Sven that the baby has his eyes, as he gets a closer look with his floating right eye. The baby grabs onto that eye and puts it in his mouth (as all babies do). Allura tells Maahox, “Looks like he has yours.” Maahox (surprised by Allura’s wit), retorts by asking if they’d like to deal with this Drule (as he grabs his eye back from the baby, covered in drool)… Army. It makes me wonder how long the writers of Voltron Force have been waiting to use THAT pun.
With that, the doors of the building open wide to reveal King lotor on the top of a Mastodon Robeast, with flanking Drule tanks on each side. Sven says this was not part of the deal. The deal was that Maahox would cure both Sven and his son in exchange for providing them with the Blue Lion. Maahox tells him the deal has changed because the real prize is Sven’s son, who has surely inherited his father’s connection to the Blue Lion, and will make a fine Lion pilot in the service of the Drule Army.
Sven’s anger gets the best of him, as he engages his armor suit, spouting that his son is the last true son of Crydor, and will restore glory to the planet. He is interrupted by Maahox, who says the baby will be their key to the Blue Lion. The baby then spits on Maahox’s face. Allura walks up to Maahox and suggests that perhaps she should be the one to handle the baby. Maahox agrees that that would seem best.
Sven is feeling more pain from the infection, demanding that Maahox cure them. While he agrees that the Haggarium infection can give one a nasty temperament, Maahox admits that Sven’s advanced stage of the infection is far past treatable. He also admits that he has been spending so much time enhancing Haggarium’s power that it seemed like a conflict of interest to try to find a “cure”.
Sven attempts to rise up against Maahox, but Allura tells him to stop. Any fighting could endanger his son. She tells Sven she will gladly surrender for the child’s safety. She promises she will take good care of him. King Lotor orders them to secure the Princess and tie up the Blue Lion. Lotor thinks this has been an excellent ice harvest.
Allura tells Maahox it is so cold, and please allow her to get the baby’s thermal blanket. Maahox does not object, so Allura goes past Sven, back to the crib and gets the blanket. While over the crib, Allura drops a little present in the crib for Sven to use to allow him to escape – a small bomb (She apparently has this in her suit somewhere… don’t ask me where she hides it).
Anyway, Sven sees her do this. Maahox chuckles devilishly, as he breaks the controls for the door, so Sven can’t get out. Allura gets on the transport with Maahox. As the Drule Army departs with Blue Lion in tow, Sven tries to run toward the doors that are closing, and is able to wedge his axe in between them, in time to see his baby son be taken away before the doors crush the axe and close.
As Sven thanks the Princess and blasts his way out of the building, going after Lotor, the rest of the team is in peril. Pidge lets Keith know that they are near that 2-hour mark he spoke about earlier. Keith tells him Red Lion’s communication link has been shut down, and he hopes they are OK. On Red Lion, Daniel keeps looking at his Voltcom charge, as Lance asks him how his Voltcom energy level is holding up. Daniel, unconvincingly, tells Lance that it’s pretty good. Another Voltcom lesson for today: Lance tells him this is why you have to recharge it every night.
Meanwhile, Sven has caught up to Lotor and taken over control of Blue Lion again. He brings Blue Lion up to face Lotor’s Mastodon Robeast and demands that “Prince” Lotor release his child and leave his planet. Lotor doesn’t take kindly to being called a Prince, and informs Sven, angrily, that he is “King” Lotor. His robeast charges Blue Lion and knocks him on his back a great distance away. Lotor is about to talk about how Sven should respect him, but then he realizes that Blue Lion is gone.
Back to Lance and Daniel, Lance makes the decision to transfer some of his Voltcom’s energy level into Daniel’s Voltcom. Daniel tells Lance he would freeze instantly. Lance tells his Cadet he is not giving him a choice. He completes the transfer, and immediately, starts getting very cold. Just at that moment, something knocks the Red lion out of his frozen confines. It’s Blue Lion! Sven asks for Lance’s help. He gets Lance caught up on how Lotor is there, and he has Allura and his son. He can’t defeat Lotor alone, so he needs the whole team to help him. Lance asks why he should trust Sven, since he turned them all into an ice sculpture. While waiting for a response that never comes from Sven, Lance shoots a heat ray to loosen the ice around the other Lions. Pidge lets the others know that although the Power levels are weak for all the Lions, interlocking might increase their power. Keith says they need to form Voltron. He asks Sven if he remembers the drill. Sven says, “Some things you never forget.” Lance tells Sven no more tricks, or he’ll sick Hunk on him. Daniel gets chills down his spine (as do we all) as he proudly proclaims, “The Original Voltron Force Rides Again!”
As Lotor and his Drule Army are about to try to get the Princess and Sven’s son safely on board his Command Ship, Voltron arrives to crash the party. Voltron seems somewhat different today, doesn’t he?
Lotor’s Mastodon Robeast starts to charge toward Voltron, but Voltron slams the Blazing Sword into the ground, causing the ice to break apart. The robeast is stuck on a piece of ice, teetering unbalanced.
While they have the chance, they start searching for Allura and Sven’s son. Sven tells them they are in one of the Drule Tanks. Pidge’s Green Lion left arm picks up one of the tanks, looks inside, determines it is not the one, and throws it back down. As he reaches for another one, we see Maahox step out from under one of the tanks, and decides it is time for him to leave this miserable planet. As he steps into a Drule coffin, he declares that he will not miss Crydor, and takes off for Planet Doom.
Out of nowhere, the Mastodon Robeast slams into Voltron, knocking him down. Sven gets a jolt of pain in his neck and screams out loud. Keith asks Pidge what’s going on. Pidge tells him Sven’s infection is causing Blue Lion to reject him. Keith tells Sven he has to control his anger. Then tells the whole team to take out this robeast. Sven’s right leg wants to go save his son first. Keith pleads for the team to get it together as Voltron gets hit again. This time, the crash breaks apart Voltron into individual Lions.
Pidge lets the team know the battle is causing the planet to destabilize. Things are starting to break apart all over the land, like they were in the middle of an earthquake (CrydorQuake?).
Black Lion finally finds the tank Allura is in, and manages to bring Allura and the baby on board.
Sven asks Keith if his son is alright. Keith tells him the baby is safe and warm. Sven apologizes to Allura for everything. He tells her she is the true pilot of Blue Lion. He asks Allura to take care of his son on Arus, while he remains here on Crydor. Allura tells Sven they may be able to treat him on Arus. Sven tells her he is too far gone, and Crydor is his home now. He tells them all he is going to finish the fight. He tells them to get his son out of there. He sends Blue Lion into a game of chicken with the Mastodon Robeast. As he yells, “For Crydor!”, he lets out a battle cry, engages his armor suit, and ejects himself out of Blue Lion, slamming into Lotor, knocking him off the robeast.
The robeast gets knocked back by Blue Lion and falls down a crevasse in the ice. Hunk exclaims, “Wow… That dude is hardcore.” Lance fondly says, “Always was.”
Pidge says they are out of time. The temperatures of the Lions are getting really low. Keith tells Daniel to grab Blue Lion and get out of there. Down below, Sven and lotor are engaged in hand-to-hand battle. Sven with his axe, and Lotor with his sword. Lance wants to lend a hand but the Lions are freezing up. Sven tells the Lions to see his son safely away, as they promised. Pidge and Green Lion almost fall from the breaking ice, but Hunk and Yellow Lion catch him. Keith, despite Lance’s objections, says they have important cargo, and they must go, as a team… NOW! The Lions leave Crydor, as the battle between Sven and Lotor rages on.
Back safely on Arus, Keith asks how Sven’s son is, and Allura tells him he’s fine, because she gave him to the best caretaker she knows – the same Nanny that raised her.
Keith feels bad about leaving Sven locked in battle with Lotor. He wonders if Sven prevailed. Considering that Maahox had to re-animate Lotor … again, it’s probably a safe bet that Sven was victorious.
Allura claims that Sven fights with the heart of a Lion. Lance adds, “And the accent of a Viking.” Allura hopes that someday he’ll make his way back to Arus, but until then, they will be adding Sven to their Castle of Lions “Hall of Heroes”. So, his son can be proud, and they will never forget him.