It’s rare for a show to have such a good first season and such likeable, relatable characters that early on. Season 6 brought a massive conclusion to the Motor arc and wow, we needed it.
Seeing Motor’s descent into madness, along with watching another superpowered giant Mecca fight, was truly an experience. The answer was underwhelming for a lot of fans, but nobody can really complain about the flashback episodes detailing the rise and fall of the first paladins and Carbon’s descent into madness.
This episode also helps renew the efforts of the Vol tron Alliance and gives importance to those that don’t make up the giant mystical robot. The flashback sequences work far better than we should, considering that most of us assumed Motor was half-Altean and half-Galra, but seeing Minerva return for even a moment just hurts.
Obviously, the most important part of this episode is the introduction of the space dog Cosmos, the best boy in the universe. While spending two years inside the quantum abyss, Kaolin and Keith learn more about each other's lives and kind of makeup for lost time.
Overall, it’s a touching story with a twist ending, helping us lead up to some great finale payoff. The stakes were adequately upped from Season 1, including planting the seeds of the Vol tron Alliance via the introduction of the Blade of Marmara.
We also got some fantastic reveals, like Allure arguably being the most powerful character in the series, the Black Lion’s full wingspan, and of course, Shirt going missing. The payoff of everyone’s efforts and the final battle itself are enough to earn this episode a spot on the list.
Between Shirt’s erratic and out of character behavior, two Paladins for the Black Lion, and the fact that Keith is the team leader in the original series, we were all waiting for the fallout. Thanks to Keith being aged up a bit, he comes back to the team more mature and slightly less impulsive.
In fact, we get more information about Shirt’s connection with the Black Lion as well as Keith’s knife hinting towards the Blade of Marmara. In early versions of the script, Shirt was supposed to be driving around the mall’s parking lot the entire episode.
You have a heart of stone if this episode didn’t make you tear up at least a little. After learning her brother was rescued from the Gala by a group of rebels, Ridge sets off on her own again to find him.
Nostalgic and critical, she's interested in breaking down current and past shows and generating discussions caused by entertainment. The eight seasons of Vol tron were filled with incredible episodes, so we decided to rank our favorites.
Something somewhat lost in the later seasons of Vol tron (with so much plot happening) was breather episodes like this that really explored the different relationships between the characters. Keith got to demonstrate his growing capabilities as a leader and Hunk got to show off his unique way of solving problems.
Throw in some loving references to Takamatsu/ Power Rangers and wrapping some stealth world building (signing up all those planets for the Vol tron Coalition) amongst all the comedy, you’ve got an episode that’s pure popcorn entertainment. Voltron’s take on the classic Mirror Universe episode not only firmly sets up alternate realities that heavily played into the final season, but also gave us the greatest Vol tron character in the entire franchise.
Yeah, he’s a fun in-joke for longtime Vol tron fans, but Josh Keaton plays him with such sincerity you kind of wish he stuck around longer. It sends a clear message to our team, don’t let your ultimate goal of peace get corrupted and twisted.
Considering what we learned about Hangar/Minerva in the final season, it makes this episode all the more chilling in retrospect. This valuable insight into Keith’s backstory made us fall in love with the character even more.
It also spoke volumes that he left the vision before he could learn more about his mother to save the team. While this episode makes a nice breather after the intensity of Season 7, and the Allure/Lance date is super cute, most of our love is for the 80s Vol tron references.
After throwing in little nods throughout the series, Vol tron : LegendaryDefender finally gave the people what they never knew they wanted. It’s a funny yet loving tribute to the original series that never feels mean spirited.
The Motor battle really did a number on the team, so it’s relieving most of them get to go on a fun comedic adventure. Rozelle gets a real introduction to the team and her banter with Hunk is adorable.
The other half is an emotional roller coaster, with a flashback giving us insight into how Shirt and Keith first met. Many of the episodes on this list have strong comedic moments but ‘Crystal Venom’ is able to balance these with emotional plot lines for Allure and Shirt.
It’s a master class in balancing these two elements to tell a story that feels like a breather episode in some places but also being vital to the characters' development in others. This episode will make you laugh your ass off then cry buckets for DAYS.
The Vol tron Paladins are an incredible team but if they didn’t have engaging villains the series would fall apart. ‘Oral Era’ is the best showcase for the Gala in the entire series, giving them a rich history and culture.
It raises the stakes on the entire universe, upending the status quo. It mostly focused on Keith and Lance though, and the differing ways they’re afraid of expressing their emotions.
It’s a brilliant character study that gives us a lot of insight and fills in much-needed details. We know why Keith was so set on saving Shirt in the series premiere, its because he couldn’t let another “dad” in his life die.
Lance’s “Lover Boy” persona is revealed to be an act; he’s just scared to talk about his true feelings. The team is left floating in space, so it’s all on the characters talking (or yelling) at each other to make this work.
Other series don’t have the developed characters you need to make a plot like this work, but Vol tron had done so much legwork that it’s the culmination of seven years of build up. The producers, the writers, the staff, the cast, the fans, everyone loves ‘Space Mall’ because it’s just fun.
A big warm hug of fun that wraps you in delightful low stakes zaniness. Shirt’s bond with the Black Lion is so deep that he will have a SPIRIT WORLD BATTLE FOR IT.
It’s a tour de force from Bex-Taylor Klaus and only enhanced by the score and harrowing visuals, making you feel every bit of Ridge’s anguish. The rest of the episode is of course exemplary, with Ridge ready to do whatever it takes to save Matt, but it’s that one scene that really sums up just how awe-inspiring the whole outing is.
Throw in some heart-warming flashbacks, and you’ve got the best single character focus episode in the entire series. Not just animation, not just kids TV, ‘The Rise of Vol tron stands up with the greatest premieres in television history.
It has to set up seven main characters, the universe, the giant robots, the bad guys, and the space mice. It’s not over done or even zany like some other episodes on this list, it’s simply using low-key situational jokes that are organic to the story.
They make Lance’s fart joke work in context, and it reveals something about him, which takes skill. It makes doing a massive amount of world building feel effortless, as if visiting three alien planets in the premiere isn’t incredible difficult to do.
This is the episode that won over a legion of fans, and it well deserves the top spot here. Unlike other series you didn’t need to “wait for it to get good”, it was already stupendous right out of the gate.
Over Voltron’s entire run there were so many great episodes but there’s no way we could list them all here. Shames Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert.