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. A man of few words and dry wit, Keith is a loner and rebel by nature with “discipline issues” that resulted in his expulsion from the Galaxy Garrison.
He spent most of his time after his expulsion living alone in a shack out in the desert and searching for the source of strange energy he felt, leading him to explore a nearby range of mountains. While Keith is imbued with a sense of justice and bravery, this can manifest itself in a stubborn personality, making him someone who refuses to back down from a fight despite any warnings from his teammates that he should flee.
This trait is best witnessed during his battle with Carbon, who was using the Black Bayard to push Keith and the Lion beyond their limits. Even with constant provocations from Lance, Keith shows only disinterest in a rivalry and makes attempts at bonding and working together with his entire team.
Keith is truthfully as goofy and free-spirited as the rest of his teammates; it just takes a little longer for the somewhat Stoic Paladin to show this. He has laughed freely at Hunk's jokes and enjoyed the food fight during training, throwing plates of goo onto Allure and Corn's faces while laughing wildly, and over time, warms up to the team to crack friendly jokes of his own.
Keith is notably fond of the outdoors, finding the quiet of the forest and wild lands to be enjoyable. Luckily for Keith, Allure came to terms with her own suffering and feelings towards the Gala, making amends with him by stating that she considered him and the Paladins her new family, and what is important in a person is who they are, not their blood.
Due to his mother leaving him as an infant and his father's death when he was still a small child, Keith had some serious barriers that he kept up around his friends and teammates, which initially impeded his abilities as a leader during the first few missions as the head of Vol tron. Keith embodies the Red Lion's elemental affiliation of Fire in his hotheaded personality, fierce instincts in battle, and often incendiary humor and remarks.
But like fire, Keith's impulsive and explosive tendencies can be harnessed as a valuable tool and weapon to ensure the survival and victory of his friends and innocents. After discovering his Gal ran heritage, Keith began to volunteer for increasingly dangerous assignments from the Blade of Marmara, seeming to feel the need to attach him to the closest connection he had to his biological family.
Keith often felt the need to prove himself to his commanding officer and mentor, Bolivian, while simultaneously disregarding orders to put the mission first. Keith shares key characteristics with his Gal ran mother, Kaolin, including a protective streak, a tendency to be impulsive, and a habit of incorporating his own emotional agenda into his missions against the advice of senior officers such as Shirt or Bolivian.
Since returning from the Quantum Abyss, Keith's ability to connect to Black's consciousness directly seems to be indicative of his newfound maturity. No longer possessed by his manic and frenetic mindset in battle, Keith is now a leader come full circle in his journey of self-discovery.
It can be seen that he no longer is as anxious or aggressive in his leadership style, able to master control over himself enough to see through the eyes of the Black Lion, a feat only displayed among the current generation of Paladins by his predecessor, Shirt. While the original series presented viewers with a fully-formed 30-something Keith who was “specially trained and sent by the Alliance” as a well-balanced exemplary leader, here Keith is being shown undergoing the trials and tribulations necessary to forge such a leader, like a blade made much stronger from being tempered in heat and cold.
Thus far Keith's experiences and performance have given much promise that his inner struggles will at last crystallize into a beacon of hope, like grim percussion replaced by the clarion call of a trumpet. A skilled martial artist, Keith is extremely capable on the battlefield as his Bayard takes the form of a Qatar that can slice through solid steel with ease.
He is dedicated to maintaining his abilities and spends his free time on the ship honing his combat skills. His combat skills allowed him to knock three Garrison military doctors out cold with minimal effort and incredible speed.
He is also surprisingly strong despite his lean frame and his tendency to stress speed and agility over strength in a fight. He is capable of handling the Red Lion not because of their shared ferocious and rebellious natures, but because of his instincts and respect for Shirt as a leader.
Unlike the others, Keith had to earn his Lion's respect by fighting to protect it at all costs, thus impressing Red. Keith's intense bravery and stubbornness allows him to bypass his normal limits and take opponents like the Quintessence -enhanced Carbon on even footing, but does leave him in a state of mind that prevents him from making sound decisions.
However, as seen during his battle with the Gala Emperor, Keith's determination also allows him to connect more deeply with Red, unlocking previously unknown weaponry. The power unleashed by Red's upgraded cannon was enough to inflict critical damage to Carbon's central base and large portion of his vast armadas.
This shows that despite his typically reckless demeanor and approach that Keith is a capable guerrilla fighter and tactician of considerable skill. Keith has shown himself to be quickly able to adapt his fighting style to whatever weapon he has on hand, such as his Lucite sword.
This can be seen when he was able to see directly through Black's perspective, bringing out the Ephemeral Wings to fly from several galaxies away within moments to rejoin the other Paladins. While The Vol tron Coalition Handbook states that a year has passed since Shiro's return to Earth, making Keith 19 by the time season six begins, his age is subject to his travels through the warped space-time of the Quantum Abyss, aging him two additional years.
This was revealed explicitly in the Season Five Episode “Bloodlines” when Keith meets his mother, a Blade of Marmara operative named Kaolin, for the first time. Keith’s Marjorie blade, when fully manifested, bears a resemblance to the future knife from Nepal.
It makes Lance jealous, and he enjoys rubbing it in like salt in a wound. Keith's Bayard sword plus the arm shield built into his armor.
For the Paladin with supposedly the quickest reflexes, Keith sure got creamed. A momentary glimpse at Keith's berserker rage.
Keith knows about how Lance has been sneaking into Ridge's room to watch My Little Pony. Lance explains the importance of a good skin routine.
“The amount of information in your brain could be stored in a paper airplane.” 1st Rule of Anime: Hair becomes surprisingly transparent in the presence of eyebrows.