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Why “Black Site” Was the Most Important Episode of Voltron: Legendary Defender Season Four

Voltron: Legendary Defender fans were left with a lot of questions after the end of season four, but one of the most glaring ones is this: what will Lotor’s “discussion” with the Voltron paladins entail? Our favorite Galra baddie has been exiled from his own empire, given a death sentence by his father, and betrayed by the few people he seemed to be close to. So, where does he go from there?

Voltron: Legendary Defender fans were left with a lot of questions after the end of season four, but one of the most glaring ones is this: what will Lotor’s “discussion” with the Voltron paladins entail? Our favorite Galra baddie has been exiled from his own empire, given a death sentence by his father, and betrayed by the few people he seemed to be close to. So, where does he go from there?

“Black Site” was hands-down the best episode of season four. Not only did we have that ridiculous milkshake scene with Coran and Allura but also the introduction of Matt to Team Voltron (Yes, my heart still flutters when he goes full Ouran over Allura!). But most importantly, we see a lot of Lotor in this episode. Looking at his actions during “Black Site”, I think we can make a few solid predictions about his character in the coming seasons.

Black Site 1
Photo Source: DreamWorks Animation

Acxa informs Lotor that he has been summoned to stand before his father, Zarkon, and he seems to have known that this was going to happen sooner or later. He has an air of confidence (arrogance?) and explains that Zarkon is not catching onto his plans, but rather just wants to return to the thrown that Lotor took over in his absence. He takes Narti with him to the meeting and leaves the rest of his generals behind to supervise construction on his ship.

At first, this scene didn’t seem out of the ordinary. In fact, it felt like Lotor had everything under control and being summoned before Zarkon was simply part of his plan. But after a few more looks, it seemed a little out of place for Acxa and Ezor to express so much anxiety about the meeting. What’s more, Lotor specifically chose Narti to accompany him. Narti is known for her psychic and telepathic abilities, which helped her become one of Lotor’s top generals. She also communicates telepathically with Kova, who used to belong to Honerva. And guess which witch is going to be at the meeting with Zarkon?

Looking back at this, it makes no sense for Lotor to take Narti with him. My first inclination was to assume that Lotor was attempting to mask the aura of his own ill intentions with Narti’s powerful energy, especially when Haggar noticed a “strong energy” coming from Lotor and then turned her attention to Narti. But then something occurred to me. Narti’s powers may be her greatest strength, but they also make her susceptible to other psychic abilities like Haggar’s.

Voltron: Legendary Defender
Photo Source: DreamWorks Animation

It is also strange that Narti has possession of Kova. Kova was Honerva’s cat before she was overcome with her need for quintessence and he seems to have had a very different personality then. We never really found out what happened to Kova after Honerva experimented on him. He just showed up on Narti’s shoulder. Which leads me to wonder how long Narti has been in Lotor’s life and how she developed a bond with the cat when Honerva transformed into Haggar.

No matter what the answer to that, it’s clear that Haggar and Narti had some sort of connection even before this episode took place, whether they were aware of it or not. Either way, Lotor’s failure to see (or perhaps his ignorance to)  that there was a dangerous common denominator between Haggar and Narti was the reason both Narti and his plan were compromised. Lotor got too wrapped up in his own power trip and didn’t think through all the details of his actions.

Voltron: Legendary Defender
Photo Source: DreamWorks Animation

Now let’s look at Lotor’s discussion with his father, Zarkon. I have one thing to say about this guy: A++ for hamming it up in front of the folks. Of course, he makes a show of sucking up to Zarkon at first, but even after Zarkon shuts that behavior down he continues to beg for a place at his father’s side. His face is more expressive in this scene than any other so far and he appears to be genuinely concerned and shocked that his father would cast him aside so easily. For a moment, it’s almost easy to believe that he’s still just a child trying to impress his father and is disappointed when he fails to fill those shoes. Almost.

Then there’s The Smirk™. Honestly, we could slap a dub of Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” onto this scene as Lotor is walking away and I’d be able to die happy. Because that mood is exactly what this entire episode oozes. But I digress.

Voltron: Legendary Defender
Photo Source: DreamWorks Animation

Lotor was obviously putting on an act. Let’s face it, this guy has learned how to manipulate his way in and out of every situation, especially with his father. Zarkon may not care, but Haggar knows something is up. Queue the tragic possession of Narti.

Something to note about Haggar: the energy she senses is something dark and “ancient.” Which suggests that either Lotor is carrying some insane knowledge that we aren’t aware of yet, or Narti harbored some sort of ancient power. Because Narti was so easily compromised, my bet is on the former. And whatever that information is, he’s going to use it somehow to further his agenda and save his own ass during season 5.

Voltron: Legendary Defender
Photo Source: DreamWorks Animation

Lotor remained confident in his deception and betrayal after leaving Zarkon’s ship, and this confidence is only jeopardized when Haggar uses Narti to snoop on a conversation between Lotor and his generals. Which further leads me to believe that Lotor is simply overconfident in his ability to deceive Zarkon.

Let’s sum this up so far:

-Lotor thinks things through. But his arrogance gets in the way of being thorough.

-He’s demonstrated manipulative behavior that goes above and beyond what anyone realized.

-His confidence blinded him to the possibility that Narti may have been compromised, which resulted in him losing his ship, killing one of his generals and being betrayed by the three generals he had left.

Lotor is cunning, manipulative and highly intelligent, but his ego clouds his judgment during crucial moments. This is important when we think about what might become of him in season five because there are so many possibilities that could happen. Now let’s look at the most glaring issue that I think will come up in season 5.

Voltron: Legendary Defender
Photo Source: DreamWorks Animation

When Lotor’s warship is attacked during “Black Site”, he orders the crystal from the trans-reality comet be put on his personal ship before he and his generals make their escape. And as we all know, he made a disgusting bodily maneuver to regain control of that ship and eject Zethrid from the other seat so that he could make his own getaway after she, Axca and Ezor betrayed him. As far as we know, the crystal was still on his ship at that time so we can conclude that Lotor still has it in his possession. Now, we still don’t know exactly what Lotor wants that crystal for in the long run, which bothers me every night and day. Even still, the crystal could be used as one hell of a bargaining chip during his discussion with the Paladins.

Yes, I’m really getting back to that!

So, if Lotor uses the crystal as some sort of bargaining chip, what would his angle be? Obviously, he’s going to want a truce between himself and the Paladins, however brief it may be. And we know that the Paladins, and especially Allura, are going to resist whatever offer he brings to the table. But Lotor is cunning, manipulative and egotistical, so he’ll find some way to break them down. I’m guessing the crystal will be part of this discussion, but it may be more like a segue into a deeper conversation.

Back when Lotor was first introduced in the arena, the two Galra who were gossiping about him mentioned that although Lotor has control over some planets he allows them to govern themselves. Lotor could easily exert complete domination over these planets, so his decision to let them rule autonomously is peculiar.

This signals to me that Lotor really doesn’t care about ruling the Galra Empire or following in his father’s footsteps. He has been an outcast since birth because of his status as a half-breed; his stature is smaller than that of a typical Galra male and his features show clear markers of his Altean genes. No one, aside from his generals, has really been supportive of Lotor since we have known him, and it seems as though he’s never really had anyone on his side for anything. So, he doesn’t really have much to lose by throwing away his father’s reputation or even his own.

So what does that mean? It means that Lotor will have no qualms about helping Team Voltron find a way to defeat Zarkon. I mean, Zarkon exiled him once and then put out a death sentence for him. I can’t say I would have much sympathy either if I were Lotor. But because Lotor is the manipulative guy he is, he will find a way to make the plan work in his favor as well. Whatever knowledge he didn’t want Haggar to know about during his discussion with Zarkon is going to come back and it will somehow help with whatever plan he and the Paladins devise.

And on a side note, it may very well lead to the reveal of Project Kuron, which has only been briefly mentioned as of yet. Exposing this Galra project is going to open up a can of worms regardless of whether Shiro is a clone or not.

So, to sum everything up, my point is essentially this:

Lotor harbors a lot of intelligence that I believed will be revealed and expanded on in season 5. His personality oozes manipulation and self-preservation, which means that in a desperate situation he will do just about anything to save his own skin (this guy is a Slytherin, through-and-through). Though I have seen some predictions about a redemption arc for Lotor, I doubt it will happen. Lotor is a fantastic villain because he is a complex character and has a multi-faceted personality. He has failed to see the flaws in his plans in the past, but a team-up with the Paladins would allow the opportunity for outside perspective and input to make his ideas stronger. Which means that the intelligence he brings to the castle can be used to take Zarkon down for good, and it can also give insight into other Galra operations that might affect the team. Hell, who knows? He may even have some intel on Sam Holt.

Black Site 4
Photo Source: DreamWorks Animation

Long story short, Lotor is a complex and intelligent individual. He’s been outcast and looked down upon, and I think now will be his time to shine as the cunning villain he truly is.  What are your thoughts? Will Lotor lend a helping hand to Team Voltron in the coming season, or will he find a way out of his precarious situation on his own? How will Narti’s death affect his relationship with the rest of his generals? And what important knowledge does Lotor possess? Leave a comment, reblog or tweet and let me know!

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