There’s no easy way to say this: Voltron: Legendary Defender season 4 is a complete and utter mess. The problems for the show started near the end of season 3 when the show dropped the atomic bomb that is the backstory of Zarkon, Hagar, and King Alfor. Such a legendary story and world building moment that they seemed to hold until the least opportune time plot wise. Add to this that the 3rd season that ended so abruptly, and you could see why splitting a season in two might be trouble.
Convoluted is a word fellow writer Grant used to describe the season and that’s perhaps the best way to describe the season. They needed to hit specific plot points with no concern for story or character development to get them there. We need to get Shiro back in the Black Lion? Let’s have Keith working with the Blade of Malmora for an indeterminate amount of time and leave the team. We need to pretend like we care that Pidge hasn’t found her brother? Introduce an episode where she searches for him in the middle of a six episode season with no lead up to the moment. When Voltron is at its best, it blends the long form arcs, character moments, humor, and episode specific drama to great effect. None of that seemed to be in play, partially due to the length (6 23 minute episodes is hardly enough time) and also due to the fact that they just didn’t seem to care about getting the pieces together, so long as they could end where they wanted. I wish the series would have made the premiere a longer episode to settle us in a bit more before going in zany directions.
I also don’t feel like the characters other than Lotor got moved into a new position within the show. Our paladins were having much of the same arguments they had in the previous season and keep repeating emotional beats.
It isn’t all doom and gloom however. This season of Voltron also brought back the humor that was largely missing from the third season. Kalteneker the cow makes a reappearance and is part of one of the funniest sequences the show has ever done. It’s just too bad that the show seemed to forget it’s best aspects in a quest to get to an ending.