|Air date||October 1st, 1984|
|Based on Golion episode||The Red Rain of Hell|
"Surrender" is the eleventh episode of the lion series of Voltron: Defender of the Universe.
For this especially-grim episode, perhaps we should let the Witch Haggar deliver her summary in song:
I broke Voltron apart;
Into coloured Lions to tame it.
It was dark, and it was over,
Until five Space Explorers reclaimed it!
My spells, they were strong,
And my foes, they seemed so weak,
Yet they, with Voltron
Would defeat us every week!
With those keys that they found in King Alfor's tomb, Alfor's tomb,
They'd beat everything sent from Planet Doom, Planet Doom!
My robeasts they'd slay; they would always win, always win,
So I set fire to the rain....
Ahem. Perhaps that was a bad idea. To reiterate....
The Witch Haggar calls upon perhaps the mightiest diabolic power she has wielded since breaking Voltron into his five component Lions: a rain of flammable blood(?) heralding the arrival of a great demon.
It is not long before the effects of this spell are felt on Planet Arus. The wildlife scatters in terror as the skies darken and the first blood-red rain begins to fall, and the Arusian people panic and flee amidst a cry of prophecy that when the very rain from the Heavens runs red, the people of the world are all doomed.
Meanwhile, Coran and Princess Allura observe the mysterious weather from the command center of the Castle of Lions. The Princess wonders at the strange nature of the storm, which is now also sending forth crackling bolts of lightning in addition to its red torrent. Coran expresses worry that Zarkon may be behind it.
His fear proves well-founded as the forking lightning ignites the blood rain, sweeping fire through the streets and turning the rivers to Phlegethons! The other members of the Voltron Force join Allura in the command center and comment upon the bloodflames now visible on the viewscreen, yet she - in an attitude of prayer - asks if they are just going to remain there when the freedom of Arus is at stake; they have to stop these fiends!
Commander Keith gives the order, then the team suits up and ships out. Keith keeps the older/more-experienced pilots (Hunk and Lance) in the air with him yet sends the weaker ones (Pidge and the Princess) on crowd control duty. The Black and Red Lion strike cliff rock at various points to create a "Lion landslide"; the debris from which naturally dams the river. However, the flames spill over the dam and the Yellow Lion must smother them with its "Star-duster" breath weapon.
On the ground, Pidge and Allura meet with less success. The panicking Arusians stampede through the streets like frightened cattle, trampling the doomsayer (he survives in both this and the Beast King GoLion versions) and sweeping away the mother of a toddler named Tammy. Pidge does his best to comfort her while a frustrated Princess Allura decides that she is not going to stay there and watch Arus be destroyed; she goes to the Blue Lion.
This decision is rather fortuitous, for by this point the three Lions in the air have been overwhelmed by the magnitude of the (super)natural disasters and Keith has discerned the need for someone with an elemental ability to thwart the flames (Lance is finding Red Lion fairly useless in this regard for obvious reasons). While Pidge takes Tammy with him into the Green Lion, the Blue Lion takes off and uses a special setting of its shoulder-mounted missiles to form a cryogenic Ice Grid, the Princess who pressed the switch hoping it holds up.
Unfortunately it does not; the grid melts in a matter of seconds, which (perhaps along with the several fleeing Arusians who are seared by the advancing flames) makes Princess Allura very upset, even to the point of tears. At Keith's command, Pidge tries Green Lion's Tornado Blaster breath weapon, yet that succeeds only in fanning the flames to the extent that a spiraling pillar of them pursues Pidge higher into the sky. Allura acknowledges their collective failure and that they may have made things worse.
Commander Yurak has been watching these events unfold from his new ship, and he now introduces us to Brox, a subordinate who looks very much alive yet speaks like and is referred to as being a robot, which suggests that he will meet with an unhappy end. While he sets the next phase of Yuraks' plan into motion, Pidge manages to escape his flame-tornado and lands near a hill where approximately two hundred Arusians have gathered to watch their village burn. Princess Allura has endeavoured to airlift some of her people to safety and deposits three of them with the others via the mouth of Blue Lion. She is quite near to despairing that Arus will escape falling under Zarkon's evil rule.
Suddenly the Yellow, Black, Blue, and Red Lions are caught in tractor beams from Yurak's vessel and hurled into the Green Lion! Following this, Brox widens the beam to draw up many of the Arusians clustered together on the hill, thus taking them as prisoner. Finally, a squadron of Doom Blasters are sent to deal with the damaged Lions and their unconscious pilots.
However, Pidge swiftly regains consciousness and comforts the weeping Tammy. After Keith wakes up, the sounds of Tammy's crying awakens Allura, who knows that Pidge meant well but is angry that he placed the child in such danger. Lance and Hunk awaken as well, and that is when the team notices the squadron of fighter-ships bearing down upon them!
The Voltron Force leaps into battle, despite the minor (nearly invisible) damage incurred by their Lions. Lance slices the enemy with Red Lion's shoulder-mounted spinning projectile blades and melts more of them with its Proton Missiles before Keith comes to support him from the rear. The Princess employs similar tactics to support Pidge and meets with stellar success; crashing through one Doom Blaster before singlehandedly freezing three more of the enemy ships with Blue Lion's cryogenic missiles! Hunk scatters the rest of them with Yellow Lion's shoulder-mounted arsenal.
Brox mechanically states that a battle can be lost to win a war; Yurak allows himself the hint of a smug smile, then orders the display of his captives with a laugh. He broadcasts a message to the members of the Voltron Force, asking them if they are heartless enough to sacrifice an entire village simply because they will not give up.
Hunk is against surrender as he believes Yurak to be bluffing, yet Princess Allura doesn't want to gamble the lives of so many innocents on such an assumption. Meanwhile, Tammy notices that her mother is among the hostages, and one of Yurak's soldiers indicates that he is not bluffing by "stunning" one of them with its gun. Keith, being the leader of the team, must be the one to make the decision, and thus....
The Voltron Force gives up.
In tears, the Princess contacts the Castle of Lions and tells Coran to raise the white flag of surrender.
Yurak gloats that soon the colours of Zarkon will fly from the Castle, and that Voltron will be merely a robot slave.
Pidge, however, has a plan. As the rest of the team exits their Lions and assembles on the ground before them, he dresses up Tammy (who just happens to be approximately the same size as him) in his uniform and sends her out in his stead. Allura is shocked and Keith accidentally blurts out that it isn't Pidge in his flightsuit, but Brox and Yurak's other forces don't seem to notice. Instead a deal is struck (which Brox's primary circuit rejects but which his secondary circuit accepts, suggesting that Planet Doom has solved Isaac Asimov's problem of robot-block from contradictory orders) wherein each member of the Voltron Force will be exchanged one-by-one, each for approximately twenty hostages.
However, as Tammy walks by the group of hostages corresponding to Green Lion's pilot, she and her mother notice each other. Grox responds by shooting the latter (amazingly, she really is only stunned). He then sends his soldiers to return her to Yurak's slave ship, but they are blasted away by Pidge, who remained inside Green Lion this whole time and who now scatters Grox's entire squad (save for the three soldiers immediately surrounding the Voltron Force, who are dispatched in melee by Keith, Hunk, and Lance's martial arts).
Allura retrieves Tammy's mother, but the storm briefly resumes as amid strokes of violent lightning emerges the Demon Goatbeast!
The Demon does not require enlargement; it is naturally 240 ft. tall. The Lions unite into Voltron and waste no time before forming Blazing Sword. This is quite fortunate indeed as the Demon has used this time to leap extremely high into the air and pull out the MaulerHorn mounted on its left shoulder to form its Sectional Razor Longsword; the Blazing Sword is formed at the absolute last possible moment to intercept its downward stroke!
From this point forward it is apparent that Voltron will be hard-pressed to defeat this monster; it is as strong as he is and puts him on the defensive almost constantly with its sword and Alpha Class Ion Blasters. Even worse is the fact that it seems none of Voltron's attacks can do more than annoy the Demon; it even shrugs off a slice from the Blazing Sword, which would destroy nearly any other robeast, as if it were a mere scratch!
The only hope is the Electro-Force Cross; the perfect weapon to wield against a Demon. The Cross burns into the Goatbeast's forehead and at last renders it vulnerable to ordinary ordnance; a stroke from the Blazing Sword is at last fatal.
Tammy is reunited with her mother, and the two bid farewell to the Voltron Force just outside the Castle of Lions. Tammy now wants to be a Space Explorer too, and when her mother tells her that she must wait until she's a grown-up the child reminds her that she fits into Pidge's uniform just fine. Pidge has gained much respect - both for himself and from others - from the day's events and believes that there is no need to be big....Unless one is a giant super-powered hero like Voltron!
"Well Coran, it looks like my picnic is off! It's beginning to rain. A minute ago the sun was shining. Have you ever seen the sky so red?"
- Princess Allura notices the first sign of the Apocalypse
Lance: "I wonder what little surprise Yurak has cooking up for us now. Whatever it is, I just wish he'd get on with it!"
Hunk: "You had to say that!"
"Nanny, Coran! You both know how much I love Arus, but still, with so many lives at stake, we're forced to run up the white flag of surrender!"
- Princess Allura
Notes and Goofs
- This is the first episode in which the Electro-Force Cross is used with its full name. The Cross was also employed against Prince(?) Bokar in The Stolen Lion, yet then Keith merely referred to it as "Electro-Force...."
- This episode has a shortened ending credits sequence, probably due to the original Beast King GoLion footage being left mostly intact.
- This is the first episode in which she appears that does not show Princess Allura wearing her royal pink Aurora-from-Sleeping-Beauty gown.
- This is also the first episode in the last five in which the Princess is not restrained by ropes or chains. However, since it is also the episode in which she surrenders herself and her entire planet, Allura is still 5/5 on her damsel-in-distress streak.
- Due to the first 8.3 minutes of this episode being dedicated primarily to fighting supernatural disasters, the Voltron Lions showcase a number of their elemental powers for the first time; Yellow Lion's Star-duster, Green Lion's Tornado Blaster, and Blue Lion's cryogenic Ice Grid.
- The latter of which involves the use of Blue Lion's Cryogenic Missiles, rockets over 10' in length which are fired from the same launchers as the Lion's regular ordnance, yet which have eyes and mouth details to give the impression of fish!
- There are multiple instances this episode in which Keith is obviously communicating with the pilot of Yellow Lion, yet it is not Hunk but rather Lance who responds.
- At one point, Lance even complains that it is too hot; something about which the pilot of Red Lion should be least concerned (unless the blood-flames were nearly as hot as the surface of the Sun)!
- When the Demon Goatbeast emerges, it clearly destroys at least the top of Yurak's ship. However, almost immediately thereafter, an earlier shot is re-used which shows the ship entirely intact.
- Likewise, in some shots during the ensuing combat, the Demon's left Shoulder-mounted MaulerHorn is present on its shoulder even while he also holds it in its sword form in his hand.