|The Alliance Strikes Back!|
|Air date||November 15th of 1985|
The Alliance Strikes Back is the seventy-first episode of the lion series of Voltron: Defender of the Universe.
In the Castle of Lions, the Voltron Force hold a meeting. King Zarkon's second campaign of conquest was failing, as the Galaxy Alliance is on the offense. They mention some of their allies from the past year or so.     They deploy the Lions and head for Planet Doom.
Meanwhile, Zarkon himself is returning to Doom on his royal transport. He hears one of the robots (or perhaps the operator speaking through the robot's speakers) saying that the king is in a dilemma. No welcoming party is available for Zarkon, as his forces are busy fighting the Alliance. He is then alerted to the lions fighting Doom's forces, as they engage a wing of fighters. The lions assemble into Voltron, and Zarkon orders his troops to deploy robot fighters. The fighters engage Voltron, as do cruisers and gunships.
Zarkon swears to defeat Voltron himself, reminding Haggar that he is the greatest warrior. Lotor contacts him and tells him that he will take on Voltron, saying that he is a better warrior than Zarkon.
As Lotor prepares to attack Voltron, Queen Merla asks to talk to the prince. She asks him to stop because he might destroy himself. Merla reminds him they were engaged.  She then uses her mental powers to try to get Lotor to stop. The prince successfully resists, and boards his ship. The ships then land on a plateau, and Lotor deploys a battalion of tanks. They attack the mighty robot. Zarkon watches the attack on the screen, and Haggar reminds him that if Lotor wins, the subjects of Doom will follow him instead of Zarkon. Zarkon presses a button on his scepter, and the tanks fire cables at Voltron, entwining it. Lotor wonders what happened, and Zarkon says he has control of the ship and the tanks. He then programs the ship to ram itself into Voltron, and the prince protests, saying it could destroy them both. Zarkon does not think it is a bad idea. Haggar begs for Zarkon to not go through with it, but the king threatens to have Haggar join him. Merla tries to use her powers to get Zarkon to stop, but he resists.
Meanwhile, the Voltron Force is in trouble. Lotor's crew tries to steer the ship, but cannot. Merla intervenes in her robot horse, and breathes fire on the cables, setting Voltron free. Voltron then destroys the tanks. Merla ponders her recent decision to save Lotor and the Voltron Force.
Lotor's robot escort arrest him. Merla tries to intervene, but the ship's thrusters fire a blast at her horse. Lotor is chained to a rock wall. Doom nobles and other subjects look on Lotor. Zarkon arrives, and tells the crowd that the Pit of Skulls is for rebels and traitors who disrupt the order of the Kingdom of Doom. Merla's pet vulture informs her that Lotor is to be served to the vultures. She decides to rescue him.
Meanwhile, the Voltron Force have stepped out of their lions in a forested area of Doom, wondering who rescued them. Merla then approaches them, and asks them to help her rescue Lotor. Lance protests, and Merla reminds him she had changed. Pidge figures that Merla rescued them. Keith asks his team if they should rescue the prince, and they all agree.
They sneak to the Pit of Skulls, knocking out a guard and unchaining the prince. They then fire at a squad of robots running for them. Merla helps Lotor into her horse. Zarkon hears about it and is mad about Merla's heel face turn. He presses a button on his scepter, and a beam fires at Merla's horse, decapitating it. Merla falls out and her guards rescue her. Merla tells Lotor, who is back on the surface, that they had been rescued to be good. Lotor wonders what it is like to be good.
A fish-shaped Robeast, deployed by Haggar, attacks the Voltron Force, firing spikes and lasers. Keith makes it back to Voltron, and the others do so a few seconds later. Voltron lifts off to engage the Robeast. The Robeast fires a beam at Voltron and knocks it down. Voltron ignites the lion torches and follows up with eye beams. Voltron is then stuck with some spikes. Voltron then forms the blazing sword, and throws it at the fish. The sword goes right down the Robeast's throat, destroying it. Voltron then returns to Planet Arus.
Droid: "King Zarkon is on the horns of a dilemma."
Zarkon: I heard that, tin-head! Just cut the comments and prepare my welcoming party."
— Zarkon doesn't like any sass from his droid army
"I'm tired of loaning you my ship every time you want to take some princess out on a date."
— Zarkon annoyed at having to loan out his ships to his son
"My evil powers aren't working. I don't even feel evil. What's happening to me?"
— Merla's confusion over growing a conscious
Merla: "I thought you were sworn to help anyone in danger, no matter who it is."
Lance: "Lotor's not a who. He's a "what"."
— Lance, proving he isn't the forgive and forget type
"I wonder what it would feel like, to be good."
— Lotor wondering what it'd be like to be a good-guy
Notes and Goofs
- This is a continuation of the civil war between Zarkon and Lotor. 
- Lance understandably has misgivings about rescuing Lotor, even though the prince had rescued him. 
- Zarkon relies on robot fighters. In real life, there is an increasing reliance on drone aircraft in combat (Predator drones, etc.) and the first spacecraft were robots (Sputnik, Pioneer)
- Lotor should have had his loyal tech people make sure no one could hijack his ship by remote. Then again, Zarkon could have bribed them.