|The Witch Gets a Facelift|
|Air date||October 12th, 1984|
|Based on Golion episode||Introducing Beautiful Honerva|
"The Witch Gets a Facelift" is the seventh episode of the lion series of Voltron: Defender of the Universe.
The witch Haggar ventures to Arus once more, landing in her Coffin of Doom and Darkness near the Castle of Lions. Realizing that she would be swiftly recognized if she attempted to enter the Castle herself, she instead plans a multi-phase infiltration. At this very moment an Arusian carrier hawk flies inside a room in the Castle where the Voltron Force are hanging out. With a whistle, Pidge charms the animal into perching on his shoulder. Then, Nanny is seen chasing after Allura as she rushes to the control room wearing only a bath towel!
Her hurry is to get ahold of the news the bird is carrying, though as she attempted to do so before dressing, the Princess receives a mild reprimand from Coran, leers and laughter from the male members of the Voltron team, and a panning pink-set "fashion shot" from the animators. Nanny helps her into her bathrobe and Allura hears the news, which is that her Aunt Orla is coming soon with some of her ladies-in-waiting.
However, the Queen's carriage and retinue are ambushed by an emboldened Haggar, who uses her staff to "stun"(?) the guards so horrifically that Orla faints dead away. She hasn't even come to by the time she has been taken to the dungeon prepared for her and her ladies and Haggar has cast a spell upon herself to replicate the Queen's appearance.
Searching the forest on foot, the Voltron Force find 'Orla' alone and unconscious. Allura runs to help her and the 'Queen' (of Darkness, perhaps, but the proper one will come much later) awakens. The Princess suspects nothing of the Witch's deception, but does note that her skin is as cold as ice (Haggar claims that it is due to "shock")....
Those in the Castle celebrate the 'Queen's arrival by launching fireworks into the mid-afternoon sky, yet as Nanny moves to take Haggar's hand she yanks it away for fear of her icyness being detected, causing Nanny to lose her balance and fall flat on her chin. A joke is made about it having taken this long to learn to bow before a queen.
Haggar-Orla finds herself unable to approach the golden cross of the Arusian royal arms without recoiling in horror, but then she indicates that the source of her displeasure is the presence of the Space Mice. The Voltron Force comes to their defence (Lance reaffirms Princess Allura's earlier statement that they are heroes), but Allura convinces them to leave their new guest to her own devices....
This proves a dangerous move on her part.
Once the two are alone in the Princess' bedchamber, Allura's mind is on her wardrobe while Haggar's is upon a war-choke; she readies a cord with which to strangle the pink-clad damsel and looms menacingly.
Fortunately, the Space Mice haven't gone far, and their squeaking both disturbs Haggar and warns Allura. However, Allura does not believe the mice and sends them away. Neither does she notice Haggar's claws as she helps her into bed....
Haggar summons her blue devil-cat to hunt down the Space Mice, yet Pidge spots it and brings it to Keith's attention. The leader of the Voltron Force successfully deduces that 'Orla' is actually the witch Haggar in disguise, yet even his and Coran's advice combined are unable to guide Allura from her lovingly-nurtured illusion (she makes a face and sticks out her tongue at them), despite the fact that Haggar also looks eerily like her mother did in an earlier deceptive vision....
The other members of the team go after Haggar's cat, but it eludes them. Pidge thus enlists the help of Suki, the bravest of the Space Mice, to lure the cat out of hiding. Meanwhile, Hunk, Lance, and some of the palace guard wax the Castle floors. The tactics are successful; Suki draws out the devil cat and it scrabbles along the slippery floor just long enough for Keith to lasso it. Haggar senses the capture of her cat and resorts to poisoning the punchbowl (with a "potion" that will make the Princess "sleep forever"), expecting that removal of Allura will cause her to inherit the realm of the Castle of Lions and thus gain control over all Arus.
The ever-vigilant Keith sees this, too, and the male members of the Voltron Force find the beautiful Princess and the wicked Witch in the dining hall. Suki bites Haggar's hand, upsetting Allura yet earning the praise of Keith, who explains the witch's plot and offers her blue cat the poisoned punch. Haggar leaps up to defend her familiar, and after knocking the punchbowl out of Keith's hands voluntarily reverts to her true form. The maids flee and the men try to grab her, but Haggar somersaults away and claims Nanny as a hostage. The Witch convinces Keith to have Hunk release her cat (which scratches him again as a farewell touch). Keith pulls a gun, but Haggar bests the whole team with her magic and is poised to end their lives then and there, yet she is thwarted by the intervention of King Alfor's spirit acting iconically through his portrait nearby.
Haggar flies out of the Castle in every sense of the term, yet the Voltron team immediately board their Lions to pursue. The Witch's flight takes her just beyond Blue Lion Lake, so it is Princess Allura who spots her first. The Princess lands to pursue Haggar on foot so that the forest canopy shan't conceal her quarry (the Blue Lion's paw catches on a tree root, but its strength is such that it isn't even noticeably slowed), yet just when the Blue Lion is right on top of her the Witch summons a Clawbeast and the huntress becomes the hunted!
The Princess is severely outclassed; before she can do anything the robeast knocks her out of the sky and back into the Lake with a single blow from its InfiniSteel Gauntlet. As if that were not bad enough, it is a Heavy Deathsail-class Clawbeast and as such has no qualms about dealing with Blue Lion in its element; it leaps merrily in after her!
Fortuitously a 195-foot-tall monster is not easily missed, and thus the rest of the Voltron Force spots the Heavy Deathsail just as it is about to take a dip. They dive in after it and find it endeavouring to crush the Blue Lion's head with its foot. The Black Lion lets fly (swim?) with nearly everything in its ordnance yet the Heavy Deathsail is quite unfazed; it continues to wail upon Allura for the most part, thrice pounding her with a combination of stomps and punches, though it does answer with a blast from its Barrel Buster Chest Cannons. The Yellow Lion and Green Lion are launched from the water in a manner which is not-entirely-voluntary and the Black and Red Lions withdraw as well; at least the Clawbeast has relented enough to allow the Blue Lion to swim to the surface.
Ready to form Voltron, the Voltron Lions unite and prepare for a rematch with the Heavy Deathsail as it breaches. The battle now takes place on land, yet Voltron is still in trouble as he is felled by the Deathsail's Stygian Inferno Flamethrowers. While having Voltron roll away from its follow-up attack, Keith decides that it's time to go for broke and forms the Blazing Sword.
Slicing the air horizontally like an arc of lightning, the Sword is then brought down squarely upon the Heavy Deathsail, unseaming it from stem to stern and...leaving it standing with a gaping grin on its amphibious face. It counters by firing its Thigh Spike Missiles.
An incredulous expression on his face, Voltron dodges the missiles and delivers another stroke from the Blazing Sword at Keith's command. This time the blow is deadly.
Haggar escapes in her coffin yet the Voltron team do not pursue her, preferring to find Queen Orla instead. She is located safe and sound, embraced by Princess Allura, and welcomed into the Castle of Lions as fireworks burst in the air outside.
Princess Allura: "Coran, is it true a message came? We haven't received a message from one of our distant kingdoms in ages!"
Coran: "Please cover up."
"Stop it! Please show the proper respect for a royal person!" *She helps Princess Allura into her red bathrobe* "If you were gentlemen, you'd all turn your backs and pretend not to notice!"
- Nanny scolds the male members of the Voltron Force for laughing at the towel-clad Allura
"My aunt is Haggar the Witch?! Coran, that's ridiculous! I should know my own aunt! You're beginning to see enemies in every shadow! I just can't believe you'd bring me a malicious rumour like that!"
- Princess Allura, reducing her intuition's success rate to 20%
Hunk: "Where's that cat?" *Haggar's devil cat leaps out of the shadows and scratches his eye* "OK; now I know!"
Lance: "You're just no good with animals, Hunk!"
"This guy's too much! Form Blazing Sword!...One more time, team!"
- An increasingly-desperate Commander Keith, analyzing the Heavy Deathsail Clawbeast's capability over the course of the combat
Notes and Goofs
- Princess Allura's closet is filled with seldom/never-worn clothes, despite including a blue gown with white trim which she designates as her "favourite".
- It is an especial shame that she doesn't wear it, as it is excellently colour-coded with her Blue Lion.
- At 195 ft., the Heavy Deathsail Clawbeast is the shortest robeast thusfar encountered, yet it is the third-heaviest, weighing in at 4,100 short tons.
- It is also the first aquatic robeast encountered, yet it shall not be the last....
- It is also the first robeast to take not one but TWO strikes from the Blazing Sword to slay (the Demon Goatbeast is a possible exception, yet it required the Electro-Force Cross to render it vulnerable to attack and only required one stroke from the Blazing Sword to slay after the Cross made it so).
- At 18:46 (on the Blue Lion DVD), Princess Allura's flightsuit uniform glove is entirely pink rather than white with pink trim.