Episode 3 - Postmortem
With the death of Emperor Zarkon, a power vacuum consumes the Galra Empire. Lotor suggests that this is their opportunity, and in order to capitalize, they should support his claim to rule. Shiro is all for the idea and even Allura agrees that with Lotor on the throne, they have a chance to end the war. But while Team Voltron discusses their next move, one of the many other Galra generals vying to rule attacks the Olkari, forcing Voltron to intervene.
Of this short season, "Postmortem" is the most like the episodes of previous seasons: the Galra attack a planet, sending a giant monster to terrorize it, and Voltron must come to the rescue. This episode plays around with the formula a little bit, with the Galra instead sending a virus to turn the Olkari's defenses against them, but the result is ultimately the same. What makes "Postmortem" stand out is what happens while Voltron is fighting one of these infected guardians, introducing another mysterious but powerful Voltron ability.
During their battle, Voltron is trapped and unable to move or separate into the Lions, effectively rendering the robot inoperable. To free themselves, the Paladins must tap into the quantum energy that binds them to their Lions and each other - essentially, they must harness that energy and use it to supercharge Voltron. This quantum field is visualized by the Paladins entering some kind of mystical plane, mind-space where they can each see and talk to one another - all but Shiro, who appears distorted, as if his signal is weaker than everyone else. No one can see or hear him, but he somehow manages to call out to Lance and through the static say, "Listen to me..." before breaking up. It's an odd moment, and the episode quickly moves past it once the Paladins return to reality, powering up Voltron and breaking free.
After the battle, Lance asks Shiro what he was trying to tell him, but Shiro doesn't remember, admitting that for him everything just went black. This is huge hint that there's something going on with Shiro. It isn't the first clue, as he has been acting a little strange ever since he basically returned from the dead (again) in season 3, but now there is little doubt something is wrong with Shiro. Whether he's being mind-controlled or is actually a clone is unclear, but it isn't too surprising that it's Lance who notices something is off with him. All season long he's been acting more observant and has grown more confident in his abilities. Allura even comments on this when she sees his Bayard transform into an Altean broadsword, remarking that being able to summon such a weapon implies he has "greatness within." "Postmortem" doesn't do much beyond introduce these new elements, but whatever is up with Shiro and Lance's growing confidence are definitely being set up to get explored in future seasons.
Episode 4 - Kral Zera
The time has come for the Galrans to select their new Emperor (or Empress) in a ceremony called the Kral Zera. Lotor explains that there will be several Galrans fighting for the throne - including Sendak, who the Witch Haggar sent Acza, Ezor, and Zethrid to collect from his cryo-pod lost in space - and if they want to see peace restored to the universe, then they need to make sure it's Lotor who wins in the end. To do this, he wants to bring Voltron, but Allura refuses, saying it would be too dangerous. Meanwhile, Keith and the Blades of Marmora are also planning to attack the Kral Zera, but when Shiro and Lotor arrive at the ceremony with the Black Lion, things get complicated.
"Kral Zera" is an interesting episode from the standpoint of learning how the Galra Empire handles matters like succession, essentially pitting those who wish to rule against each other until someone reignites the sacred flame or Kral Zera and is declared leader. This, of course, results in a giant battle where Galrans fight Galrans, but in this instance, the ritual becomes even more chaotic thanks to both the Blades and Team Voltron getting involved. It's also worth noting that this is yet another example of Shiro acting out of the ordinary, supporting Lotor's wishes over those of his teammates. And again, while Lotor has yet to do anything that suggests he shouldn't be trusted, the fact that Shiro appears to follow him blindly could be cause for concern.
In the end, it's Lotor who is victorious thanks to his own, impressive fighting skills - seen in action during another thrilling fight scene, this time between him and Sendak - as well as the assist from Voltron, who comes to his aide once the other Paladins realize what Shiro has done. As Lotor lights the flame of the Kral Zera, Voltron looks on in what may be the most ominous ending to an episode yet. The idea here is that with Lotor leading the Galra Empire, the search for an unlimited supply of Quintessence can begin - something he believes will allow the Galra to coexist peacefully and no longer conquer in search of more energy. Only time will tell, but the speed and ease with which Lotor is achieving his goals is disconcerting, making it appear all the more likely Lotor is only using Team Voltron as means to an end.