Episode 5 - Bloodlines
After sitting out most of season 5, Keith is finally brought to the forefront when he's sent on a mission to extract an embedded Blades of Marmora operative. Meanwhile, the newly-crowned Emperor Lotor welcomes his new allies to Galra headquarters, inviting Shiro and Coran to cross-references their intel with the Galra archives and allowing Pidge, Hunk, and Lance to roam around as they see fit. As for Allura, she and Lotor search through the many artifacts in Haggar's collection, looking for something that may clue them into the secrets of Altean Alchemy and aide in their search for unlimited Quintessence.
"Bloodlines" is by far most comedic episode of season 5, though it'd be unfair to classify as a purely comedic episode like season 2's "Space Mall" or season 4's "The Voltron Show!". For the most part, the laughs come from Pidge, Hunk, and Lance's hijinks with the Galra Sentry they reprogram to understand fun. This whole plot is a hoot, with the Paladins and the Fun Sentry getting into all sorts of trouble, and it's a perfect example of how Voltron will always find ways for its characters (and by default the audience) to unwind in between the heavier, more dramatic episodes.
On the other end of the spectrum, while searching Haggar's collection, Lotor reads from his mother, Honerva's research notes. Allura comments that her more recent notes read like they're written by a different person, and she seems to make the connection that Honerva is now Haggar (a fact we, the viewers know, but the characters don't appear as certain of). Lotor is quick to interject with "that witch is not my mother," which suggests he either doesn't know or refuses to believe that's who she has become. Whatever the truth may be, it's complicated, and the relationship between Haggar and Lotor is sure to play a significant role in the future. Haggar herself is even trying unravel that mystery, having only begun recalling memories of being pregnant with Lotor earlier in the season.
As for Keith, his mission is more straightforward but strikingly similar to what Lotor refuses to acknowledge about Haggar. The Blades of Marmora operative who Keith comes to extract isn't just any Galra spy - she's his mother, Krolia. "Bloodlines" leaves it at that startling revelation and doesn't dig any deeper, but Keith finally meeting his mother is a culmination to a journey he didn't even realize he was on, filling a void in his life that's been there since day one.
Episode 6 - White Lion
The season 5 finale of Voltron: Legendary Defender ends in dramatic fashion, but rather than some giant battle, "White Lion" is a deep dive into the lore of the series. Having discovered a map to Oriande - a mythical land where the early Alteans first learned the magic of alchemy - Lotor is determined to get there, no matter the cost. He believes that the secrets held there will allow him and Allura to harness an unlimited supply of Quintessence and end the universe's constant warring over the resource. It's a worthwhile cause, but Lotor's insistence is still worrisome. Allura, however, is now entirely swept up in Lotor's fascination with Oriande and she is just as determined as he is to get there.
The entrance to Oriande is a massive white hole, making it impossible to reach with the Castle of Lions. They try to pilot Voltron through the white hole, but the White Lion - a guardian keeping out those deemed unworthy - repels them. It's only then that Lotor realizes that only those who have a deep connection to Atlean magic can enter. Conveniently, it's only himself and Allura who demonstrate this deep connection, signified by their Altean marks glowing when in proximity of the white hole. Together, they enter Oriande while the rest of Team Voltron remains in the Castle - which, like their Lions, has been deactivated by the immense energy being expelled by the white hole.
Allura and Lotor's journey through Oriande involves a series of tests, all of which require Allura to guarantee them safe passage. In the end, they must both face the White Lion alone - when pressed, Lotor attacks the lion and fails, whereas Allura surrenders to it and is rewarded. It's left unclear exactly what happens, but as Allura is surrounded by a blinding white light she hears a voice that tells her the power she seeks is within her. So whatever is necessary to become an Altean alchemist, Allura has it. This is a huge development for her character, granting her a power that only her father had demonstrated in the past. Allura has already proven herself as a pilot and leader, but this is an all new calling for her to explore in coming seasons.
For his part, Lotor doesn't seem too upset that he was denied the same opportunity, and is more or less pleased that Allura has unlocked her full potential. And again, nothing in his behavior suggests that Lotor was only using Allura, manipulating her in order to achieve his own goals. But then, that is still very much a possibility. Along those same lines, Shiro asks Lance again about what happened a few episodes back, admitting that he has lately felt confused and unsure of himself. Is Shiro's growing confusion and Lotor's plan related? Season 5 doesn't offer up any firm answers, but it does have one final reveal - Haggar is spying on them through Shiro, and now that she knows they've discovered Oriande, she's coming for them.
Voltron: Legendary Defender season 5 is a short season, but one that's packed with new information and surprising developments. Confirming, finally, that Shiro is mole (even if he doesn't know it) will have huge consequences moving forward, as will Allura's new power. Lotor remains an unknown quantity, but he and Allura have grown very close through their experiences this season. This could be setting up some huge betrayal, but it also may not. With Haggar now in hot pursuit, Lotor's help could prove crucial in defeating her. As for Keith, he seems almost primed for a return, and it could be very soon that he resumes the mantle of leadership he previously didn't feel he had earned.
Update: Here's an exclusive Voltron season 5 clip featuring Lotor vs. Sendak!
Voltron: Legendary Defender season 5 is now available to stream on Netflix.