A Pretty Spy is the ninth episode of the lion series of Voltron: Defender of the Universe.
A lone pilot enters Arus' atmosphere in a small Doom ship, pursued by a trio of Doom Blasters. Their presence is detected by the Castle of Lions and projected upon the main screen of the command center. From there, the Voltron Force worriedly discerns the nature of the ship, and Keith determines that its trajectory will cause it to crash near the mountains in the desert. When it does so rather dramatically, he wonders if there were any survivors. Hunk volunteers to check it out.
Despite the fact that the crash site is relatively close to the lair of his own Lion and that he could access that Lion very swiftly directly from the command center, Hunk instead elects to leave the Castle and take for his mount one of the horses which have become Arus' main form of transportation since the King Zarkon-initiated apocalypse. Nevertheless, the space explorer eventually rides through the desert (on a horse with no name) until he reaches the crash site, where he finds a young, injured girl with one of Zarkon's slave tattoos on her arm. He takes her back to the Castle to get medical help.
Once she is in the Castle of Lions, the young slave girl is immediately given medical attention by Nanny and the surviving maids, while Princess Allura notes the trauma which she must have endured. As daylight wanes, it is revealed that while Hunk is vehemently sympathetic to the slave's plight, Keith maintains his suspicions (Lance apparently used up all of his semi-weekly allotment of suspicion in the previous episode).
As the sun sinks slowly in the west beyond the Castle of Lions, the slave girl at last awakens. While comforting and feeding her, Princess Allura also probes her for her backstory. Her name is Twyla (pronounced "Twy" as in "eye" "-la"), and she was apparently captured along with her brother and brought to Planet Doom. However, when the soldiers there immediately started whipping her brother, Twyla ran off and commandeered the very ship which took her there.
That night, the men (including Pidge) of the Voltron Force meet outside of the Castle and discuss the current situation. When, noting how Voltron is only to be used in defense, they speak of how nice it would be to bend the rules and attack Doom for a change, Lance suggests that then they could look for a new job. The conversation then turns to Keith's suspicions, for he realizes that King Zarkon/Daibazaal runs one of the most grim-dark worlds in all of anime and thus a story that might fly in any other Saturday-morning cartoon simply will not do so in Voltron.
Once they have retired, Twyla sneaks into one of the Castle's missile defense chambers, frightening the Space Mice as she does so. She then contacts Planet Doom and - still under the Witch Haggar's spell - follows her order to plant the tiny bomb hidden in the heel of her boot so that it will detonate the missiles and thus the entire Castle of Lions!
One of the space mice from the missile block awakens the Voltron Force, and Keith orders them to "roll out" (presumably of bed). Meanwhile, the other one visits Princess Allura and warns her of the impending detonation.
The Voltron Force arrive in the command center yet are unable to arrive at a solution to the problem of their imminent destruction. Fortunately, Coran notices that Twyla set the bomb on a missile launcher which could be ejected from the Castle, and he does so, causing it to explode harmlessly in midair.
Twyla has by this point fled the Castle, so Hunk, amidst the worry that she is endeavouring to rendezvous with a Doom squadron like her immediate predecessor, boards his trusty...horse. When he reaches Twyla, the slave girl of Doom - now with the loose hair - shoots this horse with her eye beams (she has eye beams) and explains herself. Apparently, she made a deal with Zarkon that if she helped destroy Voltron and Arus, her people would be freed from slavery. Her brother volunteered with even more gusto and was turned into the giant Clawbeast. This story seems more palatable than Twyla's previous one and has the advantage of being immediately confirmed by the Doom Coffin of Darkness flying overhead; Zarkon and Haggar have resorted to Plan B.
Hunk tries to reason with the robeast, but it is about a half mile away and doesn't acknowledge him. Twyla and Keith advise Hunk to flee and return to the Castle of Lions, yet unfortunately the former zapped his horse with her eye beams! Fortunately Twyla's eyes were set to stun (perhaps this episode could have been titled "A Stunning Spy"), so Hunk mounts his horse again and gallops away whilst the Voltron Lions enter the fray.
Once again, the battle does not go well for the individual Lions trying to bring down a full-sized robeast. The Clawbeast is equipped with a colossal morning star which is barely dodged and which batters the Blue Lion (Allura, still quite the Rookie, is angered by Pidge's suggestion that the Clawbeast "just clobbered the Princess" and her Lion roars in response). The poor princess is not given any opportunity to improve her performance either, as the Clawbeast presses his attack by lashing his morning star's chain to wrap about her Lion, hefts it into the air, and swings it around his head. The helpless Allura cries for aid.
Keith bounds into position and fires the Black Lion's cannon at the chain, breaking it and sending the Blue Lion careening into the dust. When asked if she is alright after her experience, Princess Allura replies that she is, but that it "was a close one." By this point Hunk has joined them and is finally riding in the Yellow Lion rather than upon a horse, so Voltron is summarily formed and wastes no time in forming Blazing Sword.
The Clawbeast hurls the spiked ball of his morning star, but Voltron sways to the side and slashes through its somehow-restored length of chain, and it explodes behind him. Voltron advances yet is checked by the Clawbeast's breath weapon: apparently a blast of burning hot air mixed with sand. Twyla, aware that her brother is in mortal danger, tells him to use his "laser ray" (afterward adding a desperate "you must win"). The Clawbeast doesn't heed her but Voltron apparently does, for he zaps the robeast with his eye beams (he also has eye beams) and thus gives himself the opening he needs to brutally kill Twyla's brother in one fell explosive stroke. Twyla falls to her knees in shock and sorrow.
Twyla apparently returns to her home planet, hopefully not to plot her revenge.
Upon the balcony of the Castle of Lions, Nanny, Coran, and the Voltron Force greet the Arusian throng whose lives and planet they once again have saved. Princess Allura takes a break from her royal waving to give Lance a kiss on the cheek for saving her life, and while he points out that it was actually Keith who did so, he doesn't mind. Perhaps Allura was also thinking of the events of the last episode, for this was the second consecutive attempt Doom made to claim her life through infiltration and deception. First they appealed to her romantic needs, and now they have appealed to her (and Hunk's) charity. What is next, stealing into her dreams?
*Pounds the Castle wall with his fist* "One day, Zarkon! One day you're gonna pay up!"
- Hunk, working on his plan to send Voltron bang, zoom, straight to Planet Doom
"He's a snake!" - Lance's follow-up, suggesting he still has his mind on last episode.
"He's so low, he could go under a snake standing up!" - Pidge's contribution
"No enemy can get through our missile defenses, and noone from Planet Doom can do us any harm."
- Princess Allura, delivering an almost painfully-precise bit of foreshadowing
Keith: "I think that something bothers me about that girl's escape from Planet Doom."
Hunk: "Whaddaya mean?"
Keith: "Well, it was too easy! The running away, the available ship nearby!"
King Zarkon: "Beautiful, beautiful! You paint a rosy picture, Haggar. You are my kind of witch!"
Witch Haggar: "Thank you. My only wish is to serve you, sire, in any evil way I can, and see you become Master of the entire Universe!"
"OK team; roll out!"
- Keith, perhaps channeling the Narrator (Peter Cullen)'s most-famous character
Notes and Goofs
- In the original Golion episode, Twyla's name was Lisa, as she was a survivor of the thermonuclear war that left Earth a lifeless wasteland.
- A spaceship crashed, after being pursued by Doom fighters, in the desert near Yellow Lion's lair and Hunk takes... a horse?
- While the two previous episodes both showed each of the male Voltron pilots having a separate dormitory, here they are shown all sleeping in the same chamber. This was probably a temporary arrangement intended to allow them to better monitor Twyla's condition.
- When the Clawbeast swings Blue Lion about his head, the chain passes right through his face.
- Voltron is holding the Blazing Sword when the Clawbeast's mace head explodes, yet it is gone when he advances upon the robeast and the latter responds by using his breath weapon. The Sword reappears in Voltron's hand again after Twyla advises the Clawbeast to use his laser ray.
- One of the few episodes where a character's death was not edited out.
- However, Twyla's suiciding soon after was. In the Beast King GoLion original version of this episode, Hunk urges her to wake up and join him in the fight against Daibazaal/Zarkon, however she is too crushed by her despair to trust even a fellow human (that race being responsible for the destruction of her homeworld, after all) and chooses to step off a cliff rather than live without her brother. This sequence, as well as that in which the team members pay their respects at her very-Christian-looking grave (placed at the site of her suicide), were removed and replaced by stock footage of Voltron in action with a voiceover by Keith followed by a scene taken from a later episode (described above).