Beta Traz thoughts:
I personally find Shiro and Slav’s interplay more than a little hilarious here. Not because I think Slav is a joke at all- we see what he’s dealing with at the beginning of the episode. It’s entirely likely he developed his seemingly obsessive-compulsive tendencies to just try and feel like he has some kind of control over his situation in the face of that being violated on the deepest level- the warden was quite literally taking control of his mind and taking gleeful note of how there was nothing Slav could do about what his inventions would be used for.
No- the funny part is Slav and Shiro are doing basically the exact same thing with different outlets and this is pretty much the root of their conflict.
Because: This is Shiro, actively going back into a Galra prison. He seems calm going in, but he’s a tough person to crack- and he also seems in control, a term that keeps stealthily cropping up in regards to Shiro. When does he start losing his cool? As soon as he stops feeling in control- when Slav’s observation of rituals start to cause them delays.
We’re treated to a scene before Lance and Shiro split up that’s very unusual- we have Shiro, who has more or less the shortest range of the team (he fights literally with his fist) rushing and tackling a distance enemy, when Lance, who has a gun, is right there.
Slav’s rituals are things like blankets, puddles, cracks in flooring. Shiro’s is anything and everything that might hurt his team. Shiro’s coping mechanisms seem super reasonable- Voltron is the universe’s only hope, he lost his team once, there’s a bunch of dangerous things out there- but, again, we’re seeing that Shiro is not exactly a beacon of rationality. “I’m here, with Lance, and we need to hit a distant target. I could stand back and let Lance do the thing that he’s good at and has the weapon best suited for, or I could make sure nobody but me has the potential of getting hurt here.” Or, how about “I’m going to imply that I was personally responsible for myself and two other people getting kidnapped by aliens like there was literally anything I could’ve done about that situation and I didn’t get pistol-whipped with a space rifle for trying”.
Shiro and Slav are both desperately trying to manage a stressful situation the way that feels like it works for them and the differences in their respective coping mechanisms proceed to drive each other up a wall.