Why Pidge and Lance’s Development Has Been Cut Short (Plance Encyclopedia Snippet #1)
(The encyclopedia is a comprehensive guide in all things plance,
including moments and hints, speculation, and community input. You can
find more information on my blog under the tag Plance Encyclopedia!)
(Hello again! This is an unfinished snippet, meant to tease the things to come! It is part of a much larger section. Some of the wording may not be final. Most of this is unbeta’d! Partially beta’d by @chia-petofficial)
A friendship cut off?
In season one, Pidge and Lance are shown interacting quite often, and have a clear impact on one another. However, after this season, it almost feels like it is paid no mind.
The odd pace of Pidge and Lance’s development is worth noting. In some ways, it feels like their friendship is snipped at the bud to stop it from growing too fast. In the first couple episodes, Pidge and Lance’s interactions are highlighted quite significantly. After that, though, it kind of fades to the background for the time being.
There’s even a physical manifestation of this. When Pidge is threatening to leave team Voltron, Pidge heads towards the stairs. Lance has just been seen going upstairs himself. As I have already mentioned, I read this as her trying to tell Lance about her departure first.
Why wouldn’t she, after all? He’s the first person to reach after her in the series. Pidge and Lance develop one another almost too fast.
The first time Lance pushes her to open up, she does. When Pidge directs him to pay more attention, he does.
They break each other’s bounds quick. They change each other almost immediately.
Ever wonder why Pidge and Lance don’t talk after the “goofball” incident? Imagine it with me, for a moment. Pidge most likely would have apologized and cleared up their misunderstanding. Lance would feel less insecure about Pidge’s opinion, and they’d be stronger friends.
If they ARE headed in a romantic direction, this pace would be problematic for the show. Because, as we previously established, they accept one another fast. Pidge and Lance, if they continued at this newly imagined stride, would be together way too soon in the series.
It’s almost as if, if they were allowed more screentime together, their problems would be solved prematurely. There would be no way for them to get together in the last season without it being painfully obvious.
Even with the odd cut off of their interactions, they are having an effect on one another. However, this is something to revisit at the end of the next season.
Pidge’s intellectual match, vs Pidge’s emotional match
Pidge and Hunk’s friendship gets highlighted, often chosen over Pidge and Lance interaction. However, this ALSO turns attention to the differences in the ways she views her two closest friends.
Hunk and Pidge are equals. We don’t see Pidge interact with other people the way she interacts with him. They can freely geek out with each other, and seem quite close. There’s a reason shipping Pidge with Hunk is so popular!
Still, in general, I feel that Lance compliments her more from a narrative standpoint.
Pidge’s story begins with being bullied in middle school by kids that don’t understand why she acts the way she does. She’s driven by insecurity, so far that she’s willing to give up that side of herself completely to make it stop.
However, Matt encourages her to continue going, showing her that nerdiness pays off, and that people accept him for who he is at The Garrison. Pidge also ends up accepted by people at the school.
However, there’s one thing missing. Both Hunk and Matt are accepting of her partially because they are so similar to her. Pidge’s key insecurity is conquered now, but it’s still a message yet to be sent. You can be liked by anybody, even if you’re nerdy and typically bullied.
Obviously, relationships shouldn’t be based on being with just whoever accepts you. Society shouldn’t have to accept you for you to be happy with yourself. But, from a narrative standpoint, it would send off a very nice message for Pidge to be accepted by somebody who doesn’t have much in common with her.
This is where Lance comes in. Lance is this attractive, hot shot pilot. Not the kind of character you usually see accept the nerd girl stereotype as a friend. However, Lance isn’t just any pretty pilot. He’s also a sweetheart.
This is part of what makes Lance being her love interest so satisfying. He accepts her, even though they are different in many ways. He teases her about it sometimes, sure, but he values it. He values Pidge’s opinion, and values what Pidge cares about.
After Pidge points more technology out to him, he starts paying attention to it. It may be no sunset, but he cares. He starts repeating Pidge’s information back, even if he doesn’t have the best understanding of it. To Lance, Pidge’s nerdiness is a strongsuit. What makes Pidge happy, makes Lance happy.
Pidge’s big character flaw has always been that she struggles with people. Struggles to let them in, struggles to interact with them.
However, with Lance, this is always the exact opposite. She opens up to him quickly, and she interacts with him with ease. They banter, they laugh. Pidge lets him in without even noticing it.
Lance helps Pidge let people in. It only makes sense for him to be part of the end of this arc.
Lance brings out the best in Pidge. This is even enforced by their dual wielding Voltron upgrade. They quite literally complete one another, and lift each other up.
Now, I have yet to explain what Pidge does for Lance.
What Lance wants vs what Lance needs
Pidge’s character arc has been all about being accepted, while Lance’s character arc has been all about accepting himself. Their arcs almost perfectly balance one another’s out.
Lance has never been able to accept himself, always focusing on faults and worrying about his place. This is something accidentally pushed by Pidge, with her remarks about him being a goofball. He takes it to heart.
On the flipside, though, I also think Pidge can help him accept himself more than any other character is equipped to. He has previously been shown to care a lot about her opinion.
I don’t think she meant goofball as a bad thing. Pidge has accidentally insulted people by being factual before. It’s one of her largest character flaws.
Lance being warmhearted and goofy is what has aided Pidge the most. Only Lance would dolphin dive out of a fountain to help her buy a videogame. It is not something she hates about him, or thinks is stupid.
Lance needs somebody self assured to help him be self assured. He needs somebody who believes in him. He needs somebody who will help him see his strengths, and somebody who’s opinion he values. Pidge fits both these requirements.
Pidge is dedicated to Lance. She frequently saves him, and is worried for him. If they are a romantic endgame, I have no doubt that Lance is her first choice.
One of the things Lance cares about the most, according to Lance’s Guide To Love, is having somebody who will help him see new perspectives. And Pidge does. She helps him believe in himself, ala the shoulder touch; and helps him appreciate new things.
He thinks loves is about becoming best friends with someone. And in lots of ways, he can already consider Pidge his best friend besides Hunk. She loves to get into mischief with him. She values his input like he values hers. They have common ground, like their endless compassion for their family.
Pidge gets Lance to act more like the real Lance, and less like the flirty hothead the public gets to see. Pidge is Lance’s equal, in the way that they both value the same things. They’ve had similar lifetimes of self doubt.
These two still have a lot to get through to be together! They both have so much room to grow. But with two people so compatible, I don’t think that will be a problem.
We’ll be revisiting this at the end of next season.
(Thank you for reading this snippet, and your extended support and response!