it’s time. for meta. about how Viktor Nikiforov is the Most Transparent™ because I need to establish this.
Y’all have accepted that he’s got an excellent control over his temper. You’ve also accepted Viktor’s pretty good at acting. I agree with both of those things, at least, to an extent.
In terms of his temper yeah I totally agree. He doesn’t lash out (generally), and his actions, if there are any, are highly restrained in proportion to his anger. That being said, it’s super apparent when Viktor’s annoyed. Like here! Episode four!
Look at him he’s blatantly annoyed. He’s got the fucking shadows over his eyes and everything.
But even after Yuuri turns around, look at his face. This isn’t like a true Cheery Viktor™ face. This is like Viktor pretending to be his normal self, but it’s clearly not working like. At all. And we saw him make the transition to this face. Came with a ding noise and everything. We know this isn’t accurate at all anyway. And I think Yuuri knows too considering his reaction.
Is that fear or is that fear. (Hint: it’s fear). Like, of course part of this is definitely attributed to Yuuri’s anxiety, of this I have no doubts. But I think if Viktor wasn’t so transparently annoyed in the way he made his entrance, to his not quite genuine face, to his tone of voice, it probably wouldn’t look like this.
in episode 5 you’ve got more annoyed Viktor, but in this episode he makes no attempt at hiding it, I mean look.
To quote dub Viktor in episode 2: “that’s not a happy face.”
I could get more from that pre-SP hug in particular but you really get my point here. He’s clearly not happy. Very transparent.
I’m not going to address episode 10 because everyone and their mother has already addressed episode 10. We all know Viktor was Fucking Pissed (insert that one Kirby picture but like. with Viktor).
Viktor is very transparent in his anger, but it doesn’t stop there. Because Viktor wears his entire heart on his sleeve, and I think he’s aware of this. That’s why, especially for the public, he acts. And here’s where it gets tricky. Because I think Viktor’s a good actor, but only for a specific type of audience: the general public.
We know that before Yuuri Viktor was depressed, given how he talks about his past and what little we’ve seen from it. He’s described skating as a shackle around his neck, and his life before Yuuri was devoid of “life and love” But there’s visual indicators of this too. Like these brief glimpse of the old Viktor in episode 11.
He’s so sad and miserable
I am going to cry Vitya let me hug you. But there’s another reason I showed this. It’s to compare this, with Viktor by himself, to Viktor in front of a crowd.
He’s won the GPF for the fifth time in a row. The crowd is going wild, but look at his face. His smile. We know Viktor. We know what a truly happy Viktor looks like. He’s got a heart shaped smile and his whole body radiates joy, and this isn’t him. That smile isn’t even a real smile. Viktor’s just doing it because it’s expected, and the crowd eats it up, like they eat up the rest of his public persona. But it’s fake. We know he’s not happy and we even know what happy Viktor looks like. It’s so obvious.
“but if it’s so fake, why do they buy it?” Because they don’t know him. And we didn’t either when all of us first watched this episode, so we all bought it. Maybe we, and maybe some of his fans, think something is off, but no one knows him well enough to prove anything. It’s all speculation. All they have (and all we had) is just what Viktor wanted to show us. That’s why it works. He’s a great actor to the public and the like, because the public is never shown anything he doesn’t want them to see.
But this wouldn’t work on anyone who knows him. Like Yakov. This is where it gets into hc territory, I suppose but I imagine Yakov would notice. He’s been Viktor’s coach for so long, and if you look at the brief glances of younger Viktor to this Viktor, they’re very different. Yakov honestly feels like Viktor’s dad at this point, so he would notice. Maybe he’s even tried to bring it up, but Viktor acts in front of everyone, not just a crowd. “I’m fine, Yakov.” You’re not, Yakov thinks, but he can’t successfully bring it up with Viktor.
Less HC territory is Yurio, who clearly noticed something was wrong, but didn’t put it together properly. Yurio concludes Viktor’s lost his inspiration and he’s entered a slump. Maybe that’s true, but that’s not all of it. But he still knows something is wrong.
I can’t argue for anyone else who was probably a part of Viktor’s life at this point, as we have basically nothing to base it off of. With Georgi or Mila or Chris we don’t actually know if they were even close, or how close, before Yuuri. There’s nothing to base it off of.
We actually see Yuuri make a transition from one side to the other. Yuuri was a fan who didn’t know Viktor, and slowly gets to know him, seeing beyond the man he put on a pedestal. It’s pretty neat.
tl;dr: Viktor is hella transparent. I agree he’s got good control over his temper, and that he acts, but he’s still transparent as fuck.