Okay, so–I just had a thought. Keith’s been running mission for the Blade for a while now, right? And we know Kolivan’s sort of giving him a bit of leeway and looking out for him. He’s a new recruit, he wasn’t raised galra, he hasn’t been fighting long, he’s young, he’s a paladin, he’s quick to sacrifice himself for his comrades, there’s a lot of reasons to keep an eye out for him.
And Kolivan was there for Keith’s trial. He saw firsthand that Shiro was the one Keith desperately wanted to see, the image conjured up to tempt and torment and manipulate him. He’s seen with his own eyes how Shiro is Keith’s weak point, the one person who he can’t bare to be abandoned by. Who he’ll do nearly anything for just to keep at his side
And you know, even before the second phase of the test, I think Kolivan knew it would be Shiro. After Keith escapes the arena, Shiro calls out to him. And then there’s this extreme closeup on Kolivan right after, like he already knows what’ll happen next. Like in a way he’s testing Shiro as well and can already tell by his reaction what the outcome would be. And even when explaining the suit’s ability to Shiro, it’s like Kolivan’s carefully gauging his response.
So anyway, seeing as Kolivan knows Shiro is Keith’s weak spot. And that Operation Kuron has made it clear there’s something very wrong here that the galra have done to “Shiro”–I know people say Keith’s going to pick up on it first. But what if he can’t? What if he’s too blinded by how much he cares for Shiro to see that Kuron isn’t quite himself–that he’s in trouble, brainwashed or worse, and the whole team could be at risk? What if Keith just can’t believe it because this is Shiro. But Kolivan’s seen how close they are for himself, knows how disastrous it would be if the black paladin had been compromised and unknowingly tried to hurt Keith. And he’d start to see the signs and realize that’s not the original Shiro?