Many thanks to @thatshamelessyaoishipper for subbing the entire section.
This line of dialogue (spoken by Yurio) is genuinely so important to our understanding of Viktor’s character. It’s fair to say that a lot of us kind of view his character as lovable, childlike, and whimsical, and that isn’t wrong. But this proves it, he’s only like that around Yuuri, according to somebody who has known him for three years or so at an absolute minimum.
This is the Viktor Nikiforov without Yuuri, the one the majority of people know. This is the Viktor Nikiforov who sits alone in parks in the snow, with only his dog for comfort, as he contemplates how his life even turned up like that.
I know this is a particularly bad moment, to be fair, but just look how miserable he looks.
Even here, he just looks so bored and serious.
This is Viktor without Yuuri for what? Three days?
The actual effect Yuuri had on Viktor’s life is astounding. With Yuuri, Viktor learnt to let everything go and just be him, rather than his more restrained and serious self, morphing into the usual personality we see and love for the duration of the anime.
All I can picture is the first day Viktor and Yuuri start training again at the rink in St Petersburg, and are absolutely gobsmacked to witness Viktor smiling, laughing, with his arms draped around Yuuri like he’s a buoyancy aid. Quiet, serious Viktor Nikiforov actually looking like he’s enjoying his day. He’s the opposite of the kind of man who would tickle someone publicly, but there he is, chasing Yuuri Katsuki around the rink like a five year old. It’s like some kind of bizarre dream. Even Yakov would have to admit that Yuuri’s presence has transformed him.
And perhaps Yakov even asks him once, unable to help himself, where Viktor suddenly got so much inspiration from, after so many years of misery.
The only answer he gets, as Viktor starts to walk away, is “he gave me his love, Yakov.”
Look at the way the Lions reject new paladins and old paladins in this episode.
When the Black Lion and the Red Lion rejected new people, they simply just didn’t turn on. The Black Lion allowed the entire team to come inside, and the Red Lion allowed Allura to come inside, but they didn’t activate for them. Now look at how it treats old paladins.
When the Lions reject an old paladin in favor of someone else, they activate a particle barrier to keep the old paladin out. Blue rejected Lance by activating her particle barrier.
The Black Lion didn’t reject its old paladin(Shiro) in favor of a new paladin(Keith) because it allowed Shiro to come inside but didn’t activate for him. If this was the Shiro we knew, it would have activated its particle barrier to keep him out in favor of Keith. The Black Lion acted as if it was rejecting a new person, because it recognizes this Shiro as a new person altogether. This isn’t the Shiro we know.
OKAY I GOT A CRAZY THEORY THAT SOMEONE PROBABLY ALREADY CAME UP WITH BUT HERE GOES
I DON’T THINK LONG-HAIRED SHIRO IS THE REAL GOD DAMN SHIRO
LIKE OKAY THE WHOLE THING IS SHADY TO BEGIN WITH.
so i was just finishing the last episode and i randomly thought of that pic of matt and shiro that kimiko glenn (the va of Pink Galra Lady) posted on her ig story. now stay with me here.
shiro’s unnaturally long hair
so when “shiro” wakes up, we see he has long hair which wouldn’t make sense considering the timeline. we don’t know exactly how long this takes place after the last episode of season two but considering the diplomatic meeting that takes place in episode one was the first time they tried to unite after the battle, it couldn’t have been that long.i believe that they made him look ragged and beat up to make him believe he was gone for copious amounts of time. therefore further encouraging him to find his team faster.
the “second” shiro we see being tortured
unless shiro had some crazy ptsd flashback possibly triggered by being back in the hands of the galra (although entirely possible) seems a bit unlikely. i think this shiro we see being tortured is the actual shiro. i believe they may have used og shiro to make a potential weapon/infiltrator. they may have essentially hacked his being to transport all the things that make him shiro into this clone of him. even including his own will to fight against galra. i mean they gotta make him believable enough to fool the team.
operation kuron and stage three of it being underway once “shiro” escapes
i just think it’s TOO SHADY that they let him leave and then state that “stage three is underway.” they wanted him to escape. even if this is the real shiro we have no idea what they did to him. i believe they built him to have this reaction but once voltron had rescued him, they would activate whatever the fuck they did to him.
the black lion sensing his distress but shutting down on him once he got close enough
now this is the part that got me because i didn’t know how the hell the black lion could sense a fake shiro and believe it was him, but that just proves how believable this shiro can really be. don’t worry, the black lion saw right through him once he tried to pilot her. that’s why she wouldn’t budge for this shiro. not because keith has this bond with her but because no matter how accurate this shiro is, the galra can never truly recreate the bond the real shiro worked so hard to create.
and last but not least
why the fuck shiro was acting so normal after almost dying like five times
now this is what really convinced me this wasn’t the real shiro. we all saw how damaged and defeated he looked when keith was talking to him in his room. he was not ready to face the team after nearly dying literally five times. we all know shiro is the one to act like nothing is bothering him because he’s the fearless and mature leader of voltron but he was truly defeated. he was nearly caving in on himself when keith was talking to him. and for him to walk out of his room no less than what seemed like maybe 10 minutes; clean-shaven, hair all cut off, dressed in his normal attire and with a positively bright attitude after the scene beforehand? it just seemed so unbelievably impossible to me. i believe that once keith left the room, the galra somehow activated whatever they did to this shiro to create him into what we have now. i don’t know what they’re planning on using him for but i don’t trust him, and i don’t think y’all should either.
TL;DR the shiro we have now is a clone that the galra made as some secret weapon/infiltrator and i don’t trust him