Impulse With Control (a very very brief exploration of keith exhibiting the ability to think before making decisions)
/ this is really brief because oHHH BOY i have so much to say about this and planned. but this is actually an impulsive (HAHHA) meta bc i realised something and got so excited!!! basically, i was just thinking about a particular few seconds of a moment in 1x04. we’ll come to what exactly that is in a moment. but just to recap where we’re At in this situation: it’s highly distressing, pressing and tense.
allura and keith have just been locked out the castle and there’s no telling if they can get back in. the sheer break and intensity of keith’s voice as he yells “no!” and bangs his fist against the barrier just demonstrates how genuinely invested and frustrated he is with what’s going on:
he’s determined to continue, asking allura is they can break through the barrier to which the response just makes clear how truly terrible and serious this situation is.
BUT SOMETHING HAPPENS I JUST WANT TO YELL ABOUT AND ANALYSE DEAR GOD.
now what we should think about is that what im going to bring up comes after allura has delivered some Pretty Bad News:
And whoever has taken the Castle has a crystal, which means they’ll be able to fly the ship. We have to stop them.
now after she says that you see Keith turns his head and blinks pretty rapidly as he does so before asking a question:
How are we going to do that?
and it’shere where something interesting happens. i’ve noticed this screenshot before and always thought it was pretty precious tbh but now im actually sat here thinking more about it i’ve come to a cool interpretation and realisation i just have to share!!!!
so…. guys. this is areally hard blink. like you can see it’s scrunching not just his eyes but his nose a little and there are deliberate crinkles drawn in to demonstrate that this motion is not a natural blink this is a forceful blink. we can see this just by comparing the blink a few seconds before:
you can see this is a natural blink on the frame, and it’s also pretty fast. the hard blink that is significant is actually substantially longer in frames and it’s visibly so.
it feels to me like keith is doing this for a few potential reasons:
to bring himself back to the sharp focus he endeavours to maintain.
you can see throughout this scene how worked up he is about the lack of control of this situation and knowing that shiro and lance (not knowing about pidge’s whereabouts at this stage) are in there, and one of them is also severely injured. this is his team trapped with the Galra, not to mention shiro and keith proves time and time again he is highly aware of the fact that shiro needs support just like everybody else.
so i think personally that this hard blink is kind of like a quicker, more Keith-esque version of ‘patience yields focus’ (abbreviation bc i dont have patience lmao: PYF). it makes sense. keith is quick on the uptake, he’s very direct and his body language is also often very open.
keith employs that mantra often with closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. it’s clear that the closed eyes is paired with PYF bc we see that happening as much each time Keith says PYF. these moments (below) all correlate to moments where keith needs to take time to realign himself and regain focus, it reveals when he may be turbulent inside and grappling with very intense emotions (he’s so passionate)
so building on that there’s also a lot of evidence in canon to suggest keith eternalises this saying and doesn’t always voice it but still applies it (i’ve compiled a few example scenes - but this is something i mentioned briefly here and would love to talk more about! these are all what i would consider either Substantial Blinks or prolonged eye closing that is linked to PYF and what that entails)
here, that’s not really the time or place for this.
allura is also there and probably equally as distressed. one thing about keith is that he’s actually pretty self-aware and aware of his surroundings too. he knows that there isn’t really a moment to fall back to the method of PYF(which notably he only ever seems to really do in private when nobody can see himanyway - bar one exception im sure you’ve noticed above, but that ties more into the Hard Blink kind of thing rather than the Classic PYF, either way we are definitely going to talk about that some more bc i have an entire Mindscape Meta planned).
a full PYF moment would potentially draw allura’s attention and cause more concern they just don’t have time to deal with.
keith is so deeply rooted in the present and this is an unfolding situation where the safety of the rest of the team are at risk he can’t afford to lose concentration or succumb to something irrational because of the stakes.
so the hard blink is snappy, fast.and it engages him again (just doing a hard blink myself it definitely makes you feel more aware and you can feel it in your face).
so basically, keith realises that he needs to take a moment because he wants to make the right choices and not compromise the team, he takes a very brief moment to do what he has to privately.
following that all the blinks go back to the usual natural smooth blinks:
Pidge also starts talking which captures allura and keith’s attention and moves the scene along ect.
TLDR: this is just one example i wanted to talk about bc it’s v subtle but interesting. but the fact that keith is shown many times to take time before making a decision (we also should talk about keith and questioning/challenging things and speaking up about group plans, but that’s for another time) to try and keep himself grounded and level-headed just proves he is not as rash or impulsive as immediately assumed.
instinctive and decisive, definitely. but i don’t believe impulsive and instinctive areentirely synonymous. they both are highly contextual based on the situation (im planning to write up some comparisons of when he’s actually 100% impulsive) - and whilst keith demonstrates he can be impulsive, the times he can take a moment to process a situation, be rational and logical, or take a private moment to get his head in the right place actually outweighs that way more than may be expected.