A Most Important Scene From Voltron Season 3
So… there’s something about this entire scene that’s had me pondering it all morning. Now, despite my writing tendencies or even which characters I would like to see together, most people who know me understand that while I write and post certain things, how I actually view the canon is separate. Like, I don’t watch Voltron for shipping and what characters do and don’t end up together is not why I’m into it. I’m very realistic about potential ships and do my best not to let shipping goggles cloud my judgement. After all, I may like to create, but I also analyze. And anyone worth their socks in literary/media analysis knows that it’s about looking at what you’re given and not what you want to see (what we want to see gets into headcanon/prediction territory, which can be backed by analysis, but they aren’t the same thing). In other words, me fangirling about a ship and me looking critically at a piece of media are two very separate things.
Therefore, this scene has left me in rather a… curious sort of hesitance? Because I find it hard to believe that I’m coming to the conclusions that I am?
First and foremost, I’m glad that Lance and Keith are working together better and trusting one another enough to go to the other about their problems. I don’t care who you ship with who, it’s good character development for them when we look back at where they started and does nothing but help the team. Keith admitted his faults to Lance when he pushed the team too hard and Lance went to Keith when he was insecure. These are not small steps for these boys and I’m glad they’re finally becoming better friends. And that’s honestly all I thought I was going to take away from this season, if I even got that far.
Until I saw this part of this scene specifically (I’ma use this screenshot a lot, lol) -
- First of all, I want to look at how these frames with Keith are laid out. Keith is in the center of the frame the whole time, his posture is open, his expression is friendly, his smile is sincere. He is lacking in weapons or anything typically considered threatening. But what is probably most important is that we’re not just seeing Keith from Lance’s point of view, we’re seeing him through Lance’s eyes.
There is a difference. For example, in these scenes -
- we’re seeing Allura from Lance’s POV, but not through his own eyes. This is a very common type of shot when two people are having a conversation or even when multiple people are in the room. It’s like getting a third person description of what’s happening with weight on a certain character’s perspective. Sometimes it’s not even that far and it’s just convenient to look over this character’s shoulder. Versus when we get a more first person perspective when we see a character through another character’s eyes.
We also get shots like this in this same scene -
- This shot comes in concurrence with the one previously and can still be considered as coming from Lance’s perspective. So what’s the difference between this shot and the one of Keith? This shot is up close–it’s focused on Allura’s expression and what she’s saying. She’s also not completely centered, but balanced in the frame for the viewer, not Lance’s perspective. Lance is listening to her, not admiring her in any way, shape, or form. In fact, despite Lance’s general attempts at constantly flirting with Allura, he is not looking at her at all in this scene as a potential romantic interest. This entire scene is focused on what they’re saying and what that means. Not any kind of attraction between them.
Which is what struck me as so odd about the way we see Keith through Lance’s eyes in episode 6. When a character is being admired by another character, getting a shot through their eyes of their subject from the waist up, or thighs up, or knees up, etc, is a very common way of displaying that admiration in a visual sense. It’s already clear from this scene that Lance views Keith as the new leader -
- So even if Lance takes issue with some of the things Keith does, he–at the very least–begrudgingly accepts Keith’s position and is doing everything in his power to support him (as most of season 3 is evidence of). Which is why these frames -
- took me so far aback. Honestly, I was much more expecting this kind of scene to be displayed from Lance’s eyes when his and Allura’s development took place. I even went back during their critical conversation to look for it. But there isn’t anything similar. Lance clearly respects Allura, but he didn’t “waver” in looking at her so as to imply a different kind of admiration.
Another character that gets this treatment a lot? Shiro. Shiro is their leader. Shiro is their security. Shiro is oftentimes framed in this manner when the other paladins are listening to him. But usually it’s a group shot, and even if there are scenes with him and one other (maybe with Keith? I’m not going back to watch the whole series), his body language and expression are not so soft. There could probably be some shots of Shiro looking less severe when he speaks to Keith, but I never remember being this struck by a scene with Shiro that didn’t feel like anything more that admiration because he’s their leader and/or idol and/or older brother figure (this goes for Pidge as much as Keith). Just as I’ve never seen anything to blatantly support Klance before. Like, I’m not playing favorites here.
The point I’m trying to make is that, in seeing Keith through Lance’s eyes in this scene, we’re gleaning a LOT about how Lance views Keith. Not only is he listening to Keith, but we’re seeing Keith as more than just a face with words. It would have been easy to frame this scene like this -
- I mean, even this is still… But the point is, there were a lot of ways to frame this that didn’t have Lance giving Keith that “admiring” look that is oftentimes used in movies and animation. At this point, Keith is the center of Lance’s entire focus. The rest of the room is bare, Keith is what stands out most. But it’s not just his words or what he’s saying, it’s his entire person. It’s his body, his words, his posture, where he’s standing in the room.
And then we get to his expression. This is so important. They could have given Keith more attitude, they could have had him lean back on one leg and cross his arms. They could have done LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE to suggest that Lance was merely admiring Keith as a leader and friend, but they didn’t. They kept his posture open. They kept him still and centered in the frame. And they gave him the softest mother fucking smile that Keith has probably displayed in the entire goddamn show. And I don’t mean to say that he hasn’t given those small, soft smiles, because he has, but this one has teeth and is still soft. EVERYTHING about this frame is soft.
And this is HOW LANCE is seeing Keith. We have the distance from where Lance is standing in the doorway to Keith to support this, as well as how he looks following, which implies that we were seeing Keith through him -
- He’s looking over his shoulder, continuing the line of sight we the viewers were just privy to. And he reflects the same softness he has just seen in Keith.
For fucks sake, all we need is an edit of that frame of Keith with a soft white background and some sparkles and we’re all fucking set! This frame -
- was coded to be romantic. This is Lance not only admiring Keith, but seeing him in a “different” light. I mean, look at Keith’s hair for crying- UGH! Just add some wind and a few flower petals and- just- HOLY FUCK, LANCE! OGLE HIM SOME MORE WHY DON’T YOU! I don’t know if Keith is really this beautiful or not BUT YOU’RE DOING A GOOD JOB OF MAKING IT SEEM LIKE HE’S THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CREATURE YOU’VE EVER SEEN, LANCE!
Seriously, this is probably one of the most sincerely romantic frames we’ve gotten in the entire series. It’s also quite bittersweet. And, like, even if Lance isn’t aware that he’s looking at Keith like this, we are! We’re literally watching Lance form feelings for Keith through his own goddamn eyes. Ugh, gag me.
I am disgusted.