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I feel much better now that I've written my own personal Blake rant.… 
26th-Sep-2009 02:15 pm
I feel much better now that I've written my own personal Blake rant. That let off a lot of steam, anger and frustration. Won't be posting it as I know this is not the audience for it but for my own personal satisfaction, I will put this little bit.

EDIT: alright, I did add my analysis of Spacefall.


Just finished watching Spacefall, Cygnus Alpha and Time Squad and I honestly cannot come to the conclusion that:

a) Blake is a really good man who treats people well
b) Blake is smart
c) Blake knows Avon or was in any way good to him or even remotely his friend
d) Blake is a good leader
f) Blake is a successful leader
g) Blake knows what he's doing
h) Blake trusts people
i) Blake is an honest man
j) Blake is a fair man who shares with others, listens to others and treats everyone with equality and respect
k) Blake is the moral centre of the show
l) Blake puts other people's welfare above himself and his plans

Sorry, IMO most of what Blake does doesn't point to that. It does on the rare and very visible occasions but most of the time he is not. The moment his will is refused, his true nature shows.

For those who bother to read this, remember this is my own personal opinion. Everyone has their own and on this forum, I'm fairly certain most people don't agree with me, which is fine. It's why I decided not to participate on the B7 Rewatch community. Don't want to spoil other people's fun by having a different perspective that's not generally accepted. I'll also do separate versions of the illustrated cartoons from now on so that people here would find them more enjoyable who actually like Blake.

The most important thing is that we love B7. That's why we're all here. We're not all required to love or hate any of the characters in the exact same way that other people do. We are all entitled to our own opinions. I will be posting my analysis on another board where people will find it interesting and enjoyable.

Spacefall

Much is made of Avon in the computer room, unwilling to open up the door and risking the lives of the prisoners in order for them to have a chance to take over the ship.

Blake did far worse but for some reason, no one seems to notice. Maybe because he does it with such heroic flair that no one seems to realize that he has made the exact same ruthless decisions twice.

1) When they discover that the ship has been holed during the shock waves, they all realize that someone trapped inside the wall will die. Vila is worried and suggests they delay. Blake's reaction? He raises his voice at Vila and refuses to stop. Why? Because it is their best chance to take over the ship. So basically, he is going to risk killing Avon just so he will have a chance to take over the ship. Avon was extremely lucky to survive, unlike Nova later.
2) Blake knows the ship is under great danger and the ship's crew is busy trying to save all of them, yet he deliberately choses this time to take over the ship? He's willing to risk the ship and everyone in it just because its a good opportunity?
3) In the computer room, Captain Leyland tells Blake that something big is approaching and that the London is running blind and they could all be in grave danger. Blake is more than willing to risk the entire ship again, just to force the crew to give up to him.

Compare Avon's actions.
1) Avon may have been willing to risk the prisoners but when Blake yells at Avon to open the door, he does. Unlike Blake, who refused to stop his plans even though Avon might be killed.
2) Avon was taking the exact same chances Blake had already taken. None of them knew that Raiker was serious and would kill the prisoners. It could have been a bluff and Avon was willing to call it, just like Blake was willing to endanger the entire ship to call Leyland's bluff.

Blake shows some very self-serving behavior in Spacefall.
1) It takes very little to convince Blake that he should not take the risk to go through the wall panels after Avon. So Nova goes instead and gets killed. Note though, the reason that supposedly convinces Blake is that he should stay back to lead the prisoners. What's to note? Blake doesn't do that, does he? The moment the doors open, Blake goes after Avon in the computer room, and leaves the prisoners to wander around the ship leaderless. So was Blake really convinced to not go through the far more dangerous tunnels because he thought he had to lead the prisoners? The evidence doesn't suggest it because that is not what his actions show. Or was it a pretext so that he wouldn't have to risk his life in the tunnels where there would be no chance if the ship is holed again? Because it was much safer to go through the corridors armed?
2) Blake took the single gun to protect himself. Doesn't even consider the other prisoners' safety or that they might need a deterrent from getting killed too. Seven of them got killed going through the corridors because they were unarmed. Of course, Blake running into armed opposition with his own gun, survived.

Now Blake does one good thing in all this. He gives up rather than risk Raiker executing the prisoners. But given the other self-serving, callous things he has already done, it makes me wonder why all of a sudden he actually cares more about the prisoners than his plan to take over the ship. A glimmer of conscience perhaps? Because it is completely inconsistent with his behavior so far.

Blake exhibits dominating, bullying and hostile behavior towards Avon from very near the beginning. Just studying the two conversations makes me conclude that.

Conversation #1
Blake comes in and asks about the door panels. Avon is helpful and answers his question. Avon shows interest in Blake's interest and engages in social interaction.

So far, Avon has shown not once bit of hostility, negativity, snark, or arrogance. He's actually trying to be social and helpful.

But this all changes once Vila mentions the rumour about the crew dumping the prisoners. One thing to note about all of this as background, Blake places himself over Avon the entire time of this conversation, either standing over him with his arms spread in classic dominating posture, talking while standing behind Avon or sitting on the table in front of Avon so that Avon can't avoid him. All of this even though there is a free chair next to Avon. But Blake never sits down until after Avon leaves the table, and he deliberately sits in place of Avon, in the seat he has just vacated. This is clearly dominating behavior.

Back to the conversation. Avon so far has been fairly sociable and shown interest in talking to Blake. It is obvious Avon is very interested in allying himself with people who might want to take over the ship or at least escape.

What does Blake do? He deliberately makes it clear to everyone that Avon is the only one on the ship who would be able to help the crew to space them all by changing the running logs. This is clearly a hostile act and designed to make the others consider Avon a threat. And this is exactly what it does. Neither Vila nor Jenna had any negative inklings that Avon might be a danger until Blake mentions this. And as if making them all suspicious of Avon is not enough damage, Blake very deliberately stabs Avon in the back after Avon leaves the table, by telling them all that Avon had already thought about murdering them all.

So, to recap, Blake knows virtually nothing about Avon except what Vila has told him and that Avon was trying to be helpful earlier. So Blake has just callously endangered a complete stranger's life, on no evidence at all. Can you imagine Avon's life for the next four months? I wouldn't want to be in Avon's place when Blake makes a non-aggressive person like Vila suggest they should murder him.

Yes, Blake's a hero alright. And a good and nice person. Not.

And note that never once in the entire episode did the writer give us any proof that Avon was going to help the crew space the prisoners nor that he was even thinking of it. Not a single scene or a snippet of dialogue showing Avon doing it, discussing it with anyone or approaching the crew. They definitely had time to do the scenes. They spent lots of superfluous time on the crew and Raiker in the transport tube. If they really intended Avon to be that kind of person, they would have given us clear evidence of it.

Conversation #2

Blake knows he needs Avon's help. So he goes and approaches Avon. And his idea of asking someone for help is to manipulate them. Okay, when I go to ask someone for help, manipulating them is not my idea of a friendly thing to do. And this is exactly the way Avon takes it. He spots this hostile act immediately, calls Blake on it and tells him to back off. Avon doesn't want to be manipulated in order to help.

If Blake was a good man at all or had any intention of a friendly relationship with Avon, he would have listened. Instead of stopping, Blake very deliberately repeats the manipulation but this time it is a very blatant attempt. He's basically conveying his dominance over Avon by saying, you don't like being manipulated? Well I am going to manipulate you again. This is an extremely hostile act. It's like someone slapping me, I tell them to stop and the person not only doesn't stop, he punches me. Not very friendly, is it? Not the action of a good man.

And how exactly is this a smart thing to do? I believe the idea was to get Avon to help. But instead, this hostile act first makes Avon show how limited he thinks Blake's plan is and then he proceeds to become very resistant to the next few things Blake says. Good going Blake. You really know Avon. You made him hostile. If that was your plan, then brilliant.

IMO, Blake doesn't have the slightest clue how to motivate Avon. All he has is the abilities of a bully. IMO, if Blake had stopped manipulating Avon when he asked, Avon would have gladly helped. He had already shown a propensity to be helpful in the earlier conversation, before people started acting hostile towards him.

Blake comes across as having limited and short-sighted intelligence.

First of all is his ludicrous plan, but I'll get to that later, under, the first of Blake's many disastrous failures.

Blake's second conversation with Avon is ludicrous on Blake's part. Avon has been resistant to everything Blake says because of Blake's hostile attempt at manipulation.

Then Avon says he already has a plan.
Blake assumes this is the plan to help the crew dump the prisoners.
Then Blake seemingly shows cleverness by saying, it wouldn't have taken Avon that long to figure out it was a stupid plan.

Now hang on a minute and lets think about this. Like many of Blake's statements, it sounds good on the surface, but if you think about what he's really saying, you scratch your head and say, huh? WTF?

What's wrong with what Blake says?

First, he assumes Avon is talking about the dumping plan.
Then he concludes that Avon is smart and it wouldn't have taken him long to realize it was a stupid plan.
Do you see the problem in logic?
Um, if you know Avon is that smart and it wouldn't have taken him that long, uh, why in blazes would you even guess that this is the plan that Avon is thinking of 4 months later when you just said the he wouldn't? Duh?

Brains anyone? Cause I don't see much evidence of it here.

Next is the first of Blake's disastrous plans that gets his own people killed.

Ok. The scanners have been disabled. The doors have been disabled. This alerts the crew so they're primed for trouble and prowling the corridors, fully armed, expecting trouble from the prisoners.

Who thinks it's a good idea to send the prisoners, en masse, stumbling around trying to locate the armoury through corridors where its very hard to hide a large group? Any prisoner caught in the corridors would be considered to be rebelling and dangerous. Anyone think that's a good plan on anyone's part?

Well the prisoners, all 7 of them who died in the corridors, definitely don't think that.

The first of Blake's many disastrous plans that not only do not meet his objectives but gets his own people killed and captured.

Another evidence of short-sighted and limited intelligence? Avon gives Blake a much better idea. Control the computers and you can control the ship. This is Avon's idea. Blake's is for Avon to open the doors and disable the scanners and he and the prisoners will do the rest, meaning using unarmed prisoners to try to subdue fully armed crew.

Even after Avon agrees to help, Blake still doesn't twig that Avon has the better plan. It's not until Avon doesn't come back for a while that Blake even begins to think about using Avon's idea. But then, he abandons his own limited idea, sending the prisoners to their deaths while he goes to the computer room.

There is also another thing Blake tends to do that he first does here. He apes Avon's ideas as if they were his own and never once acknowledging that it was Avon's idea first.

Blake is highly arrogant.

The most obvious is how Blake takes over and starts giving orders as if the ship is his and he can tell Avon and Jenna what to do and where the ship is to go, without even asking. He never asks, he just takes. It's no wonder Avon later in Cygnus identifies that Blake will take everything and use it for his cause, regardless of what they want to do with it. Blake does not share nor is he fair.

In the second conversation, Blake acts like he's the one who is offering Avon safety. Avon calls Blake on his arrogance right away. He knows Blake is full of himself and he has nothing without Avon's help. It is Blake who is coming, cap in hand, to ask Avon for his help but he has the gall to act arrogant to Avon.

Grem_Stunned
Comments 
26th-Sep-2009 11:26 pm (UTC)
But you should post on b7rewatch! Apart from getting some discussion going, you might find others who agree. I do to some extent--he's obsessed--but I don't really hate Blake till Star One, and I can see a few good points.
27th-Sep-2009 12:08 am (UTC)
I had considered participating in b7rewatch but decided against it. I think some people are far happier that I don't.

Yup. I didn't find him hateful at first, just annoying and boring beyond belief. But then I started studying what he did and how he behaved when he is opposed, as opposed to what he said. That was when I started detesting him and wondered how anyone could see him as a hero.

I can see good points too, but IMO, they're all surface. It's what you do with your good intentions and feelings that count. Not that you had them.

He's the perfect example of "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". The saying isn't "the road leading near hell is paved with good intentions and you should get an honourable mention at least". It's applauding people who have the right idea and passion but allowing them to justify any immoral action, that makes this world the place it is now. Terrorists and tyrants all believe they're right. Have you heard Mugabe in interviews? The man is scary but he's sounds reasonable and he's passionate in his belief that he's doing the right thing for his people. Until you realize what attrocities he is condoning for the sake of doing what he thinks is right. Sorry, I don't see Mugabe as a hero no matter how much he thinks he's got good intentions or the right ideals.

Blake did far too many immoral, unjustifiable things long before Star One and he was a detriment to the morality of his crew. He's far worse than Avon in what he does but he gets away with it because he 'sounds' and 'acts' like a hero and is 'nice', unless he doesn't get what he wants or is opposed. But who is responsible for saving the majority of the people who are saved on B7? It's not Blake. And who is responsible for the most uncalled for deaths? It's not Avon.

Sorry, on a Blake rant today because it's therapeutic for me.
27th-Sep-2009 01:35 am (UTC)
At least he knew he needed a crew, unlike most of the bastards in business these days, all greed and obscene salaries and a total lack of realisation about who makes the sodding money.

Just thought I'd do a rant of my own. Pity communism didn't work on a large scale, but it does work on the kibbutz one: up to 500 population anyway before they split into two, so that everyone gets a say. They really do act out the "to each their needs, from each to their ability". And the unit operates in a capitalist market so they maximise profits, but they go to the community.

But yeah, Blake knew how to be a manager which is why I think he was one, not the engineer some make him. (See this story, haha.) I was pleased he went because I found him boring too, but I'd have had him over Tarrant.
27th-Sep-2009 01:45 am (UTC)
Yup, I never thought Blake was an engineer and was surprised that people in fandom thought he was. He never exhibited much technical ability. But he does act like the typical manager, the kind I hate not surprisingly enough ;)

Yup, boring beyond belief. His conflicts with Avon were irritating because I don't find bullheaded stubbornness an adequate or entertaining argument against someone who has intelligence. I kept wanting to fast forward every time Blake opened his mouth because his excuse for logic made me wince.
27th-Sep-2009 01:48 am (UTC)
But do you notice how Blake easily abandons anyone who won't go along with his suicidal plan in CA. How he calls them pathetic. And how in following his plans, that once again, half the people who follow him get slaughtered?
27th-Sep-2009 02:00 am (UTC)
I also noticed that when he comes back from CA, he doesn't tell Jenna and Avon about the danger down there; in fact he says nothing. I get so angry at how he lied and lied in Pressure Point, and that lie in Star One that he always trusted Avon? WTH?

But he did go back for Cally and was all guilt-stricken (and admittedly selfishly made it all about him) over Gan.
27th-Sep-2009 02:19 am (UTC)
Yup, he never bothered to tell Jenna and Avon about the danger, in fact he shows an early propensity for being able to lie without blinking an eye. What if Avon and Jenna decided to go down for some reason? They would have been completely unaware of the danger because Blake never told them.

I believe that if he had told them how dangerous it was, Avon and Jenna would never have considered leaving him down there.

There are other lies he tells too. He says one thing and then turns around and says the exact opposite, without batting an eye or even thinking that it might be wrong.

And very early on Avon becomes very wary of Blake doing things behind their backs and not once does the crew defend Blake when Avon accuses him of this. They defend him on other things. I do find interesting the things the crew does not defend Blake for. Some very scathing things Avon says about him.

Yes, he goes back for Cally. That was good of him. Of course if the crew didn't stop him from going down when he wanted to, he would have got them all killed and never been able to rescue her.

I think Blake was grief stricken about Gan, very briefly. I don't think it was about grief or guilt at all in Trial. IMO the entire Trial episode was completely self-serving on Blake's part, and was to make them all feel guilty so they would take him back as leader. If you study that tape he leaves for them, not once does he apologizes for screwing them over or betraying their trust repeatedly. The only thing he apologizes for is that the target he picked was false. Meaning that he was never even the slightest bit sorry for what he did to them, he was only sorry that Control was an illusion so that it didn't give him justification to do what he did. Anyone who makes it (Gan's death and his betrayal of his crew) selfishly about himself isn't really that grief-stricken. He's being self-serving.
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27th-Sep-2009 12:10 am (UTC)
I love Guns of Navarone.
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27th-Sep-2009 12:16 am (UTC)
It wouldn't be surprising. He used Dirty Dozen and Magnificent 7 too as inspirations.
27th-Sep-2009 07:27 am (UTC)
"Now Blake does one good thing in all this. He gives up rather than risk Raiker executing the prisoners. But given the other self-serving, callous things he has already done, it makes me wonder why all of a sudden he actually cares more about the prisoners than his plan to take over the ship. A glimmer of conscience perhaps? Because it is completely inconsistent with his behavior so far."

OK, here's how I read this: Blake is not a cruel person (at this point) but he is and always will be egomaniacal(how else to you appoint yourself a savior?) It doesn't appear to him to be amoral to risk lives because it doesn't occur to him in the least that he could lose. And Blake is also sentimental, meaning that he'll risk all for one life, but when it comes to faceless multitudes, he glosses over them. He doesn't know them, doesn't have to see them.

Avon is the opposite. It always occurs to him that he can lose, and he's always calculating the amount of risk. In his calculations, the faceless multitudes mean more to him because they weigh more heavily than the life of an individual to a person who is not a sentimentalist. And he's very up front about saying what he should do, what he plans to do, based on those calculations...which is why everyone thinks he's such a cold bastard. But half the time, his emotions get the better of him, and he ends up doing something heroic against his better judgment.

"IMO, if Blake had stopped manipulating Avon when he asked, Avon would have gladly helped. He had already shown a propensity to be helpful in the earlier conversation, before people started acting hostile towards him."

I'm a huge Avon fan, but I'm sorry, I can't see ever describing him as "helpful." I think he was sizing Blake up, seeing if he thought Blake had a chance to win, pretty much deciding that Blake didn't have a chance to win, and then figuring he had nothing to lose anyway!

"Blake exhibits dominating, bullying and hostile behavior towards Avon from very near the beginning."

True dat. And Avon eats it up with a spoon. Too bad Cally didn't stay as bitchy as she was in S1...Avon only likes people who kick him around. Mystical S3 Cally doesn't stand a chance.

BTW, I've never minded reading rants from people with unusual points of view...it makes me think, and the world needs more of that! And I think I pretty much agree with you about all of Blake's flaws...but you're leaving out Blake's idealism, his courage, his ability to inspire people. And whitewashing Avon's flaws (the biggest one IMHO is his demonstrably fatal ability to underestimate the power of his own emotions) only makes him duller.
27th-Sep-2009 08:00 am (UTC)
I guess there are some things we agree on and some we don't.

I think Avon showed himself quite naturally willing to help on many occasions, but only to people who did not attack or bully him.

I think Avon hated Blake because of the bullying and manipulation. He says it right out in Spacefall when he tells Blake to stop it. I think it was what Avon had been trying to escape from in the Federation, why he wanted to be in a place where no one could touch him again. I think Blake's continued bullying and manipulated made Avon increasingly hate Blake until he finally blew up at him in Star One. He had very clearly been trying to escape Blake for a long time, since Breakdown, but was only held back by pure circumstance and because Blake had deliberately manipulated the conditions so that Avon could not leave safely. I think Avo always wanted a relationship of equal partnership with Blake but Blake was an dominating egomaniac.

I think Avon had a far better relationship with Cally than he ever had with Blake. He never hated Cally. Theirs was a much more equal relationship. She was able to influence him without any bullying, intimidation or manipulation. and yet Avon still had the freedom to refuse. That is a true friendship and rlationship between equals. Something Blake is not capable of. And most likely why Avon disdains Blake's question about his relationship with Anna. Avon could hardly think that Blake would not understand the relationship between a man and a woman. But IMO, I think Avon judged that Blake couldn't possibly understand what it was to have a truly loving and equal relationship, because to love someone means to accept them for who they are. And that is the relationship he had with Cally. She is the only one on the ship whom he shows tenderness towards and whom he tries to teach when he thinks she's doing something wrong. I don't think its an accident that when Cally acts like Blake in Weapon, Avon berates her, telling her what friends on Earh do not do to each other. And guess what, that is what Blake does.

And after Blake is gone from the picture, Avon never once mentions him on his own and anyone who mentions Blake, Avon has a very negative reaction. It's clear from what he tells Mellenby that he hated every moment he spent on the Liberator with Blake.

Not so with Cally. Avon actually mentions her and is positive.
27th-Sep-2009 09:10 am (UTC)
I don't think Avon lapped up Blake's abuse of him. He hated it. If he didn't he would not have told Blake to back off when Blake tried to manipulate him. If he didn't he would have continued staying at the table while Blake bullied and dominated him rather than walk away. If he didn't he would not have tried to leave so many times and only was stopped by circumstance, or tried to get the crew to leave Blake. If he really loved it, he would not have such a negative reaction every time Blake's name is even mentioned after Blake leaves.

Yes, Avon would never allow Blake to die. But I think that had far more to do with Avon's character. He will risk his life to help others and save them, even total strangers. That is Avon. He has a natural instinct to save. We see it many times the way he automatically reacts and puts himself in harms way to protect someone else.

Avon is much nicer to Cally because she is the only one of the crew who doesn't attack or manipulate him. You also see this in Avon's relationship with basically anyone who doesn't attack or manipulate him.

I think Avon always understood how he felt and the power of his own emotions. We see this in Duel. He is very aware of whether he cares or not. And not only that, he is also very aware that he shows caring in completely different ways than others.

IMO, I think what Avon says is a defence mechanism against those who attack and bully him and whom he doesn't trust. It's not an indication that he is not aware of how he feels. He does show very overt caring for Cally in an expressive way, not just in action like he does with the others. IMO, it's because he doesn't feel the need to be defensive with her. She has never given him cause to. Not like the others.

IMO, Avon actually responds well to being treated well. He responds extremely negatively to being bullied or manipulated. Yes, you might be able to make him do what you want, but its clear from the look on his face, his words and his increasingly negative attitude that he hates and resents being treated like this.

And I don't consider it a good relationship just because you can make someone do whatever you want. That is a controlling and self-serving relationship.

What Avon and Cally had was a really good relationship. She was able to influence him without resorting to force but at the same time, she never took away his right to make his own decisions and chose his own path.

I think Blake and Jenna both recognized very early on that Avon had a very special relationship with Cally. In Project Avalon, this is very apparent.
27th-Sep-2009 10:39 pm (UTC)
Just a note, I am only talking about Avon. Not about this type of lifestyle in general. I'm sure some people find a dominating/submissive relationship to be satisfying but I do not think that Avon ever did. I think he hated what Blake tried to do to him and became increasingly angry and resentful, sought increasingly to leave and then to actively take the ship and the crew from Blake and then finally blew up at him and freed himself from Blake and was far happier and did far better without him. Just like he said in Terminal, he did far better without Blake and considered Blake a simpleton.
27th-Sep-2009 08:22 am (UTC)
Actually I think Blake knew he could lose because he had already lost in a big way already when he lost all of his friends and family and was paraded around like a puppet and was made to betray all of his friends. He knows very well he had already lost once. I think it is one of the things that drives him, the need for revenge because of what happened.

In terms of Avon's flaws and Blake's good points, I am very aware of them. It's what most people harp on about so I don't bother to mention them. What I am trying to focus on what most people seem to either ignore about them or dismiss.

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