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Avon was a Natural Leader 
5th-Oct-2010 03:47 am
I've taken leadership courses and there are many types of leaders and Avon definitely falls into one of those types. He's actually a natural leader. He expects people to follow him, he slips into a leadership role quite easily without having to ram it down people's throats like Blake and Tarrant, he initiates actions and people naturally look to him for leadership when someone louder and more distracting isn't around.

Being a loud, bullying, manipulative liar isn't a prerequisite for being a leader. If it were then only people like Blake could be leaders. Usually, at my work, leaders like that are detested and hated and no one respects them. People who lead like Avon, who know what they're doing, who don't throw their weight around constantly, who don't insist their way is the only way, they are the ones who are loved as leaders, even if they are cold emotionally. They aren't flashy leaders but they are competent ones. They are rational, logical and responsible who are able to think big picture and long term. They are able to understand complexities and know how to problem solve by fixing the problems. This is Avon. Blake? Not a hope. He's the kind of amateur who comes up with emotional, knee-jerk bandaid solutions that usually end up destroying everything and solve nothing. But they look really good and flashy solutions on the surface and that is typical Blake.

Avon wanted to be leader and he wanted to take leadership from Blake, that was very clearly specified several times. Avon never hid that. Of the two, Blake had the advantage as leader, he was more charismatic, forceful and was much more of a bully. That doesn't make Blake a good leader nor does it make Avon not a leader, just different types of leaders, with one people are more inclined to follow. Though they will follow both types, just as it works in the real world. To assume that just because Blake was a leader then Avon couldn't also be a leader too is a very limited and narrow way of thinking.

Even when Tarrant came onboard and tried to take leadership from Avon, he never succeeded. Watch their interaction carefully. From the beginning, even when Tarrant was trying to give orders, he always recognized that when there was anything important to be done, when there was real danger or if there was a policy decision to be made, he always asked Avon's permission.

Avon kept a careful eye on Tarrant's performance. If Tarrant looked like he couldn't handle things Avon immediately stepped in and took over and led the others in what needed to be done. Avon left the dreary day-to-day operation of the ship to Tarrant.

What does this sound like? This sounds like Avon was the exec and Tarrant was the junior officer who took care of less important and boring tasks. Tarrant didn't realize this at first. He thought that because Avon let him shoot his mouth off that he was the leader, but he learned soon enough and it became very clear Avon was always and only the leader.

And Avon never followed Blake. Avon never acknowledged Blake as leader. He was only on the ship for his own personal agenda. Any actions he took on the ship was because he was a team player or Blake bullied him into it. Avon never followed despite himself. He was a failure as a follower because Avon was never a follower, he was a leader in conflict with another leader who was a bully. The only time Blake ever gave Avon a real choice on a mission, Avon categorically refused to go, and he didn't. Blake learned that the hard way.

Avon needed time alone, but he was never a loner. Avon constantly sought out companionship, something we never see Blake doing. Avon played board games with the crew, he shared meals with them and had chats, he went with Vila to have some fun. Even when he was working and didn't need to be with everyone else, Avon hung around the others. That's a very strange definition of a loner. In comparison, Blake never did any of those things with the crew. The only interaction he had with them was by necessity, it was never social. So who was really antisocial according to canon? It was Blake, not Avon.

From the beginning to the end, Avon was usually right about everything. He had a far greater and deeper understanding about people and how society worked. Blake was completely clueless. Avon knew it was all about money and power, that's how the world runs. Even in our society that is true. Vila was right that Blake strutted around arrogantly thinking he could handle everything and he knew all about handling the Terra Nostra, when in reality he didn't understand a thing about the lower classes or the underworld. Avon knew though, he knew Blake's silly plan would never work. Like most of Blake's plans, it was an ill-conceived failure that this time didn't even have the benefit of luck.

Blake understand what it was to be human? If he didn't understand those things which should be common sense, he doesn't have a hope of understanding what it means to be human. The only one who did was Avon.
Aftermath Avon enigmatic
7th-Oct-2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
And Terminal...Avon only didn't tell the crew because he had no choice. His instructions were specifically not to tell anyone and to come down alone, something that wouldn't have happened if he had told the crew. He wasn't being devious just to get his own way. Avon was never directly responsible for that. Directly responsible would be if he planted the bombs, or if she died on the ship because of the particle cloud. Cally died because of Servalan's traps. That means Avon was indirectly responsible through a third party. And it wasn't as if Avon made a stupid decision that got them all down there. It was Servalan's trap and the cloud. In hindsight it was not a good idea to go through the cloud (something Blake would have happily danced through, except that in his case he would probably have gotten lucky and the ship would be fine). Avon acted on the information he had and it told him that it wasn't that dangerous. Even Dayna and Cally agreed with him on no pressure at all from Avon. Zen was only suggesting that they go around it because there wasn't any information. It wasn't like other times when Blake was around and Zen categorically refuses to do things or to cooperate because it knows it was dangerous. The fact that it didn't shut down, tells Avon that it was just a warning and Zen wasn't acting on knowledge of real danger. So Avon went ahead, making a logical decision based on information he had at the moment.

I consider Orbit an anomaly. Avon was not the kind of man to do what he did to Vila. The whole episode was ludicrous, made no sense logically, and it wasn't just Avon who was acting out of character. The writer didn't seem to know the show very well or how each character acted, which is surprising because we know he had written for the show before. I actually like Avon and Vila's interaction a lot in that episode except for the last 8 minutes and that bit when Vila didn't want to help Avon and suggested one of the girls go down instead. Other than that, they seemed like friends and interacted as equals.

Yes, Blake would never have considered what Avon did in the shuttle. But Blake would have no qualms sacrificing any of them against their wills as long as he thinks his goals can be accomplished.

Yes, there are many inconsistencies in the show and really it was a very badly written show because of that. But every viewer can make up their minds about their favourite characters and who the heroes and villains are. I've made my choices and I'm sure others have made their own. I'm perfectly accepting of that, as long as others realize I have every right to make the choices I have made. A lot of people like Blake. That's fine. I hate Blake. That should also be fine.
7th-Oct-2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
One other thing, Avon was a very fair man. He rarely ever treated anyone badly, not even with an unkind work, unless they treated him very badly first. That he would hate Blake with such venom in Star One tells me that they were never friends and Blake never treated Avon as a friend or with any respect or consideration, or Avon would not be so livid in his hatred and need to be free of Blake. The way he says it, with such vitriol, it's like Blake is some disease he wants to rid himself of. And Avon will do anything to rid himself of Blake, even help him at Control even though its suicide and Avon knows Blake betrayed all their trust, even in Star One when he was so livid with hatred. It wasn't anger, Blake recognized it as hatred. There has to be a reason for that. If Blake was ever a friend to Avon, and only occasionally treated him badly, I doubt if Avon have ever expressed such hate and extreme desire to rid himself of Blake, which already started way back in Breakdown.

Edited at 2010-10-07 02:51 pm (UTC)
8th-Oct-2010 05:57 am (UTC)
as long as others realize I have every right to make the choices I have made
I can't imagine people attacking you for that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and LJ is a perfect outlet for your thoughts.
8th-Oct-2010 02:07 pm (UTC)
Yup, unfortunately they do, which really pisses me off. Because that's out of line.
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