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I mean, there we were, both of us... at the beginning of our careers. Then, all of a sudden, one of us... took off! Lit up the sky like a meteor. And why? Because he met the other.
~ Earl Talbot Blake to Nick Styles.

Earl Talbot Blake is the main antagonist of the 1991 action-crime thriller film Ricochet.

He was portrayed by John Lithgow, who also portrayed Burke in Blow-Out, B.Z. in Santa Claus: The Movie, Lord John Whorfin in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension, Eric Qualen in Cliffhanger, Jean-Claude in Rugrats in Paris, Lord Farquaad in Shrek, Arthur Mitchell in Dexter, and Lamar Blackburn in The Accountant.

Biography

Blake is a gangster who, in the beginning of the film, goes to meet with other gangsters, seeking to get into the big leagues. He proceeds to kill the other gangsters and take their money before fleeing from the scene, only to be cornered by rookie police officer Nick Styles. Blake takes a nearby girl hostage and forces Nick to disarm by stripping down to his underwear. Nick turns the tables on Blake by drawing a hidden firearm from his underwear and shooting Blake in the knee, wounding him and allowing him to be apprehended by the police.

Blake is sentenced to prison while Nick goes on to become a full-fledged police officer and later a district attorney, and he becomes obsessed with exacting vengeance upon Nick for ruining his chance to become a big-time criminal. Over the next few years, he forges an alliance with members of the Aryan Brotherhood and plots his revenge on Nick. He finally puts his scheme into motion by killing a parole board member and escaping prison, then faking his death.

Blake, with the help of his right-hand man Kim, kidnaps Nick and holds him captive. During a game of arm-wrestling, he injects Nick with cocaine, incapacitating him. Later, he has Nick tied to a bed and pays a prostitute to rape him while he videotapes the encounter in order to create footage that makes the encounter look consensual so he can ruin Nick's reputation. Afterward, Blake knocks Nick out and leaves him on the steps of City Hall, where he's found by authorities. As just about everyone refuses to believe Nick's claims that he was held captive by Blake (who is believed to be dead), Blake himself proceeds to play psychological games with his hated enemy, further proving to others that Nick isn't quite sane. Later, when Nick and his close friend/partner Larry Doyle (one of the few people who believe Nick's claims) investigate the Aryan Brotherhood, Blake lures the two men into a trap and fatally shoots Larry before tossing the emptied gun to Nick, causing him to catch it and therefore get his fingerprints on it.

Nick eventually turns the tables on Blake by faking his own death on national TV; this sends Blake into a furious rage. Blake then receives a call from Nick through Odessa, a gang leader and Nick's childhood friend, telling him to come to the Watts Towers. He heads to the towers to find his kidnapped assistant Kim, who chastises him for angering Nick; in response, Blake shoots Kim dead. Nick then appears and engages Blake in a battle at the top of the metal towers, in which Blake ends up being electrocuted after a mains power supply is connected to the tower. Stunned, Blake is thrown from the tower by Styles and lands on a large spike below, impaling him.

Personality

He was a psychopathic, ruthless, and vicious professional criminal and a sadistic assassin. At the beginning, he is just a normal criminal who tries to enter the big leagues. However, when Nick Styles imprisons him, his desire for vengeance drives him into an obsession of destroying Styles's life to the point of pettiness. Probably because of his high-functionning psychopathy, Blake is able to take an impressive facade of natural politeness, as seen with Styles' two daughters while disguised as a power supply man. But most of the time, he is outright evil and rude with everybody he meets, even with his right-hand man Kim, whose he verbally abuses. When the latter has enough of his attitude, he immediatily kills him without remorse. This shows Blake does not care about anyone except himself.

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           DieHardTitle.png Villains

Movies
Die Hard: Hans Gruber | Karl Vreski | Theo | Tony Vreski
Die Hard 2: William Stuart | Ramon Esperanza | Major Grant
Ricochet: Earl Talbot Blake | Kim
Die Hard with a Vengeance: Simon Gruber | Katya | Mathias Targo
Live Free or Die Hard: Thomas Gabriel | Mai Linh | Trey | Rand | Robert Russo | Emerson | Casper
A Good Day to Die Hard: Yuri Komarov | Irina Komarov | Viktor Chagarin | Alik

Video Games
Die Hard: Vendetta: Piet Gruber
Die Hard Arcade: Wolf Hongo
Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas: Kenny Sinclair | Reese Hoffman | Elena Goshkin | Amir El Kahr | Victor Rashenko

Comic Books
Die Hard: Year One: Alan Douglas
A Million Ways to Die Hard: Mr. Moviefone