Devils Advocate: Part Two (More Devil. Less Advocate.)

(First Part Here)

Every day there seems to be a new meltdown. Sometimes it feels like every hour. Since March the majority of the Robron fandom has been overreacting to spoilers to a degree of craziness.  Lots of fears are being preyed on by people who value clicks over telling the truth.  Also, people who don’t understand how to read a crowd. Regardless, people are melting down, and I’m here to say…

Don’t.

As someone who overanalyzes the show to a degree, I have picked up on many visual and verbal cues on where the narrative focus is going. I’ve outlined a few bits of speculation I have seen on social media and why it could or couldn’t work with the current narrative I’m seeing. So, get something to drink, get your favorite snack and come hang out with me in narrative overanalyzing land for three popular speculations.

Speculation #1: The Baby Will Die

This speculation has been around since that one spoiler showed up on twitter (I’m not talking about it here because I’m not Darren).  People speculate that since Rebecca mentioned to Robert, “She was just making sure things were ok.” in that one July episode, something might be wrong with the baby.

Why It Could Happen

The baby is a big thorn in everyone’s sides. On Robert and Aarons side (they aren’t ready to be parents, and they need to work on themselves) and The Whites side (they don’t want to be connected to Robert for life).  This baby has been pushed aside for so many plot cul-de-sacs or as I call it, Roberts Revenge Breakdown, that the show might see the baby as expendable. I know that is upsetting since the only innocent person in this whole storyline is that baby.  However, it’s the one piece of the puzzle that the show itself is ignoring. Like, it isn’t an important factor. It reminds me of cleaning up all the loose ends, the baby is a loose end. Again, I know its hard to hear, but that is how the show is presenting the baby at the time of this writing.

Also, killing the baby (I really do hate writing that) gives everyone involved extra drama. Aaron will feel guilty for wanting the baby to die, Robert will feel guilty for not caring about the baby while it was alive, The Whites…I’m not sure how they would feel. We, once again, don’t know much of how they feel. Maybe that would be used to set off their exit mixed in with finding out about Robert’s schemes. Either way, killing the baby off would set off all the key characters down a new path.

Why It Can’t Happen

Here is what I know.  What have we seen of the baby so far? Have we seen the baby on a screen? Have we heard the heartbeat? Have we had excitement over the child from Rebecca? Have we seen some attachment from Robert? If you answered yes to any of these, you haven’t been watching very closely or only listening to the most hysterical among us.

If they are talking about killing off the baby (I hate writing that by the way) they would make sure we saw that baby. We would see the scans. We would hear that heartbeat. We would get clear viewpoints on how Rebecca and Robert are feeling going forward through this story.  Rebecca goes missing from her own story these days. The only reason we are getting what we are getting with Rebecca and Robert (I will not spoil what is coming up this week. I am not Darren) is because Aaron is back. Chas is back. All the players are back on the board. If the baby were leaving us, we would care about the baby. We don’t. We care from an empathic frame of reference (no one wants to see a baby be hurt or die).  However, from a character or storyline point? We don’t care. We really don’t. As a fandom, we barely talk about the baby. We talk about Rebecca and The Whites but not the baby. For the baby to die, it would need to be for impact or to talk about an event many families experiences (Laurel and Ashley’s Baby story for example).  We don’t care about the kid as an audience. Looks like Eliza and Baby Dingle-Barton will get the special social issues. Nothing left for Baby White.  Just killing off a baby randomly isn’t good storytelling and I don’t think it will happen randomly.

Speculation #2: Robert/Aaron and Rebecca will Co-Parent the Kid

This is self-explanatory. After everything is out in the open, Robert and Aaron find their way back to each other, and The Whites future has been decided; Robert, Aaron, and Rebecca would play nice to raise the baby together.

Why It Can Happen

Co-parenting, while weird, is a soap staple. Some of the strangest groups of soap characters have made it work since the creation of the genre. While it isn’t feasible before the baby is born this could be developed after everything is closed off and used as a new storyline.  Robert and Aaron find their way back to each other, Rebecca is the last White standing, all the schemes and other problems with the storyline is resolved, and we are left with a baby and Robron. From that point on we can have Robert and Aaron work on their own relationship and their relationship with the baby. Meanwhile, the show can put the time and effort in to give Rebecca a personality and maybe likable to the audience by having her weave herself into the village ( a tall order, I know).  Meanwhile, the three of them bond over the baby. The baby is what brings them to a friendly place.

*Even I can’t make this work. I’m tap dancing…hard.*

Why It Can’t Happen

The show has made it known that Rebecca isn’t sticking around.  There has been much speculation about this and based off what we have seen, there is no reason for her to stick around. Her family is on their way out. She only appears at Home Farm and only at other places if her family or Robert is present.  She doesn’t have friends outside of the Sugdens or even The Dingles (Victoria and Debbie respectfully). In fact, Victoria is only interested in Rebecca when it calls for plot points to be made. Same with Debbie. That friendship seemed to die off when Debbie noted how giddy Rebecca looked about Robert and Aaron breaking up, telling her to move to the back room while they were there. Since then it’s been limited at best.

Another beat that would have to develop is the relationship with Robert and Aaron. If the three are to co-parent, they would have to develop those relationships. The show would have started to have the three of them start to be friendly with each other. If anything, the three would have to start this friendly relationship way before the child is born for it to make sense. Especially when the whites are on their way out from November to January.  Rebecca would need a touchstone that isn’t her family, and so far she is still attached to them.

Speaking of Rebecca, she would have to develop a personality that doesn’t depend on the plot. Also, the show would have to make her likable to the Robron audience which is a tall order. Right now, we see her mocking Lydia and her position in life, mocking the businesses in town and especially mocking the scrapyard (Robert and Aarons business).  She is looking down on the village and everything it stands for which doesn’t make her popular with the audience. We, the audience, are attached to this crazy place and the people in it.  Having a character look down on that while co-parenting with too extremely popular and beloved characters? Yeah, that won’t fly at all. She would need a whole new personality transplant, and that would take way too much time to develop.

Also, would any sane person let Robert near that kid after the schemes he has pulled on her and her family? No. Yes, Rebecca has always gone with Robert because she has no brain cells left in her head but this time she will use that to run from the village and Robert with the kid.  Roberts schemes aren’t pretty and wouldn’t make him trustworthy to her or The Whites.

Speculation #3: Rebecca and Robert are in Love/Robert and Rebecca will Be a Couple

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Yeah. I can’t even give this a real go without laughing because it ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN. Believe me. Jimmy and Robert have a better chance of falling in love and becoming a couple than these two. I’m going to refer you to this post I wrote about the ways the show isn’t going there with them.  It still fits.

LET THAT FEAR GO. It won’t be a thing. Not even Robert pretending is happening. He picked Lawrence for that cliché. While hilarious, we now have to suffer through that but its better than suffering through what most were afraid of, Robert and Rebecca. Count your blessings, my friends. It could be worse.

Narratively the show is heading in a way that no one can predict. Don’t listen to the people of the internet who are looking for clicks/attention and not trying to be a productive member of this fandom.  They are there to cause panic and people thinking the worst of the show.  Remember, Emmerdale isn’t terrible. It is telling a crappy story badly right now and just happened to pick two of their most popular characters/couple to do it.  Do not despair. This is their big story, and the big stories get the big twists. It may not be the twist you wanted or expected, but something is coming. Something to wrap up the story and move us towards a new frontier for Robert/Robron.  I find that thinking through the possibilities this story can go (how it works and doesn’t work) helps calm the soul and just enjoy the ride. What else helps? Finding a group or one friend to complain to. Get out all your frustrations with them, and then you will see clearly. That is what fandom is for. Talking things through. Challenge each other to think beyond the groupthink. Challenge each other to think of the good and bad. Challenge each other to laugh. If not for one’s nerves but for one’s sanity.

Everything feels messy and crazy, but I’m convinced the show wants it that way. They want us to be surprised. They want us to wonder what is going to happen next. Regardless of people trying to ruin the ride, sit back and take each punch as it comes. It will be ok in the end.

This is just my opinion on the current speculation I hear out there. What do you think? Have you heard about other possible avenues this story could go? Do you have an opinion you need to yell out? Come on over to my tweet and Tumblr @AmandaJ718. I’m listening. So, until next time, see you around in Emmerdale.

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