Rebecca White is a confusing character. If one were to watch her first scene and compare it to her last scene, it is like watching two different characters. Normally, this would be ok. That means the character has developed and changed with time. However, that is not Rebecca’s case. She has developed many different personalities. Currently, she is rocking the victim look. Now, there has to be a reason for these drastic changes. People have talked about it but haven’t come to an exact conclusion. So, I decided to take a whack at it. I broke down her time on the show, all the changes I’ve noticed and what could be the reason for these changes.
I don’t like Rebecca White. I might never like her, but that doesn’t negate how problematic her arc and characterization has been on Emmerdale. It’s important to remember this as we go forward.
So, let’s go!
Rebecca Whites Timeline (In Three Parts)
The Beginning – Helicopter Plans
Rebecca White enters the scene in a helicopter (something the town fears after that terror) and finds her way to her family, The Whites. Robert calls her in help get her family admits that they set Andy up for the shooting. She starts off helping but slowly it becomes evident she wants to know if she is an heir to the White fortune and she wants Robert Sugden back. Robert tries to keep her sweet and on plan when she starts enjoying her time with her family. Then she keeps pushing before after the second kiss Robert tells Aaron what has been going on. After Rebecca finds out she is a White, she decides to start protecting her family (especially after Andy’s name is cleared). Once Robert pushes her away declaring Aaron as the one he wants is when she wants her revenge. Trying to embarrass Aaron in the pub, who knows all, she is unsuccessful and leaves.
Rebeca is presented as someone who has traveled the world. She was raised with money and went to, the best schools. Wearing the latest styles (in large hats), she was someone who has done and seen a lot. She is flirty, young and headstrong.
Roberts and Aarons Separated – The Incident
A few weeks after Aaron tells Rebecca off, the three are now friends. Rebecca is listening to Aaron and his issues with Gordon, helping Robert out with plans for Aaron and even helps out Liv after Robert is left alone after Aaron goes to prison. During this time, something shifts. Her flirting gets heavy and seems to want, a different Robert. Robert keeps pushing her away but trying to keep her as a friend. After a nasty fight with Aaron in prison, Robert, who is drunk, sleeps a sober Rebecca. After he pushes her away, she gets angry and throws their past in his face, especially after she finds out she is pregnant the same time Aaron comes home.
Rebecca is well on the soap vixen road. She appears to get everyone into a false sense of security through friendship while wanting to steal Robert away from Aaron and his family. Then she gets what she wants from the incident only to be pushed away. From that point on she becomes the victim of Roberts ‘user’ ways. She starts to hate him.
Pregnancy and Beyond
Rebecca finally tells Chrissie about the pregnancy and decides that she wants to do this on her own. She doesn’t want or need Roberts help. When Robert says he doesn’t want the baby, she gets angry and lets Ross shake Robert down. Then changes her mind. Then gets angry when Robert thanks her for not keeping the baby and decided to keep from him that she was pregnant. So, to a shocked pub and Robert and Aaron, Chrissie tells everyone that she is pregnant. She doesn’t want to be in the way of Robert and Aarons relationship but still tells Aaron to break up and run from Robert. After Robert decides to not to be in the baby’s life he keeps his distance but doesn’t. Rebecca stays with Victoria, decides she wants Robert on the birth certificate, wants money to help with the baby and shows him the scan. Soon, Robert and Aaron fall apart, and she gleefully talks about it with Debbie and Victoria at the pub. Happily, she accepts Robert wanting to help with Home Farm and be in the baby’s life, acting like everything will be fine because the baby has both parents around.
Her personality changes from happy to sad during one episode. She needs Roberts help at every turn but dismisses him the minute her father gives her attention. She seems happy to see Robert and Aaron fall apart but then hoped that the three of them could have raised the child together. She even wanted the two to be together but still told Aaron to run for the hills in the same episode. She just invites herself into Roberts life and thinks she should right to do that. It’s confusing and makes the character hard to follow.
Confusion as Big as Rebecca’s Hats: Personal Thoughts
See the confusion? How did this happen? Here are some of my thoughts.
Rebecca, in my opinion, was brought in to stir up the White Family, Robert, and Robron. A classic soap vixen, which is fine. I love a great soap vixen. From my memories and some research, people were mixed on her but didn’t see a real reason to get too upset. She seemed to be heading down that vixen road and have so interesting conflict with her family when it all seemed to stop, right around November and Aarons pub fight. Something happened that made everything confusing. Her character varied from episode to episode. The storyline seemed to stop and go depending on what was happening to Robert and Aaron. The family storyline appears to slow too. Only coming up in weird moments.
So, with that, the general audience seemed to fall from mixed emotions to hatred. Predictability, the Robron fandom turned on her (I know there are fans of the character in the Robron fandom as well). The audience seems to be having a hard time relating to someone who keeps changing personalities from episode to episode. It also doesn’t help that she was a factor in the breakup of a very popular couple. When that happens, the character needs to be developed and handled with care. Rebecca? Was not handled with care. She was thrown at us with no instruction or warning, and now she is a mess.
Usually, soap writers can keep a steady characterization when reading for a soap. Especially the writers for Emmerdale. However, when it comes to Rebecca, that steadiness goes out the window. I can tell when certain writers are writing for her. There is a set that writes her as a saint; there are set that write her with an edge and then a set that writes her like she is a blank wall. There is no continuity there which is odd for a show like Emmerdale. That is a problem. There is a miscommunication happening there that is ruining her character.
(Ok…it happens for a few characters. I know two writers who hate Robert and it shows.)
In the same vein as the writers, there has been talk of the story changing and rewrites happening (some even think the story changed after the second Robert/Rebecca kiss). This hasn’t been confirmed anywhere, but that could explain the confusion with the character. When changing the direction of a story, it could mess with the characters motivation and direction in a show. That might explain why the writers are all writing her differently.
Chemistry with Cast
Again, this is subjective. Personally, I never saw a connection there between Rebecca or Robert. I saw a small spark between Chrissie and Rebecca but its thin and flickers easily. Not having chemistry with the people, you work with the sell the character and the relationships, plot points are hard to sell, and then things become confusing.It happens on every show, but usually, people don’t keep the character around.
Again, another subjective topic. I don’t want to step on toes but my own opinion? I’m not a fan of Emily Heads acting. It feels forced. Sometimes it seems like she is overthinking a scene and sometimes it feels like she doesn’t care. Again, personal opinion. However, that might be affecting how people see the character. Relate to the character.Much like the writers, different directors could be the reason why people are confused by her.
I hate Rebecca White. I can’t stand her. She isn’t a character that was written correctly. She was designed to shake things up with one of Emmerdale’s big couples. It needed a strong actress, writing, and direction. However, we have this mess. A polarizing character that has caused nothing but confusion, anger, and fighting among the fans and even media. Hopefully, as we go into those Fall months we finally get some answers or a reason for Rebecca’s confusing behavior.
What do you think? Do you find Rebecca confusing or do you see a method to the madness? Tell me below or tweet me @AmandaJ718. Until my next piece, see you around Emmerdale.