Oh dear. To those panicked and/or upset about the current storyline in my inbox:
I mean, if people are offended then they need to step away. It’s a SOAP. If it was a story written for raising awareness of serious issues or portraying something of poignance then I’d understand upset. This isn’t Aaron’s prison storyline or David’s cancer or Rhona’s abuse… it’s quite possibly the soapiest thing ED have done for a long time.
It is nonsensical madness with Rob at the centre playing puppet master as per @dasoni ’s genius art! It’s him unravelling and it is in no way about The Whites. This isn’t their story, it’s his. There’s no focus on how this is affecting them emotionally. The only scenes where they’re without Rob are only there to set up further scenes aka Chrissie chatting with Rebecca about her concerns about Kath… that’s not there to show Chrissie is a great sister or a shrewd business woman or that Rebecca needs to assert herself as capable…
It’s there to give the audience that feeling of “oh no, Chrissie is going to rumble Robert”. It serves to make Rebecca sadly into more of a clueless idiot. I mean dear lord. It reinstates Chrissie as being the one who always sees through Rob’s shit in some way or another etc
It’s not their story. The audience aren’t rooting for them - or most aren’t anyway! It’s Rob’s spiral to rock bottom using the people he’s hated consistently in one way or another for a large chunk of his life, who have made his a nightmare and who he has, in turn, terrorised! They’re poison, they always have been. They’re fickle and shallow and any emotional depth in any of them left a long long time ago (except for Chrissie, she has had some lovely development and that’s why I want her stick about as she’s real to me). Their motivations are irrelevant and GOOD because when you’re expected to understand them, you can’t and it’s the most infuriating thing in the world (see the Andy revenge and Rob’s retaliation plot). God that was such a mess.
Taking offence at this is pretty much pointless at this juncture. Is Rob doing bad stuff? HAHAHA YES OF COURSE HE IS. Is he getting worse? Yeah, probably. Has he always been like this? Pretty much. He’s not doing anything here that he hasn’t done before, only now he’s doing it in a concentrated way - one thing after another to the same victims…!
Soap is a difficult medium to police. You have characters who do bad things. That’s a given. Almost every single character on the show has done something terrible in their time. Look at Debbie and Chas nearly killing each other. Andy has been well dodgy in the past. Aaron has put more than one person in hospital. Moira has committed adultery more than once. Zak stoved his own son’s head in. Charity has schemed and cheated and stolen and planned to bump off. Cain… well I could be here all day… these are beloved characters!
Even the nicest characters have in some way done bad things and that’s Soap. There’s no point having a village of saints.
It’s all about how a story is framed and personally I think this one is being framed kind of well…! I mean, it’s clear that Rob is the centre of it. He’s the catalyst to all of this, the one whose emotions we have focus on and who we are supposed to be following. We are seeing HIS reactions. His responses are the ones the audience are privy to. We’re not seeing any aftermath of Larry or Rebecca or Chrissie when Rob leaves. The camera follows him and we see his “I hate myself and I hate them all and I have ruined my own life so I don’t care what happens now” face!
It is being framed as his journey to ruin and knowing the end point is also helpful to us because we KNOW how this is going to end - with Robert’s realisation, with rock bottom and his perspective changed and perhaps remorse or some decision to change. I was never fully on board with the previous Rob redemption as it wasn’t so much about him but more about Aaron. This seems more focused on his character just like Aaron’s recent development has been and I really love that. This isn’t ending with The Whites being better understood etc. Whatever happens, they’re gone and they are the tools in Rob’s story. It’s why I feel it’s be such a shame if Chrissie leaves as they’ve taken time to focus on her and to give her depth and connections and to keep her disconnected from this story for as long as possible.
If people don’t like it then it’s definitely understandable. It’s INSANE. I mean, if I didn’t get joy out of watching The Whites suffer (haha) and if I didn’t know the intention of this story etc then I’d potentially be enjoying this less but it’s all signposted and the writers are taking Rob so far away from Human Rob as they can to give him that rock bottom. I mean, COME ON we’ve wanted it for so long. Sweetheart is just spiralling right now and we all know what happens when Rob isn’t thinking straight and when he hasn’t got Aaron = bad shit. Haha.
This is like Rob’s brain at the moment. He is undergoing “THE EPIC LOSS OF AARON DINGLE”. It’s a process. He doesn’t deal well with self hatred. He doesn’t deal well with loneliness or heartbreak or anger. He is off the charts and ridiculous and it’s couched about 70% in humour. I mean, the “oh I need a doctor, seen any handsome ones around?” comment by Larry with Rob ready to crazy murder him. I laughed - loud.
Aaron is being kept so far from all of this because Aaron is home, he’s sense and logic and honesty. He’s Human Rob’s person. He’s the way through to Robert, the person that matters, that can make a difference. Rob isn’t allowed that till he’s schemed himself into the ground with no lower to go… it’s the only way for him tbh and it’s been a long time coming.
Aaron will return into his orbit properly when Human Rob returns and that’s when the story is likely to be more serious. Robert has never been a happy person. He’s always been lonely and full of rage and spite and manipulation. He rested into his relationship with Aaron and found peace and comfort and that’s who he is in his heart - aka “I just want to be myself now with you”. This Rob is pantomime Rob and he’s bloody lost all sense of reality. He always needed this because being with Aaron still didn’t help him realise this in himself, he hadn’t learned his lesson. Now he is.
If he destroys The Whites in full Soap fashion then it’s a plus and i can’t think of anything else to say to help people if they’re struggling. They’ve done all they can to sign post that this is Rob’s story, it’s all about his heartbreak and hatred of himself for the way he’s screwed up his own life and it’s about a long long standing bitterness against this entire family. I’m finding it hilarious and pretty damn enjoyable and I cannot CANNOT wait to see their faces when it all comes out. I seriously haven’t got a clue what is going to happen and that’s really new for me with ED. I’d say just try to enjoy it if you already aren’t! See it for what it is and what it will be.
You could have warned me about the call from the sister.
Yeah, I should've known chrissie wouldn't have let this drop.
It was like being mauled by a reptile.
Yeah, that sounds like her. What did she say? More importantly, what did you say?
You know me. ever the pro. Kept it about my private life. Told her about the accountant, and tried to steer her away from any business chat.
And she bought it?
Seemed to. I told you, three years in rep, darling. I need to up my fee.
Don't push it.
Yoou think? We're still on for tomorrow to sign the contract. I might need a new outfit. Look, she's keen to know more about me. I knew she would. It's the charisma. And women are interested in other women. We're nosy like that.
Where are you meeting?
The Woolpack. And I've taken the liberty of writing my back story. Particularly liked the bit about Derek, the multi-millionaire bigamist husband.
She won't care about any of that. All she'll wanna know is, how long you've been in business for, who you've worked with, how your investments have worked out.
I can wing all that.
No, no winging. All you say is that you started small and once you became successful, you moved onto corperate clients.
And if she asks for specifics, you tell her you can't disclose details because you signed a confidentiality agreement.
You'll be happy to sign with them, too. It makes you look professional. Chrissie's sharp, she's shrewd as anything, she'll be looking for any inconsistencies. Got it?
So nothing about accidentally investing in the arms trade, then?
Janet: What are you doing with a boat? Cindy: It’s for the swimming pool. I got so embarassed when it accidentally inflated on the bus. Janet: Cindy, we don’t have a swimming pool. Cindy: But I thought Chrissy said that everybody down here has a pool. Jack: Uh…ours was stolen.
would you take a whole week of rob/chrissie interactions, being bitter exes or whatever you want them to be doing or.. a single special robron episode? (if there wasn't one coming up haha) :)
CAN I REFRAME THIS INTO A WEEK OF ROBERT AND CHRISSIE BEING TRAPPED IN A ROOM TOGETHER VS ONE ROBRON SPECIAL
because that makes it so much harder how can we get both
except no ok i’d still probably choose the robron special because as much fun as it would be to trap rob and chrissie together for an extended period…. what else is there really to say between them? he fucked her over multiple times and doesn’t particularly have any interest in making amends for that and even if he did try to make amends, it wouldn’t change anything for her? let chrissie live her life and be free of him tbh 😂
and also, like… she fucked over andy and even if she apologised, that’s still not gonna bring him back? idk they’ve got nothing to resolve, really - nothing that would really help either of them, i’m pretty sure, so the interaction becomes very shallow. or maybe it would be more in depth but i don’t think it would necessarily be good for either of them ultimately lmao. their interactions are fun and i’m all about seeing them go head to head for a bit because they’re both ruthless and ott, but idk
OK YOU KNOW WHAT I WOULD PAY TO SEE. chrissie and robert being forced to work together against a common enemy while still be being bitter exes. that would be fun. nothing but sniping.
this answer is all over the place and i’m just taking it to places you never ever asked about it’s early im sorry
Being overly-familiar with a series is such a weird burden sometimes because like
you’ll see some theory being passed around that you instantly know is wrong. Like it’s surprising to see people supporting it because the flaws in its logic are so glaringly obvious. Until it hits you that, yeah it’s wrong, but only because you were able to immediately remember the 5 second conversation between two background characters 17 minutes through s2e13 that definitively disproves it. And no casual fan would have any reason to remember that off the top of their head and it’s you who’s the weird human encyclopedia with a shot-for-shot memory the entire damn series.
Like at that point you don’t even know anymore whether to argue your point or just…maybe go outside for a little bit.