Do you think they wrote the past abortion stuff in at the last minute to make Becky more sympathetic? If not, they're writing an idiot. If the last tryst with someone I loved had resulted in a painful and upsetting abortion I didn't want, the LAST THING I would do would be to have unprotected sex with them. When she says "Oh it's such a mess!" after finding out she's pregnant, its like she has no agency at all. Things just happen TO her. Not BECAUSE OF HER actions (and Robs' - he's no blameless)
(((a preface: this is a mess and it got out of hand)))
I mean…. yes and no. I think it was maybe in part to make her sympathetic, but also more to give the writers an easy, plotty reason as to why Rebecca isn’t going to just be able to get an abortion, despite the way Robert treats her, the fact that her family will inevitably disown her once more and the fact that she’s got (or had) a boyfriend and has never shown any interest in settling down and starting a family, given how all we know about her past is that she’s a free spirited island hopping DJ who has never settled down anywhere or laid roots for too long, who never even spends time at home or seems particularly family oriented (helped by the fact that there’s a real lack of love in her entire family).
It was literally just a plot device. I’ve maintained that I think the real reason why the baby exists, at its core, is to ensure Robert can’t run away from this particular mistake - that there is a tangible reason why he has to come clean and hurt Aaron in the process. This is not to take away from the fact that he’s about to own up to his mistake - he already did that with Chas literally the next day and was prepared to do it at the prison visit. That’s still marked character growth for him. But the baby gives Robert’s mistake a consequence, much in the same way that prison was a consequence for Aaron.
So yes, literally just a plot device. Once we start reading into how that particularly lazy plot device works with the overall narrative, we start asking emmerdale to look closer at how they tell their stories than they’re ever going to.
I mean. I’m gonna do it anyway, but I just want to preface this post with the fact that I know that the show really doesn’t care about this level of continuity and detail as much as we do. They just needed a way to get the characters to whatever place they’re going to get to this week and the next.
The fact is, in character as it very much is, the abortion reveal screws up a lot of what we know about Rebecca and her relationship with Robert - and how she sees her relationship with Robert.
Her entire attitude to him in the early days - wanting to get up to mischief with him, lead him into cheating on Aaron, more interested in being on his side than the side of her family to the point where she actively goes behind their backs multiple times for Robert, openly disliking the fact that Robert seemed tamed or less “old Robert” (which I guess we can say comes from jealousy over Aaron rather than an actual explicit preference towards the terrible, philandering Rob of old) and most importantly…
the fact that she and Robert have spoken about their sexcapades so fondly, as good memories???
All of this makes so much less sense with the reveal that he forced her to get an abortion, thereby traumatising her to the point where she’s still hurt about it even now, 4(?) years later.
And yes - she still jumped into bed with him and had unprotected sex. Yes, Robert knew the exact right things to say to get her to sleep with him, the right promises to make, but…
I mean, he was drunk and also he’s a bloke - anyone who has ever had sex with dudes knows that typically they care a hell of a lot less about using protection than girls. Rebecca would *know* this, it’s insulting to say she wouldn’t.
But also…. if she really believed what he was promising, that they’d finally be together and it would all be real this time, taking out the fact that he was drunk for just a second, are you telling me she couldn’t pause to go find some birth control?
Adding in the fact that he had drunk an entire bottle of whiskey, are you telling me that, if she truly believed him, why couldn’t she have just let him sleep it off and talk to him the next morning?
She heard what she wanted to hear but also, on some level, knew that this might be her only shot? She wanted it and has always wanted it badly enough that she could make herself believe what he was saying to be true and ignore any voice in her head that might be telling her to use any level of common sense or consideration for Robert here.
Which is gross, but… Rebecca isn’t stupid. Robert has openly admitted to manipulating her time and time again and she still always trusts him, always hears exactly what she wants to hear with him. She knows who he is and still has this fantasy in her head that this time might be different.
My honest theory is that I just don’t think, knowing the character (and I use this term loosely because there’s not much consistent characterisation to her), that if it were anyone else’s baby I just don’t think she’d have as much attachment to it as she does because it’s Robert’s. I don’t think this decision would be as hard for her, because I wonder if deep down the idea of having something that ties her permanently to Robert is too good for her to pass up.
I mean, I guess we’ll see what she says this week and next. From what EH and IM have said (and I take their word with a heap of salt at this point hm), she’s going to be magically over Robert now - because the first abortion and the last 7 months weren’t enough, but this apparently tipped her over the edge. We’ve seen it before and it hasn’t played out like that - I mean, I’d prefer it to, personally, but for the character, whose every flipping decision seems to revolve around Robert Sugden in some way, I just don’t think that it’s believable that she won’t want anything to do with Robert but will still want to keep the baby.
I’m getting totally ahead of myself now though, because I’m basing this on speculation, so I guess we’ll see how it plays out.
…I’ve gotten kind of off subject, but the reveal of the first abortion, to me, retcons too much and takes a lot more jigging about and fanwanking to make work than I usually like to do, which is why it annoys me. I think it’s just an easy answer to the question of why she wouldn’t just get rid of it now, without her having to say to Robert that she doesn’t want to get rid because it’s Robert’s - and I suppose that in turn opens the door for them to have her start to get over her feelings for him again, even though narratively that makes no sense.
As I say, it’s not out of character for the old Robert “nothing but the most extreme action will do when someone wants to hurt or destroy my relationship with Chrissie” Sugden
I don’t know if this mess of an answer makes any sense 😌
anyways, I think the first abortion does three things:
- Gives Rebecca an excuse to not want to have an abortion this time around
- Distances Robert from Rebecca and helps make it very clear that Robert doesn’t have lingering romantic feelings for her
- Yes, gives Rebecca another sympathetic moment where we see how yet again, despite her every single best effort, Robert is never going to have the level of concern or care for her that she wants, and she’s never going to be a priority for Robert - certainly not over Aaron and his family.
and i’m gonna stop typing before i start going on about something else 😌 when will i learn to properly structure my answers in a legible and sensible way 😌 never.