When I sat down to watch “Boyz Crazy”, I was beyond excited to know that Robbie would be making his return to the show after such a long hiatus, both within and out of the show. His personality provides a wonderful touch of harmless and realistic antagonism to make up the most well-written and fleshed out side character for a children’s show I have ever seen. Despite his clear designation as “the bad guy”, Robbie has plenty of other facets to his personality to indicate that our view of him is very much colored by the pre-teen lens through which the show is told. He genuinely and openly loves his friends, Wendy especially, yet Robbie is constantly depicted as being the most “timid” of the group. His personal insecurity results in multiple desperate attempts to impress the others so as to ensure his place in the group will not be sacrificed. This nonexistent threat to the loss of their acceptance is exacerbated by Dipper’s selfish desire to somehow “be with” Wendy, giving us the wound up ball of nerves, jerkiness, and impulsiveness that is Robbie V.
So when he walked through the door, I braced myself for an onslaught of awkward teenage hormones and cuteness. What I got instead was Wendy berating him for his inability to keep a date with her the night previously.
My first reaction to this scene was to mentally ask her how that was even possible. She was aware that it was Robbie she was talking about, right? Robbie, the guy so enamored with her he sacrificed his freezie cone to soothe the pain of her black eye? The guy who was so excited to have the chance to date her that he forgot about keeping his aloof composure and smiled wider than we’d seen before? The same kid who continues to look just as excited as he did the first day they started dating whenever she’s in the same room with him? How could that Robbie possibly stand her up?
While I pondered this, the couple reconciled and the episode’s B plot was fully set in place. Dipper went about with his irrational theory that the music was brainwashing her and I settled in for an episode that felt so incredibly off.
Except it wasn’t the episode that was off.
It was Robbie.
Fast forward to the breakup. The horrid, tragically realistic breakup. The complete meltdown of Wendy’s typical teenage slacker composure. Robbie falling apart in the emptiness of the van. Dipper and Grunkle Stan driving off and leaving them to their thoughts.
Their final fight brought up something we didn’t know before: Robbie has been lying to Wendy.
None of it makes sense.
Robbie’s personality is such that he wants to be accepted. He constantly does things in order to maintain that acceptance.
But he doesn’t lie.
When Wendy confronted Robbie and Dipper about the fight, Robbie stayed quiet. In essence, he froze. He didn’t want to tell her the truth and risk losing her, but he also didn’t want to lie.
So why lie so much? Why stand her up on the date?
Saying that he lied about borrowing her make up is clearly intended as a joke. But the bear? Why would he need to talk about a bear in the first place? Dipper took care of what had happened in the fight; what other reason would Robbie use a bear as an excuse? Has he appeared to Wendy disheveled and injured off-screen?
Robbie has the motivation and means to get what he wants. What he lacks is confidence. He is undoubtedly the weakest character, possessing a spirit that can be broken by the utterance of a simple phrase.
So if someone wanted something of anyone in Gravity Falls, the best place to go would be to Robbie V.
In short, Robbie is the ultimate pawn.
The only question is what game is being played and by whom.
Someone, somehow, is getting Robbie to prioritize their duties to them ahead of his own personal desires. Someone is assuring him that he can and will be capable of having all that he desires so long as he does what they wish. Someone gave him that CD or the means by which he could possess it, assuring him that he would be able to fix any problems he had with Wendy. Whoever they are, they aren’t telling him everything, and he isn’t smart enough or confident enough to question them.
Who would want something that Robbie can offer? What on Earth is Robbie even giving them?
Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe he was just being a stupid teenager that wasn’t thinking straight. But I just can’t help but feel that there’s more to Robbie than what this show has been willing to display.