Wednesday is independent, single-minded and not interested in relationships in season 1. That should definitely not change in season 2.
“People like you and me are just different. We’re original thinkers. Fearless outliers in a giant cesspool of adolescence. We don’t need these ridiculous coming-of-age rites.” That’s what Wednesday (Jenna Ortega) says to her classmate Eugene (Moosa Mostafa) in episode 4 of the Netflix series. Granted: The statement is theatrically overblown. But at its core, it perfectly sums up what I love about the protagonist.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for the entire first season. Wednesday is an anti-heroine who single-mindedly pursues her own agenda instead of fitting into the school hierarchy. She only gets involved with her peers and social expectations to a limited extent. In season 1, a kiss with Tyler (Hunter Doohan) nevertheless occurs.
If season 2 were to serve us the next romance, it would damage Wednesday’s character.
What’s special about Wednesday is her dark, belligerent nature.
I find Wednesday to be an exciting protagonist because she is dark, fearless and unpredictable. Right from the start of the series, we see her tendency towards sadism in a scene where she throws piranhas into the pool at her old school’s water polo team practice to avenge bullying her brother.
Throughout the first season, the teen makes no effort to be popular or loved, but is always on a collision course. She is only too happy to throw herself into all kinds of dangers. Among other things, her enthusiasm for morbid things makes sure of that. These are all elementary qualities that make up the character of the main character. For me, however, there is another side to Wednesday that is at least as important.
Wednesdays independence is formative for her character
She’s ambitious, focused and independent – a refreshing teen character who doesn’t base her priorities on others – certainly not on boys – but sets her own individual goals. In season 1, those are finishing her book and solving the murder cases around Nevermore.
Wednesday usually uses kindness to manipulate people and use them for her own purposes. This is also true of the two young men who clearly have a crush on her: Tyler and Xavier (Percy Hynes White). As a rule, she only spends time with them when she needs a driver or wants to learn more about the monster.
Other than that, we experience Wednesday distant and undercooled. Her brother Pugsley, for instance, she regularly criticizes for being too soft and weak when he shows emotions.
There are definitely exceptions in which Wednesday also reveals feelings: The movie date and the kiss suggest that she wants more from Tyler than just his assistance. She cares about Eugene after he is hurt because he went into the woods without her. In the end, Wednesday even becomes the savior of the entire student body, voluntarily hugging Enid (Emma Myers) – something she flat out refused to do before. Xavier also gives her a smartphone so that she can better participate in social life.
Please, no romance for Wednesday in Season 2
I hope these concessions don’t hint at further development and that Wednesday remains a stubborn anti-hero and lone wolf in season 2. My biggest fear is that she might start a relationship with Xavier in the new episodes after they reconcile after the false accusations against him.
The fact that characters first choose the “wrong” person before they find their actually perfect love interest is part of the typical game with our expectations. We see this on a small scale, for example, with Enid, who gets closer to Lucas at the ball before she finds herself with Ajax (Georgie Farmer) after all.
Should Wednesday end up with Xavier in season two, it would be a classic twist – but also predictable and just not the protagonist’s style. Fortunately, showrunner Miles Millar sees it the same way. In an interview, he explains that Wednesday’s disinterest in romance is part of her character and should remain so.
The fact that she still got involved with Tyler in season 1 was still understandable. However, the realization that Tyler, who turns out to be a literal monster, has deceived her should have rather confirmed her distrust of relationships.
I therefore hope that the wish of actress Jenna Ortega will be fulfilled, who wants to play an even darker, braver and more determined anti-heroine in season 2. That’s exactly what makes Wednesday for me – and one love story after another has no place there.