The Ballad of Ronnie Mitchell
So at last, the secret’s out. The ’other’ secret. The one that goes a long way to explain why Ronnie Mitchell is the way she is. The violent temper and the icy inability to trust or relate to other people.
We all knew how controlling Archie was, but his need to subjugate those around him went too far when he raped his eldest daughter. He once spoke of his ’little girl’; the angel with blonde hair who always followed his lead, until she started to grow up and demand her autonomy. Now those words seem so loaded, so full of clues, that why should we be really surprised?
How revealing that when Ronnie finally tells the truth to Roxy, she feels reluctant to do so, not because of her own feelings, but in order to protect - yet again - her sister’s. A sister who remained her father’s ideal child. An immature, unformed woman who is protected and shored up by everyone around her, whether it’s Ronnie, Aunty Peg or Christian. What a cruel irony it is that the one female who didn’t challenge Archie ended up inheriting the bulk of his estate, especially the Mitchell jewel that is the Queen Vic.
There are so many questions that remain as yet unanswered. Where does Glenda fit into this revelation? She walked out on her family, leaving a 15 year old Ronnie pregnant. Did she suspect the child was Archie’s? Did she know what had happened and chose to blame her daughter instead of supporting her? Did Roxy suspect anything? When Glenda said she was always her father’s favourite, she responded: ’Things change’. What of Danielle? Was she the child of incest? Archie’s ruthless disposal of her at birth, seems to indicate he was keen to get rid of the evidence of his abuse. Or was it just to punish Ronnie for having slept with Joel?
Now that Ronnie has said out loud what she has held inside herself for these years, it is a small step forward for her. How strange that that it was Stacey’s revelation that triggered her confession. Stranger still that the main suspect in Archie’s murder should find herself sharing this dark connection with his actual killer. For so long we have seen Ronnie trying to erase Archie from her mind, screaming at that smirking poster: ’Why don’t you die?!’ Because he’s still haunting her, his voice still echoes in her terrible memories. Maybe this is a turning point for Ronnie; perhaps she can find a way out from all the anger, betrayal and pain. Whether her selfish sister plays some part in that recovery is hard to tell; perhaps it’s finally time that Ronnie Mitchell looked out for herself and herself alone.