There’s something I’m debating about: whether it would be better, character development-wise, for Marinette to successfully confess her feelings to Adrien and have him accept them, or reject them. Obviously in the end they’re gonna get together, but that doesn’t mean the road is going to be smooth to that destination.
One of Marinette’s biggest roadblocks is being unable to articulate to Adrien how much she wants him and that she wants to ask him out. But as she’s commented on a few times this season, it’s not just her getting flustered around him that prevents her success. She’s also sabotaging herself, consciously and unconsciously, because she fears his response, the idea that he might reject her, and that she’d be unable to handle that.
I think that for her character arc, she’ll need to not only ask Adrien out, but also figure out how to deal with rejection from someone she wishes would return her affections. Have that fear come to fruition, and find a way past it.
It would also make sense for Adrien to reject Marinette right now. He rejected her before in Weredad, and I don’t think his reasons for doing so would’ve changed. He can’t fully devote himself to her and he knows that, and disaster may follow if he still tries to anyway. He’s thrilled for Marinette and Ladybug to be the same person, but ultimately Ladybug is the one he’s closer to and has a crush on, and it’s obscuring any romantic feelings he may have for Marinette. He’d be as nice as possible about it - we saw that in Weredad - but he’d still likely turn her down.
In fact, he did turn her down again. Ignorance is a bliss, I’m telling you… she’s so lucky that she doesn’t know who’s behind the mask of Chat Noir.
I think what you said makes perfect sense, especially looking at how the things are right now in this season.
One thing we know for sure: the akuma “Risk” will give Marinette some bravado in the first part of the season finale, and maybe she will finally gather the courage to confess to Adrien. And maybe he will reject her gently like he’s already done twice as Chat Noir. There’s no 2 without a 3 we say in Italy, third time (un)lucky.
If that’s the case, then the next episode will be about Marinette picking up the shattered pieces of her heart and processing the rejection and maybe getting stronger because of it (it’s “Strike Back” after all, and the original title was “Invulnerable”, but it was later changed).
I just hope they won’t leave us with a massive cliffhanger, although it would be very fruitful for fanfiction writing. I hope that they will be able to talk and explain themselves, maybe with the help of Luka who knows both identities, but I hope that it won’t be a reveal that will bring them closer.
To be honest, I’m not even sure if, after all what happened up to now in season 4 and what we still need to see in the next episodes, Adrien would accept Marinette’s love even if he knew that she was Ladybug. At the moment even a reveal sounds very angsty, in particular after “Rocketear”, which is Adrien’s “Chat Blanc”. Knowing that Marinette is Ladybug would make very clear in Adrien’s head why Alya and Nino are Miraculous holders, but would also make it VERY clear to him that Marinette has allowed her best friend and her best friend’s boyfriend to know each other’s identity, and also that she trusts Alya more than him. He would join the dots very easily about Scarabella’s identity too, and that’s bound to hurt, since he knows that Scarabella knows Ladybug’s identity.
Also, I think that rejecting Marinette as Adrien would do some “good” even to Adrien. Up to now he’s rejected her by hiding behind the mask of Chat Noir. If he rejects her as Adrien and witnesses the hurt in her eyes and feels how horrible it makes him feel to reject someone that he considers a great friend and break her heart only because he wants to be truthful to her and doesn’t want to lead her on, he may understand how painful it must be to Ladybug to reject Chat Noir all the time. And based on the fact that he’s a very empathetic person and would definitely get in her shoes, it may make him feel even more horrible. And who knows, maybe by feeling so horrible he may realise that in truth he has stronger feelings for Marinette. But that AFTER having rejected her.
Ok now I’m in an agsty mood. Where are those bunnies in my dungeon…