Robb is an environmentalist who began a project on cleaning the plastics from the oceans.
In the episode The Island, it was revealed that Robb is a Merman from a different tribe.
Before the series began, he was born female into Yura's tribe located outside of Nome, Alaska. He transitioned into a male, chosen to provide his tribe with offspring for future generations. But then decided to leave the tribe during their population's insufficiency. Robb left in order to find a permanent way of restoring the ocean's clean waters. Unfortunately, Yura perceived this as an act of betrayal.
During his academic career, he majored in Engineering but dropped out to pursue the path to be an entrepreneur. He mentions that he spoke at the Ocean Cleanup Initiative.
Robb is an outgoing and enthusiastic character, bursting at the seams with energy. Especially, when it comes to discussing his career. He's highly motivated when he pursues something. This is demonstrated by his initiative to expand his project, as well as when he started developing feelings for Maddie; he was keen on establishing a relationship with her. However he's shown to be secretive as well, as Maddie and Ben were unaware that Robb was a merman until he met Ryn who exposed him.
Robb is a broad-shouldered guy, with an average height. He has dark wavy hair, and light brown eyes. His attire is casual and consists of a denim shirt and jeans. His dark skin could suggest he is of Middle Eastern or Indian origin. Or, given that his actor is Turkish, Robb could be as well.
Throughout the Series
In "Borders", Maddie discovers his website, which advertises his seminar for an oceanic cleanup project taking place in Seattle. In the video, he explains his aim with the project and how it will impact sea life positively if the project is executed successfully.
In "Revelations", Robb presents his project in Seattle, a seminar which Maddie attends. His project involves a system which will retrieve all the plastic from the Earth's oceans using its waves and currents so that it can become healthy again. Afterwards, he is pleased with how much interest Maddie has in his project and invites her for a drink at a bar.
In "Mommy and Me", he visits Bristol Cove and meets up with Maddie. He hopes to rent out some of the warehouse space at the Marine Research Center to be able to relocate his team from San Francisco to work on the cleanup project and invites her to a fundraising gala, but Maddie forgets and misses it. Regardless, Robb and Maddie still have a good time with beer and fried chicken. Maddie decides to show Robb the warehouse space that she is going to rent out to him, once there Robb picks up a foul smell coming from a nearby freezer. Maddie opens it and both of them see a mermaid corpse inside.
In "The Island", it was revealed that Robb is a Merman from a different tribe. Ryn sensed this the minute he walked into the apartment and attacked him. Robb admits that he is.
The episode "Northern Exposure" is when we learn about his tribe located up north in Alaska, he travels with Ben, Ryn, and Maddie to form an alliance to help them in their fight against Tia. Yura, the matriarch of the tribe, isn't pleased with Robb's return years after his exile. She explains that the males in the tribe have died out since he left, and the water in the transition pool denies the ability to change sex. Using vegetable oil, magnetite powder and magnets they remove the microplastics from the transition pool and Yura transitions into a male. Robb decides to stay with his tribe after being welcomed back, Maddie bids farewell to him.
In "Til Death Do Us Part" Robb's tribe was revealed to come under attack by Tia's tribe. Fortunately, they managed to fend them off much to the frustration of the latter. Robb subsequently contacted Maddie after the events of the battle to inform her that he is alright.
He returns to Bristol Cove in "The Toll of the Sea" and finds Maddie at the police station, he was able to acquire a recording of his tribe's echo chamber. In the resolution of the episode, he and Maddie depart Bristol Cove to travel to the South Pacific to meet up with his team at the garbage gyre cleanup site.
Ben did not trust Robb given the state of affairs in Bristol Cove, this is why he told Maddie to be careful about letting someone new into their inner circle. He is shocked when Robb admits that he is a merman, but on their way to Nome, Alaska he starts to see how much he means to the Merfolk. Robb is now a friend after helping Yura transition from female to male, trustworthy.
Robb and Maddie meet at his seminar in Seattle, after sharing how much they have in common with marine mammals and their biology they start seeing each other more. She's is shocked when Robb's revelation about being a merman comes to light by Ryn. Robb talks with her and explains that he is still the socially inept dork he purports to be, they share a romantic moment up in Nome, Alaska. She bids him farewell after he has been welcomed back into his tribe. She travels with him to work on the oceanic cleanup project in the South Pacific.
Ryn did not like or trust Robb since the Merfolk tribes are currently at war with one another. However, after "Northern Exposure", her hostility towards her disappears and now sees him as a kind and caring person to her species.
She is the matriarch of his tribe, Robb was chosen to change from female to male in order to help repopulate but was left disappointed and displeased with his exile. 15 years later, she still resents him. But after successfully transitioning into a male, Yura forgives Robb for his actions and welcomes him back to the tribe knowing that he did it to save their species.
Tia became Robb's primary enemy when she led her forces after his tribe.
- Life and Death
- Mommy and Me
- The Island
- Northern Exposure
- Til Death Do Us Part (Mentioned Only)
- A Voice in the Dark (Voicemail Message)
- The Toll of the Sea
- If Robb's ocean cleanup project is to succeed, not only would it purify the ocean's water but Ryn's tribe would be able to procreate in their next mating season.
- Robb's eyes are revealed to be a lighter blue/white hue; he wore brown contact lenses to hide them.
- His surname, Wellens, could have been a foreshadowing of his true nature all along. A Well is an receptacle for storing water underground. By giving him a surname associated with water, the writers could have been hinting at his true nature as a merman.
- He's the second merfolk to speak sophisticated English; The first one being Tia.
- In "Northern Exposure", we learn that he was born female and transitioned into a male. We also learn that he cannot change into merman form because he has been away from seawater for years, the pain from the transformation would be too much to endure. He has remained in human form ever since.
- Maddie: "What got you interested in ocean preservation?"
- Robb: "A diving trip, saw more garbage than sea life."
- ―Robb explains his motivation behind his project.
|“||Robb: "Here's where I could geek out, give you the minutiae of how a group of scientists way, way smarter than me have built a system to literally retrieve the trash using the currents of the oceans and a giant boom and rim."||”|
|— Robb is probably referring to 'The Ocean Cleanup'-project. The idea is actually not from a whole group of scientists, but of a Dutch student named Boyan Slat and he came up with this in his final years of secondary school. This was for his 'Profielwerkstuk' (big assignment you have to do besides exams to finish secondary education).|