Ok, ok … hear me out! I know that pairing streetwise, look-out-for-number-one May with vain, wannabe actor Darryl might sound ridiculous even for a non-canon couple, but I actually think it would have been a perfect storyline, and here’s why.
When we first see Darryl and May together, in episode 15 of series 5, they are in Mega’s office. May has just been pleading with Mega to stop making her spy on the Mallrats as she is scared of being found out. Mega of course sweet talks her into carrying on, and on her way out Darryl watches her with interest. Darryl of course is there as Mega’s Zoot body double, to help convince the city that Zoot is back when holograms won’t cut it.
Now this is the first time we’ve seen Darryl as himself – previously we’ve only seen him in his Zoot guise, scaring the pants off the city folk, including Jack. His appearance here is the first time we start to see some depth to the character, and to get the inkling that he’s going to be sticking around for a while (mostly because he’s wearing a different costume, which unless you’re a Techno is Tribeworld code for core cast!).
What these hidden depths might be, and what is in store for the character, is still very much a mystery at this early stage in the series. Personally, I would have loved it if he and May had come together to help each other get out from under Mega’s thumb. In fact, it needn’t even have been a romantic pairing (but hey, it wouldn’t be THE TRIBE if saving the world didn’t get in the way of teenage romance), and there were a few pointers that it might have been heading in that direction.
Firstly, in episode 16 May asks Mega about the part Darryl would have to play in the mysterious ‘Shadow at Noon’ plan. Was she fishing for information because knowledge is power? Was she, as Mega supposed, thinking about turning double agent? Or was she scoping out a potential ally?
Secondly, in episode 17 Darryl begins to enthuse about his role in Mega’s plan – in fact this is the first time he and May have talked to each other on screen – but Mega quickly shuts him up. Clearly all we needed was to wait for them to be alone together for them to work out what was going on and plan their escape! Or was it?
Sadly, even though May seemed genuinely concerned (and a little disgusted) by Darryl’s pre-performance nausea as he prepared for his big Zoot appearance, he clearly hadn’t endeared himself to her, as she is later seen sharing a wry look with Mega over Darryl’s flakiness (and when even emotionless Mega is making fun of you, that’s not a great sign).
And that was that – after the big show Darryl is zapped by Mega for getting ideas above his station and he’s carted off to Liberty by Slade. The pair don’t see each other again until nearly the end of the series. May has to wait a little longer to redeem herself after her betrayal of the Mallrats, and Darryl also has to wait for his chance to find his inner hero.
But there’s one last chance for the Darryl/May pairing to happen – at the party to celebrate liberating the city from the Technos. Darryl finally asks May if she wants to dance.
Her response? ‘Maybe next year’. Ouch. That ship has well and truly sunk.
But what do you think? Were Darryl and May series 5’s great love story that never was? Or is the idea as laughable as Darryl’s rap career? Leave a comment below!