So this is going to be quite an extensive post when it's finished and I'm not going to do it all at once and I'm also not doing the formatting right here and now and I'm gonna focus on the content for now.
What I will do is go through all or most of the events that involve Rachel and analyse her actions and there will be a lot of interpretations and assumptions, since there really isn't much confirmed about her at all, but I will try to not do it one sided. This is not to make people stop hating on her, this is just my rambling and making a theory before anything is revealed so I can claim to have been right all along :).
One of the most essential things here is that you have to be aware that characters can lie and that it's always important when a character talks about something and to whom he/she's talking to. Then there's also thoughts, which you can sometimes read, but even they aren't always clear, especially when someone is in an emotional state or when sometimes people try to convince themselves of something. Keeping up appearances or impressions is also a thing that will be talked about a lot. In the end a big part about Rachel is for her to play a certain role.
Important parts that I can remember from the top of my head (will eventually update it and these are just headlines, I will go through all of them in detail, probably with pictures)
This is more or less just a reminder for me of what I want to touch on, so you might not want to read this, as this is not meant to be convincing or anything at all, these are just my talking points.
- Who is Baam? Who is Rachel? Their relationship. What is the cave? Significance of the name Baam.
2) Entering of the Tower.
- The door, Baam's conviction to chase after her, and Rachel's smile.
3) Headon's Floor
- Headon's role (Irregulars and Regulars), Headon using Rachel and then making a deal. Yuri's appearance (Baam receives help)
4) Floor of tests.
- Deal between Headon and Yu Hansung (FUG), Hwa Ryun guiding Rachel, Rachel buying expensive food for test points (she already knows she passed the position test beforehand), Androssi feeling a strange aura from her, Crowns Game, Rachel talking to Androssi in rest room in front of mirror (about hiding her identity), Rachel talking to Koon after Baam's injury, Hide and seek game (Rachel knows about Ho's plan one way or another but still doesn't do anything to prevent that), faking injury and pushing Baam down (she's actually excessively apologizing beforehand, probably partially lying about the reason though, because she obviously can't tell him what she's about to do), pretending that he died saving her and acting like it afterwards, talking to Hwa Ryun (seemingly depressed) in the end.
5) Climbing with Koon's team, pretending to be paralyzed.
- Other members of FUG on Koon's team, Koon's suspicion (telling the other members to be ready to turn their back on Rachel, but some of the team members are with FUG so Rachel probably knew how Koon felt), Emily (someone tells Emily that Baam is alive and I suppose it's either Rachel, Hwa Ryun or Repellista) and the Hand of Arlen incident with chicken being killed and Dan ending with crippled legs (becoming one's legs analogy)
6) Train City
- Received Emily from Cassano, relationship with Yura Ha (telling her about Baam, when the average reader is at this point under the impression that Rachel might not even know that Baam didn't die and that she actually planned killing him in that water tank), setting up the tournament to hijack the train, involvement with FUG (does she want Baam on the train or not, is her fraction of FUG on good or bad terms with Karaka or maybe not involved with him at all, in other words does she maybe oppose Karaka, who planned to get Baam on that train to get rid of him and she tries to stop that), reunion at the terminal, Baam asking Rachel if what she wants is more important than him (same question Androssi asks her at the 2nd floor when she couldn't answer or didn't want to at the very least) and this time she answers without hesitation (maybe keeping up appearances/playing her role), pushing him down again (like in season 1 she can't look at him while she's pushing him down), Koon's words towards Rachel when Baam goes berserk (not even Koon thinks Rachel doesn't care about Baam)
7) On the Hell Train
- Talk with Hwa Ryun (friendly chatter, no hard feelings between them, almost seems like they are friends) and talking about making friends no matter if they're real nor not, Rachel saying that she wants stronger teammates, another reunion at the Wooden Horse station, Rachel's behaviour towards Hoaquin, the games on the train (Koon vs Rachel)
Part I Before Entering the Tower
Let's start with the cave. The cave is outside of the tower and the outside of the tower is said to have no Shinsoo (as far as I know both of these things are confirmed by the author himself). In recent chapters (Hell train arc) we can see that even Baam himself is under the impression that he was imprisoned in that cave. We also have the Three Eyes in the cave and we also know that both Rachel and Baam are aware of that symbol from this flashback here. (interesting considering the scene at the beginning of season 2, when Baam picks up Ja Wangnan 's ring and for his recently confirmed awareness of being locked up by someone as well as Headon being the one to make Rachel work with FUG)And while it is unknown what significance that symbol could have outside of the tower, it at the very least points towards the inside of the tower since we know of its significance there. The Three Eyes are at the very least a symbol of authority and especially inside of the tower the highest undisputed authority, showing that Baam wasn't just thrown into some random hole and kinda also has a judgement character, branding him as someone being locked away under someone's authority.
Now the let's come to Rachel in regards to the cave's position. Rachel has knowledge of both the outside and the inside of the tower. She knows about the stars and the sky, but she speaks about it as if she's never ever seen it herself. Urek is also someone who speaks about the sky and stars with a lot of admiration and he also comes from the outside, but maybe for him it's just something that he's missing or something. Rachel also knows some very specific things about the tower. You have to be chosen to climb the tower and she also knows about creatures like Headon calling them fae. The interesting part about that one is that people of the tower usually wouldn't even get to see guardians, except for the ones being chosen by Headon, people we know as regulars and the people who enter the tower by themselves on the first floor. So whoever told Rachel about them must have been a regular at the very least, probably.
Personally I'm not really convinced by Rachel wanting to see the sky and the stars that much. To me it often seems like she's using that as a pretext or justification to not have to explain herself any further. It almost feels like a script that she keeps repeating and she herself doesn't really seem too excited, when she talks about it. It also seems odd that she wants to see the sky and the stars and that she thinks that she would have to climb the tower to do that. Considering (we don't really know what she knows but I don't expect her to be completely in the dark about her circumstances) the cave is outside of the tower you would assume to try to find a way out of it or the place above it that she lives in, but instead she thinks that she has to get inside of the tower to then eventually get to the top and then leave it again? It really seems to me that the stars are just an excuse, but I will comment on that
Rachel enters the cave from somewhere above, but from the way she talks about the sky and how she shows Baam how she imagines that the ceiling of the cave wasn't there you can assume that she's surrounded by walls up there, too. Without talking about this too much at this point my base assumption here is that she knows who Baam is. Maybe not in perfect detail, but I'm pretty sure she got the general idea, who he is (more so than him, which isn't very hard because he has absolutely no idea who he is) and what he is supposed to do and what potential he has. Potentially even to the point where it was her job to raise that kid and make sure he enters the tower or to make sure that he doesn't develop the desire to enter the tower. (more here when we get to Headon)
It seems almost impossible that she found Baam by accident, if you assume that it is indeed a prison, especially if you consider her knowledge of the tower (because leaving the tower is something very complicated, I'll talk about that later, maybe information can be exchanged more easily, though I doubt that that information would be spread openly) and the fact that she decides to raise that kid she just found and that she is telling him that he can't leave that place.
So now let's start at the beginning with the name the 25th Baam (Korean for night). According to the story his name comes from being born on the 25th night. We do know that when Rachel found him he could neither talk nor write. She became his mother, sister, friend, teacher and moral compass. So naturally it must have been her who gave him that name or at the very least she told him that it is his name. How could she have known on which night he was born, when she had just found him some day? She either made up that name herself (maybe she found him on that day) or someone told her that that is his name and that he was born on that night or that she witnessed his birth herself (seems rather unlikely to me). So we do know from the epilogue of season 1 with her talk with Hwa Ryun that she is afraid of the night/Baam and we also know from some other time that she can't sleep at night (will talk about this in more detail when I get here). Now we are back to our two naming scenarios. She either named him herself after something that she is afraid of, kind of showing that she knows of his enormous potential or that she knows why he was imprisoned in that cave (or at least assumes that there is a good reason for it) or she got the name from someone else in which case she was probably told more than just his name and she probably got instructions as to what to do with him. Either case implies that she knows something.
Now let's come to their daily life and their relationship a little. After Rachel found Baam, she looked after him teaching him various things. She stays for the day and teaches him, plays with him and eats with him and then she leaves him every night (I assume that there is also absolutely no natural light in the place Rachel spends the night so it might very well be day there when she leaves him, not that it matters). She also tells him stories of the tower and the stars and sky outside of it. Understandably Baam doesn't care much for those things, but I also think that Rachel knows that and she still keeps talking about it. She should understand how cruel it seems to speak
of freedom and a world for the chosen people to have fun adventures, while openly telling Baam that he is not one to ever be able to enter that world (this point is very very important, you have many flashbacks from
Baam being told or him thinking that he wasn't chosen, I will come back to this later when talking about Rachel's
lies).She also served as his moral compass as she teaches him what fighting is and why people would fight, teaches him to not let women down and Baam is also aware that Rachel lies to him sometimes. Whether that is something she just told him herself and he just believed it or
if she raised him in a way so that he doesn't just naively believe everything people say, either way she somewhat prepared him to be wary of people a little bit, maybe in preparation for what was going to happen.
Now let's come to Baam. I'm not going to do some crazy theory crafting on this one, at least not at this point.. Let's just go with the base assumption that Rachel knew of Baam's potential and that he was supposed to enter the tower as an irregular at some point, which shouldn't be too difficult to convince people of.
Baam was imprisoned in that cave and left alone in complete darkness after he was born. If you think about reasons for that it is probably either because that person would be dangerious or it could also be to protect him from someone or something. Ultimately they both come down to the same thing, that he has the potential to become extremely powerful and therefore is a potential threat for someone.
(There is still quite a lot missing from flashbacks but I might add that in later when the plot gets to that point but I'm not so sure if it will be here or at the point it appears in the plot since many flashbacks have triggers that are relevant in itself.)
Part II Entering the Tower
So one day Rachel decides to get up and away and leave the cave to enter the tower or at least that's what she makes it look like towards Baam, as she says that she cannot bear to live her life like that anymore (in the darkness of the cave, etc.). I personally think that she isn't as much fed up with her life right now, as she is afraid of a time when Baam would leave her to enter the Tower and leaves her completely alone.
There are many speculations that can be made about her deciding to do that on a certain day, from Yuri being close to the first Floor to Evankhell being absent from the second Floor with FUG being in control of that really important Floor, but since it's normal for a story to have things somewhat conveniently lined up, I'm going to refrain from reading too much into it. Let's just keep my base assumption of Rachel knowing that Baam was destined or at least has the potential of entering the Tower. When it comes to entering the Tower there is a few things we somewhat know and I'll just assume here that there isn't that big of a difference between the Regulars chosen by Headon and the Irregulars, at least not in the aspect that the Tower is meant to be climbed and that therefore there has to be some kind of strong desire. We also know from many Regulars that that desire doesn't have to be to climb the tower directly, but that the Regulars wish to realize their dreams by/after becoming a ranker or at least by climbing to a certain point. We also have Princess Repellista, who doesn't even have a desire to climb the tower and we know that Adori Zahard could easily defeat a Ranker when she was climbing, so we know that strength and potential isn't enough to get into the Tower without a reason to actually climb (that might be slightly different for certain Irregulars, powerful enough to force their way in or maybe it's not a requirement at all, but I'd assume it is, to some degree, at least for the less powerful ones [not Phantaminum]). I also highly doubt that Headon runs around and asks those people strong enough to climb the Tower repeatedly, but rather responds to strong desire as he often appeared when people were in danger or very desperate.
Now let's come back to the time aspect a little bit and also about the main part here. It shouldn't be too hard to believe that Rachel used Baam to enter the Tower. I'll go into more detail later, when I get to Headon's Floor and think about Rachel's lies and more, but the main point here is that Rachel manipulated Baam in a way, that allows her to enter the Tower. Now that's something some people already get upset about, but let's look at the alternative here. So Rachel was probably either tasked or even forced to look after Baam or she did that on her own, but either way considering that she probably considered Baam as somewhat dangerous, her life outside of looking after Baam probably doesn't look very bright/that much different from the cave. Furthermore she knew of all the stories about the tower in contrast to that life in the cave at day and her life above that cave that we know next to nothing about. So now let's think about the alternative to leaving Baam (I think I should rather say leaving the cave, since I don't think she is all that surprised that he would decide and actually succeed in following her inside the Tower) to enter the Tower. She has Baam, but she knows that he is supposed to enter the Tower. So in order to keep him from entering she has to make sure he doesn't develop a strong desire for anything that he could achieve by entering the Tower, but as he grows up it is probably getting harder and harder to control him. The stories of the sky and the stars didn't have
much of an impact on Baam, which was probably intended by Rachel, but there are scenes that show you, that Baam actually started to want to climb the Tower with Rachel or that he thought about wanting to meet people who are like Rachel inside of the Tower (see slideshow pictures). She might have been afraid that her plan fails, if she waits any longer and so started to make her move or maybe she had instructions as to when make Baam enter the Tower.
Either way that one day she starts running away and Baam runs after her. She didn't tell Baam beforehand where she was going, only after he caught her. And it's also not like she could run to the entrance of the Tower and just go in. The whole scene of running away was probably staged by her to somewhat agitate Baam. He showed his strong desire not to be separated from Rachel, but that is not a desire that leads to him climbing the Tower. The Tower wanted Baam, but since he had no reason to climb the Tower, the Tower took Rachel in instead, so that Baam would have a reason to follow her. I don't want to speculate too much here, just that I really don't think that Rachel got in by accident or simply slipped through. She used Baam and he was probably the reason she got in but I doubt that the magical door would make some kind of mistake like that , also since it is a pretty big plot point. Anyways, she goes through the door and Baam declares that he will follow her till death and then she smiles, quite creepily.
Honestly that smile could have a great number of reasons, from her being delighted that her plan worked to being happy to hear those words, but overall she seems extremely calm and just a little surprised during all this, almost as if she expected everything to happen exactly like it did.