Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Death Cure Part 10 Phase 2: It's Really Over This Time

Alright, kids. It's time for the thrilling conclusion!

Chapters 64-END

Alright, last time we checked in, Thomas had just learned that the other Immunes that WICKED had kidnapped are being kept in the Maze. He heads out to try to find the rest of the Right Arm in order to get some help rescuing people. He gets outside and tries to find the hole that the Right Arm blasted into the building. He's creeping around and he finally sees it. There are two people in civilian clothes guarding the hole. They are members of the Right Arm, for sure. Thomas goes to walk to the hole
In which Rat Man is Pennywise.
and is stopped by one hand over his mouth and one wrapped around his chest. He is brought to the ground by an unnamed guard. Above him stands Rat Man. That creepy son of a bitch. He tells Thomas, "Looks like not everyone in my organization is on the same team after all...I guess we're going to have to do this the hard way." Rat Man they pulls out a long knife. "I've never thought of myself as a violent man, but you and your friends sure have driven me to the brink." He says that he is going to complete his project (i.e. murdering Thomas for his brain). The guard let's go of Thomas's mouth and Thomas takes that as an opportunity to go on the offensive. He kicks Rat Man in the face and wiggles away from the guard. He then kicks the knife away from Rat Man. There is a struggle where everyone is trying to get the knife. Thomas eventually gets it and starts trying to make a deal to get away. Rat Man's not going for it, so Thomas throws the knife and it sticks in the guard's neck. Then, Thomas runs for the hole in the wall. He yells to the Right Arm peeps that he's one of them. They just take him at his word because why be suspicious? WICKED isn't super shady at all.

Anyway, he asks them where Vince is and they tell him that he is somewhere planting explosives. The part of the plan they never told Thomas is that they were planning to bring down WICKED by literally bring down the building. With people still inside. Wonderful.

Thomas goes inside to find Vince and his friends. He pretty much walks right to them. Convenient that they didn't make it far. He spots Vince and Gally hiding behind a table. Thomas calls out to Gally and Gally waves him over. Thomas tells Gally what's going on with the Immunes and whatnot. Vince
Fuck you, too, Vince.
tells him that he's on his own and if Thomas leaves, he'll be seen as a traitor to the cause. Thomas asks about the rest of his friends. Apparently, they are in a side room refusing to do anything until Thomas gets there. Again, convenient. Thomas tells Gally to come with him and leave the Right Arm fuckers in his dust. Gally jumps at the chance and they go find the others.

When they get to the others, Minho is the first to hug Thomas. Then, they all take turns hugging him. Minho asks what happened and Thomas that they have to find the other Immunes then go find the flat trans. He then tells them that they have to go back to the Maze. He shows them the letter and the map and they get going.

Brenda (who has inside info because she works for WICKED) leads them to the Maze. They get attacked by several WICKED guards, but easily come out on top.

Eventually, they make it to the Maze.They had to go down a lot because the Maze is far underground. They first arrive at the chamber with the Griever pods which is the first room they entered after leaving the Maze way back in the first book. The room is completely empty. Minho asks the pertinent question of: Why? He says that something is fishy and of course it is. This is WICKED, after all. They then climb up through the hidden hole they used to escape and re-enter the Maze.

Minho leads everyone through the Maze because he was the head Runner. Thomas remembers his time in the Maze. They finally make it to the Glade where they see hundreds of Immunes milling about. They are all ages. Just a mess of people. Anyway, the Gladers start to come up with a plan to get everyone out of the Maze before shit starts exploding when the Right Arm starts to blow up the building. They split everyone into groups, with one Glader in charge of every group. Thomas starts to talk to everyone when the first bomb goes off upstairs.

Let's break the tension with the Might Boosh in ponchos.
Suddenly, the plan goes out the window. The Maze walls start to crumble and one of the remaining girls from Group B takes the lead running through the Maze. They try to keep as many people alive as possible but bombs are going off and shit's falling everywhere, so they loose a few here and there. They get everyone out of the Maze itself and down into the antechamber. Then, the other shoe drops. The Griever pods start opening. Teresa (who is there, but I keep forgetting to mention) tells Thomas that she remembers how to shut the Grievers down. There is a switch that needs to be removed and they will just shut off. Thomas goes about doing that while she helps to get people out of the room. The first few are easy, but the last puts up a fight. It comes at Thomas all pointy things and claws.  It comes toward Thomas, but Teresa throws herself on it. They fight and fight the stupid gross thing before Thomas is finally able to shut it down. They then realize that they are the last people left in the room. Everyone else got out with help of Brenda and Minho.

Thomas and Teresa get out of the Griever room to join the others. About 200 people made it through. Brenda then leads everyone up to where they flat trans is going to be. They find the maintenance room where the flat trans is supposed to be hidden. Thomas goes in alone and slides a bookshelf aside to reveal the Flat Trans. He steps through the Flat Trans to make sure that it is real and leads to someplace not shitty and horrifying. It leads to a nice cabin in a lush, green area. Thomas hurries back through to tell the others that it's okay and they can leave through the Flat Trans. They start getting people through as more explosions go off throughout the building, getting steadily closer to where they are. The Gladers and Group B are at the back of the crowd waiting to go through the Flat Trans. Suddenly, they hear a voice behind them. "Well, what do we have here?" That terrible cliche comes courtesy of Rat Man, who is standing at the back of the room with a bunch of WICKED flunkies. "It's too late - we're already going" Thomas tells him. "But we can salvage a few...And it looks like we have the strongest and brightest right her in front of us." The Gladers all spread out in a line. They're going to put up a fight. "Let's get this over with," is all Minho has to say before the fight is on.

Everyone is fighting someone. Some of the Gladers are fighting off multiple people. Thomas, of course, is fighting Rat Man. It's pretty brutal, Eventually, Thomas gets on top of Rat Man and chokes him. He chokes Rat Man for far longer than necessary. There is a really creepy bit of narration here.
This makes Thomas sound like he has the Flare...
I'll include it as a photo somewhere near this paragraph. Rat Man is super dead in an anti-climactic way. Again, this should be a huge moment, but it isn't. It just sorta happens. Lame.

An explosion goes off near them. Part of the wall crumbles and falls on Teresa. She is trapped underneath. Thomas kneels beside her and tells her that he's sorry. "Me...too," she says, "I only ever... cared for..." There is a frustrating lack of emotional weight to this moment. Thomas is dragged away by Minho and Brenda and never hears the end.

Minho and Brenda take him to the Flat Trans. Thomas pushes Brenda through first. Thomas and Minho just through the Flat Trans together.

On the other side, There is a small cabin. Brenda quickly shuts of the Flat Trans using a panel in the wall and tells Thomas and Minho to get out so that she do something. They do, because they are tired and don't want to fight anymore. They go outside and join everyone else who made it. At this point, Thomas decides to never ever tell Minho about what happened to Newt. Minho has become Thomas's true best friend. Thomas is weary and feeling the pain of everything he lost.

Pretty soon Brenda rejoins them. Apparently that important thing she had to do was set the cabin on fire. "Just making sure," she says. Smart cookie, this Brenda. They watch the cabin burn and they Thomas goes to sit by himself. Minho starts to take charge because he's good like that. Brenda comes over to Thomas after a while and sits with him. They talk a bit. She asks what he's thinking. "absolutely nothing. I'm done thinking for a while," he tells her. The narration reads, "And he meant it. For the first time in his life, he was both free and safe, as costly as the accomplishment had been." He then takes Brenda's hand. "There are over two hundred of us and we're all Immune. It'll be a good start." She tells him. "What's that supposed to mean?" asks Thomas and everyone reading. "Nothing. Nothing at all" she replies before she kisses him.

Then comes the last line of the book. "Thomas put it all out of his mind and pulled her closer as the last wink of the sun's light vanished below the horizon." It's a bit of a let-down until you realize that this is almost exactly how the first book ended and there's an epilogue. At this point, if you're anything like me, you're heart is beating out of your chest because you're sure something awful is about to happen.


This epilogue is just like the first two. It's set up like an inner-office memo from WICKED. This one is from Chancellor Paige. She starts out by saying, "And so, we have failed... But we have also succeeded." Motherfucker. I knew it wasn't over. Goddammit. She talks about how they weren't able
This actually really creepy.
to create a cure. She then says the solution was right there the whole time. "The Immunes are the only resource left to this world." She says that she sent the Immunes to the lovely green area to be safe while the rest of humanity went extinct. Then she drops the fucking bass. "Though I am fully aware that it was an act of desperation after the sun flares, releasing the Flare virus as a means of population control was an abhorrent and irreversible crime." Of course it was released on purpose. Fuck.

She goes on to say that WICKED "had one goal, and that was to preserve the human race. And in this last act, we have done just that." After torturing and killing countless children. Well done, you.

The last line, the real last line of the book is this: "As we tried to instill in each of our subjects over and over, WICKED is good." Fuck. You. WICKED is good? You take that weak shit with you when you die a horrible death from the Flare. Was that harsh? It feels harsh...


We're done! We're free of the Maze Runner series. Huzzah!

Let's talk about this series as a whole. And yes, I'm going to continue to act as if the prequel doesn't exist. Prequels are always bad, look at Star Wars. The series as a whole says some really interesting things about humanity and it's desire to continue. When faced by a terrible disease, the governments of the world get together to give one organization unlimited power and resources. They can have and do anything they want. And all of it in order to maintain humanity's existence. For the greater good, as it were. What this series is asking is: when has it gone to far? What are people willing to do to stay alive and should they be able to do it? Is it worth it to sacrifice a few hundred kids if it means humanity as a whole survives? It's a very interesting moral dilemma. Are you comfortable knowing that people died in the off-chance that you will survive?

If someone wanted to start that conversation in the comments, I wouldn't mind. Wouldn't mind at all...

That's it for now. Let's all take a nice long break and think about what we would be willing to let happen to further our lives. I'll see you here Sunday for the start of something new. And by new, I mean really, really old. It's Shakespeare. I'm going to do Hamlet starting Sunday. It's going to be fun, I promise.

Until next time, Happy Reading.

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