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Review/ Read Along: No Safe Haven in "The Scorch Trials" Chapters 54-58

Amanda McHugh ‘18/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

With the movie fast approaching and the book coming to the end, we near the climax of the story by the end of these chapters. So far the overall arc of the story has been Thomas and the Gladers in the dorms supposedly “rescued” from the Maze, moving on to talking with Rat Man, who gives them instructions to cross the Scorch to the Safe Haven in order to receive a cure for the Flare. Then there was the tunnels of molten metal, the death lightning storm, the city of Cranks, and finally the betrayal with Teresa. All that’s left of the original mission is to make it to the Safe Haven, though trusting WICKED doesn’t seem like a great idea so far. Not only have they ruined the friendship between Teresa and Thomas without even thinking, they’ve also let multiple teenage boys die without a care.

We last left off with Teresa telling Thomas that she and Aris talked telepathically while in the Maze. Obviously this was a poor decision because now Thomas is even more distant from her. She proceeds to tell him about the plan that WICKED gave them. Essentially, they had to make Thomas feel like he was completely betrayed. Like Teresa really never liked him, and was only using him. If they didn’t do what they said, WICKED guaranteed to kill Thomas. So taking a risk of losing what she had with Thomas, as in they may never be friends again, she went with it just to keep Thomas alive. At one point she leans in and kissed Thomas, but Thomas no longer feels any connection with her as it happens.

Kaya Scodelario, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Dylan O'Brien in "The Scorch Trials." Source: 20th Century Fox
Kaya Scodelario, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Dylan O’Brien in “The Scorch Trials.” Source: 20th Century Fox

On the surface, this seems like quite the noble act to do. Betraying someone to save their life. But when really thinking about what she did, her act was too convincing to believe she didn’t despise him at point or another. Doing awful things to them and making them feel the worst about themselves isn’t something you should easily be able to fake. Teresa willingly hit Thomas multiple times with a spear, verbally abused, and emotionally scarred him. It would have made more sense if instead of being so “convinced” Thomas was a bad person, that she was silent during the whole thing. For example, when Teresa fought with Harriet when they decided not to kill Thomas. Teresa could’ve just walked away and said nothing, but instead she fought back with Harriet aggressively. The only thing that would discount this, would be 1. WICKED was controlling her the entire time, wiping her memories and giving her false ones, or 2. Teresa really is as cold as she seems.

Most fans would want to believe Teresa was being controlled by WICKED to continue rooting for Teresa to be a good guy, but her snapback at Minho points in other directions. Minho doesn’t know the whole story, but instead of being upset, she simply says that she’s already apologized, and that she’s done with apologizing. Even though it’s only been a few hours since this has happened, she’s done with feeling bad for hurting her best friend? That mentally Teresa does not feel bad for the awful acts she committed is seen continually throughout the rest of the chapters, as well as in the next book. Though it is understandable that she’d assume they all know WICKED is manipulative, and used her.

So the Safe Haven is an orange and black small flag that says ‘Safe Haven’ on it. With an hour to spare, the teens all sit around as storm clouds gather and wind picks up, hoping that not another lightning storm will happen. Then white oval shaped coffin like structures erupt from the ground. Thomas looks to Teresa, and communicating telepathically, they know that these coffin like structures are what the Grievers lived in back in the Maze. But instead of Grievers coming out, these tall, gangly human-like creatures come out. With no eyes, ears, mouths, or noses, they have these big orange tumor like things covering their bodies. Minho sees there is one for each of them, and they all grab weapons and prepare to fight.

Though the Safe Haven wasn’t going to be an obvious “safe place,” it’s still a bit unexpected to see the characters have to fight yet again another enemy. These creatures are nothing like we’ve seen before, and most likely some creation of WICKED. But with new enemies to fight, the teens must work together to take them down before the storm hits. It’s interesting to see these new enemies in action, but is it a little too much? At this point so much has happened, and so much more is still to come. It would’ve been simpler if WICKED just came down and swooped the teens up, but at least Dashner had the idea to make it as difficult as possible for the Gladers, and executed it well. It also helps keep the narrative tension high as we head into the final chapters.

Be sure to check out The Scorch Trials, coming out September 18!

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