Amanda McHugh ‘18/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
An underlying theme within the series is the idea of trust and mistrust. The mistrust the boys have for WICKED, the trust they have for each other, the mistrust of every situation they’re thrown in. Back in the Maze they trusted each other to work together and survive. Though they immediately all trusted Thomas, they didn’t trust Teresa. Even now in The Scorch Trials, Teresa’s trust is being questioned once again.
We last left off with Thomas being tied to a tree by the Group B girls. Harriet, the leader of the group most likely before Teresa came into the picture, questions Thomas about what him and the boys were doing in the Scorch. The girls are skeptical of the stories their were given, and are second guessing killing Thomas. It’s hard to tell whether or not to trust Teresa, but considering everything WICKED has done, it wouldn’t be surprising if they wiped Teresa’s memory of Thomas making her hate him. Therefore, her feelings right now actually are genuine, but still being controlled by WICKED. So the two sides quickly share stories while Teresa is out scouting the area. Thomas learns the girls don’t know anything about WICKED, and were only given a few instructions from the same person who gave Thomas and the boys their instructions, Rat man.
Harriet explains that they had to cross the Scorch using a series of underground tunnels She said one of their first missions was when Teresa was in the shelter and told him that everything was going to be okay. Teresa even told them that WICKED controlled her long enough to kiss him. At this news, Thomas starts breaking down. He tried to believe all up to this point that it was WICKED making her want to do these things to her, not the other way around. Though looking back on their relationship in the Maze, it’s still hard to believe Teresa really was cynical at heart. She whole-heartedly trusted Thomas, and they connected in the Maze. Readers even supported Thomas and Teresa trying to do the right thing, especially because they helped create the Maze. Was Teresa really only out for herself the whole time?
When she returns, the girls tell her they aren’t killing him. Teresa storms off from the group. Harriet tells Thomas that after they took him from his group, there was a specific location on the mountainside they had to take him. She assumes Teresa went there. As they get over the top of the mountain, they estimate they’re only about eight to ten miles away from where the Safe Haven should be, but when they look out above the treetops, all they see is miles of desert wasteland. One girl hopefully says that maybe there’s an opening for an underground tunnel, but the group’s tension rises as they descend the mountain. Can they really trust WICKED that there even is a Safe Haven for them to go to? Honestly, trusting WICKED sounds like the worst idea in the world, but they don’t really have a choice either way.
Thomas lingers in the back, but hears Teresa call out “Tom” to him. She tells him that he needs to go with her, and that the act was over. He hesitates for a second, but follows her back into the forest. Thomas asks her how come she didn’t stop when the group decided not to kill him. But instead of an answer, Teresa says “You’ve met Aris, right?” Teresa, though looking unhappy, explains that she knows Aris extremely well. A little too well for Thomas’s taste. That back in the Maze she and Aris could communicate telepathically, and how he was her best friend. She then informs him Aris is behind him with a giant knife, and Thomas feels the tip of the knife poke his neck. He continues to follow them, watching them share kisses and giggle quietly with each other.
Thomas’s heart completely breaks down. Teresa tells him that she’s sorry that she tricked him into thinking they were really close, but that Aris means more to her than him. And in the end, it’s Thomas, or them. All trust Thomas ever had for Teresa is gone. Though, it is a little much that Thomas’s feelings switched so quickly. It’s reasonable to feel hurt when your best friend lies to you in this way, but he knows that WICKED has the power to control their minds and wipe their memory. It’s still very reasonable that Teresa is being controlled.
It’s hard for these characters to learn who to trust, and not trust, when they can never be sure of anything. After having their memories wiped before entering the Maze, there is only so little they can learn from what they’re told. But the boy’s endurance and strength continues to carry them on throughout it all, regardless of the lies they’re told, and the people they’re forced to trust.
Be sure to check out the new stills for The Scorch Trials, coming out September 18!