Amanda McHugh, ‘18/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The Scorch Trials,” sequel to “The Maze Runner” (written by James Dashner and directed by Wes Ball) will be hitting the big screen on September 18. To get psyched for more action-packed dystopia, Emertainment Monthly will be re-reading and reviewing “The Scorch Trials” chapter by chapter.
The last we saw of the Gladers, they were fighting off molten metal balls of decapitation. As the boys are about to enter the wasteland desert, it’s important to note that this scene may be drastically different in the movie. Watching the trailer, it looks like Theresa is with them as they cross the scorch, but in the book she isn’t here.
These chapters are also an opportunity to feature Minho (pronounced Min-oh), played by Ki Hong Lee in the movies. Minho is a long standing Glader who was the Keeper of the Runners back in the maze. He held his leadership position well, but also knew when to take risks. This was like when he suggested for Thomas to be the new Keeper of the Runners. He knew the group would never let a Greenie – a newcomer – be a Keeper, but that if he was the one suggesting it, Thomas would still become a runner. In The Scorch Trials, we see Minho grow as a leader with more intellect and knowledge, not letting his emotions interfere with what needs to be done.
Minho continues to use sarcasm, most likely hiding the fear he feels. Unlike the other boys, Minho never expresses his concern or fear of what’s to come. He instead deflects their fears into snarky comments, like calling Thomas a “philosophizing wonder” when Thomas makes a connection between the maze and the scorch. As they cross the scorch to what looks like a deserted city, they wrapped their blankets around their face and head as a weak protection from the sun.
During the walk to the city, more development of Aris occurs as Thomas strikes up a conversation. Aris describes his situation in the maze, in which the whole ordeal was exactly the same, but reversed gender roles. Aris also talks about Rachel, the “Thomas” of Group B. He says “We were way more than close. Things happened. We remembered stuff. Made new memories.” Aris and Rachel’s relationship is supposed to mimic Thomas and Theresa, except Thomas was supposed to die for Theresa, and instead Chuck died for Thomas. Aris easily opens up to Thomas. However, whenever a character easily trusts another, it usually doesn’t set up for something good. Minho is especially harsh to Aris, not as trusting as Thomas is. On one hand we can take it as him being defensive of his group. Minho lived with the Gladers for two years, and having a new boy thrown into the mix could challenge the group in negative ways.
The boys meet up with two cranks (people who have the flare), who ask them if they’re cranks too. They’re still intelligent enough to realize the boys came from out of nowhere, and can hold a conversation with them. They say some cranks are “past Gone,” and they need to know who to connect with, who to stay away from, and who to kill. Though the boys haven’t learned this yet, there are different levels of the flare virus. But once someone is past Gone, it means they’ve lost all their humanity and rely solely on animal instinct. This information will come in handy later on.
Minho ponders why WICKED is experimenting on them.In The Maze Runner movie, Minho’s intellect was not a focus even though in the book he was the one who helped Thomas figure out how to escape the Maze. He assumes that WICKED is either trying to find the best of both groups, or hoping that one group would outlive the other. In The Maze Runner movie, Minho’s intellect was not a focus even though in the book he was the one who helped Thomas figure out how to escape the Maze. Both options Minho thinks of are morbid, but Minho isn’t afraid of admitting the hard truth. Though they know WICKED wants a blueprint of their brain, it still doesn’t answer what this blueprint will really do. It’s as if the boys have more answers than before, but it just leads to more questions.
And then Theresa is there. Out of nowhere. Thomas runs to her alone, but instead of disheveled and dusty, she’s clean and crisp. They go around inside a building, and as Thomas is asking her if she’s okay and where she’s been, she kisses him. Reminding us this is a YA novel in the end, romance has to be inevitably involved. After the kiss, Theresa tells him that they need to go, and they need to get away from her, and just run. But Thomas sees how she’s shaking, strained, in pain. She looks exactly the way Gally looked when WICKED was controlling him in the first book, making him try to kill Thomas, who is saved by Chuck’s sacrifice. So Thomas turns, tells her he’ll come find her, trusts her, and runs away. It’s obvious WICKED is planning something with Theresa, and with her weird mood swings, it’s clear she’s being controlled by them. If WICKED seems to be using her as a tool to mess with Thomas, so can we ever really trust anything she says?
Minho has grown and changed a lot within these chapters. His rough personality shines through more, but he also has to make the tough calls without hesitation. Though in the Maze he made decisions, they didn’t all affect the entire group. Hopefully Minho’s courage, strength, and sarcasm will be shown in the upcoming movie!