Review/ Read Along: Meet The New Kids in “The Scorch Trials” Chapters 25-29

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.

Introducing new characters hasn’t always been a good thing for the Gladers thus far, and continues to prove challenging. Technically speaking, Thomas was a “new character” to the Glade when he went up in the Box. The other boys had been there for two years, each month a new member arriving. However, with Theresa triggering the Ending, the fake rescue squad, mysterious Aris (who seems to be trustworthy so far), and Rat Man, the boys don’t tend to meet a lot of great people.

We last left the Gladers finally making it to the city, and taking cover from the storm. Thomas counts only eleven Gladers left. They started off with forty to fifty in the Maze, then twenty at the beginning of the Scorch. And now eleven. Our beloved main characters Newt, Minho, Frypan, and Aris all made it, but Minho is still injured from the lightning strike. The drastic amount of deaths in this novel is masked by Thomas’s lack of knowing people’s names. Even he admits that he feels bad for not knowing everyone’s name. Newt doesn’t take this news as well, as he lists off the names of boys missing. Minho on the other hand seems emotionally detached, brushing off the deaths of his friends with ease. He defends himself saying “a leader figures out where to go and what to do after that’s done.” The personality difference between Newt and Minho as they react to the new seven deaths further establishes WICKED’s titles as the Glue and the Leader. Though they think they’re safe for the time being, a new character, Jorge, jumps down from the rafters of the building, giving them the fright of their life.

Jorge, being played by Giancarlo Esposito in the film, is a tough Hispanic Crank. However, he claims to have just recently caught the flare, so his mind is still pretty intact. He threatens the boys a few times, but of course Minho attacks him, which just makes Jorge angrier. Thomas quickly diffuses the scene, and takes Jorge to the side to tell him their situation from start to finish. Surprisingly, Jorge is reasonable. He gives them food, decides to let Minho live, but under one condition. They have to take him and his friend Brenda with them to the safe haven for the cure.

Jenny Gabrielle, Dylan O’Brien and Rosa Salazar in “The Scorch Trials” (2015). Source: 20th Century Fox

Brenda, being played by Rose Salazar in the film, is a beautiful young girl with long black hair (though when they filmed, Rose had short hair at the time, and instead of making her wear a wig, director Wes Ball said he liked Brenda with short hair better and kept it). She immediately flirts with Thomas the moment they meet, the other boys clearly jealous that Thomas gets all the girls. She says things like “I like you” to him, and continuously stares at him. Brenda, unlike Jorge, is softer and more open. She jokes around with Thomas as they eat their cold beans, but also reveals the state of the world in more ways than one.

Brenda informs Thomas that the sun flares killed most of the world before they could escape north or south. The sun flares were unexpected, unpredictable, and by time scientists tried to warn people it was too late. Climates changed everywhere, and not too long after the flare virus was released from a disease control place.  Though this information is new in the books, a lot of this was actually revealed at the end of The Maze Runner movie when Ava Paige was giving her little speech before she faked her suicide. It hasn’t been revealed how these changes are going to affect the upcoming movie, but we can still expect a difference to how Thomas will react to all this information. Just as they’re about to leave, an explosion between Thomas and Brenda and the rest of the group goes off. Brenda grabs Thomas’ hand and runs down a tunnel into darkness.

Jorge and Brenda will prove to be important characters in the chapters coming up, and even in the next novel, The Death Cure. Their importance in the movie is expected to be just as much, as well as their characterization. It’s hard to tell how much we can trust them yet, especially since Jorge is a bit wishy-washy, and Brenda is a little too flirty with Thomas. Could they be scheming something against Thomas and the others too?  Or are they just so ridden with the flare that their minds are starting to go?

Be sure to check out The Scorch Trials trailer, with the movie coming out September 18!

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