Review/ Read Along: Thomas’ Crisis of Faith in “The Scorch Trials” Chapters 51-54

Amanda McHugh ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

The main protagonist throughout the entire Maze Runner series is no other than our boy, Thomas (played by Dylan O’Brien). Thomas was first introduced in the first line of The Maze Runner, as a boy who was standing in a metal crate having no idea what was going to come next. Since then, we’ve watched Thomas struggle with his new surroundings, new people, his sense of self, and exterior dangers. But even as he struggles, he becomes stronger and stronger. The first time Thomas fought a Griever, he learned to trust his instincts and wit when he trapped the Griever between the moving walls. When he had to convince the Gladers to trust him, not Gally, he had to learn how to communicate effectively with his peers, even though he was the new guy. When he watched Chuck die before his eyes, he learned that you can’t always save everyone, and that sucks, but so does WICKED.

As Thomas crosses the Scorch, he learns even more. He knows that even if you don’t want to, sometimes trusting unfamiliar people will be a good thing, like with Brenda. He knows that his friends will always be there for him, like when Minho tried everything he could to not let Group B take him. But as Teresa continues to betray Thomas deeper and deeper, we see our main character, for the first time, really start to break down. He considered himself so close with her, she was his best friend. But when the person he trusted the most, the person he loved the most, backs away, Thomas is in shambles.

We last left off with Teresa and Aris leading Thomas by his neck to a mysterious green glowing door. Thomas knows that he’s not doing anything without a fight, and looks for an opportunity to get out. Though he’s hurt by the situation, which he has every right to be considering they’re planning on killing him, he still finds a moment of weakness in Aris when he asks Aris what it looked like to watch Rachel bleed out and die. The two of them then get into an intensive fight, in which Thomas wins. But Teresa hits Thomas’s head with her spear a few times, giving him a concussion. They eventually are able to push Thomas behind the door and seal it shut.

Dylan O'Brien as Thomas in "The Scorch Trials." Source: 20th Century Fox
Dylan O’Brien as Thomas in “The Scorch Trials.” Source: 20th Century Fox

Thomas is in so much pain once back there that he goes in and out of consciousness. He sits there thinking back to scenes from the Maze. When he falls asleep, he dreams of Teresa. They are just about to go through the Swipe (not explained, but it’s when they take the memories away). He shakes hands with Aris, and with a girl he doesn’t recognized. Teresa is crying. He knows he’ll see her tomorrow, but he won’t remember her like this for a long time, so he’s crying too. When Thomas wakes up, the chamber is filling with gas. He remarks how dumb it is to go through everything he has, the Maze, the Scorch, the Grievers, only to be killed with gas.

But Thomas doesn’t actually die (shocker, I know). He wakes up dazed, but feeling one hundred percent better. His head no longer hurts, he’s not hungry, he actually feels better than he did this whole time. The door opens, and Teresa comes running at him, sobbing. She starts apologizing saying that if they didn’t do everything they said, they were going to kill him. Thomas is still skeptical of her, which makes sense. She did beat him over the head with a spear, have him dragged across the Scorch in a bag, and threaten to kill his life numerous of times. And even though she had said from the beginning that awful things would happen to him and he needed to trust her, could she still be playing mind games with him? At this point, anything is possible.

They don’t have a lot of time for explanation, because they only have about five hours to get down the hill and run across the wasteland to the Safe Haven, or where the Safe Haven should be. Climbing down the hill, Teresa, says that everything was an act, the whole thing. That it started the first night after the Maze people came and took her away, blocking her telepathic connection. But Thomas asks her if she talked to Aris in the Maze, if she knew him before hand. And Teresa reluctantly says that her and Aris did talk a lot in the Maze when she was in the coma. So needless to say, Thomas stops trusting her. Again.

Thomas has gone through a great deal since the beginning of the Maze Runner series. He’s dealt with more exterior forces pushing back on him than any teenager would normally deal with. But seeing him react to Teresa betraying him ensures he will never be the same again. He’s no longer confident and put together, but feels skeptical and cautious. The question now is will he ever trust Teresa the same way again?

Be sure to check out the new trailer for The Scorch Trials, coming out September 18.

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