Silenced: Chapter 41, Part 2: Finally!
This book has been nearly devoid of action, hasn’t it? I mean, Paul entered the underground in Chapter 7 and hasn’t emerged since. Now, there would be nothing wrong with a thriller without a lot of gun battles or globetrotting or other types of action. Some of the most tense scenes I can think of happen in small places, with people planning something or discovering something.
But Paul doesn’t do anything in the underground except not plan for the evacuation and fuck with Bia’s head for fun.
It doesn’t help matters that even though they’re in this little underground facility, and even though neither of them really has anything to do, Paul and Jae spend basically no time together. Which is bizarre since Jenkins tells us how much they love each other, now that they’re both believers, and how much the kids need their father.
Now, I don’t necessarily blame Jenkins for basically forgetting about this relationship (considering how many other things he’s forgotten in these books—he’s just a forgetful guy, I think). Then again, he’s talked before about how amazing his own marriage is and how atheists’ marriages, “especially,” deteriorate so you’d think he’d jump at this chance to show a loving relationship with a newly-Christian couple.
Then again again, I spent some time today thinking about how many movies and TV shows feature (as main characters or part of a large ensemble cast) a long-married, happily-married couple, who aren’t constantly kept apart or kept questioning their relationship, and who spend at least some time together over the course of the story. Based on the very scientific method of looking through the app with all the DVDs I own, here is my very short list:
Karl and Sharon Agathon, Battlestar Galactica
Wash and Zoe Washburne, Firefly
Jeff and Jane Blue, Undercover Blues
Angelo and Sofia Provolone, Oscar
Albert and Elizabeth, Duke and Duchess of York, The King’s Speech
Martin and Ellen Brody, Jaws
Roger and Trish Murtagh, the Lethal Weapon movies
Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, The Incredibles
(I hate to admit it, but…) Dan and Kristin Reed, Christmas with a Capital C
That list doesn’t seem so short, I suppose, until you take into account that I own over 220 movies and TV shows (for purposes of counting, I counted each show only once, not by season or anything.
All that to say that I suppose Jenkins has lots of company in not particularly wanting to (or, perhaps, not being able to) write a happily married couple interacting with each other.
Wow, I am full of rants lately. Good thing Wintermas is coming!
SNEAK PREVIEW TRAILER!!!
Yeah, I’m going there. And I haven’t even seen the gorram movie yet!
Back at it: Straight goes to the hospital to meet Scooter, donning his “adult clown” uniform to do so. It’s actually just “an ancient zoot suit,” but apparently this means “adult clown.”
Have I ever mentioned that I hate clowns?
Gorram Creepy Clown Christian…
So with not one thought to spare for the horror he is inflicting on all around him, Straight talks to a nurse about Scooter (thus “learning” his nickname, even though he already knew it), then heads to Scooter’s room.
And he FRAKKING SINGS:
“Nobody knows the trouble I seen. Got me a first name that’s not too keen. Name’s Stephenson but I go by Scooter…”
Yeah. That’s the whole song.
I hate Straight so much.
Straight barely says two words to Scooter before yanking the sheet off his feet and checking between his toes.
Because, as you all may recall, STRAIGHT IS A COMPLETE DICKWEED AND HAS NO CONCERNS ABOUT PRIVACY OR PERSONAL SPACE WHATSOEVER.
Just like with Paul, I actually feel a bit sorry for Scooter here. Even though he was probably on his knees three weeks ago, praying for the massacre of millions.
But one simple “he-is-risen-he-is-risen-indeed” and the two are best buds.
And finally, FINALLY, some action.
The NPO actually kills some Christians.
And no, not at the actual underground.
Having driven from downtown Chicago to Joliet, Felicia finds the fish restaurant and meets up with Hector and the other believers in the back room.
“Does everybody always look this petrified at these things?” she said.
Well, they should. Because it is the stupidest event ever. A bowling league involving members of a government organization, that meets in secret an hour’s drive from their workplace and is never open to new members.
And that you talk about all but openly at work, speaking in very obvious “code” phrases.
Hell, the group that Paul and hottie Larry Coker staked out in Soon had more cred: at least they could have claimed to be a book club or something.
Instead, the NPO believers close the door to the back room, and start their charade by reading off a list of high bowling scores…with fake names attached.
So they never even try to maintain cover. They never even go bowling. They just read fake scores in a restaurant.
So why don’t they, yanno, just go bowling? They could talk and pray or whatever in the bowling alley, where it’s noisy and probably nobody would notice.
So they eat fish and talk and pray…and then they’re made! Harriet Johns just walks right in and reveals to them that the office is bugged (well, duh), and Trudy’s little fish joke and the planning for this dinner was overheard.
WHY IS ANYONE SURPRISED THAT THIS HAS HAPPENED?
So Harriet wanders out again, her point made, I guess. For a second, everyone assumes that the food is poisoned, but instead, they’re gassed. And if they try to leave, they’re shot.
I kinda wish I could feel something at this point, but considering that these people didn’t really give a damn that millions upon millions of people were just massacred a few weeks ago (Felicia, and remember that her own son was included in the slaughter) or actually prayed for it to happen (everybody else in the room), I just can’t muster up much of a damn to give.
Because the score sheet looks like this:
God, at the request of his followers: millions upon millions, perhaps one billion
NPO: probably around twenty
Who are the villains again?