Study Guide

The Death Cure What's Up With the Ending?

By James Dashner

What's Up With the Ending?

The Memorandum

Oh the ending. The bombshell of an ending.

In her memorandum, Chancellor Paige reveals pretty much everything that we may or may not have been confused about. So, yes, we have a clearand concise ending. Let's just take a look at her main points:

  • WICKED failed but succeeded at the same time.
  • Chancellor Paige anticipated that the outcome of the Trials might not go so smoothly, so she made an alternate solution just in case.
  • She sent two wisely placed Immunes (Brenda and Jorge) to help Thomas and his Glader friends get to their new paradise.
  • This new paradise is where the 200 or so Immunes can start a new civilization while the rest of mankind is destroyed by the Flare virus.

In the end, that explains pretty much everything. Everything that happened in the Trials (and even outside of the Trials) was, in actuality, all foreseen by WICKED. Their goal was to somehow save the human race, and even though they were never able to obtain a cure for mankind, they were at least able to ensure that civilization could start all over again with a bunch of immune people.

Er, yay?

See, this is where we go back to that dystopian ending we talked about in our "Genre" section. This ending is the definition of bittersweet: of course we're pumped that Thomas and Minho and the rest of the immune people get to start all over again. They're in a paradise, after all, and they're going to have a wonderful time repopulating the earth.

Uhh, but remember how they got there? Thomas and Minho especially are going to have extreme psychological problems for the rest of their lives. Oh, and remember, almost half of the main Gladers we met in this series—people like Alby, Teresa, and Newt—ended up dying. Yeah, things aren't all happiness and sunshine. One more thing to remember: the whole world, besides this one paradise place, is being destroyed.

Guess we'll have that to chew on for a while. Hooray for dystopian endings.

WICKED is Good

As we tried to instill in each of our subjects over and over, WICKED is good. (E.9)

Yeah, the signs all point to this conclusion: we get two memoranda before this final one by Chancellor Paige, and yet, we are never really sure whether WICKED is good. We're constantly reminded of their mission, and we're constantly reminded that yes, it's inhumane and such, but it's aimed at the greater good. Really, we've known all along that WICKED is good.

And still, we're skeptical of them.

But let's hold up a sec. Remember when we said that we've known all along that WICKED is good? Well, how about we rethink that: is WICKED actually good? Come on, really. Are they?

That's something to think about, and it'll sure be up there as our number one "Million Dollar Question." Despite what Chancellor Paige says at the end of the book, the goodness of WICKED is still up for debate. There's really no right or wrong answer here, so pick your side. Is what they did ethical? Why did they have to do it? Is it ever okay to kill some people so that more people can live?