Beau Escapes, Gets His S*** Rocked: Life and Death Chapter 22

Posted on December 11, 2015 by

4



Guess what! This is finally where stuff starts to get real different from the original Twilight. This might not be super interesting to you, but what if I told you that Beau gets significantly more mortally wounded than Bella?

I know your interest is piqued.

I know your interest is piqued.

Life and Death Chapter 22: Hide-and-Seek

After his phone call where the tracker vampire demands that Beau escape his protectors and go to his old house in order to receive instructions on where to be killed so his mom doesn’t get killed, Beau tells the others about this because there’s seriously no reason not to I mean the vampire’s not psychic so she’s not gonna know and maybe the crapton of vampires helping him out could use this information to come up with a halfway decent plan to get out of this in one piece decides to lie and say that everything’s fine. For some goddamn reason.

Archie’s future-seeing powers continue to have very vague rules so that Beau’s decision doesn’t totally break the story.

I could feel [that Archie wanted] to tell Jessamine that they were doing something wrong, that they were going to fail.

They all go to the airport, because even though vampires can run at crazy fast speeds, the best strategy right now is for Edythe to take a commercial flight to Phoenix. Beau/Bella never questions how this is supposed to make sense.

In Life and Death, this is the part where Beau writes a letter to Edythe about his decision to give himself up to save his mom, and for her to not seek revenge, and that he loves her. D’awww. He also gives the note to Archie to leave at his mom’s house, telling him that it’s a note for his mom, knowing that Edythe will find it anyway. Archie totally suspects that something is up, but doesn’t manage to see any futures where Beau is going to do his own thing. In the original Twilight, there is an attempt to explain why this is. It is missing from Life and Death, which I would like to think is because at some point in the last decade Meyer realized it makes no damn sense.

“How does it work? The things that you see?” I stared out the side window, and my voice sounded bored. “Edward said it wasn’t definite…   that things change?” […]
“Yes, things change…,” she murmured […] “I only see the course they’re on while they’re on it. Once they change their minds— make a new decision, no matter how small— the whole future shifts.” […]
“So you couldn’t see James in Phoenix until he decided to come here.”
“Yes,” she agreed, wary again.
And she hadn’t seen me in the mirror room with James until I’d made the decision to meet him there. I tried not to think about what else she might have seen.

So let’s stop and think about this, because the entire ending of the book is founded on the assumption that this makes sense. Beau/Bella needs to escape two vampires and go to her mom’s apartment for instructions on where to go next. Unless mom lives two blocks from the airport, I’m pretty sure that Beau/Bella is going to make many decisions while getting there, which Archie/Alice will get visions based on. So escape is impossible, right? Like… it’s pretty spelled out here… so…

“Do you mind?” I asked Jessamine, nodding to the door. “I’ll be right back.”
“I’ll be here,” she promised. […]
The one place Jessamine wouldn’t follow me – the men’s room. They mostly had two entrances […] I’d been here before. Gotten lost here once, because the other exit was straight through, coming out in a totally different hallway.

Beau/Bella goes out the other exit, makes his way to a hotel shuttle bus, then gets in a cab from the hotel to their mom’s apartment. Apparently none of these decisions made Archie/Alice get new visions, despite us learning that that’s exactly how it works? Because the only alternative here is that this did prompt new visions, and Archie/Alice and Jasper/Jessamine were too daft to realize that this means that Beau/Bella has been in the bathroom for like an hour now. Either way, they have not realized that Beau/Bella has been in the bathroom for like an hour now.

david tennant shaking head

Ok, and just one more thing, from a Writing 101 perspective. If Beau’s escape happened because he remembered this bathroom from before… maybe the reader could also have been clued in that this exists? I mean, I know that people don’t often reflect on airport bathrooms, but so much as working in a scene at the airport? Which, funnily enough, this book did start with, but maybe this could have happened then? So that when it came up at this pivotal moment later, it’d be a clever surprise as opposed to a deus ex machina? Or, as it’s a bathroom… a deuce ex machina?

I'm not sorry. You know that was the snootiest poop joke you've ever heard in your life.

I’m not sorry. You know that was the snootiest poop joke you’ve ever heard in your life.

ANYWAY. Beau makes it to his mom’s apartment and gets a call from the tracker to go to the ballet studio, where for some reason none of the seven vampires trying to keep him alive are also going to. Beau gets there and realizes that his mom’s screams are from a home video that the tracker found in the apartment.

“You don’t sound angry that I tricked you.”
“I’m not.”

At least Beau is going to die the same way he lived: with no hint of personality to respond to the world around him.

“You see, this was all just a little too easy, too quick. To be quite honest, I’m disappointed.”

You and me both, primary antagonist.

“What the sense in running all over the planet chasing you down when I could comfortably wait for you in a place of my choosing?”

I mean this isn’t one of my hobbies, but it doesn’t seem particularly sporting.

Ready for another Stephanie Meyer Gender Studies moment? In the original Twilight, Bella is – entirely reasonably – pretty low on morale.

I didn’t answer. The bravado was wearing off. I sensed that he was coming to the end of his gloat. It wasn’t meant for me anyway. There was no glory in beating me, a weak human.

Whereas in Life and Death, Beau sees this as a moment… ripe for jokes…

I didn’t answer. My bravado was wearing off. I could tell she was coming to the end of her monologuing, which I didn’t get the point of anyway. Why explain to me? I didn’t feel the need to rub it in to every cheeseburger I conquered.

I guess we have indeed learned that Twilight is the same story whether the main character is a girl or a boy, after all. Once you factor in that boys face death with jokes about cheeseburgers. Obviously that had to change. It wouldn’t make sense otherwise.

During her monologuing, the tracker also reveals that, back in the day, she actually almost ate Archie, but he eluded capture by being turned into a vampire. Small world, I guess. She also reveals that she’s making a video of all of this so she can torment Edythe later. Speaking of torment, this scene has not ended yet.

Now, in the original Twilight, this is the part where things happen like this:

  • As the tracker sizes Bella up, she makes a run for the door, and the vampire punches/kicks her into the mirrors and breaks her leg.
  • The tracker asks Bella to cry for Edward to avenge her for the video. She manages to say, “No! No, Edward, don’t-” before the vampire hits her again.
  • Bella flies into the broken mirrors and starts bleeding. The smell of her blood out in the open proves overwhelming, and the tracker is unable to restrain himself and lunges at her to drink her blood.

Which, ok, pretty good, I guess. But what if I told you that in Life and Death… Beau doesn’t even try to escape as he gets his shit rocked.

I didn’t see what part of her hit me – it was too fast. […] there was a loud snap, and my right arm was suddenly hanging like it wasn’t connected to my elbow anymore. […] She waited for the pain to hit, watched as I gasped and curled in around my broken arm […] She blurred again [and] knocked me back against the wall […] I tried to suck in another breath, and it was like a dozen knives were stabbing my lungs.

 

If you think I'm being sadistic, you should read this scene, because it goes on like ten times as long as the original.

If you think I’m being a bit sadistic… are you reading this brutal scene that’s like ten times longer than it was in the original?

Just like the in original, the tracker brings the camera up to Beau’s face, asking him to describe his pain for Edythe and to demand vengeance. Unlike Twilight, where girl-Beau screams “No! No, Edward, don’t”, boy-Beau is already so beaten up that all he can do is shake his head. Fair enough, I guess? Now we’ll never know if boys are allowed to scream “No!” when bravely facing death. But we did learn that in these moments they make jokes about cheeseburgers, so there’s that.

“It doesn’t want to scream,” she said […] “Should we make it scream?” […] She could have easily taken off my finger, but she just nipped it. Her teeth didn’t even go that deep.

Beau feels his finger heating up and quickly spreading to his chest. He manages to keep a rational-enough head (somehow) to remember that 1) now that the tracker has tasted his blood, she’s distracted while she’s fighting with herself to not drink the rest of it yet, and 2) that he can use this distraction to destroy her camera.

I tried to ignore [the heat] in my chest. My hand shot out and I had the camera. I raised it up as high as I could and smashed it back towards the ground.

Hooray! Good for-

And I was flying backward, into the broken mirrors […] I saw the red light flashing in the tracker’s hand. She’d been too fast, and I’d failed. […] Her mouth opened wide. I waited, screaming.

Wait, but we literally just read that you smashed it. That’s literally what was written. Did… did that not happen? Did the words written in this book not actually indicate the things that happened in this book? Because if I have to read the next chapter to find out which one of two contradictory descriptions written in the book is the real one, that is sort of a bullshit cliffhanger.

We know all about bullshit cliffhangers on this blog.

And we know all about bullshit cliffhangers on this blog.

Advertisements