No One Is Sure Who The Antichrist Is For A Chapter: Left Behind Chapter 24

Posted on March 22, 2016 by

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It’s the second-last week of Left Behind! Guess how many times I’ve mistyped “Buck” as “Fuck” the last three months.

Left Behind: Chapter 24

The penultimate chapter of this book about the rapture begins with its world-renowned journalist main character Buck “getting a head start on his article on the theory behind the disappeareances”, which happened weeks ago. I get that this was pre-internet, but are we seriously supposed to believe that one of the world’s prominent publications isn’t putting out a special issue when a percentage of the world’s population literally disappears? They’re just kinda getting around to it a few issues after the fact? Really?

At least some of Buck’s writing process ties in nicely with his character development:

What [would] he say in that piece about how [Carpathia] seemed to be a perfect parallel to biblical prophecy […] a story that could cost him his career and maybe his life

Spoiler: this is never brought up again, somehow, because this novel about the rapture is weirdly not interested in this.

Buck gets a call from his former boss/Carpathia’s new lackey, Steve, who tells him that Carpathia asked if he could bring Hattie to the press conference. Because Left Behind is just really interested in keeping the global ramifications of the rapture revolving around the half dozen Americans in this story, I guess. It continues to be super obvious that this is a book written by two dudes.

“Well, he and I are not close enough for that familiarity, and I don’t provide female companionship even to my friends.”
“Not even for me?”
“If I knew you would treat her with respect, Steve, I’d set you up with Hattie.”

So close, Left Behind.

Buck continues to display very questionable survival skills.

“Have you run into any schools of thought that link [Carpathia] to end-times events in the Bible?”
Steve Plank did not respond.

Very questionable skills.

“You’re the press secretary. You know all. How’s he going to respond if I hit him with that?”
Steve was still silent.

DUDE, EASE UP, LIKE, JUST A LITTLE.

Buck is basically the pilot in the original Star Wars that's like "nah, I'm good" for a solid minute and then dies

Buck is basically the pilot in the original Star Wars that’s like “nah, I’m good” for a solid minute and then dies

Steve responds obviously. And evily, because Steve is now already super evil. Buck continues to have no idea how subtlety works.

“Buck, I have a two-word answer for you. Are you ready? […] Staten Island.”
“Are you tellin’ me that-?”
“Don’t say the name, Buck! […]”
“So you’re threatening me with-”
“I’m not threatening.”

Buck also cryptically asks him some questions to figure out whether Steve is really working for Carpathia or Stonagal. Apparently this matters. Now, if you’ve been reading along with our Left Behind recaps, you might have gathered that Ariel and I are super confused about the political thriller subplot, primarily who the fuck Stonagal is. I mean, I get that he’s a shady pulling-the-strings type and secretly influence how the world runs. That makes sense. But beyond that, what is he actually doing in the story? Well, Left Behind has a very stupid answer for you.

finally gif

Said no one reading this blog, I know, BUT WE HAVE A JOB TO DO

Bruce, Rayford, and Chloe get Buck on the phone to talk about their efforts to figure out if Carpathia is really the antichrist.

“I can’t make it compute geographically.” [Bruce said.] “Almost every end-times writer I respect believes the Antichrist will come out of Western Europe”. […]
Buck sat up straight and it hit him! Steve had been trying to tell him he worked for Stonagal and not Carpathia. […] Maybe Stonagal was the Antichrist! Where had his lineage begun?

…and apparently that’s why Stonagal is in this book. To be a red herring in an eleventh hour mystery about who the antichrist really is.

[Buck] had already progressed to trying to decide who the Antichrist was: Carpathia or Stonagal.

It is not the most convincing question the book has posed, to put it mildly.

pirates that's not good enough

We read HOW MUCH BULLSHIT about Stonagal for THAT?

Buck gives Hattie a call to warn her about accepting an offer from Carpathia. This is one of those fun little moments where Left Behind really fucks itself over with its blandly self-righteous characters, because while “because he’s the antichrist” should be a pretty good reason to not take that offer, it’s hard not to feel like Hattie is 1000000% in the right here:

“They want you to see Carpathia again, provide him some companionship next week if you’re free.”
“I know and I am and I will.”
“I’m advising you not to do it.”
She laughed. “Right, I’m going to turn down a date with the most powerful man in the world? I don’t think so.”
“That would be my advice.”
“Whatever for?”
“Because you don’t strike me as that kind of girl.”
“First, I’m not a girl. I’m almost as old as you are, and I don’t need a parent or legal guardian.”
“I’m talking as a friend.”
“You’re not my friend, Buck.”

broad city yas

EVEN STRANGER, Buck comes to the totally right conclusion about this

Buck wondered what Rayford or Chloe would do if they knew Hattie had been invited to New York to be Carpathia’s companion for a few days. In the end, he decided it was none of his, or their, business.

I feel like even though Buck came to the right conclusion, the book is sort of trying to present it like “but is this the right conclusion?”, even though it’s like, “Book. Dude. Yes it is.” We’re not gonna read the next 11 Left Behind books, but I hope they’re all about Hattie having awesome sex with the antichrist and not giving a shit about the dipshit dudes she met in this book. That’s probably not a safe bet, but FUCK IT, THAT’S BLOG CANON NOW.

and that's canon

Things that are Blog Canon: 1) nobody in Beautiful Disaster has Netflix, 2) Kara and plot puppy are OTP, 3) Hattie and the antichrist have a great sex life. Thank you for reading our blog.

The story then shifts over to Chloe and Rayford at church, where Chloe gets to tell her story about how she “had now, finally, trusted Christ”, which in case you forgot was because of “the sign she believed God had given her in the form of a friend who sat beside her on the flight”. Because a thing that seriously happened in this book about being a born-again Christian written by two men is that a man stalking a woman onto an airplane is a legit sign of God. Have I mentioned how weird this is? I feel like I could not possibly adequately explain how weird this is.

With Bruce’s warnings about how going into a secret meeting with the literal antichrist is kind of a bad idea, Buck flies back to New York feeling  unsettled about things to come.

The gripping fear reminded him of Israel, when he believed he was going to die. Was he about to die? […] Buck found himself silently praying, God, be with me. Protect me.

He feels even worse as he goes into the meeting itself and realizes, shit, the antichrist is in this room.

[He] remember[ed] Bruce’s advice that he could talk to God the same way he talked to a friend. “God,” he said, “I need you, and not just for this meeting.”

Also Hattie is there.

[Buck] stared, dumbfounded, as she took her place as Nicolae Carpathia’s personal assistant. She winked at him

No, of course nobody in the book ever thinks it’s really fucking weird that the world’s most prominent politician just made an attractive woman without any political background his personal assistant out of absolutely nowhere.

The chapter ends with Buck realizing that “despite all he knew about Stonagal […] Buck sensed the truest, deepest, darkest spirit of evil as he watched Carpathia take his place”. So that was a fun mystery that lasted for all of one chapter. And was also resolved for the entire book before this chapter. Good times.

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Posted in: Left Behind