Mark Reads ‘Blackout’: Chapter 28

In the twenty-eighth chapter of Blackout, the team heads back to the Brainpan to get their new IDs, and of COURSE, everything is a disaster. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Blackout.

Chapter Twenty-Eight

CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS. OH MY GOD.

I stopped breathing a little bit every time they asked her something and she didn’t answer right away, waiting for the sound of Becks taking the safety off her gun, but George recovered every time.

THIS IS THEIR LIVES NOW. I feel like I’ve said that ten times over the course of Newsflesh, but seriously. Georgia is back, yes, but this is not without its logistical problems. Becks and Mahir believe what Georgia told them to an extent, and this is an example of how they still need some further confirmation that she is who she says she is. It’s not lost on me that Shaun continues to fear losing Georgia again. More than ever before, he is aware of the fact that this is a distinct possibility.

However, I found that chapter twenty-eight finally spent some much-needed time on how everyone else was feeling. Maggie gets the chance to tell Shaun how upset she is for what’s happened. Becks’s comments later in the chapter really hone in on why this is so traumatizing: A LOT HAS HAPPENED IN THE LAST TWENTY-FOUR HOURS. Not only that, but there’s no sign that things will be fine in the near future. Or the distant future. Or ever. Which is why I think Maggie so suddenly comes out of her shell and becomes viciously confrontational here. She has always chosen to exist in the background on purpose. She doesn’t want to live the life that people like Shaun and Becks do. As she says here, she’d rather be home with her dogs writing porn.

So when she and the rest of the team are faced with a possible disaster at the Brainpan, it seems she has had enough. It’s interesting, then, how this is contrasted with Becks coming to the same conclusion, except she chooses to be giddy instead of angry. Now that is something I can understand on a personal level. I think a lot of folks would describe me as a positive person, but that is more of a choice than the default disposition. I choose to be cheery and social because I tire of the alternative. Plus, what has Becks got to lose? It is so bad already. Even if it gets worse, how can you measure that? How does it matter anymore now that Dave is dead or the CDC is bringing back the dead? At this point, what does it even mean by saying everything is going to get worse?

Anyway, the chapter then transitions to the tense and utterly absurd experience inside the Brainpan. These people, man. I don’t know how to read them, and my thoughts are all over the place. Which is totally fine! I could see the Brainpan as an example of what happens when people become too secluded and paranoid. The Fox and the Cat seem like products of that sort of environment where their identities are molded into these hyper-exaggerated depictions of common tropes. It’s so intriguing to me because these characters feel archetypical while being slightly off at the same time. They never feel right, as if they’re subtly mutated versions of the real thing. If anything, I feel sad for them, particularly the Cat and the Fox. What were they like before the Monkey got to them? How much did he take advantage of them and their vulnerabilities? That whole horrifying and unsettling speech that the Monkey gives to the Cat is borderline abusive, isn’t it? So what happened? I mean, I’m angry that the Cat sold out After the End Times; she’s responsible for the CDC finding them all at the end of the chapter. But at the same time, I can recognize that there’s some inherently wrong with the Monkey and the way he controls these women. Is this why she lashed out to take her own path? I’m not looking to absolve her of responsibility, but I like to have full, complete characters. And Mira Grant hints at so much more with this chapter! I WANT TO KNOW IT ALL.

Now, I realize that this review is pretty calm given the events that I just read. That’s intentional. There are so many brilliant little character moments that I wanted to talk about before I lost my shit. It’s one of my favorite things about Newsflesh, y’all! These characters matter.

All right. So… yeah.

HOLY SHIT, SHAUN AND BECKS HAVE TRACKERS IN THEIR SHOES AND OH MY GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING OH MY GOD THEY ARE SURROUNDED AND TRAPPED IN THE BRAINPAN AND BECKS IS KICKING THE CAT’S ASS AND THEN THE FOX LETS THE CDC IN THROUGH THE GARAGE AND I AM SO DONE AND TERRIFIED FOR THE FUTURE.

God, the next chapter is going to hurt. IT’S GOING TO.

Mark Links Stuff

– I have been nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Writer category! If you’d like more information or to direct friends/family to vote for me, I have a very informational post about what I do that you can pass along and link folks to!
I have announced what the next books I am reading on Mark Reads will be, as well as updated y’all on the events, cons, tour dates, GOING TO EUROPE OH MY GOD, and general shenaniganry going on in my life. I have a similar post up on Mark Watches, detailing the next two shows I’m doing as well as the return of Double Features, and I finally explain what happened with my Vimeo account. Check these posts out!
– Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
– Video commissions are open, and you can commission a Mark Reads/Watches video for just $25!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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