Thomas feels angry at Minho for running away at the first sign of trouble. Although Minho said they already tried climbing the vines, Thomas devises a plan to tie vines around Alby and hoist him up the wall. After much strenuous effort, Thomas is able to climb up the wall and lift Alby thirty feet into the air with vines attached to each of his limbs.
Thomas' actions recall the story of the boy who climbed down the Box. After the boy died, the Gladers lost any hope that climbing down would work. Undeterred by Minho’s warning that climbing up the vines didn’t work in the past, Thomas’ hopefulness gives him the courage to try climbing them himself.
As Thomas hangs on the wall and rests, a beetle blade comes out of a small hole on the wall right beside him. Thomas examines the creature and once again sees the word “WICKED” printed on its body. As the beetle scurries off, Thomas sees a Griever round the corner and walk toward them.
The beetle blade is like a bad omen, telling Thomas that he is “wicked” for climbing the vines. The omen foreshadows that Thomas’ plan for survival will not turn out the way he hoped.