Summary: Chapter 7

When they get back in the minivan, it’s 3:51 am. Margo tells Quentin that it’s his turn to pick a victim for his own revenge. Quentin can’t think of anyone, so Margo suggests Chuck Parson. Margo reminds Quentin about the time that Chuck made Quentin cry in sixth grade by getting every single girl in their ballroom dance class to refuse to dance with Quentin. Margo’s plan is that Margo and Quentin will put Vaseline on every doorknob in Chuck’s house, Margo will use Veet on Chuck, and then they will spray-paint the house.

At first, Margo directs them to the wrong house, which they discover only after Margo has climbed in through the window and a shocked old man who is not Chuck turns on the light. They run away and Quentin calls Ben, who gives them Chuck’s address, and they sneak in successfully. Margo applies the Veet to one of Chuck’s eyebrows, and then she and Quentin put Vaseline on all the doorknobs in the house. When Quentin wipes the Veet off his eyebrow, Chuck wakes up and yells for his parents, but Margo and Quentin manage to escape. When they drive away, Quentin remembers that Margo was kind of friendly with Chuck, but Margo shrugs the question off. Margo announces that for the last part of their adventure, they will break into Sea World.

Summary: Chapter 8

Quentin doesn’t want to break into Sea World, but Margo convinces him to go along with the final part of her scheme. She points out that she picked him to join her on her expedition, which makes Quentin feel special. Using satellite maps, Margo has figured out a way to sneak into the park. She and Quentin bushwhack through a thicket until they arrive at a moat. Quentin gets across the moat, and Margo follows. A snake bites Margo’s ankle, and Quentin tries to suck the venom out until they realize it’s only a harmless garter snake. They climb a fence, and they’re in Sea World. A security guard finds them almost immediately, but Margo bribes him with a hundred-dollar bill, and the guard leaves. There’s music piping from the speakers, and to make up for rejecting Quentin in the ballroom dance class in sixth grade, Margo dances with him around the seal tank.

Summary: Chapter 9

As they drive back home, Margo hands Quentin her camera and tells him in vague terms to use the photo of naked Jase wisely. They return to Jefferson Park at 5:42 am, and clean out the minivan. Margo whispers to Quentin that she will miss hanging out with him. Quentin says that she can hang out with him and his friends at school, but Margo says that it’s not possible. She climbs a tree and crawls back into her bedroom. Quentin enters his house through the unlocked front door and goes to his room.

Analysis

Margo and Quentin’s adventure through Central Florida functions like a self-contained story within the larger novel. In other words, even though it is related to the plot that comes afterwards, the adventure has a beginning, middle, and end unto itself. Margo orchestrates all the drama of this night, and each of the eleven parts of the adventure unfolds according to her direction.

Margo runs the show the entire time. She pretends to give Quentin some agency when she asks him whom he would like to exact revenge against, but she almost immediately suggests Chuck Parson. They’ve already bought the supplies that they will use to target this person, which suggests, too, that Margo had a specific victim in mind. At Sea World, Quentin thinks that he has a chance to save Margo’s life when a snake bites her as they climb across the moat. However, the snake is only a harmless garter snake, so Quentin’s attempt to suck the venom out devolves into something useless and silly. Quentin’s primary function is for Margo to shine more brightly and to show off the brilliance of her exploits to another person.