Margo calls her mom and her sister to tell them not to worry. Then, she and Quentin lie down in the grass and talk about the Walt Whitman poem. Margo says that she had an image of the fictional Quentin in her detective story as a loyal, attractive defender of justice, and on the night of their Orlando adventure, Quentin unexpectedly turned out to fulfill this fantasy. Quentin falls asleep. When he wakes, they dig a grave for Little Margo and Little Quentin and symbolically bury the past.

Margo and Quentin talk about how complicated life is and how they never really thought of Robert Joyner as a person just like them. Quentin uses metaphors like cracked vessels and broken strings to make sense of it all. Finally, Quentin kisses Margo, and she says that he can come to New York with her. Quentin says that he can’t go, because he has a whole life that he cannot leave behind. Margo drops her notebook in the grave, they say their goodbyes to it, and cover it with dirt. They carry all of Margo’s belongings from the Agloe General Store to her car.

Margo drives Quentin to the motel where their friends are staying, and they get out of the car to say goodbye. She promises to stay in touch. She hesitates before getting back in the car. They kiss again, and their foreheads touch as they stare into each other’s eyes.

Analysis

Finding Margo in the fictitious town of Agloe proves to be almost miraculously easy, which says something about Margo and her plan. Even though only Margo knew the exact coordinates of her destination, Quentin and his friends have such little trouble pinpointing Margo once they arrive that it’s almost as if she wants to be found. Though she denies this, much of Margo’s disappearance seems less like a desire to truly get away and more of a cry for attention. Part of Margo’s purpose in the Orlando adventure in Part One is to create a bond between herself and Quentin, even if she doesn’t consciously realize it’s what she’s doing.

Margo and Quentin experience a deep connection when they are alone with each other, and are able to see each other fully. Margo is objectively rude to her friends when they approach her after driving nearly twenty-four hours nonstop to find her. Lacey, Ben, and Radar are disgusted with Margo’s behavior, but the text implies that Quentin understands that her attitude is a mask. Margo’s shell is a brittle defense mechanism. Underneath the paper rudeness is a real girl, and the girl is scared, anxious, and sad. Quentin stays with Margo when the others leave, and he talks to her knowing full well of her act. Rather than trying to blame her, or to convince her of what she should do next, Quentin lets Margo explain how she feels.

In this final scene, the reader finally sees the role that Quentin has played in Margo’s life. Most of the novel gives the reader a sense of who Margo is for Quentin, because he idolizes her and places her at the center of his universe. In Agloe, the reader learns that Margo’s imaginary version of Quentin fueled many of her stories about herself as a crime-solving superhero who would save the world. Margo constructed her initial Orlando adventure around seeking vengeance, but the underlying purpose was to realize her detective story about Quentin, even though she might not have been consciously aware of that at the time. Both Quentin and Margo have been the anchor in each other’s universes throughout the novel. Quentin provides the loyalty and consistency that Margo lacks in all the other elements of her life, and Margo provides the spontaneity and adventure that Quentin lacks in his.