Catching Fire

I went to see Catching Fire last night with Captain Jelly Belly. He was the youngest in the theatre and possibly the only male member of the species, but I still think he had a pretty good time. He thought the movie was okay, but a little too heavy on the kissing.

(I, on the other hand, could have done with a little MORE kissing.)

The only really traumatic part for him was this trailer that played before the movie for the new Endless Love remake:

That’s probably one shared experience we did not need to have as mother and son.

Anyway, watching the movie reminded me that the ending of Catching Fire, the book, was very confusing to me and left me with many questions, all of which I assumed would be answered in Mockingjay but if they were, then I missed them.

So I’d like to have a very open discussion of the ending of Catching Fire, but if you have not read the book or seen the movie, and think you might one day, WARNING, there are TOTALLY MAJOR COMPLETE SPOILERS BELOW.

Still with me?

Are you sure?

Sure sure?


So I get the fact that there was a secret plan to protect and save Katniss at all costs, and by extension, Peeta. But what I do not understand is:

  1. Why did Joanna bop Katniss in the head as the plan came to its peak? How could it have been sensible in any way to have the very person you are trying to protect lying defenseless on the ground while the Careers are attacking? The only thing I can think of here is that she had to get the tracker out fast, and needed Katniss not to struggle? Or possibly she thought it would be an easier rescue if Katniss was confined to one place? But then shouldn’t Joanna have stayed to protect her?
  2. Who cut the wire? The movie and book strongly imply it was the Careers, but it is my understanding that the wire the girls were unspooling was a red herring for the cameras, anyway. So did Beetee cut the wire, as some sort of signal to Joanna that Things Were Happening? Why would Joanna see the cut wire as her signal to hit Katniss in the head?
  3. Given that everyone was trying to save Katniss and Peeta, and the others knew that rescue would be happening at any moment, why did they split up Peeta and Katniss? Wouldn’t rescue of both be easier if they were together? And at the least, why wasn’t Peeta with Beetee still? Where was he, what was he doing, and was that part of the plan?
  4. Why was Beetee knocked out? Did Finnick do it, as Joanna did to Katniss, and maybe that’s why Peeta ran? But I thought Beetee was in on everything? And if it was a Career attack, and that’s why Peeta ran, then who/why did they cut out Beetee’s tracker? Or was he taken out by a bad run-in with the force field, in which case, again, why wasn’t Peeta still there, and who cut out his tracker?
  5. Why did Joanna tell Katniss that she’d saved and protected Beetee and Wiress “for you,” meaning specifically because Katniss herself wanted them in her alliance, when it seems clear that Beetee’s job with the wire was absolutely critical to the secret plan to blow open the dome? Wouldn’t Joanna have saved and protected them anyway? Or was this thing with the wire not part of the original plan? And if not, how exactly did they plan to have her rescued – or, is what they were actually planning was to have her be the overall winner, and all others (including Peeta) dead? Perhaps this is why they split Peeta and Katniss up?

So I guess what I really want to know is, what WAS the actual plan that Finnick and Joanna were going to implement that night, and what ACTUALLY happened?

Any and all explanations welcome!

10 thoughts on “Catching Fire

  1. smothermother

    hoping to go see it next week. maybe i need to reread the book before going? hmm, i’ll watch it then come back if i have any answers.

    and watching that movie trailer with your son. awkward much?

  2. Okay, *extensive* Google has come up with the following answers:

    * Consensus seems to be that Joanna did knock Katniss out specifically to cut out her tracker with little fuss or muss. Still seems like a stupid thing to do knowing the Careers were hovering nearby, but whatever.

    * Everyone agrees Beetee’s plan with the wire was The Real Plan all along, and when Joanna said she protected Beetee “for you,” she meant as part of the Larger Plan To Rescue Katniss.

    * Everyone seems to think the Careers (likely Brutus) cut the wire, and this was not part of the plan (although it did not actually impact the plan at all, as the wire to the beach was actually a red herring).

    * Everyone has a different theory as to why Peeta was not at the tree with Beetee. Some people think he was sent away by Beetee for safety, but the explanation that makes the most sense to me is that seeing that the wire was cut, combined with the cannon going off (announcing the death of Brutus) caused Peeta to panic about Katniss and try to run to her. Although why he ran (apparently) to their meet-up place in sector 2, rather than sprinting towards the beach, I do not know.

    * No one seems to know why Beetee was unconscious. I think the most likely explanation is that he had a run-in with the force field. Some people think Beetee himself cut out his tracker before approaching the field, others think Finnick found him lying there and cut it out after. I guess any of these is an okay explanation, but GAH, couldn’t we have something clearer?

    Still totally unknown: why those In The Know on the plan decided to split up Peeta and Katniss in the first place; how they actually planned to rescue everyone if Katniss and (presumably) Peeta were lying knocked out in some random place in the jungle, not near the lightning tree hovercraft entry location. GAH.

    1. Megan Essig

      -Johanna knocked out Katniss so the Careers would not see her. Then she cut out Katniss’s tracker and told her to keep down. Then if the careers passed by they would think Katniss was dead and wouldn’t kill her. Johanna did this to save Katniss since they needed her for the revolution.

      -They separated Peeta and Katniss because Johanna needed to cut out Katniss’s tracker (part of the plan) and Peeta wouldn’t have known to do that.

      1. Okay, I totally buy that Johanna knocked out Katniss so she would be hidden from the careers. But why not leave Katniss with Peeta at the tree, and have Beetee cut out their trackers? Wouldn’t they have been so much easier to find if they were both together – rather than having to potentially search the entire jungle for one or the other? Did they intend to save Peeta at all, ever?

        1. Meg

          It helps a lot to have read the book.

          They couldn’t risk Katniss and Peeta leaving the alliance before they could carry out their plan. From Katniss’ and Peeta’s POV once the opposition (the careers in this case) were dead it was the signal for any alliance to break up and for everyone to turn against each other. This is what typically happened in the Games. The other Victors would guess that Katniss and Peeta would have discussed leaving the alliance at one point. Having them go off into the jungle alone together was too big a risk. Katniss and Peeta didn’t want to be separated but had no choice but to co-operate without seeming to betray the alliance.

          They did intend to save Peeta but Katniss was the priority. Beetee was going to destroy the force field so that a rebel hovercraft could enter and rescue them at the rendezvous point. But the careers upset their plan by cutting the wire. The cut wire alerted Beetee, Finnick and Peeta that something had happened to Katniss and Johanna. It appears that both Finnick and Peeta left Beetee to find Katniss. Johanna attacks Katniss to remove her tracker. She then uses herself as a decoy to lure the careers away from her. They think that Katniss is as good as dead (Johanna smeared blood over Katniss’ face) and go after Johanna.

          What’s not clear is what happened to Beetee when he was alone but it seems that without Finnick and Peeta to either help or guard him he was either injured by one of the careers or injured himself trying to destroy the forcefield too soon.

          It was Peeta who killed Brutus (revealed in the next book). The first cannon shot was for Chaff who was killed by Brutus.

          When the forcefield is destroyed the rebel hovercraft is able to enter the arena. However, none of them are where it was arranged. They find Katniss. Also Beetee and Finnick who were nearby. But there is no time to rescue Peeta or Johanna as the rebel hovercraft comes under Capitol attack. Peeta and Johanna are then picked up by the Capitol.

  3. I got nothing. But there were lots of boys when I went (three of them were with me). And we did NOT get that preview, which would have grossed Eve out way more than Angus.

  4. I thought I had read that book, but now i’ m not sure I really did! lol! perhaps I should re-read b4 seeing movie… or maybe best I don’t 🙂

    I am like this with Harry Potter! (when I say “like this” I mean “obsessed”!)

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