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By the Book: Catching Fire Predictions for Chapter 22

By the Book Chapter 22

It’s time for our Chapter 22 installment of By the Book, where the staff predicts what parts of “Catching Fire” will make it from the book and into the film, what scenes we’re afraid might get cut, and what quotes we hope to hear included in the script.

By the Book contains spoilers for Catching Fire, so if you haven’t read the book and don’t want to ruin any surprises, STOP READING RIGHT NOW!

The mutt monkeys retreat into the jungle, and Peeta carries the morphling who saved his life to the beach, where she dies. The next morning, Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick eat breakfast and receive ointment for their burns and loaves of bread from District 4. Johanna arrives, dragging Beetee and Wiress along. Beetee is wounded and Wiress keeps repeating “Tick, tock.” Johanna and Katniss take first watch, and Johanna says she brought Beetee and Wiress to her because Haymitch told her it was the only way they could be allies. Wiress joins them and Johanna goes to sleep, but Wiress keeps saying “Tick, tock” until Katniss pieces together the layout of the arena and agrees with Wiress, saying “Tick, tock. This is a clock.”


I was never particularly fond of the scene in which the morphling dies, but I do think it’s a good opportunity for Peeta development as far as the movie goes– particularly because he may not get much of a reaction to Mags’ sacrifice as I do believe they’ll be focusing more on Finnick at that point. I think it’s a good chance for them to show that Peeta’s moral fiber has more to do with than just Katniss, so I hope they’ll take that opportunity. Megan Hayes is an actress, so it seems very likely to me that’s the direction they intend to go in. I don’t think they’ll bother with the “downtime” moments in-between fights at this point; it’s one of those things that works well in the book, because it gives us a breather and even a moment of levity within all the adrenaline (I love that bit where Finnick and Katniss wake Peeta up), but in a movie it might slow things down a bit too much for the audience. They have to keep up the pace as we near the climax of the film.

I think they’ll jump straight to meeting Johanna, Beetee, and Wiress. And personally, I hope the snark abounds with Johanna’s arrival! Not only from her, but also from the others– Peeta does get a couple witty lines in this bit and I hope they at least keep some of that in; it’s a nice contrast to Katniss, who usually keeps her comments to herself until pushed too far. Also, this is the point when we get to see the best of Johanna’s bitchy side as well as her loyal side when it comes to Finnick, and I do hope they keep that in the movie because once again, it’s a way of showing how Victors bond over their mutual misery. Those two really understand each other, just like Katniss for Peeta and vice-versa, so it would say a lot about the characters even with limited airtime. And then of course, Katniss’ epiphany about Wiress’ tick-tocking will most certainly be included in the film! That’s one of the key wham lines in the Catching Fire plot, so it needs to be given proper focus.


I still think having Johanna arrive during the monkey fight to save Peeta would be more dramatic then seeing her at a distance, guiding Wiress and dragging Beetee along, so I’m going to stick with that prediction. It would be cool if they’re still drenched red from the blood rain, but I don’t know if Beetee’s wound will be as serious as it is in the book. I’m not expecting too much of this chapter to translate over, as much of the chapter is pretty slow, but I hope they include the bread being parachuted in. And, of course, I hope the whole “tick, tock” thing is included, with Wiress continually repeating it while Katniss stands up and looks around the arena, making the realization that it is set up like a clock.

Line I Hope Makes It
Katniss: “Tick, tock. This is a clock.”


The book has now turned into a manic roller-coaster ride to the end and I have no doubt the movie will play out the same. There is so much going on that I don’t think all of it will make it to the screen and this chapter is probably a good example of that. Besides the morphling death and Johanna, Beetee and Wiress joining the trio, there is a bit of sitting around and I don’t think the movie will give the tributes too much down time. Casting Megan Hayes as the morphling girl likely indicates that she will get some time on screen, so I think we will get at least some of her death scene as Katniss and Peeta comfort her as she dies. This moment was really touching in the book and I hope it stays this way on screen. After the morphlings death I don’t think there will be much of gap until Johanna and the others show up, perhaps enough time to have a drink from the tree and exchange a few comments.

I loved Johanna’s arena introduction in the book, at first I had no idea whether she was coming to kill them or not, then you know as soon as she shoves Wiress over and starts cursing that she isn’t going to. I also hope that she slaps Katniss or at least shoves her over before Finnick has to drag her away. I’d say that it will be then that the trio are sent a food package and catch up, before the others drift off to sleep and Katniss tells Johanna how Mags died. I’m not sure the ointment will make it, it depends on whether the poisonous fog is shown to be corrosive or not. I also don’t think that Beetee will be as badly injured as he was in the book, we’re certainly not going to see Katniss strip off all of his clothes so I would predict a more minor wound that she patches up quickly. The chapter does end on an interesting note though as Katniss discovers that Wiress’ rantings have a meaning. I think in the film Peeta or another tribute, possibly Johanna, may be awake to share this with her, rather than having an internal monologue she could stand up and point to each sector and explain, before rushing to wake the others up.

Lines I Hope Make It
Wiress: “Tick tock, tick tock.”
Katniss: “Oh. Tick tock. This is a clock.”


I really like this chapter for a few different reasons. I really like that you can see the vulnerability in Finnick when Katniss see’s the tears in his eyes when he finally gets a chance to mourn Mags. You see Finnick as this beautiful and strong character and when you see that he is so heartbroken over the death of Mags we see as an audience that he is actually human and feels just as much as we all do. I hope they keep that in the film. I also like when they find Johanna, Beetee and Wiress. Finding Johanna and her saying to Katniss that she brought Beetee and Wiress to her because of what Haymitch said, that the only way to be allies with her was to bring her Wiress and Beetee. Finding Wiress in particular as it’s her repeating “Tick Tock” over and over is what finally makes Katniss think about what has been going on in the arena. That moment when she realizes that the same things have been happening at the same time every day in the same place! Tick Tock, this a clock!

Line I Hope Makes It
Katniss: “Tick tock. This is a clock.”

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