This is it, everyone! THE LAST CHAPTER.
Marty finds himself in darkness at the end of a “journey into the black tunnel”, and I’m going to give Gipe the benefit of the doubt and say he’s trying to say “The car crashed into a building” and not “time travel suddenly is like going through a tunnel when it wasn’t before, tee hee”. Marty’s not sure what’s going on:
Marty thought of the scene in a movie he had seen about a time travel machine where the vehicle is enclosed in a mountain.
Haha, the hilariously awkward “time travel machine” makes a return! YES.
So he realizes he’s crashed into the movie theater, reverses out, and sees that it’s 1985 again. “All right!” he shouts. Then he turns on the radio, and Gipe describes it as only a grandparent could:
A contemporary rock tune was playing.
“All right!” Marty shouts. But then he remembers he has to save “his friend from a bloody and violent death” (oh yeah! I can see how you’d forget that!) but then the car dies again. ”Shit!” Marty shouts. And oh man, Gipe, we got another “time travel machine” callback, can we get another shoutout to The Terrorists?
After grinding for a minute, Marty was unable to generate the slightest hint renewed power. And as he continued to grind, he looked up and saw the familiar terrorist van cruising down the street and around the corner.
Horrified, he leaped from the car.
“The terrorists!” he yelled.
PERFECT. Thank you, Gipe, and thank you Marty McFly for jumping out of the car to shout “The terrorists!” after The Terrorists. You are too perfect. Also, now is the point where you should re-read that above quote while using “grinding” in the “at a club all up on someone” sense. I’ll wait.
Marty runs down to the mall, and Gipe makes sure we notice something has changed:
Arriving at the entrance, he noticed that it was called Lone Pine Mall and was decorated with the image of a single pine tree instead of two. Otherwise everything was the same.
Marty watches, “frozen, horrified and amazed” as he watches the terrorist van chasing Doc Brown around the parking lot. This is kinda weird, watching yourself and your friend from what seems to be a week ago doing the same thing, right? Wouldn’t that, oh, I don’t know… BLOW YOUR MIND??
“Oh, no!” he gasped. ”I’m too late!”
The scene blew his mind.
Doc reaches the top of the clock tower and looks down to Marty, who has finally found the end of the wire. And given how difficult this task was for poor Marty, I kinda imagine his waving to be less “hey look I found it” and more the kind of hands up in the air waving that Kermit The Frog might do if he just won the lottery:
Looking down, he saw Marty, five stories below, waving the paddle plug which he had just located.
Doc throws down the rope, Marty ties the cable to it, and Doc pulls it up. So far, so good. Marty still wants to warn Doc about The Terrorists (and yes he is still referring to them them as The Terrorists; it’s amazing) so he tries again:
Marty cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted as loudly as he could. ”I gotta tell you about the future, Doc! Please listen to me!”
The words were lost amid a new rush of wind which nearly tore the rope from Doc’s grasp.
“The future!” Marty yelled. ”On the night I travel back in time, the terrorists show up and get you -“
That’s the clock tower! It’s tolling ten o’clock, and Marty is so pissed that Doc can’t hear him anymore that he expresses his anger at reality exactly how Miss Piggy would:
Kicking angrily at the ground, Marty waited, knowing he hadn’t a prayer of being heard.
Hahah Book Marty, the more you act like Muppet Marty the more I like you!! Keep kicking that ground!
Anyway in the movie Doc yells “Go! Look at the time, you’ve got less than four minutes!” and Marty takes off in the car. In the book, Doc just “gestures wildly towards the DeLorean, then at his watch” and then finally yells “Run, boy, run!!” Then Marty drives off and instead of Doc cheering “Yaaaay!” and kissing his hands like he does in the movie (which always struck me as an adorable and sincere response) Doc stands around and talks to himself because everyone in this story talks to themselves because whoever wrote the screenplay thought that’s the only way to show what a character was thinking:
“Good,” he whispered. ”Now all I have to do is make sure he’s not barreling down the street for nothing.”
Doc creeps along the clock tower edge and has some time to talk some more to himself:
“I’ll be alive in 1985,” he said, realizing even as he said it that he was whistling past the graveyard. ”I’ll be alive in ‘85 - so I’m safe now.”
The words came out but he knew they were fallacious. His being alive in 1985 was predicated on his not climbing clock towers in 1955.
“Well,” he gasped. ”Let’s just get it done.”
And I can see why they didn’t include that in the movie: it’s a line that raises a lot of questions about time travel that you don’t really want to be distracted by right now. Plus, it phrases them in a “I’m gonna survive” way, when a more dramatic way to present them is in a “if I fall and die it’ll be a paradox and the timeline gets destroyed” way instead, so it’s not even an optimally-phrased distraction!
IDIOM KORNER: “whistling past the graveyard” is an expression that means “trying to stay cheerful in difficult circumstances”. I have heard this expression used by my parents and grandparents and not once by a radical teen, but that may just be the kind of teen company I keep, so I am HOLDING BACK on the old man itis tag… THIS TIME.