He wants a Wiggly doll. He doesn't have a Wiggly doll. This is a problem he intends to fix.
The kid in the leather jacket doesn't have one either, so Gary and his new friend abandon the kid's body and work to track down the little girl who'd been with him. Gary remembers the kid telling her to go somewhere— the play place by Marshalls. Gary knows where that is.
He limps down the halls, toward the play place. Damn, that kid could pack a punch. But the glorious Wiggly is on Gary's side, and the kid hadn't stood a chance against that. Now he's dead, and Gary is one step closer to his god.
The little girl had been fast, but Gary and his friend are faster. They catch up just in time to grab her ankle as she tries to disappear into the kiddie tunnels. She kicks and screams, crying and begging them to stop, but Wiggly calls out to Gary, telling him how close he is.
He can practically smell the doll on this girl.
Gary pins her down while his friend gives her the same treatment the other kid had gotten. Eventually, she stops struggling and goes limp on the ground, and her sounds of protest fade away into nothingness. Gary's friend rips the backpack away and roots through it, triumphantly holding up the coveted item:
A Tickle Me Wiggly doll.
Gary and his new friend scamper off back to Toy Zone, excited to deliver their prize to their prophet. Linda will be pleased with their work.
Lex drags herself to her feet as Sherman Young falls to the ground beside her, her hands shaking but firmly clutching the gun for dear life. She limps out of the back room, sticking to the shadows. No one notices her, too focused on that blonde bitch and the doll they managed to find.
Lex sneaks out of Toy Zone and toward the movie theater, hoping to find her boyfriend and sister and get the fuck out with their own doll as fast as they can. She comes across Marshalls first, and her knees buckle when she sees the unmoving heap near the kiddie tunnels, covered in a familiar yellow flannel, although it has a growing crimson stain.
The gun clatters to the floor as Lex sinks down beside the body of her nine year old sister, hugging the girl to her chest and sobbing. She's long gone, died afraid and alone, with neither of her so-called protectors to even hold her hand, to tell her not to be afraid.
The backpack lays torn to shreds beside her, and Lex has to turn away to vomit. God, this had been her fault. If Lex hadn't stolen that damn doll…
But where's Ethan?
Lex doesn't think he would have left Hannah, not willingly, so she gets to her feet, wiping her eyes and mouth on her jacket sleeve before continuing on toward the cineplex without a backward glance. Looking again would be too painful. Her feet move on their own, getting faster and faster as she tries to escape the reality behind her.
She finds Ethan lying on the ground in front of the theater, curled on his side. Blood is splattered on his jacket, and the hair is clumped on one side of his head from it.
But unlike Hannah, he's still breathing.
Lex kneels down next to him and gently tries to roll him onto his back so she can see just how bad the damage is. He flinches at her touch.
"Ethan, babe, it's me," she says softly, hoarse from the choking and screaming and crying. "Ethan, please—"
"Lex?" he croaks. His voice doesn't sound much better, and she wonders just how bad the beating was. "H-Hannah— I told her t-to run—"
"They got her," Lex sniffles. "She's— she's gone, E. I couldn't save her."
She helps him sit up, and despite the obvious pain he's in, he holds her as tight as he can, letting her cry into his shoulder. They cling to each other for a long while, not paying much attention to what's around them. Eventually, when the tears stop coming, Lex realizes they still have to get out of the mall.
The teens get to their feet, leaning on each other for support, and stagger out of the mall together. They forget the gun, they forget the doll, they forget the plan. Lex drives, since Ethan shouldn't, and they head straight for Clivesdale to get away from Lakeside Mall.
Tom limps along the hall, Becky supporting him. That stab wound is bandaged and stable, but it still hurts.
He thinks about what they'd done, after she told him what happened to her ex-husband. As much as he had loved her— he's never stopped loving her— he's worried the timing might be horrible. Tom had never been one to rush into things. Just as he starts to say something, Becky stops dead in her tracks, staring in horror at something on the ground.
"It's—" she chokes up. "It's a little girl…"
Tom looks down at the broken figure, and his heart plummets in his chest. He'd seen a lot during his days in Afghanistan, including dead children… but something about the context seems almost worse. They're not supposed to be in a warzone. This is Hatchetfield.
Tom stumbles over, kneeling at the dead girl's side. There's a torn backpack nearby, and Tom recognizes it. It belongs to his former student, Lex, and there's a lurch in Tom's stomach as he realizes this must be the little sister she'd always talked about. Hannah. There's a blood-soaked Hatchetfield Nighthawks hat on the ground just a few feet away. Green fuzz is caught in the zipper of the backpack, and he realizes it's from a Wiggly doll.
They killed her for one of those dolls.
They killed a child for that doll.
Tom puts his hand on the ground to help steady himself as he stands back up, and his fingers brush against something that he hates to be so familiar with.
Shifting his jaw as anger overtakes him, he snatches it up and finally gets to his feet. He turns to Becky, who already has fiery determination in her eyes.
"Why the hell does anyone want that ugly fuckin' doll so bad to begin with?" Tom asks, and she shakes her head.
"I don't know, Tom," she says. "That one we had earlier— if you hadn't gotten hurt, I might have killed that man to get it back."
"Whatever it is about that thing… I think Linda Monroe has something to do with it," Tom says. "She was way too cocky about it during the riots. We have to stop her, whatever she's planning."
Becky nods, and follows him to Toy Zone.
Bad blood is spilt, but it's not Ethan's.
Linda is shot, but not by Becky.
The mall burns, but not by Lex's hand.
In the end, there are fewer people to arrive on a kooky reclusive biology professor's doorstep that night, covered in blood and soot and tears.
In the end, Lex and Ethan make it to California on their own- penniless, aimless, and sisterless.