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Why would I ever want to change if I'm always right?!

—Simon, “The New Apex

Simon Laurent was a passenger aboard the Infinity Train. His notable presence is established as the second-in-command of a former raider group: The Apex. He was one of the secondary antagonists of Book Two, and initially one of the co-protagonists of Book Three before gradually becoming its main antagonist and tragic villain. His number exponentially grew throughout Book Three, eventually becoming the highest value ever seen. Shortly afterwards, he was killed by a Gohm.

Appearance

Simon was a young adult with long, pale blonde hair tied into a ponytail. He had light stubble on his chin and left leg. Like all members of the Apex, he had a red "wavelength" line across his face.

He wore a white sweatshirt over a gray tank-top, a black wristband on his right arm, and beige jeans with the left lower jean ripped off at the knee. He also wore gray-green knee pads and matching boots with special attachments that allow him to run on vertical surfaces, as well as the ability to electrocute with those boots.

In "The Debutante Ball Car", his formal attire consists of a simple black tail coat that he simply wears over his usual outfit.

When he briefly takes control of the Apex in the episode "The New Apex", Simon changes his look. He undoes his ponytail and removes his white sweatshirt, now wearing a red army jacket over his usual gray tank-top.

Personality

When Simon is first introduced in Book 2, he is shown as being fun-loving and a capable co-leader to the Apex with Grace, showing hospitality to Jesse as a potential new recruit. When M.T. confronts him after he tries to stable Alan Dracula, however, he quickly shows a much colder side, hinting at a deep-seated hatred of denizens, before ordering members of the Apex to wheel her and Alan Dracula. When Jesse is sent back home, he declares Jesse was weak for leaving the train, a clear demonstration of his belief in numbers as power.

In the early portion of Book 3, Simon was intent on being logical and factual in solving or addressing any problems, although he showed clear anxiety with how the information he came up with was received. This implies early on that behind his obsession with logic (possibly related to an inferiority complex), his true mind was emotionally broken by the trauma he had suffered through for almost the majority of his life. He has a clear fear of abandonment, stemming from the incident with Samantha. Because of this, he was prone to emotional outbursts, such as when he confronted Samantha for what she did to him as a little kid or when Amelia called him a child. His actions also suggest he had co-dependency, over-reliance on Grace for emotional and psychological support.

This directly ties into his and Grace's eventual fallout. His obvious crush on Grace diminishes as he gradually becomes (somewhat reasonably) paranoid about her keeping the truth of him. After his suspicions that Grace was lying came true, Simon's mental health took a significant fall, as in his mind Grace had "turned" on him just like a denizen would. He then refers to Grace as a void, which is incredibly similar to null as both have concepts to do with nothingness, further proving the connection he saw with Grace and his trauma. This is made clear when he then wanted to wheel Grace, just like what he'd do to a denizen. When Grace saved his life, he at first showed signs of a change of heart, but ultimately could not accept her explanation of "I don't know" as to why she saved him.

These actions suggest Simon's time on the train caused him to lack basic empathy or sympathy, or the ability to understand other's emotions or actions. At first, this mainly involves denizens. After the incident with Samantha, he has deeply ingrained in his mind the idea that they are not human and will betray or hurt him: this is how he rationalizes his choice to murder Tuba despite her having previously opened up to him. In his interactions with Grace after the fact, it becomes clear this lack of empathy is beginning to extend to humans, or at the very least humans with whom he does not agree. This is shown in how he is willing to invade the boundaries of others, choosing to go into Grace's personal memories and trap her in them for revenge on lying to him, along with invading her personal space physically. Indeed, the "Void" title appears to be his way of rationalizing, extending the "Null" philosophy to humans: if they don't agree with his opinions, they deserve to die. When he believes he has killed Grace, he briefly cries at losing his best friend, only to quickly replace his tears with more laughter, having completely devolved into a sociopath.

Even when presented with evidence that he is wrong about the train, its denizens, and why he is onboard, Simon immaturely rejects them, claiming they are lies or part of a conspiracy, and instead irrationally focuses on his own beliefs. Ultimately, it is this inability to accept changes or new ideas that leads to his downfall: had he (like Grace) accepted the possibility that denizens were actual living beings, had he accepted he was wrong about the train, and most importantly, had he accepted Grace's choice to save him, Simon may have found himself on the path to getting his number to zero and leaving the train. But his trauma, his lack of empathy, and his inability to accept he was wrong all led him directly into the path of a Ghom, ironically leading to his death at the hands of the very thing that caused him his original trauma.

History

Early Life

Very little information is known about Simon's life before the train, thus it is difficult to pinpoint why he ended up on the train in the first place. The only clues about his past are references to his mother being responsible for his clothing and his knowledge of how funerals work, suggesting he at the very least attended one.

Simon boarded on the train when he was 10 years old, with his number relatively low in the fifties (assumedly with not much change). On board he met The Cat, also known as Samantha, and the two traveled together. When Simon and Samantha were being hunted down by a Ghom, Samantha ran into a small pathway, unaware that Simon could not fit through and follow. Before the Ghom could harm Simon, a girl of the same age named Grace sprung from the bushes to his rescue and escaped with him. The event of Samantha abandoning him, coupled with being "kidnapped" from his family in an unknown world of predatory creatures, was what severely impacted his mental health that drastically worsened in Book 3.

Book One - The Perennial Child

The Engine

Simon only made a cameo along with Grace when Amelia was going through the passengers.

Book Two - Cracked Reflection

The Mall Car

He greets Jesse Cosay, Lake, and Alan Dracula when Grace brings them aboard. As M.T. berates the actions of other members of the Apex, he quickly tells her she and Alan Dracula are nothing and has them restrained. He watches as Sieve and Mace run after the two and Jesse's exit from the train.

The Wasteland

After Jesse unwillingly leaves the train, Simon accuses him of being weak before Grace tells him off for being disrespectful.

Book Three - Cult of the Conductor

The Musical Car

In this episode, Simon and Grace raid the Musical Car and ruin it. Shortly after, The Apex visits the Unfinished Car and also ruin it by tormenting the residents. However, the car suddenly starts moving with them inside it, leading Simon and Grace to get separated from the rest of The Apex and end up in the Jungle Car.

The Jungle Car

In this episode, Simon anxiously panders with ideas to get back to The Apex. Grace calms him down and advises Simon to have fun while they try to get back to The Apex. His death is foreshadowed in a clip where the two are sleeping and a dark butterfly flies in a few loops over them before landing on his nose. They eventually meet Hazel and Tuba, and Simon develops a distaste for Tuba stemming from his deep mistrust with denizens. Hazel and Tuba eventually agree to go with Simon and Grace back to The Apex.

The Debutante Ball Car

In this episode, Simon, along with the rest of the group, end up in the Debutante Ball Car. He refuses to partake in the car's dancing puzzle, and finds a secret exit out. However, it leads to nothing but a dark void. He comes back defeated and dances with Grace. He is notably blushing while dancing with Grace, implying romantic interest in her.

Le Chat Chalet Car

In this episode, the gang end up in the Chat Chalet Car, where they meet The Cat (also known as "Samantha"), who is in a cabin. This highly distresses Simon due to her being his original partner, whom left her for dead. Eventually, Simon opens up about his background with The Cat, and how she abandoned him with a dangerous Ghom, before storming off. The snowstorm that was outside eventually stops and the group leaves while Simon and the Cat share a solemn goodbye.

The Color Clock Car

In this episode, the gang end up in the Color Clock Car, where they have to find a key to unlock the door to the next car, but every few minutes the car rearranges its map and color. Hazel decides to make Simon and Tuba work together to better their relationship and make Simon understand that "nulls" have real feelings and are worthy of life. They begin with hateful attitudes towards each other, but after being trapped, Simon trusts Tuba to use her tubas to open the cage while he covers his ears. After escaping, Tuba makes a joke about Roy and the two laugh, clearly now feeling understanding for each other. Tuba explains her love for Hazel and her daughter, who was killed and therefore made Tuba alone. He finds out that Tuba is color blind and can use the green key to open the red lock on the door, but before they do, they have to get up to the door before time runs out. Simon uses his pack to allow Tuba to climb up to the door, but Tuba nearly makes it and hangs onto the edge. Simon helps Tuba, opening the door only for the train car to suddenly start moving. Tuba and Hazel are left on the moving train car, so Tuba throws Hazel to the other side. Simon states that he will help Tuba once more to save her life, however his true plans remain keen on taking the life of Tuba from before, wheeling Tuba to her death. He feels proud of his actions as he explains this to Grace and Hazel, with the intent that he has done something of good nature. Grace scoffs at him and runs after an anguished Hazel, leaving Simon confused.

The Campfire Car

Simon looking at Hazel

In this episode, Grace calms down Hazel after she panics from her sudden transformation into a turtle person. Realizing Simon will not react well to learning of Hazel's identity, Grace convinces Hazel to remain calm to prevent her from transforming again and that they will keep it a secret from Simon. Reentering the car, Grace takes a moment to pull rank on Simon for disobeying her orders before they continue. They soon make it to the next door, but Hazel requests a moment to hold a funeral for Tuba. Simon refuses with the excuse of no body to be buried, yet probably unwilling to oblige feeling emotion for a "null". Yet, Grace convinces him to let it happen by claiming it would not be good to have Hazel meet the Apex while still mourning a denizen. After the funeral, Hazel and Grace rejoin Simon at the door and cross between cars to where they can meet the Apex. They pass a lady when walking over to the next car. When they enter, they are shocked to see the Apex isn't there, and what they were tracking is now behind them. They realize what they were tracking was not the Apex, but the lady they had just passed, who appears behind them in the doorway and demands to know what the group has done to the cars.

The Canyon of the Golden Winged Snakes Car

Simon and the gang are interrogated by the lady about how they are the cause of cars "moving" due to a glitch. Simon is shocked when he sees that she is the high number cluster they have been tracking, only to distrust her when he realizes she works for One One. He and the gang run away from her and hide in a nearby cave. Seeing the lady's number makes Simon wonder about his and Grace's. He physically tries to look at Grace's only for her to push him back and blow up at him, making him depressed and proceeds to cower outside by himself. Wondering about Grace's sudden personality change, he leaves the car and travels back to the Chat Chalet car and demands from his ex-partner, The Cat (Samantha), the truth about Grace, while also reprimanding her for abandoning him years ago. She agrees, but also reprimands him for trying to 'control' Grace, which he denies. The Cat agrees to help him understand Grace, however, by handing him a device that shows Grace's memories. She warns that it is not always right to see what's in the memories of the people we love, but Simon rejects this, claiming he's not a child anymore and knows what he's doing. Once he is out of earshot, the Cat remarks he has no idea, as he walks off into the blizzard.

The Hey Ho Whoa Car

Simon returns to Grace and Hazel leaving the Golden Winged Snakes car with the lady, who introduced herself as Amelia, only to be attacked by Simon, who was told by the Cat that Amelia attempted to kill her more than once. However, Amelia wears a belt that projects a forcefield and throws Simon backwards. After Simon confronts her about how the belt she is wearing is identical to their Apex Symbol, the symbol conductor, she realizes their mistake and reveals she, herself, is the conductor, but a false one that usurped One-One. They enter the next car to wait for the pulse. Amelia explains the truth of the train, and how they are misguided on how it works, before Simon berates her for lying and claims she lost her way. Amelia responds by calling Simon an immature child, which sends him into an angry freak out. He attempts to attack her, only to be thrown back again by her forcefield. Nevertheless, he continues attempting to attack her, much to Grace and Hazel's dismay. Amelia demands him to stop or she will respond to his attack, to the count of 3 (much like a parent treating a bratty child). Simon doesn't stop attacking and she counts to 3, but before she can do anything, Hazel screams in fear, only for them all to realize she transformed into a Turtle and is a Denizen. Simon quickly denounces her and wants to leave with Grace, but Grace denies and demands they stay for the time being, much to Simon's shock. He agrees to stay however, maintaining his spite. When Grace falls asleep, he uses the device that Samantha gave him on her and sees her memories of her promising Hazel they won't tell Simon she is a denizen, revealing she knew all along. Simon begins to cry, realizing he had been betrayed all along.

The Origami Car

Simon sits around in a circle, welcoming the now-awake Grace. Grace tries to negotiate with Amelia on who Hazel shall go with, proclaiming that she is a part of the Apex, whom she doesn't leave behind. Simon scoffs at this remark. Hazel breaks the negotiation by saying she wants to go with Amelia, finally realizing how unhealthy and irresponsible Simon and Grace are, and that she is better off with Amelia. Hazel leaves with Amelia, leaving Grace in tears, but Simon is nonchalant about her leaving and only focuses on Grace. Simon mockingly remarks about how things are back to normal now and how relieved he is to be rid of Hazel, as she was 'annoying'. Grace responds angrily, proclaiming Hazel to be their friend, with Simon responding that he was Grace's friend first, and traps her in her own tape using the device The Cat gave him. He proclaims the train was a 'privilege' and a 'gift' to Grace, since her original life was unfulfilling and depressing. He further claims that Grace's altered memory of the Conductor is real, only for Grace to correct it to what it really was, much to Simon's anger and denial as he still believes the Conductor is some giant shadow being. Simon then begins using the tape to taunt Grace about her lies and manipulation, and proclaims that she 'betrayed' the Apex and himself. He leaves the tape without her and, outside the tape, shoves her comatose body to the ground while she is still in the tape, leaving her to die.

The New Apex

Simon being disintegrated by a Ghom

Sometime later, Grace reenters the Mall Car under the control of a deranged Simon, who now wears his hair down and wears a military uniform. With the scared Apex children under his leadership, he declares Grave a "Void," a leader without purpose, and thus using his authority over her due to his higher number, he orders the Apex to wheel her. Grace manages to break free from the children to reveal the truth of the train to them, but Simon once again accuses her of lying. The former friends engage in a vicious fight on the walkway between train cars where Grace tries to get through to him, but Simon refuses to accept the possibility he is wrong about the train.

The fight is interrupted by a Ghom, who forces them off the walkway, Grace left hanging from a railing and Simon using his boots to hold on to the underside. Simon tries to knock Grace off, but Grace manages to steal one of his boots and uses it to knock the Ghom away. When Simon's other boot starts to fail, Grace chooses to grab him before he falls and pull him back onto the train. Stunned, Simon asks why she saved him, to which she admits she does not know. Rather than be grateful, however, Simon seizes the momentary distraction to kick Grace off the train and into the wheels, to the horror of the Apex kids. Driven completely insane, he begins to cackle as his number climbs so high it covers his face. He briefly begins to cry at the realization he killed his best friend, but completely covers it with even more laughter.

To his shock, however, Grace is carried back onto the train with the help of the Origami Birds. Before he can do anything, the Ghom recovers and pounces on him, sucking out his life force. Rendered completely helpless and with Grace too far away to help, Simon could only scream in agony as the very thing that he was most afraid of disintegrated him into a pile of dust.

Legacy

Simon's death and the circumstances leading to it left a profound effect on Grace and the Apex. Grace officially dissolved the Apex and renounced its entire philosophy, declaring it was wrong of her and Simon to force its philosophy on them, and that they should now focus on getting their numbers down.

Trivia

"Oh Simon. Simon is a clinical narcissist. He absolutely can’t stand to be wrong, so he rewrites everything in his mind. “I’m always right, therefore everyone who disagrees with me is wrong. And if I’m always right, literally all my actions are justified.” But clinical narcissists are also very caring, provided you live by their rules. If physically abusive, they’re the type who say, “Why do you make me hit you?” Like in The Origami Car, [Alex Horab] has him saying, “You made me do this. I liked what we had.” Or in The New Apex by [Justin Michael], he says, “Why would I want to change when I’m always right?” It’s just the saddest thing. If you don’t think you need help and you’re always right, how can you ever get better? That’s why Simon dies. Needing to be right is a cancer."[1]
You think Simon’s story and death is sad bc that was what we intended. Simon isn’t a black and white character. We did that on purpose. No one should feel victorious. It’s not that kind of ending." [2]

Simon and Grace hugging in a cabin.

  • Simon is one of few Infinity Train villains that successfully kills off a major character, he is also the one to start out as a protagonist.
  • At numerous points, Simon was shown blushing when Grace is near him or touching him, suggesting he once had a crush on her. The two also frequently acted intimately around eachother and Owen Dennis said on twitter that "they've had a history" when asked if they are a couple on twitter. [3] A deleted scene from "The Origami Car" shows a young Simon and Grace sharing an "awkward middle school...kiss" which Grace laughs off and Simon pretends he did not like. Whether or not this scene is actually canon is unknown.[4]
  • He is the first known passenger to be successfully hunted down by a Gohm.
    • He is also the first known passenger to die and can never leave the train.
  • His last name, Laurent, is of French origin, and possibly relates to his ethnic background.
  • At the time of his death, he had the highest number ever seen on the train. Unlike Amelia, whose number stopped at her neck, Simon's number was so high that the digits extended onto his forehead.
  • Simon's role in Book Three is best understood as a tragic villain in the classical sense, especially when placed next to Grace's story: both begin the season more or less in the same position with regards to their philosophy of the world and understanding of how the train works, but are given multiple chances over the course of their journey to learn more about the train and why their way of life is wrong. But where Grace accepts these changes and therefore becomes a better person, Simon (sometimes violently) rejects the chance to change, holding to his views and refusing to accept the possibility he is wrong about the train. This ultimately leads to his downfall.
  • If one examines the relationship between Simon and Grace, it resembles a codependent relationship, with Simon being desperate for guidance and young Grace being desperate for someone to look up to her. As a result of this, the two become unhealthily reliant on the other and act as enablers.
  • Owen Dennis claimed on Twitter that Simon got on the train because he failed a spelling bee (Dennis is known for making non-canon statements as jokes on his Twitter and in the same post claimed the train was a reality TV show for Aliens, so take this statement with a grain of salt).
  • Owen Dennis on Simon's fate:
"The third season of Infinity Train is a tragedy. When we were finished writing it, it felt like the stories went where they should go. They felt like they had appropriate endings, but I think people sometimes think that the ending was supposed to be a big happy uplifting ending because that’s what most things are. It’s not. When I watch that season, I don’t feel good by the end, I feel kinda sad. It sucks. That whole season is a series of tragedies with a sliiiight uplift at the end that things will probably get better. Overall however, everyone’s relationship fell apart, friends abandoned friends, distrust was sewn, people died, all kinds of horrible stuff happened. Season one was a mystery, season two was an adventure, season three was a tragedy."[5]
  • Simon was writing a fantasy novel in his spare time, called The Esmoroth TRILOGY. The trilogy was left unfinished due to the author's premature death not much later after he had finished the first book.
    • A deleted scene in the Color Clock Car mentioned another fantasy novel by Simon called Shadow of the Loamflox.

Gallery

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References