Tris and Four Rebel, Get Captured Immediately: Divergent Chapter 33

"there's a conspiracy here"

Last week, Tris passed Dauntless initiation and then used a handy list to reveal evil plots that are evil:

One: Colored serum contains transmitters.

Two: Transmitters connect the mind to a simulation program.

Three: Erudite developed the serum.

Four: Eric and Max are working with the Erudite.


But I do know how Erudite will get us to fight.

"there's a conspiracy here"

Chapter 33

Tris tries to get Four alone so she can tell him she has an important list she wants to show him, but things are crazy today after initiation. Before she can get to him, the evil plan has already been put into motion.

I wake to squeaking mattresses and shuffling feet. It’s too dark for me to see clearly, but as my eyes adjust, I see that Christina is tying her shoelaces. I open my mouth to ask her what she’s doing, but then I notice that across from me, Will is putting on a shirt. Everyone is awake, but everyone is silent.

“Christina,” I hiss. She doesn’t look at me, so I grab her shoulder and shake it. “Christina!”
She just keeps tying her shoelaces.

Tris quickly realizes that all the other initiates are basically just sleepwalkers at this point.

All the initiates fall into a line when they finish dressing.

I’m glad to know that a priority for the People Behind this Evil Plan is to ensure that everyone is appropriately dressed before carrying out whatever their sinister biddings are. Kudos to whoever the simulation programmer was on this one, there wasn’t a stone unturned here. They even remembered to tie their shoes! I think Christina even managed to put some eyeliner on probably.

Tris tries her hardest to blend in and do things like walk in unison with everyone else.

I pick up a gun and a holster and a belt, copying Will, who is directly in front of me. I try to match his movements, but I can’t predict what he’s going to do, so I end up fumbling more than I’d like to. I grit my teeth. I just have to trust that no one is watching me.

This really surprises me given I’m sure Tris has surely aroused suspicion what with all her deleted footage and amazing fear landscape skills. I would think if there was even a whiff of divergence on someone they’d keep an eye on them when their big plan is finally being put in action. [Matthew says: Not to spoil anything, but when this does get officially revealed to the antagonist tomorrow, they’re basically like, “Uh, yes. We knew.”]

I can’t wage war against Abnegation, against my family. I would rather die. My fear landscape proved that. My list of options narrows, and I see the path I must take. I will pretend long enough to get to the Abnegation sector of the city. I will save my family. And whatever happens after that doesn’t matter. A blanket of calm settles over me.

I didn’t realize that her fear landscape symbolized waging war on all of Abnegation. It’s pretty amazing that Tris had that kind of foresight! It must be because she’s divergent as fuck. Oh, in case you were wondering, her being divergent as fuck might also be the reason she’s not currently being mind controlled. BUH WUHHHH!?!?

I focus on matching my rhythm to his as I reach the top of the stairs, passing another Dauntless leader. Now I know who the Dauntless leaders are, because they are the only people who are awake.

Well, not the only people. I must be awake because I am Divergent.

I really want to know if anyone reading this book was like, “Omg I wasn’t sure why Tris was still aware of her surroundings! I thought it was maybe because of something she ate earlier, but it’s the whole being Divergent thing after all!”

[Matthew says: And with that, it’s time for the long-awaited “Matthew has been dying to explain why this ending is total bullshit that contradicts the entire premise of the book”! (Not a regular feature.) So you’ve probably noticed that I kept dropping hints (or even explicit criticisms) that the plot twist/climax directly contradicts the Faction system, which, as you might have gathered, is sort of the whole book. HERE IS WHY. The entire point of the Faction system is that people CHOOSE their faction. That people CHOOSE to fall under one of these types, regardless of what their test results say. CHOICE. It’s even right there on the cover:

It’s right there.

So if your Faction is a personal choice based on how you feel within your heart of hearts or whatever, then how come suddenly it’s a hard, scientifically-defined quality of a person? We’ve brought in mind-control drugs that don’t work on people who are Divergent and don’t fit into one of the Factions, and I don’t know if you know this, but chemicals tend to react independently of anyone’s personal feelings about them. There’s no way faction can be both a choice and a scientific phenomenon – these two things are mutually exclusive. Except that’s exactly the climax we’ve been given.

To be fair, there’s sort of a counterargument that, hey, maybe the drugs work on the weak-minded or something. People choose to buy into an optional philosophy and commit to it so hard that that is what the drug is interacting with. Maybe there’s no conformity enzymes or whatever in Divergent people for the drug to interact with. But these are so many ifs propping up this suspension bridge of disbelief that it’s too flimsy to take seriously. I don’t think a story could contradict its main premise more thoroughly if Romeo and Juliet broke up because shit was just getting too crazy.]

Tris manages to find Four and realizes that he also is not being mind controlled.

My entire body is alive with energy. I squeeze his hand, and he squeezes back. He is awake. I was right.

I actually really liked that they were in this together and made a team. One thing I will say is that their love story makes more sense than a lot of the ones we read here. They come from such a similar past and they share the whole Divergent thing, and right now they’re a team.

The Dauntless are taken to the Abnegation compound (or whatever it’s called) and start shooting everyone. It’s actually really horrible. [Matthew says: It’s a good thing I had that other joke/criticism in my back pocket this whole time, because OOF. This chapter is rough.] Tris and Four try to blend in while figuring out how to save some Abnegations. But Eric shows up.

“They really can’t see us? Or hear us?” a female voice asks.

“Oh, they can see and hear. They just aren’t processing what they see and hear the same way,” says Eric. “They receive commands from our computers in the transmitters we injected them with…” At this, he presses his fingers to the injection site to show the woman where it is. Stay still, I tell myself. Still, still, still. “…and carry them out seamlessly.”

"disappointing conversation"

Buy one of our mind-controlled humans today for the low price of $99.99! Come on down to Eric’s Used People store now!

Eric shifts a step to the side and leans close to Tobias’s face, grinning.

“Now, this is a happy sight,” he says. “The legendary Four. No one’s going to remember that I came in second now, are they? No one’s going to ask me, ‘What was it like to train with the guy who has only four fears?’”

Was that really a question that people were keen to ask? Given most of these fears would never come up in training, it doesn’t seem like it would be particularly different than training with anyone else. It’s not like he has super strength or can shoot lasers from his eyes. Then people might have questions.

He draws his gun and points it at Tobias’s right temple. My heart pounds so hard I feel it in my skull. He can’t shoot; he wouldn’t. Eric tilts his head. “Think anyone would notice if he accidentally got shot?”

The other woman is like, “Sure, why not?” Tris puts a stop to this by putting her gun to Eric’s head.

“You won’t shoot me,” Eric replies.

“Interesting theory,” I say. But I can’t murder him; I can’t. I grit my teeth and shift my arm down, firing at Eric’s foot. He screams and grabs his foot with both hands.

Why the fuck can’t Tris murder Eric? It seems like she’s only unable to do this so he’ll still be a character later on because Roth was too lazy to write another villain. [Matthew says: Honestly, at least she’s saving the villain with some character rather than the villain who is the antimatter of character.]

Tris and Four run! And are immediately apprehended.

“Divergent rebels,” Eric says, standing on one foot. His face is a sickly white. “Surrender your weapons.”


Question: What were some of the most frustrating times the good guy had a chance to kill the bad guy and didn’t take it because Stupid Reason?



  1. Kristin Reply

    Nathan should have taken out Gideon as soon as he showed up…wait, wrong good guy/bad guy

    • 22aer22 Reply

      I came to respond to comments, and immediately was confused because I was sure I’d clicked on the Divergent post.

      You know, Nathan was actually pretty evil, so I actually wish they’d both killed each other and made the world a super better place. That would have been sunshine and rainbows.

  2. A Reply

    If the drugs are a thing that only work on the weak-minded, wouldn’t you peg the “let’s fight against our fears and do daring stuff” people as the ones who could deal with it?

    Honestly, what is the point of all the fear simulations anyway? WHAT IS THE POINT OF ANYTHING??

    • 22aer22 Reply

      Yeah especially how one of their main points of initiation was to make their minds sooo strong to conquer simulations. Dauntless seem to go into their fear landscapes all the time, well beyond initiation so it just doesn’t make any sense that the serum would work on them unless it was a physical thing and not mental.

  3. Judy Reply

    In general or just this book ? Well, Batman not killing the taunting Joker (Heath Leger) made me want to scream……. It always makes me crazy in books and movies when the bad guy is spared by the hero when they have the perfect chance to be finished with him or when the bad guy just never can get shot when everyone else is in a never ending shootout.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      That was the first thing I thought of too!!

      Oh my god you mean when the bullets are flying everywhere/at everyone and they happen to always miss our hero/the villain Somehow.

  4. KayMia Reply

    I feel that while everything has seemed pointless so far, it all got rather dark really quickly. WTF.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      You’re so right, it went from, “YAY we passed initiation!” to “Oh no, members of my old faction are being shot in the street…and mind control…”

  5. Bellomy Reply

    Batman, every single time. Every. Single. Time.

    One thing I always appreciated about “Firefly” is that Mal and crew didn’t take any shit. If you were a threat, they took you down. I really liked that it avoided the bullshit like that.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      YES about Batman. Used to drive me so nuts!

      Damn it, I still really need to watch Firefly, but I don’t want to watch it and then feel sad there’s one season and a movie. I just don’t know if I can deal with that kind of emotional pain.

      • E.H.Taylor Reply

        Firefly is so worth the sad feeling when you reach the end. If you haven’t watched it by now, you need to do that this weekend.

  6. Bellomy Reply

    I mean, in the “Arkham” games Batman actually goes around actually trying to SAVE the lives of horrible evil people. Nobody ever bothers to point out to him that by doing this he is actively causing other innocent people to suffer and die later on.

    Fucking Hell, Batman, you don’t need to go out of your way to actively avoid killing murderous psychopaths. And you ESPECIALLY shouldn’t SAVE them. That’s just moronic.

  7. Polly Reply

    I’m with Bellomy and Judy here; Batman is the most annoying. I am actually against murder in real life, strangely enough, but in the Batman universe all the bad guys are pretty much irredeemable and are hugely destructive. His no-killing policy would make much more sense if they were capable of retaining prisoners, but as the prison is basically a walk-in centre then death seems the only logical solution. Although as someone pointed out, if Batman used his vast wealth to create jobs and drug/alcohol treatment centres, rather than mince about in leather, then Gotham wouldn’t have much of a crime problem.

    In the Divergent world this chapter manages to be disturbing and ridiculous at the same time. Kudos.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      AGAINST MURDER! Okay, but what if the woman you loved had been abused by this man for years…and and he was totally gonna come after her soon! Then you’d totally hypothetically support it right cause TRU WUV.

      I never thought about Batman that way before…but now I’m kind of annoyed with him.

  8. Pingback: Tris is Divergent: Divergent Chapter 35 | Bad Books, Good Times

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  10. E.H.Taylor Reply

    Sometimes I can get behind the good guy not killing the bad guy, because that sort of act just goes completely against their character. But when the character is legit all about their idea of ‘justice’ (like Batman) and making the world a safer place, then not killing the bad guy is stupid and just a contrived way for the author/movie people to stretch out the storyline and make more books/movies.


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