After everybody died, Tris has met up with Tobias in the computer room, who is the only person actually in the room guarding the technology carrying out the villains’ evil plans for some reason. Not that this makes things easier. Just stupider. [Ariel says: I bet all the guards were programmed to jump ship at soon as there was even a whiff of the Power of Love coming to save the day.]
He looks confused. He raises his gun.
“Drop your weapon,” he says.
“Tobias,” I say, “you’re in a simulation.”
“Drop your weapon,” he repeats. “Or I’ll fire.”
Jeanine said he didn’t know me. Jeanine also said that the simulation made Tobias’s friends into enemies. He will shoot me if he has to.
I set my gun down at my feet.
“Drop your weapon!” Shouts Tobias.
“I did,” I say. A little voice in my head sings that he cant hear me
Tris manages to disarm Tobias, and then get the gun in the ensuing grapple. Somehow. But that’s not the most suspension of disbelief-challenging thing that happens this chapter. Hell, Tris’s dad could burst into the room, guns blazing, shouting, “Surprise! I’m not really dead!”, and that would have been more believable than how this scene actually plays out.
So the obvious problem is that even if Tris gets the gun, it’s not like she can shoot him. I mean, he’s not her friend Will or anything.
I don’t know what I’ll do with [the gun]. I can’t shoot him, I can’t shoot him, I can’t. He is in there somewhere.”
Man, this is just like that time Tris was in this exact same situation with
a boy she wasn’t making out with Will! Except she shot him and he died.
[Ariel says: The way I read that scene, was that Tris was so distraught and thrown face to face with Will pointing a gun at her that she shot without thinking. I’m not saying I don’t think Roth did it for ~drama~ but I think that was meant to be why it happened.] [Matthew adds: Okay, not being a hypercritical comic for a moment, I can see it this way. But it’s not like she’s in LESS mortal peril NOW. It feels entirely too convenient that with two such similar scenes, one was played for tragedy and the other was played for THE POWER OF LOVE. Ultimately that bugs me more.]
“Tobias, please.” I am begging. I am pathetic. Tears make my face hot. “Please see me.”
So things are looking pretty desperate, and the novel has zero previously established ways for getting out of a situation like this. So, naturally, it’s deus ex machina time!
I have done this before – in my fear landscape, with the gun in my hand, a voice shouting at me to fire at the people I love. I volunteered to die instead, that time, but I can’t imagine how that would help me right now.
Not just you, Tris.
I just know, I know what is the right thing to do is.
PRO WRITING TIP: If the only way to explain a new concept is for the protagonist to suddenly, inexplicably just know it right as it becomes important, go ahead. Just explicitly say that they know it, otherwise the reader won’t buy it. So, once again, it’s time for…
- “But how did you find us?” Hermione asked Ron.
“I just knew you two were here in these nondescript woods!” Ron answered.
“Nothing led you here, or gave you that feeling?” Harry asked.
“Nope. I just knew!”
- “Goodness! How on earth did you figure that out?”
“I just knew, my dear Watson.”
- ROMEO: A grave? O, no! a lanthorn, slaughter’d youth,
For here lies Juliet, and yet, methinks,
She is not really dead. This, I just know.
My father says – used to say – that there is power in self-sacrifice.
I turn the gun in my hands and press it into Tobias’s palm.
Just so we’re all on the same page here, the novel solves the problem of a brainwashed Four trying to shoot Tris by having Tris put a gun in Four’s hands while he is being brainwashed. Just… just so we’re clear about this. This is the logic that the climax is following.
He pushes the barrel into my forehead. […] I reach out and rest my hand on his chest so I can feel his heartbeat. At least his heartbeat is still him.
The bullet clicks into the chamber.
Oh my God, you guys. Maybe Tris will die.
Question of the Day: So is anyone using Ello? Does anyone care?