We Haven't Had A Mass Killing In About Seven Chapters, So…: Insurgent Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Tris recovers from the happy drugs that the Hufflepuff hippies gave her. [Ariel says: I would have preferred if she had to save the day under the influence of this serum.]

“Why couldn’t I fight the peace serum?” I say. “If my brain is weird enough to resist the simulation serum, why not this one?”

A person has a genetic predisposition to be incapable of making a personal choice that most other people do which coincidentally also grants her immunity to robot drugs that do one thing, but is surprised when it does not also give her immunity to plant drugs that do a different thing. The science of the Divergent series, everyone. [Ariel says: Yeah, this line stuck out to me too. I don’t understand why Tris would assume that no serums work on her when it seemed oddly specific to simulations involving hallucinations/virtual reality or whatever it is. The peace serum is the only serum we’ve seen so far that actually seems like it could be real, so it makes sense the power of Tris’ mind wouldn’t be able to fight this one.]

Tobias comes up with a similarly sciencey answer.

“Maybe in order to fight off a serum, you have to want to.”

Say what you will about the dystopian, Buzzfeed quiz future of Divergent, but I bet these guys cured cancer like that.

Next, there’s a thrilling scene where Tris climbs an apple tree, sees a bunch of Erudite cars, tries to climb down it, and starts to fall but doesn’t. And I wonder why this book is 545 pages long.

It bends, but holds. I start to lift myself up, to put the other foot down, and the branch snaps.

I gasp as I fall back, seizing the tree trunk at the last second. […]

I don’t allow myself to think; I just put one foot down, then the other, so fast that bark peels off the branches and drifts towards the ground.

We’re at the part where we’re waiting to get to the part where something happens. Why is there this much suspense and action already?

Tris dramatically runs back to the Amity camp and Abnegation refugees to tell them what she saw. Susan asks why they’re so concerned, because they totally already said Amity is a safe house, no takesies-backsies. Tris and co tell her that’s stupid, and then come up with their conversely not stupid plan.

“Wait,” I say. “I have an idea. […] Disguises. The Erudite don’t know for sure that we’re still here. We can pretend to be Amity.”
“Those of you who aren’t dressed like the Amity should go to the dormitories, then,” Marcus says. “The rest of you, put your hair down; try to mimic their behavior.”

arrested development oh my god

So. The plan is for the smaller group of people dispersed throughout a larger group of people to continue to do that. And for everyone who isn’t already doing that to… continue to not do that? [Ariel says: Not, you know, change their outfits? Also, I guess mimicking Amity is just pretending to be really stoned?]

Tris runs back to the dorm with the others who aren’t dressed up like the Amity in order to change clothes (a significant improvement on how this plan was originally worded, to be fair)[Ariel says: I’m glad they followed my advice above.], and comes across the hard drive that previously contained the Erudite’s simulation data, but not its program, and apparently now also surveillance footage. The one that Tris and Tobias have been protecting to… keep it safe from the wrong hands? Keep it as proof? Well, whatever, the book can’t figure it out either and decides it doesn’t matter anymore, because Tris anticlimactically destroys it.

I don’t want to just hand over the attack simulation again. But this hard drive also contains the surveillance footage from the attack. The record of our losses. Of my parents’ deaths. The only piece of them I have left. […]
I bring the lamp down again, and again, and again, until the hard drive cracks and pieces of it spread across the floor

[Ariel says: This drives me nuts! If she was just going to destroy it this easily why the fuck did they even need to save it in the first place? They’ve been making such a big fucking deal about it like it’s going to be really important to the plot, but no.] Tris leaves behind a now completely meaningless plot point to meet up with the disguised Tobias and Caleb.

[Tobias] wears a red collared shirt […]
“It was the only thing that covered up the neck tattoo, okay?”

Because the neck tattoo is how the police are most likely to identify a man who physically attacked their leader after being classified as the most dangerous type of person in society.

Tris and co hide with the Amity group again when the Erudite arrive, escorted by Dauntless soldiers wearing blue armbands signifying their allegiance to Erudite, causing Tobias to imply they’re still under mind-control. I think. I have no idea what counts for logic in this book anymore. For some reason, Tris is concerned about her cunning ruse, and inspects the Abnegation pretending the be Amity.

It is amazing how pretending to be in a different faction changes everything

Yes, the Divergent Faction transfer would certainly never have observed this phenomenon before.

The Erudite talk to Susan, and she announces to everyone that they’re looking for Abnegation members, Dauntless members, and a former Erudite initiate, and that she’s told them that they moved on, because I guess we’re also not even gonna pretend that whole safe house thing was ever going to hold any narrative weight. The Erudite/Dauntless begin to search the compound, and it immediately goes to shit.

“Your hair is pretty short for an Amity,” she says. […]
“It’s hot,” [Tobias] says.
The excuse might work if he knew how to deliver it, but he says it with a snap. [She] pulls back the collar of his shirt to see his tattoo.
And Tobias moves.
He grabs the woman’s wrist, yanking her forward so she loses her balance. She hits her head against the edge of the table and falls. Across the room, a gun goes off

And we didn't even have to read two pages of Tris trying to climb a tree!
And we didn’t even have to read two pages of Tris trying to climb a tree!

Four takes the Dauntless woman’s gun and holds her as a human shield to shoot down the Dauntless gunman at the other end of the table, because I guess the book just realized it was only doing the “mindless” part of “mindless violence.” Another Dauntless soldier aims a revolver at Tris, but she freezes up and Caleb takes Tris’s gun and shoots him in the leg, which is an interesting development, because apparently Caleb can move at super speed now. An Erudite woman takes a shot at Peter, but Tris pushes him out of the way. Yay. Peter is still in this book.

“Put the gun down,” says Tobias, pointing his revolver […] “I have very good aim, and I’m betting that you don’t.”

During the standstill, Tobias announces to all the Abnegation that they’re going to run now, because I guess it was possible to have a worse plan than “stay where you are and pretend to not be you”. When they get to the cornfield, they split up, because I guess it was possible to have a still worse plan than that.

There are screams everywhere, to my left, to my right. Gunshots. The Abnegation are dying again, dying like they were when I pretended to be under the simulation. And all I’m doing is running.

When the main characters make it a safe distance away, Tobias yells at Tris for freezing up during the gunfight, because I guess we’re getting to the part of the Divergent series where the kickass strong female YA character begins losing all her agency.

“We were probably the only ones they were after,” [Tobias said,] “apart from Marcus, who is most likely dead.”

“Marcus, who is most likely dead” would be a kickass title for a story, incidentally.

I don’t know how I expected him to say it – with relief, maybe, because Marcus, his father and the menace of his life is finally gone. Or with pain and sadness […] But he says it like it’s just a fact

Question of the Day: Are you remotely convinced that Marcus is dead?

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