Members of Dauntless think Tris and Four were responsible for the Mind Control. Now, to get to the bottom of things, truth serum! Because if the book doesn’t feature serum in 95% of chapters, it’s not doing its job.
The Dauntless interrogator, Niles, starts off with a few basic warm-up questions. You know, to ease them into the serum, which would be all well and good if this needed to be done for any of the other serums used in the series. “Now, let’s start off by making a choice that’s easier than knives vs. cheese. Who is your favourite Jonas brother?”
Niles makes it even easier and asks Four what his name is:
He scowls and squirms in the chair, and through gritted teeth says, “Four.”
Maybe it isn’t possible to lie under the truth serum, but to select which version of the truth to tell: Four is his name, but it is not his name.
“That is a nickname,” Niles says. “What is your real name?” [Ariel says: It’s not even just that it’s a nickname, because I get what Tris is trying to say in the stupidest way ever – it’s more than a nickname to him, it represents his independence, his freedom from his past, etc. Literally adding in one word to that sentence would have made it significantly less stupid. “Four is his name, but it is not his real name.”]
“Tobias,” he says.
Also, stop trying to make this more complicated than it is, Tris. Obviously it’s not about selecting the “version of the truth” it’s about actually believing what you’re saying…Four thinks of his name as being Four, so it’s the truth. Holy shit duh!
Niles then asks Four what his parents’ names are, and he’s like, “Why is this relevant?” Everyone gasps, and Christina takes this moment to offer up some helpful exposition:
“It’s extremely difficult not to immediately answer questions while under the truth serum,” she says. “It means he has a seriously strong will. And something to hide.”
OR THAT HE IS DIVERGENT AS FUCK! [Matthew says: Or that this book is making up its rules as it goes. As fuck!] Man, being Divergent is so much more boring than this series would like us to believe.
Eventually, Niles gets Four to admit he left Abnegation to get away from Marcus and everyone in the room whispers, “Thank you for your honesty” thus making Candor somehow the creepiest faction of them all. And Abnegation is pretty fucking creepy. What confuses me, though, is that it sounds like Dauntless is also whispering this? Which is even weirder. When in Rome, I guess.
“Is your allegiance with your current faction, Tobias?” Niles says.
“My allegiance lies with anyone who does not support the attack on Abnegation,” he says.
“Speaking of which,” Niles says, “I think we should focus on what happened that day. What do you remember about being under the simulation?”
Um, yeah, I would say you should probably focus on the thing that caused you to interrogate him in the first place. Can you imagine if an interrogation with a terrorist went like this. “What’s your name? How old are you? Tell me about your childhood. Wait…what were we doing again?” [Matthew says: But Ariel! How else will we hit the mandatory 500 pages of young adult trilogy book?!]
Then Four has a moment that actually surprises me by how much I enjoyed it. Basically, before Candor can accept him, and because a truth serum is a plot device that can’t go to waste, the interrogator asks Four what his biggest regret is, and he says it was choosing Dauntless. Gasp. Shock. Murmer murmer.
“I was born for Abnegation. I was planning on leaving Dauntless, and becoming factionless. But then I met her, and… I felt like maybe I could make something more of my decision.” […]
“Choosing Dauntless in order to escape my father was an act of cowardice,” he says. “I regret that cowardice. It means I am not worthy of my faction. I will always regret it.”
That’s a real character regret that I can understand. Obviously, I don’t agree with Four, but this is absolutely something I think would eat at him. I also have to say that after spending a lot of time with the Maddox brothers again, I appreciate Four. Thank you for not being a total fucktard, Four.
I don’t mean to gloss over this too much, but Tris is interrogated next, and she finds that she can resist the serum if she wants. [Matthew says: Of course.] At first, she uses this to her advantage to skip over the fact that she killed Will during the events of the last book, and everyone is super impressed by her:
“Just to clarify,” says Niles. “Are you telling me that you were almost murdered by the Erudite … and then fought your way into the Dauntless compound … and destroyed the simulation?”
“Yes,” I say.
“I think I speak for everyone,” he says, “when I say that you have earned the title of Dauntless.”
Shouts rise up from the left side of the room, and I see blurs of fists pressing into the dark air. My faction, calling to me.
But she winds up confessing it when asked about her biggest regrets. To be fair, no one seems to give all that many fucks aside from Christina, which we figured.
Otherwise, it’s just not all that interesting because we already saw all of these events from Tris’ point of view, and her big revelation to herself is that she left Abnegation because she felt too selfish, and she wanted to be free. But we already knew both of those things!
Oh, yeah, Tris also confesses to being Divergent like Four. But it’s really not that exciting. [Matthew says: The single biggest deal in this series is unceremoniously discarded somewhere ambiguously in Act I of the sequel. Why do we care about anything anymore.] The one thing I really did like about her scene was this:
“He was going to kill me, but I killed him. My friend.” Will, with the crease between his eyebrows, with green eyes like celery and the ability to quote the Dauntless manifesto from memory. I feel pain in my stomach so intense that I almost groan. It hurts to remember him. It hurts every part of me.
And there is something else, something worse that I didn’t realize before. I was willing to die rather than kill Tobias, but the thought never occurred to me when it came to Will. I decided to kill Will in a fraction of a second.
I feel bare. I didn’t realize that I wore my secrets as armor until they were gone, and now everyone sees me as I really am.
We bitched about this in the past, that Tris killed Will so easily but not, say, Eric or Peter. I do like that the book addresses this and is kind of like, sometimes we just really fuck up when we’re in a shitty situation. And, I mean, we don’t actually know if Tris fucked up, it really might have been the only way out of that mess. [Matthew says: True. This is why I try not to criticize too much about main characters missing important things, because maybe the point is they miss it? And then they grow? So Insurgent surprised me here! The rest of the surprises are that nothing else is happening in this book.]
Anywho, my question is, do any of you watch Mad Men? I gave up on it awhile but, but gave it another go recently and fell completely in love with it. I still thought the first couple seasons were good but nothing special, but man it gets so freaking good!