When we left off, Tris finally stabbed Eric – yay! But he wasn’t dead – boo!
Tobias tells Tris exactly how it is that he and the “loyal Dauntless” showed up out of nowhere to save the day. Apparently, Will’s older sister who was still with Erudite helped a lot of Dauntless escape and then come back to swarm the evil!Dauntless.
“The Dauntless traitors were not prepared for that much resistance.
They thought everyone but the Divergent was unconscious, so they ran.
The Erudite woman was Cara. Will’s older sister.”
Notice how when I told you the Erudite woman was Will’s older sister, I didn’t make a big deal out of it at all. For some reason, the book seems to present it as a big surprise that a character I didn’t really care about who is dead has an older sister I didn’t know about who helped some characters out off-screen. [Matthew says: I feel like every time this book is telling us any mildly unexpected piece of information, it has to be told in a stream of sentences composed of no more than five words each.]
Tris takes off her jacket and finds that something has been injected in her arm, and in a surprisingly well-written moment, she has to remove it.
Gritting my teeth, I wedge the flat of my knife blade under the disc and force it up. I scream into my teeth as the pain races through me, making everything go black for a moment. But I keep pushing, as hard as I can, until the disc lifts from my skin enough for me to get my fingers around it. Attached to the bottom of the disc is a needle.
I gag, grasp the disc in my fingertips, and pull one last time. This time, the needle comes free. It’s as long as my littlest finger and smeared with my blood. I ignore the blood running down my arm and hold the disc and the needle up to the light above the sink.
Uriah shows up, and he tells Tris that Eric is being interrogated since he survived the attack. I’m sure he won’t escape and continue to be a threat! [Matthew says: Like Peter, who escaped and totally won’t come back! And Marcus, who escaped and totally won’t – oh, wait, he’s come back already? Oh. So just those other two characters, then.] Uriah and Tris continue to understand the plot about as much as we do.
“Yeah. Anyway, no one gets it,” he says, perching on the edge of the sink next to mine. “Why storm in here and fire those things at us and then knock us all out? Why not just kill us?” […]
“I don’t get why they have it out for us. I mean, when they were trying to mind control themselves an army, sure, but now? Seems useless.” I frown as I press a clean paper towel to my shoulder, to stop the bleeding. He’s right. Jeanine already has an army. So why kill the Divergent now?” […]
“She must be planning another simulation,” I say. “Same thing as before, but this time, she wants to make sure that everyone is either under its influence or dead.”
“But the simulation only lasts for a certain period of time,” he says.
“It’s not useful unless you’re trying to accomplish something specific.”
“Right.” I sigh. “I don’t know. I don’t get it.” I pick up the needle. “I don’t get what this thing is either. If it was like the other simulation-inducing injections, it was just meant for one use. So why shoot these things at us just to put us unconscious? It doesn’t make any sense.”
No, Tris, no it doesn’t. Thank you for understanding and for also tediously relaying all of that information to us for the millionth time. [Matthew says: I’m waiting for something to finally happen in Insurgent that a character does think makes sense, because maybe then I’ll think it makes sense too.]
Tris spends the night removing the needle/discs from people’s arms, but finds that about 70 Dauntless never had one implanted (including Christina). I feel like it might wind up being important, so I thought I’d mention it.
Caleb shows up to inform Tris that Marcus and Peter both survived the attack on Amity. Whew, it’s always a relief to find your two most cherished characters are doing okay. In fact, Peter is so okay he’s gone to Erudite, and Marcus has come to the Candor compound.
For some reason, this causes everyone to pick on Fourbias.
“Oh, look! It’s Tobias Eaton!”
I had almost forgotten about the interrogation, and the name it revealed to all of Dauntless.
Another one yells, “I saw your daddy here earlier, Eaton! Are you gonna go hide?”
I…what? Four confessed how abusive his father was and how he felt like a coward for leaving his faction behind because of him, but I never expected people to be shitty about that. What next? “Hahah, you thought your mother was dead, but then she wasn’t! Oh my God, it’s all so hilarious! What next? Someone close to you gets cancer and really dies? The hilarity!”
Tris and Four awkwardly try to ask if the other is okay, but get prickly about it. I’m over their drama. Luckily, once they’re alone, Tris talks to Four about simulations because what else are they going to talk about?
But first, something else:
“I want to talk about simulations,” I say. “But first, something else—your mother thought Jeanine would go after the factionless next. Obviously she was wrong—and I’m not sure why. It’s not like the Candor are battle ready or anything—”
“Well, think about it,” he says. “Think it through, like the Erudite.” I give him a look.
“What?” he says. “If you can’t, the rest of us have no hope.”
Right, okay, so that means it has to be this like super intricate, clever plan that no non-Divergent could ever think of –
“Fine,” I say. “Um … it had to be because Dauntless and Candor were the most logical targets. Because … the factionless are in multiple places, whereas we’re all in the same place.”
You really mean to tell me that if Tris couldn’t figure that out, no one could have? I can totally buy that the Erudite might be more technologically advanced, but if this is how low their bar for superior logic and intelligence is, they don’t even need to rely on serums to take control of the factions. [Matthew says: Well, remember how an actual plot point of the last book was that a 17-year-old with no formal scientific education walked in and caught himself up on groundbreaking new research in development? Yeah… these books are really dumb.]
Tris and Four then discuss the inner-workings of the transmitters and serums because discussing the completely unbelievable, unrealistic serums in-depth is definitely, totally not going to flood me with more disbelief and confusion than I previously thought possible.
“All right. Then tell me about the serum again,” I say. “It has a few parts, right?”
“Two,” he says, nodding.
I was worried for a second they might make some sort of joke like, “Maybe we should give this serum a numerical nickname based on some arbitrary fact about it.” We sure dodged a bullet there!
“The transmitter and the liquid that induces the simulation. The transmitter communicates information to the brain from the computer, and vice versa, and the liquid alters the brain to put it in a simulation state.”
I nod. “And the transmitter only works for one simulation, right? What happens to it after that?”
“It dissolves,” he says. “As far as I know, the Erudite haven’t been able to develop a transmitter that lasts for more than one simulation, although the attack simulation lasted far longer than any simulation I’ve seen before.”
Tris quickly realizes that the Erudite must have figured out how to make multiple simulations at once and that’s why they’ve injected them with this new thing!
I’m confused, though, by what even counts as a separate simulation? They already have the technology to move through “fear landscapes” and have to run through multiple scenarios in order to determine what faction they belong in? So would these multiple simulations mean like first they go murder a bunch of people and then do the dishes? I really don’t get it. [Matthew says: I guess “separate simulation” means that new transmitters have to be injected each time they go into a simulation, but the fact that we’re even confused about how this process works to the point where new-ish information about it has to be explained to us DURING a plot twist about how that very information isn’t applicable anymore… these books are dumb…]
Somehow it comes up that Four knew Uriah was Divergent, and for a minute she’s mad Four didn’t tell her, but then she’s not because it was private. I am really surprised, though, that Four didn’t mention it when it was clear that anyone who wasn’t Divergent wasn’t under the simulation that made Dauntless attack everyone. If I were him, I would have immediately been like, “We need to find everyone I know can help us. Like your friend Uriah.” But DRAMA AND REVELATIONS, I suppose.
Four scolds Tris for putting herself at risk, which would be a fine sentiment if he didn’t sound so goddamn patronising as usual when he does it. However, it leads to one sweet line from him, and a nice introspection on Tris’ part:
“I just don’t want to lose you.”
We stand there for a few minutes. I don’t say what I’m thinking, which is that he might be right. There is a part of me that wants to be lost, that struggles to join my parents and Will so that I don’t have to ache for them anymore. A part of me that wants to see whatever comes next.
Okay, I totally believe that bit about longing to be with her parents on some level – but she did abandon them to be in a different faction and expect to never see them again. But, okay, things have changed. Will, though, I don’t buy. Sure, she could be plagued with guilt still, but longing to be with him is a major stretch. [Matthew says: I like how as Insurgent goes on, this series is more and more desperate to try convincing us that Tris has this weird death wish out of nowhere.]
The chapter really, really should have ended with this, but instead there’s a really stupid scene with Tris hanging out with Caleb and her Dauntless friends…fuck summarising that, seriously. Here, actually, this sums it up:
Then, despite the clatter of forks and the roar of hundreds of conversations all around me, I rest my head on the table and fall asleep.
Not even Tris can stay away for this crap.
Super important question, who out there has watched that crazy Adult Swim video Too Many Cooks? I can’t get the song out of my head or stop laughing about the theme song lyrics. [Matthew says: I watched it for the first time last week at 3am on a work night, because I make good life decisions.]