R.I.P Fernando. Beloved, cherished character.
Insurgent Chapter 43
“I don’t mean to be insensitive,” says Marcus, “but we have to go before the Dauntless and factionless enter this building. If they haven’t already.”
Marcus, you motherfucker. We are all still mourning Fernando, who again, just to remind you, is a beloved and cherished character that you loved and cherished.
I hear tapping against the window and jerk my head to the side, for a split second believing that it is Fernando, trying to get in. But it’s just rain.
Tris, you motherfucker. You made my hopes soar, made me dare dream that Fernando, beloved and cherished Fernando, was alive and well. BUT IT WAS JUST THE ELEMENTS.
[Matthew says: I’d just like to point out the irony in that, since we’re making such a big joke out of this, Fernando’s becoming the only minor character we actually remember the name of.]
Tris notes that they’ve just walked into an Erudite hallway that looks like every other Erudite hallway, but then proceeds to freak out when they go two floors up, and she realizes that’s where she’d previously been Jeanine’s prisoner. This raises the question, if all Erudite hallways look alike, wouldn’t any one of them trigger Tris’ PTSD? I’ve never heard of such specifically triggered PTSD.
Once in Control-A, it’s time to try to send the super important data to all the other factions. That is, unless Caleb can stop them! [Matthew says: Aw, man, not Caleb! He’s almost an effectual character!]
“Caleb,” I say. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m here to stop whatever you’re doing!” His voice trembles. The gun wavers in his hands. [Matthew says: See? Nobody has any idea what’s going on in this book. They just do stuff.]
“We’re here to save the Erudite data that the factionless want to destroy,” I say. “I don’t think you want to stop us.”
“That’s not true,” he says. He jerks his head toward Marcus. “Why would you bring him if you weren’t trying to find something else? Something more important to him than all the Erudite data combined?”
“She told you about it?” Marcus says. “You, a child?”
“She didn’t tell me at first,” Caleb says. “But she didn’t want me to choose a side without knowing the facts!”
Pro Writing Tip: When in doubt about the plot, just have characters yell at each other about exceedingly vague topics. It’ll alienate the reader and save you time actually figuring out what the fuck you’re going for in this scene! [Matthew says: Seriously. The only nouns in this exchange are “data”, “facts”, “whatever”, “something”, “something else”, and “it”. This is the first time I’ve read dramatic hero-villain dialogue in a book that was actually a Mad Lib.]
“My sister,” says Caleb gently, looking at me again, “doesn’t know what she’s getting into. Doesn’t know what it is that you want to show everyone … doesn’t know it will ruin everything!”
Oh Caleb, things can’t possibly be even more ruined. Fernando is gone.
Tris tells Caleb that he’s a piece of shit who didn’t help her when she was getting tortured.
“You could have tried, you coward!” I scream so loud my face gets hot and tears jump into my eyes. “Tried, and failed, because you love me!” I gasp, just to take in enough air. All I hear is the click of keys as Cara works on the task at hand. Caleb doesn’t seem to have a response. His pleading look slowly disappears, replaced by a blank stare.
“You won’t find what you’re looking for here,” he says. “She wouldn’t keep such important files on public computers. That would be illogical.”
Using her powerful reasoning skills, Tris determines that if they’re not on a public computer, they must be on a private one!
Marcus picks up Caleb’s revolver and turns it in his hand so the butt of the gun protrudes from his fist. Then he swings, striking Caleb under the jaw. Caleb’s eyes roll back, and he falls to the floor.
I don’t want to know how Marcus perfected that maneuver.
I know the implication is that he was practicing on Fourbias but I don’t buy that. That would have definitely made it into the fear landscape.
Marcus and Tris go in search of the private computers where Jeanine must be keeping the secret files, and they leave Cara to “take care of the rest.” I don’t understand; I thought Cara was trying to help them get the files…so leaving her behind to “finish the rest” on the public computers that don’t have any of the secret files is a complete waste of time. Not that this is any major departure from the entire series. [Matthew says: Honestly, I already forgot Cara was even here anyway.]
“Caleb said what we’re looking for won’t be on a public computer, so it has to be on a private one. As far as I know, Jeanine only has two private computers, one in her office, and one in her laboratory,” I say.
“So which one do we go to?”
“Tori told me there were insane security measures protecting Jeanine’s laboratory,” I say. “And I’ve been to her office; it’s just another room.”
“So … laboratory, then.”
It takes an entire book for absolutely nothing to happen, and yet this takes only a few lines? How can things be simultaneously so easy and so laborious in these books, it truly is astounding.
We reach the door to the stairwell, and when I throw it open, a group of Erudite, including children, are sprinting down the stairs.
Tris quickly slaughters the Erudite children, preventing another generation of annoying assholes from reaching adulthood.
Then for some reason Tris and Christina have to battle Crazy-Eye-Edward at the top of the staircase in order to get to Jeanine’s laboratory. YOU CAN TRUST NO ONE! [Matthew says: At this rate, there won’t be any tertiary antagonists left for the third book.]
Christina gets injured enough in the scurfuffle that she can’t go forward with Marcus and Tris, but she’s fine enough to make sure Edward stays incapacitated. Not plot devicey at all.
Also not plot devicey at all is the fact that there are two ways to get into Jeanine’s laboratory (?) so they have to split up. I’ve decided that I’d like to picture Jeanine as Dexter of Dexter’s Lab. Tris is clearly the equivalent of Dexter’s sister Dee Dee.
And just like that, I enjoyed Insurgent for 30 seconds.
Tris asks Marcus what she should look for on Jeanine’s computer, but of course he gives her a vague answer, “Well, if you find Jeanine’s computer, there’s nowhere else she’s going to be. So torture her for the information. Kthanks.”
I put my hand on the door handle. There doesn’t seem to be a lock.
When Tori said there were insane security measures, I thought she meant eye scanners and passwords and locks, but so far, everything has been open.
Why does that worry me?
Don’t ask questions, Tris, that can be answered with an overused gif.
Tris walks into a room with the stupidest security system known to man. Instead of fucking shooting at her, the room attacks Tris with a mysterious serum/gas that causes her to, you guessed it, hallucinate.
“Intruder,” the voice says, and now it sounds like Jeanine, but that could be my imagination. “You have five minutes to reach the blue door before the poison will kick in.”
If you were really serious about keeping intruders out and protecting your shit, you sure as fuck would not give them an elaborate puzzle to solve unless you were part of the Saw franchise and trying to teach people valuable life lessons. Next thing you know, Tris will have to answer an insane lateral thinking puzzle, and then this book will get super crazy.
So of fucking course, Tris hallucinates herself and she has to battle herself in a way that is totally definitely completely not metaphorical. At one point, Tris even realizes that the rules are the same as all the other simulations so she imagines a gun appearing…if you could imagine anything, surely she could have just imagined her hallucination of herself away? Maybe I’m not smart enough to get serum-logic. [Matthew says: Also, Tris uses her simulation-breaking Divergent powers to make a gun appear, which hallucation-Tris also does? Does the book now expect us to believe that Jeanine can code something that can break its own coding?]
And then she has to kill a hallucination of Will in a way that is totally definitely completely not incredibly unimaginative.