Allegiant Chapter 39: Tris
We open with Matthew (#NotOurMatthew) clarifying this magical serum that magically targets specific memories. Because the more we talk about it, the more I’m going to buy into it.
“No, no, the serum doesn’t erase all of a person’s knowledge,” he says. “Do you think we would design a serum that makes people forget how to speak or walk?” He shakes his head. “It targets explicit memories, like your name, where you grew up, your first teacher’s name, and leaves implicit memories—like how to speak or tie your shoes or ride a bicycle—untouched.”
OH OF COURSE, CHECKS OUT.
“Inevitably, some important memories will be lost,” Matthew says. “But if we have a record of people’s scientific discoveries or histories, they can relearn them in the hazy period after their memories are erased. People are very pliable then.”
What the fuck does any of this even mean? The book is constantly giving itself outs for everything. “This serum only targets specific memories, but some other memories that weren’t supposed to be lost will be. But they can easily relearn big scientific discoveries….and “histories” because it’s easier to write it this way.”
Matthew says that they have to get to this serum within 48 hours, before it’s deployed on Chicago. Then it’s time to further explain this part of the story that no one is getting behind:
“Cara doesn’t appear to hear what I said. “After you erase their memories, won’t you have to program them with new memories? How does that work?”
“We just have to reteach them. As I said, people tend to be disoriented for a few days after being reset, which means they’ll be easier to control.” Matthew sits, and spins in his chair once, “We can just give them a new history class. One that teaches facts rather than propaganda.”
I can’t even begin to imagine how this is a real, workable plan. Men in Black made more sense, and they just were like, “We’re gonna flash this red light in people’s faces.” Job well done.
Everyone decides they’re going to talk to Nita in order to find out where she went wrong breaking into the weapons lab. On the way, Tobias and Tris muse about whether they’re making the right decision to erase the memories of the people at the Bureau. I’ve completely emotionally checked out of everything about this, so, let’s move on. Also, even though it’s not the nicest of plans, they’re not murdering anyone with this serum so it could be worse.
If you thought things were already convoluted, it gets even more fun! Christina shows up and says that Uriah isn’t going to wake up and they all decide they have to get to his parents to “inoculate them” in case they can’t stop the memory serum from being released in Chicago. So they have to sneak into the city, somehow many them immune to it, then sneak them out so they can be there when Uriah is taken off life support. Also, they throw Christina a bone and offer to inoculate her family too.
Where are they going to find the time to do this when they’re meant to be intercepting the serum?
Tobias and Peter head off to ask Amar to help sneak them into the city while Christina and Tris go to sit with Uriah. The girls share a special BFF moment that I know is supposed to bring me to tears, but I’ve never bought into their friendship. They bonded for a week? Two weeks? Then Christina hated Tris, then forgave her, and there hasn’t been very much else between them.
Then Tris goes to see Nita. Here’s how she gets in:
Guard: Hey, you can’t go in there.
Tris: I’m the one that shot her!
Guard: Alright then. Just don’t do it again, and get out in ten minutes.
Anyway, Tris convinces Nita to help her, and Nita reveals that no one but David and his superiors know the passcode. If Tris blows the doors open, a death serum will kill her! And even if she wears protective gear it will get through! MAGIC! Tris of course thinks she might be able to resist the death serum because she resisted the truth serum before. I wish there was a serum that made me care about any of this. Can we go back to House of Night already? At least that was fun.