Divergent Recap – Chapter 33

In which mind hijacking happens… 

Yesterday I told you’re going to love how this chapter starts. I said that because the chapter starts with Tris going to sleep instead of sharing her divine (or authorial) revelation with Tobias. SHE GOES TO SLEEP! Even though there’s a war starting soon. Even though she just took a nap before the banquet. But she’s so exhausted apparently that anything else can wait. Really, this girl is not someone you want in charge of anything.

She wakes up in the middle of the night because everyone else is awake and dressing themselves. She calls Christina, but her friend does not answer. 

My stomach squeezes when I see her face. Her eyes are open, but blank, and her facial muscles are slack. She moves without looking at what she’s doing, her mouth half-open, not awake but seeming awake. And everyone else looks just like her.

See, Tris was right. They were injected with a mind hijacking device. And I’m guessing it’s not working on her because she’s Divergent. But if that’s the case, why is the serum for simulation working on her? Or the aptitude test one? The book implies that the same magical technology is behind them, so Tris’s mind should have been hijacked as well, but she would have been aware of that. The fact that the mind-controlled people don’t look at their surroundings is ridiculous. Assuming their movements are controlled by a computer (AI software would be a better term), the computer would still need their visual feedback to compute their next movements.

After all the initiates finish dressing, they form a line and start moving. Tris tries to stop him and holds on as hard as he can, but Will just drags her after him.

They are sleepwalkers.

LOL, Tris? Weren’t you the one that said she knew how the Erudite are going to control the Dauntless? Really, what’s with this stupid line?

Anyway, Tris decides it would be better if she follows everyone else and tries to keep the pace with them because they are all moving in the same rhythm. They reach the Pit and Tris sees Max watching the crowd, so she tries to stare as vacantly as possible. And because Max is an idiot, he doesn’t notice that she’s not really behaving like the rest. Come on, if everyone else is controlled by a machine and walks in unison, if someone tries to copy their movements, that person will always be a step behind. Because that person has to see the movements before copying them. So, Max should have seen her. Especially when there are only 13 another initiates.

The group travels a flight of stairs and several hallways, until they meet another crowd into a huge cavern where there are also tables with a lot of guns.

Of course. Eric said every Dauntless was injected yesterday. So now the entire faction is brain-dead, obedient, and trained to kill. Perfect soldiers.

Just a second, I need to laugh about the “trained to kill” part.

Okay, I’m back. If they were brain-dead, they would be like dead right now. Also, with this magical mind hijacking you wouldn’t need the Dauntless to kill. You would need just a human being with a brain because everything he does is controlled. Better, the Erudite could have built robots and kill everything they wanted. No help needed. And don’t think that those robots should have a hominid form. They could be as small as a fly and inject the target with a deadly neurotoxin. Boom, insta-death for all Abnegation in less than an hour. The Erudite could have then come up with an explanation that it was a virus that spread rapidly in the Abnegation headquarters and all the area must be taped off and decontaminated. A plausible explanation. What explanation have the Erudite have for mind hijacking some reckless idiots? None! Being smart is not reduced to memorizing useless shit and talking like a dork or an arrogant bastard. Truly smart people are very good at strategy and they are always five steps ahead. But I’m expecting too much from this book, I guess.

Tris picks a gun, and tries copying Will’s movements, hoping no one sees her fumbling. I’m actually hoping that someone will see her and something interesting will happen, but no such luck.

I can’t wage war against Abnegation, against my family. I would rather die.

Yeah, but sleeping was more important than warning them.

I will pretend long enough to get to the Abnegation sector of the city. I will save my family. And whatever happens after that doesn’t matter.

Let me guess how you’ll do that, Tris. When a Dauntless will put a gun barrel to your mom’s or dad’s head, you’re going to yell at them: “Look, the Erudite want to kill you!” I find Tris’s character development ridiculous because what she’s thinking doesn’t match her behavior. It isn’t like the Dauntless have so high security, she can’t get out of there. They have zero security actually.

The initiates take another flight of stairs and Tris stumbles, but nobody sees her.

Now I know who the Dauntless leaders are, because they are the only people who are awake.

Yeah, and they were the people who watched you go through the fear landscape, Tris. Or what, did you thought those were bored Dauntless looking for mindless entertaining? I don’t know. I feel like this chapter is the worse until now.

Well, not the only people. I must be awake because I am Divergent. And if I am awake, that means Tobias is too, unless I am wrong about him.

You’re probably not wrong, Tris. Still, it doesn’t make sense why you’re awake. That’s inconsistent with the previous stuff in the book. Did anyone beta read this?

They go to the train tracks, and now the train stops because the Erudite didn’t want to damage their goods or something. She seems someone resembling Tobias to her right and she ninja moves to that side. Someone helps her inside the car, and that person is Tobias, but he’s blank-faced like all the others and Tris almost cries. She turns away from him and then she feels someone taking her hand. It’s Toby. Angst over.

After some time, the train stops and right before they get out of the train. Tobias tells her to run, but she says “My family”. Man, those Dauntless leaders are totally useless. They get out of the train and they are in the Abnegation headquarters. The Dauntless soldiers are marching and apparently there are some Dauntless officers who are not controlled and they talk. Those officers are different from the leaders? Then, why isn’t Tobias one of them?

Tris starts hearing gunshots, but she keeps moving because yeah, what’s the point of warning them now? Let them get killed.

Far ahead of us, I see a Dauntless soldier push a gray-clothed to his knees. I recognize the man — he is a council member. The soldier takes her gun out of her holster and, with sightless eyes, fires a bullet into the back of the council member’s skull.
The soldier has a gray streak in her hair. It’s Tori. My steps almost falter.

Don’t you love Tris’s perfect eye sight? I mean really, I wouldn’t be able to recognize someone so far ahead, especially in a faction where all people dress the same. It’s so remarkable. Tori wasn’t Divergent, right? Her brother was and there wasn’t any mention that this thing is genetic or something. So, why surprised, Tris?

Tris keeps walking and almost burst into tears because she loved so much that council man? Dunno. Then the soldiers stops, but Tris is very angry and wants to kill Eric, Max and Jeanine. The Dauntless continue to kill some of the Abnegation members, whilst other Dauntless are herding some Abnegation adults and kids into a building.

One by one, the Dauntless soldiers in front of me step away to perform one task or another. Soon, the leaders will notice that whatever signals everyone else is getting, I’m not getting them. What will I do when that happens?

Go and kill someone? Really, what did you think it would happen, Tris, if you followed the other people? If Tris and Tobias weren’t idiots, they would have waited until everyone was out of the compound and run away somewhere. It’s not like she could help her family anymore now, they are doomed. So, why risk dying?

One of the Dauntless leaders (?) remarks that this is insane and pokes Tris in the cheek. Someone asks if the soldiers can’t see or hear them. Prepare for facepalming.

“Oh, they can see and hear. They just aren’t processing what they see and hear the same way,” says Eric. “They receive commands from our computers in the transmitters we injected them with…” At this, he presses his fingers to the injection site to show the woman where it is. Stay still, I tell myself. Still, still, still. “…and carry them out seamlessly.”

So, the transmitters aren’t transmitters, but magical AI-powered nano-computers capable of super complex computations to determine what actions a subject must take next, down to every muscle that should be tensed while sifting through an insane amount of visual stimuli. Yeah, totally believable in fairyland or other cheery place like that. It would made sense if the transmitters were actual transmitters and supported a mind-to-mind interface meaning that the actions of the subjects were controlled by other human minds. You know, some Erudites in a basement, thinking they are playing a virtual reality game. That would be smart, perverse and awesome. But no, let’s go with troll science, book. G-d, this is a long recap. Mainly because I’m ranting too much, but I really hate this chapter.

Eric sees Tobias and gloats that the guy is mind-controlled and nobody is going to remember him now. Eric points a gun at Tobias’s head and a leader gives him permission to shoot Four.

“Too bad you didn’t take Max up on his offer, Four. Well, too bad for you, anyway,” says Eric quietly, as he clicks the bullet into its chamber.

Remember that Tobias was offered a leader position? Yeah, he refused because he’s an idiot that prefers staying cooped into a control room rather than trying to change the status quo. He’s definitely not brave.

Tris presses the barrel to Eric’s forehead and tells him to get away the gun from Tobias’s head.

“You won’t shoot me,” Eric replies.
“Interesting theory,” I say. But I can’t murder him; I can’t. I grit my teeth and shift my arm down, firing at Eric’s foot.

WHY NOT???? This book spent chapter after chapter after chapter demonizing Eric, and now it’s practically laughing in our face by not killing Eric. The point of the main character demonizing another character is the MC not empathizing with that character, so when a confrontation comes, the outcome is clear. This scene would have made sense if we were also presented a more humane side of Eric. Worst chapter ever.

Tobias shoots one of Eric’s friends and the two of them start running. She thinks that if they make it to the alley, they could then disappear in one of building. Because the Dauntless aren’t going to think to search the buildings? Tris is shot in the shoulder and falls on the ground, without screaming. Tobias doesn’t want to leave there alone and soon they are surrounded by Dauntless soldiers.

“Divergent rebels,” Eric says, standing on one foot. His face is a sickly white. “Surrender your weapons.”

They are not rebels, book, no matter how much you repeat it. They should fight against the system to be rebels. They are just mindless idiots wandering around. Also, how the fuck did Eric come to them? Hop on one leg while bleeding profusely from the other? Really, being shot hurts a lot, it’s not just a little scratch. Thank G-d, this chapter is over.

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