Tris and Marcus Form a Confusing Alliance: Insurgent Chapter 37

Posted on February 5, 2015 by


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Insurgent Chapter 37

Now that Tris is back with her motley crew of Dauntless pals, it’s time for some witty banter:

“So, the thing we’re all not talking about,” he says. He gestures to me.

“You almost died, a sadistic pansycake saved you, and now we’re all waging some serious war with the factionless as allies.”

“Pansycake?” says Christina.

“Dauntless slang.” Lynn smirks. “Supposed to be a huge insult, only no one uses it anymore.”

“Because it’s so offensive,” says Uriah, nodding.

“No. Because it’s so stupid no Dauntless with any sense would speak it, let alone think it. Pansycake. What are you, twelve?”

“And a half,” he says.

I get that Dauntless isn’t supposed to be the brainy faction, but I believe in my heart of hearts that even they could have come up with something that doesn’t sound like they just took a regular insult and just added in their favourite food. Like we get it, Dauntless, you fucking love cake. [Matthew says: Furthermore, I refuse to believe that an insult with the word “cake” in it could ever have gained traction. It’s fucking cake. Cake is delicious. Cake is an instrument of love, not hatred.]

Tris is informed that Tobias is downstairs, making eggs for everyone in Marcus’ house, having a rip roaring good time with his factionless peeps.

I get the same sinking feeling in my stomach that I always get when I know I’ve been lied to, but I don’t know who it was that lied to me this time, or about what, exactly. But this is not what I was taught to expect of factionlessness. I was taught that it was worse than death.

For once, I am completely with Tris on this. I don’t know about you guys, but I always pictured the factionless in a world cloaked in grey, hobbling along begging for Abnegation muffins. But here they are just playing the banjo and some cards like good old Amity folk!

Then what may be the biggest twist in the entire series happens, so pay attention:

[Tobias] gets up and hands me a can of peas—but it isn’t full of peas; it’s full of scrambled eggs.

"gabriel from supernatural says 'surprise, bitch' gif"

I really wasn’t expecting that at all. Next thing you’ll be telling me is that the toast is gluten free. [Matthew says: You know that actually probably would be a huge twist. The Abnegation probably view gluten allergies as selfish or something.]

Tobias explains that Evelyn kicked Marcus out of his house because it’s technically hers too and he’s had plenty of time there. This doesn’t actually make much sense to me since I imagine there are plenty of empty houses in the Abnegation sector, and Tris said earlier in this chapter that all the houses are the same. I don’t like Marcus or anything, but he’s going to die alone anyway, why not let him just have this one thing. This one very lame thing. [Matthew says: I’m actually maybe on the opposite side here. Marcus is such a doofy antagonist/antihero that I want to see his squabbling ex pulling MORE petty shit. Really put into perspective how I can’t take anyone seriously in this book.]

Meanwhile, Peter is chatting to Evelyn in the corner of the room, and she’s trying to recruit him to their team. Why is Peter this huge asset to everyone? Jeanine entrusted him with fucking everything and now Evelyn is like WE MUST HAVE THIS MAN. Who is this guy?

Edward shows up and obviously is pretty fucking pissed to see Peter on account of that time that Peter stabbed his eye with a butter knife:

“Edward slams his free hand into Peter’s throat, and presses the tines of the fork between his fingers, right against Peter’s Adam’s apple.

Peter stiffens, blood rushing into his face.

“Keep your mouth shut around me,” he says, his voice low, “or I will do this again, only next time, I’ll shove it right through your esophagus.”

“That’s enough,” Evelyn says. Edward drops the fork and releases Peter. Then he walks across the room and sits next to the person who called him “Eddie” a moment before.

“I don’t know if you know this,” Tobias says, “but Edward is a little unstable.”

“I’m getting that,” I say.”

are you fucking kidding me

Why is everyone acting like Edward is the unstable one? He is acting completely reasonably here considering their history. He didn’t even actually hurt Peter! Tris and Tobias be tripping. [Matthew says: I also don’t really get this. It’s like partway into the sequel, this series realized that the Factionless actually being super good allies was a really obvious twist, so it’s trying to re-twist them into a force of chaos not to be trusted.]

“That Drew guy, who helped Peter perform that butter-knife maneuver,” Tobias says. “Apparently when he got kicked out of Dauntless, he tried to join the same group of factionless Edward was a part of. Notice that you haven’t seen Drew anywhere.”

Again, still completely reasonable. If my friends suddenly embraced someone who had helped stab my eye out, you can bet your bottom dollar that I would do everything in my power to get rid of them. I applaud Edward and his perseverance.

Later, after a great deal of filler, [Matthew says: Those seven words could be our entire reading of Insurgent.] Tris wanders around Abnegation until she’s approached by Marcus who has lots of mysterious things to say. I know it’s meant to be tantalizing tidbits of information, but after reading Beautiful Oblivion, I’m in no mood for more of this shit.

For some reason, Tris tries to trick Marcus into thinking she already knows what his big secret is. To the surprise of no one, this fails immediately:

“What if you’re too late? What if I already know what it is?” Marcus looks up from his fingernails, and his dark eyes narrow. The look is far more poisonous than any Tobias could muster, though he has his father’s eyes. “You can’t possibly.”

“You don’t know that.”

“I do, actually. Because I have seen what happens to people when they hear the truth. They look like they have forgotten what they were searching for, and are just wandering around trying to remember.” A chill makes its way up my spine and spreads down my arms, giving me goose bumps.”

That doesn’t sound chilling at all. That describes how I look every time I go to look in my fridge, don’t see anything I want, but then wander back ten minutes later because food. [Matthew says: This also seems like a total bullshit way to tell that Tris was lying, but she falls for it anyway. They weren’t kidding when they discovered that Tris’s Divergence is because she has a “flexible personality“, huh.]

Tris has another one of her sudden realizations that she always seems to conveniently have at times like these:

“I know that Jeanine decided to murder half a faction to steal it, so it must be incredibly important,” I say. I pause. I know something else, too, but I only just realized it.

Right before I attacked Jeanine, she said, “This is not about you! It’s not about me!”

Tris quickly realizes that Jeanine was trying to break up with her by cleverly using a twist on the old “it’s not you, it’s me” line.

But actually Tris somehow surmises in this very moment that the information has to do with what’s outside the fence. Marcus is like, “YES! But I can’t tell you what’s outside the fence because it’s hard to describe. Abnegation was going to tell everyone what was outside the fence, so Erudite attacked, so now I can’t tell you because it’s soooo hard to explain by myself.”

You think I’m joking, but I’m not.

“I did not come here for self-indulgent arguing. And no, I am not going to tell you, but not because I don’t want to. It’s because I have no idea how to describe it to you. You have to see it for yourself.”


“A week before the simulation attack, the Abnegation leaders decided it was time to reveal the information in the file to everyone. Everyone, in the entire city. The day we intended to reveal it was approximately seven days after the simulation attack. Obviously we were unable to do so.”


“We are not from here, Beatrice. We were all placed here, for a specific purpose. A while ago, the Abnegation were forced to enlist the help of Erudite in order to achieve that purpose, but eventually everything went awry because of Jeanine. Because she doesn’t want to do what we are supposed to do.”


“I have told you enough to convince you that I am not a liar. As for the rest, I truly find myself unequal to the task of explaining it to you.”

I have had people explain the final book of this series in a few sentences. Do not try to convince me that Marcus cannot fucking explain this at the moment. I can understand why Neo in The Matrix had to take the red pill and actually see what the world was really like in order to believe it. But this strikes me as Marcus just being incredibly lazy. Based on what people have told me about the ending, it really seems like he could explain it pretty fucking clearly. Hell, I can probably explain it and I haven’t read the damn thing yet.

Marcus tells Tris that he’s told her enough that she can trust him (really?), and that he needs her to prevent the factionless from destroying all of Erudite’s data because otherwise they can’t expose the information?

Suddenly I understand the problem. The factionless plan to destroy, not only the important figures in Erudite, but all the data they have. They will level everything.

I have never thought that plan was a good idea, but I knew that we could come back from it, because the Erudite still know the relevant information, even if they don’t have their data. But this is something even the most intelligent Erudite do not know; something that, if everything is destroyed, we cannot replicate.

It doesn’t make sense for Tris to understand this without knowing what is actually going on, but Marcus is able to convince her to help because her mother died trying to retrieve and protect this information.

“Your parents died for you, it’s true. But the reason your mother was in Abnegation headquarters the night you were almost executed was not to save you. She didn’t know you were there. She was trying to rescue the file from Jeanine. ”

I just don’t get it anymore, what data do we and don’t we want destroyed? Simulation data is bad and this mysterious data is also bad, but it needs to be protected so it can be revealed…? [Matthew says: I think the problem is that the book uses “data” as a catch-all for “information” but also “program” or “technology”. You know, like how the book uses “Faction” as a catch-all for…]

Posted in: Insurgent