At the meeting, Peter waits until everyone else has gone inside before entering himself. It feels like the whole town is there. The meeting quickly devolves into a debate. As Maggan Lyt is speaking, claiming that everyone knows Maya lied and that Peter’s just “playing politics,” everyone looks up and realizes that Peter is standing in the doorway. He says that he doesn’t mean to interrupt. After Maggan calls for an open vote, Peter turns and leaves.
Because Peter isn’t a fighter, it’s not surprising that he avoids the meeting. However, he stays long enough to hear all he needs to hear, and his darkly polite appearance in the doorway speaks volumes.
William Lyt comes to Amat’s apartment and threatens him, saying Amat has to join the team at the rink to show a united front for Kevin. Later, Fatima goes into Amat’s room. Amat shows her the business card Mr. Erdahl gave him. He repeats Erdahl’s words, saying that “you’re nothing if you’re alone in the world.” He starts to cry. Fatima says that she isn’t alone, and she doesn’t need a rich man to give her a job she doesn’t want. She only needs one man—her son. She also reminds him that he’s not alone either; he just needs to be more careful about who he allies himself with.
As she’s done elsewhere in the story, here Fatima shows how strong she is, and that she demands the same from her son. She reminds Amat that he’s exactly the same person he was before he joined the hockey team, and that those same values will help him make the right decision. He doesn’t need to gain special perks for her; he just needs to be the boy she’s raised him to be. Fatima’s support of Amat here shapes his coming actions and shows how crucial parent-child bonds can be in shaping entire communities.
Amat walks through town. Hockey has always been “the only thing that has ever made him feel like part of a group.” When he reaches the rink, Lyt slaps his back approvingly.
Amat’s thoughts as he walks through the town are ambiguous. It looks as if he might be conceding to Lyt’s demand for loyalty.
Ramona is standing in the rink hallway, having ventured out for the first time in a decade, and she sees Peter. She tells him that someday, the town will be ashamed for blindly believing a boy’s word over a girl’s. Then she bursts into the meeting, in a drunken rage. She shakes her walking stick at the men and tells them she’s ashamed of this town. When someone threatens Ramona, a member of The Pack quietly gets up and tells the man that if he doesn’t shut up, then he will shut him up for good.
Ramona’s emergence from isolation into the world shows how important this occasion is—even though she’s quite drunk at the time. Somehow, an old woman’s scolding helps shock the male-dominated town out of their tribalism, and prepares them for what they’re about to hear. And it’s clear, too, that The Pack’s loyalty to Ramona serves her well.
Amat looks his teammates in the eyes, then walks past them, ignoring Lyt’s shouts. He enters the rink and walks into the meeting, pushing his way to the front of the room. He looks at everyone, staring especially at Erdahl, then speaks: “My name is Amat. I saw what Kevin did to Maya. I was drunk, I’m in love with her, and I’m telling you that straight […] Kevin Erdahl raped Maya Andersson. I’m going to the police tomorrow.” He goes on to describe what he saw in unforgiving detail. Then he quietly leaves.
Amat’s intentions are clear as he bypasses the team and confronts the town with what he knows. It’s an especially moving scene because he knows exactly how much he might be sacrificing—his whole future, even—by speaking up in this way. On the other hand, as a relative outsider to the town culture, he’s perhaps in a better position to see its flaws.
When Amat gets outside, Lyt immediately charges at him, but suddenly Ann-Katrin, Bobo’s mom, pushes between them and stares down the massive hockey player. Bobo stands by, feeling proud. Amat walks straight to Zacharias’s house. Zacharias lets him in, and they wordlessly start playing video games together, as if nothing ever came between them.
Amat’s action seems to encourage other unlikely voices to speak up. Notably, after his big scene, Amat doesn’t wait for the town’s response, but goes back to his own neighborhood to spend time with his old friend—suggesting that he knows the place and people that have made him who he is today.
Ramona talks with a member of The Pack. The guy admits he doesn’t know if he can get the others to vote in Peter’s favor. The man gazes at Mr. Erdahl and thinks about seeing Amat in the Hollow the other morning. In his pocket are the kronor notes Amat had dropped.
It turns out that the Pack member talking to Ramona is the same one who was keeping an eye on Amat. The combination of these factors—Amat’s actions and Ramona’s influence—will be highly consequential for the town.