Tris has just found Tobias sitting in the computer room. Tobias points a gun at Tris and orders her to drop her weapon. Reluctantly, Tris does so.
Tris realizes that Tobias is now under the influence of a new mind control serum that targets even the Divergent.
Tobias approaches Tris, and Tris sees his finger tightening as he prepares to shoot. Tris ducks, narrowly avoiding a bullet. She kicks Tobias in the ribs, leading him to drop his gun. Tris now points a gun at Tobias’s head.
Tris quickly gains the upper hand over Tobias, proving that she’s mastered the art of self-defense as well as psychological resistance.
Tris is about to shoot Tobias when she realizes the truth: she can’t force herself to hurt someone she cares so much about. Tris whispers, “Tobias, I know you’re in there somewhere.” Tris begins to cry—she thinks to herself that she looks pathetic and weak. She remembers what her father used to tell her: “There is power in self-sacrifice.”
Here Tris gives up her chance to kill Tobias (as she killed Will, who was also under the influence of mind control, but was apparently less important to Tris than Tobias is). Rather than hurt a person she cares about, she tries a different method of control. Not coincidentally, this “method” is deeply rooted in the Christian theme of self-sacrifice. By endangering herself, Tris gains a surprising amount of power over Tobias.
Tris, now kneeling on the floor, gives her gun to Tobias. She’s terrified of losing her life, but knows that she could never hurt Tobias herself. She presses her head to Tobias’s chest, so that she can hear his heartbeat.
Even though Tris is risking her own life, she’d rather endanger her own life than hurt Tobias, whom she seems to truly love. This is essentially a dramatic, romantic test of young love—will Tris and Tobias’s “two-person faction” be strong enough to conquer the mind control drugs?