Tobias holds a gun to Tris’s head, but doesn’t shoot. He seems to be wavering, fighting his own mind-control. Tris whispers, “It’s me.” Suddenly, Tobias kisses Tris, and begins to cry. Tris asks Tobias how he fought his mind control, and Tobias replies, “I don’t know, I just heard your voice.”
Tris’s love for Tobias, and his love for her, is apparently so powerful that it disrupts the mind control drugs, saving both of their lives.
Tris looks around the computer room, amazed by Jeanine’s evil ingenuity. She notices one screen that shows soldiers gathering around Peter, Caleb, and Marcus. She yells for Tobias to do something, and Tobias types a complex code into the computer. Then he taps the screen, and the soldiers drop their guns. Tobias has disarmed the Dauntless soldiers: they’re no longer under the influence of mind control. Tobias then finds a disc and gives it to Tris. He explains that the disc contains information about the orders that the soldiers have been given.
This scene is significant for a few reasons. First, Tris’s actions save Peter’s life—despite her hatred for Peter, she acts as his protector. Second, Tris is able to save her friends’ lives by (literally) getting them to think for themselves. This is a sign of the importance of Divergence—clear, individual thinking, untainted by faction propaganda. Finally, it’s worth noting that Tobias hangs onto the disc—we can guess that this will be a plot point in the sequel to Divergent.
Tobias and Tris leave the computer room, and they see Caleb crouched over Andrew’s dead body. Marcus rushes toward Tobias, calling him “Son.” Tobias looks very uncomfortable. Tris hisses to Marcus that “The only reason I haven’t shot you yet” is because Tobias should get to do it instead.
Here, Tobias and Marcus interact for the first time in years. In spite of the Erudite’s corruption, they seem to have been right about Marcus’s abusiveness. Although Roth supplies little information about what Marcus actually did, this lack of information only makes Marcus seem like a more sinister character.
The team discusses their next steps. Caleb wonders what Candor will do. Tris replies that the Candors certainly won’t side with the Erudite after what’s happened. Tris can’t help herself from thinking about Will, who she’s just killed. She’ll never be able to see Christina again—Christina will know right away that Tris killed her boyfriend.
Tris has killed people today, and she seems to deeply regret her actions, even if they ultimately saved other lives. Tris’s pursuit of peace and protection has alienated her from some of her friends, rather than bringing them closer together.
Tris tells Tobias that both of her parents are now dead. Tobias replies that they died bravely, showing their love for Tris. He asks Tris why she didn’t shoot him while she had the chance. She replies, “It would have been like shooting myself.” Tobias tells Tris that he’s in love with her. They kiss.
Throughout the book, we’ve seen ample proof that Tobias and Tris have a lot in common. Here, we get the most eloquent explanation of their connection. Tobias loves Tris, but significantly, Tris doesn’t respond, at least not yet. She has feelings for Tobias, but she may not be ready to declare her love for him.
Tris feels the disc containing information about mind control protocol. She notices Marcus staring at it, and fears that she’s “not safe, not yet.” As Abnegation medics run into the building and escort Peter to a hospital, Tris notes that Abnegation and Dauntless are now both “broken.” Tris, Tobias, and Caleb are factionless now. Tris is no longer “just” Tris the selfless or Tris the brave. She concludes, “I must become more than either.”
Tris has been struggling to decide on one identity throughout the novel. Here, she arrives at the only logical conclusion left to her: she has no single identity, and the very idea of reducing someone’s identity to one of five categories is deeply flawed. Instead of relying on the factions, Tris will have to craft an identity of her own. The book ends on this uncertain but fundamentally optimistic note, as Roth also sets up larger government conflicts as a cliff-hanger for the second work of her trilogy.