For the next three days, Katniss and her family live in their bunker, thereby avoiding any bombings from the Capitol. During this time, Katniss wonders how President Snow will try to manipulate her in the future. With Peeta alive, Katniss realizes, President Snow has an invaluable tool for making Katniss obey him. Furthermore, the knowledge that Peeta is being tortured because of her makes Katniss weak and incapable of following her duties as Mockingjay.
Katniss, it’s been noted many times, is a highly resourceful young woman. This means that she’ll take full advantage of any resource she’s given—and here she takes full advantage of time. She uses her time in the bunker to plan her strategy and reassess her relationships with her friends, allies, and enemies.
Katniss walks through the bunker to the adjacent room, which belongs to Finnick Odair. She tells him her theory about Peeta. Finnick realizes that Snow is probably trying something similar with Annie, one of the only people he cares about. By keeping Annie alive, Snow can virtually incapacitate Finnick, weakening his concentration and his loyalty to the rebels.
Like countless villains in books and movies, President Snow uses heroes’ love and affection against them. It’s important that Katniss understand this point, as by recognizing Snow’s strategy, she can develop a strategy of her own in response.
Later in the day, Boggs calls Katniss and Finnick to the bunker’s Command room. The rebel leaders inform Katniss that she is to wear her Mockingjay suit, go to the remains of District 13, and gather propaganda footage. Katniss “suits up,” accompanied by her usual entourage, including Boggs, Gale, and the TV crew. She returns to District 13, which she finds in ruins. She also notices a huge pile of white and red roses, which she assumes is an ironic gift from President Snow, matching the rose in the remains of District 12. Katniss finds it suddenly difficult to be the Mockingjay, because any act of heroism she performs will only result in more torture and punishment for Peeta.
As in Catching Fire, here Katniss must confront a host of ambiguous symbols. There’s no way to tell where the roses come from, and Katniss must interpret the sign to the best of her abilities. We also see an example of the effectiveness of Snow’s strategy: by keeping Peeta alive and reminding Katniss of his total power over Peeta’s life, he debilitates Katniss almost completely.
The TV crew notices that Katniss seems stiff and uncomfortable, in contrast to her earlier “performances” as the Mockingjay. Finnick explains that Katniss knows that Snow is using Peeta to blackmail her. Katniss begins to sob—suddenly, someone (it’s not revealed who) injects Katniss with a sedative, and she spends the next 24 hours asleep.
The connection between Finnick and Katniss is almost as close as that between Katniss and Peeta—Finnick understands that Katniss is going through the pain of guilt, knowing full well that anything she does to oppose the government will translate into pain inflicted on Peeta.
When Katniss awakes from her sedative-fueled sleep, she finds Haymitch standing before her. Haymitch explains that Plutarch has decided to put together a crew to rescue Peeta from the Capitol. The volunteers for this dangerous mission include Boggs, and—much to Katniss’s displeasure—Gale.
Katniss is annoyed with Gale for volunteering to save Peeta, seemingly because she doesn’t want too much connection between her two romantic interests, but also because she doesn’t want to lose both of them at once—as is possible on such a dangerous mission.