A soldier takes Tobias and Tris, who is bleeding profusely, to Jeanine’s hideout at Abnegation headquarters. An Erudite leader in the room refers to Tobias and Tris as “Divergent rebels,” and Jeanine notes that she was suspicious of Tris all along, though she failed to notice Tobias’s Divergence. Tobias sarcastically invites her to kill them, but Jeanine explains that she needs to conduct more tests first. Though the previous mind-numbing serum didn’t affect Divergents, she has created another batch that will. She also wants to learn why most Divergents come from Abnegation, since she plans to create a new government composed of the Erudite, Dauntless, and Candor factions while absorbing Abnegation into her army.
First Jeanine wants to test the new serum on Tobias, which will manipulate him by influencing his perception of his surroundings. Tris will be executed once the meeting is over. Tobias kisses Tris, then lunges at Jeanine, but the guards pin him down so Jeanine can inject him with the serum. The injection makes Tobias think Tris is an enemy, so he tries to choke her. The guards pull him away, and Jeanine sends him to monitor the control room. The guards knock Tris unconscious as they take her away.
Tris, weak from blood loss, awakens inside a glass tank. The scenario isn’t a simulation, and the tank begins filling with water. Tris notices a camera pointed at her on a nearby wall and tries unsuccessfully to break out, knowing Jeanine is monitoring her struggle. As she prepares to die, she thinks about God and her family. Just as she begins to drown, her mother appears. She shoots the glass and frees Tris just in time to save her life.
As they escape, Tris confirms that her mother is also Divergent and learns that, in spite of faction conditioning, Divergents’ thoughts can’t be controlled. As they run toward the building where her brother and father are hiding, soldiers approach from both directions. Tris’ mother tells her to run while she distracts the attackers. As Tris runs away, she hears gunshots and sees her mother crumple to the ground, dead. Distraught, she nearly gives up, but she decides to keep running.
Tris is chased down an alley by three Dauntless soldiers. She evades two of them and realizes that the last one pursuing her is Will. As he prepares to fire, she shoots him in the head. Next, she follows her mother’s directions to the building where her family is hiding. When Caleb lets her in, she sees they’re with other members of Abnegation, including Marcus. Tris collapses from blood loss, and Caleb and her father remove the bullet from her shoulder and stitch up her wound. Caleb tells Tris he researched the serum as their mother requested. After he learned that Erudite was creating long-range serum transmitters and planned to use them for war, he quit initiation.
Tris explains that Erudite is controlling the Dauntless army and notices that Marcus’ shock at the news seems insincere. She realizes that the computers controlling the army must be at Dauntless headquarters, where Tobias used to work, and proposes they go there to destroy the computer program. She is surprised when her father asks how to help, treating her like a peer.