Summary of Chapter 50
Cassia and Ky share an emotional goodbye, and then Cassia and Indie get in the boat and head down the river. Indie instructs Cassia to do as she says to help navigate and to stay with the boat if they flip over. As they go, Cassia observes how naturally Indie is able to pilot. A long, undisclosed period of time passes and suddenly Cassia misses a direction from Indie and the boat overturns, plunging them into the water. Cassia panics momentarily, thinking she can’t find the boat again, but then comes up in the pocket of air underneath its overturned body. The boat hits a smooth patch of water and Indie surfaces. Together they push it back over and continue on.
When light comes, they are in greater danger of being seen. They hear a ship overhead and move the boat to the edge of the stream while it passes. When it’s gone, Indie jokes that she could use a green tablet, though all of their belongings once strapped in packs to the side of the boat were lost when they capsized. They continue on, and when evening comes, they find that the stream empties them into a vast lake. A boat quickly approaches them. Before it reaches, Indie tells Cassia that she would’ve chosen blue for her Matching Banquet dress. Cassia thinks how beautiful Indie is, how “everyone has something beautiful about them” (346). Indie tells Cassia to put her hands up as a sign of surrender. When the boat reaches them, Indie shouts that they’ve come to join the Rising.
Summary of Chapter 51
Ky runs and runs along the riverbank. He flashes back to his father teaching him to swim and the incident at the pool in Oria Province, when Xander lost his tablet container and went under to retrieve it. Ky approached Cassia to ask if he was drowning, and when she said she didn’t know, dove in after him. The water stung Ky’s eyes, but when he opened them fully he realized how empty the pool was compared to a pool made by rainwater. He accidentally breathed in and came up sputtering. When he and Cassia laughed about it, he realized that he loved her even then, though it wasn’t the same love yet.
In the present, Ky hides the tissue sample tubes and papers in separate locations. He marks the ground where they’re hidden. He thinks of his mother, father, and Vick as he leaves the cover of the trees for the lake.
Summary of Chapter 52
Cassia is delighted to see a camp alive with people, though she wishes Ky were with them. One of the Rising members tells them that the camp is moving soon, and Cassia hopes Ky makes it in time. She and Indie are led inside a building where they’re taken to be decontaminated of the diluted poison in the river and then sorted. Once cleaned, they’re moved to a new building and separated. Cassia remember’s the prisoner’s dilemma—to hide the same information will make her and Indie equally safe.
A man runs Cassia through a series of questions about her name, society status, and her arrival in the Outer Provinces. On this last matter, Cassia says it was just a mistake. She explains how she and Indie ran to the Carving with a boy who didn’t survive, then found the settlement, took the map and the boat, and came there. She admits that Ky was with them, but lies about Hunter and Eli. The man ask if she knew where the people in the settlement had gone, to which she says no. They ask why she wants to join the Rising and she answers that she doesn’t believe in the Society anymore. The man says they’ll find out where to put her using the Society's data, noting that their interpretations of it tend to differ.
Cassia thinks about how it was only her Official who was curious about her relationship with Ky and what would happen if she didn’t take the red tablet at the end of Matched, not the Society. She was never important to them aside from being a great sorter. The Rising man returns and tells Cassia that she’ll be serving the rebellion from within the Society.
Summary of Chapter 53
A Rising official interviews Ky, who answers honestly, but also lies about Hunter and Eli being a part of the group. They sort him to work as an air-pilot in Camas Province, effective that night. Ky heads to the main tent used as a dining hall and finds Indie wearing black plainclothes like everyone else. Indie tells him that Cassia was sent to Central where Xander is, and Ky acknowledges that she’ll likely know that he’s part of the Rising soon. They briefly share how the trip was for each to get there. Ky thinks Indie will matter to the rebellion, but suspects she’ll run. Indie says that she doesn’t know her work assignment yet, but that she’s also leaving that night. They admit to missing Eli and acknowledge that neither mentioned him or Hunter during their interviews. Ky says he’ll try to come say goodbye to Indie before they leave. Indie says Cassia wanted to tell him goodbye and that she loves him.
Ky waits for the Society ships to come, but they don’t. He maintains a less-than-despairing disposition, and finds a man whom he recognizes to be an old Archivist. Though the man initially doesn’t want to trade with him, Ky tells him about the papers he hid nearby, that he wants them delivered to Cassia, and he will pay whatever the man wants. The man agrees to help.
This meeting makes Ky late, and he doesn’t get to say goodbye to Indie. The ship that takes her away is scarred underneath and Ky wonders if it was one of the ships the farmers attacked, or if they really did attack a Society ship. The Archivist finds Ky and tells him the papers will be delivered to Cassia at once. He gives Ky the rock he marked for their location, admiring the writing on it. Ky realizes that it does look like writing: the letter C, over and over again. The Archivist asks if he ever taught anyone to write. Ky says, “Only once” (365).
Summary of Chapter 54
It’s early spring in Central. Cassia pauses at the air-train stop on her way to work, both to admire the view and to communicate with a watching Archivist representative whether or not she’s agreed to the terms of their next trade. She turns and admires the white buildings of the city and the black clothes of the people. She then steps off the platform, declining the offer, saying “the price is too low” for now (365). An undisclosed “he” within the Rising has sent her a message of where to meet him that night. She admires the blooms growing on the wall at the base of the stairs, thinking that they are like a beautiful painting that will soon vanish.
Analysis of Chapters 50-54
The moment when Cassia and Indie capsize in the river and lose all of their possessions represents a cleansing from their time in the Carving. The event symbolizes a washing away of all gains and losses within the canyons, allowing them to arrive at the Rising as completely new people with no compasses, tablets, or papers. This is quite different from how they began Crossed, or even how Matched concluded for Cassia, during both of which she and the others at least had something to call their own, keep safe, and cherish. As members of the Rising, they have been wiped clean of all of this.
Much like the beginning of the story, Ky and Cassia conclude the novel by narrating different events from two different perspectives, allowing the reader insight into simultaneous happenings. This serves to complete the book’s narrative arc: the two characters began the story apart, their separate plots slowly came together, they reunited and spent much of the book telling two sides of the same story, and finally they ended up in separate places discussing separate events.
The Society and Rising share some darkly similar characteristics. Everyone in the Rising wears the same plainclothes, as with the Society, effectively rendering them visually homogeneous, and are additionally not allowed to own possessions. Perhaps most importantly, the Rising also sorts everyone into specific vocations for which they’ve been deemed particularly useful. This draws a huge parallel to the way the Society assigns teenagers to specific occupations like sorters, arboretum workers, or nutrition disposal workers, as happened to Ky and many of Cassia’s friends in Matched. Additionally, the Rising uses the same data collected on their members as the Society, enabling them to learn invasive amounts of information about them, though they claim their interpretations are far different. Finally, the Rising ensures that its members don’t know too much about the cause lest they're caught, teaching them only what they need to know about their own assignments. This policy is suspiciously also practiced by the Society, where cooks don’t know how to wire and arboretum workers don’t know how to sort, etc.
Finally, the book ends on a mysterious cliffhanger in which Cassia has been contacted by an undisclosed man within the Rising whom she plans to meet that evening. The obvious question the reader is left with is whether it’s Ky or Xander, a strong representation of the mystery shrouding who Cassia will ultimately choose as her life partner, which has been one of the biggest internal conflicts for her since the beginning.