Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 509
Katniss and Finnick are pretending that they did not see the Capitol propo of Peeta. However, she cannot help but consider Peeta’s suggestion that her allies in District 13 are untrustworthy. After all, no one has come to tell her about the Capitol propo. Even Gale has kept quiet. When Katniss sees that Gale’s communicuff has been returned to him, she challenges him over how accessible he has become to President Coin. When Gale admits that he only kept the propo a secret to protect Katniss’s health, Katniss refuses to accept his apology.
Still, the propos continue. Katniss returns to production. The next propo will return Gale and Katniss to District 13, and this time Katniss takes care to notify her mother that she will be leaving. At first, there is too much pain for Katniss to “perform” for the camera. However, when the camera crew escort Katniss to the woods, Cressala calls for a break. Katniss finds herself sitting beside one of the cameramen, Pollux, an avox whom the Capitol has punished by removing his tongue. When a mockingjay lands on a nearby tree, Katniss teaches the avox to whistle to the bird, which proceeds to sing along. When Pollux asks Katniss to sing, she cannot deny him his request. She begins to sing “The Hanging Tree,” a song about a hanged man singing to his still living lover to join him on the gallows. It is a forbidden but haunting song, and when the mockingjays begin to sing along it makes for powerful footage. Plutarch is beaming at Katniss’s spontaneous material.
Before they leave, Katniss returns to the Victor’s Village, which remains unscathed in spite of the firebombing. As she packs things for her mother, Gale comes to see her. He explains that he can still remember when Katniss kissed him after he was publicly whipped. When Katniss sees that Gale is about to cry, she kisses him. He explains that he knew she would kiss him because she will respond to the pain of others. In fact, it is the only way he can get her attention.
After returning to District 13, Katniss is called into a meeting. Although Katniss thinks this will just be another airing of her propos, it turns out that they are going to watch a live Capitol broadcast that stars President Snow. Beetee is going to try to hack in to the live feed. When the broadcast begins, Peeta is on screen as well, once again calling for a cease-fire. It is clear that he is under great stress and in pain. Beetee begins hacking the signal with quick rebel propos. Before the propo can end, Peeta warns that the war is unraveling Panem’s ability to survive. Worse, the people in District 13 will be “dead by morning.” Peeta’s warning leads to chaos on the Capitol’s set. The camera is knocked over as guards converge on Peeta. The last thing Katniss hears and sees is Peeta’s cry as his blood hits the floor of the set.
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