After the ceremony, the Chief Elder goes to see Asher privately. She tells him that, despite the official record, Jonas is still alive but that he's become dangerous and must be stopped before he reaches the Rocks. Asher asks her what she wants him to do, and she responds that he is to use his knowledge of Jonas and ability as a drone pilot to find and get rid of his friend. Asher obediently starts the search, his drone plane surveying the barren wasteland. Asher eventually tracks Jonas down; the motorized bike he had taken from the security guard has run out of power, and he is now walking towards the boundary carrying Gabe.
Asher addresses Jonas over the drone's communication system, asking him what he's doing. Jonas pleads with his friend to trust him, then starts running as the drone swoops toward him. Asher locks some sort of tractor beam on his friend, picking him and Gabe up. However, instead of killing them, he drops them into a river. He then reports back to the Chief Elder, telling her that the job is done.
Jonas manages to swim to shore with Gabe, but now the two of them are far into the sweltering desert. Exhausted and worried about running out of supplies, he thinks about quitting, but knows that both Fiona and Asher will pay the price for helping him if he fails in his task. He strengthens Gabe with memories of joy and good times, and focuses his own thoughts on Fiona.
Meanwhile, Fiona has been incarcerated, awaiting a judgement. In her capacity as a member of the Justice Department, Jonas' mother comes to see her, telling her that her "release" has been arranged, saying that there will be a nice ceremony for her. So comforting. As she turns to leave, Fiona tells her that she knows there is more; she has felt things- warm, beautiful things which have been stolen from them, and which Jonas is trying to give back.
Out in the wilderness, Jonas and Gabe have reached the mountain at the far end of the desert and have started to climb, entering a region of snow. Reaching the top, Jonas pulls out the map in confusion... he should be able to see the boundary tower from where they are. Freezing and in despair, he starts down the far side of the mountain carrying the bundled up baby, but loses consciousness and falls.
Back in the Community, the Giver, who is still in custody, is brought in to observe Fiona's release to Elsewhere with the Council. As the video of scenes from Fiona's childhood plays, creepily celebrating her life, he pleads with the Chief Elder to put a stop to this. She coldly tells him that if he doesn't want to see it, to close his eyes.
Jonas'father enters the room- he's going to be administrating the lethal injection. After all, he's had lots of practice. Bizarrely, he asks Fiona if she's comfortable. She bluntly tells him that she's scared, but he says that she doesn't need to be: she knows him, and he'll be very gentle. In the observation room, the Giver starts to talk about Rosemary, saying that she was his daughter and that he loved her. He asks the Chief Elder if she knows what love is- stating that he has experienced it. The Elder responds that he has also seen pain and suffering, children starving, and men killing each other over "a line in the sand". She can't comprehend that he and Jonas want to bring all of that back. The Giver tells her that she doesn't see the possibilities that love brings: faith and hope. The Chief Elder retorts that love is just passion which can turn to contempt and murder. The Giver says that they could choose better, but the Elder states: "People are weak. People are selfish. When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong every single time."
Lying in the snow, Gabe is crying while Jonas remains unconscious. Suddenly, there is the faint sound of voices singing in the air; Gabe stops crying, and Jonas slowly opens his eyes. As he looks dazedly around, he sees the sled which he had seen in the first memory he had received from the Giver. He struggles through the snow to it and climbs on, holding Gabe in front of him and starting to slide down the mountainside.
The Giver is still trying to convince the Chief Elder. He tells her that loss and pain, music, joy and love are worth it. He says that they are living a life of shadows and whispers of things that once made them real. The Chief Elder coldly states that they must continue, and Jonas' father prepares to inject Fiona.
At that moment, the sled carrying Jonas and Gabe slides past the two pillars marking the edge of the Barrier, and from there a wave of colour- and memory- sweeps like a wave across the landscape. In the community, Jonas' father is just about to release Fiona when he suddenly freezes, hit with the memories of the past and seeing in colour for the first time. The same thing happens to everyone else, and Fiona looks up and smiles.
Jonas- narrating once again- says that he wishes he could have been in the community when the memories returned, stating that the memories were the truth, while the Elders and their rules were the lie. He knows that Fiona is safe and that he'll see her again. The sled comes to a stop at the bottom of the hill and Jonas can see a house from which the music they faintly heard earlier seems to be coming. Jonas says that he knows the Giver led him and Gabe there, and he walks toward the door carrying the baby.