Chapter 25 makes up for being nearly the last chapter in the book by being ridiculously, insufferably long. Seriously, it took me three tries to work my way through.
The chapter starts in the airport as Ana bids farewell to Mumsy, crying tears that she describes so poetically as ‘watery.’ As opposed to ‘fiery’ or ‘earthy’ tears, I guess. Or these:
They trade frog and prince clichés and her mom promises to visit. Although considering she couldn’t be bothered to show up at Ana’s graduation, I am far from convinced.
On the plane, Ana thinks about her mother’s love and wonders, “What does Christian know of love?” Raven Lunatick wonders, “What does James know of clichés?” Not enough apparently. If I ever, EVER use a phrase that hackneyed please, please, PLEASE slap me into next week.
At this point, Ana has a revelation. What she really wants from Christian is…wait for it…love. And it took her four hundred and seventy-two pages to figure that out. Wasn’t that the whole problem all along? Hasn’t this been fairly explicit? When Ana was constantly telling Christian she wanted “more” were we supposed to be confused about what that meant? Was Ana? Because it was pretty damn obvious that it was love. Has E. L. James ever considered becoming a mystery writer? I think she has a bright future.
Ok. That was probably unfair, but somebody in the long line of people who read a book prior to publication ought to have mentioned it. Because it’s pretty insulting to the readers’ intelligence.
Ana goes on to muse that the BDSM was just a distraction from the real issue (she actually thinks this phrase). Wait? There was BDSM? Because I sure don’t remember any. They have a whole room of BDSM-themed equipment, but it’s more like a BDSM museum, because they never use it. They just stand around talking about how they could use it. Any time they wanted to. They just don’t want to. But later…ooooh baby you’d better believe they’re going to use it later.
So, after thinking for all of, oh, thirty seconds, Ana decides that Christian is not capable of feeling love; that he feels undeserving of it because of his early childhood trauma. Let me reiterate that Christian claims to have no memory of his early childhood, and was thereafter raised by loving rich people. Ana’s a regular Sigmunda Freud, isn’t she?
Then, lacking a good way to move the plot along, the characters exchange more email. Seven altogether. They say nothing of interest but it makes Ana anxious anyway. Christian doesn’t elabourate on the “situation” that made him skip out on dinner with Ana’s family, but to be fair, Ana never asks him.
Ana gets back to Seattle and Christian’s chauffeur takes her to Christian’s penthouse. On the drive there Ana asks him a couple of vague questions about the “situation” and gets a couple of vague answers. Ana characterises this as “mining a seam of gold.” Yeah that’s pure gold, Ana. Pure gold. She comes away from the conversation not knowing any more than she did before.
Ana arrives at Christian’s penthouse and all her questions remain unanswered as they sex it up. In the bathroom. Again. Sweet zombie Jesus, bathrooms are gross. I’m not sure this book isn’t about a guy with a bathroom fetish.
Then they shower and Ana tells Christian she got a job and she thinks that he paid off the company to hire her. Christian is just as impressed as you’d imagine. Then, to make it extra special, she invites him to Jose’s photography how in Portland. Remember Jose? Christian hates him. He is pissed off momentarily, but then forgets.
They have creepy bathroom sex again.
They dress, eat, and reconvene in the playroom. Finally! Some of that BDSM we’ve been promised. But first Christian tells Ana he has finally bought all those clothes he promised her 400 pages ago. One of Ana’s multiple personalities emerges to call her a ho. You know Ana, they can control that with medication. Several ‘oh mys’ and ‘holy craps’ later we finally get to the sex.
Christian reiterates the safe words several times. Just in case. Which is probably for the best. But Ana is insulted. “I am about to remind him of my GPA…” and all the blowjobs you had to give to maintain it?
So the great BDSM surprise we’ve been waiting for? Christian ties her to the bed and makes Ana wear an iPod while they have sex. Woo-friggin-hoo. I’m soooo…soooo…bored. No one has ever listened to music during sex. It’s so deviant. They throw in a flogger for good measure, but he really only tickles her with it so I’m not really impressed.
Afterwards Christian reveals what Ana said in her sleep (remember that bit of fakey drama from chapter the last?): that she misses him. Awwwww…sweet. That was a whole lot of nothing, eh? It’s like watching Ghost Hunters, or Destination Truth – they’re always all “Oh my God! We found something! Oh, wait, no we didn’t. Never mind.”
It gets tiresome. Christian then accuses Ana of hiding something from him. I’m sorry Christian, she’s not smart enough to hide something from you. Ana denies it, and Christian threatens to torture it out of her. Perhaps with more iPod playing?
So in the final chapter we can look forward to more fakey, overhyped drama! Because I love that! Perhaps aliens will attack and dissolve our crappy couple in a vat of acid. Or take over their bodies. I suspect they would act more normal. But really, who cares? It’s the last chapter and I won’t have to read it anymore! Yay!