Chapter Four of Fifty Shades Darker Has 100% of Your Daily Facepalm

 

Why do I keep reading this crap? Seriously, I forget. I think it broke my brain.

Chapter four opened with the line, “As sanity returns…” and led me to believe that this would all somehow get more, well, sane. It doesn’t. It just gets more and more batshit. The level of crazy here is well over 9000.

“I’ve missed this,” Christian breathes. Dude. It’s only been a couple of days. Calm your tits, as the kids like to say. The he kisses Ana, and Ana feels that the kiss is asking for something. But she doesn’t know what. Well, that’s not surprising. In the first book, she didn’t know that you could order tea when going ‘out for coffee.’ So we’ve established that she’s kinda dumb.

They’ve just finished having sex and Ana decides to enhance the mood with this sexy bit of dialogue: “Thank you for the iPad.”

Classy! It totally doesn’t make it sound like payment for a transaction. Also, holy change of topic Batman!

As Ana has been using the iPad as a glorified mp3 player (she calls it a mix-tape) her obvious next move is to ask Christian what his favourite song is. He refuses to tell her for no apparent reason other than that he is a giant douchecanoe.

He orders Ana to make him some food, which she does. They make much of that idea that Ana likes to take care of people. A fact which is borne out by absolutely nothing that has happened so far. Just off the top of my head: Ana has to have Kate provide her clothes, she doesn’t keep food in the house, and she never thought about whether Jose had any feelings. Sounds pretty nurturing to me.

Christian believes her, because frankly, he’s just as batshit insane as Ana is. They eat their food on Kate’s Persian rug, instead of at the table because that’s the kind of quality people they are. No wonder Kate needed a vacation.

Christian then berates Ana for not letting him do the caretaking. Ana berates him back because his version of caretaking involves buying the company Ana works for and threatening to fire her boss for inviting her to an all-staff bar night. That’s totally not creepy AT ALL. To make it worse, he tells Ana that if she quits he will buy every company at which she gets hired.

I think Ana should try him. How many companies is he willing to buy? I would totally love the book if it went this way. We follow Ana as she gets hired at every major chain in North America – Walmart, Starbucks, McDonalds, Monsanto, GE. We watch in rapt attention as Christian struggles to acquire corporation after corporation until he is eventually bankrupted, and both spiral down into madness and despair.

See? Better.

They then abruptly have sex involving vanilla ice cream. GEDDIT? Huh? Vanilla sex! Haw haw! Isn’t that clever? Isn’t it?

Yeeeeaaaaah…not really.

In a book that is supposedly about BDSM, we get bludgeoned over the head surprisingly often with the message that vanilla sex is just dandy. Don’t get me wrong. It is, but I was promised whips and chains and spanking and gimp suits. And I’m not really getting any of that.

Christian asks if Ana has a change of sheets. Eeeewww! Of course she does! She’s not some frat boy sleeping on a bare shit-stained mattress. She’s a young professional who claims to like taking care of people. That type of person has more than one set of sheets.

But for some reason this does not offend Ana one bit.

Then comes a little perfunctory tying-up. And for some reason Ana is suddenly whispering. Why are we whispering Ana? Why are we whispering?! And then all manner of strange-ass things happen. Ana points out that her lamp gives off ‘insipid’ light. Your lamp is sickly sweet? Because that’s what insipid means. Then her inner goddess does a ‘triple axel dismount off the uneven bars’.

Wut?

Srsly. Wut?

First of all, is that even a thing? A triple axel is a figure skating thing. Skating and uneven bars? What the actual fuck is going on here? Aren’t you supposed to be sexing it up? Focus woman, focus!

Second of all, they can medicate all those voices in your head Ana. Medical science has come a long way in the last few decades.

So, long story short, they sex it up while smearing melted ice cream every-fucking-where and the bed creaks ‘ominously.’ Again with the dark evilness associated with sex. STOP. DOING. THIS. Sex isn’t evil. It’s not dark; or sinister, or whatever catholic-style baggage you want to drop on it. It ruins any enjoyment one could reasonably have of this book.

Then this happens:

“…and on cue, like the sorcerer’s apprentice that I am, I let go, and we find our release together.”

I’m sorry, what now? I think I need to watch The Sorcerer’s Apprentice again, because what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

They then bask in their dairy-infused sticky-bed, still whispering for whatever reason, and discuss a charity barbecue.  Ana makes a big deal out of having nothing to wear. It seems pretty clear that she’s angling for some new duds, because up until this point she has just worn Kate’s clothes. So it shouldn’t be a problem. Christian reminds her that he has already picked out a closet full of clothes for her, and she is somewhat disappointed.

We are them treated to a dream sequence in which one of Christian’s crazy cyborg exes comes back from the future to kill Ana.

No. Not really. Christian’s ex shows up in Ana’s clothes and smiles menacingly at her causing Ana to wake up screaming, and me to facepalm pretty hard.

To make it extra special Christian shakes the frig out of her to wake her up. Good going buddy. When Christian finds out that Ana met one of his exes he has a nuclear-kitten-bird-spaz attack. He runs off to make phone calls and arrange restraining orders. I choose to believe that he is ordering a hit on her life right now. It makes the book tolerable.

Ana offers Christian some tea. She notes that tea is her stepfather’s answer to every crisis. Sure it is. There is no heterosexual American male for whom ‘tea’ is the answer to anything. Sometimes this book forgets that it is set in America, and goes all Union Jack on me.

Christian accepts the offer and Ana tells up her anxiety level is at DEFCON 1. It’s a full nuclear exchange? I’ve had me some anxiety before, and seriously? This is the worst metaphor ever. Anxiety involves something that is about to or may happen. A full nuclear exchange has already done gone and happened.  In any case, they discuss the ex, and at no point does Christian say that Ana will be required to defeat her ninja-style.

Damn.

Ana is thrilled to hear that the ex (whose name is Leila) wanted this fabled ‘more’ that Christian and Ana keep harping about, but that Christian  didn’t want to give it to her. Ana goes all Sybil on his ass and does the multiple personality samba. In her head.

Then there’s a bunch of boring blah blah blah. Ana agonizes over her hair, Christian offers her a personal trainer, they talk about the Red Room of Pain which they never, ever use, and Christian gives Ana her car back. They fight a little, and then go for breakfast. Then I am on the edge of my seat with suspense as they go to a hair salon for some sexy cutting action. We know that it is extra ritzy because everything is all white. White = luxury dontcha know? Apparently in 50 Shadesland rich people have no taste.

Then we end the chapter with the big reveal: Christian owns the salon (he owns everything apparently) and the woman running it is Mrs. Robinson.

OMG I don’t even fucking care. What a bunch of fakey drama. Christian knows Ana considers Mrs. Robinson a rapist at best and a child molester at worst but there they are to get a haircut. Christian claims to own a whole chain of salons, so why wouldn’t he have taken Ana to another location? For the love of God why?

Because they’re both batshit insane. Have I mentioned that? Because it’s the only sense I can make of it. Bleh! I need some brain bleach now. How about some pretty kittens?

I’m going to curl up in a ball and rock back and forth until next time when I read chapter 5 of Fifty Shades Darker so you don’t have to.

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