Hop on the Fakey Drama Train to Sexy-time Station with Chapter 5 of Fifty Shades Darker

This got really long, so here’s the TL:DR –

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On one hand there is no sex in this chapter.  On the other hand there is also no email. On the other hand, it’s full of boring info-dump style back story. Wait. How many hands do I have?

Remember we ended last chapter at a hair salon, wherein our crappy couple encounters the fabled Mrs. Robinson?

I didn’t. I actually had to flip back and see what the hell was going on. Ana ‘just knows’ it’s Christian’s first lover, and she confirms it with the receptionist, Greta. She’s glad that her spidey sense is correct. Her subconscious berates her, saying that it’s not a spidey sense, its a pedo sense.

That’s right! Because Spiderman is too good for the likes of you and he always will be.

Mrs. Robinson finally has a proper name – Elena Lincoln.  And it turns out she co-owns the salon with Christian, and isn’t usually in. So seeing her here is sheer bad luck. Ana stares at Christian as he makes amiable small talk with a woman she considers a rapist, and wonders why he would bring her here.

I wonder too. What the actual fuck was he thinking? He seems to have no idea how people work, even though he is supposed to be a highly successful business man. He comes back over to Ana and then can’t understand why she wants to leave. Aaaand they’re mad at each other again.

Ana runs out of the salon trying not to cry and stomps off down the street. She thinks: Will Mr Evasive fess up? Wait. To what? Annnd they never really tell us. To still being in love with any or all of his subs? I just don’t know.

Ana then proceeds to utterly, totally, gloriously lose her shit. In the middle of a crowded street. She yells at Christian about taking her to the same salon he took his subs to, and demands to know why he is not still with Mrs. Robinson!!!

Then suddenly, mid-rant, Christian takes a phone call. You know a phone call’s important if you interrupt a crazy woman ranting in the middle of the street to answer it.

It’s the head of Christian’s security team calling to tell Christian that Ghost Girl, the one who talked so menacingly to Ana at work, has gone completely batshit insane and is following Christian and Ana. In fact she is there, watching them right now.

Ana is scared for a moment, but then remembers that she has a rant to finish. She’s furious that all the attention is no longer on her. Christian suggests they go back to his place “for safety.” Ana continues screaming that all she wants is a haircut gosh darn it and why isn’t everyone paying attention to her?! She notes that people are going about their own business. Damn them! When they could be going about Ana’s business!

Christian abruptly stops the rant by ordering a hairstylist to come to his penthouse. Ana is “exasperated.” Christian insists that she will move in with him while they track down his crazy ex. I would like this book soooo much better if Ana had to fight all of his ex-subs ninja-style, culminating in a huge boss battle with Mrs. Robinson.

But, unfortunately, this isn’t that sort of book. Sigh.

It’s the kind where Ana refuses to go, and Christian picks her up and carries her away. He eventually puts Ana down and she comes along quietly, having learned her lesson. They head back to Ana’s to pick up her things, both of them sulking the entire time. At this point Ana is “not even sure” what she’s angry about. So she decides to make a mental list.

While she’s doing this she has a thought. I know! Crazy right? But we are led to believe the feeble flickering little lightbulb in her head comes on and she wonders what has changed today that makes Ghost Girl so dangerous?  I don’t know…that fact that she’s watching them right now? We just said that. But no, there’s more to tell, so our characters need a reason to tell it. Ghost Girl has gotten a concealed carry permit. Gasp! Swoon! Fakey drama!

They don’t seem to think she has an actual gun. But she could do! Any time now! Just watch her! She’s kuh-raaazy! I kinda feel sorry for the poor girl, she’s such an obvious plot device. She doesn’t even get a real personality or history. That’s the real tragedy here. I’d go on a shooting rampage too if I realised I was just a lame plot device in some crappy romance. Might as well go out in a blaze of glory, right?

Suddenly, things are all good between them! When Ana realises she might be in actual danger she decides it’s best to put the brakes on the drama train.

I just realised we’re not even halfway through this chapter…I’m going to hurry this shit up…it’s all more of the same tired crap anyhoo.

Ana packs a bag, and makes the mistake of mentioning Kate’s brother. Christian is furious. Ana may not ever mention or talk to or even look at another man, ever. Ever. Christian drives her to his place. She asks him why all his subs were brunettes. Even though he says it’s just his preference, she attempts to find some deep meaning in it, but fails because there isn’t any meaning. She characterises her confusion as a mindfuck. Sweety, honey, baby, you have to have a mind in the first place.

Just saying…

They argue until they arrive at Christian’s penthouse, where Taylor surprises Ana by being there to take her bag. She makes a point of being surprised. That’s his job. Why is it surprising that he does it? Considering the half-assed non-effort we”ve seen her put into her jobs, I guess it isn’t surprising that she expects people not to do their jobs. She is further surprised that Taylor has kids. I know right!? I can’t believe that other people have lives either!

Christian wanders off and leaves Ana to amuse herself. “Clothes!” she thinks. No seriously. That’s in there. Ana goes to look at the clothes Christian has bought for her. She makes the mistake of looking at the price tag on one of the dresses, and her brain breaks. She sinks to the floor and tries to “process the last few hours.”

“It’s exhausting,” she thinks.

The jokes! They write themselves!

Christian appears again. Ta-da! He’s magic! Ana fishes for complements with the old ‘why do you even love me’ technique. There’s talk of hope, and faith and patience and that mythical “more” they keeping banging on about. Take this story back to the kitchen! They put too much barf in it!

Then there are two whole paragraphs in which Ana gets her hair cut into no particular style by Stock Gay Hairdresser Character.

Ana shows off her new style to Christian and is mad again, for no reason that I can discern. Christian suggests some sexy-times but Ana says no because she’s mad dammit! Christian derails the conversation by admitting he has amassed some kind of crazy stalker dossier on Ana. Ana doesn’t know whether to be angry or flattered. Let me repeat that:

She doesn’t know whether she should be angry or flattered.

Really?!

I’m pretty sure I know which one she should be.

Christian admits he doesn’t know what Ana thinks. Sing it brother! She doesn’t make any fucking sense to me either! Ana decides that this means that Christian has no empathy. Nope it just means that you are totally batshit insane. Oddly, him having no empathy and being basically a sociopath doesn’t put her on guard in any way. In fact, it makes her feel a bit sorry for the poor wealthy psycho.

Ana cooks lunch and is surprised that Christian has food in his fridge. She’s actually shocked that he has peas in the freezer. Shocked I tells ya! Ana mentions that it would be good to have a map of what areas she can touch on Christian, since he’s all weird about it. They eat, Ana muses again that Christian has no empathy, Christian puts on music and they get ready for sexy-times!

And are promptly interrupted by Taylor.

Christian goes off to brief his security team – apparently there’s a whole team now!

Left to her own devices, Ana decides that Christian has multiple personalities and is searching webMD for articles on Multiple Personality Disorder. Luckily Christian is amused by this and not enraged. Christian brings Ana a lipstick that she calls “harlot red” (God she’s a massive prude) and they have fun sexy-times drawing on Christian. They are just about to have sex when we fade out to the end of the chapter.

So we end the chapter on the revelation that the sex isn’t even worth describing anymore. Even though that’s kind of the entire point of the book! Exclamation point! Let me reiterate the point I made earlier because I think it’s especially relevant:

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And that’s it folks! See you next time!