Chapter 22 of 50 Shades Darker is the Last Goddamned One!

Last chapter! Last chapter! Last chapter!

I’m excited. Sooo excited. Well not that excited. I know there’s a whole, entire other book.

Okay…so before I even read the damn thing some predictions:

We need a huge cliffhanger to carry us over to the next book. They already confronted two of Christian’s evil exes, and have been almost killed at least once each. They already proposed marriage, so what kind of revelation is left? Is the world about to end? Is Christian actually an international jewel thief? Is Ana actually a cyborg?

This book is so screwed up, I can’t even begin to guess. There doesn’t seem to be anything left massively hugely shocking enough to end off the middle book of the 50 Shades trilogy. So, that didn’t turn out to be predictions, more a statement of bewilderment. I just don’t even know.

Yeah. This one’s a doozy. I don’t even. I just. Ok. Listen. Abandon all sense-making ye who enter here. Here’s how it goes:

Ana and Christian have just arrived at his parents’ house for a birthday party.
Kate meets them at the door and flips her shit because she found a a printed-out email that mentioned The Contract. I’m not even sure how much detail was in the email – like if it contained the full terms or what. She found it folded up in a jacket that Ana left behind…somewhere. The story isn’t even clear about whether it was Ana’s jacket or Christian’s. I don’t care enough to find out.

Apparently Kate is concerned that Ana is now some kind of high-priced call girl, or else the victim of sexual exploitation, and starts to gloriously screamingly confront Ana about it. This makes sense since I’ve theorised that Kate is actually some kind of care assistant to poor feeble minded Ana. Kate tries to get Ana alone, away from Christian to have a proper talk, but Christian refuses to allow it. Christian goes from white hot rage to cold rage as Ana assures Kate that she’s OK, all while glancing nervously back and forth between the two of them.

Christian then BURNS the email, while interrogating Kate as to whether anyone else knows about it.

And for some reason, this is good enough for Kate. Let me repeat that. Kate is convinced and reassured by this interaction.

So with that Kate is suddenly happy again and the drama is abruptly over. Everyone heads for the living room to join the party. What was supposed to be a small family party is actually a large party jammed with family friends and even business associates. Ana is pissed off to find out that Elena (the ex formerly known as Mrs. Robinson) is there. Ana is surprised, even though Elena is Christian’s best and only friend.

There is boring small talk and introductions and then Asstian (our power couple) drop the news: they are getting married! There are dramatic gasps, and then strained applause, in fact I’m surprised that no one fainted. Ana makes sure to take special note of how every single woman in attendance is angry, jealous, or upset that Christian is unavailable.

Especially Elena.

Ana derives a disturbing amount of petty joy from seeing their reactions. She really is detestable. There is more boring small talk as everyone processes the news, and Ana fumbles to carry on a conversation with Dr Flynn’s wife while simultaneously eavesdropping on Christian’s conversation. He’s checking up on Ghost Girl who is apparently doing well. At least Ana has enough class to not feel smugly satisfied about Ghost Girl’s mental illness.

Christian’s mother announces that dinner is served – buffet style in the kitchen. Instead of going there, Ana sneaks off to the dining room with Mia, who wants some advice from Ana. OMG. Do NOT go to Ana for advice! Anyway, what’s important here is that Mia hands Ana a martini. At least Ana knows how useless she is and passes Mia off to Kate for advice.

It doesn’t matter anyway, because it’s all a pretense to get Ana alone in a room so she can have a dramatic soap-opera-style confrontation with Elena, which she does. Elena “breezes in” and starts haranguing Ana about how wrong she is for Christian. Elena has apparently morphed into some kind of evil supervillain and launches into a supervillain monologue:

“I wouldn’t have thought of you as a worthy adversary, Anastasia. But you surprise me at every turn.”

I hope Elena has been practicing her evil laugh. Because that’s about standards. Ana takes the chance to say all the nasty things that have been rattling around in her head for the past two books. All of them. Elena starts shaking a finger at Ana, and this is the last gall-dang straw. Ana flings her drink in Elena’s face.

Cat fight!

No. Such. Luck.

Christian walks in and proceeds to flip the fuck out. Damn. Christian and Elena fight dirty – Elena shrieks that Christian is making a horrible mistake. Christian lands every low blow possible: Elena is empty; she never loved him; she was just a meaningless fuck; it served her right when her husband left her. Ana, of course, is horrified that people are going to hear.

And they do hear. Christian’s mother shows up after hearing everything and kicks Elena out of the house. But not before calling her a whore, just for good measure. Ana darts out of the room while Christian has a suuuper uncomfortable talk with his mother about what the fuck was just going on.

Ana hides in the bathroom and whines to herself that no bride-to-be should ever have to endure what she just went through – seeing her fiancé fight with his ex. It is literally the biggest tragedy in the history of tragedies. She decides that she has pulled Christian out of the metaphorical darkness, and now they are both in the light. Everything is light and goodness and rainbows and strawberry scented unicorn farts from now on.

She heads for Christian’s creepily preserved teenage bedroom, and he meets her there. They pull themselves together and head back to the party to pretend nothing happened. Christian asks her if she has eaten, because he has a thing with forcing Ana to eat. Ana hasn’t and is briefly worried, but Christian is in a good mood now and simply reminds her that eating is Rule #1. Phew…

After the party Christian and Ana head out to the boat house for some sexy sexin’. You’d think. That’s what they did the last time they were out there. But this has turned into a very different kind of book. Ana asks permission to attend church the next day. Because she needs his permission. Ana has never been particularly religious, but when Christian was missing she made a deal with God, and now she OWES HIM.

Christian is thrilled and reveals he has already purchased the house they looked at. You remember, right? The one where Ana was jealous of the realtor? That house. They enter the boat house, and Ana is vaguely expecting sex, but instead Christian has filled it with flowers and Christmas lights and clichés and the tears of angels. I might have made up those last two.

They kiss and we fade to glorious black and then for no fucking reason that makes any sense in any world ever we are abruptly thrown inside the head of Ana’s fired boss, Jack. Who, notably, is not dead. I’m surprised. Legitimately surprised.

Jack has revealed his true supervillain identity, Boss Man, and launches into his evil plan-telling monologue. Christian has underestimated him, he tells us. Everyone underestimates him! But this time Jack is going make Christian pay using his Perfect Memory Powers. 

He reveals how he used his photographic memory and superior research skillz to learn how to sabotage Christian’s helicopter. Which failed miserably, by the way.

And Jack manages all this yammering while simultaneously drinking cheep hooch and smoking cigarettes. Because he’s evil. He is most likely also dressed in black, and has a swastika tattooed somewhere on his body. You know, to hammer home the evil. He goes on, in typical evil genius fashion to tell us (who the hell is he talking to?) that Christian may have won this round with his blatant NOT DYING, but Boss Man will get him next time! Next time!

And that’s how it ends.

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