Christian, Anastasia and the Two Things That Actually Happen: Ch. 16 of 50 Shades Freed

Something happens in chapter 16! Fucking finally something happens. Two somethings even! I need to sit down; I think I’m overstimulated here.

overstimulated

At the end of the last chapter Leila showed up to see Ana, and I mistook her for Elena AKA Mrs. Robinson AKA evil ex #1. It turns out that it wasn’t the child molesting hair stylist and former dom in the lobby of Ana’s company, but rather Ghost Girl, the gun-toting cracked out former submissive, or evil ex #2.

Oh well, potayto potahto.

Potato

Ugh. Lets call the whole thing off.

But wait! Leila is not here alone to see Ana, she has brought a friend, Evil Ex #3, also known as Susi. Ana’s assistant announces that they are in the lobby, and also that Prescott the hated/beloved security woman wants to see Ana right now.

And our protagonist, Mrs. Wile E. Coyote super genius, has Prescott forcibly eject them from the building right? Remember, this is a woman who tried to kill Ana. So of course Ana doesn’t want to meet with her alone in a small room. Right?

Wrong.

So, so wrong.

Ana has her assistant escort them right the fuck in. At least she agrees to let Prescott pat them down for weapons first. She spins it as ‘granting a concession’ to Prescott. Man, our dear sweet heroine has NO sense of self-preservation at all, does she? Clearly not, or she’d have noped the fuck out of Christian’s fucked up life two books ago.

Ana is pissed off to hear that Prescott has already called Christian to tell him the Ex-women have arrived. Ana realises that she has only a short time before Christian interferes with Ana’s plan of suicide by psychotic ex-sub, so she has to hurry and meet Leila while she has the chance.

Ana shoots off a quick email to Christian, even though she knows damn well how to text message, and tells Christian she is meeting Leila and that Christian shouldn’t worry because that is, like, totally safe.

Yourideasarebad

Ana primps a bit and pinches her cheeks so they glow, because (a) it’s vital to look good when meeting an ex and totally not vain at all, and (b) only whores use rouge. Gawd! Who thinks that way?! Oh right, Ana.

So the meeting begins with everyone acting super polite. After introductions, Ana’s assistant interrupts to say that Christian is on the phone. Ana declines to talk to him even though Hannah tells her “he was quite insistent.” Ana who has nothing but sympathy for her assistant sends her off to face Christian’s wrath, and quite possibly a bullet to the back of the head.

Scream

The two exes marvel at how Ana has captured Christian’s heart and tell her they call themselves ‘the Sub Club.’ Well, it doesn’t have the ring of the League of Evil Exes, but it’s a start. Then, after having made Ana thoroughly uncomfortable, Susi excuses herself to wait in the lobby.

The meeting is interrupted again by Prescott’s cell phone ringing. Can you guess who it is? Ana can, and she’s pissed. “What the fuck are you playing at?” Christian screams at her. Ana tells him not to shout at her and that they will talk about this “later.”

Honestly, Ana has picked the wrong time to grow a spine. This is exactly the situation in which she ought to let Christian’s people take over and handle it. But Ana is too dumb to even eat cereal without water wings, because after Christian yells at her not to hang up on him, Ana hangs up on him.

Dogbert

Ana heads back to the meeting and Leila says she just wants to apologize, and also to ask Ana for permission to see Christian. It turns out Leila has come here against doctor’s orders to see Christian, but Christian for some unfathomable reason doesn’t want to see her. Go figure.

But, she insists, it is super important for her to say these things personally to Christian. Without Christian she would be rotting in prison, and couldn’t afford art school. Ana is briefly angry – she had suspected Christian was paying out money to Leila. Well, she suspected it for a minute, until she forgot, and it was never mentioned again.

Ana tries to prompt Leila to leave by suggesting that she is missing classes. Leila isn’t worried, and drops the fact that Christian already has several of her paintings in his penthouse. Ana racks her brain to figure out which ones, but predictably comes up with nothing. Her brain isn’t the greatest.

Leila goes on to explain juuuust how much she loves Christian, before revealing that she know he’ll show up here and is in fact just stalling for time with all the small talk. Ana marvels at how smart Leila is to have come up with such a masterful plan.

And then there is a commotion in the lobby and Christian bursts in just as predicted. He is furious and fires Prescott on the spot. Ana is horrified as she and Prescott are now besties.

Christian gets right to the point – “What the fuck are you doing here?” he asks.

Laughing her villain laugh and twirling her villain moustache, Leila reveals that Christian has fallen right into her evil clutches! She never wanted to see Ana at all! But she knew that if she showed up, then Christian would swoop in to save the day. Apparently she also knew that Ana was too stump-dumb to just have her kicked out. But nevertheless, here is Christian in person, just the way Leila wanted!

EvilPlan

So her evil plan has come to fruition!

Her evil plan of thanking him in person for getting her mental health services and paying for an art degree to keep her hands busy and less, you know, shooty-shooty. So yeah. That was her plan. Thaaaat’s what we got all hyped up about.

Well, you’re welcome crazy bitch.

Christian tells her that if she ever shows up again he will cut off all her money for art school, her Doctor, and her medical insurance. This, to me, seems pretty dang fair. Ana is aghast, and internally pleads with Christian to stop bullying her. I guess he can read minds now?

Christian shoves Lela out the door with his ultimatum, and she agrees to leave. Ana is furious and tells Christian, “Don’t even think about being angry with me.” Welp he’s not only thought of it he has already achieved maximum fury. They fight about Ana defying him, and about him caring for Leila. And about the fact that Christian has told everyone but Ana that security has a list of people they aren’t to admit to see her.

That’s just fucking dumb. What did Ana think security was for if not to keep away the people who keep ineffectually trying to kill them? For shits and giggles?

Christian insists that Ana come the fuck home even though it is the middle of the day. Ana refuses, but then they play some head games and make some kissy-face and Ana changes her mind. Or “mind” rather.

They have magical sex, and we actually get to see it this time, although it’s just as implausible as we all remember. Afterwards, Ana forces Christian to admit that he still cares for Leila.

Then suddenly its 3 days later and we are hip deep in email.

TimeyWimey

Our crappy couple vaguely allude to all the naughty things they’ve been doing but which we never see. Then, Ana’s prolific emailery is interrupted by the phone.

She answers and it is José’s dad (who we have never met before) calling to tell Ana that her stepfather Ray has been in an accident and Ana needs to get there right away. So that’s like, two whole things in one chapter! Two things happened. Two! That’s pretty good considering our recent track record of zero things happening per chapter.

And we’re guaranteed at least one thing next chapter as we have to see whether Ray makes it or not. And if it has anything to do with The Sub Club or Jack, the Half-Assed Avenger. So that’ll be interesting. No, not interesting. I meant boring.

It’ll be boring.

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Chapter 15 of 50 Shades Freed is a Whole Lot of Nothing

So chapter 15 is YET ANOTHER chapter of filler. Another one. That’s what? Five so far? God-fucking-dammit 50 Shades move this story the fuck along already.

Slit

This whole book ought to have been a novella. Or maybe, just maybe, they should have actually used Jack, the Half-Assed avenger to good effect. He could have come up with some diabolical plan and Ana could have defeated him with her amazing ninja powers that she only remembers when she needs them.

But no. We don’t have that. Instead we have a whole chapter where the characters sit back and fucking talk to each other about the things they have done or are about to do, but we never get to see any of it.

to-do-list

We start out just as the weekend ends. Christian and Ana wake up and Ana notices her hand is still red from slapping that douche on the dance floor. Christian gets all concerned, and they proceed to tell each other just exactly how much they love and cherish each other. At. Length.

It is just as barf inducing as it sounds.

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Suddenly Christian gets all mad and grabs Ana’s hand to inspect it. “That fucker! He exclaims. And then, “I can’t bear that he touched you.”

Apart from the soap opera style overblown emotions…thaaaat kind of jealousy and anger is going to be an issue. No man may ever touch Ana ever. Ever. Let’s hope Ana never has to shake hands in a business meeting because that mofo is going *down*.

Then Christian kisses Ana’s hand and the pain “miraculously disappears.” Not only that, but Christian goes on to ask Ana why she didn’t tell him last night that it was hurting. The implication being that he would have healed it then. You know, it’s like everybody gave up at this point. There aren’t any magical vampires in this book, and somebody ought to have gone through and made sure that stuff was gone.

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But they didn’t.

So we’re left with some kind of hand-healing miracle via Christian’s billionaire powers. I mean, Gawd, even Batman isn’t rich enough to have fucking powers. What the fuck?

tangled gif

Then, hand all healed, Ana and Christian get it on. Oh yeah, baby! Not really. It isn’t pretty. Christian decides that it would be totally hot if Ana pretended to be struggling to escape and Christian pretended to be raping her. Well, I’m all for fun role play, but after all the creepwad shit that has gone on in this series, I am just kind grossed out.

Ana, of course, is mortified. She would never ever imagine that two people could seriously do something like that. She has some kind of imagination deficit, I think. She declines, but then Christian bugs her to do it, and she waves him off by saying she’s a bad actress. Christian, being the understanding and compassionate guy we all know and love, keeps bugging until Ana gives in.

Eventually Ana gets into the spirit of things, like all women do if you just force them hard enough…

Yikes

Afterwards Christian confides that he has never liked Mrs. Robinson and her evil BDSM ways, and that the FIFTEEN subs he slept with don’t count as sex partners, so really Ana is his first. OK dude, that’s totally reasonable. Totally.

Then it’s breakfast! Because we must never ever miss an opportunity to describe breakfast rather than, you know, move the story along. Ana watches out the window as Christian hits at the air with a bamboo cane, and gets super turned on. She wonders why the maid doesn’t appear disturbed by Christian doing this. I guess because it isn’t disturbing?

Then it’s later, and Ana is asleep on the plane. She vaguely wakes up as Christian buckles her seatbelt. She tries to do it herself, but can’t manage it. She’s an adult remember, one who can’t buckle a fucking seatbelt.

Why are we supposed to like her again? I forget.

WeHateYou

There’s another brief, pointless vignette where they are in the car heading back to Christin’s penthouse they both congratulate each other on being do generally awesome. Then they gripe about Gia, because despite everything, she is still the architect and they need to meet her. But thank every god in every pantheon we skip that and don’t have to deal with it.

Then it’s straight to bed, because why would we want to see our characters DO anything. Ana stares out at the night sky and thinks about how having children would totally fix whatever is wrong with Christian. She turns over and asks him if he misses…you know…stuff. She means the BDSM but she can’t even say it. Luckily Christian reads minds so he knows just what she means.

And he most definitely does not miss it. Not one bit. Ana gets whiny. Well shhheeeee misses it. Even though she hated it at the time. But she likes to screw with Christian’s mind. Christian is like, too bad, we are having vanilla sex. And they do, but of course we skip over that.

unacceptable

The last half of the chapter is a whole time-jumpy series of emails where Ana and Christian talk about the things they are about to do. Then we skip ahead, without them actually DOING those things, and then read emails about how much they enjoyed those things in the past. They allude to all the naughty things they have done, or are about to do but we never get to see them.

It was confusing at first because I wasn’t watching the dates on the emails, so I thought it was one exchange. All this scintillating emailery is interrupted every now and then by Ana’s assistant who reminds her about, you know, work. But as soon as the assistant leaves, Ana stops pretending to work and goes right back to emailing and fantasizing about Christian.

We gloss over a whole week this way. Ana sits in her office pretending to work and emailing Christian for a solid week. A week.

The only even vaguely interesting thing happens when Ana complains about Prescott (one of the Keystone Security Team) and Christian offers to fire her. Ana is furious. Fucking livid. But here’s the thing – Ana has disliked Prescott since day one (probably because she is female) but Christian offers to get rid of her and Ana is angry. Figure that out.

Finally, finally FINALLY we get to the end of the emails and find Ana at work. Maybe she’s still at work. We only have her word that she ever left, and we know how unreliable that is. Ana’s assistant knocks on the door while Prescott hovers outside. Hannah (the assistant) informs Ana that Leila is here to see her.

Leila.

Mrs. Robinson.

Ana’s first thought is to have Prescott kick her out, right? Right!? Because that would make fucking sense, right?!

Of course not. Ana thinks, “Fuck. What does she want?”

DramaIsComing

Chapter 14 of 50 Shades Freed: Anastasia Steele and the Hill of Beans

I’m really starting to wonder why this book even exists. I get that people wanted to find out the ultimate happy ending between Christian and Ana but this really could have been done in a couple of pages, say, as a flash forward like they did in Harry Potter. Drawing it out into a whole book is migraine inducing.

YzmaGif

Again, chapter 14 presents us with so-called “events” but they aren’t interesting, they are just…dumb.

Last chapter we left the gang in a restaurant – Christian’s brother was on bended knee asking Kate (the best friend) to marry him. The entire restaurant is enraptured by the awesome ringless proposal and goes silent. Kate draws out the attention for a ridiculous long time. Kate is silent, then starts crying, then smiles, then is silent again, and then finally says yes.

The entire restaurant gives them a standing ovation because they just care that much about some random stranger’s proposal. As the applause and cheering dies down Elliot finally pulls out a ring and presents it to Kate. I guess he didn’t want to waste it if she said no? Ana gets teary, but as the ring isn’t for her she quickly loses interest and doesn’t even bother to describe it other than to say it is ‘exquisite’.

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Ana has an ah-ha moment and realises that this must be what Elliot and Gia were doing in the jewelry store together. She is silently relieved that she didn’t bring up the Gia thing with Kate. Gawd! There is so much fake not-really-drama how can anyone bother to get worked up anymore? I mean, you know it is going to turn out to be nothing like it always does. Why even write these events? They add up to nothing!

There’s hugs and tears all around, and Ana makes much (internally, of course) of the fact that Christian calls Elliot by what we can only assume is a childhood nickmane – Lelliot. But then no one ever mentions it again, so yeah.

Christian orders a bunch of booze and Ana makes sure to mention that she is gulping it as everyone else sips. She doesn’t give a reason why…but I’m guessing that she plans to get monumentally drunk and put the attention back onto herself. Because we can’t have a night that isn’t about Ana. Ever.

Me

They head off to the most exclusive nightclub in Aspen, but of course they go right in because Christian is a super rich playboy. Since the wait-staff is all female, Ana hates them all, and their merciless flirting with Christian. After three books, Ana’s jealousy is getting really tiresome, and frankly a little pathological.

Christian, being the Weirdy Weirdeson that he is, order a ton of booze and bottled water. He feeds Ana drinks but forces her to drink full glasses of water between each. Oddly, Ana never has to pee the entire night.

Mia urges all the girls out onto the dance floor, saying they are going to “throw some shapes.” Now, I’m old. And out of it, so I had to look that up. Oxforddictionaries.com pegs it as British informal slang for dancing to popular music. This is a problem throughout the 50 Shades series. The characters, the same ones who are supposed to be all-American kids, are drowning in Britishisms. If they were Brits transplanted to the USA I would eat that shit up. But they aren’t. And Americans don’t talk that way.

Ana can’t dance, and in fact has never danced before, but she is wonderful at it – she has the Mary Sue’s innate talent for everything needed to move the story along. She wonders to herself why she spent the first twenty years of her life reading and not dancing. This statement makes no sense. I highly doubt that she did any reading at all for the first few years of her life. She just isn’t that smart.

She decides that it is because she was never confident enough. And since marrying Christian, her confidence switch has been set to the ‘on’ position. Sexing with Christian has given her the confidence to move her own body. What other magical things can Christian’s billionaire powers do? Can Ana paint beautiful portraits now? Can she read minds? Or play the holophonor?

Magical

But whatever.

The fun part is coming up…Ana dances away…enraptured by the awesome rich people music which is clearly more danceable than regular poor people music. She has her eyes closed but is thrilled when Christian comes onto the dance floor to play some grabass with her. Ana opens her eyes and is stunned to find that it isn’t her favourite douchenozzle at all! But rather some random douchenozzle is grabbing her ass.

Ana slaps him across the face, and the guy apologises. Then Christian comes up, actual real Christian this time and he punches the guy. Ana is frightened by the look of feral hatred on Christian’s face. Well, get used to it honey, this is your life now.

Ana decides to calm Christian’s irrational anger by using her secret weapon – her fan dance. She ‘weaves’ herself around Christian and calms his nerves with her hypnotic dancing. Sure she does. I am convinced!

Zoidberg

Once Christian is calm he is suddenly gleeful that Ana slapped Mr. Handsy Dancer. Violence is a total turn on! Apparently. Ana notices that Handsy-man has gone missing, and wonders if he just left, or has been escorted out by the authorities. I think the more likely answer is that he has been hustled off to an early grave by Christian’s operatives.

They dance for awhile, but Ana notices that all the other patrons have left them a wide personal space. I guess no one wants to set off the nutty Punchington Twins. They get tired of dancing pretty quickly, to the probable relief of all the other patrons.

Ana scolds Christian for getting punchy, and tells him it is a good thing that the paparazzi weren’t there to photograph it. Christian gets all cold and tells Ana that he has expensive lawyers. “No one touches what’s mine,” he says with, “chilling finality.”

Brrr…

GetInMyCar

They leave and Ana passes out on the way home. It has been a long night. Christian undresses Ana and takes her makeup off because she is too drunk to do it herself. Ana kicks Christian out of the bathroom while she pees, telling him she knows he’s, “one kinky son of a bitch,” but watching her pee is too much.

Oh. My. God.

PrudeAdvisory

Peeing in the same room as your husband is too kinky? Ana calls it “a step too far.” You know they haven’t married long when they can’t share a bathroom. Either that or they are massive fucking prudes. Take your pick, folks.

Christian dresses Ana in some PJs and sends her off to bed. Before she goes to sleep Ana has to make sure that Christian isn’t mad at her for getting felt up by Mr. Handsy. Because there’s a real danger that Christian blames her. But we’re all good, Christian is mad alright, boy is he mad! But not at Ana.

Ana goes to sleep, content that this is “progress.”

ImOut

The end.

Chapter 13 of 50 Shades Freed Serves up a Heaping Helping of Boredom

So now we are in beautiful non-skiing-weather Aspen. And still not much happens in terms of story.

waitinggame

Ana is all wowed because Aspen is super Richie Rich and amazing. She talks about coming back in the winter to ski, and Christian informs her that she is not allowed to ski ever as it is too dangerous. Skiing is not too dangerous for Christian btw – he is allowed to do it. So I guess she has to stay home and make the sandwiches while everyone else gets to ski?

Anyway, it doesn’t matter now because it’s the summer and there is no skiing to be had. Going to Aspen in the summer comes across as a calculated move by Christian: all there is to do is fishing and shopping. So Ana can pick from those.

Nothing

But first, of course, we have to get to the house. Taylor shows up at the airport with a minivan and has to apologise to Christian for the embarrassing ride. Then the whole gang (Asstian, Ethan, Mia, Kate, and Elliot) loads up into the Mystery Machine and heads for the haunted mansion…er…I mean, Christian’s super swanky chalet in Aspen.

On the way, there’s lots of boring small talk that really doesn’t advance the story line in any way, shape, or form. Ana notices that Kate isn’t talking much, and seems to be brooding over something. Ana can’t figure out what it is but decides that it must be because of Gia. Remember Gia, the so called slutty architect; the one who Ana hates for no good reason? Ana remembers that Gia designed Elliot’s Aspen home, so that must be what is bothering Kate. Does that make any sense to any of you? Because it sure as shit doesn’t make any sense to me.

But whatever.

They get to the house and Ana describes it as ‘modern and stark’. Because rich people in 50Shadesland only like one style of architecture and décor – white, white, and more white. Ana is a bit overwhelmed when she realises that Christian has staff here too. I guess she thought they’d be roughing it? Like a high end camping trip?

Christian introduces Ana to the housekeeper, Carmella. She’s an elderly granny-type so Ana doesn’t need to be irrationally jealous of her. So that’s nice I guess. She says that Christian’s tongue “caresses my name…” What does that even mean? Think about it: her name is Anastasia. How do you caress those particular letter sounds with your tongue? Those are stops and sibilants and what’s N? I’ll look it up.

Now if her name was Louisa, or Amaria, or say, I don’t know…BELLA, I could totally buy that. You could totally caress an L or an R sound with your tongue. Try it. Seriously. Do it. Nobody can hear you.

But again,

llama

 

Christian makes a huge show of carrying Ana over the threshold like a newlywed. The interior is all white and cream, and it makes Ana think of Gia again. They go on an uneventful tour of the house where we are assured that everything is plush and super expensive.

Ana makes a point of mentioning to Christian how much it bothers her being in a house that Gia designed. Seriously. She blurts out that she knows Elliot screwed Gia. Christian is all, “Elliot’s fucked most of Seattle, Ana.”

This is, of course, the only proper answer. Ana is scandalised. But then she gets teary, and Christian gets emo, and they make out for a bit. Christian insists they go have lunch so we’re cheated out of sex again. The gang eats lunch and then they decide to break up into boys and girls for activity time. The boys go fishing and the girls go shopping.

Shopping

Somewhere along the way Mia decides that they are all going clubbing, even though Ana isn’t allowed out and especially not in anything as revealing as one wears to a club. Mia and Kate force Ana to purchase skimpy clothes and ridiculously high heels. Ana, being the spineless jellyfish that she is, allows Kate and Mia to dress her in whatever they want, even though she doesn’t particularly care for it. Oh well, who cares? It’s Christian’s money they are spending.

Then comes the obligatory fakey drama for this chapter. Ana looks out the window of whatever overpriced store they are in and sees Elliot. Elliot is supposed to be fishing! But instead he has snuck into town to meet a woman! Not just any woman of course, it’s GIA. Hateful, whorish, underdressed Gia. Of course it is.

Now, Elliot and Gia don’t actually DO anything. They aren’t kissing, or holding hands, or whatever. Elliot walks into a jewelry store ALONE and when he walks out Gia is with him. They say goodbye and go their separate ways. As far as Ana knows it could just be a coincidence. The story isn’t clear where Gia is based, but she remodelled the Grey house in Aspen so she could very well live here.

But Ana is aghast.

Shocked

She is mortified, and scandalised and all the other similar words. She can’t decide whether she should tell Kate about Elliot’s horrid indiscretion, but in the end she doesn’t. Inside her head she wonders, “What the hell is Elliot Manwhore Grey playing at?”

Nice, eh?

The girls shop and then repair to the house for cocktails. Kate gets drunk and starts crying. It turns out the real reason Kate was upset had nothing to do with Gia. Quelle surprise! Christian was mad at Kate for taking Ana out for drinks so he called Elliot and chewed him out. Then Elliot called Kate and chewed HER out in turn. They haven’t really spoken since then, so Kate doesn’t know where they stand relationship-wise.

The boys get back from fishing, and Christian and Ana head off the have sex and a bath and more sex while everyone waits around for them to go for dinner and then clubbing. I’m delighted because Ana has started to actually use the word ‘groin’ in reference to her genitals. It’s not great, but it’s a start. I’m so proud of you, Ana. *sniff*

Theygrowupsofast

After the sex, Ana confronts Christian about seeing Gia and Elliot together. He tells Ana they are friends. And that Elliot is in love with Kate, even though Kate is gross. That makes Ana mad, and for once it should. Kate is her best friend, and yet Christian is always telling Ana how unattractive Kate is.

Ana gets dressed for the club and the emails Christian, who is in the living room, to come and check out her dress. She needs Christian to approve it before they can go out. Christian is angry of course. He loves the outfit, but not the idea of Ana leaving the house in it. However, he has decided to be the bigger person and allow Ana to wear it even though he disapproves. How big of him.

Presumably they head off to dinner without incident, and we rejoin them at dessert. We end off the chapter with a super awkward and contrived proposal – Elliot asks Kate to marry him as the entire restaurant looks on. The chapter closes not with Kate saying yes or no, but with Ana thinking, Holy shit!

Holy shit, indeed.

Futurama