Ana and Christian and the Relationship Cliche Playbook: Ch. 20 of 50 Shades Freed

Another mercifully short chapter; after all this time they don’t get easier to read.

Ana has just been told that she is pregnant and…dramatic soap opera-style fade to black.

The chapter starts like this:

“I gape at Dr. Greene, my world collapsing around me.”

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You just know it’s only going to get better from here. I’m predicting lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth; lots of dramatic, eye-scratching overreacting. I mean think about it. Ana’s filthy rich. Filthy stinking rich. She doesn’t need to work, she can afford the best medical care (this is the USA after all), and a whole fleet of servants to raise her child for her.

So really that’s a pretty minimal interruption to the Crazy-making Gaslight Sex Show they have going on here.

But Ana is overcome with a serious case of the vapours after hearing the news. She has to sit down, and drink a glass of water. The only thing she can think to do is whisper, “Shocked.” When she regains something of her composure she asks Dr. Greene how this happened, “I thought this was a reliable form of contraception.”

Dr. Greene answers this in the only sensible way. With smug sarcasm.

“It normally is, when you remember to have the shot.”

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Meow!

Of course, being the patient focused modern thinking doctor that she is, Doctor Greene lays out all Ana’s options. The options are: having an ultrasound to check how far along she is, and getting a prescription for prenatal vitamins. Those are the options. ALL THE OPTIONS. It’s that kind of book.

So Ana has the ultrasound, and it isn’t just any ultrasound, it’s an ultra-sexy, totally unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound. For Science. Ana reacts to being vaginal probed by thinking, Holy Fuck!

Thaaat’s disturbing. They never explain just exactly what she means by that, and that’s prooobably for the best. So, long story short, Ana sees the little bundle of barely differentiated cells on the ultrasound and is immediately in love. In LOVE.

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But wait! She’s also torn! Ambivalent, even! Because she thinks she should be at least 30 before having kids. Why? The reason women put off children is to further their careers and win some financial security. But Ana’s husband just bought her a company. So that’s not an issue. Biologically she’s exactly the right age to have kids. Not too young, not too old.

And also, Christian will be mad. Oh yeah. That guy. He’s always mad, so who cares?

Ana doesn’t know what to do with herself now, so she heads off to work and tries to pin the blame on her assistant for moving her appointments without telling her. Then she does what every red-blooded American does when faced with a problem: she has a cup of tea.

Then we interrupt our emo-feels-fest for some email. Christian is playful and happy for once, and Ana gives him the cold shoulder. Christian asks Ana what is wrong and she tells him she’s “fine.”

Uh-oh guys! We know what that means!

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At the end of the day Christian is ‘wary’ when he picks her up at work. We all know that when a woman says she’s fine it’s woman code for “Holy crap is everything ever wrong and you’d better guess what it is or else!” Ana continues to pretend there’s no problem as they go to visit Ray. Nothing of note happens, but as they are leaving Ana promises to come back the next day. In her head she thinks, “That’s provided Christian hasn’t locked you away…or worse.”

Or worse? What does she think he’s going to do? Kill her? Is that not some kind of red flag?

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At home Ana refuses to eat, and Christian, finally sick of the head games, demands to know what the flying fuck is wrong. Ana tells him that she is pregnant, and it turns out all her worrying was for good reason. Christian. Flips. The fuck. Out.

He spends an entire page screaming at Ana, swearing and berating her. He calls her stupid; he accuses her of doing it on purpose; he drops dozens of F-bombs. Finally, he shouts, “Oh, fuck this!” and storms out.

Mrs. Jones comes to comfort Ana, having heard the ruckus. Ana asks her for a glass of wine, but Mrs. Jones gives her the hairy eye and she asks for tea instead. Mrs. Jones tries to push food on her, reminding her she’s eating for two now. But Ana refuses. She texts Christian, but he doesn’t reply. Ana hunkers down in the foyer and waits for him to come back. And he does come back, drunk as a skunk because we’re operating by the Relationship Cliché Playbook here.

Oddly enough, Ana realises that Christian is a lot nicer drunk and less of an asshole. She gets him sort of undressed and into bed. He passes out after having made some encouraging remarks about the baby. Everything is just about to end on a quasi-positive note!

Then Christian’s BlackBerry buzzes and, like every attentive wife, Ana reads his text message. It’s a text from that bitch-troll-whore-queen, Elena, aka Mrs. Robinson(!) thanking Christian for the “visit” and telling him not to fret as he’ll make a wonderful father.

That bitch!

Dramatic Gasp!

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Paging Doctor Plot Device: Chapter 19 of 50 Shades Freed

So Ray is aaaallllll better now aaannnnd cue the crying. Ana cries with happiness. Ray asks where he is and if Ana can bring him a glass of water. Ana goes for the water and then skips, literally skips, back to his bedside.

Christian is all, fucking finally! He wants to have Ray transferred to Seattle so they can go home and Christian’s mom can watch Ray. Ana isn’t sure Ray is well enough to be moved, I mean he literally just woke up, and like two days ago the doctors were ready to give up on him. But Christian doesn’t care – he just wants to get the hell home.
They go back to the hotel and Christian suggests they celebrate. What follows is this delightful moment of what-the-fuckery:

“Celebrate?”
“Your dad.”
“Oh, him.” I giggle.

She forgot already? Just keep swimming Ana, just keep swimming.

They decide to celebrate by staying in and eating tarte tatin. Oh please, no need to have characters with plausible taste or preferences, just google “rich people food” and have them eat whatever is the top result.

Then this exchange happens:

You’re going to try to take over the world? Oh, no sorry, my mistake. They are going to have sex. But not just any sex, no way. Normal sex isn’t life affirming enough. Ana wants something life affirming. Great!

You know what is super amazingly life affirming? Being tied to a sofa with a the sash from a bathrobe! Ummm…apparently.

Well, I guess pretending your love life is a hostage situation *is* kinda like snatching life from the jaws of death.

Heh heh.

I said snatch.

But I digress.

The sex is, of course, as implausible as ever. Christian puts his “two middle fingers inside,” Ana and I’m left to wonder just how many fingers this dude has.

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Ana orgasms on command even though Christian barely touches her. Although in happy news we are actually using the word ‘clitoris’ now pretty regularly, so there’s that. Then Christian gets his billionaire freak on in less than a paragraph, so I guess it’s good that he took care of Ana first.

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Afterwards, Christian asks:

“LIFE AFFFIRMING ENOUGH FOR YOU?”

And it’s in these weird-ass all caps too. Yeah Ana, I GOT YOUR ‘LIFE AFFIRMING’ RIGHT HERE BABY. They are lying in bed, and Ana makes a point of mentioning that Christian is still fully clothed. But how did you? Didn’t you just? I mean…

Wha?

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Then for some reason Ana suddenly morphs into Gollum; she spends half a page whispering and cooing at Christian about how ‘precious’ he is.

Christian, naturally, is skeptical. He knows he’s an asshole. After the whole Lord of the Rings thing wears off, they go at it again. Ana tells Christian she is going to fuck him with her mouth. One supposes that means fellatio, but one never knows with this book. And we never find out for sure because we skip over to the next day.

Christian informs Ana that a police detective is coming to interview Ana about that whole thing where her boss tried to kidnap and possibly kill her, which seems like it happened a million years ago, but probably was only a week – the timeframes are weird in this book.

They visit Ray, who Ana describes as itchy and scratchy.

Itchy AND Scratchy?

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Not much of anything happens except some pointless placeholder scenes to kill time until the police detective shows up. He tells us that Jack is accusing Ana of sexual harassment, as if that in some way excuses sabotaging the helicopter, and trying to kidnap Ana. Christian is furious. And yeah, that makes sense because what does that have to do with anything?

The only reason I can see for this scene is that Christian and the detective mention a cryptic note, but they never explain what they are talking about, and Ana never asks. But if the note turns out to be important, then this scene was the flimsy pretense for introducing it.

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We skip to the next day and Ray is already in Seattle. So either Ray was well enough to move or Christian just used his billionaire force-wave to convince them.

Ana is just leaving, having helped Ray get settled in his new room. Her phone vibrates, but she ignores it. As Ana is leaving her personal gynecologist (who I guess has an office in this hospital) runs into Ana by an amazing and totally not forced into the narrative coincidence. Thank goodness, because Doctor Plot Device urgently needs to speak to Ana. Ana has cancelled four (count ‘em – 4) appointments to renew her birth control prescription and Dr. PD MD wants to know why. Ana denies having cancelled any appointments, which is just lame but sure, whatever.

Dr. PD ushers Ana into her office insisting that Ana needs her birth control shot, like, yesterday. But first, since it’s so late they’d better do…

Dun dun dun!

…a pregnancy test.

With surprisingly little ado, or suspense even the test comes back positive. The chapter ends with much wailing and gnashing of teeth as Ana processes this not all that surprising news. I mean, honestly. Oh well, I almost can’t wait until next chapter to see how Ana tries to break the news to Christian.

Almost.

Yeah. Not really.

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Chapter 18 of Fifty Shades Freed: Maximum Put-Offitude

So…once more into the breach. I guess.

This chapter is really just more of the same thing from last chapter. Ana worries about her dad, and Christian tries desperately to focus the attention back onto him. It’s kind of off-putting. I mean, it would be off-putting if it were possible for me to be put off of these characters any more than I already am. I am at maximum put-offitude here folks.

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So, Ana wakes (it’s the next morning)and has a moment of peace before she remembers where she is and why.

“Shit! Daddy!”

She actually says that. Out loud.

Christian is at the end of the bed just…staring…at Ana and waiting creepfully for her to wake up. He tells Ana he has already called the hospital and Ray is just fine so Ana shouldn’t worry her little head about him. That’s because it’s Ana’s birthday and so its time for all the attention to be on Christian where it belongs.

He gives Ana a tiny gift that’s pretty clearly expensive jewelry because what else do rich guys buy?

The card reads:

“For all our firsts on your first birthday as my beloved wife.”

Christian can’t pretend for even one second that Ana’s birthday is about Ana.

AllAboutMe

The gift turns out to be (surprise!) jewelry. It’s a charm bracelet with charms commemorating all the things they’ve done together. For some reason not one of the charms is a riding crop or a butt plug. Whatever. The only concession to sex is an ice cream cone.

“Vanilla?” he says, by way of explanation.

VanillaIce

They feel all the feels and admire each other’s amazing smell. That’s the vanilla, folks. Also Ana cries for good measure. They kiss and then, oh baby, then it’s time for breakfast. It’s Ana’s birthday so Christian orders breakfast for her while she gets dressed because Ana’s birthday is all about Christian doing what he wants.

Ana announces that she is going to brush her teeth and Christian smirks at her. What? Why? Why is he smirking? Ana doesn’t even know. Did he shove her toothbrush up his ass? Did he put jizz all over it? Just tell us!

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In the end Ana decides to use Christian’s toothbrush instead. Good idea.

They eventually head to the hospital but they aren’t in such a hurry that they don’t have tme to make out in the elevator. Because they have this thing for elevators. And Ray is in a coma so why would Ana want to hurry to his side?

Why indeed.

Ana tells us that Christian hasn’t touched her in 24 hours (!) so that’s clearly the priority and not her father and his inconvenient dying. I mean, clearly they have touched each other in the last 24 hours, they just haven’t had actual factual sex. Priorities people. Priorities. They discuss renting the elevator for a day, perhaps right now. What a great idea! Ana doesn’t have any family in the hospital possibly dying.

Oh wait.

Priorities

They finally make it outside the hotel, and off to the hospital right? Right? Wrong. Christian has a surprise for Ana. It’s a super expensive car that she once mentioned in passing that she might like. Ana is thrilled out of her mind. Finally a proper gift.

They kiss and dance and jump up and down and then finally FINALLY go to visit Ana’s dad. Ana speeds like a maniac in her new car even though her dad is in the hospital because of a car accident.

But rules don’t apply to Ana, only to other people.

Christian wanders away while Ana visits her father, who is “the same.” He is about to get a CT scan so Ana goes to hang out in the waiting room until the results are back. Christian is on the phone yelling at his dad to “throw the book at” the driver who hit Ray. Even though they drove like maniacs to get to the hospital. I just love the fact that Christian’s father is revealed to be the District Attorney just when it becomes convenient. If this were Lord of the Rings the eagles would swoop in right about now.

Christian finishes up his tantrum and hangs up the phone. He’s thrilled to find that Ana is done with Ray and all the attention can be on him again. He’s pissed when Ana tells him they are staying to see what happens with the CT scan.

Christian huffs into a chair, and makes some cryptic phone calls, and when Ana realises that she should let her mother know about Ray, he tries to convince her not to. They make some awkward small talk and Christian tells Ana that he works so hard because he doesn’t want to be poor, but also that he doesn’t work hard at all because his business is a game, and one he finds easy to win. Soooo…

Nothing

We skip the results of the scan and join our crappy couple out for a careen in the new car. Ana assures us that Ray’s brain is back to normal, even though yesterday they were leaving it all in God’s hands. I guess God did a good job. Hooray God!

They drive around like maniacs, endangering everyone else on the road and then head off for lunch. We don’t hear anything about the restaurant or the lunch but of course we hear about how the waiter was totally coming on to Ana. These two are the most paranoid jealous freaks ever. EVER.

They visit Ray for a few minutes and despite being totally normal now – tooootally normal – he’s still unconscious and on a ventilator. Just like normal people. Ana stays until evening (however long that is) and then Christian insists that it is supper time.

As they are leaving the hospital, Christian gives Ana some sexy lingerie, and assures her that he will be taking it off of her later, because nothing says sexy like visiting your parent in the hospital. Well, her dad was completely naked last chapter. For some reason…

Back at the hotel Christian has booked a private room for them to have dinner. For no reason that’s apparent to Ana, Christian insists that Ana get all tarted up in some skimpy satin number that he sent his servant out to buy. Ana doesn’t think it will fit, but it does. It always does. Because of Christian’s magical billionaire powers.

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Then, despite insisting that Ana be dressed up like a streetwalker, Christian goes to the dinner in jeans and a button up shirt. They get into the elevator, and it’s filled with girls who slobber over Christian. Or at least that’s what Ana tells us. Personally I think she’s delusional.

They get to the private room and SURPRISE! It’s a birthday party for Ana! Ana is totally taken by surprise and so am I, because that is so grossly inappropriate. They couldn’t hold the surprise party off until Ray got better? Apparently not. Christian has flown everyone in just for the party.

Even Ana, selfish oblivious Ana, mentions it. Ana’s mom is all, Oh he’ll be fine, who cares? Well Ray is her ex-husband so that’s understandable. But no one else cares either – not Jose, not Jose’s dad, and obviously not Christian’s family. So we spend a moderately gross evening celebrating Ana’s birthday into the wee hours of the morning.

Back at the hotel room Ana thanks Christian for the party and the gifts and then we skip over more sex. Then suddenly it’s breakfast, and Ana’s birthday party is back on. She opens her birthday presents over breakfast and then everyone goes to visit Ray.

Later in the day, Ana comes back alone to visit Ray and finds that the doctors have taken him off all his machines. Perhaps Jesus is taking the wheel again? Whatever the reason, Ray isn’t dead, but he still isn’t awake. Ana reads him the sports page of whatever local newspaper and lo and behold! The magical healing power of sports brings Ray back from the brink of death.

We leave Ana squealing with delight as her dad isn’t dead! Yay for not being dead!

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