Chapter 21 of 50 Shades Freed Gives You the Cold Shoulder

Last chapter:

Ana announces she’s pregnant; Christian goes batshit crazy and leaves; he comes home drunk and gets a text showing he’s spent the night with Elena.

This chapter:

Ana ‘gapes’ at the text like the slack jawed yokel that we all know she is. She gets her bearings and has a total fucking (but also totally silent) meltdown. She agonizes for 2 whole pages about Christian and how he has betrayed her by talking to Elena. There’s so much wailing and gnashing of teeth, that I’m not sure how Christian keeps sleeping right on through it. He must be really drunk.

Using her usual Vulcan logic Ana tells us in one sentence that it is always (always she says) one step forward and two steps back with Christian. In the very next sentence she tells us that they “move forward, inch by inch”. Those two things are opposites. The entire point of the one step forward cliché is that you are ultimately going backward.

These words, you keep using them…

Inigo

Then Ana has a brief moment of clarity. She’s a mother now (mother of a half dozen largely undifferentiated cells but let’s not nitpick) and she can’t let Christian keep ignoring her clearly set boundaries, like “stop associating with a woman who tried to kill me.” Wait. Did Elena try to kill Ana? So many people have tried to kill them I’ve lost track.

Let me check. Here’s something to keep you busy while I wait:

Ok. Elena did not in fact try to kill anyone. Hooray! Way back at the end of book 2, Ana and Elena and later Christian had a giant shrieking fight at Christian’s birthday party, after which Elena was forcibly ejected from the Grey mansion. But still, you’d think that would be enough to keep Christian away from her.

But you’d be wrong.

Ana has been betrayed (she tells us that like a million times) and she is going to make Christian pay. Even though Dr. Flynn said she should let him get away with being a whiney douche. Ana ‘hatches a plan.’

She forwards Elena’s text to her own phone, then proceeds to go through all Christian’s texts, and then, for good measure, all his emails. Ana’s Inner Goddess approves all these actions, and is today garishly dressed in jade-green silk. What that has to do with anything is beyond me.

dafuq

Ana finds nothing interesting from Elena, and she almost seems disappointed. She comes across an email form the IT guy regarding Jack Hyde and the files on his computer. Ana doesn’t know what to make of it so she shrugs and gets back to her plan. Her plan of sending Christian a nasty text and then locking herself in the playroom. That’s the whole plan. She’s going to insult him and then give him the cold shoulder. That’s…that’s genius.

sarcastic

Ana gets a spare duvet out of a closet and locks herself into the playroom to sleep. She thinks how odd it is that she finds the room comforting considering all the bad times they’ve had in there. Yeah. That *is* odd. But whatever. She sends Christian a text in crazy all caps asking if he would like Elena to be present when they discuss the text so he doesn’t have to go running to her afterwards. She turns off her phone and falls asleep to an elabourate fantasy that, instead of freaking out Christian falls on his knees with joy upon finding out that Ana is pregnant.

She plans to give Christian the “it’s her or me” talk in the morning.

The next morning Ana sneaks out of the playroom to find Christian frantic to find her. He has all his servants gathered around him and is shouting orders at them. Ana strolls through, ignoring Christian, and tells Sawyer that she will be ready to leave for work in twenty minutes. Ana makes an elabourate show of ignoring Christian as he follows her around demanding answers. Eventually she tells him that she isn’t interested in being married to someone who goes running back to his ex every time they have a fight. Which makes a surprising amount of sense.

But of course, as Ana makes clear to us, she doesn’t mean it, she’s just using the threat as a tool to manipulate Christian. It’s pretty gross. Christian sees it for what it is and turns on the extra strong sexy-vibes to try and break her resolve. Ana doesn’t break and it infuriates Christian.

Crazy
Ana rebuffs his advances. I’m going to quote it directly because its just that nutty all on it’s own:

“Don’t even think about it, Grey,” I whisper menacingly.

“You’re my wife,” he says softly, threateningly.

“I’m the pregnant woman you abandoned yesterday, and if you touch me I will scream the place down.”

His eyebrows raise in disbelief. “You’d scream?”

“Bloody murder.” I narrow my eyes.

“No one would hear you,” he murmurs, his gaze intense…

So yeah, he just totally implied that.

 

Creepyguy

They spend the next three pages insulting each other and generally not actually talking about the problem. Ana heads off to work crying and talking to the almost-not-even-there baby. Kate calls and Ana tearfully insists that there’s nothing wrong but that they can talk later.

After work, Ana goes home but Christian isn’t there. Two can play the Cold Shoulder Game. Apparently. At 9 pm Ana calls to see if Christian is with Elena. She says that. Right to his face. He hangs up on her. Ana briefly considers getting an abortion, but dismisses the idea within one sentence.

She sleeps in another room again, and when she wakes Christian has left the sexy-times silk tie on her floor, but has already left for work and still isn’t talking to her. That is some grade A, extra fancy creepiness right there.

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Christian sends Ana a terse email at work announcing that he is flying to Portland. And is furious and locks herself in the bathroom crying. Her assistant, Hannah, gingerly tries to get her out as Ana has a godamn business to run. She’s probably wondering just how long the company is going to last under Ana’s skilled leadership, and if she ought to be putting out resumes. Hannah finally extricates Ana from the bathroom because she has a freaking meeting to attend.

Ana claims that she manages to keep it together until after lunch, which, I doubt. The tension of the chapter is just ratcheting down a little after all the screamy emotional feels-a-thons when Ana’s phone rings. Ana doesn’t want to talk, but it’s Mia so she feels obliged. And it’s not Mia! It’s not Mia at all!

It’s Jack Hyde!

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In Which I Realise that We Are Almost Done this Book

I am so thrilled that I’m almost done this book. It’s like realising the dentist has finished your root canal and you just have to rinse a couple of times before you can leave. So that’s awesome. Of note: this chapter also contains the single best line in the whole book, and the one before it even. It happens in the middle of something else of a highly WTF nature, so I want to mention it here so we can savour it in its full deliciousness.

“The penny drops and rattles uncomfortably around and around in my empty head.”

Just let that sink in for a while. She describes herself as having an empty head. She’s not even being self-deprecating. It’s written very matter of factly.

Yeah.

So we pick up chapter 21with Ana and Christian skipping off to the play room for some dirty filthy sex. Outside the door Christian asks Ana if she’s really sure. Yep, she’s sure. But she just wants him to know, for no particular reason, and definitely not because she was snooping through his stuff, that she doesn’t want him to take any pictures.

Christian frowns suspiciously, and Ana is briefly scared that she has outed herself. But it passes and they head inside for the sex. Just standing in the Sexy Room is enough to send them both into paroxysms of pleasure. Ana is literally already panting.

Ana tells us that her inner goddess has already stripped naked and is standing in line for the sex. In line? With who?!  Are there that many personalities? Are they all going to have sex separately?

Ana strips and Christian makes a big show of tying the tie around her neck like a leash.

“What shall we do with you now,” Christian asks.

I don’t know, but just fucking do it, this is getting irritating.

Christian’s eyes are once again described as ‘molten grey.’ What does that even mean? Like liquid mercury? I don’t think that’s what she’s getting at. I mean mercury is a liquid at room temperature so his eyes are warmed slightly with some kind of tepid desire?

Christian shocks Ana by suggesting that he’s going to put a finger in her anus, which Ana calls “there.” This is going to be one confusing sex scene if Ana continues to call all her parts “there.”

Christian selects some nipple clamps and points out some of the features. Ana is thoroughly confused and tells us. “I’ll never catch up.” No Ana, you won’t. You’re kinda dumb.

But her inner goddess seems to know what’s going on as she “scissor kicks” her way onto a table so they can get. It. On. Whatever “it” is. Christian cuffs and blindfolds Ana, who is busy marvelling at how sexy all this is. She wonders, totally unironically, if one can lust after one’s husband like this. They are going to be married after all. I’m beginning to think she was raised by a troop of monkeys in the jungle, because she doesn’t really know anything about human interactions.

Christian then surprises Ana by rubbing her down with some heavily scented massage oil. Hope she’s not allergic! They never ask each other anything, so who knows? Unfortunately for us, she doesn’t die, so we have to finish out this awful book.

The sex does in fact turn out to be a little confusing. They refer to every orifice as “there” so when Christian inserts what seems to be a vibrating butt plug (she calls it a plug, but it could just be a vibrator) I’m not 100% sure where it got inserted. Later Christian does in fact put a finger in her butthole, so I’m guessing the other thing must be in her vagina. Nothing says sexy like not quite knowing what is going on!

Ana describes her orgasm as falling down into a ravine. A wide, wide ravine. That’s straight from the book.

She is a bit looney toons…

Then they have sex on the bed, but they don’t bother describing it, so I assume breakfast is on the way. They make stilted pillow talk and then lapse into a cloying heart to heart. They fade to black for more sex, and then finally(!) some damn breakfast. They get up, and decide to have shower sex instead, but we skip that too, because dammit it’s time for breakfast!

Ana showcases her vaunted culinary skills by poaching salmon steaks with lemon (gasp!), boiling potatoes, and making a mystery salad. She then *emails* Christian to tell him lunch is ready. He’s in the frigging next room. Why would she not just walk to the door, or call out, or at least text for God’s sake?

Ana texts Kate, whom she’ll be seeing at Christian’s birthday party tonight. Kate tells her she’s looking forward to a looooooong chat. Geez, she means it – look at all those o’s.

Christian doesn’t come out for lunch, so Ana goes to get him. Christian mentions how much he likes Ana’s sundress, but then tells her she’d better not wear it out of the house because Ana isn’t allowed to look good in public. Ana gives him the big W.

To punish her for thinking about wearing her dress in public, Christian calls Ana’s father and tells him about their marriage plans, which Ana had wanted to do. Ana’s shocked and angry, but talks to Ray (her father figure) and convinces him it’s ll okay by telling him that Christian is her “happily ever after.” Apparently that’s all he needs to hear, because Ray starts crying and tells them to visit some time.

They finally eat, even though the food is probably cold and gelatinous by now. Over lunch the whole “I was snooping through your stuff and found your lewd photos” thing comes out. Christian assures Ana that it isn’t what she thinks. He didn’t take (and keep) those photos because it was sexy and he wanted mementos, NO! He did it for blackmail purposes. So that makes it all okay!

Well, I’m relieved. I thought for a moment he wanted a reminder of pleasent memories like some kind of gross pervert. But it was actually good, wholesome extortion. That’s just good sense!

Christian does mention in passing that the pictures were supposed to be in his safe, and Ghost-girl ( I forgot her name already) must have moved them when she broke in. No one seems worried about that.

They quickly change the subject to birthday cake, and how Ana is going to make one. Christian goes back to his study to “work” and Ana sneaks away to call her mom before Christian can do it.

She makes a big show of leaving the apartment in her sundress to piss Christian off. It works. Ana is thrilled that she can annoy her fiance so thoroughly. I’m no expert but I suspect that this kind of hijinks is going to get old FAST. Ana’s less fun personality, the one with Dumbledore glasses, berates her from inside her head.

Ana returns with birthday cake ingredients and our crappy couple has awesome, mind-boggling make-up sex. I assume, because we fade out *again*. We do, however, got a long loving description of the chocolate cake, so at least we get something.

At long last they head out to Christian’s surprise/not surprise birthday party at the Grey family manor. Carrick welcomes them warmly and everything seems great until Kate emerges from who knows where and freaks the fuck out.

She pulls Ana into another room, and waves a printed out email in Ana’s face. “What the fuck is this?” she demands. It turn out to be one of her private emails to Christian discussing “the contract.” Remember that?

Ana is aghast, and we end on that happy note. Next chapter I predict a 100% chance of pointless drama, with a 30% possibility of comedic misunderstanding clearing up later in the day.

 

Chapter 21 of Fifty Shades is Tea-riffic!

So, to recap chapter twenty: blah, blah, blah, I don’t care, blah-ty bling blah blah. Chapter 21 starts as Ana wakes up. Damn. It happened again. Ana wakes up and thinks about how Christian’s fantasy Richie-Rich penthouse life must be a way to compensate for his mother being a crack-whore. Good theory except Christian has explicitly said he has no memory of his mother. She died when he was four ffs! And then he was raised by rich people.

Agh! She’s so dumb she rolls her eyes at herself. Then she’s glad Christian isn’t there because he’d beat her for doing that. That’s the number one sign of a healthy relationship. The beating.

Ana starts looking around for Christian in just a t-shirt and runs into Christian’s maid. Who offers her tea, and who Ana is immediately sure is one of Christian’s exes. Actually forget what I said earlier – these two are perfect for each other. Ana finds Christian in his study and interrupts him on a business call. After some perfunctory small talk, they have sex on Christian’s desk. I. Am. Totally. Serious. And it gets worse. He sweeps all his papers onto the floor with one swift motion so they can get it on. Cue funky porn music! Does it get any more clichéd than that?

No. It does not…

Ana heads off to shower, and is offered tea by Christian’s maid, which makes Ana blush furiously. Sigh. In the shower she thinks about Christian, and asks her Subconscious, and then her Inner Goddess what they think about the situation. Then she makes an admission that makes my whole millennium: “No,” she says, “we’re all clueless.”

Yes!

Finally you understand! You are clueless. You and all your weird multiple personalities.

After the shower Christian’s maid plies her with tea again. This is at least the third time. It’s sooo British. Wouldn’t you like a nice cup of tea? Just a little drop? What would you say to a nice cup?

Who is she? Mrs. Doyle?

Feck off indeed.

Then to breakfast! And the scintillating conversation therein! (And by scintillating I mean this. These people give me a headache.) They talk about Ana’s trip to visit her mother, which Christian is suddenly OK with. He tries to force her to take his private jet because, hey, private jet, but Ana refuses. She’s baffling, non? Why pass up all the perqs (and yeah, I’m that kind of stubborn pedant) of having a boyfriend who’s as rich as God?

Then they get all kissy-faced and googly-eyed and will-you-miss-me? Bleck *I* won’t miss either of you. In fact I hope Ana’s plane smashed into Christian’s penthouse in a fiery-fireball of fire. Too much to hope? Ah ye of little faith…

Then Ana heads off to her interviews. Remember them? We’re still operating under the sham that Ana is a fully functional person who can work. But instead of letting us see it happen, Ana tells us that the interviewers ask sharp questions, and that she wows them. But we’ll never know for sure. The few things we do get to hear make me doubt her account. Her only question for the interviewer is, “When would you like someone to start?” How awkwardly was that phrased? Not ‘what is the start date for this position’? Not ‘when should I expect to start, if you decide to hire me’? When would you like someone (anyone!) to start?

Ana you are the weakest link! Goodbye!

She goes home to pack and Kate gets all concerned-roommate-y with her. It’s tiresome because this is one of the only two modes Kate has: Concerned Kate, and Angry Kate. Yawn.

Then more email. Ana emails Christian to say the interviews went well, and waits with bated breath for Christian to answer. Oh God this is gripping shit! What is this, 1997? Who does this anymore? They exchange 8 emails in total. Ana accuses Christian of sleeping with his maid, and they nitpick each other’s grammar. Zzzzzzz…

I wake from my book-induced coma to find that Ana is at the airport where she is furious (furious I tells ya) to find out that Christian has had her upgraded to first class. That rat bastard!

Aaaand, cut! That’s where we leave our crappy couple because chapter 21 is over. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster…