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.

Offpudding

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!

Nottoothpaste

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.

magicmeme

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!

poof

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Take a Cruise on the Rub Boat in Chapter 4 of 50 Shades Freed

Back on the Rub Boat Ana is booooooored! Cruising the French coast in a super awesome yacht gets old reeeaalllll fast. Apparently. Besides, Christian has been TCB for like a whole hour and hasn’t been available for either soap opera drama games or sex. Jerk.

Never mind that Christian is taking calls about the fire in his office, and whether it was you know, arson, all that matters is Ana and her boredom. So, she decides to stir up some shit. She goes off to find Taylor and ask him to give her the jet ski so she can go ashore for some shopping.

Knowing what a crazy weirdo Christian is, and knowing that his job depends on keeping him happy, naturally Taylor is reluctant. Ana tells Taylor she will clear it with Christian. She bursts into Christian’s office on the sea and forces him to hang up on whoever it is he’s talking to. She announces that she is going shopping and that it’s OK because she’s taking security. Knowing Christian will say no, she doesn’t bother to ask about the jet ski.

Ana then lies to Taylor about permission to take the jet ski and off she goes. We spend nearly 2 pages detailing just how delicious Ana’s illicit use of the jet ski is. Christian emerges on deck and is horrified to see Ana having, you know, FUN without him. When Ana finally gets to shore she can see from their faces that the security team has gotten an angry phone call from Christian.

Taylor tells her that Christian isn’t comfortable with her riding the jet ski. Ana is notably not sorry at all for getting Taylor yelled at, in fact she tells him off as well. Ana says she’s very fond of Taylor but doesn’t appreciate being scolded by him. Dude. The guy is passing on a message from his boss, who pays him to do such things. No need to be a bitch about it.

But in Analand there is always a need for drama. It’s like the need for speed, but with drama. She has a nama for drama. Then suddenly Ana rethinks her actions and feels sorry…for Christian. Why is she causing drama when he has other things to worry about?

Well honey it’s because you’re an immature, selfish, baby. You can’t help it, much like Jessica Rabbit, you’re just drawn that way.

Christian then calls her to cuss her out for pissing him off, but she acts all cutesy and whispery and begs him not to be mad. It works, and he tells her just to be careful in the future. Suddenly everyone is happy again and Ana’s off to shop.

But first! First! Ana needs to ‘fire up’ her Blackberry and fucking email Christian with whom she just got off the goddamn phone! Why the hell isn’t she using BBM? Why email when Blackberry has its very own proprietary instant message system? Or even text messaging for God’s Sake. What 20-something in the 2010’s uses email?
She thanks Christian for not being too angry, and his reaction is basically:

“His response makes me smile.”

Ana, once again, is happy at the results of kicking her own personal wasp nest. Mission accomplished! So now that that’s done, she realises she doesn’t actually want to go shopping. In fact she hates shopping. So this whole debacle was for the single purpose of making Christian angry because she likes it when he’s angry.

But now she’s committed to shopping so shop she does. She buys a cheap jingly ankle bracelet, to help her feel more connected to her white trash roots. She says, “This is me…” yeah, cheap and kinda crappy. The jokes, they write themselves.

Then Ana goes off looking for something to buy for Christian to take his mind off his problems. She has an idea! (I know, unlikely) Ana decides to call Jose for advice. She tells José how great things are, and like everyone in this book Jose is mad. They never really had a proper love triangle going, but José still acts like a jilted lover. Ana goes on to explain her plan which involves Christian taking naked pictures of her. I’m sure José just fucking loved that. But we’ll never know because we skip over the most interesting part of the conversation.

Ana buys the camera and heads back to the boat. She finds Christian and has a brief pang of fear because he looks mad! I have to say that if you are afraid of your significant other every time he or she is mad then maybe that’s not love. I’m just saying.

Christian unwraps the present and is confused because he already has a camera. Ana has to spell out that it is a special camera. For taking portraits. Of Ana. Naked.

Christian is horrified! Naked pictures?! Of Ana?!

Christmas Christmas Eve animated GIF

“Why do you think I want this?” he asks Ana. He is seriously, genuinely confused. He gapes, looks, pained, scrunches up his eyes. I think the over reacting in this scene has given me cancer.

He whispers, “I’m so confused.” Suddenly Ana is whispering too. Christian explains that when he takes pictures of women it is so he can objectify them, and he doesn’t want to do that to Ana. Do actual people ever talk that way? I suspect that they don’t. And if they do they should stop doing that right now. Because it’s fucking weird.

There’s more wailing and gnashing of teeth, until Ana gives up trying to understand it which is probably for the best. She tells Christian that she is going to objectify him and starts taking pictures. Then for no apparent reason they have a tickle fight and crazy unrealistic makeup sex.

Then all logic and reason, and storytelling get thrown out the window. Not just thrown out the window, but also stomped on and possibly set on fire. For no real reason they snuggle and recite their wedding vows. The whole thing. People do that all the time right? Then Ana starts crying, also for no reason. Then Christian decides now is the time to reveal that THEY are after him, and THEY may in fact be after Ana too. Who the fuck are they?!

Then Christian also reveals that he has gone to the police about the fire. Holy fuck this is serious, dudes, because Christian has dealt with every other problem personally, even the time when his ex tried to kill Ana.

Then suddenly they are at Versailles and Ana makes sure to insult Christian by pointing out that this is the sort of thing ‘despotic megalomaniacs’ do for their wives. Hint hint. She isn’t doing so well keeping herself rooted is she? Get this woman another cheap bracelet, STAT.

Then they are back on the boat, and Christian has work to do. I am fucking amazed because Ana has discovered Skype chat! She can talk to Kate without freaking email! She did it! I’m so proud. *sniff*

Their exchange doesn’t seem to have any point. I’m not sure why it is even there. Kate asks about the fire, and Ana can’t talk about it and she tells Kate as much. No. Not really. She changes the subject and calls it her “patented distract-tenacious-Kavanough technique.” Kate is sooo tenacious in her quest for answers that she can’t be bothered to ask again. But Ana still thinks to herself, “Trust Kate to be on the trail of this story.” Yeah, that was some next level investigative detectivising that Kate just did there. Asking about a thing. Once. And then dropping it. Yeah.

And then we are at Versailles again. Christian tucks Ana’s hair behind her ear and then walks away all emo-like. As he is leaving Ana notices he has NO REFLECTION. Like all magical…um…billionaires. Then Ana wakes up. For fucks sake it was a dream. In case you weren’t clued in by Ana waking up, Christian turns over and tells us it was a dream.

It was a dream, people! A dream!

We end chapter 4 in bed, having woken from a dream. Maybe this whole thing will have been a dream? Maybe Ana will wake up into a well written story? We’ll find out in chapter 5, when I read 50 Shades so you don’t have to.

Chapter 3 of 50 Shades Freed is So Fudged Up I’m Not Even Mad, I’m Amazed

We left off in chapter 3 with hickeys. Ana’s chestal area is covered in hickeys and she is mad as hell. But not just hickeys, also bruising welts on her wrists and ankles from the handcuffs. Ana wonders how she didn’t notice Christian doing this. Here’s her answer:

“Mr. Orgasmic was using his fine-motor sexing skills on me.”

Soooo…his penis has fine motor skills?

I’m not mad, but Ana is mad, whoa baby is she mad! In all the time they have been together, Christian has never given her a hickey. Well, of course not because you aren’t pimple faced teenagers. You would think. Apparently Christian is a vindictive baby. Ana knows that he has given her these hickeys to punish her for going topless.

Well, if he can be an immature dolt, then so can she! Ana stamps out of the bathroom, through the bedroom, and into the walk in closet. Ana decides that isn’t immature enough. When Christian tentatively asks if she is alright she throws a hairbrush at him. I guess you’d call that the tat for tit approach?

Chuggaaconroy by IndieTimber

Please forgive me, Oh Lord of Bad Punnery!

Ahem.

Ana decides to take the reasonable, grown up approach and storms out of the room, out onto the deck and off to the other end of the yacht. Eventually Christian follows her to see how mad she is.

Ana says, “On a scale of one to ten, I think I’m at fifty.”


Christian responds the way any mature adult would, by sneering that at least Ana will have to keep her top on now. Well, no. No she doesn’t. In fact wouldn’t it be nice if Ana went topless sunbathing and the paparazzi that they are so wary of took pictures of all the bruises? But of course Ana doesn’t think like that. Or at all.

She retorts that leaving marks is a hard limit. Well, if she is going to be that way, her going topless (at a topless beach) is a hard limit for Christian! And surprisingly, Ana thinks that is a good deal. But if she thought for a minute or ever at all it would be obvious that those aren’t the same thing. Ana’s hard limit is he can’t do a certain thing to her body i.e. leave marks. Christian’s hard limit is that Ana can’t decide what to wear or not wear.

But she doesn’t think. If she did, maybe she would compare them to the scars on his own chest, and suggest that marking other peoples chests, especially out of anger (and not because Ana wanted him to), is not OK. But this isn’t that kind of book. What kind of book is it? It’s the kind of book where Christian lamely apologises and then Ana scolds him.

“You are such an adolescent sometimes.”

Then as soon as the words are out of her mouth she remembers Dr. Flynn’s warning that Christian is emotionally stunted and that she just has to put up with it because he’s broken and ill and such a poor baby. And that makes it all A OK.

ok-flanders

However for good measure Ana reminds Christian that she is an expert at throwing and shooting, so he had better watch himself. Nice, so not only is Christian making threats, now Ana is too. This might be the healthiest relationship ever. They should teach this book in health class as the ideal relationship. Equality kids, the place where both people threaten to shoot each other!

So no one is angry anymore, and they waggle their eyebrows seductively for a bit, and then decide to eat gazpacho instead yadda yadda yadda. Then there is crème brulee which we are assured is ‘delicious.’ Wow, that description! I feel like I’m eating it myself.

By way of crappy small talk, Ana asks why Christian always braids her hair when they have sex. Have I mentioned it? Because he does. It’s such a small puff of swamp gas in a vast sucking bog of whatthefuckery that I may have missed it.

Christian answers blandly that it’s so her hair doesn’t catch on anything. Then suddenly he goes all emo and distant – he’s clearly having a montage. If this scene doesn’t lead to a montage of some hapless sub being accidently strung up by her hair and the subsequent scenes of hiding the body, then I will be a simian’s half aunt twice removed.

Ana quickly changes the subject and asks why she wasn’t allowed to pee before sex last night. Or today. I forget. Christian claims that having a full bladder makes orgasms more intense. Yeah, I’m skeptical about that claim, but whatever. Ana is so flustered by this answer that Christian changes the subject.

They finish their meal, dance for a bit and then yadda yadda through the makeup sex. Afterwards, Ana reflects on how much she loves sex with both Angry Christian and Sorry Christian. She can’t decide which one she likes better. She doesn’t mention Happy Christian. He sucks.

Ana follows Christian into the bathroom to watch him shave and suddenly we are having a flashback to that time when Ana shaved her vag but didn’t do a good enough job to satisfy Christian so he held her down and did it himself. Remember that? Good times.

Okay, he didn’t hold her down the whole time…he just nagged until he got his way and then let go. But still, he doesn’t have a good sense of “things that are not OK” and that this is one of them. And really, why is Ana still such a massive prude? At one point in the argument she tells Christian it is “wrong” for him to shave her. But Christian finds it hot so it happens anyway.

Then we are back in what passes for the present in this book where Ana is going to punish Christian for shaving her vag by shaving his…face. Goddammit! I demand my money back! I want some hot ballsack-shaving action and I want it now!

She never shaves him anyway – they kiss and Christian suggests they go ashore and pick out some art for the new house. Ana thinks about the new house and is consumed by jealousy when she remembers the architect that Christian hired to remodel the house is a woman. And the brazen whore has been talking to Christian! About the house! As if that were her job!

In fact, she is so mad that Christian notices. She distracts him by lying and saying she’s hungry because she knows how much he likes to force her to eat meals. I’m not sure if they actually eat, but they do go ashore and look at art galleries. Ana is disgusted by artsy pictures of disgusting nudes. Instead she picks out a five thousand euro picture of peppers.

They eat lunch, and on a full stomach Christian dramatically reveals that the REAL reason he likes to braid Ana’s hair is that he used to braid the crack whore’s hair. You know, when he was 3. Plausible. Ana thinks it is not only plausible, but positively adorable. She tells him he must really have loved his birth mother. Christian, of course, is furious. He tells her he doesn’t want to talk about ‘that shit.’ Except, you know, he brought it up. Ana was content to go with his ‘so it doesn’t catch on stuff’ answer. But somehow this is her fault.

This couldn’t get any more screwed up, right? Wrong. Oh God, sooooo wrong. While Christian steams silently, Ana reflects on how sooper hawt it is that Christian will never be over his abusive childhood. She is attracted not so much to his beauty, but to “his fragile, damaged soul.” That’s in there. Let me repeat that: she doesn’t want him to get better because being all busted is so hot.

Sweet Zombie Jesus! These two need to run far, far away from each other and never look back. But then it gets even worse. How, you ask? Well, Christian calms down a bit and notices the bruising on Ana’s wrists. He feels bad and feeling bad feels bad. So he buys Ana a thirty thousand euro cuff-style bracelet to hide it so he doesn’t have to feel bad anymore.

The last bit of the chapter is, I guess, supposed to be dramatic or suspenseful or something but it fails to be either. They drive back to the boat, and Christian gets a phone call telling him his server room has had a small fire. There isn’t much damage, and it was easily put out, but we are clearly supposed to think it is sabotage.

Will next chapter see the craptastic return of Half-Assed Avenger Jack? Will we forget about the incident entirely? Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. And neither should you.

Chapter 1 of Fifty Shades Freed is Full of Timey-Wimey, Mixed-Metaphory Whatthefuckery

We ended off Fifty Shades Darker on a weird note. Both previous books have been told from Ana’s perspective – we get a full dose of the disjointed craziness that passes for Ana’s thought process – all her personalities, and random exclamations, all the ‘Oh my’s and ‘holy crap’s. Then, without warning, we jumped inside the head of Ana’s fired ex-boss Jack for the last couple of pages as he recounted his supervillain-style plan for revenge to no one in particular.

So when I started Fifty Shades Freed, I expected something…different.

When we ended the last book, it was Christian’s birthday and our crappy couple had just announced their engagement and were about to consummate the announcement in the boathouse. And then…and then…sigh.

Suddenly, we have a third person narrator who tells us that Christian is having a night terror. Christian is three, and his mother is dead. He drinks water from the tap and eats frozen peas from the freezer until his mother’s pimp shows up and kicks him in the head. He wakes up and the police wrench him screaming away from his mother’s corpse.

He wakes up screaming, and proclaiming that Ana is sunshine and goodness and light. For some reason that isn’t adequately explained he tells Ana that they can leave the “obey” part out of the vows, and begs her not to fight about it anymore. Except that, as far as we know, they have never fought about it before.

Then suddenly they are on the beach in Monaco at a super poshy-posh resort and ALREADY FREAKING MARRIED. So there goes any and all pretense of suspense. Hope you weren’t emotionally invested in being surprised. Because too fucking bad. No surprise for you.

Apparently Jack doesn’t pan out as a supervillain, because our crappy couple is happily married and now on their honeymoon. Soooo…whatever.

But then we’re back in the boathouse just in time to not see any of the sex. I’m not sure if this is a flashback or the previous bit was a flash forward. And seriously, for a dirty sexy filthy book, 50 Shades sure takes every opportunity to skip over the sex. Ana assures us that it was passionate and exhausting though. Just trust her she’s a totally reliable narrator. Totally.

They decide to get married in one month at the Grey mansion and suddenly they are in Monaco again. Ana begs Christian to slather her in sunscreen like some kind of sexy buttered bread slice. He tells her, “it’s a dirty job…but it’s an offer I can’t refuse.” Sweet mixed metaphor dude! Ana asks Christian if she can go topless, and of course he says no. Ana smiles to herself, because his jealousy and possessiveness is soooo endearing. She says that.

Ana naps, and then they make out in the surf. Christian asks if she wants to have sex in the water in front of everyone. Ana says yes, but as usual, Christian says no. Why does he do this? Why offer if you are always going to say no? Why!!!!????

So instead of having sex, Christian goes swimming. To punish him for being an asshole, Ana takes her bikini top off and proceeds to sunbathe topless, even though Christian said she wasn’t allowed to. Oh well, he’s buttered his bread, I guess he’ll have to lie in it.

Then we’re back at the wedding right at the ‘you may kiss the bride’ part. Everything is pink and cream and silver. Christian tells Ana she can’t change out of her wedding dress until he says so. Wedding dresses are super uncomfortable. Christ, what an asshole.

He sends her to pack a bag in her full wedding regalia, since they didn’t have the presence of mind to do it before. What the hell happened to all Christian’s servants and staff? Why don’t they pack it? They bought her an entire wardrobe without Ana even being there.

After the reception Ana sheepishly feels like she has to announce to all her family and friends that she isn’t allowed to change out of her wedding dress. They are as amused as you’d imagine. Ana’s mom reminds her that she didn’t agree to obey, which is the second time that’s come up. This had better turn out to be damn important somewhere in amongst all the flashbacks and forwards and whatnots and whozits.

The wedding guests all join hands to make an arch for them to walk under. Even though they agreed to have a small wedding, the arch is long enough to reach all the way around the front of the mansion. The guests pelt them with rice, because apparently in magic fantasy world rice doesn’t kill all the birds and people still think it’s okay to throw it at weddings.

They take off on Christian’s private jet, but not before Ana points out to us how jealous of her the female co-pilot is. Nice. Christian reveals that they are going to visit a laundry list of stereotypical romantic destinations for their honeymoon.

They spend their wedding night in flight, and so they join the proper mile high club. Not the shitty sorta-high-up-but-not-really club, like in the last book. Christian finally lets Ana take off the dress, underneath of which Ana has the pinkest, frilliest, girliest corset/garter/stocking set ever made.

Ana practically goes into convulsions at the thought of having sex with Christian. They finish stripping and then Christian flips Ana from her back to her from and back again several times before they actually have sex. It’s like some kind of…erotic…juggling act.

They very nearly have sex and then Christian wakes Ana up by shrieking bloody murder at her. Sexay! He is absolutely furious that Ana is topless. We end the chapter with Ana being inexplicably surprised. I mean, she did it on purpose to piss Christian off. And now it’s somehow not completely predictable that he is pissed off? Whatever.

In sum: Fifty Shades Freed appears to have knocked it up a notch. This is a whole new level of what-the-fuckery we’re dealing with here. We’re through the looking glass here people: I don’t even know what to expect.

I Join Team Asteroid-Death-From-Space in Chapter 20 of 50 Shades Darker

We have another short chapter and I count that as a win. A win for Team…umm. Not Team Ana or Team Christian. Team Cyborg-Asteroid-Death-From-Space maybe?

I don’t know anymore.

Sooo…last chapter Ana morphed into Scrooge McDuck and agreed to marry Christian in lieu of buying him a birthday present. It’s like Ana thought to herself, what’s the cheapest thing I can get? Oh wait, it’s me! Is that the cheapest shot I could take? Yeah, probably, but I stand by it.

This chapter opens with Christian being very surprised. Very, very surprised. He’s so surprised, in fact, that he forces Ana to state explicitly that she is hereby agreeing to marry him. You know, for the record.

They kiss and spin around like they are doing the Safety Dance. Ana reiterates that she thought Christian was dead. Oh well, who cares what Ana thought? Not Christian that’s for damn sure. He’s all of a sudden angry. Wait a minute, he realises, Ana gave him this surprise gift BEFORE they went to see Christian’s therapist. So that means he has been worrying all these days for no reason.

So he’s mad and then happy because “retribution is in order.” He means sex by the way. Sex is in order. Ana takes a step away from him. She’s pretty sure he is teasing but feels it’s necessary just in case he isn’t. It’s charming how Ana can never really be sure if Christian is going to hit her. And by charming I mean disturbing.

Christian hoists her over his shoulder and drags her squealing to the shower and drops her in with the cold water on full blast. Ana giggles like a mad hyena, and all this leads to another bout of weird creepy shower sex. Ana makes a huge show of washing Christian’s chest even though she knows he doesn’t like it, and he’s repeatedly asked her not to.

The main dynamic of this relationship seems to be stoically putting up with the annoying, even triggering, things your significant other does for the sake of not being alone, and also getting regular sex. Sure, I’m betting lots of real life relationships are exactly like this, but it sure isn’t my idea of an ideal fantasy. Why can’t they both actually like each other? And enjoy doing things that are mutually enjoyable? They don’t actually have any COMMON INTERESTS. I just don’t get it.

Wouldn’t a fantasy relationship involve meeting a person who actually likes the same things you do? Or introduces you to things you like even better? Because 50 Shades isn’t written that way.

Christian makes a show of washing Ana’s hair, and then Ana makes a show of washing Christian’s penis. Ana exclaims, “Oh yes! It’s so arousing.” That dialogue…it’s so…stilted. I’m fairly sure a person who talked like this would fail the Turing test. But! now they are both squeaky clean. Like Tupperware. They proceed to have eeky-squeaky shower sex, I soo hope the movie includes appropriate sound effects, because that’s how I imagined it.

Listen!

Ana takes time out from the sexy times to interact with her Inner Goddess personality and point out that  it…she?…is wearing Harlot Red lipstick. There’s just so much wrong with this passage. So every time they have sex, one of Ana’s personalities shows up dressed like a whore? Because harlot is just a mildly nicer word for whore. So she’s a whore for having sex with one partner ever, in a monogamous relationship? That’s just stupid. And honestly why do I care what her multiple personalities are wearing today?

They lay in the shower for god knows how long after the sex, because they are too lazy to even stand up. Eventually they get out after serious pruning starts to set in. Christian tells her she looks beat. And they make a whole beat = beaten “joke” that doesn’t manage to be even a little bit funny.

Christian finally admits that there was some serious danger happening in that whole helicopter fiasco and they get all emo for a while. Ana chides Christian for being too jealous of José and Ana being together to stop and call anyone after the crash, and Christian waves it off again.

They finally go to sleep, and the next morning Ana gets up early to make Christian breakfast in bed, even though he has a maid who does that, and Ana can’t cook. José is already up and makes the obligatory jokes about Ana marrying Christian because he’s rich. This brief interaction makes Christian’s douche sense go off and he comes out to act all possessive and strut around.

my douchebag senses are tingling

The menfolk then talk about their manly pursuits: fishin’ and huntin’ and killin’ things. After breakfast José leaves and Christian makes a huge deal about him wanting to get into Ana’s pants. Ana tells him to cut it out and he gets all defensive. He’s all, Whoa I don’t want to fight. Except that *he* brought it up out of nowhere to lord over Ana. So let’s just say I’m skeptical.

Ana gives Christian her second present. A wooden model helicopter with solar powered rotors. Christian is as excited as a five year old with a bag of candy. He is apparently lost in wonderment that the blades can spin all by themselves.

“Solar powered, he murmurs. “Wow.”

Then:

“Look at that,” he breathes, examining it closely. What we can already do with this technology.”

Yes. Sweetie. We can make pretty toys. I…I don’t even know. He doesn’t seem to be humouring Ana, but he is way too taken with something that mundane. The guy is supposedly an expert on alternative power sources so this shit ought to be quite old hat for him.

Then Dah Dah Dum! The third present!

Ana cryptically remarks that she isn’t sure whether the present is for her or him and Christian is predictably intrigued. Inside the box is a card asking Christian to do “rude things” to Ana. Honestly. Okay. Rude things, huh? You look really fat in that nightgown. And you’re kind of a bitch too. Also I’m going to make plans to meet you for dinner at eight and then not show up or even call. Rude enough?

Inside the box is the tie from waaaayyyy back in Book One when they used the Red Room that one time. You know, when Ana broke up with him because she didn’t like it? Well, it’s his birthday so she is going to damn well put up with it for him.

For some reason Christian is anxious, even though he’s the one who likes it. And Ana is eager to get it on even though she doesn’t like it. Ana ends the chapter thusly: “Finally!” My thoughts exactly, Ana. My thoughts exactly.

Finally!!!!!!!!

image

Ana and Christian Join the 1/6 of a Mile High Club in Chapter 18 of Fifty Shades Darker

The surprise from last chapter is surprising in the sense that I didn’t expect it, but I also don’t particularly care, so there’s that. Christian takes Ana to see a beautiful but somewhat rundown house with huge grounds and a view of ‘the Sound.” My American geography is pretty lacking, but some part or other of the Pacific Ocean is clearly visible.

Ana doesn’t realise that they are there to look at real estate, so she is confused about whom they are here to visit. She is immediately jealous of the real estate agent for being beautiful and well dressed, but then decides that the real estate agent is in fact jealous of her, because she is dating Christian. All this before the agent can say one word.

Christian basically ignores the agent and takes Ana straight to a back window to admire the view. Ana claims that now Christian’s intentions are perfectly clear. Are they?

Ana is wonderstruck by all the beauteous beauty. Christian reveals that this could all be hers if only she would stop that infernal thinking and just marry him already. Ana is surprised; her mouth drops open. Yeah, apparently his intentions weren’t so clear. It slowly dawns on her that the lady they just met is the real estate agent, and not some rival for Christian’s affection.

Oh, and Christian would totally tear down this awful tacky house to build a futuristic green-washed house. This causes a minor tiff as Ana likes the house the way it is – broken down and dumpy. They are interrupted by the realtor who has the unmitigated gall to want to show them the house. Ana muses randomly about how much she hates horses, and and and oh my god this sucks!!!!!!

Sorry. I just had a moment there. Christian asks if Ana likes the house, and when she says yes, he gasps dramatically and they make out for a bit.

They head out to “The Mile High Club” for dinner. Apparently rich people enjoy crappy puns more than regular people do. The club is on the seventy-sixth floor of the Columbia Tower, so that’s roughly 822 feet. There are 5280 feet in a mile. So more like the One-Sixth of a Mile High Club.

Just sayin’.

In the car on the way there Ana asks if Christian will sell his penthouse to afford the house they just looked at. Christian practically facepalms at this, and tells her he can definitely afford both. Then Ana asks if he enjoys being rich, and he gives her the only appropriate type of answer – a sarcastic one. Christian then has to remind Ana about the reason they are going for dinner in the first place: her promotion. Ana had forgotten about that.

They flirt lamely at the bar while they wait for a table. Ana asks Christian if he is flirting with her. It is supposed to be cute and coy, but she asks so many times over the course of the book that I’m starting to wonder if she really doesn’t know. For fun, Christian tells her to take off her underwear while they eat, even though Christian doesn’t do anything in return.

Ana heads to the bathroom to strip off, and wonders why Christian affects her so. Well, it’s because you’re a poorly written Mary Sue, sweetie. Don’t feel bad, you couldn’t have known. Then we get a surreal paragraph about Ana’s inner goddess, involving feather boas and fuck-me shoes. I just. Don’t. Even. You know, I’m pretty sure they can medicate that.

Back at the table Christian has already ordered, because who cares what Ana wants to eat? They eat oysters, make lame flirty small talk, and then they eat sea bass, a food which Animal Crossing has totally ruined for me forever. At this point, I’m just feeling sorry for the poor waiter. I hope he is well paid.

Christian refuses to make out with Ana at the table, and this is even more super hotterer than actually making out. For some reason, Ana brings up the Non-Disclosure Agreement from the first book, and Christian tells her to throw it away.

Christian tells Ana, “I’m very glad you’re wearing a dress.” And then this happens:

The word bam is actually used here.

Ana fellates some asparagus, and then bites the tip off! She tells us Christian moans because that is so hot. I’m thinking that it’s a more different sound, for a more different reason. Bam, indeed.

They decide to go home and finger fuck in the elevator, with like a half dozen other people stuck along for the ride. Ana finds it sooper hawt that they can have sex so stealthily. “They have no idea what we’re up to.” Oh Ana, they know. They are just afraid to look back and see what’s going on. Then they’d have to stab there own eyes out. I mean, you guys aren’t being exactly quiet about it. Christian tells her not to come in the elevator because he needs that for later. Ummmm…okay. Female orgasms aren’t exactly a scarce resource, but whatever.

Back in the Saab, Christian asks her if she’d like to have sex in the car. Ana is delighted but Christian says no again. Why does he keep asking?! They get to the magic sex elevator and make out some more. Christian begs Ana to marry him, and Ana begs for more time to think about it. All these interactions seem like Bilbo playing riddles with Gollum, except with gross, barely credible sex.

They have sexy sex in the foyer, and Christian asks Ana to do something extra naughty – keep her eyes open during the sex. But, Ana can’t do that, it’s too naughty. Right about now, I’m realising that the BDSM part is me having to read this. That is some meta shit right there. Honestly, that’s about as out there as it gets in this book. That must be why boring middle aged women like it so much.

They have sex an undisclosed number of times but don’t bother describing any of them. And why should they? Pervert. Ana falls asleep imagining Christian as a boy again. It’s really grossing me out. Every time they have sex, she fantasises about Christian as a child. It’s just. Wrong.

Then it’s the next day and Ana gets ready for work. She thinks of a great idea for Christian’s birthday present (which is so secret she can’t even tell *us* what it is), but it definitely requires riffling through his underwear drawer. Things seem to be going along well for our crappy couple, so it’s time to introduce more Fakey Drama™. Ana finds a box full of pictures of Christian’s old subs, taken in the Red Room. Ana is shocked! Shocked and appalled! She finds the sexy fuck tie from book one (which she reveals is what she came for) takes it and hurries out.

Ana is so distraught that even the maid asks her what is wrong. She asks her for the key to the playroom, takes something that she can’t tell us what it is, and then heads to work. On the upside, Christian is already gone so he can’t forbid her to drive her car. On the drive in, she thinks about revealing her photo-finding secret instead of, you know, the road and driving on it. In the end she decides it’s better if Christian doesn’t know about her snooping.

Ana gets to work, and her days of diligent editor-ing are already over. It’s time to email Christian! Christian hints at all the places they could be having sex. Ana hints at her snooping expedition, even though she was not going to tell him. It’s a good thing she isn’t in charge of any national secrets. She would be like the worst spy ever.

Well, her first instincts were correct, and now Christian is all mad and refuses to answer her. She reminds him she is going for drinks with José, and he still doesn’t reply. Ana flips out and immediately starts phoning him. She gets the voicemail, which sounds clipped and angry. I’m not sure if Ana is projecting here or if he actually changed his voicemail to sound extra rude.

Well that leaves Ana with no other choice. “Reluctantly I continue my work.”

Employee of the year!

Ana’s phone rings and it still isn’t Christian. It’s Kate, the only relatively normal person in this story. Kate turns drinks with José into a college reunion by inviting herself and her brother along. José shows up at the office, and Claire, receptionist and refugee from 1957, buzzes Ana to tell her how dreamy he is.

Ana’s work day is finally over! She heads out to the bar, and José regales her with the story of how his first post-graduation art show paid off all his loans and left him with enough money to throw around. Credible! He throws in the obligatory insult about Christian, because apparently everyone Ana knows is a petty asshole.

Kate and Ethan show up, and José is immediately jealous of him too. Ana heads to the bathroom to text Christian, although I have no idea why she couldn’t just do it at the table. She gets back to the table and tells José that she is worried about Christian. And then like magic: the phone call.

It’s Christian’s brother Elliot, calling to say that Christian’s helicopter has disappeared. “Charlie Tango?” Ana whispers.

I almost get the feeling that Elliot ought to have specified that the helicopter AND Christian were missing. But who cares? Christian is dead! Maybe Ana can date somebody normal and healthy this time! I’m sure that’s what the next book is about, right? Right?!

Don’t ruin this for me.

Chapter 15: Anastasia Steele and the Severe Work-Slacking

Back in Chapter 14 our characters finally got up from the kitchen floor, only to collapse in a crying heap in the bathroom. They cry and cling together on the floor until they both get bored and go to bed. Fucking finally, this day is over.

But wait! Ana wakes up thirsty and hung over at 3 am. Ok, so last chapter Ana and Christian were fighting in the kitchen at 11:30 pm. Sometime shortly after this Ana flees to the bathroom and cries. Christian follows and they, “sit like this forever.” I’m assuming that means a long time. So when Ana wakes up at 3 am, she’s had, what? 25 minutes of sleep?

Does a hangover come on that quickly? I don’t even know anymore. This story is sucking the logic out of my head! Ana goes and gets some orange juice and Advil brand headache remedy ™. Her headache is gone “immediately.” That is some magical fucking Advil. Pass some this way Ana.

Ana looks out the window and thinks about how much she has to think about. And how little brain power she has to do it with. She shakes her head, and takes a deep cleansing breath and gives up on this thinking business because thinking is hard.

Anyway it’s good that Ana’s hangover is gone because she heads back to bed to hear Christian having a screaming night terror.
Ana can feel his fear. They kiss, and then Ana can apparently feel that too. “Desire sweeps through him…” she says. Really? Ana seems like the wrong kind of narrator to be making those sorts of observations. She says it prompts the, “same familiar reaction.” Just how familiar can it be, they’ve only known each other for a few weeks?

Our crappy couple proceeds to get it on )while crying of course). Ana briefly gets freaked out thinking about how she looks like Christian’s mother and refuses to go any further. Christian whines and begs until Ana changes her mind. Christian reminds Ana that she doesn’t have to proceed (even though he just got done begging).

“Don’t give me a chance to think, Christian.”

Yeah. Nobody really has time to wait for Ana to think anyway. I mean, we only live 120 years max. But HOLY MIXED MESSAGES BATMAN. Ana has been bitching about needing time to think, and ‘process’ the whole situation.

Christian tells Ana AGAIN that she is going to ‘unman’ him. Like, more than the crying? What does that even mean? I don’t even know what he’s getting at.

“Whoa.” Ana thinks.

Bill and Ted woah

All we are is dust in the wind, dude. Dust. Wind. Dude.

Then they are crying and fucking and ‘onward and upward’-ing, and just before the main event, Christian tells Ana to let go. And she says no. No. They actually argue briefly about whether Ana will or will not have an orgasm. It’s weird. And wrong. But it doesn’t matter because eventually Ana explodes. Kaboom!

Explosion Gif

So I guess we don’t have to deal with her anymore.

Sigh. Not really.

Christian gets all clingy and weird. He promises Ana love and marriage and children and anything else she wants. What Ana wants is to talk to his therapist. Not for her own issues, but to get the 411 on Christian. Christian is in super cling-on mode and agrees. Ana reassures him again that she isn’t leaving, and then has him describe his nightmares, which revolve around finding his birth mother dead, and having her pimp butt out cigarettes on his chest. We’re supposed to feel sorry for the poor guy, but since his character is in no way likeable my heartstrings totally fail to be tugged.

They finally go back to sleep and wake up 15 minutes before Ana needs to be at work. Christian wheedles and cajoles but she refuses to stay home with him. He pours on the charm, and Ana describes his smile as ‘full HD IMAX.’ So…it’s 16 metres tall and 22 metres wide? That’s a serious problem. No wonder he has such a huge penthouse. He needs it to fit his freakishly large face.

Ana waltzes into work ‘only’ 15 minutes late. Her boss, Jack, so recently cock-blocked is feeling pretty cranky. He snaps at her for being late, and suggests that maybe she ought to do some work for once.

What’s his problem? Ana wonders. She actually wonders that. We’re supposed to think it’s because she won’t date him, but given Ana is telling the story and she’s a little, well…‘you know’ in the head, I think he’s mad because she is a terrible employee.

Ana is aghast that Jack expects her to transcribe a letter. A whole letter! And his handwriting is sooo hard to read! Ana heads back to her desk and spends the morning emailing Christian, talking on the phone to Jose, and daydreaming. Honestly. I swear. To. God.

Jack sneaks up behind her and asks where his letter is. Not done, that’s for sure. Ana’s got better things to do. Jack isn’t impressed.

“What is eating him? Ana wonders.

Ana whips off the letter and has the unmitigated gall to be upset when Jack tells her it is full of mistakes and needs to be done over.

“Holy fuck. He’s being unbearable.” Ana thinks to herself. Yeah sweetie, it’s totally him. Keep telling yourself that. She briefly wonders if her boss has a personality disorder. That’s how clueless she is.

Back at her desk, she talks on the phone to Ethan, who later comes to the office and hangs out for a while. She insults her boss, and then realises he is watching her. Smooooth. Leering Boss an sends her for his lunch and Ana exchanges even more emails with Christian. To which I ask, who the hell even emails anymore?

Email is for old people

Christian emails to tell Ana to call him because it has been ever so long since she last wrote. No really. She calls him to say she is not, in fact, dead and they play an extended game of “You hang up. No, you hang up.”

Ana’s boss is as thrilled as you would imagine, and Ana has the cluelessness to ask him if she has done anything to offend him. He tells her that he’s in no mood to talk about it and sends her off in hopes that maybe she’ll do even one bit of actual work.

Instead of work Ana heads out to lunch! At the coffee shop across the street she has an extensive think about Christian and just how broken he is. She has a revelation – “it strikes me like a thunderbolt,” she claims. What Christian really needs is unconditional love. Like every-fucking-one else. Sigh. She starts crying, and reassures herself that Christian isn’t totally busted, he just needs to learn the “little things” like “boundaries” and “empathy.”

Those are the little things?! Then what the flying fuck are the big ones? If Christian hasn’t managed to pick up empathy by this time, he is not going to. Don’t forget Christian was raised by awesome rich parents from age 3 onwards. If they couldn’t foster any empathy, then empathy ain’t happenin’.

All this thinking takes a lot of time, and it makes Ana late getting back from lunch. You know, as much as she says she wants to work, she seems to be trying really hard to get fired. Back at work, she lies to her boss about being downstairs photocopying. He makes her stay late, in the vain hope that she’ll do some work.

She sticks her tongue out at him and talks on the phone to Mia (Christian’s sister) who invites her to a birthday party for Christian. Ana realises that she had no idea of even this basic fact. She knows little or nothing about this man she just moved in with. To remedy this fact she emails Christian until the last page of this chapter.

She claims to have gotten all her work done by six fifteen (fifteen minutes before quitting time). Phew! Just in time! Now angry boss man will be normal and happy again, right?

To celebrate she heads to the break room for cookies. Evil Satyr Boss follows her, saying, “At last I have you on your own.” And then he licks his lips. And laughs his evil laugh. And twirls his villain moustache.

And that’s where we leave Ana – with her hand in the cookie jar, possibly about to get raped. Is there any real suspense? No. I don’t believe for one second that Christian won’t come charging in at the last moment to save the day. But maybe it’ll be Taylor. Or maybe the building will explode and everyone will be put out of my misery. Which will it be? We’ll see next time in chapter 16. I guess. Maybe.