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Day: March 15, 2013

50 Shades Freed recap Chapter 10, MERLIN EDITION

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Thank you, everyone, for sending me links and outrage over E.L. James’s upcoming writing how-to guide. I’m going to just ignore the whole thing until it blows over, because otherwise I’ll drown my inner goddess in a public toilet.

In case you weren’t already horrified at the number of young women reading and wanting to emulate 50 Shades of Grey, check this shit out:
[View the story “50 Shades merchandise at teen store” on Storify]

I’m actually pretty concerned about this, in a really annoying, mom way. Look, Claire’s. Icing. Let’s have a chat.

I know that 50 Shades is the hottest property out there right now. And I know that as a business model, you guys push whatever is hot at the moment. If it’s Twilight, you offer Twilight merchandise. If it’s One Direction, you sell One Direction stuff. That’s a good strategy, because teens are fickle and their tastes change. Also, they’re not teens forever, so you have to be able to target the next group of teens and their fickle tastes. I get it.

But dude. I have a daughter. The last thing I want her to be interested in is 50 Shades of Grey. She’s too young to fit your target demographic, but someday she will be a teenager, and I beg of you: think before you merchandize.

Look, I’m not afraid of teens knowing about sex. I think the more teens know about sex, the better, really. But I don’t think they should be learning it from a source like 50 Shades of Grey. The sex in 50 Shades is unrealistic, negative in the portrayal of a female’s role in a sexual relationship, and portrays fairly standard kink as a symptom of a battered psyche. Let’s not even start on the relationship, which is all about emotional manipulation and the woman pleasing the man, being responsible for his behavior and mental health, yadda yadda. And the outright abuse, there’s that, too.

Basically, I’m not objecting to teens being exposed to sex. I’m objecting to them being exposed to unhealthy relationship models exhibited in fiction that was written for adults. Because when you’re telling them to want the t-shirt, you’re also telling them to want the abusive dickhole in the book.

Just do me a flavor here, Claire’s and Icing: stop carrying this merchandise. 50 Shades isn’t for your ideal customer. Stop, please, just stop.

End pointless appeal to heartless corporation.

If you follow me on twitter (@Jenny_Trout) or you started following me and then unfollowed me because I tweet so goddamned much, then you probably know that I’m watching the tv series Merlin on Netflix right now. Like three or four years ago I watched season one, but that was all there was on Netflix at the time, so I kind of wandered off and never thought to pick it back up again. Now, I’ve started from the very beginning, and I’m challenging myself to illustrate these recaps with ONLY Merlin .gifs I’ve found on Tumblr. Let’s see what happens. (And if you don’t watch Merlin and you’re all, “No! I’m going to be left out!” don’t worry, because it’s just for this one post. I have to grasp at straws these days to make these recaps bearable for myself.)

When we last left the Escala, Ana had just come home to find Jack Hyde unconscious in the wrecked up foyer:

“Is he – ” I gasp, unable to finish the sentence and gazing wide-eyed and terrified at Ryan. I can’t even look at the prone figure on the floor.

“No, ma’am. Just knocked out cold.”

Relief floods through me. Oh, thank God.

“And you?” I ask Ryan.

No, he’s not dead, either. Thanks for asking.

To her credit, Ana asks about Mrs. Jones, too. Which shocked me, because Ana is the most self-centered human on the planet. Mrs. Jones asks Ana if she’s okay:

I nod briskly and realize she’s probably just come out of the panic room that adjoins Taylor’s office. Who knew we’d need it so soon? Christian had insisted on its installation shortly after our engagement – and I had rolled my eyes. Now, seeing Gail standing in the doorway, I’m grateful for his foresight.

Oh my god. Could you imagine being trapped in a panic room with Chedward and Annabella? You’d be all, “I hope the police get here soon,” and they’d be biting their lips and twitching their palms and you’d know for a fact you’re going to see them get nasty, whether you want to or not.

Also, I’m not sure it counts as foresight if a billionaire installs a panic room after someone has already broken into his house. Remember, Leila came after them in the second book and got into the  apartment, so why no panic room then? Or like, when he moved in? If Grey is such a paranoid guy, you’d think there would have already been a panic room. They could have put it in the tv room that he never uses because he’s so much smarter than everyone else.

A creak from the door to the foyer distracts me. It’s hanging off its hinges. What the hell happened to that?

What the shit do you think happened to it, Ana? “Oh, the door? Totally isolated incident, it was broken when Jack Hyde got here.”

Ryan explains how he got into the apartment:

“Through the service elevator. He’s got quite a pair, ma’am.”

A pair? Of service elevators? Oh, you were talking about his… right, never mind.

What an odd thing to say, Ryan. Did you see them?

He gives Ana some more details, namely that he let Hyde come up in the service elevator after seeing him on CCT and deciding he was going to just end this shit right now. Ryan sounds like a guy who can get things done. He says they need to secure Hyde, and Ana knows just what will do the job:

Cable ties. I flush as memories of the night before invade my mind. Reflexively, I rub my wrists and glance quickly down at them. No, no bruising. Good.

WTF was she doing with cable ties that she would have bruised herself? If Chedward is putting them on that tight, he’s a fucking moron. If he was using them to restrain her to something, and she was pulling against them, he’s still a fucking moron, because cable ties can really, really hurt a person. In the bad, “worst papercut of your life” way. Not the good way. But here I am, arguing about the safety of a method of binding someone when we already know Chedward is into leaving marks on her that she doesn’t want to have. Which is really the bigger problem here, Jenny?

“I have something. Cable ties. Will they do?”

All eyes turn to me.

That must be very fulfilling for you, Ana.

 “Yes, ma’am. Perfect,” Sawyer says, serious and straight-faced. I want the floor to swallow me up, but I turn and head for our bedroom. Sometimes you just have to brazen things out.

Brazen what out? I feel like E.L. James has never seen a cable tie before. Pro-tip, they’re not bright red, and they don’t have “This is for sex use only” printed on them. Lots of people buy zip ties and never use them for sex. Probably because, as someone who has had her hands zip tied before (not by a sexy billionaire, unfortunately. By a cop. Apparently riding your bicycle drunk is a crime or something), it doesn’t feel great to have your hands tied up with those. I’m sure some people do use them for bondage, but they’re used for literally everything else, too. The security team isn’t going to immediately think, “Oh, they use those for sex.” Check out this blog dedicated entirely to using zip ties for things that don’t involve deranged billionaires. There is no reason for Ana to believe they’re going to think about her sex life, except for the fact that she’s 1) embarrassed and uncomfortable when it comes to her own sexuality and 2) convinced everyone in the world is as fixated on her sex life as she is.

Not even a little, Ana.

Ana brings back the cable ties, Sawyer ties up Hyde, and Mrs. Jones provides first aid to Ryan.

Then I notice the Glock on the floor with a silencer attached. Holy shit! Jack was armed?

No, Ana. No, Jack came to your apartment to say he’s really, really sorry, and he’s not going to intrude upon your life again. That’s why Jack is there. To let the healing begin.

They won’t all be Arthur, I promise.
No, they might all be Arthur.

Now, I’m not targeting E.L. specifically with this one, I honestly just do not understand why guns always have silencers/suppressors on them in fiction. It might be because in the movies, they show the bag guys having them on their guns, and the shot makes this “bzzt” noise so they can shoot bad guys or good guys or whatever without being overheard. But silencers don’t really work like that. All a silencer does is muffle the sound of the explosion as the bullet leaves the gun. The bullet itself is going to make a loud noise, since it’s travelling at such a high speed. A Glock is still going to be loud to varying degrees depending on ammo type, even with a silencer. All Jack Hyde has done here is make his gun bigger and more difficult to conceal. But like I said, I don’t really blame E.L. for this. It’s a common feature for guns to be scarier in fiction if they have a silencer on them, but it’s stupid, and usually pointless, because it’s almost always depicted as a way to cover up a the crime of shooting someone. People would definitely still hear it.

Sawyer gets some gloves and goes to pick up the gun.

“Should you be doing that?” I ask.

“Mr. Grey would expect it, ma’am.” Sawyer slides the gun into a Ziploc bag then squats to pat down Jack.

Notice that he didn’t answer her question. At all. “Should you be doing that?” is a wholly different question from “Would Mr. Grey expect you to do that?”

Sawyer finds duct tape in Jack’s pocket, and Ana suddenly becomes all hardware detective about it:

Duct tape? My mind idly registers as I watch the proceedings with fascination and an odd detachment. Then bile rises to my throat again as I realize the implications. Rapidly, I dismiss them from my head. Don’t go there, Ana!

Remember in the first book, when Christian came to her store and bought all sorts of sketch murder supplies, and she was like, “Isn’t he dreamy?” How did she become such a fucking expert about what murderers do with duct tape in four months?

“Should we call the police?” I mutter, trying to hide my fear. I want Hyde out of my home, sooner rather than later.

Ryan and Sawyer glance at each other.

“I think we should call the police,” I say, rather more forcefully, wondering what’s going on between Ryan and Sawyer.

One of my biggest pet peeves with the ongoing plot of these books is that no matter how appropriate police involvement might be, they never, ever call the police. Someone breaks into your house and stands at the end of your bed? Don’t call the police! Crazy ex-girlfriend who’s after you gets a gun permit? Definitely don’t call the police (even though they would have issued the permit and probably would be able to track her down)! Same crazy ex pulls a gun on your girlfriend? The police would only just muddle everything up, better not involve them at all!

Why is it a fucking question whether or not they should call the police? Oh, because they can’t reach Christian, due to the time difference between the east and west coasts.

Part of me bristles. This man – I glance down at Hyde again –  has invaded my home, and he needs to be removed by the police. But looking at the four of them, into their anxious eyes, I decide I must be missing something, so I decide to call Christian.

There is no reason to call Christian. There is a dangerous man who has assaulted you before, set fire to your husband’s company, and who broke in and brought a gun and duct tape – and not to make you a fucking prom dress. Nut up and call the police. If Christian is going to mad about that, it’s because he’s a fucking idiot. And spoiler alert, we already knew he’s a fucking idiot. He married you.
Even the dragon loves my sick burn.
Get it. Burn? Dragon?
No one appreciates my art.

My scalp prickles. I know he’s mad at me – really, really mad at me – and I falter at the thought of what he’ll say. And how he’ll stress because he’s not here and can’t be here until tomorrow evening. I know I’ve worried him enough this evening. Perhaps I shouldn’t call him.

No, you’re right, Ana. Make up the fucking guest room for Jack Hyde and wait until your lord and master returns from abroad to solve the situation. Jack can be your gentleman hostage or some shit until then.

Ana tries to call Christian:

Perhaps I shouldn’t call him. And then it occurs to me. Shit. What if I’d been here? I pale at the thought. Thank heavens I was out. Maybe I won’t be in so much trouble after all.

Remember, the trouble she is going to get into is that she went out to have a drink with a friend. She’s twenty-two, and she went out to have a drink with a friend.

Also, how does she know if she paled? Is she looking into a mirror? There’s a writing tip for you. Your first person POV narrator can’t tell the audience what she looks like unless she can actually see it. Like, she knows her hair is brown. She knows how tall she is. Those things are constant. A flush she can feel, she can probably feel the blood draining from her face, but she can’t possibly see herself turning pale.

I reach into my purse and pull out my Blackberry, and before I can give too much though tot the extent of Christian’s anger, I dial his number.

He’s across the country, remember. Thousands of miles between them, and he still has so much power over her, she’s almost too cowed to call him on the phone. That’s how deeply inside her head this fucking guy is. I wish I had a degree in psychology so I could properly explain how fucked up this all is. I wish I had a magic wand so I could bespell everyone in the universe into seeing how fucked up it is. I WISH I WAS MERLIN.

Ana can’t reach Christian, so she leaves a voicemail and tells Sawyer to call the police. Which is probably the first thing they should have done.

After a paragraph break, we get to see how well Ana has adjusted to being rich:

Detective Clark is barking questions at me as we sit on the couch in the great room. He’s tall, dark, and would be good-looking if it weren’t for his permanent scowl. I suspect he’s been woken and dragged from his warm bed because the home of one of Seattle’s most influential and wealthy business men has been breached.

Because for the rest of us peasants, they don’t send the police when someone breaks into our house. They just let them sleep in.

The detective asks her some questions, then tells her she’ll need to come down to the station to make a statement. I think he can take her statement right there, can’t he? But it doesn’t matter, she can’t leave anyway because of the paparazzi camped out in front of the building. No, seriously:

I shudder at the thought of the photographers outside. Well, they won’t be a problem until tomorrow. I remind myself to call Mom and Ray just in case they hear anything and worry.

Do you guys remember when some guy broke into George Harrison’s house and stabbed him? And it was on the news and stuff? HE WAS A FUCKING BEATLE. That’s why he got that attention. In America, we don’t give a shit if that stuff happens to one of our captains of industry, because we hate them. Seriously, it’s like the French revolution over here right now. If someone broke into the house of the guy who owns Little Caesar’s Pizza and broke his table, we’d be like, GOOD. It wouldn’t be on all the magazines, unless it happened to a vapid, pointless reality star. If it happened to Teen Mom, then we’d care. But some random CEO? Nope. And since when is Seattle a hotbed of paparazzi action, that they can be there within minutes of this incident occurring? And how did they find out about it? Did Ana issue a press release?

Mrs. Jones offers Ana something to eat, and since Christian isn’t there, Ana can accept food without a big, stupid discussion about it.

So, a few weeks ago, someone asked me a question either on twitter or facebook, and forgive me, but I don’t remember exactly who it was, but what they wanted to know was if I picked up on Daddy Dom/Little Girl sub themes in 50 Shades. And I really hadn’t, because for the most part, I view the whole “Daddy Dom” thing as being incredibly hot, and this series is the opposite of hot. But then I got to this part:

I want to crawl into his lap, have him hold me and tell me he loves me, even though I don’t do as I ‘m told – but that won’t be possible until this evening.

I was all, “huh. I see where she was coming from now.” However, one of the things I’ve noticed with regards to daddy/little girl D/s relationships is that the Dom doesn’t seem to be into withholding affection as punishment, and Christian Grey does. I’d be interested to see comments from people who have been in daddy/little girl relationships, because it’s always possible that I’m misunderstanding the dynamic as an outsider. Either way, I think we can all agree, Christian isn’t a good Dom anyway we can slice it, because he’s too goddamned selfish.

Ana wakes up the next morning and Christian is there, all creepily watching her:

He’s wearing his tux, and the end of his bow tie is peeping out of the breast pocket. I wonder if I’m dreaming.

Yes. You’re having a nightmare.

My heart almost stops. He’s here. How did he get here? He must have left New York last night. How long has he been here watching me sleep?

I don’t know why people keep thinking this book is ripped-off from Twilight. I mean, come on, Edward never sat and watched Bella sleep, right?

“You’re still mad.” I can hardly speak the words.

He gazes at me, as if considering his response. “Mad,” he says, as if testing out the word, weighing up it nuances, its meaning. “No, Ana. I am way, way beyond mad.”

Let’s examine the reasons he’s so mad at Ana, shall we?

  1. Ana, a twenty-two year old woman, went out for drinks at a bar with a friend.
  2. Someone broke into their apartment.

That’s it. Instead of going, “Thank god my wife wasn’t at home when the murderer broke in,” he’s “‘way, way beyond mad,'” because his wife wasn’t at home when the murderer broke in.

I’m not saying he’s trying to have her killed, but he certainly doesn’t want to tell the police how disappointed he is that she didn’t get killed, you know what I’m saying?

“Ryan caught Jack,” I try a different tack, and I place my glass beside his on the bedside table.

“I know,” he says icily.

Of course, he knows. “Are you going to be monosyllabic for long?”

You know how I know that Ana didn’t pay attention in college? The only monosyllabic sentence he’s uttered at this point in the argument is “hello.” Every other line of dialogue has been two or more syllables. Hey, real life English majors, Ana doesn’t know what monosyllabic means, and she got an editing job right out of college. You can swallow your cyanide capsules now, if you’ve been waiting.

His eyebrows move fractionally, registering his surprise as if he hadn’t expected this question. “Yes,” he says finally.

He’s probably trying to remember when it was he was being monosyllabic.

Oh… okay. What to do? Defense – the best form of attack.

What? Defense isn’t the best form of attack! That doesn’t even make sense! Defense is what you do when someone else attacks you! Offense is the best form of attack! It’s the only… GAH! This chapter is stupider than an episode of Merlin!

 Ana tells Chedward she’s sorry she stayed out, and then she admits she’s not really sorry, she just doesn’t want him to be mad at her. So, it’s good that they have such clear and honest communication in their relationship that Ana apparently views as a nonstop battle.

He looks beautiful. Mad, but beautiful. I drink him in – Christian’s back – angry, but in one piece.

I should hope his back is in one piece, I – wait. Oh… I get it.

Ana tells Christian not to be so cold, and he responds:

“Anastasia, cold is not what I’m feeling at the moment. I’m burning. Burning with rage. I don’t know how to deal with these” – he waves his hand, searching for the word – “feelings.” His tone is bitter.

You know how to deal with your feels, Chedward. Just grab a belt and go to town on her, like you know you want to. Because you’re a bad person. If you were Uther, you’d just cut off somebody’s head or throw someone in the dungeon.
*hastily scribbles Morgana/Uther incest BDSM fanfic idea in notebook beside laptop*
Okay, where were we?
Right, so Chedward doesn’t know how to cope with his “burning rage” over the fact that his wife went out for drinks with a friend. Imagine what he’s going to go through when she has to go to the grocery store for something and doesn’t consult with him first. I knew letting women wear pants was a terrible idea!

Oh shit. His honesty disarms me. All I want to do is crawl into his lap. It’s all I’ve wanted to do since I came home last night. To hell with this. I move, taking him by surprise and climbing awkwardly into his lap, where I curl up.

I’m beginning to find the whole “curl up in daddy’s lap” thing a little gross. Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who just wrote the words “Morgana/Uther incest BDSM fanfic” like it weren’t no thing at all. Maybe it’s because I’m sick of Chedward’s slow but steady progress towards infantilizing Ana, so that she is dependent upon him for everything in her life. Just a hunch.

They talk about how Chedward’s had two drinks, and how Ana slept on his side of the bed while he was gone because it smelled like him and she’s half cocker spaniel. He nuzzles her hair and stuff, but tells her he’s still mad at her. Ana is all:

“And I’m mad at you,” I whisper.

He pauses. “And what, pray, have I done to deserver your ire?”

I don’t know, dick, maybe you like, forbid her from going out and having a good time with her friend she hasn’t seen in forever because you’re a terrible person?

Pictured: Chedward’s inner goddess.

So, then this happens, and I really, really don’t understand it at all:

“I’m okay. We’re all okay. A bit shaken. But Gail is fine. Ryan is fine. And Jack is gone.”

He shakes his head. “No thanks to you,” he mutters.

Was Ana suppose to stop Jack Hyde? WTF does Christian mean, “‘No thanks to you,'” in reply to that sentence. Even if he meant, “No thanks you, because you were reckless and went out when I said not to,” it doesn’t make sense, because it is thanks to her that she went out and wasn’t there when Jack showed up. Chedward promises to tell Ana what he means later, but I honestly don’t remember if he ever does.
And then, some bull. fucking. shit.

“I want to punish you,” he whispers. “Really beat the shit out of you,” he adds.

 Pictured: THE TRUTH.

My heart leaps into my mouth. Fuck. “I know,” I whisper as my scalp prickles.


“Maybe I will.”

“I hope not.”

He hugs me tighter. “Ana, Ana, Ana. You’d try the patience of a saint.”

“I could accuse you of many things, Mr. Grey, but being a saint isn’t one of them.”

Finally, I am blessed with his reluctant chuckle. “Fair point, well made as ever, Mrs. Grey.”

Ana. Girlfriend. Listen. While I agree with Christian’s assessment that being around you for any length of time would make even the most patient, kind person want to beat the ever living fuck out of you, this is your husband. This is the man you have chosen to live your life with? And he’s threatening to beat you? Notice he didn’t say, “I want to take you into the Red Room of Pain and give you a good seeing to,” he said he wants to beat the shit out of you. And now you feel you’ve been blessed when he laughs at your joke about him beating you?

Christian tucks her into bed like a fucking child, because it’s all about the tenderness after you tell your wife you want to beat the shit out of her. And just so you’re aware, the exchange is on page 218, so you can arm yourself with scripture against the 50 Shades apologists who insist he’s not abusive. He’s mad, he says he wants to beat the shit out of her. This has nothing to do with kink, it’s abuse, and E.L. herself wrote it that way in this scene. There is no way they can twist the words of their most holy prophet on this one. She. Made. It. About. Abuse.
Ana goes back to sleep, and wakes up to Christian’s standard hangover cure of orange juice and Advil.

And I’m momentarily zapped back to the Heathman Hotel and the first time I ever woke up with him.

You mean that time you were out with Kate, getting drunk, and he thought you weren’t safe enough, so he came and took you back to his hotel room while you were unconscious? I wonder why this situation would remind you of that…

Christian is going to go take a shower, because he’s all sweaty, so Ana chugs down her orange juice:

It’s delicious, ice cold, and it makes my mouth a much better place.

I don’t even.

Then she runs to the shower, gets naked and gets in with him.

I think of all the times he’s fucked me and all the times he’s made love to me in here.

I hate that people think there’s a distinction between “making love” and “fucking.” Like one is all special and magical and the other is all dirty and cheap. Like just putting it in a more gentle way changes the fact that it’s two or more people getting sweaty and rubbing each others’ junk to get each other off. If it’s making love there’s supposed to be some deeper meaning to the orgasm? I don’t get it.

Anyway, Ana starts touching Christian, and he tells her not to, and OMG THE DRAMA:

He’s saying no? My mind goes into free fall – has this ever happened before? My subconscious shakes her head, her lips pursed. She glares at me over her half-moon glasses, wearing her you’ve-really-fucked-up-this-time look. I feel like I’ve been slapped, hard. Rejected. And a lifetime of insecurity spawns the ugly thought that he doesn’t want me anymore.

I’m torn between:


 You seriously think being turned down for sex ONE TIME in your ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP means he’s totally done with you forever? And yet, that would be awesome, for you and for me. So I don’t know which side to choose here, Ana.

“Don’t be mad at me, please. I think you’re overreacting,” I whisper.

HE’S overreacting? This from the girl who laid down and cried on the floor of a parking garage because the guy she’d talked to TWICE didn’t want to date her. Sheesh. These people, it’s always such drama with them.

“Overreacting?” he snarls. “Some fucking lunatic gets into my apartment to kidnap my wife, and you think I’m overreacting!” The restrained menace in his voice is frightening, and his eyes blaze as he stares at me as if I’m the fucking lunatic.

You’re both kind of the fucking lunatics.

“No… um, that’s not what I was referring to. I thought this was about me staying out.”

He closes his eyes once more as if in pain and shakes his head.

“Christian, I wasn’t here.” I try to appease and reassure him.

“I know,” he whispers, opening his eyes. “All because you can’t follow a simple fucking request.”

So, is it just me, or is this starting to sound like he wanted her to be there for Jack to kidnap her?

Christian says he doesn’t want to argue, so he gets out of the shower, and then Ana gets out and decides to get dressed up all pretty so Christian can’t possibly be mad at her anymore:

I do the same, throwing on my favorite plum dress and black sandals, and I’m conscious I’ve chosen this outfit because Christian likes it. I vigorously towel-dry my hair, then braid it and wind it up into a bun. Fitting diamond studs into my ears, I dash to the bathroom to apply a little mascara and glance at myself in the mirror. I’m pale. I’m always pale. I take a deep steadying breath. I need to face the consequences of my rash decision to actually enjoy myself with my friend. I sigh, knowing that Christian won’t see it that way.

Here’s the thing: I know that “the consequences of my rash decision to actually enjoy myself with my friend” is supposed to be sarcasm. But all her other actions? Tell the reader that yes, she really is trying to atone for her sin of going out with Kate and having a good time with her, with someone who isn’t Christian. She’s trying to make it up to him by being the pretty object he would like her to be.

Christian is nowhere to be seen in the great room. Mrs. Jones is busying herself in the kitchen.

Let me take a minute here to discuss what a fucking snob and misogynist Ana is. Notice that when a man is doing his job in this series, he’s “all business” or “serious” or “concentrating.” But when Mrs. Jones, a domestic servant, does something, she’s “bustling” or “busying herself.” Because she’s a female, and she’s doing a job routinely associated with females, she’s not actually doing any work. She’s just filling up her time.

Since Christian isn’t at breakfast, Ana goes to look for him. Because god forbid they’re apart for like, two whole seconds.

Christian is on the phone, dressed in a white shirt with no tie, looking every bit the relaxed CEO.

I have hated these descriptions of Christian for all three books, but I’ve only just now put my finger on what’s wrong with them. See, if I said to you, “I frolicked through the children’s department in a tiny jacket, looking every bit like Chris Farley in Tommy Boy,” most of you are going to understand that description, and visualize a fat person in a little coat. But if I said to you, “I reclined in my lazy boy, looking the very picture of my great grandfather watching Friends,” (true story, he totally loved Friends) you wouldn’t know what the fuck I was talking about. Just like most of us have no clue what a relaxed CEO looks like, because most people in the world aren’t at liberty to see CEOs of huge companies chilling at home. It’s the most nondescript description ever. “It looks like this thing you’ve never seen.” Sounds great. She might as well have written he looked every bit like a space vegetable.

Christian doesn’t want Ana to bother him while he’s on the phone, so she has a brief conversation with Taylor, then eats her breakfast and goes to brush her teeth:

As I brush them, I’m reminded of Christian’s sulk over the wedding vows.

Why, was there teeth brushing in your vows?

Ana thinks about how she needs to talk to Christian, and let me tell you, I can never get enough of listening to Ana think about how she needs to communicate and then never actually does. Highlight of my week.

When she comes back out, Christian is eating his breakfast. She “bravely” walks over and asks:

“I don’t want to fight. I was coming to ask you if I could take my car.”

“No. You can’t,” he snaps.

“Okay.” I acquiesce immediately.

I know a lot of you are going, “What? This is total bullshit!” But don’t worry, Ana has a theory on this one:

I remember my mom’s “words of wisdom” talk the day before my wedding. Ana, honey, you really have to choose your battles. It’ll be the same with your kids when you have them. Well, at least he’s letting me go to work.

 I’m not going to lie to you, reader. There are times when I’m reading these books, and I get a sharp pain in my neck, and I think, “Is this what it feels like when stress kills you? Because I sure hope so.” This was one of those times. Seriously, this book makes me reconsider my choice to drop my mortuary science major.

Taylor and Prescott take Ana to work, and of course the media is just all over the place. There are reporters swarming outside their apartment, at SIP, it’s just impossible for Ana to go anywhere because she’s Princess Diana. Obviously.
Later in the day, Elizabeth comes to Ana’s office to see if she’s okay. When she leaves, Ana thinks:

That has to have been the briefest, most pointless meeting in the Western Hemisphere today. Why did Roach send her here? Perhaps he’s worried, given I’m his boss’s wife.


Everybody remembers the scene in 50 Shades Darker where Elizabeth talks to Ana about Jack Hyde, and Ana gets the feeling he’s done something horrible to her, right? There isn’t a gas leak in my office or anything? Back then, Ana was sympathetic, but now she doesn’t even remember? What the fuck is wrong with this person?

Christian sends Ana an email, telling her that he’s insisted the detective come get a statement from her at work:

I have insisted that he should come to you, as I don’t want you going to the police station.

What does Christian think is going to happen to Ana at a police station, for Christ’s sake?

Then this bullshit happens:

Did Christian come home because I was out or because of the Jack incident? If he left because I was out having a good time, he would have had no idea about Jack, about the police, nothing – until he landed in Seattle. It’s suddenly very important to me to find out.

It’s important to me, too. And probably you, dear reader. Place your bets.

Ana emails him:

What time did you decide to come back to Seattle yesterday?

This causes a three page email fight, in which Christian refuses to answer the question and ends his final email to her:

You should watch your language. I am still fucking pissed.

So, yes. He came back because she was having a good time with her friend and he could not STAND that she wasn’t sitting at Escala, pining for him.

I can’t even get mad anymore, guys. I’m just like, “Okay, fine. Whatever.” Because I can’t get angry on Ana’s behalf anymore. Because I know they’re going to be together forever and ever, no matter what I rage about here. She’s never going to wise up, people who love the series are never going to wise up, and we’re all basically doomed.

I don’t respond, but pick up a manuscript recently received from a promising new author and being to read.

I bet you anything she’s about to read 50 Shades of Grey and publish it because it’s so romantic.

My meeting with Detective Clark is uneventful. He is less growly than the night before, maybe because he’s managed some sleep.

Yes, he managed some sleep. I’m sure he was up all night worrying about the case, Ana. She asks if Hyde is in police custody “yet,” which is fucking stupid. He would have been in custody the moment they took him away. You can be in the hospital and be in police custody. They don’t just wait outside the ER doors and hope they can catch you on the way out.

Ana heads home from work and has all these deep thoughts:

My heart is pounding, my mouth is dry, and my palms are sweaty. I don’t want to fight. But sometimes he’s so difficult, and I need to stand my ground.

But we all know she won’t, so why do we even have to read that.

Ana makes some mention of liking the fact that Prescott isn’t talking much today, and then they get to the apartment:

“Good evening, Mrs. Grey,” Christian says softly. He’s standing by the piano, dressed in a tight black T-shirt and jeans… those jeans – the ones he wore in the playroom. Oh my. The are overwashed pale blue denim, snug, ripped at the knee, and hot. He saunters over to me, his feet bare, the top button of he jeans undone, his smoldering eyes never leaving mine.

“Good to have you home. I’ve been waiting for you.”

Well, they didn’t yet, because the chapter ends. But yeah, they’re pretty much going to fuck their problems away. Because this is good writing.

The Boss chapter seven is out, and another super important link.

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Good news everyone!

Chapter seven of The Boss is up! It’s available here.

Additional news, everyone!

There is a blog called Stories About Prince, in which a first-person narrator delivers handwritten retellings of fictional encounters with the popstar Prince. It is the greatest RPF on the internet. I honestly don’t think anyone will ever top it, in terms of sheer amazingness. So, you know, read The Boss today, but also go check out Stories About Prince.