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50 Shades Freed recap Chapter 3 or “Wherein Jenny uses the fuck word nonstop for thirty pages”

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Previously, on 50 Shades Freed:

Thanks, Carolyn, for sending that along. I think we can all sympathize with the poor guy.
We last left Ana and Chedward on the open sea. On a hilarious boat. (Yes, that’s the boat picture Jaycie sent me and I lost and lamented through the entire last goddamn chapter. Isn’t it magnificent?).  Ana and Christian have just had the most pure, true-loviest, not in any way abusive and/or creepy sex that she wasn’t allowed to pee for, and now she’s gone to the bathroom and found something… amiss.
No, she’s not peeing blood from a UTI, as you all gleefully speculated in the last recap’s comments:

I gaze in horror at the red marks all over my breasts. Hickeys! I have hickeys! I am married to one of the most respected businessmen in the United States, and he’s given me goddamn hickeys.

So, yeah, she’s covered in hickeys. I don’t see what being married to a respected businessman has to do with it, other than Ana needing to remind us at every turn that she’s married a rich husband and it’s such a fucking hardship. Also, how is this guy a respected businessman, exactly? From everything we’ve seen of his company, he seems to run it with his dick. Ex-Domme wants a hair salon? Better buy it for her. New girlfriend has a job with a male boss? Not on my watch, pal, I’m buying the company. And then we’ll take the company jet on our honeymoon, naturally! How is this jerk even successful, let alone respected? He’s the CEO of a company that doesn’t even have a board of directors, and he runs the place like a fifth grader’s lemonade stand.

How did I not feel him doing this to me? I flush. The fact is I know exactly why – Mr. Orgasmic was using his fine-motor sexing skills on me.

What does that even mean? And also, bullshit. How do you not feel someone sucking on you hard enough to give you a hickey, a bunch of times, all over your body? This is first person POV here, and the only time she mentions sucking in the last sex scene is when he’s trying to make her come from playing with her tits. Plus, she was blindfolded, so the only things she could really describe to us were what she heard and what she felt. I’m so not buying any of this.

My subconcious peers over her half-moon specs and tuts disapprovingly, while my inner goddess slumbers on her chaise longue, out for the count.

I sincerely hope that bitch is dead. I hope Ana’s subconscious bludgeoned her to death with a better book than this one while Ana was busy having orgasms.
Now, let’s move on to the really fucking troubling part:

I gape at my reflection. My wrists have red welts around them from the handcuffs. No doubt they’ll bruise. I examine my ankles – more welts. Holy hell, I look like I’ve been in some sort of accident. I gaze at myself, trying to absorb how I look.

So, she’s taken aback by how fucking beat up she is after sex with Chedward, when in the last chapter he was like, “I don’t want to hurt you, you’re my wife, not my sub, I’m not going to cause you pain, it’s just going to be intense.” Now she’s covered with hickeys (and you know what? Hickey is just another word for bruise. They’re the same thing, just one is caused by canoodling and the other by violent trauma. Both are sore.) and her arms and legs are all marked up from being handcuffed. So, of course this is the moment when Ana realizes that she’s made a huge mistake, that Christian will never change, and that she needs to get out before this possessive assholery escalates.

Nope, she talks about how skinny she is, instead:

My body is so different these days. It’s changed subtly since I’ve known him… I’ve become leaner and fitter, and my hair is glossy and well cut. My nails are manicured, my feet pedicured, my eyebrows threaded and beautifully shaped. For the first time in my life, I’m well groomed – except for these hideous love bites.

“Love” bites, whatever. The important thing is for the reader to know that, abusive tendencies aside,  fucking Christian Grey is like having an in-home stylist and a Bowflex. By the way, those last two excerpts? They’re in the same paragraph. It’s not like I cut out some part in the middle where she comes to grips with how awful it is that he did this to her. It’s literally, “I have bruises everywhere from sex, wow, look how great I look.” That’s Ana’s cognitive follow-through: “I’m skinny and hot, so that makes everything okay.”

No, that stunning leap of reasoning happens in the next paragraph:

I don’t want to think about grooming at the moment.

(But you did.)

I’m too mad. How dare he mark me like this, like some teenager. In the short time we’ve been together, he’s never given me hickeys. I look like hell. I know why he’s done this. Damn control freak. Right! My subconscious folds her arms beneath her small bosom – he’s gone too far this time.

EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS DISAPPOINTING AND WRONG. Ana’s reaction hits all the crucial points on a 50 Shades bingo card. She’s talking about the short time they’ve been together while on their honeymoon. She’s just gone on at length about how hot she is, then claims to look like hell. Her subconscious objects, but ultimately it won’t count because she has small titties.

Ana sits down to brush her hair, because when you’re angry, ladies, nothing calms you down like a good hair brushing, am I right? Christian calls to her to see if she’s okay. She’s not okay:

I ignore him. Am I okay? No, I am not okay. After what he’s done to me, I doubt I’ll be able to wear a swimsuit, let alone one of my ridiculously expensive bikinis for the rest of our honeymoon.

I guess she “got used to it” then, huh?

I seethe as fury spikes through me. I can behave like an adolescent, too!

Yeah, that will definitely help things, you should go do that.

Ana goes into the bedroom and throws a hairbrush at Christian, then runs up on deck.

I need some space to calm down. It’s dark and the air is balmy. The warm breeze carries the smell of the Mediterranean and the scent of jasmine and bougainvillea from the shore. The Fair Lady glides effortlessly through the calm cobalt sea as I rest my elbows on the wooden railing, gazing at the distant shore where tiny lights wink and twinkle.

 Juuuuuuuust sayin’.

Robert Wagner Christian comes up on the deck and is all, “Y U MAD THO?” and Ana actually has to explain to him what the fucking problem is:

“Christian, you have to stop unilaterally trying to bring me to heel. You made your point on the beach. Very effectively as I recall.”

He shrugs minutely. “Well, you won’t take your top off again,” he murmurs petulantly.

 Ana says that hickeys are a hard limit for her, and Chedward says that her taking her clothes off in public is a hard limit for him. The next excerpt was honestly hard for me to read:

“Look at me!” I pull down my camisole to reveal the top of my breasts. Christian gazes at me, his eyes not leaving my face, his expression wary and uncertain. He’s not used to seeing me this mad. Can’t he see what he’s done? Can’t he see how ridiculous he is? I want to shout at him, but I refrain – I don’t want to push him too far. Heaven knows what he’d do.

A lot of people have left comments on my recap posts saying, “How can people not see that this is abuse?” Well, frankly, it’s because they’re willfully stupid. I’m not saying that every person who reads this book or likes it is stupid. I’m saying that the people out there who are defending this book and saying it doesn’t depict an abusive relationship are fucking stupid. There’s no other way to describe them. It’s like if you showed someone a picture of a duck, but they insisted it was a chicken, even after you explained all the ways that it’s, for real now, a fucking duck. The women who read this book and think Christian’s behavior makes him desirable? They want to be stupid. Yes, our society tells us that everything a rich man does is right, but at this point in our cultural evolution there are enough resources out there to educate people that the only reason anyone would want to defend this piece of shit book and its piece of shit hero against allegations of abuse is that it’s just more comfortable to be fucking ignorant. That excerpt above? That’s the picture of the duck that millions of really fucking stupid women insist is a chicken, because it’s more fun. No fucking wonder abused women and rape victims get blamed for the crimes perpetrated against them. It’s more fun if a privileged group (and yes, I’m blatantly stating that women who have not faced the realities of abuse and rape are a privileged group, if that’s a problem, oh fucking well) can cordone off a DMZ around their shallow, vapid little word view and shoot down any possible challenge to their outdated perceptions of the world before anything can get close enough to make them think for themselves for two seconds.

I realize that I’m coming off hostile here, but really, is there any other way to be at this point? When this piece of shit is the best selling ROMANCE of all time? When this relationship is the relationship that publishers are trying to sell to women as being the be all and end all, and we should all be sad about our marriages and how our husbands treat us with respect instead of as property? That’s it. After this chapter, I’m not pulling punches.

If you want to be in a relationship with Christian Grey, you’re fucking stupid.

Moving on.

Christian tells Ana that he gets it, and says he has a lot to learn. Dude, you’re almost thirty, if you haven’t learned that disfiguring another person isn’t okay, you’re probably not smart enough to figure it out.

Dr. Flynn’s words come back to me… Emotionally, Christian is an adolescent, Ana. He bypassed that phase in his life totally. He’s channeled all his energies into succeeding in  the business world, and he has beyond all expectations. His emotional world has to play catch up.

Bullshit. Even adolescents are capable of understanding that hitting women, disfiguring them as punishment, etc. is wrong. And if he’s so amazing and adaptable that he’s been able to overcome this difficulty in order to become a success at business, why hasn’t he also been able to overcome it in personal relationships? The fact that he’s intelligent enough to recognize that he has to behave a certain way to be successful at business shows that he’s able to do the work. He’s just not willing to, because it doesn’t interest him the way business does.

But Ana’s a fucking idiot, so she thinks this explains everything, and in response to Christian’s assertion that he has a lot to learn, this happens:

My heart thaws a little.

“We both do.” I sigh and cautiously raise my hand, placing it over his heart.

What do you think you need to learn, Ana? Besides “how to not get beat up by your abusive asshole husband?”

“I’ve just learned that you’ve a good arm and a good aim, Mrs. Grey. I would never have figured that, but then I constantly underestimate you. You always surprise me.”

So, Christian compliments her, and the fight is over. She immediately responds with something about Ray teaching her how to shoot, and they tease each a little bit, then she falls into his arms and:

“Am I forgiven?”

“Am I?”

I feel his smile. “Yes,” he answers.


We stand holding each other, my pique forgotten. He does smell good, adolescent or not. How can I resist him?

I would say that I hope you both get cancer, but that would be grossly unfair to cancer. Cancer shouldn’t have to put up with your bullshit. In this case, I’m Team Cancer.

Christian asks Ana if she’s hungry but not for food:

“Yes. Famished. All the… er… activity has given me an appetite. But I’m not dressed for dinner.” I’m sure my sweatpants and camisole would be frowned upon in the dining room.

WTF is this shit, Downton Boatsby?

Except I can’t decide who I hate more, Ana or When Irish Eyes Are Whining.

After a section break, they’re already on dessert, and thank God we don’t have to actually sit through them having dinner because I don’t know if I could handle “willful anorexia as an act of defiance against my abusive husband” fun times after all that other bullshit. Ana asks Christian why he braids her hair when they’re going to have sex, and he says it’s because he doesn’t want her hair to catch on anything. Then he has a dramatically visible painful memory, but Ana urges him to ignore his emotional pain and move on to what’s the most important – which is obviously her – and she asks him if he loves her despite her “disobedience.” Remember, “disobedience” in this case is sunbathing topless on a beach where everyone else is sunbathing topless. Christian tells her he loves her because of her disobedience… so… does he want her to run around topless or what? Don’t worry, Ana can’t figure it out, either:

I crack my spoon through the burned sugar crust of my dessert and shake my head. Will I ever understand this man? Hmm – this creme brulee is delicious.

Lack of accent marks on the creme brulee are my fault. I love how this line seems to indicate that Ana is moving from Anorexia Nervosa straight on to Bulimia town. She’s actually eating, and she’s turning her lack of control over her love life into an intense concentration on food. That’s going to be healthy in the long run.

There’s another section break, which is a damn shame, because I would rather hear about Ana eating creme brulee than Ana interacting with Chedward, but oh well. She asks him why she wasn’t allowed to pee earlier, and he tells her exactly what all you guys said in the comments, that it makes the orgasm more intense. You know, so does edging, and there’s less chance you’re going to get peed on by mistake.

Pictured: A dramatic reenactment of what happens when you do the pee thing after two pregnancies.

Chedward wants to dance with Ana, so he puts on some music:

A slinky, cheesy melody starts. Is this a Latin rhythm?

Latin music = cheesy?

“You dance so well,” I say. “It’s like I can dance.”

He gives me a sphinxlike smile but says nothing, and I wonder if it’s because he’s thinking of her… Mrs. Robinson, the woman who taught him how to dance – and how to fuck. She hasn’t crossed my mind for a while.

Yeah, for like, 46 whole pages so far. That’s a personal best.

 Christian has not mentioned her since his birthday, and as far as I’m aware, their business relationship is over. Reluctantly, though, I have to admit – she was some teacher.

I think we previous established that this is a woman who took sexual advantage of a teenager who was clearly emotionally troubled. But yeah, thank god she taught your husband to fuck, because it probably didn’t screw him up to be preyed upon by a sexual predator.

“Come to bed with me?” he whispers, and it’s a heartfelt plea that tugs at my heart.

Good job, copy editor, you’re definitely earning your keep.

Ana wakes up the next morning:

I marvel at what it is like to go to bed with two different men – angry Christian and sweet let-me-make-it-up-to-you-in-any-way-I-can Christian.

That’s not going to bed with two different men. That’s going to bed with one man and his personality disorder.

Ana finds Christian shaving:

I love watching him shave. He pulls up his chin and shaves beneath it, taking long, deliberate strokes, and I find myself unconsciously mirroring his actions. Pulling my upper lip down just as he does, to shave his philtrum. He turns and smirks at me, one half of his face still covered in shaving soap.”

“Enjoying the show?” he asks.

I would like it better if it were this show.

Christian asks Ana if he should shave her “again,” which means it’s flashback time. Apparently, at the beginning of their honeymoon, Ana tried to shave her beaver and of course it becomes this whole big controversy about whether he likes it or not, etc. Of course he likes it, it was in his rules at the beginning of the first book, but anyway, she missed a spot, so he decides he’s going to shave her:

“Christian! You are not shaving me!”

He tilts his head to one side. “Why ever not?”

I flush… isn’t it obvious? “Because… It’s just too…”

“Intimate?” he whispers. “Ana, I crave intimacy with you – you know that. Besides, after some of the things we’ve done, don’t get all squeamish on me now. And I know this part of your body better than you do.”

I gape at him. Of all the arrogant… true, he does – but still. “It’s just wrong!” My voice is prissy and whiny.

Thank god, I thought I had been imagining her voice all wrong during the last two books. Fuck this guy, seriously? He knows her body better than she does? Fuck her, too, then. It’s her body. She’s in it all day, she knows it best, no matter how many women Christian Grey has beaten before.

And try to imagine an American man saying, “Why ever not?” Did you do it? Did he sound old? Because I can’t imagine an American man under seventy saying, “Why ever not?” It’s just not how like, 99% of young American men talk. They’d be like, “Why not?” or “Huh?”

Christian tells Ana that shaving a woman turns him on, so of course, she decides she’s got to do it. Because it doesn’t matter what turns her on, or what she’s comfortable with. The end goal is to please Christian Grey, He Who Must Be Pleased Above All Other Things. Ana makes a crack about how “kinky” it is, probably because she’s never, ever looked at the internet even once in her whole life.

So, then Christian shaves her and is just starting to finger her when we hit the paragraph break.  Back in the bathroom, Chedward is still shaving his face, and Ana is embarrassed about him shaving her that one time we just heard about, and THESE ARE THE PROBLEMS THESE PEOPLE HAVE.

Get your mind around that. In a world of crashing economies, record joblessness, women dying from gang rapes and denied abortions, children being murdered by drone strikes, the problems these idiots face? “Is letting my husband shave my beev too kinky?”

“Hey, I’m just teasing. Isn’t that what husbands who are hopelessly in love with their wives do?”


  • Not disfigure her in a jealous rage.
  • Not publicly shame their wives for sunbathing topless.
  • Allows her to shop wherever she wants and buy what she wants to wear.
  • Gets along with her friends.
  • Refrains from incessantly calling his mother a crack whore after constantly telling his wife how much she looks like her.
  • Does not buy her job.
  • Does not seek to isolate her from her family.
  • Does not follow her across the country when she needs space.
These are just a few, but it’s a good jumping off point for you, Chedward.
Ana decides that since he shaved her bush, she should finish shaving his face:

Holy shit, he’s going to let me shave him. Tentatively I slide my hand into the damp hair at his forehead, gripping tightly to hold him still. He clenches his eyes closed and parts his lips as he inhales. Very gently, I stroke his razor up from his neck to his chin, revealing a path of skin beneath the lather. Christian exhales.

I couldn’t find a picture of a more abusive fuck getting shaved by his wife, so I’ll settle for this one of Mister, who is about the same level on the asshole scale as Christian Grey.

Christian wants to take Ana ashore and buy some art, since they can’t go to the beach because he’s insane with jealousy:

“I know nothing about art, Christian.”

Except for the part where she totally did, in the last two books. In fact, the first time she meets Christian, in the very first book, they talk about the art hanging in his office. She told us all about the styles of paintings in Christian’s apartment. One of her very best friends is an artist, and she and Christian went to his gallery opening together, where Ana told us all about the composition of the various photographs. A part of me thinks this is just inconsistency on the author’s part, another, meaner part of me thinks it’s intentional, to show that Ana doesn’t need to actually know anything as long as she has a man to form her opinions for her.

Christian tells her he wants to buy art for their new house, the plans for which they just saw a few days ago. You know, the plans for the house Ana asked him not to build, in favor of keeping the house they bought?

Oh, the architect. He had to remind me of her… Gia Matteo, a friend of Elliot’s who worked on Christian’s place in Aspen. During our meetings, she’d been all over Christian like a rash.

We’ve officially reached the inner circle of hell, folks. Ana doesn’t even need other women around to hate them anymore, she can do it via satellite.

How can I tell him that I don’t like Gia? My dislike is irrational. I don’t want to come across as a jealous wife.

But you are a jealous wife. And you were a jealous girlfriend. In fact, the only difference between you and Christian in terms of possessiveness is the fact that he’s aggressive about his jealousy and you’re passive about it. And no, it’s not irrational to dislike a woman who is really trying to break up your marriage, but since Ana isn’t the most reliable narrator when it comes to this kind of stuff (after all, she thinks her relationship with Christian is romantic and that he is desirable), I have to wonder if all these women really are into him, or she’s just imagining they are because she’s a freaking lunatic.

“You’re not still mad about what I did yesterday?” He sighs and nuzzles his face between my breasts.

No, you fool, how could she be? You graced her with the touch of your magnificent penis, it’s impossible that she might still be angry over you maliciously marking her body as a sign of ownership.

Christian takes Ana to Saint-Paul-De-Vence, a Medieval French city:

We pass a tree-covered square where three old men, one wearing a traditional beret in spite of the heat, are playing boules. It’s quite crowded with tourists, but I feel comfortable tucked under Christian’s arm.

God, I fucking hate it when I’m trying to be a tourist and there are too many tourists around. I’m just trying to watch these old men be stereotypically French for my amusement.

In the first gallery, Christian gazes distractedly at the erotic photographs in front of us, sucking gently on the arm of his aviator specs. They are the work of Florence D’elle – naked women in various poses.

Those sound like some amazing sunglasses.

“Not quite what I had in mind,” I mumble disapprovingly.

“Good heavens, this art is full of naked people!” I absolutely love that Ana is jealous of naked women in photographs now. Is this like the Weeping Angels? A photographic representation of a naked woman actually becomes a naked woman, and if you blink she tackle-fucks your husband? This marriage has a rock solid foundation, y’all.

“Me neither,” Christian says, grinning down at me. He takes my hand, and we stroll to the next artist. Idly, I wonder if I should let him take photos of me.

Who, the next artist? Have we totally given up on subject/verb agreement here? Is it too hard? Also, LOL at the idea that if Christian wants nude artwork, she has to be the nude. Maybe Jose can photograph that. Of course, this is all because she feels the need to play keep up with the other subs that he photographed.

They find some paintings they like, and they discuss how much they cost and how Ana needs to get use to spending tons of money on stuff, because lord knows it’s practically sinful to have money and not throw it around. The best possible thing rich people can do with their money is, you know, let it trickle down.

After lunch, Ana and Christian are having coffee and talking again about why he braids her hair. You guess right if you speculated that it would have to do with his mother:

“The crack whore used to let me play with her hair, I think. I don’t know if it’s a memory or a dream.”

Whoa! His birth mom.

He gazes at me, his expression unreadable. My heart leaps into my mouth. What do I say when he says things like this?

I would go with, “Stop calling your mother a whore.”

Ana tells him she thinks he loved his mother, and he goes all mute and catatonic for a minute, then decides it’s time to go:

I exhale, relieved, and shrug. “I am just glad you’re still speaking to me.”

“You know I don’t like talking about all that shit. It’s done. Finished,” he says quietly.

Um, you’re the one who brought it up this time, Chedward, so suck it.

No, Christian, it isn’t. The thought saddens me, and for the first time I wonder if it will ever be finished. He’ll always be Fifty Shades… my Fifty Shades. Do I want him to change? No, not really – only insofar as I want him to feel loved. Peeking up at him, I take a moment to admire his captivating beauty… and he’s mine. 

I would say, “maybe you should have thought of all of this before you got married,” but it’s clear that marriage, and ownership of Christian, was her end goal, no matter how fucked up he is. You know, because he’s pretty.

He gives me that look, down his nose, half amused, half wary, wholly sexy, then tucks me under his arm, and we make our way through the tourists toward the spot where Philippe/Gaston has parked the roomy Mercedes.

There’s really no better vehicle for a Medieval walled city with roads designed for horse and foot traffic than a car as wide as a Mercedes. Good thinking, Chedward.

In the car, Christian looks at the bruises on Ana’s wrists, and she reassures him that she’s fine, he didn’t really hurt her, then immediately tells us about the expensive watch he bought her in London, and how romantic that is. Priorities, ladies. A man can do whatever he wants to you, so long as he buys you expensive jewelry. It’s not prostitution, it’s just the way things should be.

After a paragraph break, Chedward buys Ana more jewelry, a platinum bracelet that costs 30,000 euros. Remember those starving children he’s so worried about?

“There, that’s better,” he murmurs.

“Better,” I whisper, gazing into his luminous gray eyes, conscious that the stick-thin sales assistant is staring at us with a jealous and disapproving look.

Ana is going to make fun of someone for being too skinny?

I’m tired as fuck of “skinny” or “thin” being used as characterization shorthand for “evil bitch.” Especially when so much of the last two books concentrated on how Ana can’t/doesn’t eat and how she’s so thin every man wants to fuck her while simultaneously feeding her cookies for her own good. Plus, Ana, you moron, that sales assistant just sold a 30k bracelet. I’m sure she’s not disapproving. She’s probably not even paying attention to you. It might just be that she gets a disapproving look on her face when she’s doing the mental math to calculate her commission.

Christian has bought the bracelet, by the way, because he wants to cover up the bruise on her other wrist. I suppose when he gives her a black eye, he’ll buy her an eyepatch covered in Swarovski crystals, and all will be forgiven.

But when he says he needs to buy the bracelet, she says:

“No, Christian, you don’t. You’ve given me so much already. A magical honeymoon, London, Paris, the Cote D’Azur… and you. I’m a very lucky girl,”

Yeah, you’ve given her so much. Like hickeys all over her body out of anger, and bruises she didn’t ask for on her ankles and wrists because you’re not a very good Dom. You’ve given her a beating with a belt, a good thorough stalking, all your emotional baggage, and a free ride to your hotel room when she was passed out drunk and couldn’t say no. You’ve given her so much. What you haven’t given her is like, respect, personal agency, a healthy relationship, aftercare, the freedom to do simple stuff like have her own bank account and job, etc. Just little shit no one really cares about anyway.

I’m so glad someone is out there, training women to value the things that are really important. Like money, and letting rich men do whatever they want to women without any consequences.

Back in the car, Christian looks at Ana’s ankles, and the bruises he left there.

“Doesn’t hurt,” I murmur. He glances at me and his expression is sad, his mouth a thin line.

He’s probably thinking that he has to spend another 60,000 euros to cover those bruises, and wondering if it wouldn’t just be cheaper to dump your body overboard once you’re back on the boat. But good on you for trying to make your abuser feel bad for abusing you.

“I didn’t expect to feel like I do looking at these marks,” he says.

Oh! Reticent once minute and forthcoming the next? How… Fifty! How can I keep up with him?

“How do you feel?”

Bleak eyes gaze at me. “Uncomfortable,” he murmurs.

Oh no. 

Yeah, what a fucking shame that he feels bad for, at best, being an irresponsible Dom, at worst, being an abusive fuckwad who should have his balls smashed in a vise.

Ana tells him that aside from the hickeys, she liked everything else. Except, when she was first examining the marks on her body, she didn’t like the bruises left by the handcuffs. But I guess if it makes Chedward feel bad, she should just get over it and let him use cuffs that hurt her even if she doesn’t like it, because pleasing him is really the end goal.

Ana tells him the sex was mind-blowing:

He shifts in his seat. “Mind-blowing?” My inner goddess looks up, startled, from her Jackie Collins.

Get it? Women who don’t like sex are all nerdy prudes with small tits who read Dickens and lead bleak, horrible existences, and women who do like sex only read Jackie Collins, because it’s impossible to be smart enough to read literary fiction when you like sex. The best part of this is that a) Jackie Collins writes a much better book than E.L. James does, and b) E.L. just subtly insulted her readers by being dismissive of genre fiction. Which wouldn’t be the first time, since she blatantly used the Twihards to get famous and now shits on them every chance she gets.

E.L. James is a bad person, is what I’m saying here.

Christian gets a phone call, which sounds not great:

“Anyone injured? Damage? I see… When?” Christian glances at his watch again, then runs his fingers through his hair. “No. Not the fire department or the police. Not yet anyway.”

So, there was a fire at Christian’s office. As established in the last two books, Christian won’t call the police for any reason. Not even if his ex-girlfriend breaks into Ana’s apartment and holds her hostage at gunpoint. Now, there’s a fire in the server room at his office, and he doesn’t want to involve the fire department or the police? Exactly what is this guy doing, that he’s so afraid of the police coming anywhere near him?

Christian tells Ana that they’re not sure if it’s arson yet, but they decide to head back to the boat, and Ana wonders what more could possibly happen. The awesome part of that is, I really don’t give a fuck what happens to them, as long as it’s something tragic and violent, and then the chapter is over.

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Here for the first time because you’re in quarantine and someone on Reddit recommended my Fifty Shades of Grey recaps? Welcome! Consider checking out my own take on the Billionaire BDSM genre, The Boss. Find it on AmazonB&NSmashwords, iBooks, and Radish!


  1. I ignore him. Am I okay? No, I am not okay

    So you'll tell him that, but then he'll fuck you and everything will be okay! Like it has every single time you've been upset about something he did. YAY!

    February 21, 2013
  2. Veronica

    “That's not going to bed with two different men. That's going to bed with one man and his personality disorder.” Burst out laughing at this line (and most of the other ones too lol)

    February 25, 2013
  3. Niki

    Is this like the Weeping Angels? A photographic representation of a naked woman actually becomes a naked woman, and if you blink she tackle-fucks your husband?

    CANNOT. STOP. LAUGHING. My dog keeps crawling in my lap and trying to lick the tears off my face because he can't figure out if I'm happy or sad.

    April 16, 2013
  4. Rory

    Oh, man, this book makes me angry to no extent. The first two were awful, of course, but this one sucks balls BIG TIME. Abuse is not romantic, it’s not fun, it’s not something you can just wave off after a compliment, god fucking damn it. And the ED references, or whatever they are? Fuck E.L. James, fuck her big time. I hope Chedward sneaks into her house and stuffs food down her throat until she suffocates or something. Being a shitty writer, I can forgive. However, being a shitty writer, while romanticizing and promoting domestic abuse, rape and possibly eating disorders is wrong on so many levels and fhsjfas I have no words. (Well, actually I have too many words, but fuck that.)

    The only good thing about these recaps is the fact that you’re writing them. They’re true, straight-forward, well-written and hilarious and I’ll eternally love you, albeit in a non-creepy or stalkery way, because you make my day better.

    November 16, 2013
  5. Anon.

    The whole bruises thing so reminds me of the state Bella was in after sex-with-a-vampire, seems like EL James had to rip that off too, but stay true to her story and make it occur in the context of abusive retaliation for Ana daring to show some skin in France (ooohh the scandal!)

    December 26, 2013
    • watergirl

      That is all I kept thinking about, how Bella was covered in bruises after going to the beach and having sex with Edward on their wedding night. Does this woman have no shame?

      March 12, 2015
    • Annie

      I was assuming she was going for that imagery intentionally given the origins of the story. But some how she missed that Edward didn’t maliciously attack Bella to punish her for daring to have a body in public. He didn’t maliciously attack her at all.
      And he wasn’t saying “y u mad tho?” nor did he minimize his actions, blow them off, or try to get Bella to forget about it by buying her pretty things.
      It’s been a long time since I read those books, but wasn’t Edward wracked with guilt?
      So, since this whole story is about taking Bella and Edward, aging them up a few years, and removing the paranormal aspects, does James think that Edward’s empathy, compassion and guilt are a result of him being a vampire? That Real Men™ don’t behave or feel that way?
      Oh, how dreamy. Someone fetch my fainting couch, for I feel I will swoon at the thought of a big, strong man that is incapable of empathy or compassion. What a turn on. (/sarcasm)

      July 15, 2015
  6. Amy

    That moment when she’s looking in the mirror realizing that he marked her body so that she wouldn’t take her top off again? That’s the moment where I’d be thinking… “You know, what I’m in the mood for right now? A LOOOOONG topless walk on the beach.”

    August 2, 2014
    • Adeline Raina
      Adeline Raina

      Yes. A million times, yes.

      I would think nothing of wearing the skimpiest bikini out showing off those marks, let the paparazzi get a good selection of pictures, and let his staff get a good eyefull of what their boss does.

      Trigger warning
      One of my violent exes was angry at me cuz I called in to the bar where we both worked, and told our mutual boss that I couldn’t come in that night, because Andy had been violent and my face was covered in bruises.

      Andy didn’t like it. But the response he got from others (and the fact he was locked up for two days) ensured I had a very small amount of safety for the remaining time we were together.

      March 21, 2015
    • Annie

      Seriously. Even when I was dating a controlling, possessive, hyper-jealous, abusive asshole, when he started having a fit about me being topless on the beach, I’d probably have just said “I’m going for a walk.” And strolled up and down the beach topless for a while. And I’m modest about my body pretty much to a fault. The whole “those are my bewbs! You can’t show the world my bewbs! They’re bought and paid for!”-thing would have pissed me right the hell off.

      I’m not sure I would have had the guts to do it after the hickeys, but if I drank even half as much as Ana, I probably could have built up some liquid courage enough to do it.

      I did that a lot when I was with that ex. “Oh, you don’t want me to do x? Well then, I’ll do x-times-10 and see how you like it!” It often meant he’d physically and/or verbally abuse me to “teach [me] a lesson” about not listening to him when he knows what’s best for me (sound familiar?), but the act of defiance was usually satisfying enough at the time to be worth it.

      July 15, 2015
  7. Stephanie

    “I crack my spoon through the burned sugar crust of my dessert and shake my head. Will I ever understand this man? Hmm – this creme brulee is delicious.”

    Why does E.L James have Ana saying “Hmm” all the time? To me, “Hmm” implies a response to a suspicious or confusing situation. But she always connects “Hmm” to meaningless observations. In this quote, is the “hmm” a response to “Will I ever understand this man?” If it is, why is it connected to “this creme brulee is delicious”? Also, this is all Ana’s internal thoughts – is she actually thinking the sound “hmm”?

    I know I’m nitpicking but this legit really bothers me throughout the whole series.

    October 21, 2014
  8. halcyon1234

    Okay, E.L., here’s the thing… in ANY office building of any size, if there’s a fire, the fire alarm goes off. And those fire alarms don’t just ring the boss’ cell. They’re wired directly into the local dispatch, and a fire team is immediately sent. If there’s a fire in the server room, automatic systems kick in, fire is called. It isn’t Bob the IT Intern with a fire extinguisher running up the stairs from the basement.

    We’ve all seen Grey’s office. It’s a huge, towering building with hundreds if not thousands of people working there. The reason there’s automatic fire suppression and response systems is to protect those people. Is the fire spreading through the walls, through the vents? Are there multiple fires, and the one in the server room is just the one you saw? Are there now noxious fumes throughout the whole building? Is this a towering inferno?

    SO given that– the only way for him to NOT have the fire department show up is if he intentionally ordered all the fire alarm and suppression systems disconnected. Which is against, I’m sure, every building code, workplace safety code, fire law– hell, law in general. And it’d be an ongoing endevour every time his building needs to pass fire inspection to either hide this fact, bribe the inspector, or hook the system back up until they leave.

    So to protect his little secret, he’s willing to break the law. He’ll put THOUSANDS of his employee’s lives at risk of literally dying in a fire. Hell, if a fire burned out of control in just the right spots, it could take out the building and hundreds if not thousands of innocent people in the downtown core. That’s blood right on HIS hands.

    AND it would cause hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage. Not to mention the content damage– since I’m sure Chedward doesn’t “believe” in backups (safety, security, logic, what’s that?), it means all the data will be gone. Chedward Holdings Inc would be wiped out completely.

    And as soon as they prove that Chedward knowingly and willfully shut off the fire suppression system, insurance won’t cover it. He’ll be personally liable for thousands of deaths, and hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage. He’ll be completely wiped out financially, and face criminal charges for all those deaths. And there’d be no LLC or Inc protecting him– this isn’t a decision made by the board or the company, this was Christian himself.

    I wouldn’t be surprised, given the sheer magnitude of death and destruction and utter psychopathy displayed– if the DA didn’t push for the death penalty.

    Good jorb, Chedward.

    December 9, 2014
    • Annie

      What I don’t get is WHY he didn’t want police or the fire dept involved. I’ve read these recaps before and while that was quite a while ago, I don’t remember any reason not to have the authorities involved. Hell, if he wants to know for certain whether it was arson, he’d *need* the authorities involved.

      All James had to do to add just a teeny bit of much needed realism is while Chedward is on the phone have him simply ask “and does the marshal know yet whether it was arson? …uh-huh. …I see. Well, be sure to give me a call immediately as soon as you’re told anything.”
      There. Mystery remains, realism maintained (or added. The only thing realistic in these books is the way Christian abuses, controls, and manipulates Ana and the way Ana responds to it.) easy-peasy.

      I almost never read anything at, so I’m not sure how things work there, but I’ve read other amateur creative writing sites and the ones I’ve used usually have comments where people correct errors that slipped through or offer suggestions like “having him say no cops and no fire dept is not realistic at all. It’s probably not even possible.” This is especially true on popular pieces that are longer and update a chapter or so at a time. Usually those constructive criticism comments are greatly appreciated and taken in to consideration.

      So, with that said, even when 50SoG was still Master of the Universe over on, did people not comment on things like that? I can almost understand the publisher not really editing it, especially the sequels, because really. They were going to make money either way, so why decrease the profit margin (not that I think that is a good thing to do, I just get *why* they’d do it). But has James always been such a bitch to her fans that even on did she blow off the constructive criticism posts or did she simply not get many critical comments in general?

      July 15, 2015
      • Corey

        I don’t do fanfiction sites so I don’t know the answer, but it’s definitely VERY obvious that she was corrected by the comments in the first book. The contract Christian gives to Ana was meant to be legally enforceable. That’s why there are out clauses for Christian and so much shitty legalese.

        But I’m sure commenters pointed out, “You know this contract is complete garbage and would never be legal, right?” So then a chapter or 2 later, she has Ana confirm that — as if EL James always intended that, lmao.

        Idk if this part of the story was on FF or not before being picked up by a publisher, but let’s wait and see if she suddenly backtracks next chapter, because she was called out by her teenage audience who knows more about basic law than a grown woman.

        April 28, 2020
  9. meganekko

    “Whistle for the Choir” by The Fratellis came up on Pandora while I was reading this. I guess I’d never really listened to the lyrics, and probably should’ve taken issue with them before, but now I’ll never be able to listen to this song without picturing Chedward as the fucking narrator BECAUSE 50SOG RUINS EVERYTHING.

    “So if you’re crazy, I don’t care, you amaze me
    Oh you’re a stupid girl, oh me, oh my, you talk
    I die, you smile, you laugh, I cry
    And only, a girl like you could be lonely
    And it’s a crying shame, if you would think the same
    A boy like me’s just irresistible
    So if you’re lonely, why’d you say you’re not lonely
    Oh you’re a silly girl, I know I hurt it so
    It’s just like you to come and go
    And know me, no you don’t even know me
    You’re so sweet to try oh my, you caught my eye
    A girl like you’s just irresistible”

    March 3, 2015
  10. Adeline Raina
    Adeline Raina

    The shop assistant was probably looking disapprovingly because they just spent more money of a bracelet than she will make in a whole year in a high-end jewellers.

    Or she might have been looking disapprovingly as, you know, she would be able to see the bruises/cuts on Ana’s wrist (and maybe ankles), and could see the bruises on her chest where her dress stops… I wonder if she thought Ana was being kept chained up by Chedward and there may be another Josef Fritzl case looming… that could be why she as looking disapprovingly.

    March 21, 2015
  11. Maggie

    I seriously can’t believe Mr. I Fuck Hard (Hulk Smash) has the nerve to say “You remind me of my birth mom” and then continually disses the poor woman by referring to her as “Crack whore”. Abuse predictor #98- if he’s disrespectful of his mom, he will do the same to you. It would not surprise me if an unedited version of this book had a scene where Mr. IFH (HS) called Ana(rexia nervosa) a whore when she defied him.

    April 24, 2015
    • Mel

      An unedited version of this book?

      What, you’re telling me this book was edited?!

      January 6, 2016
  12. Yvonne

    What IS it with all the names that start with the letter G? Aside from the last name Grey, there’s Grace, Gretchen, Greta, Gwen, and now Gia. G names really aren’t that common.

    I’ve also noticed that nearly every woman in these books (at least all the ones allegedly ogling Christian) has a foreign-sounding name. Ironically, Ana never comments on any name sounding foreign except for the ONE female name that isn’t: Elena.

    Now let’s list all the women Ana distrusts, aside from her: Gretchen, Greta, Gia, Heidi and Olga. Those are all German names, with the exception of Gia, which is Italian. Point is, they are all European names, and Ana even refers to Gretchen as Little Miss European Pigtails. And why did she do that? Did Gretchen speak with a European accent? I’m pretty sure she didn’t. Ana just slapped that label on her because she’s blonde and has a German name.

    I don’t think this is a coincidence. I think E.L. Fudge is Europhobic.

    July 26, 2015
    • Kenan

      aren’t E.L. James British? Well, maybe she hates german girls only.

      October 24, 2015
      • Ana Namuss
        Ana Namuss

        Many Brits do not consider the UK a true part of Europe. Europe is “the continent,” and the UK happens to be a close neighbor.

        February 6, 2016
    • Corey

      Yvonne — you nailed it. It’s definitely Euro-phobic shit, especially since this book is set in the US, yet every “bad” woman is blonde with a European name.

      I guarantee EL James voted to leave, loves Boris Johnson, wishes the UK had Trump, and thinks Europe is a “Muslim shithole” now.

      It’s also interesting that ELJ is so obsessed with weight, considering that she herself is overweight. But since she’s BRUNETTE and overweight, it’s okay.

      April 28, 2020
      • Yvonne

        I honestly would not be surprised by any of those things. I can’t imagine anyone but a tRump supporter being cool with the misogyny in these books.

        August 10, 2021
  13. Yvonne

    And try to imagine an American man saying, “Why ever not?” Did you do it? Did he sound old? Because I can’t imagine an American man under seventy saying, “Why ever not?”

    ~ I can, but only if he’s saying it in a joking manner. Hell, sometimes when I ask a friend a question, I’ll start it with “Knowest thou how to…” or “Have thee any…” because I just like to be a dork sometimes. :p

    “I know nothing about art, Christian.”

    ~ There’s only ONE thing to know when you’re buying art, Ana: do you like it or not? Also, it would probably be a good idea to wait until AFTER the house is built and fully furnished before selecting art that may or may not clash hideously with your décor. You don’t need to be a connoisseur or snob in order to judge what kind of paintings you want in your home, and I resent the insinuation that you think you do.

    “Good heavens, this art is full of naked people!” I absolutely love that Ana is jealous of naked women in photographs now.

    ~ To be honest, I think MOST women wouldn’t be comfortable with nude art in their home, for multiple reasons: 1. Even supermodels can have self-esteem issues and feel uncomfortable looking at other women, 2. Who wants their husband openly ogling other women in larger-than-life images on the living room wall?, and 3. No matter how artistic the nude is, it still tends to come off as sleazy when you have guests over. Care to explain to your parents or siblings when they come to visit. And you certainly can’t have children over. Hell, you can actually have your own children taken away from you if you’ve got nude art on your wall, because it’s seen as corrupting a minor.

    July 26, 2015
    • Corey

      Huh? I have nude art on my walls, and while I don’t have children, I have nieces and nephews who visit (all under age 14), and none of them are ever immature about it. The most I ever get is questions. (I have a statue of Venus, and one of the 7-year-old boys asked if it was a mermaid.) If you respect kids the same way you respect adults, they will almost always rise to the occasion and act like adults.

      April 28, 2020
      • Yvonne

        The thing is, of course they’re not going to be immature about it in front of you. Kids are almost always too embarrassed to talk about anything even remotely sexual in front of adults. I remember a few parents (friends of friends, mostly) talking about how their kids were “handling sex ed just fine” because said kids didn’t come home crying or asking questions of the parents afterwards.

        Turned out that one of those kids actually had more questions than answers after taking the class. She simply didn’t want to ask her parents, of all people, and was too embarrassed to even submit an anonymous written question to the teacher. Another girl somehow got the idea that hymens grow back after every birth as part of the healing process, and that women have to lose their virginity multiple times throughout their lives because of this.

        I’m 40 but I have very clear memories of being a kid and NOT wanting to give my mom even the slightest indication that I knew what sex was or what a penis looked like. Among my peers, however, it was a VERY different story. We made up X-rated songs and drew unspeakable things all the time, but around adults, we were innocent and naive.

        August 10, 2021
    • Anon

      1. The idea that “most women” would be jealous of an inanimate object is laughable in the extreme. More importantly, any wife or girlfriend competing with a two-dimensional woman has problems that eschewing those kinds of paintings won’t solve.

      There are millions of women who couldn’t care less if their boyfriends or husbands watched porn or went to strip clubs as long as they were faithful and decent.

      You really need to get out more.
      2. Equally laughable is the idea that anyone should base home-decorating decisions on what’s best for other peoples’ kids. Let those kids’ parents decide how to handle the subject of nakedness, as well as how to treat things they encounter in other peoples’ homes. Also, citation please on the child removal laws.

      3. Nude art isn’t universally regarded as “sleezy.” More importantly, guests could just as easily be scandalized by the color of the Livingroom furniture or the size of the TV. TL; DR, home is, first and foremost, about what the owners/dwellers like. It is neither possible nor advisable for people to make those kinds of decisions based on what others will think.

      May 18, 2020
      • Yvonne

        Based on the majority of women’s reactions to content posted on Facebook and Twitter every day, I can very confidently assure you that yes, MOST women are not thrilled about nudity or sexual content on full display in their homes. Maybe YOU need to get out more and meet some normal people for a change.

        I don’t owe it to you to provide citation for what I know to be true. One of my closest friends is a social worker, and she has seen her colleagues remove children from homes for no other reason than adult magazines being out in the open. They used that as “evidence” that the children were being molested, which it was later proven that they were not. I myself spent years in foster care because some asshole flat-out LIED to a social worker, telling them that my mom was neglecting me and giving me drugs, neither of which could have been further from the truth. CPS didn’t even bother to investigate or ask ME, 13 years old at the time, a single question before taking me away from my mother.

        May 29, 2021
      • Adelo

        BOOOOM! Yvonne just schooled yo ass! Looks like you owe her an apology!

        August 10, 2021
  14. Yvonne

    I would go with, “Stop calling your mother a whore.”

    ~ Ugh, I know, right? My biological father (whom I never met, and never want to meet) denied I was his, and it wasn’t until after my mom got pregnant that she found out he was married. He also already had kids (half-siblings whom I have no interest in meeting, either). I fucking LOATHE adultery, and I feel tainted by the fact that the only reason I exist is because some asshole cheated on his wife. But I don’t go around referring to the guy as “the adulterous asshole,” but I certainly don’t call him my father, either. I always say “the guy that’s my father.” I know that sounds stupid and needlessly long, but that’s just how I’ve always spoken of him. It became an unconscious habit, and by the time I realized what I was doing, it just stuck.

    ~ I bet the sales assistant’s “disapproving” look was due to the bruise on Ana’s wrist that the 30K bracelet was bought to cover up. Surely she saw it when Christian put the bracelet on Ana. She was most likely disapproving of the idea that here is a man who thinks he can both literally and figuratively cover up physical abuse with lavish gifts.

    Also, fuck you, Ana. You have NO idea what the sales assistant is thinking. Hell, you can’t just look at somebody’s face and know that they are disapproving, or worse, jealous. I have often been asked why I’m frowning, but that’s simply the look I get when I’m deep in thought.

    Even if the assistant was looking directly at you, you certainly can’t tell if she’s jealous of you or not. You can guess or speculate that she’s jealous, but you cannot tell us that she is. You are not telepathic, and you are not God.

    July 26, 2015
  15. Yvonne

    I’m tired as fuck of “skinny” or “thin” being used as characterization shorthand for “evil bitch.”

    ~ I bet E.L. Fudge is jealous of skinny women (she’s on the heavy side, according to American standards, at leat), but at the same time, she is living vicariously through Ana by giving her a man who is so concerned about her health, he is constantly ordering her to eat and telling her she’s too thin.

    Bleak eyes gaze at me. “Uncomfortable,” he murmurs.
    Oh no.

    ~ I swear to fucking God, every single time Ana thinks “Oh no” or “Oh crap” or “No!” in response to Christian being butthurt about something, or guilty about the pain HE caused HER, I want to reach into the book and beat the ever loving shit out of her with my bare fists. I honestly hate Ana more than Christian.


    July 26, 2015
    • Adelo

      What is this shit?

      August 10, 2021
  16. Vely

    Thanks to 50 Shades and These recaps I have learnt a nee Word (I am not a native english speaker). But sadly I will never be able to usw the word ‘murmur’ just because of its sheer overuse in this series.

    December 13, 2018
  17. Corey

    So I guess the last book’s constant descriptions of Ana being TOO skinny and looking sick were supposed to be the equivalent of a walking skeleton while pregnant. And now, Ana being all manicured and polished and suddenly toned despite not working out is the equivalent of Bella becoming a super hot vampire.

    What lazy writing.

    Also, if I were Ana, I’d immediately go topless on the beach and make sure the paparazzi photographed me covered in bruises and ligature marks. Let them all see how the billionaire abuses his wife.

    April 27, 2020
  18. Corey

    Oh also, the constant “tut”-ing is so fucking British. An American would never “tut.” Why can’t this bitch do basic research?!

    April 27, 2020
  19. Corey

    P.S. Thank you SO MUCH for that rant about abusive relationships, and the privileged women who haven’t endured them. I’m standing and applauding you. You rock.

    April 28, 2020
  20. Lord Voldebeard, He Who Must Not Be Shaved
    Lord Voldebeard, He Who Must Not Be Shaved

    So I *absolutely* agree with your statements regarding the defenders of this series. For the most part. There *is* another group who might defend this series with whom I would not use the word “stupid.” Namely, those who can’t admit that this is abusive because it reflects their own abuse (current or past) so closely that to admit the book is abuse would be to admit that *they* are being abused, and they just can’t bring themselves to do it because of the abuse they are themselves suffering.

    These books are still awful and disgusting, mind you, this was just a thought that occurred to me while I was reading that I felt should be brought up.

    February 2, 2021
    • Yvonne

      You make a very good point. A disturbing, depressing point, but a good one nonetheless.

      May 29, 2021
  21. Aye


    Out of all the unbelievable bullshit he’s said so far that one seriously hit a nerve and just proves how selfish and awful he is. HE can afford to have a building burn down, but the rest of us sure can’t! Also, IT’S A FIRE PEOPLE’S LIVES COULD BE AT RISK AAAAAAAAIGJXALFJCBSNWKAHDOAOQKA

    July 11, 2023

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