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50 Shades Darker chapter 5 recap or “Everything is unrealistic, because it’s more dramatic that way.”

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Before we get into the recap proper, I have to make a PSA about the blog schedule. I try to get two 50 Shades recap posts in during the week. I would do more, except it takes a really long time to write these recaps. Even with a copy of the book chock full of notes and underlines, I spend a few hours working on these. For example, today’s recap clocked in at seven hours. So that’s why they’re not up every day. Well, that and the fact that I have children to care for, a husband to maintain a marriage with, a house that frequently requires at least minimal cleaning, and books of my own to write.

With that in mind, I will be “out of the office” next week, attending the Authors After Dark conference in New Orleans. I will be there speaking on the panels “GLBT Alpha/Beta” and “Erotic Romance,” as well as co-hosting a Steampunk tea party and an epic karaoke blow out. So, I’m gonna be a bit busy. Did I mention the hotel is on Burbon street? Busy.

So, what I’m saying is, next week I’m going to be too busy flashing my tits for cheap beads to do any recapping. I thought I would be able to get a post scheduled ahead of time, but it doesn’t look like it’s in the cards, so if you don’t see anything next week, you know the reason why. I will be back in the saddle on the 12th. I will probably post some short updates from the field, however. And if you’re really, really jonesing to know what’s going on, you can follow me on twitter. @JArmintrout. I post links to the freshest recaps there, and I check in quite often. I’m also quite chatty, so just, you know. Be aware that I’ll be blowing up your feed.

Next up, literally everyone in the world has sent me this link this week: Erica Jong hates 50 Shades  It’s some good reading, you should check it out, then come back here and read this recap.

We last left Ana looking on as Mrs. Robinson put her old, old, impossibly old hands all over Christian.

“Greta, who is Mr. Grey talking to?” My scalp is trying to leave the building.

Greta – who is blonde and therefore a whoore, remember – tells her that Mrs. Robinson is, in fact, Mrs. Lincoln, co-owner of the salon with non-other than Christian Grey. She usually doesn’t work at that location, but she just happens to be there filling in for a technician who got sick. After volunteering all that information, Ana asks Greta what Mrs. Lincoln’s first name is, and this happens:

Greta looks up at me, frowning, and purses her bright pink lips, questioning my curiosity. Shit, perhaps this is a step too far.

Asking what her first name is? Greta just voluntarily spilled all that information and asking her first name is a step too far? Mrs. Lincoln’s first name is Elena, and Ana is glad that her spidey sense was right.

Spidey sense? my subconscious snorts. Pedo sense.

HA! Good one, Ana.

They are still deep in discussion. Christian is talking rapidly to Elena, and she looks worried, nodding, grimacing, and shaking her head. Reaching out, she rubs his arm soothingly while biting her lip.

And then he just bends her over one of those weird chair hair dryers and fucks her in front of everyone. Just kidding. But can you imagine how this conversation is going? “Hey, Elena, this chick I’m with has this weird hang up about statutory rape. I know, I know, she’s so plebeian. If only she were as rich as we are, she could see that love between an old lady and a teenager is perfectly normal, right?”

Elena smiles at Ana, and Ana glares at her, and Elena and Christian continue to have a conversation we don’t know the content of, until he finally comes back to Ana. She asks him why he didn’t want to introduce her, and he’s genuinely shocked that she has a problem with being in the salon he co-owns with his rapist.

“For a bright man, sometimes…” Words fail me. “I’d like to go, please.”


Because you co-own this place with the woman who molested you. Seriously, what part of this is he not getting? Also, why are we laboring under the delusion that Christian is bright? Is this like when people say Ana is bright, and we’re supposed to just believe it because it’s in print? Christian has yet to do a single thing in this series that I would consider “bright.”

Then, we get words that are practically copied out of those domestic violence handouts that I used throughout the last book:

“We won’t need Franco, Greta,” Christian snaps as we head out of the door. I have to suppress the impulse to run. I want to run fast and far away. I have an overwhelming urge to cry.

 “You wish he would go away, you want to cry, and you want to run away from him.” If you are new here, and you haven’t read the recaps of 50 Shades of Grey, consider checking out this post, 50 Shades and Abusive Relationships, which outlines the red flags in Christian and Ana’s relationship. This is a big one. Christian admits he took some of his other subs, including Samara Leila, to that salon, but he thought Elena wouldn’t be there, as she often works at a different location. He tells her that while Mrs. Robinson met all of his subs, they never knew who she was. Which seems incredibly fucked up, to me, but I have no experience being an emotionally crippled billionaire.

At least Ana doesn’t let it go blithely by:

“Can you see how fucked-up this is?” I glare at him, my voice low.

“Yes. I’m sorry.” And he has the grace to look contrite.

“I want to get my hair cut, preferably somewhere where you haven’t fucked either the staff or the clientele.”

Picky picky.

He runs a hand through his hair. “I can have Franco come to the apartment, or your place,” he says quietly.

“She’s very attractive.”

Franco? I thought that was a dude’s name.

Oh, wait, they’re talking about Mrs. Robinson again. Ana asks if Elena is still married, and Christian says she got divorced five years ago.

“Why aren’t you with her?”

Jeez, Ana, are you trying to set them up? Christian tells her that it’s over between him and Elena, and then he gets a call, so he has to stand on the sidewalk snapping at whoever called him while Ana waits patiently beside him. Remember that, for later in this chapter. When Christian Grey has a phone call, time better fucking stop for him.

People bustle past us, lost in their Saturday morning chores, no doubt contemplating their own personal drama. I wonder if they include stalk ex-submissives, stunning ex-Dommes, and a man who has no concept of privacy under US law.

No, Ana. Just you. Because you’re so special. We get it.

I absolutely hate it when Christian is on the phone, because he talks like someone pretending to be on the phone. He talks on the phone like he’s in a poorly written play, and the words he says are exposition to the audience:

“Killed in a car crash? When?” Christian interrupts my reverie.

And then a paragraph later:

“That’s twice that bastard’s not been forthcoming. He must know. Does he have no feelings for her whatsoever?” Christian shakes his head in disgust. “This is beginning to make sense… no… explains why, but not where.”

Christian starts looking around all paranoid, then Ana does, too, but she doesn’t see anything.

“She’s here,” Christian continues. “She’s watching us… Yes… No. Two or four, twenty-four seven… I haven’t broached that yet.” Christian looks at me directly.

At this point, I’m adding “paranoid schizophrenia” to my list of possible mental illnesses for Christian, right next to “borderline personality disorder,” and “reactive attachment disorder.” Christian continues to have his exposition-splosion conversation:

“What?” he whispers and pales, his eyes widening. “I see. When?… That recently? But how?… No background checks?… I see. E-mail me the name, address, and photos if you have them…. twenty-four seven, from this afternoon. Establish liaison with Taylor.” Christian hangs up.

Of course, by now this is all so built up and dramatic that Elena who? Christian tells Ana that he was speaking to his security advisor, who has just discovered that Leila the ex-sub ran out on her husband with some guy who recently died in a car accident.

“The asshole shrink should have found that out,” he says angrily. “Grief, that’s what this is. Come.” He holds out his hand, and I automatically place mine in his before I snatch it away again.

Yeah, um, things haven’t changed with Ana since you took your big, dramatic, elaborate distraction phone call, Christian. Also, why would Leila’s psychologist tell you anything about what was going on in her life? I don’t care what kind of money and power you have, no mental health professional (who wants to keep their license) is going to say, “Oh, you’re her ex? Well, allow me to break HIPAA and tell you all these details about Leila’s life.”

I wish I could say that was the most poorly researched and unbelievable detail in this chapter, but just wait. It’s coming.

So, Ana is still mad and not thrown off the subject by Christian’s phone call:

“Wait a minute. We were in the middle of a discussion about ‘us.’ About her, your Mrs. Robinson.”

Yeah, wait a minute, Christian. I know it’s getting kind of confusing in here. After all, there was practically no plot in the last book, and in this one it’s stacking up, but one crisis at a time. Christian tells Ana they can talk about it at his place, and she’s like, no, I want to get my hair cut, so he calls the salon and says to have Franco at his place in an hour. But she still doesn’t want to go, and Christian is worried that Leila will hunt Ana down and do something to her, so she should really come and stay at his apartment:

“Anastasia, Leila is obviously suffering a psychotic break. I don’t know if it’s you or me she’s after, or what lengths she’s prepared to go to. We’ll go to your place, pick up your things, and you can stay with me until we’ve tracked her down.”

Wait, back up. Christian doesn’t know who Leila is after, himself or Ana. So, the obvious thing to do would be to go to his apartment (that Leila already knows the location of and has tried to commit suicide in) so that they’re both there, together, to… make it more convenient for the stalker? If anything, wouldn’t they be safer staying at Ana’s place? Or, I don’t know, filing PPOs against Leila and involving the police somehow? Like, immediately after she tried to kill herself in Christian’s apartment would have been an IDEAL time to get that stuff done.

He glares at me. “You are coming back to my apartment if I have to drag you there by your hair.”

Oh, you charmer, you.

I gape at him…this is beyond belief. Fifty Shades in Glorious Technicolor.

First of all, the entire reason Technicolor existed was so movies weren’t fifty shades of gray. Also, how is this beyond belief? Has he never threatened you with physical violence before, Ana? Haven’t you read the book?

“No,” I state stubbornly. I have to make a stand.

This is Jen, not holding her breath.

Christian threatens to carry her, and she thinks there’s no way he would do that:

Surely he wouldn’t make a scene on Second Avenue?

He tried to finger you at his parents’ dinner table, just inches from his entire family. But you’re right, he probably wouldn’t do anything crazy.

We glare at each other – and abruptly he sweeps down, clasps me around my thighs, and lifts me. Before I know it, I am over his shoulder.

“Put me down!” I scream. Oh, it feels good to scream.

He starts striding along Second Avenue, ignoring me. Clasping his arm firmly around my thighs, he swats my behind with his free hand.

Careful now, Chedward. It’s hard to stride purposefully with a boner. Why is no one stopping this? If I were on the street, and a woman was screaming and being carried off by a man, and it seemed like she was legit angry and not, you know, giggling, I would call the police. Ana sees that people are staring, but I can’t imagine that anyone would see an angry woman screaming “put me down,” to a man carrying her off and not do anything.

Eventually, he does put her down:

What am I going to do? I am so angry, but I’m not even sure what I am angry about – there’s so much.

No, really?

Ana makes a mental list of the reasons she’s mad, which of course leads her to the conclusion that there is something she doesn’t know about the situation:

Realization dawns. Something’s changed. What could that be? I halt, and Christian halts with me. “What’s happened?” I demand.

Of course he can’t tell her right off the bat, there has to be six or seven lines of dialogue in which he evades the question and pretends not to understand what she’s asking, so I’ll skip to the part where he just gives Ana the damned answer:

“She managed to obtain a concealed weapons permit yesterday.”

Wait right there. Let’s check out Christian’s phone call one more time:

“What?” he whispers and pales, his eyes widening. “I see. When?… That recently? But how?… No background checks?… I see. […]”

Leila got a concealed weapons permit without any background checks? BULL. SHIT.

If you follow me on the twitter or the facebook, you are probably already aware that I’m quite fond of guns, and as such, I am aware that laws vary from state-to-state with regards to open and concealed carry. I decided that this was a big enough plot point that I should do a little research (something E.L. James might have tried, if she wasn’t so busy racing to the next sex scene) and Here is what I found. Background checks are mandatory. From the Washington State Department of Licensing website: “The law enforcement agency will fingerprint you and conduct a background check before you can be issued a license. If you’re a Washington State resident, it may take up to 30 days to complete the background check.”

I didn’t have to dig for it. E.L. James could have just googled “Washington state concealed weapon” and gotten her answer in the first result. Even leaving out the “yesterday” in Christian’s dialogue would have been enough. But no, there is no way Leila got a concealed weapons permit in one day (a Friday, no less) without a background check. That’s not going to happen. Help me out here, British readers, do you all just think we run around willy-nilly, shooting guns into the sky?
Let’s not overlook the fact that Leila was recently hospitalized for a suicide attempt. Now, if Christian had done the non-control freak thing and gotten the police involved immediately after that, he would have a PPO, and Leila would have been ineligible for a concealed weapons permit. Also, if he’d called the police, the fact that she showed up at his house and slit her wrist would be a big red flag to the Sheriff’s office to not issue a concealed carry license. But Christian is so BRIGHT, remember?

Oh shit. I gaze at him, blinking, and feel the blood drain from my face as I absorb this news. I may faint. Suppose she wants to kill him? No!

She would have to get in line behind me.

“That means she can just buy a gun,” I whisper.

No, it means she can carry a handgun concealed on her person, or carry a loaded gun in her car. That’s all it means. She could buy the gun any time she wants. Washington is an open carry state, so she could carry the unloaded gun with her, so long as it’s in an exposed holster. Also, she could buy a rifle at any time and just pop them off from a distance with no paperwork at all, that’s what they should be worrying about in his all-glass apartment.

“Ana,” he says, his voice full of concern. He places his hands on my shoulders, pulling me close to him. “I don’t think she’ll do anything stupid, but  – I just don’t want to take that risk with you.”

“Not me… what about you?” I whisper.

While they stand on the sidewalk arguing over who loves who more, Leila could just come up behind them and kill them both. Christian said she was there, and she was watching them. He knows she has a gun. So, by all means, let’s stand on the sidewalk and continue with this, “No, I would be more shattered if she did something to you.”

They go to Ana’s apartment and she packs her stuff (including the Charlie Tango balloon. No, I’m not kidding) to leave. She off-handedly mentions that Kate’s brother is coming to town on Tuesday.

Christian gazes at me blankly, but I notice the frostiness creep into his eyes.

“Well, it’s good you’ll be staying with me. Give him more room,” he says quietly.

Why don’t you just buy the building and make a “No Ethan Allowed” policy, Christian?

They get her stuff and go out to the car, where they argue about who’s driving. Seriously, Leila is a shitty assassin, she could have killed them twice now, while they stand out in the open talking to each other. She could have done it with an AR from a distance, and not had to bother with all these pesky licenses.

I know I sound like I’m rooting for Leila here, but with these two, can you blame me?

Once they’re safely in the car (Leila, you’re killing me here, you could murder/suicide into them in your own car, and it would tie in so poetically with the death of your boyfriend!) they start talking about how Christian seems to have a thing for brunettes. He says that Mrs. Robinson is who put him off blondes forever, but he’s just kidding.

So, he only likes brunettes, I wonder why? Did Mrs. Extraordinarily Glamorous in Spite of Being Old Robinson really put him off blondes?

Back up once again. “in Spite of Being Old?” In the last chapter, Ana describes Elena as being in her late thirties or early forties. Christian is twenty-seven. So, let’s say Elena is forty, just for the sake of argument and easy math. That means that when Christian was fifteen, when their relationship started, she would have been either the age Christian is now, or a year older. And since we don’t have the specifics, that number could go either up or down. So… how is she old, exactly? She wasn’t old when she molested Christian, and she isn’t old now. How is this happening? Either Ana is one of those people who believes anything over twenty-five is old and E.L. James is brilliantly portraying this detail (which I find doubtful, given the evidence at hand), or E.L. James herself believes that anyone over twenty-five is old and shouldn’t be having sex because it’s gross, in which case she has created a hellish existence for herself with the readership of these books and the universe is restored to some merciful balance in my favor.

Christian explains to Ana that he’s a silent partner in the salon business, he just invested the money in order to repay at $100k loan that Elena gave him when he dropped out of Harvard after two years to go into business for himself. Remember that thing I said about “bright?” He dropped out of the school people would literally, not figuratively, kill to get into. Unsurprisingly, his parents didn’t approve. He also gives Ana some backstory on Elena:

“She was a bored trophy wife, Anastasia. Her husband was wealthy – big in timber.” He gives me a wolfish grin. “He wouldn’t let her work. You know, he was controlling. Some men are like that.” He gives me a quick sideways smile.

 It’s nice that they can joke about how controlling Christian is, without ever actually doing anything about it.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Christian asks Ana if she’s still mad at him. Gee, one of your exes is totally uprooting Ana’s life on the same day you took her to your rapist’s salon to get her hair done? Why would she be hanging on to a trifle like that?

Christian checks in with Taylor, who we learn has a daughter. Taylor is officially the most interesting character in this book, but there’s no time to dawdle, they have to go wait for the hair dresser. Christian goes to make some phone calls, leaving Ana to her own devices. She goes to her room and finally checks out all the clothes in her closet. This will come as a shock to no one, but they’re all needlessly expensive.

This isn’t me. I put my head in my hands and try to process the last few hours. It’s exhausting. Why, oh why, have I fallen for someone who is plain crazy – beautiful, sexy as fuck, richer than Croesus, and crazy with a capital K?

Because you have no self-esteem and believe that if you’re not with Christian Grey, the next step is dying alone? I thought we covered this in the first book. Also, Christian has his problems, and he’s definitely not mentally healthy, but you’ve got one of his exes planning a gun crime, so in this case, “crazy” might be subjective.

Ana decides to call her mom:

“Ana, honey! It’s been so long. How are you, darling?”

So long? She came home from Georgia and broke up with Christian like, a day or two later, right? And it’s been, what, a week since then, so… it hasn’t been that long at all. But okay. They talk about Christian and how things are complicated, and her mom says things are complicated with Bob, too, and then Ana has this staggeringly self-aware thought:

Oh, someone else has problems. I’m not the only one.

I think that pretty much sums up the entire character of Ana.

Christian appears in the doorway. “There you are. I thought you’d run off.” His relief is obvious.

Wait, he was the one who left to go make phone calls. Did he seriously expect her to just stand there and wait in the same spot until he got back?

I hold my hand up to indicate that I’m on the phone. “Sorry, Mom, I have to go. I’ll call again soon.”

Why does she have to go? Oh, right. It’s not like Christian has ever made her wait while he took a call. It certainly didn’t happen right now or just a little bit ago on the street or over and over and over again.

“Why are you hiding in here?” he asks.

“I’m not hiding. I’m despairing.”

And I am LOLing.

Christian and Ana have one of their trademark conversations in which they seem to believe there is some kind of problem with their relationship, but they won’t articulate it, so they just dance around it and try to be witty rather than actually resolving anything:

“I know, I’m trying,” he murmurs.

“You’re very trying.”

“As are you, Miss Steele.”

“Why are you doing this?”

His eyes widen and his wary look returns. “You know why.”

“No, I don’t.”

He runs a hand through his hair. “You are one frustrating female.”


But if they did that, there wouldn’t be anything to space out the time between sex scenes, and we’d be left with just blank pages. Christian tells Ana that he likes that she’s not into him for his money, and she gives him “hope.” For what, you ask?

He shrugs. “More.” His voice is low and quiet. “And you’re right. I am used to women doing exactly what I say, when I say, doing exactly what I want. It gets old quickly. There’s something about you, Anastasia, which calls to me on some deep level I don’t understand. It’s a siren’s call. I can’t resist you, and I don’t want to lose you.”

Sirens kill people. Just saying. And how infuriating is it to hear this douche, he of the “sign this sex contract,” complain that it’s boring when women do what he says? He’s the one who makes them sign contracts to do that in the first place! It’s not their fault he’s bored with what he asked for.

He looks so vulnerable… It’s disturbing.

Oh, NOW you’re disturbed. She tells Christian she can be patient, and then the hairdresser shows up:

Franco is small, dark, and gay. I love him.

Of course you do. You seem incapable of liking any person who isn’t a part of some marginalized group.

“Such beautiful hair!” he gushes with an outrageous, probably fake Italian accent. I bet he’s from Baltimore or somewhere, but his enthusiasm is infectious.

Gay people. They’re just so over the top, all the time, amiright? No, I’m not. Because we don’t live in Stereotopia, land where stereotypes are reality.

When they get done with her hair cut, Franco presents her to Christian:

“See! I tell you he like it,” Franco enthuses.

Good news, he talks like the prostitute in Full Metal Jacket for the rest of his scene.

 “Oh, me so stereotypical gay man, me cut your hair long time.”
After Franco leaves, Christian asks Ana if she’s still mad at him. There’s a joke to be made here about shampoo and brainwashing, but I’m honestly too tired to make it. He asks her if they can discuss their problems in bed, because that’s always worked before, right?

“Over lunch, then. I’m hungry, and not just for food,” he gives me a salacious smile.

Oh stop.

“I am not going to let you dazzle me with your sexpertise.”

 US law requires me to use this .gif every time the word “dazzle” is used on my blog. It’s in the constitution. Look it up.
Ana finally gets some balls and tells Christian what the problem is:

“What’s bothering me? Well, there’s your gross invasion of my privacy, the fact that you took me to some place where your ex-mistress works and you used to take all your lovers to have their bits waxed, you manhandled me in the street like I was six years old – and to cap it all, you let your Mrs. Robinson touch you!” My voice has risen to a crescendo.

I think you forgot, “Your ex is trying to kill me, and you weren’t even going to let me know.” Because if Ana hadn’t asked, Chedward wasn’t going to tell her about the CCW.

Christian wants to clarify that Elena isn’t his Mrs. Robinson, and Ana points out that, hey, Elena can touch him, and she can’t. Christian says it’s because Elena knows where she can touch him, and it’s apparently impossible to teach that to another living human being.

“You and I don’t have any rules. I have never had a relationship without rules, and I never know where you’re going to touch me. It makes me nervous. Your touch completely – ” He stops, searching for the words. “It just means more… so much more.”

Wait, they don’t have any rules? Did I black out and start reading a different series? Because they had a whole bunch of rules, a contract, actually. And even though he said the contract has been thrown out, he’s still manipulating her into following those rules.

Ana tries to touch him, and he’s all panicked about it. Ana points out that he would feel pretty bad if he couldn’t touch her, and he agrees.

“You’ll have to tell me why this is a hard limit, one day, please.”

“One day,” he murmurs, and seems to snap out of his vulnerability in a nanosecond.

How can he switch so quickly?

Mental illness?

“So, the rest of your list. Invading your privacy.” His mouth twists as he contemplates this. “Because I know your bank account number?”

“Yes, that’s outrageous.”

“I do background checks on all my submissives. I’ll show you.” He turns and heads for his study.

It doesn’t make it better that he’s done this to other women. It just makes it more shady, because he now has a lot of women’s banking information. There was nothing in the contract allowing him to do such a thing, and he never asked Ana if it was okay to run this check or find this information out.

From a locked filing cabinet, he pulls a manila folder. Typed on the tab: ANASTASIA ROSE STEELE.

Why is it in a filing cabinet? Surely someone with his finger on the pulse of developing technologies would have, you know, a computerized database for this stuff. It would be more secure than just a locked filing cabinet.

No one in US history has ever broken into a filing cabinet.
Ana looks at the file and has the lightbulb moment she should have had, you know, in chapter three of the first book:

“So, you knew I worked at Clayton’s?”


“It wasn’t a coincidence. You didn’t just drop by?”

No, Ana. I’ve been trying to tell you this. He did not “just drop by” to pick up his kidnapping supplies, he went there on purpose. EVERYONE WITH HALF A BRAIN KNEW THIS ALREADY IT IS NOT A REVELATION.

Ana tells him that the whole background check thing is fucked up, and he says he doesn’t “see it that way,” so obviously that makes it okay.

“I don’t misuse the information. Anyone can get ahold of it if they have half a mind to, Anastasia. To have control – I need information. It’s how I’ve always operated.”

 The thought of just, you know, NOT CONTROLLING WOMEN has never entered into his mind. Christian Grey is a person who should not be in a relationship, in any relationship, because he has no clue how to respect other people and have boundaries. Keep in mind, somewhere, right now, a woman is schlicking to a fantasy of having this man treat her like garbage. GO FEMINISM! And let’s examine the ways Christian Grey does misuse the information:

  • He goes to Ana’s workplace to “bump into” her.
  • He deposits money into her bank account without her permission.
  • He follows her to her mother’s house in Georgia against her wishes.

I’m sure there are more, but I’m too enraged by this normalization of abuse to remember them. At least Ana calls him on the deposit, but when she does, he asks her how much money she thinks he makes. She says it doesn’t matter, because she doesn’t care, and he says:

“I know. That’s one of the things I love about you.”

I gaze at him, shocked. Love about me?

So, yeah, now she’s going to focus on that to the exclusion of all common sense. Oh, and he tells her his unrealistic salary:

“Anastasia, I earn roughly one hundred thousand dollars an hour.”

Break it down now:

  • $100,000.00 per hour
  • $2,400,000.00 per day
  • $16,800,000.00 per week
  • $67,200,000.00 per month
  • $806,400,000.00 annually
This isn’t entirely unrealistic. There are people in America who make this much money. Bill Gates, for example, only draws a salary of one million per year, but his estimated annual income is closer to Christian Grey. But I do find it unrealistic for someone who dropped out of college, is only twenty-seven years old, and who makes reckless business decisions based on who he’s boning at the moment to have this kind of wealth. Also, let me point out again, he drives an Audi. One of these things is not like the other, friends.
Ana asks Christian how he would feel if someone was just throwing money and nice things at him all the time, and he says he doesn’t know.

This is it, the crux of his Fifty Shades, surely. He can’t put himself in my shoes.

Can’t, or won’t, Ana? He continues to argue that it’s okay for him to lavish gifts upon her, because he wants to. That’s what makes it okay, reader. He wants it, and he’s not willing to stop.

Oh, this is going nowhere.

Ana thought, echoing my own frustration.

They go to have lunch, and since Mrs. Jones has the day off, Ana will cook. Christian informs her that his subs usually cook for him on the weekend, so I guess that’s not like, slavery or anything. Christian goes to his study and leaves Ana to it.

Christian is still in his study, no doubt invading some poor, unsuspecting fool’s privacy and compiling information. The thought is unpleasant and leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

As it should. But not for long, of course, because to cook, Ana must also dance! Facing the fact that Leila might have put more music on Christian’s iPod, she bravely looks through it to find a song:

I scroll through the extensive list. I want something upbeat. Hmm, Beyonce – that doesn’t sound like Christian’s taste. “Crazy in Love.” Oh yes! How apt. I hit the “repeat” button and put it on loud.

I sashay back to the kitchen and find a bowl, open the fridge, and take out the eggs. I crack them open and begin to whisk, dancing the whole time.

In case you’re keeping score at home, this is the second time Ana has whisk-danced in Christian’s kitchen.

No empathy, I muse. Is this unique to Christian? Maybe all men are like this, baffled by women.

No, Ana. All men are not like this. You’re just willing to believe that they are, rather than realize that you are in an abusive, controlling relationship that is only getting worse instead of better.

I wish Kate were home; she would know. She’s been in Barbados far too long. She should be back at the end of the week after her additional vacation with Elliot. I wonder if it’s still lust at first sight with them.

One of the things I love about you.

Notice the juxtaposition there? Kate and Elliot are only in lust, Ana and Christian are in love. That’s not an accident, as all along Ana has looked down on Kate and Elliot for being too sexual and too expressive of their love. They can’t possibly feel what Ana feels for Christian. Also, note that the reason Ana has given for missing Kate is, once again, because Kate could do something for her. First, she missed Kate because she needed someone to nurse her through her breakup, now she misses Kate because she’s not available to work through Ana’s relationship problems.

Christian comes back to the kitchen and asks Ana how long she’s going to stay mad at him for a piddly little thing like invading her privacy. Ana asks him if he put “Crazy In Love” on his iPod (even though she already knows the answer), and asks if Leila was trying to tell him something with the song choice. I’m guessing she was trying to tell him, “I’m going to go crazy and try to kill your next girlfriend if you break up with me.”

Why can’t anyone just use words to communicate their feelings in this series? Why must it always be some cryptic method through music? Oh, that’s right. Because they’re seventh graders.

Because writing something new and original for book two would be difficult, this happens:

He heads over to the iPod dock while I go back to my whisking.

Moments later the heavenly sweet, soulful voice of Nina Simone fills the room. It’s one of Ray’s favorites: “I Put A Spell On You.”

You know how Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 are basically the same movie, with some minor changes? That. Right down to reminding us that it’s one of Ray’s favorite songs.

I flush, turning to gape at Christian. What is he trying to tell me?


I watch him, enthralled as slowly, like the predator he is, he stalks me in time to the slow, sultry beat of the music.

It’s way sexier than the way he stalks her the rest of the time. And “like the predator he is?” If the word you’re using to describe the man you date is “predator,” and you are not the heroine of a paranormal romance, maybe you might need to reevaluate your situation.

Christian tries to sex her out of being mad at him, but she rejects his advances. You know, a little.

I don’t want this – I do want this – badly. He’s so frustrating, so hot and desirable. I tear my gaze away from his spellbinding look.

“I want you, Anastasia,” he murmurs. “I love and I hate, and I love arguing with you. It’s very new. I need to know that we’re okay. It’s the only way I know how.”

“To manipulate you into forgetting that I’m a dick,” is how that sentence should have ended.

“I’m not going to touch you until you say yes,” he says softly. “But right now, after a really shitty morning, I want to bury myself in you and just forget everything but us.”

Oh my… Us. A magical combination, a small, potent pronoun that clinches the deal.

Luckily, Taylor comes in and interrupts them making out. You know, for now, because Ana doesn’t have the self-respect required to not have sex with Christian Grey when she’s legitimately angry with him.

Christian and Taylor stare at each other, some unspoken communication passing between them.

Taylor and Christian go into the study, and Ana goes back to making lunch and thinking about what is wrong with Christian and how she can fix it, because if there is one thing women are known for it’s their high success rate with fixing broken men. Christian comes back and they eat. They actually don’t fight about it for once, but Ana does mention that she’s eating despite not being hungry. They talk about how Christian knows French and stuff, and Ana says his parents must be very proud of him, which is apparently not an okay thing to say, because he gets really surly. Christian goes to brief the security team about recent developments, and Ana goes to fire up the google on the old internet machine. No, I’m not kidding, she says this:

I set about transferring Christian’s playlist from my iPad to the Mac, then fire up Google to surf the net.

Ana is one hundred years old.

I’m lying across the bed looking at my Mac as Christian enters.

“What are you doing?” he inquires softly.

I panic briefly, wondering if I should let him see the Web site I’m on – Multiple Personality Disorder: The Symptoms.

Here’s another nit to pick: any up-to-date website would refer to it as “Dissociative Identity Disorder.”

Christian and Ana banter wittily about how fucked up he is, then he suggests that she take a tube of lipstick and draw on his body so that she has a map of where she can touch him:

“I could get a tatto.” His eyes are alight with humor.

Christian Grey with a tat? Marring his lovely body, when it’s marked in so many ways already? No way!

Fuck you, Ana. First of all, don’t say “tat” because it sounds skeezy and like something you get in prison, and second, tattoos don’t “mar” a body, they decorate it.

For a page and a half, Ana draws on Christian with lipstick.

“Finished,” I murmur, and it looks like he’s wearing a bizarre skin-colored vest with harlot red trim.

 Just a vest? You wanna come in and see a real man’s skin wardrobe?

Then Ana literally jumps on him, and the chapter is FINALLY 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. Vee

    I am going to nitpick here. Salary per hour is calculated from work hours a day and work days a week. So he is probably only making 200 MIL a year 😛
    Also I love your blog and I have laughed out loud in public places, thanks to you. Will go back to the article now! GO Chedward McSparklepants!

    September 9, 2013
    • Bobbie

      I mean, that would be for however long he actually works without, like, skipping off to go stalk some woman. He’d be down to about 5.2 million a year before taxes since he works maybe one hour a week before Ana wakes up.

      June 26, 2015
  2. Amanda

    Love this blog as well, been laughing for days as I’ve been reading through- BUT I just have to mention that Bill Gates is a college drop out. He dropped out of Harvard to form Microsoft, which his parents were supportive of. Sound familliar?

    September 18, 2013
  3. Anonymous

    I think you missed a beautiful opportunity to use your Chris Hansen photo at the predator line. Just saying.

    September 24, 2013
  4. Cherry

    Every time I read this I crack up at the Watergate pic. It never gets any less funny!

    November 24, 2013
  5. ColeYote

    > “Franco is small, dark, and gay.”
    I’m going to assume you cut out a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of painful exchanges with him.

    > “Anastasia, I earn roughly one hundred thousand dollars an hour.”
    … I can only think of two billionaires under 30. Admittedly they’re both college dropouts, but they’re also Mark freaking Zuckerberg and one of his partners in creating Facebook. Does EL ever explain how Christian managed to get so rich?!

    > They go to have lunch, and since Mrs. Jones has the day off, Ana will cook. Christian informs her that his subs usually cook for him on the weekend, so I guess that’s not like, slavery or anything.
    That’s actually not too uncommon in healthy D/S relationships.
    Which this clearly isn’t.

    November 25, 2013
  6. Anonymous

    I had, just HAD to go back and watch Ever After after your reference in another entry to the “rapey bad guy’ in that movie btw XD

    December 1, 2013
  7. kg

    So… Taylor and Christian wanted the nachos?

    December 3, 2013
  8. Odinswolf

    (Again, commenting on old stuff) On the whole “women getting themselves off to being treated like garbage” thing…I think that is the point. I mean, BDSM does sometimes involve one person being the worthless and unworthy servant to the other, some people get off on humiliation and submission. Some people even have full time BDSM relationships where one party is permanently in control. I’m not saying this relationship (the one in the book) is healthy, it isn’t, but I think applying real-world standards to sexual fantasy can get a little silly. I have read stuff where a girl gets raped, as in attacked, drugged, tied up and raped, and then decides to be a slave to her rapist willingly. Some people get off on that. No one is saying it is what a relationship should be like in real life, even people who enjoy that kind of fantasy don’t want it literally, but I don’t think one should want it not to exist because it violates real-life morality and sense when it is wholly fantasy.

    December 26, 2013
    • Nicole

      I agree that is okay to fantasize about things that shouldn’t happen in real life. My problems with FSoG are: 1) James presents this as a normal BDSM relationship and 2) the readers believe her. When I mention that I do not like these books because I don’t like rape/abuse fantasies, fans try to argue that Ana never gets raped or abused. That terrifies me.

      January 24, 2015
      • Jess

        As well it should, Nicole. I have friends who keep arguing with me about this and have all but dismissed my opinions because I haven’t read the books. I guess sites like this, and my own freaking personal experiences don’t count? I’m going to keep trying to educate them, though, because this is a battle I refuse to at least not go down fighting.

        March 8, 2015
  9. carynmichelle

    So, this is a pretty random thought, but reading these recaps reminded me of something my sister said about cats. She said owning a cat was a little like an abusive relationship. They can be moody, enjoying you petting them one minute and scratching your eyes out the next, and the next minute they rub against you and purr and you pet them and fall in love with them all over again.

    That being said if I ever find I have a grey cat I’m going to name him Christian in honor of this book.

    January 26, 2015
  10. ViolettaD

    Instead of being jealous of Leila, or afraid of Leila, why isn’t Ana wondering if she will turn out like Leila? Doesn’t look like Christian Grey leaves his exes in better condition than he found them, per the Boy Scout Rule.

    March 8, 2015
  11. Hav

    I think the crazy in love on the Ipad is this one.
    It might just be because I’m Swedish and this song was forcefully burned into swedens collective minds when it was in eurovision, but really, with lyrics like”My body’s shaking
    When I think of the things that you do”, When you’re crazy in love
    You’re blind your heart’s on fire” and “My head opon your shoulder
    Baby when you hold her
    The girl is shaking like a leaf” I can easily see how it would apply to their relationship.

    June 25, 2015
  12. Leah

    For those not in “the know,” PPO stands for Personal Protection Order, which is what restraining orders are called in Michigan.

    Also, as an aspiring therapist, I was appalled to hear that Chedward got ahold of Leila’s psychiatric records that easily. They drill confidentiality practices into our heads in school. Was the shrink on Chedward’s payroll, too? Judging by the state of his client, he’s probably as good at psychology as he is at keeping records safe (as required by law).

    July 3, 2015
    • Late

      I’m assuming it’s still the shrink he required her to go to when they were together. That he still obsessively controls women even as exes.

      September 3, 2016
  13. Yvonne

    First of all, the entire reason Technicolor existed was so movies weren’t fifty shades of gray.

    ~ Actually, many shades of gray look noticeably different in color films, because they have a slight tint of blue or brown or some other color that would NOT be present in a black-and-white film.

    July 15, 2015
  14. Yvonne

    Here’s another nit to pick: any up-to-date website would refer to it as “Dissociative Identity Disorder.”

    ~ Yet another nit to pick: Ana is (unsurprisingly) stupid as hell for even entertaining the thought that Christian might have this particular disorder. Multiple personalities are NOTHING like what he has.

    July 16, 2015
  15. Anon123

    Okay, wait, I didn’t notice this the first time I read these–no one in the comments has called you out for not being aware of the bystander effect? Maybe you, personally, would call the cops when Christian is carrying Ana off down the street, but sh**-tons of people apparently wouldn’t.

    Mind you, I’m not saying James is aware, either, of how tragically common it is for people to ignore violent crime right in front of them. That’s just bad writing unless she says something to prove she knows about the studies/real-life incidents. I’m just saying I expected more nits to have been picked by now!

    Also, people should know about the bystander effect, because being aware of our biases can help us become better people in the moment.

    July 19, 2015
  16. Asian Persuasion
    Asian Persuasion

    I’m pretty sure Christian told Ana already that Mrs. Robinson’s name is Elena. It was, like, in the first book, wasn’t it? I mean, I don’t make it a point to remember shit like this–especially with these books that’re so horrible, no word in the English language can adequately describe just how horrible they are–but I do remember ’cause she was acting all xenophobic about it. I think she commented on how it was all “foreign-sounding” or something?

    August 8, 2015
    • Asian Persuasion
      Asian Persuasion

      Never mind, I’m a moron. I get now why she was asking for Mrs. Robinson’s first name.

      August 8, 2015
  17. Late

    Again, I’m late to the party, but I wanted to comment on how extremely fuck ed up it is that he’s ” bored” by subs who obey him. It implies that a sub who’s actually a sub and enjoys doing it is boring to him. That it’s wrong for a woman to like sex and that informed consent is just too ordinary and mundane for a relationship.

    September 3, 2016
  18. Eighmy

    I like that Chedward compares his controlling behavior to Mrs Robinson’s ex husbands. Ya know right after trying to justify why it was ok for Mrs Robinson to cheat and rape kids because her husband was controlling and it made her “bored”. I mean according to Chedward Anabella she be fucking kids any moment.

    June 28, 2017
  19. Meggy

    Late to the party, but I only went to Seattle to see Fall Out Boy. Not because of a crap book lol

    February 20, 2018
  20. Karen

    British reader here, Jen. No we don’t think Americans go around shooting guns willy-nilly, just as we don’t think all Canadians are lumberjacks or that all Chinese wear silk robes and have long pigtails.

    Most of us would do research about another country before setting a story there; please don’t judge us all by E.L. James’ standard!

    February 22, 2018
  21. A. Corbeau
    A. Corbeau

    How does Ana know that Franco is gay? Did he stare at Chedward’s butt? Did he arrive with his boyfriend? Did he introduce himself as Franco the Gay? Just because a man is short, has an Italian accent and thinks giving a haircut is an art form doesn’t have to mean that they are attracted to men. Is there anything in the book that indicates that he is actually gay or is it just that Ana thinks he is because he fits some stereotypical image she has of gay men?

    November 16, 2022

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