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50 Shades Freed chapter 21 recap or “Lysistrata”

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It’s that time of two weeks or whatever when I once again wade into the utter bullshit that is 50 Shades and come out the other side a fuller, more enraged person for it. But first, links:

@JennHolton sent me this link from XOJane.com, “It Happened to Me: I Had a Baby with My Abuser”. I feel like the “It Happened To Me” features are the very best articles XOJane has to offer, so when you’re done reading that one, check out some of the others, too. And I very much hope that Ms. Nolan and her son continue to have a happy, safe life together.

Luisa Prieto drew an awesome comic about what would happen if Hannibal Lecter took Dr. Flynn’s job. And I’m totally flattered that she name dropped me in such a magnificent post.

Here’s a handy guide to identifying the species Poortasteus Grey in the wild.

Meanwhile, total badass Lacey has come up with a drinking game and sound effects for your recap reading pleasure, but I like them so much, they’ll be getting their own post later this week.

So, on to the recrap:

That’s a typo, but I’m leaving it.

At the end of the last chapter, Ana found out that subsequent to her “loving husband” flying into a blind rage over her pregnancy, he went to see Mrs. Robinson:

He’s been out until one thirty in the morning drinking– with her!

liz lemon

How could he? How could he go to her? Scalding, angry tears ooze down my cheeks. His wrath and fear, his need to lash out at me I can understand, and forgive– just. But this… this treachery is too much. I pull my knees up against my chest and wrap my arms around them, protecting me and protecting my Little Blip. I rock to and fro, weeping softly.

Maybe I’m a shallow and cynical reader, but since Ana did just about the same thing on the floor of a parking garage in the first book because Christian Grey didn’t kiss her on their non-date, I’m not moved by the dramatic outpouring of feeling. Plus, I’m annoyed that once again our heroine is blaming herself for the emotional abuse heaped on her and is rationalizing it away, while the author of the book doesn’t feel that the relationship is abusive in any way. It’s like she’s straight up looking us in the eye and saying, “You’d have to be weaker than Ana Steele to not be able to make your abusive marriage work, ladies.”

And I just realized in typing that sentence that Ana’s married name could be Anastasia Rose Steele-Grey, and now I want to drink and it’s still morning where I am.

What did I expect? I married this man too quickly.

you don't say

I knew it– I knew it would come to this. Why. Why. Why?

Why. Why. Why? did you marry him, or Why. Why. Why? did you choose to punctuate a question with a period twice in a row? Third time’s the charm or something?

The knife twists slowly and painfully deep in my heart, lacerating me. Will it always be this way?

Yes. Because you married a psychopath. Because you knew you weren’t happy with him and you said yes because you felt sorry for him. Because he duped you into believing you loved him, when really you were just scared of him and isolated from your support system. Because he’s an abuser, and he’s not going to change just because you loved him perfectly.

I married him because I love him, and deep down I know that he loves me. I know he does. His achingly sweet birthday present comes to mind.

For all our firsts on your first birthday as my beloved wife. I love you. C x

No. That isn’t an achingly sweet birthday present when he uses it to make it all about him. How much of that message is really about Ana? Not much. “OUR firsts.” “Your first birthday as MY beloved wife.” It’s about how she reflects his image back to him. Not a damn bit of his “love” for her has anything to do with her.

He will come around… he will. But will I? Will I recover from this… from this treachery?

Treachery is kind of an archaic word to throw down twice on one page. You’re starting to sound like this guy:

uther1
Excuse me, this was NOT an excuse to scour the internet for Anthony Head pictures, and I resent your accusations.

I think about how he’s been this last, horrible, wonderful weekend. His quiet strength while my stepdad lay broken and comatose in the ICU… my surprise party, bringing my family and friends together… dipping me down low outside the Heathman and kissing me in full public view.

This is ridiculous, Ana. Christian didn’t display “quiet strength.” He fucked off to the waiting room to make business calls, then took it upon himself to step in and get your critically injured father transferred to another city unnecessarily. He brought in the doctors he wanted, without consulting you or Charlie. Yes, I know your dad’s name is Ray, but he’s so blatantly plagiarized, I’m not even going to fuck with calling him Ray anymore because it’s too confusing to try and remember which is which, even when the book is open right in front of me. As for the fucking surprise party, wake up and smell the isolation: the only people who were at that party are the people Christian allows to have contact with you, and then only when he chooses the method and delivery of said contact. So, he kissed you in public. BFD. People kiss in public everyday. That doesn’t make him a prize. It doesn’t erase his abuse.

Ana at least realizes that her choice in husband doesn’t affect just her anymore. She decides to completely disregard Dr. Flynn’s edict to give Christian the benefit of the doubt, and instead she goes snooping through Christian’s phone.

Now, I’m not going to say that I’ve never snooped on a romantic partner. I will say, however, that if you need to snoop on a romantic partner, it doesn’t really matter what you find when you do. The fact that you’re snooping is the answer, ya dig?

There’s nothing on his phone that indicates he’s been communicating with Elena. There is, however, proof that he’s a serial killer:

The wallpaper on his phone is photograph upon photograph of me, a patchwork of tiny Anastasias in various poses– our honey-moon, our recent weekend sailing and soaring, and a few of José’s photos, too. When did he do this? It must have been recently.

I love that she comes to the conclusion that this was done recently, because there are recent pictures in the collage. No kidding, Ana? You must be some kind of genius. All I can picture though, when I read about that collage, is the creepy janitor who is obsessed with Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard.

I notice his e-mail icon, and an idea slithers enticingly into my mind… I could read Christian’s emails. See if he’s been talking to her. Should I? Sheathed in jade-green silk, my inner goddess nods emphatically, her mouth set in a scowl. Before I can stop myself, I invade his privacy.

Oh yeah, this is an invasion of privacy. Let me remind you, readers, that Christian had a private investigator obtain Ana’s school records, banking information, home address, SAT score,  etc. before they were even dating. I’m not making this up, by the way. The private investigator’s report in the back of this damn book, in the “Shades of Christian” section that I’m so not looking forward to covering. Should Ana dig through his emails? No. But it’s not like he’s ever given her any privacy, either.

In his emails, she finds nothing indicating an affair (and we already know that he’s not smart enough to not use his business email for that shit, so it’s all clear), but she does find an email from Barney, about Jack Hyde. Let me give you just two chunks of this email and I’ll explain to you why it’s so laughably clumsy as an exposition device:

As Welch has told you the unsub car was rented with a false license by an unknown female, though nothing ties it to the South Irving Street area.

and:

As a reminder, here is a list of what was retrieved from Hyde’s SIP computer.

Okay. You know how you’ll be watching a movie, and a scientist or something will be like, “I needn’t remind you of the consequences. Should this fail, Earth is doomed,” and you’re like, “Wait, if he didn’t need to remind him of the consequences, why did he go right on and remind him of the consequences? That seems like it was more for my benefit than the guy in the movie’s benefit,” and you get this creeping sense that maybe the characters in the movie are aware that you’re watching them, and then you think maybe you ate too much acid and you have to get out of that theatre fast because everyone is turning into lizards and it’s just started raining carnivorous, sentient daisies? This is kind of the same situation. Only super, super stupid, because this is an email. There’s no reason Ana couldn’t have just found the email where Barney says, “Heads up, we found this out about the car and also here’s what we found on the computer.” There’s absolutely no reason to show Barney rehashing information Christian already knew in such an obvious, “As you know,” way. Because it’s a fucking email. She could just find the original email.

I feel like I’m not a skilled enough writer to express just how fucking stupid that is.

Even though Ana doesn’t find anything from Mrs. Robinson– or Leila– on Christian’s phone, she isn’t going to sleep with him. She’s going to sleep in the playroom, where we can have more “E.L. James has no fucking clue about BDSM” fun times:

I retrieve a pillow, duvet, and sheet, then unlock the playroom door and enter, switching the lights to dim. Odd that I find the smell and ambience of this room so comforting, considering I safe-worded the last time we were in here.

So, according to the Holy Gospel of 50 Shades, using a safe word during sex play should be a disturbing event. What the ffffff… okay. Deep breaths. Safewording should never be uncomfortable. The safe word is a comfort. The safe word allows the sub to push their own limits in a safe way. And using the safe word isn’t some rare and traumatic occurrence in a healthy D/s relationship. Guess what? Sometimes, you safe word because your ass is sore or you get a cramp in your tied up arms. Not because you’re emotionally broken or because it’s some massive issue in your relationship. And in a healthy relationship? A sub would most likely not be uncomfortable in their own fucking playroom.

Ana has forwarded Mrs. Robinson’s text to her own phone, and she resends it to Christian with her own message calling him out on his bullshit. Then, the saddest part of any of these books happens:

Briefly, I relive telling Christian that I’m pregnant and fantasize that he falls to his knees with joy in front of me, pulling me into his arms and telling me how much he loves me and our Little Blip.

This might be the very first time I’ve felt actual sympathy for Ana. Which is fucked up, because I’ve already acknowledged many times that she’s in an abusive relationship. But there is something so unlikeable and awful about Ana, I’ve never cared about her. Because she’s supposed to be a blank form I can project my immature ego onto. But now, having read that, I do feel like if she were a person, I would feel badly for her, after all–

Yet here I am, alone and cold in a BDSM fantasy playroom.

What was I saying about my sympathy? Because it’s gone now. What is this happy-families-heteronormative-kink-negative-bullshit-a-thon happening right before my eyes? Somehow, BDSM is subtly to blame here. If he weren’t kinky, he would have reacted better? Fuck that. This entire series is like when a religious door-to-door annoyance knocks and tries to explain about how they used to be on drugs and having all sorts of crazy sex, but then they found Jesus and now they don’t do that anymore. Except it’s, “Excuse me, ma’am, do you have a moment to discuss the gospel of not having fun during sex anymore because you want to have babies and the perfect fairytale rom-com ending and these two things are not compatible?” And no. I don’t. DOOR SLAM. You have ten seconds to get off my fucking property before I let my dogs out.

I have this pain behind my left eye.

Ana falls asleep, then she wakes up after the section break, because that’s the only transition E.L. James knows, and she’s going to sing you the song of her people over and over again. Christian pounds on the door, but she doesn’t answer him, so of course that means she’s been dead or kidnapped or something:

Taylor, Sawyer, Ryan, Mrs. Jones, and Christian are all standing in the entrance to the great room, and Christian is issuing rapid-fire instructions.

SHADES TEAM… ASSEMBLE!

“Where were you?” Christian asks, his voice low and husky. Suddenly Sawyer, Taylor, Ryan, and Mrs. Jones scatter, scurrying into Taylor’s office, into the foyer, and into the kitchen like terrified rats from a sinking ship.

Titanic
Pictured: Ana’s marriage.

Ana still doesn’t want to talk to Christian, so she ignores his demands for acknowledgment and goes into the bathroom to take a shower.

Oh, it’s warm.

I love how she says this, like it’s  surprise. Like water heaters were only recently invented, and she’s still getting used to them.

When she’s done, she comes out and finds Christian:

His expression is wary, that of a hunted predator.

This chapter just got a hell of a lot more entertaining.
This chapter just got a hell of a lot more entertaining.

Just, you know. A writing tip? If something is being hunted isn’t a predator. It’s prey. Unless it’s a Predator. I get that she was going for a whole “wolf caught in a snare/predator becomes prey” thing here, but it didn’t work, and all I can think of is how much I want to have sex with Dutch. In that weird clay mud. While we hunt Yautja and fight for our lives.

“Are you ignoring me?” Christian asks in disbelief as he stands on the threshold of the closet.

“Perceptive, aren’t you?” I murmur absentmindedly as I search for something to wear. Ah, yes– my plum dress.

Back the fuck up, bitch! That is not your dress! It’s Kate’s dress! WHY DO YOU STILL HAVE IT? Fuck you, Ana. Your husband is a billionaire, all he fucking wants to do with his life is buy you clothes, and you can’t even return your friend’s fucking dress? Also, was there a wardrobe budget for this fucking series? Why can’t she wear something else every now and then?

What follows is a stupid argument they’ve had a billion times, set to Ana putting on sexy underwear and thigh-highs and stretching, posing, and preening in front of Christian in a “You can’t have this, I’m too mad” dance of sexual denial that would be boring if it weren’t so fucking boring.

I mean, even her hair is stereotypically mad:

When my hair looks wild and untamed, I stop. Yes… I like it. I switch off the hair dryer.

When I hear “wild and untamed” and “hair dryer” in close proximity, I just assume this:

rosanne_498523

So, Ana basically struts around looking super hot in her panties and untamed whore hair, driving Christian wild with sexual desire as they argue over where she was, where he was, etc. She asks him if he slept with Mrs. Robinson:

“You think I’d cheat on you?” His tone is one of moral outrage.

“You did,” I snarl. “By taking our very private life and spilling your spineless guts to that woman.”

His mouth drops open. “Spineless. that’s what you think?” His eyes blaze.

“Christian, I saw the text. That’s what I know. “

“That text was not meant for you,” he growls.

Well, in fairness, Chedward, her banking information and high school transcripts weren’t meant for you, either. Tit for tat and all. You big tit.

Now, for the addiction shaming!

“Well, you were right. I do choose this defenseless baby over you. That’s what any loving parent does. That’s what your mother should have done for you. And I am sorry that she didn’t– because we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now if she had. But you’re an adult now– you need to grow up and smell the fucking coffee and stop behaving like a petulant adolescent.[…]

That’s right! Addicts don’t love their children. It’s not like they have a disease or anything that causes them to make shitty choices. It’s a moral failing, and they should be able to overcome it, but choose not to!

“[…] You may not be happy about this baby. I’m not ecstatic, given the timing and your less-than-lukewarm reception to this new life, this flesh of your flesh.[…]”

Are we in the Great Grass Sea? Is this a Khalasar? “Flesh of your flesh,” really? Is he your sun and stars, too, Ana?

horse heart
Ana was going to do this, too, but she wasn’t hungry… for food.

Christian falls back on his tactic of getting Ana to have sex to stop the argument from happening:

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

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

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

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

“Bloody murder.” I narrow my eyes.

“No one would hear you,” He murmurs, his gaze intense, and briefly I’m reminded of our morning in Aspen. No. No. No.

“Are you trying to frighten me? I mutter, breathless, deliberately trying to derail him.

It works. He stills and swallows. “That wasn’t my intention.”

Yeah, it wasn’t his intention. Because “Scream all you like, nobody will hear you,” isn’t the kind of sentiment routinely expressed by sadistic villains across all forms of media. And let’s remember, our romantic hero for all the ages, dreamy and beloved in the eyes of a lot of readers, is threatening to rape his pregnant wife because she won’t stop fighting with him. Let’s take this a step further, just to get even more disturbing. He says no one would hear her. That’s not the truth, is it? The apartment is full of people. So, what he means is, he can rape her, she can scream all she wants, but he pays those people to ignore it if he does.

Think about that. I’ll wait. And I’ll be here for you with blankets and cocoa and a hot water bottle.

“You really fucked up yesterday,” I whisper, my anger boiling over. “I’ve had a lot to deal with over the last few weeks.”

“You really fucked up three or four weeks ago. Or whenever you forgot your shot.”

Here’s what I don’t get about Christian being so furious over Ana getting pregnant “on purpose” to sabotage him… he didn’t want Ana to sign a prenup. Because they’re so in love and shit. But the second she gets pregnant, she’s somehow trying to trick him or something.

Christian says Elena is out of his life, but it’s like, since when, dude? Since one this morning? At least go twenty-four hours before trying to assert that she’s not a part of your life.

After their fight, Ana thinks:

I did not resort to tears, shouting, or murder, nor did I succumb to his sexpertise. I deserve a Congressional Medal of Honor, but I feel so low.

Excuse me, E.L.. I realize that you’re not an American, and therefore you might not understand exactly why this rubs me the wrong way, but maybe you shouldn’t equate our highest military honor, often awarded posthumously because the recipient made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, with being able to resist the magnetic sexual charms of your shitty, plagiarized Edward Cullen abusive husband fantasy jack off material. Jerk.

Besides, Ana has already received one, when I facetiously bestowed it upon her in an earlier recap. Probably for doing something “brave” like climbing a flight of stairs or pulling the plug in the bathtub when she was still sitting in the water.

Ana goes to work, and Kate calls her. Chedward called Kate earlier looking for Ana, and now Kate is worried.

“Cut the crap, Steele. What gives?” The Katherine Kavanagh Inquisition begins.

“Christian and I had a fight, that’s all.”

“Did he hurt you?”

Photo on 2013-08-06 at 16.13

Oh my god! Are you fucking serious?! KATE SUSPECTS CHRISTIAN IS AN ABUSER. E.L. JAMES WROTE THAT. SHE WROTE A SIDE CHARACTERS SUSPECTING CHEDWARD OF ABUSE, BUT SHE STILL CLAIMS SHE CAN’T SEE HOW PEOPLE FEEL IT’S ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP? YET SHE COULD SEE THAT IT WOULD APPEAR SO TO KATE? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? YOU WROTE IT! YOU WROTE IT IN THE GODDAMNED BOOK! YOU DO SEE IT, YOU JUST DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT THE CRITICISM, SO YOU LIE.

Ana blows Kate off, because, you know. It’s intrusive and an inquisition when a friend who believes you to be missing calls to check up on you.

Heads up, folks who are following these recaps and charting the progression of Ana’s eating disorder:

I throw myself into my work, pausing only at lunchtime for a cream cheese and salmon bagel. It’s extraordinary how much better I feel once I’ve eaten something.

Note that when other people offer her food, she’s never hungry, but here she eats on her own initiative. Earlier in the chapter– in a section I didn’t excerpt because it was pointless– Sawyer asked Ana if she wanted anything from the deli. In the last chapter, Mrs. Jones wanted her to eat, but she would only take tea. Ana tries to avoid eating anything given to her by Christian or anyone connected with Christian, but she acknowledges that she does feel better when she’s eaten food she chose for herself. You guys called it. She’s become anorexic to exert some small amount of control over her situation.

She goes to the hospital to see her father, and when they hug, she thinks:

As I’m in his arms, I realize how rare these moments between us have been. Why is that? Is that why I like to crawl into Christian’s lap?

Because he’s isolated you from your father and infantilizes you constantly? Yes. That’s why.

Ana doesn’t tell her dad about the baby, and when she goes home, she learns that Christian will be working late.  So she mopes some more and thinks about the furniture in the house that they’ve had sex on, and thinks:

“Oh, Blip, what have you done to us.”

Congratulations, kid! Your parents have figured out they can blame you for all their problems! Enjoy your childhood.

When Ana wakes up in the morning, she finds Christian’s gray silk tie– the only tie he owns, I guess, and which he probably borrowed from Kate– on the floor next to the bed, and she realizes he’s been there watching her while she sleeps. Because the fact that this is plagiarized from Twilight hasn’t been made obvious enough at this point. Ana goes to work, Christian emails her once to tell her he’s flying to Portland, Hannah offers her tea… You know, it’s basically the usual page and a fucking half of shit we don’t need to hear about. Then after lunch, this happens:

My BlackBerry buzzes, making me jump. I glance at the screen– it’s Mia. Jeez, that’s all I need, her gushing and enthusiasm. I hesitate, wondering if I could just ignore it, but courtesy wins out.

“Mia,” I answer brightly.

“Well, hello there, Ana– long time no speak.” The male voice is familiar. Fuck!

My scalp prickles and all the hair on my body stands to attention as adrenaline floods through my system and my world stops spinning.

It’s Jack Hyde.

Well, I’m sure you’re relieved then, Ana. Because you won’t have to put up with Mia being positive and friendly!

And then the chapter is over. Without Jack murdering Ana. Boo.

 

148 Comments

  1. Laina
    Laina

    Tell me she diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiies XD

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
  2. Stella
    Stella

    I would be so thrilled if this chapter were actually about Ana breaking up with Christian (and then the book turned into a thriller about how she finally broke down and confessed all to Kate, who helped her murder him).

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    “It’s Jack Hyde.”

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
    • Alice
      Alice

      I lol’d so hard. It made me recover from my blackout.

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
    • Oriana
      Oriana

      HAHAHAHA genius

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
  4. Stella
    Stella

    I also think it’s interesting that Kate calls Ana ‘Steele’ on the phone. Even though she’s ~Mrs Grey~ now, and all.

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
  5. Leaping Ocelots
    Leaping Ocelots

    “Let’s take this a step further, just to get even more disturbing. He says no one would hear her. That’s not the truth, is it? The apartment is full of people. So, what he means is, he can rape her, she can scream all she wants, but he pays those people to ignore it if he does.”

    Aaaaannnnddd there’s my Nightmare Fuel for the next week in a half. Seriously, why can’t Christian Grey be murdered horribly? Why can’t we have a happy ending to this series? Why is nothing okay anymore and everything is crying?

    I need chocolate and virtual Internet hugs.

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
    • The horrid thing is, even though this hasn’t been tested, Ana doesn’t question his willingness to pay people off. She has no reason to think she could get away. As far as she knows, he’s abiding his wealth in the worst way possible by paying everyone to look away, from the cops to his staff.

      August 6, 2013
      |Reply
    • Jemmy
      Jemmy

      I’d already finished the chocolate chocolate chip icecream at this point. I may have to go out and buy some more.

      August 6, 2013
      |Reply
      • Betty
        Betty

        Oh yes. Can we please have Grey die that way (and at that time in the books) and all the rest of it be a horrific nightmare from which Ana awakes?

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
      • Leaping Ocelots
        Leaping Ocelots

        JennHolton, that was amazing. And it was a Boondock Saints crossover, which is even more amazing (and I really need to watch that movie again soon). Thank you so much. =^_^=

        That is my official headcanon ending. Whether it takes place in book one or when Kate, after asking Ana if Christian hurt her, does her own investigation, this is the way this series will end for me.

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
      • ednaz
        ednaz

        Thank You Jenn Holton. I am so happy now.

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
        • I thought about it, but realized it would be OOC for the twins to do.

          August 10, 2013
          |Reply
    • Zee
      Zee

      The thing is, if I were Taylor or Mrs Jones, I’d probably be used to the screaming coming from the playroom. I’d be used to Christian’s excuses. I might have accidentally called the police once, worried, and been told I was officially on probation because the then sub screamed in pleasure and I had no right exposing Christian’s proclivities to the world. I would shut the hell up to maintain my income, sure it was part of a scene.

      And that’s how Christian can get away with raping Ana.

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
      • Suzy
        Suzy

        I immediatly thought of the scene in The Duchess where Ralph Finnes (sp-I don’t feel like checking it) rapes Kiera Knightly. The look on the footman’s face when her screams are heard all over the friggin castle. You knew he wanted to do something and you also knew he couldn’t if he wanted to have a job ever again.

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
    • Alex
      Alex

      “Seriously, why can’t Christian Grey be murdered horribly?”

      Because it would be justifiable homicide. Ergo, it would not be murder. Q.E.D.

      August 8, 2013
      |Reply
      • Leaping Ocelots
        Leaping Ocelots

        Hmmm, you’re definitely right about that.

        August 8, 2013
        |Reply
  6. Oh god the pathetic crap coming up…. I’ll wait to rant about how that sort of plot only works in supernatural books where you have a legit reason for not being able to call the cops. Twilight (first book) did her that right. But outside supernatural…

    Anyway the message is clear. Good women stay and have babies with their abusers. Only bad women leave to protect their lives. It’s never the men who are bad. Only women.

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
    • And it is clearly all Ana’s fault: she left that egg lying out where anyone could fertilize it, the scheming slut.

      August 6, 2013
      |Reply
      • I read that in Rush Limbaugh’s voice. He and Chedward would be really chummy.

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
  7. Alex
    Alex

    “a patchwork of tiny Anastasias in various poses” That sounds like he has photos of her as a child. Seriously, who the fuck goes, “I am so tiny in this photo on a phone that fits in my hand!” NO SHIT. I wonder how she’ll react to the tiny people in the tv. I guess she’ll be spared the horror because Grey probably has a projector, so they can be “life-sized”.

    Alternatively, it sounds like she’s talking about little figurines. Because seriously, I can’t imagine going, “Oh, look at the tiny Alex’ here!” Who talks like that?

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
    • This reminds me of the way a stalker might plaster his shabby, cheap room’s walls with covertly captured pics of his quarry.

      August 6, 2013
      |Reply
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer

      Oh God, I laughed so hard at this comment that I started choking!

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
    • Zee
      Zee

      When I was a kid, I believed the TV studios were on another planet and only TV people could go on the shows, not normal earthlings. So maybe that’s Ana’s deal too?

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
  8. Fem
    Fem

    I don’t think I get the Lysistrata-reference? Wasn’t it an ancient Greek comedy about all the women of a town (Sparta?) denying their husbands sex in order to stop a war or something? And Lysistrata was the one coming up with the idea and leading all the women to go sit on the the akropolis or whatever their holy mountainthingie was called?

    Or am I messing up my Greek plays here?

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
    • Nope, you’re right. I was using it as a reference to Ana’s “strut around him in front of underwear looking hot” approach to reprimanding Chedward.

      August 6, 2013
      |Reply
      • Anonymous
        Anonymous

        Ah yeah, I missed that in all the other shit going on. And I don’t really associate wearing underwear at home with sex, but more with casual wear.
        (Ana probably wouldn’t be allowed to lounge in her underwear, but that doesn’t mean my associations have changed)

        August 6, 2013
        |Reply
      • Anonymous
        Anonymous

        It’s me, Fem. apparantly I’m anonymous if I post from my phone. (So, the underwear comment is mine as well)

        August 6, 2013
        |Reply
    • Tania
      Tania

      I’m guessing it’s because Ana doesn’t give into Christian wanting sex, thereby denying him sex.

      August 6, 2013
      |Reply
  9. Lani
    Lani

    Ugh. That last bit, about them being able to blame the baby…..that makes me want to cry. My husband was the scapegoat, the oopsie-baby his parents chose to blame and hate for them being “forced” to get married (no fuckin clue why they went on to have three more kids after him). There’s not enough chocolate in the world to make me feel better about that line.

    So, hey, did you hear there’s gonna be a Futurama-Adventure Time crossover? Jake looks the same, but Finn looks weird Futuramaized.

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
    • That bit with your husband sounds familiar. My husband was blamed too, that his parents had to marry. His father didn’t blame him with words, but with action (read: my hubby suffered physical abuse).
      My mother- in- law said (while I was there too) to her son: “It’s your fault. Because I was pregnant with you, I had to marry him!”
      She did it two times and because my husband ignored it, I didn’t say anything.
      But when she said it again, it made me so f*cking mad that I told her: “Marina, if you didn’t want to have a baby, you should have kept your legs closed!”
      Yeah, I know. It’s mean and unfair to say something like that to any woman. We all have the right to have as much sex with as much partners as we like. But is it such a hardship to use condoms and/ or other contraception?
      I never used to slut- shame anybody. But in this case I wanted to hurt her, because she hurt my hubby.

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
      • Anonymous
        Anonymous

        I don’t think you were mean. SHE chose to have sex, SHE chose to give birth, but then she refuses any responsibility and instead passes it on to the child who has no choice in anything. What was unfair was her willingness to hurt her so when she obviously didn’t want a baby.

        Maybe it’s because I’ve been around a lot of people like that, like my mother, but I’ll never respect people having sex who absolutely refuse to ever take responsibility for their choice.

        In my opinion, sluts and their male equivalents are the people who want to have tons of sex, but expect others to pay for it, whether that’s expecting to get to live on welfare for years or blaming the children. I’ll respect the choices their makers take responsibility for. If you won’t take responsibility for potential outcomes, then you don’t get respect for making a choice to do something. This goes for any choice someone can make. Sex. Drinking. Smoking. Driving. Taking a big loan. Gambling. Whatever. Reproductive freedom doesn’t mean you get a free pass and that others should pay.

        With choice comes responsibility, and the greater one is, the greater the other. You don’t get to take one without the other.

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
      • Lani
        Lani

        How do you deal with it? I kind of pushed my husband into cutting off all contact with them (though it wasn’t hard, he was already thinking of doing it). He still wants to interact with his extended family, but being around them makes me want to slap them and say why would an eight year old walk two miles to get away from his parents for a tantrum???? The fuck is wrong with you people??? Ugh.

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
      • Ing
        Ing

        Hey anonymous?

        As one slut let me just say. Go FUCK YOURSELF

        August 8, 2013
        |Reply
      • Christina
        Christina

        I agree with you Ing… Anonymous needs to stfu. Typical ignorant Republican. I can spot them a mile away.

        August 10, 2013
        |Reply
      • @Lani: I’ve met my father- in- law like 10 minutes before I married his son. He was nice and all. For a while everything was fine and we’ve visited him and his wife sometimes. Then the contact ceased, when we brought one of his daughters on visits to him. He and his wife just interacted with my sis- in- law and hubby and I were mostly ignored. I told my husband that if he wanted to visit his dad, he would have to go alone cause I could use my time better than sitting around. My hubby agreed with me so we didn’t visit anymore.
        Since 2010 we see them once every few month and all is fine. My hubby’s dad did apologize finally for the abuse and according to my hubby he’s a totally different person today.
        We see my husbands mom from time to time. She is much more loving in her demeanour towards both of us than ever before.
        From the moment I knew my hubby’s family history I let him have all the choices of how and if to interact with his parents. He got to decide if he wanted his dad at our wedding, etc.
        Of course you can have your own opinion about your spouses parents in cases like this, but I find it best to let them (husbands, wives…) have their own way.
        Just be there to love and support your partner and if necessary comfort them.

        @Anonymous: I was being mean and I could have rebuked her without slut shaming.
        I do honestly believe that everybody (no matter which gender) has the right to have casual sex, different partners, etc. without being called names.
        To each their own.

        August 13, 2013
        |Reply
    • I was the scapegoat. I think they have more kids (2 more in my case) because that was what was expected. It certainly wasn’t because they wanted more. They only stopped, I think, because they had a boy.

      August 13, 2013
      |Reply
      • Annie
        Annie

        Situations where a woman has an unplanned pregnancy, or heck, even a planned one, then at some point begins to hate being a mother and for whatever reasons feels angry and resentful towards their child, but then go on to have more kids is pretty common. The societal idea that it’s okay not to ever marry and it’s okay not to ever have kids if you don’t want to is still in its infancy. In generations past you got married and had children. That’s that. And if you didn’t want to have children and genuinely feel you’re just not cut out for being a parent then you’d better keep your mouth shut about it. Even now there’s a strong view that if you don’t want kids there is something very, very wrong with you. That view was even stronger prior to the turn of this century.
        With all that pressure to have children by a certain age, and then if you dont really want kids but have an unexpected pregnancy you add in all those pent up feelings of loss, feeling out of control, being forced in to an extremely demanding job you don’t want, possibly being forced in to a marriage you don’t want, and having to hold in any negative emotions related to any of those stressors would easily lead to someone directing their resentment, frustration and anger towards someone they love.

        I think the major reasons people in that situation have more kids are for the most part two-fold. There’s other reasons I’m sure (like simply unexpectedly falling pregnant again), but for the most part I think it’s one or both of these:

        A) They weren’t ready for Kid #1, but feel prepared for Kid #2– The parent(s) just wasn’t ready to be a parent when they fell pregnant with their first child. They felt they were too young, hadn’t accomplished what they wanted to before settling down, etc, etc, etc. Then some years down the road felt they were ready for another child.
        Maybe they feel more mature, have come to love parenting, are more financially stable, are in a more secure job, or have any number of other factors. There are many reasons someone might feel they were unprepared to have their first child, but perfectly capable and willing to have more children later.

        B) Society says you have to have more than one child– Even now society in general says you must have 2-3 kids. Four or more is too chaotic and makes you crazy and if you have just one you’re being selfish and denying your child a friend and playmate.
        Like a lot of these ideas, it was definitely a sentiment that was felt more strongly, expressed more harshly in decades past, but it is still very, very prominent in today’s society. As a mother of one child and incapable of having any more children I know this pressure and expectation well.
        So, I wouldn’t be surprised if in some of the situations you all are describing the resentful mother felt it was her duty to have more children. It could have felt darn close to having no choice in the matter.
        Having only one child is percieved as being selfish and cruel and will inevitably turn out a spoiled uncontrollable brat that will grow in to an adult that feels entitled and that the world owes him/her anything and everything he/she wants. The perception/stereotype that only children grow up being control freaks who are nearly incapable of living with anyone other than people that enable them and give them everything they want. I’ve heard these outrageous statements a lot, so I can only imagine how strong the sentiment must have been in almost any point of the 20th century or before. Having only the one unexpected child might not have even been seen as an option to consider for many.

        So, yeah, it doesn’t surprise me in the least that people whose parents resent them and blame them for things out of their control- like ending the parent’s career or being too much work/responsibility to raise- have siblings.

        August 16, 2013
        |Reply
  10. S DD
    S DD

    I think I can safely say that this story has more nightmare fuel than the dark fantasy novel I’ve been writing, where horror moments are intentional.

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Excellent recap! I was still guffawing at the Anchorman reference when I saw the Titanic picture which just made me laugh even harder! 🙂

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
  12. Lately these recaps have been downright depressing, but this was was pretty funny (but also depressing) the game of thrones references helped a lot. For anyone wishing a grizzle and horrible murder on Christian Grey, you should definitely check out http://thinkingtogether.org/rcream/archive/Old/S2006/222/wife.pdf “the wife’s resentment” it’s a short story from the 1700s. Just pretend Roderigo is Christian and Violenta is a cooler version of Ana. There’s still a weird amount of victim bashing (it is from the 1700s), but I found it satisfying. 😀

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
  13. With all the awful shit happening in this chapter I feel a bit odd bringing this up now, but it’s been bothering me, and I’ve been bumping into it a lot lately, so I’m whining now. Ana’s name sucks ass. Not because it’s pretentious, (it is) or because it ruined a lovely classic Russian name, (it has) but because its rhythm sucks more ass than Cartman’s mom. Her first and middle are fine, but the middle and last clash dreadfully. Same goes for her new last name and her middle name. Why destroy Rose too? Why? Why not use Marie instead? It sounds a bit better (though still not all that great) and as a bonus it means “bitter.” What better middle name for Ana? Also, why the hell even give her a middle name? Did she really need one? Was it just to make her name seem more prissy? Why? …This may seem like a small thing, but to an OCD imp who is fascinated by names, it’s a big fucking deal. And it’s a big deal that I encounter every damned day. Between names that are just bad, names that are common, to names that clash – bad names abound people.

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
    • Noma9
      Noma9

      My middle name is Marie and I really hate it. Honestly, I think it’s just a terrible name, but I would probably cry if that monster had the same middle name as me. Marie doesn’t deserve that. It may be wretched in its own way but nothing deserves to be associated with this shit.

      August 6, 2013
      |Reply
      • That monster has my last name for her middle name, so I feel your pain. >.> I wish she’d just made up gibberish names for them. Not that she has the creative ability for that…

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
      • Moggo
        Moggo

        *because

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
      • Ah, okay, I never wasted my time on Twilight so I didn’t know that. You’d think that would make her want to use Mary or some other form of Marie though, it’s not as though she’s shy about plagiarizing.

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
    • My mom gave all her children middle names because she didn’t have one and when they read the names out during her high school graduation she felt like it sounded too short. Then my parents went and hyphenated our last name and we all ended up with insanely long names instead.

      That may or may not be relevant. I ramble when I’m sleepy

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
      • My first name is Alexandra, my last name is hyphenated, and my middle name is Maryanne. I feel your pain.

        August 8, 2013
        |Reply
      • Sophie
        Sophie

        I don’t have a middle name and I totally always wanted to give my kids three or four names! (I don’t have any kids, but if i had, i would have)

        August 9, 2013
        |Reply
      • Yeah, middle names for real people have a point, but why does a character in a book need one? That was my point about her middle name sucking. In real life they help to identify individuals; otherwise John Jacob Schmidt wouldn’t show up differently on paperwork than John Jingleheimer Schmidt. But who the heck files tax returns in bookland?

        August 9, 2013
        |Reply
      • laina1312
        laina1312

        I have a middle initial but no middle NAME.

        A couple of my characters I’ve given middle names because it worked with the flow of their names and tells me a bit more about the characters personally. Sometimes I don’t end up using it, though, I just liking knowing if they have one. Like I have Elenora Louise Ryans in the one I’m revising (who goes by Lennie) and the only time I use her middle name in the book is when her best friend is making fun of her XD

        Also I dunno about you guys, but middle name = you’re in trouble to me 😛

        August 9, 2013
        |Reply
    • Annie
      Annie

      I completely agree. I’m a name nerd too and her name has bothered me from the beginning. I wondered why not just freaking name her Anna? Anna Rose Steele has a much better flow than Anastasia Rose Steele. Likewise Anna Steele and Anna Grey sound better than Anastasia with either name.

      Her going by Ana bothers me too. I know it’s short for Anastasia, but the name Ana should be said “ah-nah” not “Ann-uh.” Ana and Anna said differently. For her dad to call her Annie (and yeah, I hate that she has my name in a way too) it seems like a safe assumption is intending Ana to be said as “ann-uh.”
      Also, it’s a tiny nit-pick and I fully admit to being completely irrational in this irritation, but technically her nickname “should” be Nastia, Tasia, Anya, or even Stacy/Stacey/Staci. I know it’s irrational because the Russian and Greek nicknames aren’t generally intuitive to English speakers and there are no rules on nicknames. Your given name can be Rachel and you could have the nickname Becky, or Bartholomew, or Stinky. Whatever. But still knowing that it still bugs the hell out of me that her nickname is Ana-pronounced-incorrectly.

      August 8, 2013
      |Reply
      • Sophie
        Sophie

        I do know an Ana who pronounces it Anna, but it’s entirely possible she Anglicised it – I haven’t asked.

        August 9, 2013
        |Reply
  14. Tali
    Tali

    Absolutely nothing would make me happier than Ana gaining an ounce of situational awareness, deciding to do what’s best for her and the baby, and just leaving. Just getting Chedward out of her life forever, and raising her child in safety.

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
    • Meredith
      Meredith

      That was too funny. Made me giggle so hard I choked.

      August 6, 2013
      |Reply
    • Zee
      Zee

      I laughed so hard my son’s now indignant that I’m having fun without him!

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
    • zeeeeeestar
      zeeeeeestar

      OMFG… *dies*

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
    • Leaping Ocelots
      Leaping Ocelots

      *applause*

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
    • I will never think of this the same way again!!! Kate has awesome taste!

      August 13, 2013
      |Reply
    • Kate
      Kate

      I agree. I gasped and whispered, “Is that a TARDIS?”

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
    • Sophie
      Sophie

      Love it too. I hope everyone’s excited about Peter Capaldi btw. I love him.

      August 9, 2013
      |Reply
    • Nice catch! Jenny- please, please, please do some Doctor Who recaps!!!!!

      August 10, 2013
      |Reply
  15. When I read this I hated how she chose to sleep in the red room and not one of the guest rooms, how dramatic is that?

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
    • Doesn’t she have her own room? Like he has a room set aside for his current sub and she’s just never used it? Oh hang on, if they’re in the new house I guess there isn’t a sub room. Only I thought that was being renovated. I’ve officially lost track.

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
  16. Meredith
    Meredith

    “When Ana wakes up in the morning, she finds Christian’s gray silk tie– the only tie he owns, I guess, and which he probably borrowed from Kate”

    Yes, out of all the crazy, ridiculous, horrific shit that is in these books, Ana stealing Kate’s plum dress is what I focused on while I was reading them. I was like, bitch! Give your friend back her fucking dress already! And she didn’t. Not even when she got pregnant and couldn’t fit in it anymore. I was waiting. Patiently. Throughout the entire trilogy. I wanted Kate to get this dress back that must be so kickass because Ana wears it all of the time instead of all the toofab clothes that Caroline Acton, personal shopper, fills her closet with. WTF?

    PS – I myself might scour the Internet from time to time for pics of guys I want to shag. Ahem. No judgment, Trout.

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
    • Emma
      Emma

      Omg I remember the moment when Ana started calling it her plum dress and also found it infuriating. Although if I was Kate, and Ana presented me with the probably semen stained plum dress I’d be like ‘…you keep it.’ Maybe that part got edited out of the book.
      Although the editors time would be better spent drawing rings around large portions of Christian’s dialogue and writing ‘he sounds like a rapist serial killer, not a romantic lead’

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
    • Alexis
      Alexis

      But maybe, the only way for Ana to find any confidence is to dress in Kates dress to have the feeling she is with her all the time? D: Christian can take away her family and friends, but not the plum dress in all the books!
      But nah… that would actually be a good plot device and we can’t have that in fifty shades of plum dress.

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
    • That made me really mad, too, but I agree with Alexis: we might read that as one of this series’ many unintentionally apt characterisations of abuse. Ana is holding on to that dress because it represents a connection to friends and family whom Chedward is separating her from. It would also provide a back-up plan, which she may never follow up on, but which gives a her false sense of security: if she really needs an excuse to leave the appartment and make a break for it before Christian realises that she’s running away, she could pretend that she’s just dropping by at Kate’s to give back the dress, get into Kate’s appartment/house, and trust her to have the guts to protect Ana, tell Christian to fuck off and that she’ll call the cops if he dares enter her place. Because Kate is one of the very, very few sensible people in this fucked up series.

      Also, you know, closeted lesbian Ana. The dress probably still smells like Kate. <3

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
      • Alexis
        Alexis

        >>Also, you know, closeted lesbian Ana. The dress probably still smells like Kate. <3<<

        I initially wanted to say that too but then I let it slip because I didnät know who mentioned it XD

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
  17. Just how many photos can you collage together in the space of a cell phone wallpaper and still see more than vague lumps of underfed, Ana-colored pixels?

    August 6, 2013
    |Reply
    • zee
      zee

      And on a blackberry, no less. If it’s a curve or a storm, those screens are tiny. A sumsung S2 on the other hand, that could work. That’s practically a tablet.

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
  18. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Oh that line from the book, “Scalding, angry tears ooze down my cheeks.” gave me the grossest image of Ana having gooey tears.

    August 7, 2013
    |Reply
    • Reenie
      Reenie

      Ana’s got pink eye!! lol

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
  19. RowanMorgaine
    RowanMorgaine

    You know, if the books actually had sentient carnivorous daisies, all would be forgiven. 🙂

    August 7, 2013
    |Reply
  20. Those “It Happened to Me” articles are really something else. I spent all weekend just reading through as many as I could. A lot of them (like the one about becoming suicidal after a concussion) hit close to home.

    The thing about the plum dress really pisses me off. I’ve borrowed clothes from friends before. You wear it, you wash it, you return it as soon as possible. It isn’t yours. No matter how much you like it.

    I think I’m also angry about that because I own a plum dress. And it’s one of my favorite dresses. I’d be super upset if it went missing after I loaned it to a friend to wear.

    “Did he hurt you?”

    Holy shit, Kate.

    Also? Holy shit, EL James. You wrote that. You wrote that and you are constantly denying the abuse that occurs in these books—blocking Twitter users who called you out on it and generally being an ABB. This lady…

    I’m making this face:

    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/quicksilvermad/1795406/804827/804827_original.gif

    August 7, 2013
    |Reply
    • Anonymous
      Anonymous

      Playing devil’s advocate here, but I can very easily see that line, in EL James’ head, being intended to read as Kate not ~getting their relationship. I’ve only read these books through the TroutFilter™ (and for that matter, Twilight through other recappers), but it seems pretty clear that these two are supposed to be seen as exceptional, the most extra special snowflakes evar, with no one on their level, blah blah blah.

      Having “outsiders” not “get” their relationship and make the kinds of assumptions about it that are obviously wrong only creates the sensation, in James and in the readers who buy into what she’s shovelling, of being on the inside. Of being special enough – enough like Ana and Christian – to ~get it. Which means, yeah, it is perfectly consistent in her head to put that line in the mouth of one of the characters in her book, and deny that reading of it by audiences, because that character is obviously wrong.

      All to say, authors can get pretty myopic about what they’re writing. I’m no Draco stan, but I did laugh when JK said she couldn’t understand how anyone could interpret him in any other way than how she wrote him, which was as a pathetic, unsympathetic bully. So. It happens.

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
  21. Zee
    Zee

    Is it wrong that I’m sat here going ‘a salmon and cream cheese bagel? Ana, do you know how fattening that is? You just had the equivalent of about three sandwiches!’

    A chicken Caesar salad, hold the cheese and dressing … That should be where Anarexic is at, right?

    August 7, 2013
    |Reply
    • Anonymous
      Anonymous

      Something about this comment is disturbing to me.

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
      • Laina
        Laina

        It was probably the food policing of a pregnant woman battling a possible eating disorder. Or food shaming, if you want to call it that instead. Comments like that can be really freaking triggering when you have food issues, too.

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
      • zee
        zee

        It just seemed out of character to me, that she barely eats and refuses food, but then actually gulps down a loaded bagel.

        In all realities, that should make her ill. Skipping meals shrinks your stomach and reduces your next possible intake. She wouldn’t have made it halfway.

        August 7, 2013
        |Reply
    • ~Trigger warnings all up in here for detailed food/ED discussion.~

      Yes and no (to both comments @Zee, I can’t figure out how to reply to the second one). When I was really sick, I could eat a packet of oatmeal for breakfast and tea for lunch, and then eventually– by dinner, before sports practice, whenever– I’d just have to eat something really, really delicious and terrible for me. The deprivation is psychological, not just physical, and so the “comfort food” that makes up for it can end up looking very weird by any objective measure. (Then of course, after said comfort food, I would feel terrible and guilty, and the whole thing started all over again.)

      This is all to say that ED spectrum behavior is irrational, obsessive-compulsive, and highly individualized. From my experience, what the Trouters/Trout Nation have picked up on regarding patterns in Ana’s attitude towards food– enjoying being scary thin, losing her appetite around Chedward, enjoying food while she is alone and in secret (or when the source of her stress is absent)– is a better measure of disordered eating than exactly what or how much she eats.

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
  22. Flo
    Flo

    The first two books were bad, this one is just………….beyond bad. If I have to read “Little Blip” one more time, I might have to rip my eyes out of their sockets. So grateful to you Jen for doing these recaps and saving my eyesight! (and the price of these three stupid books which wouldn’t have even made good kindling in the fireplace)

    August 7, 2013
    |Reply
  23. Reenie
    Reenie

    Oh mah glob indeed! These books just keep on giving, don’t they? How, how, HOW did James ever get published and I only found your stuff, Jenny, when I was looking up fellow haters of ‘The Shades’? It’s insane. Having read The Boss, I’m astounded that your work isn’t plastered everywhere like James’ was (better yet instead of!). The Boss was witty, interesting, sexy and left me wanting more – what any good erotica should be. This bloody book just leaves me absolutely horrified. The fact that women all over the globe defend these books is astounding. it’s just so very bad, there are not enough words to describe it. It’s not sexy in any way shape or form. How can anyone defend the behaviour of characters as awful as these two leads: Christian’s a massive twat and Ana’s about as intriguing as fungus. Sure you can have twatty, fungus-like protagonists that you love to hate, but that’s only when they are well written. These are not. I hate these characters, I hate these books and I think James should be taken out the back and have every copy in existence thrown at her head. That said, I love these recaps, because you put into words exactly how I feel and am, myself, unable to verbalize. And if not for your dislike of these books, I never would have found you. That sounded kinda stalkerish, I do apologize. What I mean to say is that it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels this way and not just about these particular books, I enjoy your humour and your writing and even when you talk about the more serious aspects of your life, I appreciate your honesty and emotion. I feel like I’m reading a friends blog. Stalkerish again? Sorry. Anyways, I know there is a chapter coming up that will make anyone with any sort of feelings of rancour towards these books go absolutely batshit crazy. I’m very much looking forward to the responses then. Oh yes. That is all.

    August 7, 2013
    |Reply
    • I’ve read all three books, and I can’t remember what chapter/events you might be talking about– but I think that’s yet another example of how my brain tries to protect itself by jettisoning information about the events of these books as soon as I acquire any.

      August 7, 2013
      |Reply
      • Reenie
        Reenie

        I was thinking about when he feels the baby moving inside Ana’s belly and what he says about it….. *shudders*

        August 8, 2013
        |Reply
      • YUP

        I FORGOT THAT

        Now I remember though. *shudder*

        August 8, 2013
        |Reply
  24. Alice
    Alice

    “You really fucked up yesterday,” I whisper, my anger boiling over. “I’ve had a lot to deal with over the last few weeks.”

    “You really fucked up three or four weeks ago. Or whenever you forgot your shot.”

    . . . I’m sorry. I haven’t finished the recap yet but . . . I think I just blacked out.
    I’ll take that blanket and hot cocoa now, please.

    August 7, 2013
    |Reply
  25. Skyler
    Skyler

    Oh god. Little Blip. Is this going to be a Paul Ryan thing and she’s going to nickname the kid Little Blip? And nickname all subsequent children Little Blip too? All 500 children because obviously this child will be so perfect as a combination of two such perfect people that they don’t want to deny the world more of their perfect combination offspring.

    I hope Jack has kidnapped Mia, Kate, Elliot, Ethan, and Christian’s parents and has them all in a Saw-sort of deathtrap. That would make me happy. But I suppose Ana would just destroy it with the power of her perfect love. Actually, let’s take Kate out of the figurative deathtrap, she should be tracking down Christian at this point with murder on her mind. She’ll leave him impaled on the bed, then go into the next room and take back her plum dress, then leave the house which blows up behind her. And that’s the end. Please.

    Also, Taylor and Mrs. Jones SCATTERING when Christian gets angry at Ana? WHAT THE HELL. I somehow expected better.

    August 7, 2013
    |Reply
  26. ednaz
    ednaz

    Thank You, Jenny! You definitely deserve a medal.

    August 7, 2013
    |Reply
  27. Annie
    Annie

    Jen, I am so grateful to you for reading these and doing all this work to recap them. The sex showdown in this chapter? There have been other familiar situations and conversations in these books, but this one just made me feel sick. And a little panicky.
    It took me a long time to realize I had been abused, some time after the relationship ended, in fact, and it’s taking me even longer to come to terms with just how much I was abused. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but the familiar conversations and the scenes that bring me to the brink of a panic attack have helped open my eyes to the many different ways I had been abused in the past.

    The scary thing about these books, I think, is that because James is semi-oblivious to the abuse, then Ana is semi-oblivious to it too and that just makes it feel all the more real. So many women have been and are currently being abused, manipulated and even raped without realizing it at the time and maybe not realizing it until they/we are out of the situation and free from the abuse.
    It makes me sick to my stomach that this book that so clearly and precisely and accurately portrays being inside the mind of someone suffering battered woman syndrome, yet it’s being placed upon an altar and praised and worshipped as the height of romance that all of us should strive for.

    August 8, 2013
    |Reply
  28. Give them any award. As long as its posthumous.

    August 8, 2013
    |Reply
  29. Anon
    Anon

    This is probably not relevant to the post, but I was rewatching all 4 seasons of Archer and whenever Cheryl came on I couldn’t help but to think E.L. James took Cheryl’s personality, took everything funny about the character, left the horribleness behind, and bam! Ana was created. Seriously, Archer could of been chedward’s early template; take out all the funny from Archer, dye his hair bronze(red?), mix with edward cullen’s terrible character and bam! you’ve got chedward.

    Speaking of stealing stuff, if anyone else had read the first twilight book the next few chapters read almost exactly the last chapters from twilight. Someone has to of seen that!

    Fuck this plagiarizing book.

    Awesome job as usual Jen! sorry you have to suffer this book for us.

    August 8, 2013
    |Reply
  30. “My scalp prickles and all the hair on my body stands to attention as adrenaline floods through my system and my world stops spinning.”

    So much to comment about here. Her fucking scalp is always prickling; someone has lice! And the gross “hair standing at attention” comment, is so disturbing and I’m sure we have seen it many times before, because of EL James is so proud of her words she has to re-use them over and over again especially if they sucked!!!!

    This whole sentence is absolutely more than over dramatic. It’s like too much. Read it again, I dare you. So much happening.

    I HATE these books sooo much!!!!!

    August 8, 2013
    |Reply
    • Jessica
      Jessica

      The thing that bothered me the most in this chapter was this scentence:

      “You think I’d cheat on you?, his tone is one of moral outrage”.

      What does that even mean? How does one sound morally outraged? Is that opposed to being immoraly outraged?. What is up with this purple prose, gettin real tired of your shit e.l

      August 8, 2013
      |Reply
      • when I read that I was like “well, yes, of course” he would cheat on her. He’s an egotistical, spoiled, psychopath who thinks he can buy his way out of anything. Given his characterization, I’d say it’s actually out of character for him not to cheat on her. Of course it wouldn’t be his fault if he did; it would be the evil (blond) slut who hoodwinked Ana’s man.

        I just…I get so angry at these books and EL and Christian for all the bullshit.

        August 9, 2013
        |Reply
  31. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    You know, I just find it impossible to believe at this point that ELJ wrote this horrible abusive relationship unintentionally. It just seems too baffling that she could be so oblivious of what’s going on in her own book. She HAS got to be the world’s greatest troll and will reveal in a year or so that it was all on purpose to make a point how readers can be tricked into buying the most awful things if they have sex in them. I refuse to believe otherwise.

    August 8, 2013
    |Reply
    • I know, right? No one could possibly write THAT badly. I’m starting to think she has to be trolling us. My niece could write a better book, and she’s nine months old.

      August 8, 2013
      |Reply
  32. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Okay, not directly related to this chapter, but I have been seeing things about who should play Christian Grey in the movie…

    Am I the only one who remembers that Christian is suppose to be a red head?

    August 8, 2013
    |Reply
    • Yeah, “copper” isn’t it? There are two things that can be: Either he’s ginger, and it’s red. Or he’s not ginger, and has a redhead’s version of dishwater blonde. 😛 It’s odd that she’d go with that color, unless it’s to match a certain vampire… Either way, who the heck picks that color? He’s not ginger, or we’d have heard tell of freckles (oh, his glorious, sexy freckles, 50 shades of freckles! *insert huge eye-roll here*) by now. And a non-ginger would have auburn or a darker red hair, not something that most could call copper, they’d just call it red. So he’s basically a brunette with a red tinge. Very common; and, In a word, boring. Which is odd since he’s the Magnificent, Marvelous, Mad Madam Mim- errr, I mean Mad Mister Grey. And he is soooooooo fuckiiiiiinnnnggg speciaaaaaallll!!!!! So, shouldn’t he have the most perfect brown hair ever had by man? Or the reddest red hair? Or the blackest black? No, apparently not. Instead, he has “copper” ie: dirty red, which is a very common color, because it’s not a true red – it’s just light brown, the highlights in which look reddish when the light strikes them. Boring, but I’m glad he’s not a real redhead, the last thing the gingers need is that ass-wipe providing proof they have no souls. *another eye-roll, if you please.*

      August 8, 2013
      |Reply
      • Annie
        Annie

        Avery, I love you for the Madam Mim comment. 😀

        And I was imagining his hair as being auburn. I know she says copper and bronze, but I was picturing more dirty penny copper than new penny copper.
        I have brown hair with red highlights and as a kid I spent every moment I could outside and in the neighborhood pool. As a result my hair lightened quite a bit, especially in the summer. I can remember strangers coming up to me or to my mom and asking “What color IS her hair?” and my mom would just answer “Um, that color.” Depending on the light and the season my hair could look dark-to-medium blonde, new penny red, dark brown or any color in between.
        As I got older my hair darkened a little more year by year and now (I’m 30) it’s pretty dark brown, but still has red highlights. And now I’m the mom who has strangers coming up to ask “just what color IS his hair?” about my son. His hair is more blonde than mine was, but still in that not completely blonde, not quite red, but not quite brown area.

        So, all that was to say that I imagine Christian’s hair as being auburn in that way that in the sun it looks down right red, but in low light looks deep brown. It does bother me that through all the descriptions of his looks James never says anything about how dark his hair looks in dimmer light. But I’ve chalked that up to being because Meyer never described Edward’s hair as being darker sometimes too. It was always “bronze.” Bronze, bronze, bronze. She said it so much it stopped sounding like a word.

        August 8, 2013
        |Reply
      • Your descriptions have me thinking maybe I myself am not really a redhead, and I am finding this distressing, as all my life I thought I was.

        August 9, 2013
        |Reply
    • mverlaine
      mverlaine

      I think Eddie Redmayne should play Christian if only because he’s already played a creepy rapist in Hick, and he was really scarily convincing in that movie.

      August 9, 2013
      |Reply
      • I keep thinking Conan O’Brien should be cast just to add enough humor to keep people from crying. I think showing Christian as a full-on rapist would not only shatter the romantic image so many women have of him (this needs to happen), but might seriously trigger sexual assault and rape victims who were in denial reading the books.

        Since a lot of fans love his assertiveness that they don’t see as him being a controlling stalker (though ANA admits it and calls him out on it), I don’t think that will be altered much, if at all. Show him as a softy and I think a lot of fans will be mad. Show him as how he really is, and I think seeing it on screen, and watching Ana’s mental breakdowns and panic attacks, will help show him as he is.

        The movies might be the best/worst things that could happen as far as all of this is concerned. FSoG has the “hero” far more central to the plot from the start than Twilight, which had Jacob there the entire time and the rest of the “hero’s” family involved to give other things happening than in FSoG. So Twilight could change a few things and keep in the spirit without much fan notice. But can they do that with FSoG, where the literal only focus is sex with Christian and minor events meant to lead to sex with Christian, not even some goal of becoming a vampire? I don’t think so.

        August 9, 2013
        |Reply
      • Jo Rankins
        Jo Rankins

        Eddie also played Angel is the Tess of the D’ubervilles miniseries. Perfect? I think so.

        August 10, 2013
        |Reply
      • Kate
        Kate

        I was thinking Alex Pettyfer would be a good actor to portray Christian because he plays a total douche is Beastly and a psycho in In Time.

        August 10, 2013
        |Reply
  33. Me
    Me

    Reading this blog and these recaps have taught me a lot about abusive relationships and what they look like. I am not in any type of relationship, but I have a friend that is in a psychologically abusive relationship, who knows she needs major help, but won’t do anything about it. I once directed her to this blog, not for the abuse advise, but just because I enjoy reading the recaps and she said that she couldn’t read it, that the books were too wretched, and now I am thinking if it wasn’t because they hit too close to home? Even subconsciously, I don’t really believe that she consciously realizes that her boyfriend is a controlling POS, and she thinks that she has control, which she doesn’t really, because she’s pretty much given up all autonomy and just follows his instructions because ‘he knows better’.

    But seriously, I cannot believe that people don’t see the creepiness of this “loving relationship”.
    I have a friend who’s an EMT, and he says that they’ve gotten calls of people needing assistance because they ended up in sticky situations due to trying out some 50 Shades sex.

    August 8, 2013
    |Reply
  34. Sophie
    Sophie

    *Love* the Liz Lemon gif, and it made me think of the episode where Jenna’s stalker dumps her because he’s taking his meds and sorting out his life. Ana=Jenna Moroney

    ALSO the bit where he threatens to rape her. He begins with ‘You’re my wife’. I guess ELJ and her fucking horrible rapist hero live in the past when it wasn’t accepted that husbands could rape their wives, when the assumption was that it was your duty to have sex whenever your husband demanded it no matter what. This is just as bad as her asserting that the only reason the man in the club couldn’t assault her was because she belonged to another man, isn’t it? JESUS H CHRIST this fucking woman,

    ALSO an observation it took me ages to put my finger on. the way Ched’s behaviour is described all the time, it’s always ‘he watches me intently’ ‘he watches me carefully’. I know it’s an incompetent writer’s way of telling us that he is endlessly fascinated by her self-insert mary sue, but I just realised that this behaviour is exactly the same as that of the obsessional stalker rapist murderer in Nicci French’s Killing Me Softly. Which is a vastly superior book about a woman who finds herself in an abusive relationship.

    not really relevant, but these descriptions of him watching her every move have been bugging me.

    August 9, 2013
    |Reply
  35. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Sexiest thing ever when “menacingly” and “threateningly” are the adverbs following two subsequent lines in a “romance” novel. WEARS MY CRISTEN GREY?!?

    August 9, 2013
    |Reply
  36. STS
    STS

    Of course Kate’s insights into abuse are inconsequential, she’s BLONDE!

    August 9, 2013
    |Reply
  37. “I feel like I’m not a skilled enough writer to express just how fucking stupid that is.”

    This made me laugh so hard! Oh, the irony. It might just be the best line in all of your recaps.

    August 10, 2013
    |Reply
  38. Hi. I’m a longtime reader/lurker, first time commenter. I wasn’t sure whether to post this because I hate posting negative things to people, and I completely understand that this is your blog and your opinions and you have every right to say whatever you think. So please don’t think that I’n just some troll or something. But I have to say, as a child abuse survivor it seems like you’re fairly vehement about defending Christian’s mother and making her out to be blameless (maybe it’s because I read all your 50 Shades entries in a couple of months and taken all together it just seems more vehement than it’s intended) – I do understand what you mean about addiction being a disease and I despise the way EL James writes about her. But child abuse is still child abuse.  My mother let me get raped my whole childhood and refuses to take responsibility on the grounds she had depression and was vulnerable, but as far as I’m concerned she’s still an evil person who utterly failed as a mother. I just don’t see why Christian is demonised so much for being abusive when he clearly has serious psychological problems/illness – and to a lesser extent Anna for staying in an abusive relationship – but his mother gets a total pass for far worse abuse, especially when we know almost nothing about her or what led her to that situation (and I’m saying that as someone who despises Christian and Anna so I’m not trying to defend either of them). I’m really not trying to attack you or anything and I feel shitty for writing this, I just, I don’t think I can read these recaps anymore  because the child abuse apologia is just really triggering for me.

    Sorry, I just felt I had to say that.
    I am loving the Buffy recaps and looking forward to more.

    August 11, 2013
    |Reply
    • Ella Bella
      Ella Bella

      I agree with you, Jane. The hypocrisy is upsetting. Christian is responsible for his actions toward others because he’s an adult. His mother, however, is 100% blameless and has no responsibility, even to her own child. This is why a lot of doctors are against classifying addictions as diseases and instead say they’re a symptom of another disease. Calling drug-addiction and alcoholism diseases removes the responsibility the people have.

      My own mother is a major alcoholic who abused me so bad I tried killing myself. People who say she and others like her have a disease and so aren’t responsible need to try saying that to the face of a kid directly hurt by her actions and how dare they blame their mothers for their suffering, and then go tell her and others like her they aren’t responsible for their actions. The pity and sympathy is misplaced. Being addicted to something isn’t an excuse to not be responsible for your children, and it’s not a get-out-of-jail-free card. The victims have no choice, so why are the victims told to stop blaming the ones with some power? Addiction sucks, but the adult in the situation is responsible regardless. Addiction isn’t the same as a mental disability. It’s true that if you never start drugs or drinking the you’ll never have an addiction (I know I am probably predisposed to addictions, so while I’m 100% clean and sober, I…make the choice not to be around them – yes, here is where is it my choice), but there is never a point where you choose the road to mental disability.

      As an adult, his mother was responsible for her actions. As an adult, Christian is responsible for his actions. As an adult, my mother is responsible for her actions. As an adult, I am responsible for my actions. If his mother gets a free pass because of some past trauma or other event in her life, then so does Christian. If he doesn’t, then neither does she. The same goes for me and my mother. My mother’s childhood history doesn’t excuse what she did. Making excuses is how the cycle is allowed to continue.

      August 26, 2013
      |Reply
      • Here’s my feeling on it: It’s one thing for Christian to direct his anger at his mother for not protecting him. That’s normal and it’s his right to be angry with her. But Ana should not be directing her anger at Christian’s mother, and neither should the author. If Ana is so bright, she would realize that Christian’s mother’s pimp is the person culpable for the abuse, first and foremost, because he was the one abusing him. The fact that his mother didn’t– or possibly couldn’t– get out of the situation or protect him better is secondary to the fact that this man came in and physically and possibly sexually assaulted a four year old (and I’m not sure why a brilliant therapist like Dr. Flynn wouldn’t have suggested this possibility to Christian in the first place). The pimp is responsible for Christian’s abuse, because the pimp is the abuser. Ana’s anger– and Christian’s sexual fixation on beating his mother– would make much more sense if his mother had been his abuser, but for whatever reason, E.L. James didn’t go that route.

        I feel that E.L. James handled this fictional scenario poorly (I know, shocker). She could have given Ana or Christian a nuanced understanding of the abuse his mother was actively suffering at the time of her death and effectively made it a commentary on the horrible situations people (with an emphasis on single mothers) are forced into by poverty and addiction. But she didn’t. She made a whole cast of characters to abuse Christian, including a pimp, and a sexual predator who tried to cure Christian with statutory rape. Then she laid the blame squarely at the feet of a drug addicted prostitute single mother and told the readers, “This is the real villain.” That’s what I’m objecting to, not the idea that addicts are responsible for their actions, but the fact that this particular addict seems to be a victim of the same abuser and not the abuser herself.

        And I didn’t think these comments were trolling at all, they were well-thought out and clearly not made to provoke a negative reaction. I’m sorry the first one was eaten by WP’s spam filter and languished there, I’m still trying to get the hang of knowing which comments are approved and which aren’t. You’re all good. 😀

        August 26, 2013
        |Reply
        • BRose
          BRose

          That’s still excusing the mother for the abuse. Yes, the pimp actively did it, but that doesn’t excuse Christian’s mother for failure to protect. Both of the adults had a role. Parents have a legal obligation to protect their children, and being a drug addict doesn’t absolve a parent of their share of responsibility. In the worst case scenario, you call 911 for help and relinquish your child. CPS has a legal obligation to help reunite families when possible, even if it means hooking someone up with shelter and drug counseling. Addicts who are parents have more help available to them than addicts without kids. If his mother was ever near a phone, and payphones were all over at that time, then she had it in her power to call. I have more respect for addicts who leave their kids with strangers they think will protect their child than those whose desire to keep their kids near them endangers their children.

          In my family there is a lot of drug use, and with that there’s a lot of child abuse. My mother went with alcohol, and abused me in ways my dad couldn’t see and didn’t know about. Most of her sisters use hard drugs, and their dealers hurt the kids, sometimes severely, and one of my cousins was facially disfigured. My aunts see their kids as their property and says the kids are fine when they’re being hurt. They love their kids on some level. I have no doubt about this. But they can protect their kids and know how to get help, but don’t. They won’t give up what they see as theirs. One of them has been lifeflighted a few times for OD’ing. But still the kids get hurt. It really is. I have one aunt who went the route of calling 911 in the late 80’s, and in Detroit, and she got clean while her kids were with a foster family, was given help getting into safe shelter away from abuse, and got away. It was hard, and she didn’t do it by her own bootstraps. But she reached out for help for her kids, and in the end, was given help so her kids’ right to be in a safe home with their mother was respected. The mother of the child who was disfigured was offered help and had to take it to get her daughter back. CPS got involved when the ER called. Even after a hot iron was pressed to the child’s face by her mother’s dealer, the mother was given help and got her daughter back because it is seen as the child’s right (but some think this is a parent’s right and the child’s right is to be away from someone who didn’t protect, but that’s not really how the law is written).

          Women who are addicts aren’t completely brainless, and it’s actually insulting to Christian’s mother to try saying there was probably no way she would have known to get help when it’s as simple as a phone call. Getting help without kids means a lot of hoops. But a kid is the trump card that will get you to the top. Kids have rights adults don’t have. A childless adult has no right to some help, but a kid has a right to a safe home with their parents even if it means giving an adult help they couldn’t get otherwise. A kid is an open door, and some addicts have kids just so they can get help they couldn’t get without one. Women who say they don’t know what to do to get their kids away from abuse won’t take this step because, while it would get the kids somewhere safe, it would mean emotional hardship on the mothers. You have to love your kids and desire their safety more than you want to keep them for yourself. This is why I have every respect in the world for the parents who call 911 themselves or who go right for adoption. It’s hard, but it’s the ultimate in putting the needs of the children first.

          Christian’s mom had options that wouldn’t have cost her any money and that would have guaranteed her son a safe way out of the abuse. It wouldn’t have been emotionally easy, but she did what was easier on herself even though it meant he paid the price. If she kept him like a security blanket, that was still putting her needs first.

          Ana is an idiot because she’s blaming all of Christian’s bad behavior on his mother She was responsible for what she did or didn’t do regarding her son, but he is an adult know who has the privilege of knowing his issues and having help but still chooses to not change his behavior. He is making these choices and finding excuses and making himself into a victim. No one is making him beat or rape Ana, and he’s said himself he has no desire to change, and uses that to say he can’t and doesn’t know how. He has every right to feel hurt that his mother kept him in abuse, but that is no free pass to continue the cycle. He and his mother are both responsible for their choices (him, to abuser, and her, to not call for help).

          Writers who know jack shit about abuse have no business at all writing about it. It’s not so black and white, you have to give enough information, you have to show it in the right light, and you can’t excuse the person actively causing the abuse while putting 100% of it on the person whose contribution was is staying passive. EL took one of the most complex subjects and tried to use it to make her abusive hero into a sympathetic person, and then tried using domestic abuse to a partner to make him into that hero and used Stockholm Syndrome in Ana to make it all seem okay. I can’t believe anyone out there promotes these books as a good love story and can claim they’re well-written. Even some psychologists promote this travesty of a series.

          August 26, 2013
          |Reply
  39. Meadowphoenix
    Meadowphoenix

    I guess I’m not understanding the addiction shaming. Could someone fill me in?

    August 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • Someone more eloquent than me could do better, but I’ll try. It’s the attitude that if only someone were “strong” enough, or “good” enough, they could pull themselves up by their bootstraps and walk away from the addiction. That there’s no disease process involved, that a person basically chooses to be addicted, and is simply a “bad” person.

      August 13, 2013
      |Reply
    • Annie
      Annie

      Along with what grrrl said, there’s also a perception that if you’re stupid enough to try a street drug, or sometimes even a legitimately obtained prescription that has a reputation for being highly addictive, you’ve got what’s coming to you.
      After news spread that Cory Monteith died there were so many comments online that were to the effect of “another loser addict gone. Good riddance” that it was overwhelmingly sad and enraging.

      I don’t know if I’m reading something that isn’t there, but I also see the addiction shaming in Ana’s loathing of Christian’s biological mother. Ana seems to think that because his mother was an addict and a prostitute then of course she didn’t love her son or care about him in any way. Addicts and whores are evil, evil people that only do bad things, associate with bad people, live in bad places and raise bad children if the child stays with the horrible, evil mother for most of his/her childhood.
      To Ana, and seemingly even to Christian, she wasn’t a sick woman trapped in a cycle of abuse she couldn’t escape that died of her disease. She’s a monster that allowed her child to be horribly abused just because. She’s a vile, loathsome creature that put her toddler son’s life and well being at risk just because she wanted a high.

      Neither acknowledges that she was a sick woman who was physically and emotionally trapped, nor do they mourn that she was dealt a difficult hand and was taken too soon due to a combination of her disease and the abuse she suffered.

      August 16, 2013
      |Reply
  40. One never needs an excuse to scour the internet for Anthony Head pictures.

    August 13, 2013
    |Reply
  41. When I red about her keeping the plum dress I had a really depressing thought. Isn’t the plum dress the only thing that Chedward hasn’t taken away from her? He’s always trying to give her stuff that he paid for, clothes, cars, an apartment, a job and so on. How much of her own stuff do you think is in that apartment? He even got her new books in a new library so that she doesn’t have to use her old ones. When she tried to run away from him, run home, he followed so that she couldn’t focus on anything else for more than one minute. When she talks about her past, he gets angry at her, probably from just the thought that she dares to even have a past.
    So maybe she’s keeping the plum dress to remind herself of the fact that she actually had a life, friends and family before Chedward?

    August 20, 2013
    |Reply
  42. RodeoBob
    RodeoBob

    Just found the blog a week or two ago, and have been racing through the recaps. Thank you so much for tackling this! The books themselves seem to be all kinds of awful, but really, I keep coming back for the snark, pictures, and gifs.

    By the way, this specific post isn’t tagged, so it doesn’t show up in the search for 50-shades posts.

    August 21, 2013
    |Reply
  43. L
    L

    Got it. I’m profiling:

    Chedward’s plan is to corrupt Ana into being degraded into a crack whore who lets him – taking the role of the pimp from his childhood – abuse her children. This will prove to him that even the most innocent girl is really just a crack whore who deserves whatever she gets, and will give him the power of the pimp he identified with when he decided to become Master of the Universe (because that’s who the pimp was to *him* when he was 4). And what happens to crack whores? They die. You can tell you have *all the power* when you hold a person’s family, livelihood and finally their life in your hands, but what fun is that if you don’t prove it?

    This, he thinks, will prove once and for all that he is not the helpless child he used to be. Mommy can’t hurt him or let him be hurt anymore; now she has to give him all the love and obedience he wants (before he offs her).

    He relives his childhood over and over through these women, and soon through his children. He’s like a skipping record. That’s why these books are so crappy and repetitive. He’s a 4-year-old’s idea of the ultimate man, a person who can control the mommy and make everyone hollowed-out puppets for his personal puppet show.

    EL was “inspired,” I bet, by a real-life guy who has these proclivities. Somewhere there’s a 22-year-old being groomed for a crack-whore-tastic future by a rich guy who fancies himself quite the artist. Hopefully she’s as shallow as Ana, because the only upside is that she’ll never get old.

    December 5, 2013
    |Reply
  44. halcyon1234
    halcyon1234

    “Ana tries to avoid eating anything given to her by Christian or anyone connected with Christian, but she acknowledges that she does feel better when she’s eaten food she chose for herself. You guys called it. She’s become anorexic to exert some small amount of control over her situation.”

    OR because he’s drugging her food to keep her stupid and docile, and she feels better when she chooses her own food… because it isn’t drugged.

    This baby is going to be heaaaaalthy.

    December 12, 2014
    |Reply
  45. Brian
    Brian

    Ok, I’m posting this before I read any of the other comments, just to prove that a non-writer can write better than EL.

    Improved line:

    His expression is wary, like a predator who’s just realized that he has become the prey.

    January 3, 2015
    |Reply
  46. Hav
    Hav

    I could really do with those blankets, cocoa and water bottles now. Jesus fucking christ, this book/series just get worse and worse. It’s like slowly descending into hell. How the fuck are people claiming that chedward gets better in this book. WHAT THE FUCK?

    July 4, 2015
    |Reply
  47. Elle
    Elle

    I have to say, I swear that Kate told Ana to keep the dress after complimenting the way she looked in it. Like am I just totally hallucinating that Kate told her to keep the dress?

    August 19, 2015
    |Reply
  48. The Unicorner
    The Unicorner

    I know this comment is years after the fact, but I randomly felt like rereading these recaps and am noticing all these things I didn’t the first time around. I’ve seen some comments suggesting that Ana and Chedward’s relationship is just too textbook abusive to have been written that way unintentionally, and I’m starting to think they’re right. I think ELJ saw how much attention Twilight was getting from the controversy, so she took those elements from Twilight and dialed them up to 100 in 50sog. I suspect she also understood what kind of reader profile Twilight appealed to and tailored this story to tap into that profile even better than Twilight did. So the end result is a bunch of rabid fans buying the books/seeing the movies, and a bunch of skeptics buying the books/seeing the movies out of morbid curiosity or “for the lulz.”

    I’m always torn re: critical reviews for giving ELJ’s books the attention she wants, but I also think it’s important to discuss these issues, so I guess it’s a toss-up. In the end, though, I am glad you did these recaps, because it brought my attention to your blog and your books, and I learned a lot about writing and storytelling. So I guess the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

    January 31, 2016
    |Reply
  49. Late
    Late

    Place your bets on if anyone will be worried about Mia’s safety.
    My bet is that they’ll think she’s a stupid feeble minded woman and she let Jack use her phone to endanger Ana. Because who cares about her safety? Her brother? Her sister in law? Nahhhh

    September 6, 2016
    |Reply

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