No links this week, let’s just get into this depressing train wreck, shall we?
If you’d been missing descriptions of how insufferably close these two idiots sleep, well, you’re in luck:
When I wake before the alarm the following morning, Christian is wrapped around me like ivy, his head on my chest, his arm around my waist, and his leg between mine.
So, if you had “ivy” in the “repetitive descriptions” pool, congratulations, you have to take a shot.
Oh, Fifty. He is so needy on some level.
Excuse me, on some level? Have you even met this person, Ana? This is the guy who, a few short months ago, wanted to control what you ate and wore.
Christian gets up for his shower, and they flirt, and it’s just as obnoxious as every other time they flirt. Of course they call each other Mr. and Mrs. Grey, and it’s just as clever this time as the forty-three-thousand, two-hundred and fifteen times they’ve done it before. Then they have to have sex instead of him going to the shower, because this is an erotic novel:
I squeal, and he crawls up my body, trailing little kisses on my knee, my thigh… my… oh… Christian!
“Good morning, Mrs. Grey,” Mrs. Jones greets me. I flush, embarrassed, remembering her tryst with Taylor the night before.
Tryst? Is that the word we’re going with here? It seems kind of strong for a kiss in a room with an open door, but whatever. Let’s roll.
I sit on the barstool beside my husband, who just looks radiant: freshly showered, his hair damp, wearing a crisp white shirt and that silver-gray tie. My favorite tie. I have fond memories of that tie.
So do I, Ana.
I stop, because Christian is grinning at me. “What?” I snap.
“Nothing. Just you,” he says.
This dude can eat a whole bag of extra salty unwashed dicks.
Ana asks Christian if he’s going to fly Charlie Tango to New York. Yes, Ana. He’s going to fly a fucking helicopter cross country. I know next to nothing about air traffic vehicles, and even I thought, “What are you, some kind of dumb ass?” when I read that question. Christian explains that the helicopter doesn’t have that kind of range, and besides, it won’t be fixed for another two weeks.
Hang on. The helicopter accident happened… at least three months ago, right? It’s hard to keep the crazy stupid timeline straight. At one point, I thought they’d said the helicopter was a loss. Even if they didn’t, that’s a long ass time to be working on repairing something. Why not just buy a new one, at that point? Did he lose his virginity in this helicopter or something? Is that why it has to be this specific one?
My smile is partly from relief, but also the knowledge that the demise of Charlie Tango has occupied a great deal of Christian’s thoughts and time over the last few weeks.
Except we’re only going to bring it up just now, near page two hundred. That’s how much it’s worried him.
Ana reminds him that the last time he flew his helicopter, they all thought he was dead. To reassure her, Christian says:
“Five people have been fired because of that, Ana. It won’t happen again.”
I love that E.L. James seems to think that a good business strategy for success is to fire everyone, all the time. Christian is always talking about people he’s going to fire, or how their jobs are on the line if this or that doesn’t happen. And in this case, it’s especially laughable because 1) the accident with Charlie Tango was due to sabotage and 2) as the pilot, it was his fault, for not doing a pre-flight check. He doesn’t do pre-flight checks, we’ve already seen that in the first book. Someone does those pre-flight checks before he arrives, then he hops in and flies. For all we know, the proper checks were done, but someone got in between that check and his arrival time. But sure, fire everyone for your mistake, because that’s how business works.
Oh shit, that really is how business works.
Whatever, I still hate this fucking guy.
Ana brings up the subject of the gun in his desk. Brace yourself for the bull shittery that results:
“It’s Leila’s,” he says finally.
“It’s fully loaded.”
“How do you know?” His frown deepens.
“I checked it yesterday.”
He scowls at me. “I don’t want you messing with guns. I hope you put the safety back on.”
I blink at him, momentarily stupefied. “Christian, there’s no safety on that revolver. Don’t you know anything about guns?”
His eyes widen. “Um… no.”
He probably knows about as much as E.L., but here, this is at least plausible. While there are some revolvers available commercially that have safety mechanisms, it’s a largely redundant feature on a firearm that has to be cocked or, in the case of a double action revolver, requires a significant amount of force to squeeze the trigger.
But look at this jackass. He has a gun. In his desk. Fully loaded. He doesn’t know how to use it. He didn’t even know if there was a safety or not. But Ana should not have been messing with guns, because her tiny, vulnerable female brain is clearly unable to comprehend the danger of them.
He has Leila’s gun. I am stunned by this news and briefly wonder what’s happened to her. Is she still in – where is it? East somewhere. New Hampshire? I can’t remember.
Um, that would be a pretty fucking important detail to me, if someone had broken into my house and tried to kill me. I wouldn’t obsess every second over them, but having an idea if they were still, you know, incarcerated or whatever, would be nice.
Then Taylor comes in, and Ana gets squirrelly about the fact Taylor saw her in stockings and a men’s shirt the night before. Because Taylor doesn’t have a Tumblr account. No, seriously about 98.4% of all pictures on Tumblr are women wearing black stockings and men’s dress shirts. It’s not a big deal.
“I am just going to brush my teeth,” I mutter. Christian always brushes his teeth before breakfast. I don’t understand why.
I don’t understand why that was the hook to end on before a section break, but who the fuck cares because at this point, 50 Shades the series is as unsalvageable as Charlie Tango should have been.
“You should ask Taylor to teach you how to shoot,” I say as we travel down in the elevator.
“You should ask Taylor to
teach you how to shoot you.” There, fixed it for you, E.L. No need to thank me.
“Ana, I despise guns. My mom has patched up too many victims of gun crime, and my dad is vehemently antigun. I grew up with their ethos. I support at least two gun control initiatives here in Washington.”
Without knowing anything about guns? SMART. You should definitely be involved in the lawmaking process regarding them. But more importantly, I’m glad your “vehemently antigun” parents instilled in you a sense of moral outrage over that and not, you know, ABUSING WOMEN.
“Oh. Does Taylor carry a gun?”
Christian’s mouth thins.
“You don’t approve?” I ask, as Christian ushers me out of the elevator on the ground floor.
“No,” he says, tight-lipped. “Let’s just say that Taylor and I hold very different views with regard to gun control.” I’m with Taylor on this.
I love it. “Guns? Me? Oh, no, no, no. I’m very antigun. Unless it comes to my bodyguard. I act like it’s out of my hands that he carries, but let’s be honest, I fire people for shit they can’t control all the time. What I’m saying here is, ‘No one can be protected by guns… except me. Because I’m important.'”
In the last recap, I had someone leave a comment that they can’t follow my blog anymore because of my stance on guns. Which I find hilarious because a) I’ve made public my support for stricter gun laws (you know, that whole “well regulated” part of the 2nd Amendment), and b) I’m pretty moderate on the issue, which means that while I’m used to people getting pissed at me, I can never tell why they’re pissed at me on this one. For all I know, that person stopped reading the blog because I didn’t include an animated .gif of myself shooting two pistols into the sky, Yosemite Sam style. But no matter where you stand on the issue, I think we all have to agree that it’s fucking useless to hire a team of bodyguards to protect you from someone who is trying to kill you and then ask them to do it without using guns. On top of that, it’s hypocritical in the extreme to back anti-gun measures, but pay someone to protect you with guns.
I don’t know why I’m so shocked at Chedward’s open hypocrisy here. I think I occasionally black out and forget what book I’m recapping, because nothing important has been consistent in these books, anyway.
Ana asks him one more time to learn how to shoot, and he tells her:
“No. End of discussion, Anastasia.”
So… let me get this straight. Chedward isn’t going to learn anything about the fully loaded gun he has in his desk drawer?
“Yes, I checked. She’s enrolled in an art school in Hamden. She started this week.”
So, obviously, Ana’s first thought should be, “WTF WHY IS SHE AT AN ART SCHOOL SHE TRIED TO MURDER ME LIKE A FEW MONTHS AGO, DUDE.”
Nope. Not our Ana. Not our “bright” “intelligent” “brilliant” Ana:
“You’ve spoken to her,” I whisper, all the blood draining from my face.
No, Ana, the reason all the blood should be draining from your face is that the woman who was so mentally broken just a few months ago that she came to your apartment with a gun is now just flitting around free as a bird because your husband didn’t want to call the police on his ex-girlfriend.
Christian continues, “I’m keeping tabs on her, checking that she stays on her side of the continent. She’s better, Ana. Flynn has referred her to a shrink in New Haven, and all the reports are very positive. She’s always been interested in art, so…” He stops, his face still searching mine. And in that moment I suspect that he is paying for her art classes. Do I want to know? Should I ask him? I mean, it’s not as if he can’t afford it, but why does he feel the obligation?
Perhaps it’s because he knows, somewhere deep down, that his continual emotional abuse is what ultimately broke her? Because that’s why I think he should pay for anything she might need. But we all know it’s so she won’t tell anyone about the kinky BDSM sex games he’s so super ashamed of (but photographs for posterity).
But let’s examine this “better” claim. First of all, is it possible for someone to get over a total psychotic break in a few months? Second, who decided Leila was “better”? The colleague of Dr. Flynn? Dr. Flynn the guy who was treating Christian and who suggested that Ana had the power to cure him with her love? Oh, well, as long as it’s that guy, I guess everyone is fine and no one should expect to get shot by a crazy ex any time soon. And also, wouldn’t this entire situation be a lot easier if Leila were, I don’t know, in jail? Or at least in a facility that had some kind of security? Because isn’t that what usually happens when you break and enter with the intent to commit murder?
There I go again, expecting that this book isn’t set in some badly constructed fantasy world of author intrusion and blind ignorance.
Then there are six pages of emails in which Christian and Ana pointlessly flirt and rehash everything that has happened in the last few chapters. I will spare you the utterly boring, useless, and not at all plot-furthering correspondence that I’m 100% certain was put in just to pad out word count. Which is totally unnecessary, because the book is way too fucking long as it is.
Section break, and it’s Thursday:
I cannot help my despondent mood as Sawyer drives me to the office on Thursday. Christian’s threatened business trip to New York has happened, and though he’s been gone only a few hours, I miss him already.
Despondent: low spirits from loss of hope or courage. Ana has lost hope because Christian has been gone a few hours. That’s not how she’s supposed to feel. That’s how I am supposed to feel, because I’m reading about it.
So then there’s about a page’s worth of emails again, in which we learn that Ana is going out:
I intend to have a few cocktails with Kate – that should help me sleep.
Awesome, glad you found another way to use your friendship to your advantage, even if she’s not paying your rent anymore.
Put on your bullshit waders, guys, it’s about to get deep. Ana gets a call from Christian when his plane lands, and the first thing he wants to know is what she’s doing with Kate:
Oh no. “We’re just going out for a quiet drink.”
Christian says nothing.
“Sawyer and the new woman – Prescott – are coming to watch over us,” I offer, trying to placate him.
“I thought Kate was coming to the apartment.”
“She is after a quick drink.” Please let me go out!
He’s not even in the same state, and he has this control over her. Healthy marriage!
Christian remains resolutely silent, and I know he’s not happy. “I’ve seen her only a few times since you and I met. Please. She’s my best friend.”
Name something you shouldn’t be arguing about with your husband.
“Ana, I don’t want to keep you from your friends.
Bullfuckingshit yes you do, turdbag.
But I thought she was coming back to the apartment.”
“Okay,” I acquiesce. “We’ll stay in.”
“Only while this lunatic is out there. Please.”
Which lunatic, Chedward? You? Seriously, have you guys noticed how conveniently “lunatics” pop up in their lives, causing these dramatic and unavoidable threats that mean Ana absolutely must stay at home or under Christian’s surveillance all the time? First it was Leila, now it’s Jack Hyde and the mystery woman driving the Dodge. I’m going to guess that this will become a regular thing. “Honey, don’t forget, I have Kate’s bachelorette party to go to.” “Oh, um, you can’t, because, uh, um, huh… uh… Bic… Mcpen… lamp…erson, yeah, that’s right! Bic McPenlamperson! My old nemesis Bic McPenlamperson is out to destroy us. So you can’t go.”
“Good,” he breathes, his relief evident. I feel guilty for worrying him.
“Well, Mr. Grey, I’m glad one of us is punctilious.”
He laughs. “Mrs. Grey, your gift for hyperbole knows no bounds.[…]”
That wasn’t hyperbole, though. Punctilious means you do things to the letter, your behavior is exact and precise… which is what he was doing. She wasn’t exaggerating at all when she said he was being punctilious. Either E.L. doesn’t know what one of those words means, or she doesn’t know what both of those words mean. I’ll leave it up to your merciful consciences to decide which is more likely.
They do about half a page of “No, you hang up,” and then right when I’m about to go hang myself, they switch to the email.
After a section break, Kate shows up at Ana’s place of business. There is hugging and eye rolling, and Ana tells Kate:
“Christian wants us to go back to the apartment.”
If I were Kate, the next thing I would be saying is, “Christian can go fuck himself,” but Kate tries a gentler tactic and suggests they go out for just one little bitty drink.
We’re followed by Miss Belinda Prescott, who’s new to the security team – a tall African American with a no-nonsense attitude. I’ve yet to warm up to her maybe because she’s too cool and professional.
Keep in mind how Taylor, Sawyer, and the rest of them act all the time. Ana has warmed up to them just fine, but they are, after all, white men.
When Ana gives Sawyer the name of the bar they want to go to, this happens:
“Mr. Grey requested you go back to the apartment,” Prescott pipes up.
“Mr. Grey isn’t here,” I snap. “The Zig Zag, please.”
“Ma’am,” Sawyer replies witha sideways glance at Prescott, who wisely holds her tongue.
Yes, woman of color, wisely hold your tongue when a white lady is speaking. Everyone, just take a second to imagine how this scene would have gone down if it were Taylor, a white man, and not Prescott, a black woman. Think of how many times we’ve seen this go down already and it never happens like this. Ana has routinely ignored Christian’s wishes and told the security team to do so, as well, but she’s always done it with a little bit of worry that she’ll get them in trouble. And she’s never, to my memory, been so strident about it. But it’s okay in this case because Prescott a) is a woman and b) is a black woman. Which is probably also why she’s allowed to be on the security team; if she were a white woman, she would be a threat, as we’ve already seen time and again.
In the car, Kate and Ana discuss the extra security that’s been put on the whole Grey family, and Ana begins to realize that she doesn’t have all the information, because Christian hasn’t told her a lot of stuff. But they can’t discuss it in the car because, I shit you not, Ana is worried that it will get back to Christian that she knows things she’s not supposed to:
I glance up to see Sawyer eyeing me in the rearview mirror. The red light turns to green and he surges forward, focusing on the road ahead. I hold my finger up to my lips and Kate nods.
How are people reading this shit and finding it romantic? “Careful, best friend, better not say too much in front of my husband’s spies.” THAT IS NOT OKAY.
Ugh, I seriously have a rage headache.
After a section break, Ana and Kate are already into their second drink of the evening, and they’re talking about Gia Matteo, the architect. They call her a bitch, a social climber, rag on her for having a “fling” with Elliot (hey Kate? Takes more than one person to fling), and then they literally raise their glasses to the fact that Ana told Gia off.
Prescott accompanies me. She says nothing. She doesn’t have to. Disapproval radiates off her like a lethal isotope.
Oh good, Prescott isn’t just a black woman, she’s an angry black woman, and her anger is making our white heroine uncomfortable.
“I haven’t been out on my own since I got married,” I mutter wordlessly at the closed stall door.
How the fuck did you mutter a full sentence wordlessly? As in, without words? You said the words, we can see them, they’re between the fucking quotation marks. And seriously, how did that sentence get into a final, printed book?
I make a face, knowing that she’s standing on the other side of the door, waiting while I pee.
You know what, Ana? This woman is probably going to lose her job because your husband is a fucking idiot and since he can’t fire you, he’ll probably fire everyone on the security team because they didn’t taser you, bind your wrists with zip ties, slap a bag over your head and stuff you in the trunk of the car for your own safety. She has a right to be mad at you and him both, because you’re both stupid and now she’s going to have to start sending out her CV again. Also, this is probably not her dream job, guarding you while you pee. So shut the fuck up.
Seriously, I’m so peeved about this, because it’s so blatant. When Ana is followed by the white male bodyguards, she’s annoyed, but she’s not openly hostile to them. She’s almost apologetic toward them, because she gets that they’re just doing their job. But a black female? Oh, good thing you’re here, because Ana is about to unload all of her frustration at her abusive husband onto you.
After another break, it’s 10:15, one drink has turned into four, and Kate is telling Ana that marriage obviously agrees with her because she seems so much more confident. Ana thinks:
Could I be any happier? In spite of all his baggage, his nature, his Fiftyness, I have met and married the man of my dreams.
First of all, your dreams are stupid and they suck dung-dipped donkey balls. Second, look at what you’re saying here. You’re saying that he’s the man of your dreams in spite of literally everything that makes up the sum total of his personality. It’s like saying, “I love Cadbury eggs, but it’s the chocolate and fondant I’m not into.” It makes no fucking sense, just like it makes no fucking sense to not love Cadbury eggs because they’re delicious and no, I will not make an exception for your diabetes, you better love those fuckers from afar, all unrequited and shit. But seriously, how does her rationale make any sense? In spite of the man he is, he is the man of my dreams. This is setting the bar pretty fucking low in terms of romantic hero standards. “As long as I can ignore who he really is, he is my Prince Charming.” Good job, Ana.
They leave the bar, and Ana can’t resist another dig at Prescott, because after all, she’s a woman and she’s there:
“I’m sure Miss Good-Two-Shoes Prescott has told Christian I’m not at home. He’ll be mad,” I mutter to Kate. And maybe he’ll think of some delicious way to punish me… hopefully.
Sawyer tells me that you are drinking cocktails in a bar when you said you wouldn’t.
Do you have any idea how mad I am at the moment?
You’re probably as mad about it as I am happy that it was SAWYER and not PRESCOTT who tattled. FUCK YOU ANA.
My heart sinks. Oh shit! I really am in trouble. My subconscious glares at me, then shrugs, wearing her you-made-your-bed-you-lie-in-it face. What did I expect?
You expected to go out with your friend for drinks like an adult woman with personal autonomy?
Then they get to the apartment and shit is all smashed up and Jack Hyde is there, beaten unconscious by one of the body guards. But I don’t really give a shit and I’m guessing you don’t, either. End of chapter.