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50 Shades Freed chapter 24 recap, or “How very dare you save my sister’s life.”

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If you come here just for my amazing recaps, you might not be aware that I’m a beauty blogger on the side. I try out DIY beauty remedies for Collective310, and this month YOU get to decide what I slather all over a random body part. If you’d like to vote, you can do so here.

*Rolls up sleeves*

We last left Ana in the hospital, about to eat breakfast. Not hospital issue poor people food, of course. Ana starts eating her oatmeal and realizes that hey, the baby she’s growing could be a girl.

“You know,” I mutter between mouthfuls, “Blip might be a girl.”

Christian runs his hand through his hair. “Two women, eh?” Alarm flashes across his face, and his dark look vanishes.

Oh crap. “Do you have a preference?”

What are you going to do if he does, Ana? Worry yourself to death until you get the sonogram? Wait, right, that’s exactly what you’ll do. And pardon me while I’m incredibly grossed out at the thought of how Christian Grey would treat a daughter, and how funny Ana would find it when the poor woman was still locked in a steel-and-glass-and-sandstone-and-steel-and-glass tower when she’s twenty-five, with no friends and a “proscribed list” of people she can never have contact with.

Social workers, for example.

Christian tells Ana he just wants a healthy baby, and then he tells her to keep eating, because we can’t go a page without Christian having some kind of control over a bodily function of Ana’s.

Christian starts reading The Seattle Times:

“You made the papers again, Mrs. Grey.” His tone is bitter.

“Again?”

“The hacks are just rehashing yesterday’s story, but it seems factually accurate. You want to read it?”

I wonder how it is that Christian feels journalism with accurate facts is somehow hackish. Also, as this series has gone on, Christian has had nothing but contempt for all forms of press, even going so far as to force Ana to sign a non-disclosure agreement in the first book… so why did he grant an interview to Kate? I know, he donates huge amounts of money to the university… but why does he do that? He didn’t go to college there. So, the only reason Chedward agreed to Kate’s interview in the first book was so Ana could meet him and the book could happen at all. Ah, character consistency.

Ana asks Christian to read the article to her:

He smirks and proceeds to read the article aloud. It’s a report on Jack and Elizabeth, depicting them as a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde. It briefly covers Mia’s kidnapping, my involvement in Mia’s rescue, and the fact that both Jack and I are in the same hospital. How does the press get all this information? I must ask Kate.

They ask, Ana. Asking is like, the biggest part of journalism. You roomed with a journalism student through college and you don’t know that?

Here’s something interesting: this is one of the very few times that it makes sense for Ana to be in the press. They’re always talking about paparazzi following her around and stuff, and it’s never made any sense to me. It makes sense that they would have had their engagement and wedding announcements in a lot of different magazines and newspapers, but Christian isn’t Richard Branson. He’s very private. He’s not out there trying to be the rock star billionaire. So why would people care about him? I mean, if we want to do a comparison of famous and successful business people here…without googling, what’s Mark Zuckerberg’s wife’s name?

Exactly.

But this is really one of the only times it makes sense for Ana to be in the press. She’s been involved in a dramatic kidnapping. If that happened to Bill Gates’s wife, whose name I also don’t know off the top of my head but which I sort of murkily recall as being similar to “Mindy,” we’d hear about it.

When Christian finishes, I say, “Please read something else. I like listening to you.”

So he gets out a copy of Twilight.

Just kidding.

It’s actually Breaking Dawn.

Just kidding again. He reads to her from the papers while she eats breakfast and thinks about Little Blip and how scary parenting is going to be for Christian. Oh, um, her, as well, but obviously her main concern is how it will affect Christian, because have you been reading these books at all?

What puzzles me is that he hasn’t lacked for positive role models as parents. Both Grace and Carrick are exemplary parents, or so they seem.

What we know of Grace and Kerrick’s Parenting:

  • They adopted a severely traumatized child and apparently ignored or weren’t overly concerned by his emotional issues, because they think he’s just fine at the beginning of the series.
  • They’re relieved that an outside influence (Ana) came in and fixed the son that they don’t admit was broken until like, the third book.
  • When his mom found out that he’d been molested by one of her friends, she blamed him.
  • His mom snoops other people’s private information– so we know where Christian gets it from.

What Ana doesn’t understand is that having money, giving your kids a fancy house and gifts and elegant table manners? That’s not parenting. That’s just a lifestyle. Parenting is, you know, just a for example, shaping a young mind so that it understands that imprisoning another human being with guards and proscribed lists and spying and manipulation isn’t great.

Maybe it was the Bitch Troll’s interference that damaged him so badly. I’d like to think so. But in truth I think it goes back to his birth mom, though I’m sure Mrs. Robinson didn’t help.

Yet again, we’re treated to the theme of “child molesters are better than negligent addict mothers.” Can we just do a comparison here? I think we need to.

The Crack Whore vs. The Bitch Troll

Let’s get ready to be illlllllllllogicaaaaaaaaaaal

The Crack Whore

  • Was addicted to drugs
  • Was impoverished
  • Did not stop her abuser from abusing her son
  • Prostituted herself for survival and the survival of her child due to hardships the reader is not privy to
  • Died

The Bitch Troll

  • Was sexually attracted to her best friend’s minor child
  • Knew Christian’s history of abuse and subsequent mental and emotional issues
  • Used this history of abuse and abandonment issues to manipulate minor child into a sexual relationship lasting years
  • Put the minor child in danger from her violent husband’s wrath pending discovery
  • Selected Christian’s sexual partners when their relationship ended

No, you’re right, Ana. It’s probably all to do with his mother. She had no business being a prostitute addicted to crack! That’s a choice she made! Hellooooo? She lived in Detroit. In the 80’s. She could have gotten a job and pulled herself up by her bootstraps, in a thriving economic boomtown like early 1980’s Detroit! Instead, she liked drugs and getting hit so much, she moved herself straight into that shitty apartment where she died and she did it all because she clearly hated her son. Just because Elena sexually manipulated Christian throughout his teen years and early adulthood, causing damage that has resulted in Christian being unable to trust or love another human being, she probably has nothing to do with it compared to Christian’s skeevy slut of a mom.

Ana is thinking about all of this stuff when there’s a knock at the door.

Detective Clark makes an apologetic entry into the room. He’s right to be apologetic– my heart sinks when I see him.

Yeah, he should apologize to you for doing his job and trying to keep you safe from the guy who tried to rape you more than once, who kidnapped your sister-in-law and tried to kidnap you, who set fire to your husband’s business, invaded your home, extorted a ransom from you, and beat you so bad you were hospitalized. Like, I’m really sure Detective Clark is thrilled that he’s staring in Law & Order: Grey Family Crimes Unit.

“Mr. Grey, Mrs. Grey. Am I interrupting?”

“Yes,” snaps Christian.

Clark ignores him. “Glad to see you’re awake, Mrs. Grey. I need to ask you a few questions about Thursday afternoon. Just routine. Is now a convenient time?”

“Sure,” I mumble, but I do not want to relive Thursday’s events.

“My wife should be resting,” Christian bristles.

Remember how every other time Christian has met with this detective, he’s been surly and uncooperative? At some point, wouldn’t Detective Clark start thinking, “Why is this guy so hostile and constantly trying to get rid of me without anyone giving me any information?” Well, of course Detective Clark won’t, because he’s in 50 Shades of Grey. But I guarantee Olivia Benson would have picked up on this shit, if she weren’t on a different spin-off. The difference is that this time, Christian is negatively impacting Ana, not himself. Ana just withdrew five million dollars from the bank, then shot somebody. Yeah, on the surface it’s going to look like a kidnapping/ransom thing that went wrong, but with Christian wanting to constantly chase away any police involvement, maybe Detective Clark is going to wonder if that five million was being extorted to cover something seriously up.

Don’t worry, that doesn’t happen here.

There’s a section break where we thankfully don’t have to hear all the details of the most improbable ransom drop in history being repeated again, and Detective Clark tells Ana she would have done “womankind” a service if she’d killed Jack Hyde. He also tells them that he’s pretty sure Jack won’t make bail this time. Excuse me, but how the hell did he make bail the last time? Christian wants to know who posted bail for Jack, but it’s confidential. Ana suspects Christian has someone in mind, but obviously he’s not going to tell her because communication is the anti-sexy.

After another section break, Ana is being discharged from the hospital:

I nod, trying to contain my delight at going home.

The staff of the entire hospital are probably struggling to do the same thing.

ez9t9

As Dr Singh leaves, Christian asks her for a quick word in the corridor. He keeps the door ajar as he asks her a question She smiles.

“Yes, Mr. Grey, that’s fine.”

He grins and returns to the room a happier man.

“What was that all about?”

“Sex,” he says, flashing a wicked grin.

You know what? Let’s have an imagination time.

Mayor of imaginationland
ImaginaaaaAAAAAaaaatiiiioooooOOOOnnn

Let’s imagine, shall we, what that conversation with Dr Singh would have been like in a real world, not a 50 Shades of Improbability world:

Christian: “Dr. Singh, when can my wife have sex again?”

Dr. Singh: “Mr. Grey, your wife has been through a very traumatic experience. Not only does her head injury still pose the risk of possible lasting side effects, the emotional toll of being taken hostage, beaten, and extorted cannot be taken lightly. I would advise Mrs. Grey to bring up the topic of sexual intimacy with whichever mental health professional she engages for therapy. She can get a referral from her family doctor, whom she should see within the next few days.”

Obviously, there will always be medical professionals who still act like women are property who should start spreading again as soon as possible after surgery or birth or hospitalization, but seriously? Dr. Singh thinks it’s funny that Ana has been the victim of a violent crime– a violent crime at the hands of a man who’d already threatened to rape her on multiple occasions– and her husband wants to start banging her right away? Fuck you, Dr. Singh. You suck so much balls.

Ana’s reaction to all of this is to crack a joke about her head injury:

“I have a headache,” I smirk right back.

“I know. You’ll be off limits for a while. I was just checking.”

If you weren’t going to have sex with her, then why did you need to know? Well, dear reader, here is why he needed to know: because Christian Grey manipulates Ana with sex, and he needs to know if his manipulation tool can feasibly be put back into use. See, what he’s done here is plant the seed of the possibility of sex in Ana’s mind. For the rest of the chapter, she’s drooling and panting like Pavlov’s dog at a handbell choir concert, because Christian brought it up. And for the rest of the chapter, Christian makes it a point to remind her that he’s going to deny her sex, for her own safety. He’s just protecting her.

Isn’t it funny how often Christian’s protection of Ana looks like deeply calculated psychological manipulation?

Before they leave the hospital, Ana wants to go see Ray. Jesus, is that guy still there? It feels like he’s been in there for fucking ever, but it’s only been like five or six days at this point, right? So really wrap your head around what an average week for Ana Steele is. In one week:

  • Her father nearly dies.
  • She finds out she’s pregnant.
  • Her husband explodes in a rage over the pregnancy and goes to his ex lover.
  • Her sister-in-law gets kidnapped.
  • She gets beaten unconscious during a ransom drop.
  • She shoots a man.
  • She spends some time in a coma.

Seriously, every week seems to be like this for these people. There’s always some kind of bullshit drama happening. I’m starting to imagine Christian and Ana becoming aged before their time by the stress of just getting through a full calendar month without anybody dying.

indiana-jones-and-the-last-crusade-you-chose-poorly-motherfucker
Pictured: Christian and Ana during income tax season.

Christian tells Ana that he hasn’t told Ray or Carla about the baby:

“Thank you.” I smile, grateful that he hasn’t stolen my thunder.

Or, you know. Disclosed personal information about you without consulting you. THAT TOO.

Christian warns Ana that Ray is mad at her:

“I should warn you, he’s mad as hell. Said I should spank you.”

What? Christian laughs at my appalled expression. “I told him I’d be only too willing to oblige.”

GROSS.

Christian tells Ana that Taylor brought her some clothes– because even after everything they’ve been through, Christian apparently can’t do anything to take care of Ana that involves him doing literally any other action than giving another person orders to do it for him– and then there’s a section break and we get:

As Christian predicted, Ray is furious. I don’t ever remember him being this mad. Christian has wisely decided to leave us alone. For such a taciturn man, Ray fills his hospital room with his invective, berating me for my irresponsible behavior.

Keep in mind, my friends, that the sole reason Ana went on this ransom drop was to save the life of another human being. She was trying to save Mia. But nobody cares about that. It seems like every character in this book would have been totally fine with Mia getting murdered.

“And poor Christian! I’ve never seen him like that. He’s aged. We’ve both aged over the last couple of days.”

indiana-jones-and-the-last-crusade-you-chose-poorly-motherfucker
Pictured: Christian and Ray, worrying.

I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure if anything is aging Christian, it’s the heroic amounts of alcohol and stress he and his wife consume like life giving oxygen in this fucking series. At least Ray didn’t say he died a thousand deaths, though.

In the car on the way home, Ana calls her mom, but it’s not as long a scene as the one with Ray, because the only thing that really matters in this narrative is how many male characters are concerned over Ana’s safety and continued existence. This is made even more clear when, after three whole sentences glossing over Ana’s conversation with her mother, she notices that Christian is concerned about something:

“What’s wrong?” I ask when I’m finally free from my mother.

Finally free. She just woke up from a coma. She’s speaking to her mother for the first time since cheating death, and it’s this big imposition, but we’re also supposed to believe she’s got a good relationship with her mom? Verily, I calleth bullshit.

Anyway, Christian is concerned because Welch has uncovered some information about Jack Hyde in Detroit, and he didn’t want to share it on the phone. Ana and Christian get back to their building, and being in a familiar environment reminds Ana that, hey, some pretty fucking horrible shit just happened to her. Christian is all like, don’t worry, because you’re home now and you’re safe, but haven’t they had like, two home invasions in the past, what, like a month or three months or some shit? It seems like statistically speaking, the least safe place for Ana to be would be in their apartment.

When the doors of the elevator slide open, Christian picks me up like a child and carries me into the foyer.

I’m noticing a theme here. When Ana’s father is scolding her at the hospital, she thinks she feels like she’s twelve again. Her dad tells Christian to spank her. She’s being carried like a child. She isn’t terribly close to her mother or even her “best friend” Kate, two women who treat her like an adult woman. In fact, Ana seems to have a lot of contempt for anyone who does treat her like an adult woman, and she reveres the two men who treat her like a child.

I have a theory. I thought that somehow, some way, Ana developed this hole in her, this longing for male attention. I thought it was due to her discomfort with sexuality, because of her tendency to refer to herself as childlike or her childlike thoughts during sex scenes. But I’m starting to get a different sense here. It’s not that Ana is uncomfortable with sex, and therefore reverts to these childish tendencies. Ana is uncomfortable with autonomy. She was perfectly happy living with Kate during college, when they were both crazy kids having fun. But they graduate, and Kate is getting into a serious relationship with a guy, and suddenly Ana is completely grossed out by this (despite being in a relationship herself). Kate is moving into adulthood, while Ana clings to a man who wants to treat her like a child. Her mother makes the mistake of referring to her as a woman during a few scattered conversations, and suddenly a mother’s love is a burden Ana needs to be freed from. Now the only thing I can’t figure out is if this is a symptom of Grey’s abuse, or a character trait that has enabled him to abuse her without her recognizing it. Either way, his abuse is allowing her to stay in a static state in which she will never have to actually become a self-sufficient human being if she doesn’t want to. Is this really a fantasy that women are looking for? A man to come sweep them off their feet and psychologically abuse them until they don’t have to live their own lives?

Christian takes Ana into the bathroom, because his solution to like, every problem a woman could possibly have is to get her wet, in either physical sense.

“Bath?” he asks.

I shake my head. No… no… not like Leila.

“Shower?” His voice is choked with concern.

I’m sure Leila has probably taken showers before, too.

“Hey,” Christian croons. Kneeling in front of me, he pulls my hands away from my tearstained cheeks and cups my face in his hands. I gaze at him, blinking away my tears.

“You’re safe. You both are,” he whispers.

Blip and me. My eyes brim with tears again.

“Stop, now. I can’t bear it when you cry.” His voice is hoarse. His thumbs wipe my cheeks, but my tears still flow.

“I’m sorry, Christian. Just sorry for everything. For making you worry, for risking everything– for the things I said.”

I wish I would have kept a running tally of the times Ana has apologized to Christian, compared to the times Christian has apologized to Ana. She just went through an insanely traumatic event trying to save his sister’s life. She risked her life for his benefit and for the benefit of his family. And he’s not even allowing her to cry, because it’s an inconvenience to him. Then she apologizes for saving his sister! She apologizes to him, for the things she said… okay, but didn’t she say them the day after he became violently enraged over the fact that she got pregnant? And then he went to his ex-lover? And yet Ana still risked her life and the life of her wanted fetus because she didn’t want him to feel the emotional pain of losing his sister. And she’s apologizing.

Photo on 2013-11-10 at 12.38 #3
This is why I keep my handy “50 Shades Emergency Puke Bowl” close at hand.

At least this time, Christian steps up and takes responsibility for his own misdeeds:

“Hush, baby, please.” He kisses my forehead. “I’m sorry. It takes two to tango, Ana.” He gives me a crooked smile. “Well, that’s what my mom always says. I said things and did things I’m not proud of.”

Wait, what?! “It takes two to tango?” What the shit is that? Ana didn’t do anything wrong! In fact, for the first time in the entire series, she FINALLY did something that wasn’t selfish! How was she tangoing? And he’s not sorry he hurt her, he’s sorry he did things he’s not proud of. His only regret is that he can’t be proud of himself?

This guy. This fucking guy.

To feel his skin against my cheek… this man I love, this self-doubting, beautiful man, the man I could have lost through my own recklessness.

Dear reader. The only reason, and I mean the ONLY reason I am still doing these recaps is because I promised I would do them. And because I don’t want this book to defeat me. But I’m going to have to talk to my therapist for a WHILE after I’m done with these things. I feel like I’ll continually wake up from nightmares that I’m still reading these books.

1408
Like this movie, only instead of a haunted hotel room, it’s these books, so it’s much, much worse.

Ana decides that if she’s going to hang on to Christian, she can’t be so needy about stuff like wanting to know why he’s treating her like absolute garbage:

He has some explaining to do, but right now I want to revel in the feel of his comforting, protective arms around me. And in that moment it occurs to me; any explanations on his part have to come from him. I can’t force him– he’s got to want to tell me. I won’t be cast as the nagging wife, constantly trying to wheedle information out of her husband. It’s just exhausting. I know he loves me. I know he loves me more than he’s ever loved anyone, and for now, that’s enough. The realization is liberating.

I know E.L. misuses a lot of words, but Christ, you’d think she’d know what “liberating” means. HINT: it’s the exact opposite of surrendering total autonomy without question. Note that in Ana’s mind, the problem here isn’t that Christian is secretive and manipulative, but that she simply wants to know more than she’s entitled to know about situations that directly concern her.

This is the take away, ladies: If you want a true and perfect love, you’ll stop worrying your pretty little head off about things that are better left to the menfolk. As long as he says he loves you and showers you with expensive things, you don’t need to worry about shit like respect and your inalienable human rights. He never has to actually display any kind of tender feeling toward you that can’t immediately be reflected back onto him in a way that makes him feel good about himself. It’s enough that he says the words and you convince yourself to believe them.

Goddamn these books are fucking stupid.

So, after they’re done crying in the shower, Christian washes Ana and makes a big deal about her bruises and how he wanted to kill Hyde, because apparently the only person allowed to put bruises on Ana without her consent is him.

I love how we hear all the time about how Christian would have totally kicked this guy’s ass, or this dude should be glad that Christian wasn’t around, but the only time we’ve seen anyone actually defend Ana from the advances of a creepo have been when Taylor beat up Hyde and Ana decked that guy on the dance floor. But ooooh, if Christian had been around, because he’s such a tough guy…

No, wait, he was “around” both of those times. He just didn’t do anything.

Ana tries to get sexy with Christian, but he’s not having it, because she needs to “get clean.” You know they routinely bathe you in the hospital, right Christian? After they get out, he makes a crack about her “enjoying the view” and of course she’s embarrassed to be caught looking at him naked because gasp and double crap, he’s her husband:

“How do you know?” I ask, trying to ignore that I’ve been caught staring at my own husband.

Would it have been better if you’d been caught staring at somebody else’s husband?

Ana isn’t asking how Christian knew she was looking at him, but how he knew Elizabeth was involved in the thing with Hyde. As it turns out, Hyde kept blackmail video of all his PAs, because he slept with all his PAs and was apparently trying to amass some kind of army made out of women he’d fucked and then fucked over? At what point did he think, “That could never collapse and destroy me?”

“Exactly. Blackmail material. He likes it rough.” Christian frowns, and I watch confusion followed by disgust cross his face. He pales as his disgust turns to self-loathing. Of course– Christian likes it rough, too.

“Don’t.” THe word is out of my mouth before I can stop it.

His frown deepens. “Don’t what?” He stills and regards me with apprehension.

“You aren’t anything like him.”

What do you mean? They both get off on overt, non-consensual violence.

Sometimes I run into spots in these chapters where two or three lines are just like, so, so wrong, and I struggle to figure out the order in which to pick this shit apart. Let’s start on this thing about blackmail. This is the second time in this series that it becomes obvious that the author, editors, and readers of these books have no idea what blackmail is or how it works. The first time was when Christian decided to keep photos of all of his subs in sexual situations so that he could use them for blackmail if they ever told on him for his kinky ways. Which makes no sense, because the photos would only confirm the allegations, allegations that are being made by a woman who’s already admitting to having kinking sex with him. So she’s got nothing to lose. This time, the way the “blackmail” was supposed to work is apparently, “If you ever accuse me of anything, I’m going to hand over proof to Santa and everybody that I not only had sex with an employee, but I was into some shit people might find really sick and overreact to if they saw it, thus branding me as a pervert and revealing all the ways I victimized you as your employer.” Yeah. That’ll sure show ’em, Jack. Good thinking.

Now, let’s move on to how fucked up it is that Christian is grossed out by the fact that Hyde likes rough sex. I get it, he’s supposed to be thinking, “My god, is that how I’ve been treating Ana? I’m such a fool! Tender and quiet lovemaking with a minimum of bodily contact from now on!” But it’s so, so stupid. The thing that makes Jack Hyde evil isn’t that he likes rough sex. It’s that he likes rough sex specifically to humiliate and manipulate women into doing what he wants them to do for him, without caring about obtaining enthusiastic consent, and that’s nothing like what Christian…

Ohhhhhhh, now I see it.

Ana tells Christian that she could hear some conversations when she was in the coma, and he mentions Kate had stopped by. And of course, Ana didn’t know that, or it would have made her coma sooooo much worse.

“Kate was there?”

“Briefly, yes. She’s mad at you, too.”

I turn in his lap. “Stop with the everyone is mad at Ana crap, okay?”

FUCKING THANK YOU! Ana finally points out that, hey, Dickfart McGee, your sister was in danger, but of course, that isn’t good enough for Christian:

“Thank you,” he says, surprising me. “But no more recklessness. Because next time, I will spank the living shit out of you.”

You know, if it SURPRISES you when your husband thanks you for risking your own life to save a member of his family, as in, you didn’t expect him to THANK YOU for doing so? Then you shouldn’t be with that person. Ditto if your husband threatens to spank you as a punishment, when you’ve repeatedly objected to punishment spankings in the past, irregardless of your D/s relationship.

You know what I think? I think E.L. James doesn’t know that BDSM can exist without punishments. Did anyone watch her when she was interviewed by Barbara Walters this year? Barbara asked her about research, and E.L. like, wouldn’t answer the question. Barbara asked her if she’d done any of the stuff in the book, and she said, “What do you think?” Well, I think no. I think you did zero research, dude. I think you went off stuff you’ve read in other misinformed fanfics (The Office, cough cough) and got a bad idea about what BDSM is, and now you won’t admit that you didn’t know anything about it.

He’s serious. Holy cow. Deadly serious. “I have your stepfather’s permission.” He smirks. He’s teasing me! Or is he?

If you can’t tell whether or not your partner is seriously threatening to use corporal punishment on you when you’ve told him many times that you don’t want him to, and you’re using adverbs like “deadly” to describe his mood/tone? You should not be with this person. This person shouldn’t be with anyone.

Then Christian tenderly caresses her belly and talks about how it’s not just her anymore, and he trails his fingers along the top of her sweatpants in a sexy way, so that when she gets all hot, he can tell her no, he’s not going to have sex with her because he’s so worried about her health and shit. Or whatever. When he’s just threatened to spank her because he has a male relative’s permission. TENDERNESS!

Christian gives Ana some chicken soup, and he tells her she needs to rest. He decides to facilitate this rest by bringing his work into the bedroom, presumably so that he can stare at Ana while she sleeps. I know I do all my best recuperating while being intensely stared at.

So, of course when Ana wakes up:

Christian is sitting in the armchair, watching me, gray eyes luminous in the ambient light.

Sweet dreams, Ana.
Sweet dreams, Ana.

Christian is obviously traumatized by some news he’s received from Welch. Apparently, Christian and Jack Hyde lived together… wait, like, in college?

“After I was found with the crack whore, before I went to live with Carrick and Grace, I was in the care of Michigan State. […]”

OSUAA Logo 4 Color Vert
Could have been worse.

See, ’round these parts, if a kid is in foster care– as Christian was– we call that being in the care of the state. But you’d say it like, “I was in the care of the State of Michigan,” not “I was in the care of Michigan State,” because Michigan State is a university. Unless Sparty is taking in homeless children.

He talks like Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness and he makes you do Crossfit like allllllll the time.
He talks like Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness and he makes you do Crossfit like allllllll the time.

Christian shows Ana a photo of himself with his foster family– including Jack. And of course, Jack’s evil personality is apparent from a photo of him as a child, because that is how this book works:

I gaze at each of the children: two boys– identical twins, about twelve– both with sandy blond hair, grinning broadly at the camera; there’s another boy, who’s smaller, with reddish blond hair, scowling; and hiding behind him, a copper-haired grey-eyed little boy. Wide-eyed and scared, dressed in mismatched clothes and clutching a child’s dirty blanket.

So, they were in foster care together. That’s the connection. Jack is jealous of Christian because Christian got adopted and he didn’t. That’s the impetus for all of these shenanigans.

No, for real.

Ana is so full of herself that she’s pretty sure Jack only hired her to seduce her to get back at Christian, and he’s all:

“I don’t think so,” Christian mutters, his eyes now open. “The searches he did on my family didn’t start until a week or so after you began your job at SIP. Barney knows the exact dates. And, Ana, he fucked all his assistants and taped them.”

Thanks for the recap, but we already discussed him taping his assistants once in this chapter. You know, back when you didn’t understand how blackmail works, Christian.

Ana thinks about all the contact she’d had with Jack and what could have happened to her:

I knew deep down he was bad news, yet I ignored all my instincts. Christian’s right– I have no regard for my own safety. I remember the fight we had about me going to New York with Jack. Jeez– I could have ended up on some sordid sex tape.

UGH THIS BOOK IS SO FRUSTRATING. Okay, Ana? You thought Jack was a little overly friendly. You didn’t know he was “bad news.” You didn’t seem to know that until he attacked you in the break room. Also? Christian had no idea about any of this, he didn’t know Jack was “bad news.” All he was doing was jealously keeping you home from a business trip that your job may have relied on, because he didn’t want you going somewhere with another man. Not because he was worried about what that man might do, but because he’s terrified that you’re going to just lay down in the airport and invite everyone to take a crack at your v. Possessive and protective are different, and once again we have Ana and the author misunderstanding this and making bullshit retroactive justifications for Christian’s abusive behavior.

And in that moment I recall the photographs Christian kept of his submissives.

Oh shit. “We’re cut from the same cloth.” No, Christian, you’re not, you’re nothing like him.

Right? Jack was keeping tapes of all of his PAs because he wanted to use them to control them on pain of humiliation, while Christian kept pictures of all of his subs because he wanted to use them to control them on pain of humiliation. Totally different.

You know what’s kind of funny? Both of those “blackmail” scenarios assume that all the women who had sex with Christian and Jack would be embarrassed to admit that they had engaged in BDSM. Then you go and watch E.L. James in her Barbara Walters interview, and she can’t admit to ever having done anything in the book, she gets all flustered. E.L. James is uncomfortable with BDSM, and her assumption is that everyone who does it is, as well. Christian and Jack are apparently experienced Doms who don’t realize that literally any photo or video they could possibly take of any activity they’re into has already been photographed or filmed a thousand times and put up on Fetlife by people who realize that, hey, sex isn’t that big a deal, and neither is kink.

Ana tells Christian to call his parents, he does, Ana realizes that Christian just told her personal stuff– thus validating her “I shouldn’t ask my romantic partner any questions about any subject” decision– and after a section break they are arriving at Carrick and Grace’s house.

“Ana, Ana, darling Ana,” she whispers. “Saving two of my children. How can I ever thank you?”

If you're Orthodox Christian, this might be very funny to you.
If you’re Orthodox Christian, this might be very funny to you.

Then Mia thanks Ana, but of course since Mia is a female character of child-bearing age, she must do something wrong that Ana can notice while she’s doing it:

Then Mia grabs me, squashing my ribs. I wince and gasp, but she doesn’t notice. “Thank you for saving me from those assholes.”

Remember in the Twilight series, how Alice would hug Bella too enthusiastically? Do you have any idea how hard it was to type that sentence? I don’t remember what anybody’s names actually were in Twilight now.

After a section break, Ana sees Kate, who, you know, is also mad. Because everyone hates Mia.

“What were you thinking, Ana?” she shouts as she confronts me in the kitchen, causing all eyes in the room to turn and stare.

“Kate, please. I’ve had the same lecture from everyone!” I snap back.

Wouldn’t it be funny if, in the movie, Mia is standing in the background and she just looks really hurt and silently mouths, “Everyone?”

She glares at me, and for one minute I think I’m going to be subjected to a Katherine Kavanagh how-not-to-succumb-to-kidnappers lecture, but instead she folds me in her arms.

“Jeez– sometimes you don’t have the brains you were born with, Steele,” she whispers.

You misspelled “weren’t” there, Kate.

Elliot and Kate have set a date for their wedding, but it’s really close to Ana and Christian’s due date, so Ana is worried. In reality, Kate should be worried, because her wedding is going to be overshadowed by Christian climbing astride the bridal party’s table and raising his infant son aloft, just moments after Ana has smeared a fistful of wedding cake over the kids forehead and whispered, “Siiiiiiiiiiiiimba.”

Ana is having a baby, Kate. You don’t ever get to be the center of attention, ever again.

Elliot hands Ana some champagne and uh-oh, nobody knows she’s pregnant, and Christian is unhappy that she’s even holding the damn glass:

“Your meds, Mrs. Grey.” He eyes the glass in my hand.

I narrow my eyes. Damnit. I want a drink. Grace smiles as she joins me in the kitchen, collecting a glass from Elliot on the way.

“A sip will be fine,” she whispers with a conspiratorial wink at me, and lifts her glass to clink mine.

Or she could have just gone along with Christian’s line about being on pills. Even though she didn’t take her pain pills after leaving the hospital, she could have easily just said, “Nope, I’m not drinking because I have a head injury and I’m on medication.” I know that in some parts of the world, drinking during pregnancy isn’t a huge deal, but in America it’s a giant taboo, to the point that when I got pregnant the first time, by accident, my OB shamed me for having had anything to drink ON THE NIGHT OF PROBABLE CONCEPTION. Ana will have grown up in a culture paranoid about fetal alcohol syndrome and that treats pregnant women like livestock. She started out the first book having never had a drink, and now she’s longing for booze not a day out of the hospital for a serious head injury.

What I’m saying is, I think Ana might be developing a substance abuse problem.

Back at home, Ana and Christian get into bed, and they’re talking a little bit about his life in the foster home, including a book his foster mother read him. Guys. It’s Are You My Mother? WHO THE FUCK READS THAT BOOK TO A KID WHOSE MOM JUST DIED RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM?! No fucking wonder Jack Hyde is all messed up. Jesus Christ.

Anyway, somehow this all leads to Christian starting to talk about Mrs. Robinson:

He begins in a soft voice. “Picture this,

Sicily. 1922.

an adolescent boy looking to earn some extra money so he can continue his secret drinking habit.”

And then Ana is all like, I can’t believe he’s communicating with me, and the chapter is over.

186 Comments

  1. I really dig the puke bowl, wish I had one of those when I was reading this drivel. Thanks for another awesome chapter summary. Or you know calling it like it is.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • Anonymous
      Anonymous

      Seconded. And the out of focus shot was awesome. It really expressed the urgency of Jen’s need. I bet her inner goddess held Jen’s hair, and her subconscious slow clapped the beauty of it all. Or something.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
  2. So, wait, do we end on Christian admitting he has a drinking problem? Is he telling Ana that he actually manipulated/conned Mrs Robinson into sleeping with him and not the other way around? So CLOSE and yet so far.

    You’ve got no idea how I appreciate you suffering through this bullshit for us. Seriously. Thank you.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
  3. Kelly O.
    Kelly O.

    “He begins in a soft voice. “Picture this,

    Sicily. 1922.”

    I nearly spit out my coffee all over the laptop. You are awesome. That is all.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • bookdragonette
      bookdragonette

      So did I. Best line in there.

      Now I want Sophia to come in and knock some sense into all of them.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
      • Maybe in the next recap it’ll be a Golden Girls theme. That would be funny!

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
    • Teresa B.
      Teresa B.

      Me three. Except it was soup.

      Hilarious! I also LOL’d about Sparty and Michigan State. This book is really annoying so thanks for entertaining us!

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
    • I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one. XD I read that shit in her voice.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
  4. Lieke
    Lieke

    I love you so much for still writing these recaps. Believe me, it’s appreciated. Ana and Christian are the worst, aren’t they?

    By the way, I watched A Royal Affair and my feels are killing me. That’s all.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • I watched that yesterday without knowing how it ended. Afterward I decided to watch Jude since that couldn’t be so sad. The kids all died. Yeah. I failed at picking happy movies.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
      • Anonymous
        Anonymous

        That’s ok. After my car died my cousin and I decided to cheer ourselves up by watching… That one movie about Sophie Scholl i can’t remember the name of.

        We were… Not cheered.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • Anonymous
        Anonymous

        My cat died, not my car. Stupid autocorrect.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • I’m sorry. Losing kitties is the pits. 🙁 Loads of hugs to you.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • Lieke
        Lieke

        I read the book, so yeah… Jude’s even sadder than Tess. That Hardy was such a downer.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
  5. laina1312
    laina1312

    Seriously, she’s going to need a new liver by the time she’s 30.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • Lieke
      Lieke

      Ana will probably choose to die instead of suffering the indignity of being THAT old.

      November 13, 2013
      |Reply
  6. OMG! I laughed so hard at “Siiiiimba”!! I’m glad I was home alone and not on the bus, I would’ve scared the crap out of everybody!

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • That was the bit that made me splutter with laughter and spray my drink all over myself. Seriously, I bet I looked almost as sexy as pants that hang from hips in THAT way.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
  7. In reality, Kate should be worried, because her wedding is going to be overshadowed by Christian climbing astride the bridal party’s table and raising his infant son aloft, just moments after Ana has smeared a fistful of wedding cake over the kids forehead and whispered, “Siiiiiiiiiiiiimba.”

    And the assembled guests will break into the chorus of “Circle of Life.”

    This is my headcanon now. Thank you.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • Kelsey
      Kelsey

      Christian will be all “NAAANTS INGOYAMA BAAAAGITHI BABA”

      And then Taylor will be all “Fuck this shit” and shoot everyone.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
      • Duckie30ca
        Duckie30ca

        “And then Taylor will be all “Fuck this shit” and shoot everyone.”

        (Oh gawd yes. Yes please…xFingers Crossedx)

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
        • Anonymous
          Anonymous

          VIVA LA REVOLUTION!

          July 10, 2016
          |Reply
  8. Simi
    Simi

    Good lord, EL sucks. How can people like this bull.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
  9. Great recap! Thank goodness, this book is nearly over!! Persevere, Jenny!

    November 12, 2013
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  10. Sicily. 1922.

    Way to work in Golden Girls’ reference! Thanks so much for making my day.

    November 12, 2013
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  11. manybellsdown
    manybellsdown

    “Christian wants to know who posted bail for Jack, but it’s confidential. Ana suspects Christian has someone in mind, but obviously he’s not going to tell her because communication is the anti-sexy.”

    It’s Bic McPenlamperson, isn’t it? ISN’T IT??!?!

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • The-Great-Dragon
      The-Great-Dragon

      It is. He’s actually the head honcho behind all the bad goings-on throughout the series. He’ll come up in the fourth book, when it turns out Ana and Kate have been secretly working with him the whole time to take down Grey Enterprises. Except, twist agent, Kate and Ana are actually double (triple?) agents, who are part of a secret FBI organization with Taylor and have been actively working to destroy Bic McPenlamperson as well.

      November 12, 2013
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      • The-Great-Dragon
        The-Great-Dragon

        (Twist ending* – I was already thinking a few words ahead.)

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
    • @manybellsdown You’ve just killed me! Was almost there at Sicily 1922 but Bic McPenlamperson made me stop breathing!!! 😀

      November 13, 2013
      |Reply
  12. Lucy
    Lucy

    I don’t even enjoy these recaps anymore. Not because they’re not still amazing, they are, your talent is incandescent to squeeze the humour out of the awfulness. But honestly, this shit is just painful. Kudos for tackling it to the very end, Jen. You could do some fundraising to cover the cost of your therapy when you’re done, we’ll all chip in.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • I used to be so exited over these but when I read them now I just feel sad. Especially the chapter when she woke up at the hospital, I got so mad at Chedward that I almost cried.
      I just hate these books so much and I cant understand how anyone can read this and not se abuse.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
      • manybellsdown
        manybellsdown

        My husband laughs at me for getting so angry about a book I haven’t even read.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
  13. Andrea
    Andrea

    I think the blackmail thing is “If you tell, people will see you naked. In these pictures that I have. So dont tell anyone what we’re doing in those pictures, or everyone will see your boobies!”

    Or something.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • Anonymous
      Anonymous

      Seconded. The blackmail is, “Everyone will know you had SEX which is the most shameful thing for a woman to do ever! Even if the consent is absent or dubious!”

      November 12, 2013
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      • Neurite
        Neurite

        Thirded. The only way this back-asswards idea about blackmail would make any sense to anyone at all is if you accept as given the idea that having sex (and worse, kinky sex) inherently shames women, but does not shame men at all.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • Alex
        Alex

        “The only way this back-asswards idea about blackmail would make any sense to anyone at all is if you accept as given the idea that having sex (and worse, kinky sex) inherently shames women, but does not shame men at all.”

        You’re assuming that Chedward is in these photos. I could easily imagine there being a gap between a willingness to say “I had kinky sex with Chedward” and “here’s a photo of me wearing nothing but a buttplug”.

        November 14, 2013
        |Reply
      • Irene
        Irene

        Alex, you have a point. A very good point. It’s very likely that Chedward is not in the picture. However, blackmailing is still wrong, and I’d be still mad if somebody did that to me. Chedward is still in the wrong.

        November 20, 2013
        |Reply
  14. Andrea
    Andrea

    Also, for NaNoWriMo, I thought about re-writing 50 Shades to be non-abusive and non-terrible, but then I started to think about how much I’d have to change and I was overwhelmed. Is there even a plot arc in the first book without the abuse?

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • You could be like the lady who edited out the death scenes in Harry Potter while reading it to her son! I bet she was just as overwhelmed!

      November 13, 2013
      |Reply
      • Lieke
        Lieke

        Ugh, is it even worth it without the death scenes? I still remember how I bawled when Cedric died. It was so tragic and awesome. It was far less impressive in the film and that was even before RPatz played Edward. I shudder to think how much I won’t care about Cedric when I’ll eventually reread the books.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
  15. I’m surprised Miranda Gates’ name doesn’t come to mind. The Bill and Miranda Gates Foundation is HUGE.

    Know what makes me really sad? Christian’s mother is blamed, yet, aside from her death, the memory he has of her is her making him a birthday cake. If she was as poor as we’re supposed to believe, then guying the ingredients, or even a box mix and other stuff needed, wouldn’t have been easy. Yet she did it.

    Christian’s concern upon discharge being sex is so awful I’m going to say it. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, GREY?! He got back into the room “a happier man” even though she’ll “be off limits for a while.” This reads like someone who likes the idea of sex with a woman who is medically off limits. His clear plan to use it against her is just as bad. Sex is the one thing Ana has to keep him from beating on her too much. Her body’s been trained to act as he wants, and it’s her best means of protection, aside from leaving. There’s just so much wrong with this whole thing.

    ” in which she will never have to actually become a self-sufficient human being if she doesn’t want to. ”

    Even if she wants to, he’ll stop her.

    “But ooooh, if Christian had been around, because he’s such a tough guy…”

    It’s like the scene in Coming to America where Prince Akeem and Semi take down Samuel L. Jackson, who’s trying to do a hold-up, in MacDowell’s, and Darryl, Lisa’s love-interest, later tells them, “I would have helped, but I had a coffee in my hand.”

    That makes no sense if you don’t know the movie. But it’s the same thing. Tough-guy talk by someone who had a chance to prove it, and let others do it instead.

    The Grey family really hates Mia. Even Grace and Carrick were pissed Ana tried to do something. I’d have been mad at Ana for not calling the cops instead. But the way everyone is acting, it’s clear they’re mad she didn’t let Mia get killed while she sat at home wrapped in silk and lace waiting for Christian to bang her brains out and spank her.

    Does Grace have some magical 50-states license? She met Christian when he, as a child, went through the ER after being picked up by social services. So unless they took him to Washington and then back to Michigan, she was practicing in Michigan. But she’s a doctor in Washington when the books happen, and she has hospital privileges in Oregon.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • Andrea
      Andrea

      *Melinda

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
      • D’oh! That’s what I get for pretending to listen to a friend talk about another friend named Miranda while trying to pay attention to the recap.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Whoa I guessed right!

        November 14, 2013
        |Reply
    • K@sey_june
      K@sey_june

      Christian’s memory of getting a cake from his mom could’ve been a great opportunity on a real heart-warming yet tragic backstory.

      Like, when I was living in Virginia as a kid (in a pretty run-down apartment block), my parents knew this one poor family that had a hard time being able to afford basic things.

      Yet their kid LOVES McDonalds. It was the time period when the fast food empire made tons of toy deals with Toys R Us and other commercials. Every kid wanted a kid-sized McD’s worktable and plastic fries and burgers, so it was nearly impossible to distract the kid away from McD and especially when nobody knew better about the quality of the ‘food’ then.

      So the parents always had a hard time telling their kid that they couldn’t always eat out, especially in trying to help him understand that they weren’t doing so fine. But when the kid’s birthday came up, his parents came door-to-door, hat in hand, asking anyone who may have recently bought a happy-meal box. They would then even sift through the communal trash looking for the cleanest burger wrappers they could find and scrape off the remaining food. So when the kid came home from kindergarten, he became the most happiest kid ever when he saw a happy meal just waiting for him at home (with a chocolate cupcake included. I remember him showing it to his friends).

      Looking back, that moment always brought a tear to my eye. They were the coolest parents, and despite of their hardship, they actually made sure to give their kid the best birthday ever, even if it meant disguising a plain burger as something from a popular restaurant.

      So when I heard about the ‘Crack Whore’ baking Christian a cake, despite of living in an unsafe environment and being viciously exploited–I couldn’t help but imagine her being like those two parents. Like, she probably wound up salvaging an empty Betty Crocker box just so she could get the recipe on the back, or borrowing old and tattered recipe booklets from the neighbors. ELJ could’ve written about that. She could even write it in Christian’s POV on watching his mom trying to kickstart an old and crusty oven on his birthday.

      But, yeah, that would mean Christian would have to see his mom as an actual human being, and ELJ can’t have that in her perfect mayun (also, I doubt ELJ ever stood next to a poor person, so she wouldn’t be able to pull this off).

      November 13, 2013
      |Reply
      • Anonymous
        Anonymous

        That might be the saddest and most beautiful story I’ve read in a long time. I grew up verry poor but had no idea that we were so poor because I had beautiful dresses my mom made me. When I think about all the work she put into them, I get a little choked up today.
        There are so many things that could have made these books readable. I got tricked into reading the second book because I thought maybe this is the book where Christian and Ana are apart, do some growing up and become real people. I felt duped. And the more I read in the second book the madder I got, because I kept re-writing it with better story arcs and what I was reading it was completely ridiculous and pointless.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • That is an amazing story and a massive missed opportunity for this book. I have a great deal of respect for parents that can take a shitty situation and still be better than parents who have access to all the best resources.
        I’ve got a friend who has crippling disabilities, she can’t stand for any length of time, she’s only got one functional hand, and she spends as much time at the doctors office as most people spend at the jobs. She’s raising a rambunctious little boy who is the light of her life, and since she can’t buy him the toys and video games he wants, she painted him a massive mural of Link from Legend of Zelda so she could still get him something ‘cool’ that he wanted.
        Being poor and down on your luck in no way means you’re a shitty parent, and the fact that Christian’s mom did do that for him means she did care. If she didn’t she wouldn’t have even REMEMBERED it was his birthday, or just bought him a muffin or something.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • K@sey_june
        K@sey_june

        @Anonymous, your mom sounds so awesome! Jeez, just imagine getting the fabric, thread, or even a sewing machine (especially when the cheap plastic ones always break apart so fast!).

        I was pretty lucky that everyone was already snarking on it. Plus, I was reading so much of the good erotica online, the first FSOG didn’t even manage to grip me (especially when I could be reading stories about mad scientists and kickass female anti-heroes boning each other).
        But yeah, the whole series was pointless. It had so much potential but ELJ never realised a good story if it stared at her in the face.

        November 14, 2013
        |Reply
      • K@sey_june
        K@sey_june

        @ExoticChemist,

        EXACTLY. It’s really sad how Ana never gets this, EVER. It’s almost like she thinks that if you’re not upper-middle class, and don’t have an ‘alpha-male’ to do everything for you, then you’re a horrible person.

        Seriously, your friend is BADASS. Parenting is exhausting, and even more so when disabled and needing to keep up with today’s economy and job market. So it is awesome that she made something so cool for her kid’s room (and yeah, sheesh, games are still expensive–and the consoles even worse).

        Yeah, I’ve seen parents who outright forget their kids’ birthdays, or worse, made the kid feel like hell until they realise too late that it was their birthday (my sis fondly remembered how her mom apologized, and made it obviously sound like she only felt bad because she bullied her on the wrong day of the year).
        All Chedward remembered is a frickin’ cake fresh from the oven. How dare his mom fail him before and after that./sarcasm

        November 14, 2013
        |Reply
      • I hope things got better for that little boy and his family.

        I don’t think Erika sees women as humans. This might even extend to herself. Not a single woman in the trilogy are shown in any positive light. Kate’s a whore for enjoying sex. Elena is a child molester. Mrs. Jones is annoying for doing her job and later getting a feel with Taylor. Christian’s birth mother is Crack Whore Extraordinaire. Mia is outright annoying. Grace is given the best treatment, and even she neglected Christian’s needs as a child.

        November 18, 2013
        |Reply
    • Jen
      Jen

      Multiple state licenses is possible, albeit I’m sure a bit harder for a doctor than nurse. My mother is a registered nurse in at least ten different states. She works through an interstate agency that sends nurses wherever there is a shortage so she’s worked Nevada, California, Connecticut, New York, etc.

      November 15, 2013
      |Reply
      • My dad is a physician, and at one point he had licenses in four or five states for similar reasons. It took a couple months for the paperwork to clear, but it wasn’t that complicated to make happen. Also, Chedward was adopted twenty years ago – no reason to think they might not have been living in Michigan at the time

        November 15, 2013
        |Reply
      • You can, but it’s extremely expensive. Since you can hope a plane, get off, and start practicing in any state you have a medical license, you have to carry insurance at all times in every state you have a license.

        November 18, 2013
        |Reply
    • DramaFreeDramaQueen
      DramaFreeDramaQueen

      I think the point of everyone being mad at Ana for saving Mia isn’t that everyone hates Mia, it’s that Ana is the most important person ever and nothing must happen to her and magical Grey-healing pussy!

      November 17, 2013
      |Reply
    • Elless
      Elless

      It’s not unusual for a doctor to do her residency in one state and get a job in another after she completes her training. Also, there is reciprocity for medical licenses in many states. Lots to pick apart in these books, but this detail doesn’t bother me.

      March 20, 2015
      |Reply
  16. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I loved the use of bullet points. And the Indiana Jones Gifs were perfect!
    Jenny, I too appreciate all your work and suffering from these recaps. I recently started my own recap blog and a sporking blog and completely understand the time it takes to get this all done. It’s a lot of work and you have stuck through three horrible books. So you are almost done and second- thank you for giving me so many laughs this year.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
  17. Irene
    Irene

    Jenny, you’re the best. Keep it up, girl!! We love you. You write so well!

    Your theory on Ana wanting to be free of responsibility is spot-on. I do admit that no having responsibilities is appealing sometimes, but not wanting to take them is actually very childish and doesn’t speak well about you.

    Then, I actually find it extremely stupid that everybody is saying “We’re mad at you because you put yourself in danger!” to the poor Ana. It’s driving me nuts!
    – Ana was trying to save Mia, who is freaking CLOSELY RELATED to half of these people
    – In doing so, she risked her life and ended up in the hospital severally injured
    – She’s barely recovered
    These three things should vaguely HINT that she doesn’t need this bullshit. Not now, not EVER. But noooo, they keep it up. Everyone. Bunch of jerks.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
  18. SandorClegane13
    SandorClegane13

    Ana describes Chedward’s parents as exemplary, and yet their reaction to Ana going out of her way to save their GODDAMNED DAUGHTER was to chide her, not tell her how happy and grateful they are for saving their baby girl’s life? PARENTING FAIL.

    (Maybe one of them did thank her at some point. I have to skim the text excerpts and focus on Jenny’s writing in order to spare myself rage-induced headaches. I may very well have missed something!)

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
  19. I love EL for writing the 50 Shades trilogy. Not because I think she’s a good writer or because I enjoy the stories, because she isn’t and I don’t, but because of the enormous amount of pleasure I get from reading recaps and analyses like yours, Jenny, pointing out all the faults in the writing and the characters and the storyline. Great stuff! *thumbs up*

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
  20. Sophie
    Sophie

    “Yeah, he should apologize to you for doing his job and trying to keep you safe from the guy who tried to rape you more than once, who kidnapped your sister-in-law and tried to kidnap you, ”

    I honestly thought you were talking about Ched here – but he’s the guy who has ACTUALLY raped and kidnapped Ana, not the guy who merely tried to.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
  21. I absolutely love your recaps and have even been reading the Buffy ones, but I find it a bit ironic that you once admonished E.L. James for tainting her writing with her obvious pro-life stance. While Ana was a terribly underdeveloped character, it was still pretty fitting for a 21-year-old virgin to be pro-life. She’s obviously a pretty conservative gal. Your usage of the phrase “wanted fetus” and comment about American women being treated as livestock, however, wasn’t particularly relevant and CLEARLY reflected pro-choice views. I don’t really care about what you believe politically and whether or not your blog reflects that, but you seem to have a problem with anyone else’s writing reflecting a counter opinion.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • Yup. I definitely have a problem with anyone espousing a viewpoint that suggests women should give strangers a say in what they do to their own bodies.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
      • Okay, so the issue isn’t so much that she colored the writing with her viewpoint as it is THAT viewpoint in general?

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Yup! It’s kind of a pervasive theme in all fiction that women should want their babies and be horrified to consider abortion, so I object to that viewpoint being further entrenched in our culture. 😀

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Ah. Okay. Got it. Fair enough. And yes, I definitely see that in fiction, especially with the number that end in the Happily Ever After pregnancy. Now that you’re nearly done with 50, if you ever want another good mind raping, I highly recommend This Man. THAT will have you ranting about abortion rights! 😀

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
    • Lindsay
      Lindsay

      I’m not sure I understand how “wanted fetus” clearly supports a pro-choice view. Fetus is a strictly scientific term used to refer to life still developing in the womb. I am curious how Jenny could have phrased that in a more politically neutral manner. I don’t think “unborn child” or “baby” would cut it since those terms do clearly point to a pro-life political stance since there is a great deal of controversy regarding whether those terms when used to refer to a human that has not yet adequately developed in a manner that traditionally meet those terms’ definitions [or for that matter meet the basic requirement for either of those terms – being born].

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
      • I mostly meant because the character was referring to it, herself, as a baby. I don’t think there really IS a neutral term, though, now that you mention it, because not pro-lifer would call it a fetus, either. That, combined with the women as cattle comment, plus other comments throughout the blog make Jenny’s stance pretty clear, though. I was curious why it wasn’t okay for E.L. to give a character her political views, but these summaries are written with clear political bias. It’s not an attack. I love Jenny’s writing. I just felt the statements conflicted.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • I also hadn’t seen that she’d made it clear that she just feels that strongly about her viewpoint in another comment.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Lindsay
        Lindsay

        I understand that, it’s just a personal tick of mine when people think the term “fetus” has a political charge to it. I believe there is probably a correlation between the number of people who use the term “fetus” tend to fall on the pro-choice side of the coin, while pro-lifers tend to use words like “unborn child” or “baby,” but from a biological standpoint I get annoyed with the latter two statements because it tries to emotionally charge an organism that already has a scientifically designated name. And I think it is pretty silly to try to claim that the term is politically charged since it has been used for centuries, long before pro-life, pro-choice debates were a thing.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • I know some pro-life people who use the word “fetus,” and a lot of pro-choice people who say “baby” when it’s wanted by the woman. If I were pregnant, I’d call it a baby. If one of my friends, who is a die-hard pro-lifer (she isn’t one of those “pro-life ends are birth” types though, and she believes in expanding social services, so take her how you want) is due in January, and still calls it her fetus. As she sees it, a fetus is a stage of life no different than infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, teenager, and so on. I personally am uncomfortable calling a wanted unborn baby a fetus. It’s really preference and neither is more or less correct than the other when it’s wanted.

        The way I’m reading it in these recaps is somewhat of a reflection of Bella being the mother goddess who was willing to die for a baby she didn’t want until she was pregnant and that was literally killing her. Breaking Dawn had heavy pro-life themes. If Bella rushed out to abort, Ana would have done the same. The baby is a plot device.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • I’m just replying to your later comment in this thread since I couldn’t directly reply there:

        “but from a biological standpoint I get annoyed with the latter two statements because it tries to emotionally charge an organism that already has a scientifically designated name. And I think it is pretty silly to try to claim that the term is politically charged since it has been used for centuries, long before pro-life, pro-choice debates were a thing.”

        I whole heartedly agree with this. I’m pro-choice, but I don’t see “fetus” as a pro-choice term because it’s a medical term. When I found out I miscarried at the hospital (long story behind that), I was told by the medical staff (midwives, gynos, nurses, surgeons) that I lost the pregnancy by some while others said I lost the fetus.

        December 14, 2013
        |Reply
  22. The-Great-Dragon
    The-Great-Dragon

    I love how Noah Logan’s been totally forgotten. What was the point of him?

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • Pam
      Pam

      Ahahaha, oh wow. I’d totally forgotten about him.

      What’s fascinating about these books is that there’s no discernible plot despite being jam-packed with plot elements. There’s actually a lot going on (Ana’s pregnant! Her dad’s in the hospital! Now look, a hostage situation!) but they don’t hang together in any coherent way. I have to hand it to ol’ EL – it takes *effort* to make all that totally uninteresting.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
      • The-Great-Dragon
        The-Great-Dragon

        I actually forgot about him too until I was rereading recaps, and then I was like “Wait…” Now I can’t let it go, because seriously, it was this big “Who’s the new neighbor” subplot that vanished into thin air after the chapter. He also only has a minor mention on the 50 Shades wiki page as a “new neighbor.”

        And I agree, E.L. James’ ability to introduce totally pointless, go nowhere plot that makes this whole series incomprehensible is just astounding. I can’t imagine someone writing something this bad on accident. I just can’t.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Me
        Me

        Huh? I don’t even remember this scene? Damn, why is is that the only talent EL James seems to have is coming up with cool sounding male names?
        Noah Logan and even Christian Grey sound like cool names to me at least….

        November 14, 2013
        |Reply
    • Lindsay
      Lindsay

      Lol, who is Noah Logan? I do not remember him at all.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
      • The-Great-Dragon
        The-Great-Dragon

        Noah Logan appeared around the beginning of this book. After the car chase scene, Ana and Chedward pull into the parking garage of the Escala and their debating car sex (or they just had it, I’m not sure) when another car shows up. They get out and there’s this new neighbor who looks like he works in the media and his name’s Noah Logan. They all ride up in the service elevator together and then he was never heard from again.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
    • Charlotte
      Charlotte

      I had to go on the wiki to work out who he was. Now I’m wondering if this thing is supposed to be taking the piss, because some of the character descriptions are hysterical.

      I like how a brunette pilot is the only character who is allowed to be “good at maths” (At what point did Ana notice this character trait? Was the pilot doing sums before they took off?)

      November 13, 2013
      |Reply
      • The-Great-Dragon
        The-Great-Dragon

        Oh wait, I actually remember that bit! The plane landed in Aspen (or back in Seattle from Aspen?) and Christian was like “That was a good landing” to Stefan and Stefan was like “Bailey here’s good at math” or something.

        Lol, I can’t believe that was included as relevant information on the 50 Shades Wiki. About a side character. This book series, omg.

        November 14, 2013
        |Reply
      • Anonymous
        Anonymous

        50 shades wiki editor here, chiming in to say that i thought it was important to have at least some explanation/reference for every named character, no matter how inane. my goal was to make it a usable reference for people like the trout who are writing critically about the series and needed a quick reference to jog their memories. (the other editors on that site make that goal needlessly difficult though. the shades wiki has some of the worst writing ive ever laid eyes on. people make pissingly minor edits to the “grammar” just to up their counts and half the time they actually break something that was correct to begin with.)

        November 15, 2013
        |Reply
    • Anonymous
      Anonymous

      Who? (seriously, I have no idea and I read the recaps.)

      November 13, 2013
      |Reply
      • The-Great-Dragon
        The-Great-Dragon

        Lol, geez. Noah Logan was the new neighbor who appeared after the car chase. Ana and Christian were in the parking garage of the Escala and this car pulled up then out came this new person who looked like they worked in the media and then he got to talking to Ana and Christian. They all rode up in the service elevator together.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
    • Jaycie
      Jaycie

      Noah Logan is the Claudette’s breast cancer of 50 Shades.

      November 15, 2013
      |Reply
  23. The-Great-Dragon
    The-Great-Dragon

    Okay, so first of all, “Sicily, 1922” was perfect.

    Second, this book is so messed up.

    Third, in spite of that, your insights into the narrative are phenomenal and profoundly interesting. I love how you weave together the story of Christian’s abuse, because it really is fascination in a morbid, nauseating sort of way.

    Lastly, if the continuation of Christian’s little drinking habit story is a reveal that he had a drinking problem in high school, I’m gonna get super mad. I know sometimes people just drink too much and fall into bad habits that need under control, and that a drinking problem doesn’t necessarily equal alcoholism, but I’m also sick of seeing ignorance surrounding alcoholism and I don’t trust E.L. James to know or write about the difference in any sort of affective way. Also, considering that Christian’s mother was an addict, it’s entirely likely that he could have become an alcoholic, and I don’t want to see any “I’m recovered now and I just have a glass of wine every night even though alcoholics who are recovered (not just functional, recovered) don’t get to drink, because it’s a disease” stories.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
  24. lauraqofu
    lauraqofu

    “Anyway, somehow this all leads to Christian starting to talk about Mrs. Robinson:

    -He begins in a soft voice. “Picture this,

    Sicily. 1922.”

    I seriously cannot fucking stop laughing….

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
  25. Jewel
    Jewel

    I’m a little bothered by how black & white villainous you see the character Elena. He was 15 (only a year away from Washington state’s age of consent) and entered into a relationship with her willingly. It’s only because the state denies persons his age of the ability to consent that it becomes a legal issue. That you seem to liken his situation to an 8-year-old being molested by means of malicious coercion (i.e. all the times you refer to her as a child molester) all makes me very uncomfortable.

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
    • I’m a lot bothered by your child rape apologia.

      No one who understands consent thinks a child’s “willingness” figures in anywhere. Kids aren’t mature enough to be capable of giving meaningful consent. Their biology denies them that ability, not the state; the state just recognizes it for their protection. And even if you want to suppose there MIGHT be a 15-yo somewhere who IS capable, there would be no way to distinguish him from someone who isn’t before it’s too late.

      So adults should always, always, always stay the fuck away from kids, and Jenny is 100% correct to drive this home.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
      • Jewel
        Jewel

        Better go petition in Germany then. Age of consent is 14-years-old there. According to you, that’s state sanctioned child rape. Or maybe, just maybe, you should get off your self-righteous high horse.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • You know people over 21 still aren’t supposed to have sex with kids under 16 in Germany, right? Yeah, other countries/states have lower ages of consent than Washington state, but most of them also have restrictions on the age of the other partner in order to keep adults from raping the kids. That includes Mexico where the age of consent in some states is 12.

        And this high horse? It’s made out of knowledge and science. You can kiss its motherfucking ass.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Jewel
        Jewel

        And as 8-year-olds are trafficked and sold and raped, you can feel smug and proud that your indigence might prevent a teenage boy from getting a little action from an older woman. And Germany: so you’re fine with the legality of a 20-year-old bedding someone 14? Or let’s move west to Spain where the age of consent is 13 — with no restrictions outside of the use of deceit. Oh, but because Christian is an American, let’s take away all of his agency and conflate the woman with those who would rape toddlers. That makes sense!

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Teenage boys need protection exactly because of attitudes like yours. They can be raped and are raped by adults all the time. The cultural attitude that teenage boys are always ready for sex and should be grateful when adults “give” it to them is toxic and harmful. I’m sorry you were molested as a child, I really am. But you need to realize that the differences between younger and older children don’t make the rape of older children any more okay. It’s ALL BAD.

        ALL children deserve to be kept from harm.

        And stop trying to find some country where raping kids is legal. This is about biology and morality, not about how many governments are up to speed with the capabilities of children. Yes, some governments DO fail to protect their children, but you don’t even care about that outside of how you seem to think *I* should care, even though I’ve already said biology, not the law, prevents kids from being able to give meaningful consent. Also, your argument about “agency” is stupid because a) it’s not necessarily bad to take away someone’s agency if you know they’re likely to get hurt (which is why there are age limits on drinking, smoking, driving, and shit like that), and b) child rapists take away kids’ agency in a bad way by raping them.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
    • Age of consent has nothing to do with it whether or not he can actually consent in this case. His consent was invalid because as his mother’s friend, Elena was an adult in a position of authority over him. Furthermore, the fact that she was aware of his history of abuse and exploited it to engage in sex with him means she obtained technical consent through manipulation. Couching their sexual relationship in a “this is actually helping you” manner is a method of grooming some child molesters actually use. I don’t see a lot of gray area there.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
      • Jewel
        Jewel

        And if he had been 16? Or if this had taken place in a location where he was above the age of consent? Because there’s no provision in statutory laws for “friend of a parent.” No, by using terms like child molester you’re effectively conflating a teen making questionable decisions with the rape of a toddler. Not to mention you’re depriving him of his agency — as if you or the state should dictate his sexuality.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Just a lot of Grey area. Shades and shades of it!

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • It has nothing to do with the state. There are a lot of laws defining consent that don’t take into account actual consent. You’re trying to argue legality with me when I’ve already explicitly stated that it isn’t a legal issue. You’ve also completely ignored the other points I’ve made with regard to his emotional ability to enthusiastically consent. His emotional issues make up the entire plot of three novels, so I don’t think I’m far off the mark in pulling them into a discussion about his ability to consent to Mrs. Robinson. I’m not saying she’s a rapist because Christian has to be this tall to ride. I’m saying she’s a rapist and a child molester because she approached the entire act of engaging in a sexual relationship with a minor in exactly the same way a child molester does. She found something she could exploit to convince him to have a sexual relationship with her without regard to the damage she was causing to him. That makes her a predator, that makes her molester, that makes her a rapist.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Lindsay
        Lindsay

        I’m not sure where you are coming from that somehow terming the statutory rape of a 15 year old as a “child molester” conflates with the molestation of a toddler. In your view are toddlers the only children worthy of protection from molestation? Because there is a whole range of ages of children out there, and child molestation of any age group is something to be taken seriously. Jenny went into the aspects that make it child molestation outside of state mandated age of consent. But even under the law, this is 100% child molestation. Saying “oh he was only one year under the age of consent” is a slippery slope argument. When does it become ok to have “consensual” sex with a minor? A 6-year old is certainly not a toddler, is it child molestation if someone has “consensual” sex with a kindergartner? Maybe it starts to be ok when they hit puberty. I guess in your view if a 40-year old had “consensual” sex with an 11 or 12 year old, that would not be child molestation? Where do you draw the line? Because the State of Washington drew it at 16, so anything beyond that is legally child molestation, so I’m not sure why you consider that to be a strong choice of words. Also, as some others point out, a lot of states give some leeway for a 15 year old sleeping with a 19 year old, but consider a 15 year old sleeping with a 40-year old (or 30 year old, I cannot remember how old Elina is supposed to be) to be a completely different story.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Jewel, if she crossed state lines with him for the purposes of trying to find a place where sex with him is legal, she’d be in so much more trouble since crossing state lines gets into trafficking. You don’t have to move a minor only for the purposes of *someone else* having sex with them. In addition to all other charges, she’d be nailed for trafficking for purposes of her having sex with him. The laws of his resident state would still apply since his parents wouldn’t have consented to him being moved to try getting different laws to apply.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
    • HRCinAB
      HRCinAB

      Wow. I find this response disturbing also. Elena is 100% a child molester. Whether Chedward was 14, 15 or 16 it was still wrong and disgusting on so many levels. Stop making excuses for people who are sex offenders. A child is a child. Some countries may have a pathetic age of consent, still doesn’t make it right.

      November 12, 2013
      |Reply
      • As A.Noyd pointed out above, countries and states with low ages of consent usually also have a limit to the age gap of partners. For example, the age of consent might be fifteen, but a twenty-two year old could still be charged with statutory rape for sleeping with that fifteen year old.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • HRCinAB
        HRCinAB

        Good! There should be consequences. And someone in a position of authority taking advantage of another person should be charged, regardless of age.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Jewel
        Jewel

        I was molested as a child. And my rape is nothing like a 15-year-old boy hooking up with an older woman. Nothing like it. And it is disgusting that you monsters want to compare the two. Do you have any idea how offensive that is? It’s like a woman drinking too much and hooking up with someone she regrets and calling it rape the next morning. Imagine her going to a rape survivors meeting. Real victims of rape. Not regret. Not horny teenage boys enthusiastic experiences being compared to the horror of my childhood. This is way too triggering for me. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Jewel, I am sorry for your past experiences, and I’m sorry the discussion became a trigger for you, but you are now arguing that only your rape is the definitive experience.

        November 12, 2013
        |Reply
      • Nobody calls sex they regret rape. That’s a myth spread by MRAs and other assorted misogynists. Having sex with person so drunk their judgment is impaired is always rape. Go read this, including all the links, because it will cover any stupid objection you care to dredge up: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/09/rape-is-not-an-accident/

        It’s sad you’re a victim, but it’s more sad that you’re also a rape apologist (several times over) on top of that. Nobody deserves to be raped. Not you. Not horny 15-yo boys. Not drunk women. NOBODY. Stop trying to make excuses for rape. Stop trying to decide who is and isn’t a “real” victim.

        Anyway, I’m done with you. I don’t really have any hopes of convincing you you’re wrong. But it’s important to always confront rape apologia like yours in order to minimize the harm it does others.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • @Jewel,I’m sorry for happened you,but you also lost me at “real victims” of rape. I’m a real survivor of rape and anyone’s experience is as horrific as the next ie.,rape should not happen. And yes,Mrs Robinson IS a molesting rapist who preyed on Chedward,just because the experience of rape is different doesn’t make it any less difficult to deal with for the survivor. Also it can take many years even to come to the realisation that one has been raped. It’s not just the stranger down a dark alleyway who rapes. It’s most of the time somebody who’s gained one’s trust in order to blur the lines and gaslight the survivor of assault.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • Jewel, in some instances that situation would be rape. Were they two drunk people enthusiastically agreeing to have sex and one or both regretted it? Or was she drunk off her rocker and he fairly sober and taking advantage of her drunk state to get her to agree to sex she otherwise wouldn’t have agreed with?

        Your rape as a young child doesn’t make rape of a 15-year-old okay. It is technically molestation and legally rape. Christian was an emotionally disturbed child and an older woman took advantage of that. If their sexes were reversed, would you defend an adult Alan grooming and bedding his friend’s emotionally-disturbed 15-year-old daughter Christina? No. You’d call it what it is.

        Rape doesn’t have only the meaning “someone having sex with a small child.” It means anytime someone legally cannot give consent and sex happens anyway. That applies equally to you as it does to Christian. Your rapist and Elena both saw people who they knew could be easily manipulated, and both are wrong and deserve to rot behind bars. One being more wrong, in your view, in no way absolves the other rapist of their crime.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • Jewel, I’m really sorry that that happened to you, and I agree that it must have been horrific. I’m also sorry that the discussion has apparently been a trigger for you and your horrific experience(s). But you are saying that your experience (and similar experiences) are the only “legitimate” instances of sexual assault, and that’s really, really wrong. I’m not going to speculate too much on what’s going on with you, but speaking from experience, when you have a lot of internalized shame, you often shame others to “separate” yourself from them. If that is indeed what you’re doing, then I sympathize but don’t condone what you’ve said. It’s wrong and disastrously hurtful to other people who have experienced abuse. I understand that you might be angry or outraged, and that’s a valid emotion. But you’re hurting people. Stop and consider that.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • Jewel, I was molested as a fucking two-year-old by my father’s friends, and then again by my stepfather starting at seven years old and ending at twelve. So don’t you fucking dare try to use your experience as emotional blackmail to defend child molesters taking advantage of teens. The sexual assault of a toddler is a wrong, the sexual assault of a prepubescent child is wrong, the sexual assault of an adolescent is wrong. Period. Adolescents should be allowed to explore their sexuality with each other, without adults preying on them. It is just as bad as preying on a toddler. Do not act like your experience is worse.

        November 14, 2013
        |Reply
      • Jewel, I’m sorry if you were molested. However, saying your experience of rape is the only way someone can be raped is disgusting in it’s own way. Rape doesn’t always require force. Rape is when someone doesn’t give their full consent to any sexual act…PERIOD. This is the law. An adult like Elena who has twenty to thirty years on a teen like Christian is rape because Christian wasn’t a legal adult at the time and he didn’t fully understand what the hell Elena was doing. I mean…if some older woman smacked me in the face and began kissing me, I would be dumbfounded. Maybe too scared to say anything to anyone about in fear of what she would do if I told on her. Yeah, anyone who would give their full consent would not feel that way. Frankly, I’m bothered when other victims of rape and abuse try to down play what others go through as if they’re making it into some sort of competition. IT’S ALL BAD. Mkay?

        December 14, 2013
        |Reply
    • Andrea
      Andrea

      (This is Washington State Law)
      RCW 9A.44.079
      Rape of a child in the third degree.

      (1) A person is guilty of rape of a child in the third degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least forty-eight months older than the victim.

      (2) Rape of a child in the third degree is a class C felony. [1988 c 145 § 4.]

      Even if he was sixteen, she was his employer (he was doing work for her), which brings in:
      RCW 9A.44.093
      Sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree.

      (1) A person is guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree when the person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual intercourse with another person who is at least sixteen years old but less than eighteen years old and not married to the perpetrator, if the perpetrator is at least sixty months older than the victim, is in a significant relationship to the victim, and abuses a supervisory position within that relationship in order to engage in or cause another person under the age of eighteen to engage in sexual intercourse with the victim.

      (2) Sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree is a class C felony. [1994 c 271 § 306; 1988 c 145 § 8.]

      These are felony charges, meant to protect children who don’t have the capacity to fully understand consequences from predation by older adults. I have a son who is fourteen, almost fifteen, and quite frankly, the attitude that age is just a matter of numbers in some law book is disgusting.

      November 13, 2013
      |Reply
      • Right, and even when he turned 16, the upper age limit is no more than 60 months older. At no time was their relationship prior to his 18th birthday legal.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
    • In Washington, where I happen to live, the age of consent is indeed 16, but there is a limit. The older partner can be no older than 60 months older than the younger partner. This is what’s known as a Romeo & Juliette law designed to prevent teenage relationships from becoming legal the day the older partner turns 18 while the younger is still 17. Almost all states with consent under 18 have a limit on the allowable age difference.

      Ie Elena had already reached 21 before Christian reached 16, then their relationship would have been illegal.

      Further your assertion that it’s wrong to care about 16-year-olds because there’s sex-trafficking of 8-year-olds in other parts of the world is deeply disturbing. Does this mean we’re wrong to be upset when a woman is groped against her will because another woman elsewhere was brutally penetrated? It’s not a zero-sum where we can only care about who has it the worst in your eyes. Sex abuse is sex abuse, and most people are capable of caring about more than one situation at a time.

      November 13, 2013
      |Reply
    • K@sey_june
      K@sey_june

      ‘And as 8-year-olds are trafficked and sold and raped, you can feel smug and proud that your indigence might prevent a teenage boy from getting a little action from an older woman.’

      So we might as well say nothing at all if it happens to one kid, because worse things happen ALL THE TIME to other kids.

      Sorry, I keep hearing that kind of shitty argument in my country towards murder victims. Also, as someone who IS half-spanish and has lived in Spain for 10 years, you are right, there is BARELY any protection for young teenagers. Most of all when right now many Spanish people are getting into demonstrations that are calling for a better awareness on abusive relationships, AND for the police to actually do something for the victims.

      If you switch onto TVE, you’ll find that this is a constantly referred-to topic among the news.

      The reason why? Because 3 years ago Spain was found to have the highest statistics of murders and disappearances, relating directly to domestic abuse, compared to the rest of Europe. It’s not something we’re proud of, and most of us do know people who were often stuck in abusive relationships since they were in their early teens.

      Back in the 80s, my aunt did get married to a guy (ten years senior) when she was 14. He then spent their marriage abusing her, and even wound up beating her so hard, he locked her inside of their apartment so no one could see the damage on her face and call the police.

      But, sadly, most of their neighors supported him. They even went as far as telling ON her to him, if she wasn’t seen to be performing her ‘wifely’ duties like cleaning the house in the mornings.
      Again, she was 14 when this was happening. No one tried to help her, and she had to make a run for it herself when she was 16 and and already a mother of two kids.

      So yeah, I am NOT supportive of those May/December romances if one of them’s a teenager. Just because they could perform sexually does not mean they’re mature enough to know how to deal with a relationship in case it turned out to be manipulative or abusive.

      In the UK, a country that has 16 as the age of consent (and…17-18 for male homosexual couples, I can’t remember), I was told that the very reason they set it that far was so any under-21 person could have consented sex with a 16 year old, without being persecuted because of their age differences. It is NOT to make a giant neon sign on the 16-year old saying, “This kid’s now legal for EVERYBODY. GET ‘IM.”.

      So yeah, Chedward’s relationship with Mrs. Robinson is toxic, and should be thought of as illegal.

      November 13, 2013
      |Reply
      • FYI- in the UK the age of consent is 16 regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • K@sey_june
        K@sey_june

        Oh! Okay, that’s a relief. I only remember from years ago because there was this one debate where some people wanted to ramp up the age of consent for homosexual couples, because they thought gays’ were just predators (though they forgot about lesbian/bi couples).

        November 14, 2013
        |Reply
    • Jen
      Jen

      The human brain does not finish developing until around the age of 25. At the age of 15, there is not enough prefrontal cortex developed to understand complex abstract concepts and long-term consequences around actions taken. Studies also show that the younger you are when you begin having sex (and under sixteen is in that range), the more likely you are to have relationship and psychological issues in the long term. The fact is that just because you have hormones and can ejaculate does not mean that you are ready for sex.

      November 15, 2013
      |Reply
    • Yeah, I’m from the state of Maryland where the age of consent is sixteen (about the same as Washington State) and I currently live in Sweden where the age of consent is fifteen. Just because someone is the age of consent doesn’t mean they’re a legal adult. Usually, in most countries (Sweden, the US), the legal age of an adult is eighteen. So, if you’re an adult (especially Elena’s age where she’s like twenty-thirty years older than Christian) who fucks anyone the age of eighteen, you’re fucking a minor and that’s wrong. There’s no fucking reason for any adult to sexually persue a minor other than to take advantage of them because most kids and teens don’t know any better.

      Think about it real quickly…how would you feel if a woman who’s your age screws around with your minor son (or minor daughter)? Let alone, any adult going after your minor child? I tell you right now…being a mother over a son, I would be pissed off if anyone that’s old enough to be my age or my SO’s age goes after my son sexually when he’s not a legal adult soon. When he’s eighteen years old, I don’t care who fucks him as long as there’s consent between everyone involved. However, when he’s younger than eighteen and you’re over the age of eighteen, I recommend to people who want to do my son to stay the fuck away until he’s eighteen because he would be seen as a legal adult then.

      December 14, 2013
      |Reply
      • damn it, I messed up here:
        “So, if you’re an adult (especially Elena’s age where she’s like twenty-thirty years older than Christian) who fucks anyone the age of eighteen, you’re fucking a minor and that’s wrong”
        Supposed to be “who fucks anyone UNDER the age of eighteen”

        December 14, 2013
        |Reply
  26. HRCinAB
    HRCinAB

    Oh god, all my gossipy/celeb magazines are going crazy over everything Dakota Johnson does. I. Can’t. Even. I need to come here for sanity.

    Also, my friend wanted to dress up as FSOG for Halloween. I had to hold myself back. Luckily, she went as a pumpkin.

    Thanks for the recap, Jenny!!

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
  27. K
    K

    You know what would be great? A Jenny Trout review of Showgirls! I recently saw it for the first time and it is so awful and problematic in so many ways, but still strangely entertaining in spite of its glaring issues. God, I can’t even imagine the commentary and analysis Jenny could come up with. Please make this dream a reality!

    November 12, 2013
    |Reply
  28. Neurite
    Neurite

    Wait – Jack Hyde already threatened to rape Ana more than once, but what scares her and makes her realize what danger she was in around him is the thought “I could have ended up on some sordid sex tape”? “Okay, so he threatened to rape me, but oh no – I could have ended up having consensual* sex with him, and then been threatened with having evidence of this consensual sex shown to the world! The horror!”

    *Okay, so in any sexual affair that Jack and Ana may have had, the consent would have of course been tainted by the employer-employee power relationship… but given that the compare-and-contrast here is direct threat of rape (of the “forcible rape” kind that some politician like to pretend is the only true kind there is), it’s still jarring.

    November 13, 2013
    |Reply
  29. Neurite
    Neurite

    “I know E.L. misuses a lot of words, but Christ, you’d think she’d know what “liberating” means. HINT: it’s the exact opposite of surrendering total autonomy without question. …Goddamn these books are fucking stupid.”

    I have to admit – this struck me less as stupid, and more as unsettling and depressing. Because it’s again so uncannily true to the experience from inside an terrible relationship. When you’ve had a constant battle between you partner acting outraged that you would dare ask them about something, and your inner voice going “no really, this is basic information that you totally have a right to know”… or a partner expecting you to apologize to them, when your inner voice goes “what?! shouldn’t they apologize to you?!”… or your partner treating you like an unreasonable nag over things that your inner voice is pretty certain are quite reasonable expectations… it can actually feel deceptively liberating to just let go of your concerns, to just roll with your partner’s rules and perception of reality.

    Because conflict is exhausting, and upsetting, and you can indeed hit a point where you go: “Look, the only thing that keeps us fighting, and keeps things from going smoothly, is my stubborn insistence on this ‘autonomy’ and ‘dignity’ and ‘fairness’ stuff. If I could just let go and stop worrying about that stuff, we could finally stop all this fighting.” It’s a terrible, deceptive conclusion, but damn if it doesn’t feel relieving and even liberating in the moment.

    So a passage like this “it’s so liberating to give up trying” one just makes me wonder/worry again about EL James’ past relationship experiences…

    November 13, 2013
    |Reply
    • Katy Newton
      Katy Newton

      Yeah, I read that as liberating in the sense of “It’s his problem and I’m not going to think about it anymore”.

      Re the whole other women staring at him thing – I really don’t want to be fair to Ana or the book, because I hate them both, but for about three weeks a hundred years ago I went out, for the first and only time, with a guy who was so handsome that everyone could see he was handsome, even if they didn’t find him attractive. I only went out with him for about two weeks (is that even going out with someone? YES WHEN YOU ARE EIGHTEEN IT IS) but for those two weeks, everywhere we went, women stared at him. It was like dating a movie star. It can’t actually have been all women but it really felt like it was to me. And not just staring, but intruding. Like, we’d be standing at the bar together talking and suddenly I’d find myself staring at the back of a complete stranger who’d just barged in between us, turned her back on me and started babbling up at him whilst twirling her hair round her finger. That really did happen several times and it was one of the reasons why going out with him didn’t work for me.

      So I get why it’s annoying in the book, but at the same time if you are going out with a bloke who’s objectively very good looking indeed this constant staring and flirting does happen and it’s really fucking irritating. And it’s all very well to say “he’s with you not them, dial back the jealousy you psycho” but when you’re talking about gorgeous women literally flinging themselves between you on a daily basis, it’s really not easy to be rational about it.

      November 13, 2013
      |Reply
      • Katy Newton
        Katy Newton

        Haha! Plainly I can’t remember whether I went out with him for two weeks or three. Let’s just say that it really wasn’t very long at all. At ALL.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • K@sey_june
        K@sey_june

        Wow, I’m not used to that (My types tend to be ‘dudes who look like Fritz Lang or Jeff Daniels’) but even I agree, it must’ve been really frustrating. Most of the time I tend to laugh it off if some girl tries to manipulate herself into getting my ex’s attention, but I guess it’s only because it doesn’t happen often, and I do have a pretty good role model that was my cousin (her own sister tried to snag her own husband–but was promptly humiliated when the situation didn’t turn into some soap opera cliche). But surely there’s girls who feature in your life and didn’t try to…I dunno, sabotage your relationship with your date?

        Because it seems to be a constant subplot in all three books. Chedward walks outside, half the world salivates over him. And Ana hates it because all wimmin are catty bitches.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • Anonymous
        Anonymous

        But did you get to live inside the bubble for the two weeks you dated him?

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
      • L
        L

        Yep, I’ve been putting up with it for 14 years. Being ignored by strangers who descended on him everywhere we went (usually gay guys, often women too) made me feel ugly – and, since no one wanted to talk to me and were taking up his attention, lonely. It’s just ridiculous. He’s been on the news several times because TV interviewers pick him out of the crowd, knowing he’ll look good on camera. He got used to the constant flattery and developed a bit of a princess attitude. He’s not getting the hurling frantic come-ons so often now that he’s older, and he seems a bit bereft. People actually expect him to take an interest in them and not just preen and talk about himself.

        I used to get passionately jealous about it, too. Then I realized that he doesn’t get crushes on the people he flirts with, he just feeds on them emotionally for half an hour and forgets their names once they’re not in the same room. That’s kind of terrible, and definitely not the way *I* roll, but it made it seem unlikely that he’d leave me for someone else.

        He wanted to be polyamorous and actually get naked with willing random strangers when we first got together. I tried to roll with that, but I physically enjoy relationships based on trust, not these one-time hook-ups (now that I’m over 21 and well past the kid-in-a-candy-store phase). I’m kind of like Ana in that I hate everyone, but unlike her in that I mostly hate men. So that’s been fun.

        I wish these re-caps had been around 20 years ago. They’re a treasure trove of insight into emotionally unhealthy dynamics, and might have saved me a lot of heartache from a series of partnerships that revolved around narcissism. I used to really go for the Chedward type, and low self-esteem was definitely a factor. I was the one with the hustler mom though, and that plot point has really been grating. Yes, single moms do this sometimes. No, it’s not a one-way ticket to child abuse and suicide. What’s bad about it is that as a kid you don’t question a certain kind of man being around all the time, and become conditioned to things that should be huge red flags.

        December 5, 2013
        |Reply
  30. Back at home, Ana and Christian get into bed, and they’re talking a little bit about his life in the foster home, including a book his foster mother read him. Guys. It’s Are You My Mother? WHO THE FUCK READS THAT BOOK TO A KID WHOSE MOM JUST DIED RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM?!
    It’s so bad it’s actually comical:-D

    November 13, 2013
    |Reply
  31. Poor Mia
    Poor Mia

    “Wouldn’t it be funny if, in the movie, Mia is standing in the background and she just looks really hurt and silently mouths, “Everyone?””

    Yes! It would be. This needs to happen! haha

    November 13, 2013
    |Reply
    • RowdyShannon
      RowdyShannon

      Oh snap. I lol’d so loud, someone came into my office to check on me just now. Poor Mia.

      Also, sidebar–for some reason Mia and Leila are played by the same actor in my head. Like one has a wig on and the other doesn’t. Which, makes it even weirder/funnier.

      Thanks Jenny!

      November 27, 2013
      |Reply
    • I hope that happens too

      December 14, 2013
      |Reply
  32. I think what most depresses me is that this crap is enough of a “phenomenon” that Barbara frigging Walters interviewed the “author”.

    November 13, 2013
    |Reply
    • Jen
      Jen

      They didn’t over-Photoshop them into ridiculously unnatural perfection. 😮

      November 15, 2013
      |Reply
    • you know how Jenny brings up the infantilization of Ana whenever it pops up in these ‘books’? I can definitely see in that cover photo.
      Gross. someone get me a puke bucket.

      November 15, 2013
      |Reply
  33. Schwa
    Schwa

    You know, I was thinking, those ‘retroactive justifications for Christian’s abusive behavior’ actually made sense when this was Twilight fanfic, since Edward, as a vampire, has the ability to sense people’s thoughts– so he would have known or suspected that Jack was no good even though he didn’t have any reason to at the time. Even though it was an AU fic, readers wouldn’t find that odd at all because they’re used to it.
    Not that that excuses these moments being in the current, non-vampire edition, where they’re treated as if they’re completely ordinary.

    November 13, 2013
    |Reply
    • Irene
      Irene

      Yes, you’re right. Edward Cullen can freaking read minds! That’s why he knows shit about people nobody else knows about!

      On the other hand… it has always bothered me… Christian began investigation over Ana’s past, present and future the moment she left the Grey Enterprises building. When did he do the investigations over Jack Hyde? Was it before or after he pulled some strings so that SIP would hire Ana? If it was before… was he planning on the kidnapping and possibly on the rape so that he could then save Ana and say “I told you so”? It’s chilling!

      November 20, 2013
      |Reply
  34. Hey. In one of your paragraphs you wrote the following:
    “Ditto if your husband threatens to spank you as a punishment, when you’ve repeatedly objected to punishment spankings in the past, irregardless of your D/s relationship.”

    I hate to be a grammar nazi, but just so you know “irregardless” isn’t a real word. It’s just “regardless”. I mean, it is a real word but it shouldn’t be a real word because it means the same as regardless, and the suffix ‘ir’ is redundant.

    It’s like a Bushism, where people have heard it often enough and think it’s a real word, so they end up using it all the time. Don’t misunderestimate me. I’m just trying to help ;-P
    I am totally not trying to tell you how to do your job. *hides under a blanket* Please, don’t hate me.

    November 13, 2013
    |Reply
    • I don’t hate you, but have more faith in me, LOL. Of course I know irregardless isn’t a word. I come from a very small, very rural town and many, many hillbilly words creep into my vocab and sometimes slip into my writing and speech, irregardless (I swear that one is on purpose!) of how hard I try to speak actual English.

      I actually said, “I misunderestimated how long this would take to cook,” the other night, and my husband (who isn’t from round these parts) just shook his head and said, “Jenny… you’re a writer, for god’s sake.”

      November 13, 2013
      |Reply
      • *phew* I used to work as a medical transcriptionist and I got chewed out one day for letting “irregardless” slip out in a consult letter, so now I cringe whenever I see it.

        November 13, 2013
        |Reply
  35. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I am SO GLAD you pointed out how frustrating it is that not a single one of those fucks says thank you to Ana for rescuing Mia. It is second only to people blaming Ana for “forgetting” her birth control, when Dr. Green herself literally told Ana that the shot ran out two weeks early (meaning that even if Ana had gotten her shot renewed on time, it wouldn’t have made a damn difference!!!!!!!!!!!!!). $&@#%*$.

    November 13, 2013
    |Reply
  36. Girls at work today were talking about this series and were saying how good the books are and that they get better with each book and blah blah blah, all the while I’m burning with rage inside and shaking my head. Then one of them said she thought thay were dumb, the characters didn’t do anything but have sex all the time and it was too much like Twilight, and then she said she heard it was Twilight fan fiction. So I piped up and said yup, it is, and Ana and Christian are really Bella and Edward and the writer actually knows nothing about BDSM and what she knows came from other fan fiction. None of them had anything to say except one who said, well that totally ruined the books for me.

    November 13, 2013
    |Reply
  37. Damnit; now I can’t get the potential Law and Order SVU/50 Shades AU fanfic plot line out of my head >.<

    November 13, 2013
    |Reply
    • laina1312
      laina1312

      You know, they actually did a 50 Shades based epiosde on SVU. The E.L. James expy was played by the girl who played Vada in My Girl so obviously my childhood has been ruined. It was a decent episode except the Law and Order writers have spent so long ripping stories from the headlines that they don’t remember that fiction can come solely from this thing called YOUR MIND.

      *cough* Okay, so I maybe had a couple beefs with the episode…

      November 13, 2013
      |Reply
      • I’m not wholly surprised; they tend to use popular culture, like, always. And really? That’s allowed? We don’t just pull entire storylines and characters from preexisting materials? Who would’ve thought…. T.T”

        November 14, 2013
        |Reply
      • laina1312
        laina1312

        Yeah, apparently they can tell by your blog posts and tweets how you’ll write a book. And if you write about something, it had to happen to you OR YOU’RE LYING THAT YOU WROTE IT.

        November 14, 2013
        |Reply
        • Man; so I’m actually a detective with magical powers?! AWESOME.

          November 14, 2013
          |Reply
      • Jen
        Jen

        So from a 10-second google, it’s about what if E.L. James was raped. Bah. I want one in which a woman is forced into a nonconsensual abusive “BDSM” relationship and gaslighted onward.

        November 15, 2013
        |Reply
      • laina1312
        laina1312

        @Jacinta Apparently I’m… uh… there’s a lot of murder going on there. Whoops 😉

        @Jen I think they had one like that… Wait, no, that was Criminal Minds. The Company, Season 7. Been a while since I watched it, though.

        This SVU episode, however, also included the nice parts where nobody on the show seems to know that you should, you know, sit down and talk limits or safe words or anything. Honest to gosh, that episode is terrible.

        November 15, 2013
        |Reply
  38. I was cracking up through the whole thing but that “siiiimmbbbaaa” image really got me. Just brilliant.

    November 14, 2013
    |Reply
  39. Love your blog, and your recaps (though I’m sorry they’re taking their toll on you, the horrid books that you’re recapping!).

    Basically, I’m just in awe of how shameless E.L. is, in her stealing other people’s material. All the main characters are clearly nibbed from Twilight, but how about Christian’s backstory? This is the first season of Dexter! The brothers’ penchant for murder has been replaced with BDSM, but other than that, isn’t this the same exact story? It’s honestly a little sickening. (Can I borrow your sick bucket?)

    November 14, 2013
    |Reply
    • Anonymous
      Anonymous

      I was thinking the same thing, except I don’t think that Jack and Christian are actually related, just foster brothers.

      November 14, 2013
      |Reply
    • I had just realized that myself a while go, I said out loud to the cats, “Oh hell she gave him Dexter’s childhood!” And they just looked at me funny.

      November 27, 2013
      |Reply
  40. *_*
    *_*

    Jenny, I haven’t commented up until now, but I just wanted to let you know I love your recaps. You are amazing for wading through all this crap on our behalf!

    November 14, 2013
    |Reply
  41. Marie
    Marie

    I so wish there was a scene of Christian going “SIMBAAAAAA!” Literal lol on that image.

    Also, I didn’t even think of the shaming thing, but you’re totally right. My one friend who was really into BDSM told basically everyone around our college that yeah, she did kinky stuff. I even saw her getting hot wax poured on her, and I thought the girl was totally going to orgasm right there (slight exaggeration, but you get the idea). I know that’s probably not everyone in the BDSM community, but surely, at least a few of them really wouldn’t give a fuck if pictures of them were out there.

    November 14, 2013
    |Reply
  42. So your theory about Anna wanted to avoid adult responsibility and the part where you talk about the take away being that as long as a woman finds a man to take care or her/buy her expensive things she shouldn’t worry her pretty little head made me want to shout ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ I have a friend who is pretty open about her BDSM lifestyle and people are always encouraging her to read these books. I have told her not to bother because the draw of these books has nothing to do with sex or BDSM. The biggest fantasy in these books is having a super hot, wealthy guy come in, and fall in love with you and sweeping you off your feet so you never have to worry about anything again. And there isn’t anything wrong with that fantasy. We’ve all had it from time to time. What angers me is twofold. One that people try and pretend the appeal of these books are about sexual impowerment when it is just the same old ‘prince charming’ to the rescue story. And two, that it is such bad version of the fantasy, but people actualy try and emulate it. I mean even hot, well done fantasies don’t always play out well in real life. A kidnapping/harem/sex-garden fantasy might get you through your lover’s business trip, but you don’t actually try to get sold into sexual slavery.

    I can deal with the bad writing in this series, even the cringe inducing fucked up depection of a relationship, but the fact that people don’t see that this isn’t anything like real life and that they probably wouldn’t even like it if it was makes me foam at the mouth.

    November 14, 2013
    |Reply
  43. Now I wonder how often FSOG is brought up during therapy sessions.

    November 14, 2013
    |Reply
  44. I hate these books so goddamn much.

    November 14, 2013
    |Reply
  45. Jen
    Jen

    I am a graduate student working on a doctorate in psychology and I have classmates who enjoy this and the Twilight books. They refuse to see how bad the relationships in the books actually are and seem to think that the average reader is never going to shape their real lives around what they read in these fictions. Nevermind that my sister herself has admitted she would love to date a real life Edward…

    On a lighter note, I gigglesnorted at the thought of a mascot raising children.

    November 15, 2013
    |Reply
    • Anonymous
      Anonymous

      I truly hope that no woman actually makes a conscious effort to shape their relationships based on these books. I’ve been through horrible physical, mental and emotional abuse at the hands of men who “loved” me. To be 100% honest, a lot of what I went through is the same shit Grey does to Ana. It isn’t fun or romantic or sexy or any of that bullshit. It’s scary and traumatic and makes you feel like fucking garbage. I hate that women think this shit is okay because some fucktard says it’s romantic. Thank you E.L. Fucking James.

      November 15, 2013
      |Reply
      • YoDarthMeow
        YoDarthMeow

        Exactly! I’ve been readings those recaps for a few weeks now, and ever since the first book, I’ve been saying to myself “I was with that fucking same guy for ten years. How could any woman even consider this kind of relationship romantic and desirable?” I left the asshole eight years ago, but I swear I had bad dreams about him and had to bring him up again in therapy lately because of these recaps.
        Many, many thanks and praise, Jenny, for inflicting these terrible, terrible books on yourself to enlighten us all, and give us such well-articulated arguments against them should the subject come up in conversation.
        The end is near. But frankly, I’ve given up any hope of seeing Ana leave Chedward, safe with her baby, and enter the path to understanding her issues and recovering.
        And the worse of it all, E.L. Fucking James seems to be writing this accurate depiction of an abusive relationship without even realising it…

        December 6, 2013
        |Reply
      • YoDarthMeow
        YoDarthMeow

        Oh, and, of course… “Sicily, 1922” 😀

        December 6, 2013
        |Reply
    • HRCinAB
      HRCinAB

      Ewwwww!!

      November 15, 2013
      |Reply
  46. “(especially when I could be reading stories about mad scientists and kickass female anti-heroes boning each other).”

    Recs? Or point me to a site that has these stories? I’d like to read some decent foe-yay. Especially if the foes are into consensual roughhousing at the climax (heh) of the story. I would also like recs/sites/stories that have SF/fantasy/superhero elements in them.

    Please and thank you.

    November 18, 2013
    |Reply
    • Manners, I forgets them sometimes. 🙁

      Great blog; can’t wait to see the series wrap-up.

      November 18, 2013
      |Reply
  47. I want to thank you again for doing these recaps. You have given me some insight into some things that I missed when I originally read the books.

    I’m hoping that when everyone who’s a fan sees the movie and realize it’s an actual abusive relationship, many may change their views on it. Some people can’t visualize certain things until they see it (other than read it). I also hope the scene where you say Mia should look hurt in the background does happen. I also want to say that if no one thanked me for risking my life to save their relative/friend, I would be pissed and say “fuck this shit”. Go to another family that would appreciate me rather than be mad for trying to save their love one’s life.

    With the drinking thing as pregnant…I live in Sweden, so I went through most of the pregnancy and childbirth there (I spent two months in the U.S to visit my parents). They aren’t “OMG! You drank while pregnant! How dare you!” because the week before I found out I was pregnant, I got a bit drunk. Then again, I didn’t drink for three months prior to that point so the midwife didn’t think it was a big fucking deal. However, despite they don’t get a nipple pinchie over a woman drinking a bit during pregnancy, they tell you it’s not a wise idea to drink while pregnant.

    Btw, I give you this. I took a screen shot while watching Mrs. Brown’s Boys yesterday. She’s reading Fifty Shades of Grey and her expression best resembles my reaction to the series:
    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/lynn82md/12835811/145780/145780_300.png

    December 14, 2013
    |Reply
    • Damn, I almost forgot to say that what you said about Michigan State’s masquot taking in homeless children was hillarious. I laughed so loud that my son gave me a weird look

      December 14, 2013
      |Reply
  48. kg
    kg

    “…because we can’t go a page without Christian having some kind of control over a bodily function of Ana’s.”

    It would be awesome if he could make her poop on command. Maybe that’s why he’s always encouraging her to eat!

    December 18, 2013
    |Reply
  49. I wonder, Jenny, if you have read the blog A Walk in the clouds. I am curious to know your take on the FSOG triliogy from CG POV. Or, another CGPOV blog Meet Fifty shades.

    December 21, 2013
    |Reply
  50. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Thank you for all of these recaps.
    I need the laugh

    December 27, 2013
    |Reply
  51. 200 additional points for a Sophia Petrillo reference!!! Impressive

    January 14, 2014
    |Reply
  52. Anisa
    Anisa

    Okay so I read your recap of the chapter where they’re having sex to The Great Gig In The Sky. I had just read the chapter and NEEDED to know if James was referring to that song – I found your page after copying and pasting the paragraph that vaguely described it. That was a few weeks ago. I just read chapter 24 and ran across something I thought was slightly creepy and literally spent a good 20 minutes trying to find your blog to see if you caught on as well (or maybe I’m just delusional).

    Here it is:

    Mrs. Jones’s chicken stew is, without doubt, one of my favorite dishes. Christian eats with me, sitting cross-legged in the middle of the bed.
    “That was very well heated.” I smirk and he grins. I’m replete and sleepy. Was this his plan?
    “You look tired.” He picks up my tray.
    “I am.”
    “Good. Sleep.” He kisses me. “I have some work I
    need to do. I’ll do it in here if that’s okay with you.”
    I nod . . . fighting a losing battle with my eyelids. I had
    no idea chicken stew could be so exhausting.

    OKAY – am I crazy or would I not be surprised if Christian had crushed up a couple of sleeping pills and put it in her bowl? I could totally see him doing that.

    January 22, 2014
    |Reply
    • Anonymous
      Anonymous

      Not necessarily, If you remember, Ana has been unconscious for 48 hours, has head injuries, is traumatised, had a meltdown in the elevator, She has not eaten so much is pregnant and with the outlet of the adrenalin plus low blood sugar. Well she now feels safe and relaxed so she will feel sleepy no need for sleeping pills

      January 22, 2014
      |Reply
  53. Steve the Fan
    Steve the Fan

    Grey and Hyde are totally different. Hyde keeps pictures of women he’s slept with to make them do things he wants them to do. Grey keeps pictures of women he’s slept with to stop them doing things he doesn’t want them to do. Completely different.

    (This is sarcasm)

    Also – they were fostered together, and Grey only finds this out after several months of investigative work by someone else? Seriously?

    June 4, 2015
    |Reply
  54. Anon123
    Anon123

    Wait. I’m rereading this because I’m steadily going through your archives like some kind of crazy stalker fan-maniac (or, actually, like a really depressed person who needs laughs right now), and this time this line stood out to me:

    “[The ‘Bitch Troll’ p]ut the minor child in danger from her violent husband’s wrath pending discovery.”

    You overall point on the characters is totally valid, but put side-by-side with some of your excellent writings on rape apologism, etc., this struck me as kind of…idk, not victim blame-y, exactly, but something like that. Because no matter how horrible Mrs. Robinson is, she shouldn’t be made responsible for anyone else’s violence, imho.

    I know putting someone in the path of a violent spouse is probably technically neglect or child endangerment or whatever, but even that strikes me as part of a cultural pattern of blaming women/mothers for everything (since most violent people are men, statistically, and most spouses of men are women).

    June 13, 2015
    |Reply
  55. Christin Prüstel
    Christin Prüstel

    Gosh the lion king reference made me snort so hard!

    July 3, 2015
    |Reply
  56. Kenan
    Kenan

    “And pardon me while I’m incredibly grossed out at the thought of how Christian Grey would treat a daughter,[…]”

    The creepiest thing is: he is exactly the kind of “no boundaries” guy who would think it’s ok to molest his children. Well, that would be in real world.

    October 27, 2015
    |Reply
  57. L
    L

    “In reality, Kate should be worried, because her wedding is going to be overshadowed by Christian climbing astride the bridal party’s table and raising his infant son aloft, just moments after Ana has smeared a fistful of wedding cake over the kids forehead and whispered, “Siiiiiiiiiiiiimba.””

    I’m laughing so hard right now

    November 10, 2015
    |Reply
  58. Yvonne
    Yvonne

    Oh crap. “Do you have a preference?”

    ~ Okay, three things, Ana: 1. WILL YOU KINDLY SHUT THE FUCK UP WITH THE “OH, CRAP” BS ALREADY?!! You have no idea how annoying it is! 2. If your initial reaction to anything Christian says or does is “Oh, crap,” then that is a HUGE red flag that you are in an abusive relationship! How many times in a single day do you find yourself worrying about HIS feelings and HIS opinions? THAT IS NOT NORMAL!!! And 3. Fuck Christian Grey in the ass! Who gives a shit what HIS preference is for the set of genitals your kid has? All that matters is what YOU want, Ana. Fuck fathers. They put their baby mamas through hell carrying and giving birth, so they should just be grateful they didn’t have to do all of that themselves.

    “They adopted a severely traumatized child and apparently ignored or weren’t overly concerned by his emotional issues, because they think he’s just fine at the beginning of the series.”

    ~ How did Grace and Carrick neglect Christian? All I know is that they gave him the space HE wanted. That’s actually a good thing. If you force affection on someone who doesn’t want it, especially a small child, it will only damage them further. Yes, even love can make things worse. And are you really going to believe anything Christian says, considering his severely warped view of the world? You already don’t believe him when he says his relationship with Elena was actually good for him.

    “When his mom found out that he’d been molested by one of her friends, she blamed him.”

    ~ My only guess is that she was angry that he didn’t tell her when it was happening. But again, he wasn’t molested. By definition in the law, molestation has to be unwanted. Don’t get mad at me for merely repeating what the law says. Get mad at the law and those who made it.

    “Parenting is, you know, just a for example, shaping a young mind so that it understands that imprisoning another human being with guards and proscribed lists and spying and manipulation isn’t great.”

    ~ We must never blame parents for how their children turn out. There are wonderful, loving, supportive parents whose children grow up to be assholes, and there are horribly abusive parents whose children miraculously grow up to be the sweetest people ever. I have personally known parents AND children in both cases.

    “What was that all about?”
    “Sex,” he says, flashing a wicked grin.

    ~ You. Pig.

    “Now the only thing I can’t figure out is if this is a symptom of Grey’s abuse, or a character trait that has enabled him to abuse her without her recognizing it.”

    ~ GENIUS THEORY! 😀

    “I shake my head. No… no… not like Leila.”

    ~ Oh God, please. You are SOOO goddamned stupid, Ana, do you know that? Have you forgotten the fact that Christian also fucked Leila numerous times? Pretty much every single thing he’s ever done with you, he’s already done with her. And yet you’re not smart enough to realize that, because if you did, you’d pretty much have to pack your bags and leave forever. Also, GET OVER LEILA ALREADY!!! Christian was just trying to help her, you stupid, self-absorbed crybaby!

    “Ana tries to get sexy with Christian, but he’s not having it, because she needs to “get clean.” You know they routinely bathe you in the hospital, right Christian?”

    ~ I actually got my gallbladder out earlier this year, and was hospitalized for four days. Even though it was a simple “keyhole” surgery and I was mobile within hours, the hospital staff would not permit me to use the shower in my private bathroom, and it wasn’t until I’d already been there for four straight days that they finally had a nurse aid me in “bathing” with special “wipes” (they’re like moist towelettes but much bigger and they smell different). They only did this for me AFTER I requested a bath, believe it or not. Then I just ended up getting released later that evening anyway, and even then they told me not to actually bathe or shower fully for a few more days so my incisions wouldn’t get wet, even though they glued me back together instead of using sutures.

    “The first time was when Christian decided to keep photos of all of his subs in sexual situations so that he could use them for blackmail if they ever told on him for his kinky ways. Which makes no sense, because the photos would only confirm the allegations, allegations that are being made by a woman who’s already admitting to having kinking sex with him. So she’s got nothing to lose.”

    ~ How do the photos confirm the allegations? Unless Christian himself is in any of the photos (and it doesn’t sound like he is), then all of his ex subs DO have a lot to lose, because they’re all NAKED in the photos.

    “Thank you,” he says, surprising me. “But no more recklessness. Because next time, I will spank the living shit out of you.”

    ~ And yet, if a MAN had risked his life to save Mia, NOBODY would be threatening to spank him, or even dare to mention he was foolish. This book is so disgustingly sexist. I don’t understand why Ana isn’t horribly offended, because everyone from her stepfather to her best friend keeps berating, as if she’s too damn stupid and clumsy to undertake such a risk on her own. Oh wait, she IS too damn stupid and clumsy. My bad.

    “After I was found with the crack whore, before I went to live with Carrick and Grace, I was in the care of Michigan State. […]“

    ~ ENOUGH with “the crack whore” already! Jesus Tapdancing Christ, just let it go! Oh, and that’s not how it works, Christian. Grace actually could have taken you into her home immediately. All she would have to do is request guardianship. It’s actually not that fucking hard to do, and is a million times faster than adoption. And with her reputation as a PEDIATRICIAN of all things, she would have had NO problem. I know this from personal experience, because when I was in foster care myself during my teens, I stayed in one “temp-care” home and, as I only had a few months left before being released from the system, but couldn’t stay at the temp home for too long, my then-foster-mother’s own mother (a sweet, elderly lady from Germany) was legally allowed to take me in. She’d only met me a couple of times previously, and apparently liked me so much that she was willing to take me into her otherwise empty home for the remaining 3 or 4 months.

    “See, ’round these parts, if a kid is in foster care– as Christian was– we call that being in the care of the state. But you’d say it like, “I was in the care of the State of Michigan,” not “I was in the care of Michigan State,” because Michigan State is a university. Unless Sparty is taking in homeless children.”

    ~ That’s why it always bugs me when they refer to the state of Washington as Washington State in order to differentiate it from Washington DC. It sounds like a freaking university! Just say Washington and have done with it! I always assume a person means Washington unless they add DC to it. In fact, just call the latter DC. Don’t even prefix it with Washington. There, all better. XD

    He begins in a soft voice. “Picture this,

    Sicily. 1922.

    ~ I love a Golden Girls reference. ^_^

    November 20, 2015
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