So, here we are. I think this is going to be the last recap. I know there’s “bonus” material, like the first chapter written from Christian’s POV and a story with him as a child, but after this epilogue, I’m honestly defeated. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I fear for women. I fear for the women who embrace this book. I fear for the women who will raise their Greybies to be “gentlemen” like Christian and “strong women” like Ana. I fear for the lives of domestic violence victims to be, the woman who seek out their own Christian Grey and find him. I fear for the women who see their abuse experience reflected in this book, and who find no solace from people they used to trust, because they know that they’ll never be understood so long as 50 Shades is the greatest romance of our time. I fear for the children who will be born to dangerously flawed fathers because their mothers believe, from the example set in these books, that abusive men can change through the shared miracle of unwanted pregnancy.
I’ve seen comments from people out there on the internet saying that they felt the tone of my recaps moved from funny to tragic, and that they could tell that the subject matter had begun to depress me. That assessment couldn’t be more on point. I used to find it fun to mock this book, thinking that surely, at some point in its meteoric rise, people would begin to see how ridiculous it is. But that hasn’t happened. To every person who staunchly believes it is going to happen, that movie will flop, that people will suddenly get what we’ve been saying all along: I understand why you’re clinging to that delusion. It’s easier to live in a world with hope. But there is no hope here. The movie will be a box office success. More fans will be introduced. The cycle will start all over again.
I’ve tried to refrain from too many vicious personal attacks on E.L. James. I’ve said some snarky stuff and left it there. But I’m done with that. This woman is a danger to women and to society in general. She is an ignorant, arrogant, self-important wannabe who accidentally made it, and now believes her own hype. She will never acknowledge that her book is a piece of abuse glorifying trash. She will never do anything to set right the horrible things she’s put into motion. She is, if not the literal devil, certainly a very close approximation of that kind of evil. She is Sarah Palin. She is Michelle Bachman. She is every woman who betrays other women, on a bloated, disgusting scale. Maybe I would have pitied her once, but I have no doubt that she knows what she is doing, and that it will sell and line her already swollen bank account. Perhaps whatever book she is crafting out of unsubtle plagiarism for her next release won’t reach such an impressive height. I can only hope that comes true. But there will never be any consequence for the way she’s endangered the lives of women who want to live this “fantasy” she finds so romantic, or portrayed sexual ignorance, lack of consent, and outright abuse as not only desirable, but utterly necessary for a woman to be worthy of love. No matter how much you want to believe there will be, there never will be and justice .
Now, onto the shit show that is the epilogue.
Remember how idiot Grey fans were leaving comments about how the books get so much better, and Christian changes so much, and everything turns out to be really empowering after all? This is the epilogue. This is the series’s final chance. Let’s see how it goes:
The epilogue begins with a time stamp:
The Big House, May 2014
For those of you thinking, “Yes, he goes to jail!” I’m sorry to say she’s talking about the mansion they live in.
I lie on our tartan picnic blanket and gaze up at the clear, blue, summer sky, my view framed by meadow flowers and tall green grasses.
I hope you get lyme disease.
Ana thinks about how amazing her life is, and how amazing her husband is, and
I smile and squirm as my mind drifts to the delicious memory of last night in our home in Escala…
So, they kept the apartment. Why? For sexy times, of course! God forbid we fuck in the house where our family is. We need a whole special house for that shit, because sex, BDSM in particular, is shameful and incompatible with a normal life.
There’s a paragraph break, and Christian has just finished flogging her, I guess, and then he fingers her and
“Mrs. Grey,” he breathes, and his teeth pull on my earlobe. “You’re so ready.”
Glad we got that in there one last time. The greatest hits parade continues to roll down Stupid Shit Avenue.
Then more of the same sex scenes that have been copy/pasted throughout the entire series, and
Hmm… even I taste good on his fingers.
As opposed to the way other women taste on his fingers? Or just other stuff in general? How often are you sucking on his fingers? Is he feeding you that way now, to protect you from forks?
She gives him a bj, and it is of course a copy/paste bj we’ve seen way too many times before, complete with
I love doing this to Christian. Watching him come apart, hearing his breath hitch, and the soft moans he makes deep in his throat.
I would love to watch Christian “come apart,” too. In a helicopter crash in his ridiculous “Charlie Tango.” If it could slam directly into “the big house” and make Ana “come apart” too, that would be fucking spectacular.
Blah blah blah, sex, blah blah blah, vague references to sexual stuff.
He groans and starts to move, really move, pounding into me again and again.
Again, glad to see the old favorites coming back. I love how specific that particular phrase is: “he starts to move, really move, not fake moving, not like when someone moves but they don’t actually move. It’s not an optical illusion or my eyes being really tired and getting an unfocused twitch. He’s actually moving. Like, really. He is physically moving his body. There is tangible motion. I just want to be clear that he is moving. Really moving. Not not moving. I’m not lying to you, he’s moving.”
“Come on, Ana,” he groans through gritted teeth, and I explode around him, my orgasm going on and on and on.
I understand how difficult it sometimes is to come up with new things to say in a sex scene. It does become a challenge. But you cannot convince me that this stuff isn’t literally copy/pasted from other parts of this and the other manuscripts. This is like, Laurell K. Hamilton levels of word recycling. I’m surprised we’re not hearing about how Ana’s skin is so flawless she never has to use base, or how she glows like she swallowed the moon. But this is ripped off from a different vampire series, so, you know.
There’s a section break, and the sex is mercilessly over, and they’re lying in bed, Christian feeling Ana’s pregnant belly.
“How’s my daughter?”
“She’s dancing,” I laugh.
“Dancing? Oh yes! Wow. I can feel her.” He grins as Blip Two somersaults inside me.
“I think she likes sex already.”
Here is one of the things I think has been grossly misrepresented in discussion of these books. I think even I have said, “Christian says his daughter likes sex in the womb.” But it’s not Christian who says it. It’s Ana. I also think I’ve said before that Christian flogs Ana’s pregnant belly, but upon rereading, he doesn’t. He just trails the flogger over her belly. I don’t know if my mind– and the minds of other people– somehow figured, “Well, this book is so shitty, that’s probably what happened,” or if this stuff happened in the fanfic where the novel originated, but it’s not actually in there. I’m sorry if I’ve misrepresented anything, but it’s been two years since I read the books, and even then I read them all in a weekend. I think this probably happened to a lot of people, because I’ve seen other people say the same inaccurate things.
Christian says his daughter can’t have sex until she’s thirty, because LOL, fathers thinking they have some right to a chaste, sexually repressed daughter is so hilarious and cute. Then he says he’s looking forward to the taste of breast milk again, because if there’s one thing this series does well, it’s infantilizing anything sexual and sexualizing anything remotely related to children.
Back in the meadow, everything in Ana’s life is perfect, because having children fixes deeply damaged men and everyone should do it. Christian is fully functional now, and a wonderful father to their son, Ted:
I giggle-snort at Ted’s imperious tone. Jeez– so like his dad, and he’s only two.
Of course, Ted is the most beautiful and talented child on the planet, but then I am his mother so I would think that.
No, but seriously, born of these two flawless human beings, he really is the most beautiful and talented, and the reader knows this.
They talk about how they’re going to have lots of children, so never fear, the spawn of Grey will be out there, like Skye O’Malley’s children, ready to torture us with their own “erotic” adventures, I’m sure.
Taylor’s daughter, Sophie, shows up with popsicles from “Mrs. Taylor.” So, Mrs. Jones and Taylor did get married, after all.
“Can Ted and I go for a walk,” Sophie asks.
“Don’t go too far.”
“No, Mr. Grey.” Sophie’s hazel eyes are wide and serious. I think she’s a little frightened of Christian.
Do I really need to point out here how deranged it is for a little girl to be afraid of this dashing romantic hero? That it’s not attractive for your husband to make little girls wary around him?
And of course, Christian watches Sophie and Ted like a hawk.
“They’ll be fine, Christian. What harm could come to them here?” He frowns at me momentarily, and I crawl over into his lap.
“Besides, Ted is completely smitten with Sophie.”
Christian snorts and nuzzles my hair. “She’s a delightful child.”
“She is. So pretty, too. A blonde angel.”
WHOA. Back the train the fuck up. She’s blonde… and Ana… likes her?
SHE IS BLONDE.
AND ANA LIKES HER.
“I enjoyed last night,” he says. “We should do that more often.”
“And we could, if you stopped working…”
Yeah, Ana. Abandon your career and become his full-time fuck doll. We all know you’re going to do that, anyway, because you’re the literal worst.
To be clear, what I’m saying here is: if you are one of the many women who read this book for the fantasy of a billionaire who comes along to sweep you away from your personal agency and the horrors that feminism has wrought, specifically the unfairness of having to work and earn a living rather than being a man’s property without a single financial obligation, then congratulations, you’re a fucking idiot and I hope you spontaneously combust.
I roll my eyes and he tightens his arms around me and grins into my neck.
“Are you rolling your eyes at me, Mrs. Grey?” His threat is implicit, but sensual, making me squirm, but as we’re in the middle of the meadow with the kids nearby, I ignore his invitation.
I like that. Invitation. As if she has some ability to decline. And I’m so glad that we got another eye roll in there. My life wouldn’t have been complete without it.
“Grey Publishing has an author on the New York Times bestsellers list– Boyce Fox’s sales are phenomenal, the e-book side of our business has exploded, and I finally have the team I want around me.”
“And you’re making money in these difficult times,” Christian adds, his voice reflecting his pride. “But… I like you barefoot and pregnant in my kitchen.”
Yeah, he sounds so fucking proud of her accomplishments, doesn’t he? “Gee, honey, that’s great that you’ve had some success (that very likely was funded by me, because let’s face it, I’m never going to allow you to have anything you built by yourself), but I’d like it better if you just stayed at home and did nothing but squeeze out more kids we can raise up to have our stellar values.” HOW DREAMY.
“I like that, too,” I murmur, and he kisses me, his hands still spread across my bump.
Go fuck yourself, Ana.
So, Ana and Christian argue over naming the next baby after Christian’s birth mother. I know what you’re thinking: who names a baby “the crack whore?” But as it turns out, her name was really Ella. And Christian is not having it. And Ana, come on. He was so wounded and damaged and OMG sexy because of his tortured past. Why the hell would he want that brought up every single time he looked at his child? Why not just name the baby Renesmee and get it over with? We all know what the fuck you’re getting at, E.L.. We’ve cracked your ingenious code.
Ted drops his popsicle, and it’s the infamous finger-sucking scene you’ve probably already heard about, but suffice it to say, it’s not really that creepy, except for the part where first Ted, then Ana, then Christian all suck Ted’s fingers. And you know how I am about shit like that. I had this full-body shudder at the thought of sucking on a child’s fingers. I don’t care how clean you keep your kids, they’re crawling with disease. I would have to amputate my tongue and burn it before I would ever feel clean again. But contrary to what I’ve seen some people report, it doesn’t say that Christian “sensually” licks his kid’s fingers. This book is gross and vaguely pedophilic enough as it is.
There’s a section break, and Christian is reading The Lorax to Ted, probably to remind us of Christian’s commitment to the environment. You know, his commitment to the environment that includes owning a shipyard, driving insanely inefficient super cars and SUVs, playing on jet skis and yachts and helicopters that all run on fossil fuel and pollute the environment, and demanding nothing but new items whenever he buys anything. Then there’s another section break, and Ana thinks about her harrowing birth experience, wherein she has a c-section after fifteen hours of labor:
“Nurse, page the anesthesiologist. Dr. Miller, prep for a c-section. Mrs. Grey, we are going to move you to the OR.”
“Move?” Christian and I speak at once.
What did you think, they were going to carve the baby out right there, Twilight style? Wow, I wonder where E.L. got the idea for an emergency c-section. I would pay money to see Chedward decide that he’s better equipped than the doctors to help her, and then gnaw the baby out with his teeth.
Ana has the c-section, and the baby is nearly perfect, down to the Apgar score of nine, and of course it’s a miracle and so beautiful and everything is roses and amazement. Then there’s another section break and:
“I was just remembering Ted’s birth.”
Christian blanches and cups my belly.
“I am not going through that again. Elective caesarian this time.”
“No, Ana. You nearly fucking died last time. No.”
This is really funny because 1) it’s not your body, it’s not your choice, dickfart, and 2) literally nothing in the passage about Ted’s birth makes it sound like Ana’s life is in danger, up to and including the fact that they don’t put her under general or nitrous for anesthesia because they have time to wait for her epidural to kick in, and Dr. Greene specifically says that it’s the baby in distress, and that’s why they have to do the c-section. They also let Christian into the OR. Nothing about any of this suggests Ana’s life is in danger, unless obstetrics has changed drastically since I had my children. But Christian has put his foot down, and at what point has Ana ever had any bodily autonomy, anyway? That shit is vastly overrated.
After a break, Christian is setting up Ted’s birthday present, a solar powered train set. Remember, he’s an environmentalist. The kid’s train set has to run off solar power, but his Audi R8 and SUV driving security detail that follows it can blaze fast down the freeway without a care, burning through fossil fuel like logs on a bonfire.
Tomorrow we will have a family party for Ted. Ray and José will be coming, and all the Greys, including Ted’s new cousin Ava, Kate and Elliot’s two-month-old daughter. I look forward to catching up with Kate and seeing how motherhood is agreeing with her.
Wait, no, that’s not right. Hang on.
I look forward to
catching up with Kate and seeing how motherhood is agreeing with her.internally judging Kate’s parenting, which is not up to the gold standard I am meeting, and seeing what a disaster her family is when compared to my perfect life.
I hope Ana wears Kate’s plum dress to this party, too.
I gaze up at the view as the sun sinks behind the Olympic Peninsula. It’s everything Christian has promised it would be, and I get the same joyful thrill seeing it now as I did the first time. It’s simply stunning: twilight over the Sound. Christian pulls me into his arms.
“It’s quite a view.”
“It is,” Christian answers, and when I turn to look at him, he’s gazing at me. He plants a soft kiss on my lips. “It’s a beautiful view,” he murmurs. “My favorite.”
He grins and kisses me again. “I love you, Mrs. Grey.”
“I love you, too, Christian. Always.”
I guess the upside to their undying love is that they’ll never divorce and taint future partners with their dysfunctional brand of “love.”
There. The book is over. I am 50 Shades Freed. I am done.
Thank you, everyone who has endured this hell with me. Thank you so much for the support you’ve given me. When I started writing these recaps, I had no idea that they would become a positive force in my life. I was on welfare, and you donated money, you bought my books– including the books I would never have written, if not for this shitshow– and you raised my family from poverty. You supported me emotionally, too. You gave me the privilege of your own stories of abuse, and invited me into your lives. You became friends. You helped me learn new things, about myself and about the world in general. You made me feel comfortable sharing my sexuality, and you did so without judgement. You have all, in many different ways, made my life infinitely better. And all I can say at this juncture is, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Wait, hang on, there’s a message from E.L. at the end of the book…
That’s all… for now.
Oh, fuck me.