Tuesday, February 19, 2013

50 Shades Freed chapter 7 recap, or "Are you fucking kidding me?" Starring Kristen Wiig

A lot of you have left comments or tweeted or emailed me to let me know about the broken links on the main recap page. Thank you so much, everyone, because while I knew one or two posts were missing, I had no idea there were soooo many of them with broken links. I will be working to get these fixed, I promised. Right now, I have to figure out if they're broken because I messed up, or because the posts didn't export to this blog, or something like that. Please know that I am working on it.

Now, I want to introduce you to someone very special.

This is Kristen Wiig in the movie Bridesmaids, and this is a much prettier, Hollywood version of what I did about a bajillion times while reading chapter seven. Kristen is the princess of my heart. She is slightly above my children on the "what I'm living for" scale. And I heard her delivery of this line in my head over and over as I read this chapter. So, I'm going to just let her handle most of the heavy lifting in this recap. And in case you haven't seen the movie, here's the scene where the quote comes from. You can skip to 1:12 if you just want the intonation without the context:

You may recall that at the end of chapter six, Ana recognized the server room arsonist as Jack Hyde, her former boss who was basically going to rape her before Taylor beat the ever living fuck out of him in 50 Shades Darker.

Ana tells Christian she recognizes it's Jack from his earrings and the shape of his shoulders and build. She thinks he's wearing a wig, or he's cut and dyed his hair. Which throws me for a bit of a loop, because I had been visualizing Jack Hyde as Rufus from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Carlin's a genius, but there's not a lot to cut and dye here.

I find it super interesting that Ana can tell that Jack has dyed his hair from a "grainy black-and-white CCTV image." But I might have to stop pointing out all these logical errors, because otherwise we'll never be finished with this fucking book.

Now, instead of being all, "Thank you, Ana, your sharp observation skills have given us the break we needed in this case," Christian says:
"you seem to have studied your ex-boss in some detail, Mrs. Grey," he murmurs, sounding none too pleased.

This guy was her boss, so she saw him every day. Okay, everyday for like a week. And then he tried to rape her in the break room. So, what is Christian insinuating here? That Ana was secretly into the dude who tried to sexually assault her? That she encouraged it? What are you trying to say with this comment?

Over the phone, Barney uses the word "asshole" and apologizes for it by saying, "Sorry, ma'am." Because, you know, our fragile lady vaginas will seal right the fuck up if we hear the barest utterance of profanity. Christian tells Ana he's sorry she ever worked with Jack Hyde... so I guess this is laying the groundwork for Ana to quit her job for her own protection. Can't wait.

Barney is going to scan the CCTV and see if he can figure out which car is Jack's, etc, and Christian tells Ana that Jack had a bunch of stuff on his hard drive:
"Was it about you, or me?"
"Me." He sighs.
"What sort of things? About your lifestyle?"
I love that this is still being portrayed as something that would ruin Christian Grey, both personally and professionally. He likes to spank women in his sex dungeon. As far as I'm aware, that's probably the first and mildest vice anyone is going to suspect a billionaire of getting up to. I mean, off the top of my head, I imagine Donald Trump jacks off while personally slaughtering the urban foxes that are later fashioned into his stupid wigs (and he can't sue me for saying that because THIS POST IS INTENDED AS SATIRE). So, "He's into some kink," isn't going to shock the plebs, we all think rich people are up to deviant shit nonstop. It isn't as though Christian Grey is making snuff films or feeding unruly servants to eels or anything.

Apparently, the car Jack Hyde drives is a 2006 Camaro. You guys, I'm so glad this came up, because CAR PORN TIMES:

Oh yeah, baby. You know what momma likes. What you got under that hood? Lemme find out.

 Mmm, yeah, back that ass up.

Baby, I could treat you so right. Grip your steering wheel, stroke that gear shift... Mmmm...

As fun as this all was, I have to admit I got to the 2006 Camaro line and I was like:

There is no such thing as a 2006 Chevy Camaro, except for that concept car I just showed you. Chevy ceased production on fourth generation Camaros in 2002, and fifth generation Camaros weren't available to consumers until 2010. I guess Jack Hyde bought his car from the same store that Christian bought Ana's MacBook Pro with the terabyte harddrive.

And I hope to fucking god that the Camaro isn't the same car she's referring to as the Dodge that chased them, or a bitch is gonna get a drink thrown in her face.

Christian and Barney make some important sounding plans to track down Jack Hyde, but I won't bore you with those details because we all know they're not going to be important, and these idiots will be saved from the plot by deus ex machina. Because this is a Twilight fanfic, and that's how Breaking Dawn wrapped up the conflict, so E.L. will obviously remain true to the source material. Christian hangs up with Barney and pays Ana the single most misogynistic compliment in all of literature:
"Well, Mrs. Grey, it seems that you are not only decorative, but useful, too." Christian's eyes light up with wicked amusement. I know he's teasing.

Oh, so he doesn't really think you're useful? I assume that's the part he's teasing you about. What the shit is that? He's saying, quite clearly, that the only value he thought Ana had was her looks. Did he go to the Dowager Countess Grantham School For Backhanded Compliments?

Even she thinks it's pretty harsh, guys.

Then this happens:
"Hungry?" he asks.
"I am."
"What for?"
"Well - food actually."
OMG, they flipped it! This time it wasn't about sex! E.L. James is truly a treasure of human wit! They have the longest conversation ever about what he wants to eat, and they repeatedly call each other Mr. and Mrs. Grey because it wasn't tiresome at all when they were calling each other Mr. Grey and Miss Steele, and I certainly can't get enough of it and I hope it just keeps going on and on and on until one or both of them is dead by my hand.

Ana goes to the kitchen to make the MOST NEEDLESSLY DRAMATIC SANDWICH OF ALL TIME:
"Um - so what does Christian like in a, um... sub?" I frown, struck by what I've just said. Does Mrs. Jones understand the inference?
Ana seems to actually believe that everyone in the universe is obsessed with Christian Grey's sex life. What's spooky is, since this book has come out, that's kind of become true.
"Barefoot and in the kitchen," he murmurs.
"Shouldn't that be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen?" I smirk.
He stills, his whole body tensing against me. "Not yet," he declares, apprehension clear in his voice.
Too late, dummies!

They continue to make the MOST NEEDLESSLY DRAMATIC SANDWICH OF ALL TIME until a section break, after which Christian and Ana look over the plans for the remodel of their new house, and it turns into what I'm sure was an unintentional metaphor for their entire relationship:
"[...] I fell in love with the house as it was... warts and all."
Christian's brow furrows as if this is anathema to him.
BOOM. The reason I know this is totally unintentional on E.L. James's part is because it's clear from her repeated statements in the media that she doesn't find their relationship unhealthy at all. But right here, we have Ana, the girl Christian picked to mold and shape and change through all his bullshit contract requirements about what to eat and how she's supposed to work out and what clothing she's allowed to wear, saying she likes something as it is, even if it's not her idea of perfection, and he can't possibly understand the concept. Now, I'm 100% fucking certain that E.L. put this in to show us that Christian doesn't understand how Ana can love him as he is, without changing, or to prove to the reader that Ana really can love him despite all his flaws. But it actually says more about Christian's inability to have a relationship with anyone he isn't controlling and smashing into the mold he wants them to fit into.

After they're done looking at the plans for the house, which includes more talk about how they don't want to start a family yet, because when E.L. James looked up "foreshadowing" in the dictionary, this picture was next to the definition:

 Ana and Christian go into the TV room:
We have sat here three, maybe four times total, and Christian usually reads a book. He's not interested in television at all. I curl up beside him on the couch, tucking my legs beneath me and resting my head against his shoulder. He switches on the flat-screen television with the remote and flicks mindlessly through the channels.
"Any specific drivel you want to see?"
Try not to be too condescending there, Chedward.

I'm going to get on my soapbox here and say:

This is the 21st Century. I'm pretty sure that at this point, television has proved that it isn't just a passing fad, but that it can be an important tool of mass communication as well as an art form. Yes, there are poor examples in the medium, but you can find poor examples in any medium. While television does have its share of disappointing programming like Teen Mom 2, literature has, for example, oh, gosh, this one is a toughy, I don't know, 50 Shades of Grey. You can't judge all television based on one or two shows, just like you can't say that all literature is going down the tubes just because this POS got published.

I'm sick of the attitude that television is just mindless entertainment, subpar in comparison to books, movies, art, music, etc, and that in order to be smart, you have to stop watching TV. Or that just not watching television makes you somehow more erudite than all the brain-dead savages drooling in front of the idiot box. I will never understand how choosing to be willfully ignorant of a massive part of our culture (speaking from a Western standpoint here, I don't know about other parts of the world) is somehow smart. If anything, I would say defining yourself by what you choose to exclude from your life is fucking ignorant. 



The good news is, Ana doesn't want to watch TV, really. She just wants the tv to be on while they make out. Christian is completely bowled over by this suggestion, and he admits he's never actually made out with anyone. He's confused as to how Ana has any experience with making out, too, because she hasn't done it with him, so she's clearly never done it before. He broke the factory seal, right? He asks her if she's ever made out with anyone:
I flush. "Of course." Well, kind of...
"What! Who with?"
Oh no. I do not want to have this discussion.
"Tell me," he persists.
I gaze down at my knotted fingers. He gently covers my hands with one of his. When I glance up at him, he's smiking at me.
"I want to know. So I can beat whoever it was to a pulp."
I giggle. "Well, the first time..."
"The first time! There's more than one fucker?" He growls.

He's legit jealous of the boys Ana made out with in high school? It's not enough that she had never masturbated, never had an orgasm before she met him. She'd kissed someone else, and that's unacceptable? And she apparently thinks it's cute that he's threatening violence over it. Even if he's just joking, she knows he has an extremely violent past, because his sister told her so in the second book. This isn't cute, and it isn't funny. It doesn't show that Chedward values Ana as a person, it shows us once again that she's only an object to him, a toy that someone else has played with, so it's lost some of its value.

Because Christian has to prove that he's way, way more important than those guys in high school, they have sex. Despite Ana saying no. No, really. Check this out:
"We're supposed to be making out." I groan.
Christian stills. "I thought we were."
"No. No sex."
And then they have sex. Okay, so I get the whole, "let's not have sex/let's have sex now" thing is often used in romantic scenes, but this concerns me because remember, when they're doing BDSM stuff nowadays, they're not using safe words anymore, he's just going to stop when she asks to stop. But right here, she has initiated sexual activity, she's saying, "No sex," and the first thing he does is set off on a quest to get her to have intercourse. He won't play by the rules of her game, probably because they're her rules. This isn't inspiring a lot of confidence for that whole, "We don't need safe words," thing.

After boring and repetitive sex, Christian turns the sound on the tv to watch X-Files. He says he liked the show when he was a kid, but Ana says it was before her time. Wait, what? This book was published in 2011, right? So Ana was twenty-two in 2011, meaning she was thirteen when The X-Files was cancelled. Now, I can see why maybe a kid who's ten or eleven wouldn't be into the show, and there's no law that everyone has to watch The X-Files.

Although there should be.

But it's certainly not before Ana's time. The age gap between these two characters is five years, but E.L. makes it sound like it's insurmountable. Or notable at all. Christian even responds to Ana's assertion that The X-Files are before her time by saying, "'You're so young.'" Again, he's only five years older than her, so why is their "age difference" constantly coming up?

It's almost as if this mirrors a piece of popular fiction involving vampires...

Christian tells Ana that security will be tight when she returns to work in the morning.
Which reminds me... I shift, propping myself up on my elbows to see him better. "Why were you shouting at Sawyer?"
He stiffens immediately. Oh shit.
"Because we were followed."
"That wasn't Sawyer's fault."
He gazes at me levelly. "They should never have let you get so far in front. They know that."
"Look, I realize that it was my choice to drive separately from our security, but they're the ones who had the audacity to not be in the car with us when we were being followed. Also, they should have kept up with us, even though I encouraged you to drive like ninety miles an hour in an R8 when they were in an SUV. They should have swapped out for a sports car at the drop of a hat."
"Enough!" Christian is suddenly curt. "This is not up for discussion, Anastasia. It's a fact, and they won't let it happen again."
 Anastasia! I am Anastasia when I am in trouble, just like at home with my mother.
Because your husband infantilizes you. He's also clearly an American Conservative, because he's insisting his opinion is a fact and refusing to entertain common sense.

Ana asks Christian if they ever caught up to the woman in the Dodge:
"Sawyer saw someone with their hair tied back, but it was a brief look. He assumed it was a woman. Now, given that you've identified that fucker, maybe it was him. He wore his hair like that." The disgust in Christian's voice is palpable.
But I thought Jack Hyde drove a Camaro. Oh, please. Don't do this to me, E.L. Please tell me you know the difference between Chevy and Dodge?

The next morning, Christian rides with Ana to work, but this time, security is in the car with them. They have the longest good-bye in the history of long good-byes. Why can't these nimrods ever just say, "See you at five, have a good day?" Oh, because romance, I forgot.

Since Ana left on her honeymoon, shit has changed at SIP. For example:
Hannah is my assistant. She is tall, slim, and ruthlessly efficient to the point that sometimes I find her a little intimidating. But she's sweet to me, in spite of the fact that she's a couple of years older.

Naturally, any woman older than Ana wouldn't be sweet to her, right? Because we're all embittered crones who can't stand the sight of youth.

Ana has a meeting at ten with Roach, and Elizabeth stops by to remind her of this, then Ana gets an email from Christian:
From: Christian Grey
Subject: Errant Wives
Date: August 22 2011 09:56
To: Anastasia Steele
I sent the e-mail below and it bounced.
And it's because you haven't changed your name.
Something you want to tell me?

First of all, Christian, your email didn't bounce because she hasn't changed her name. It bounced because she hasn't changed her email address. An hour after arriving at work, just back from her honeymoon, she hasn't changed her email address to reflect her name change, and this is assumed to be a clear signal by her new husband? What a fucking psycho.

Ana emails him back saying she's not planning to change her name at work, and asks to discuss it that evening, as she has a meeting to go to:
As the meeting progresses, I grow more and more uncomfortable. There's a subtle change in how my colleagues are treating me - a distance and deference that wasn't there before I left for my honeymoon. And from Courtney, who heads up the nonfiction division, there's downright hostility. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but it goes some way to explaining Elizabeth's odd greeting this morning.
My mind drifts back to the yacht, then to the playroom, then to the R8 speeding away from the mystery Dodge on I-5. Perhaps Christian's right... perhaps I can't do this anymore.

You're right, Ana. Work is too hard. You should probably quit. After all, there's no reason for these people to treat you differently, considering you just married the guy who bought your company right before your boss got fired and you got his job. That doesn't look bad on you at all, and your husband was totally cool for pulling this bullshit. You got a keeper, now go home and wait for him like he wants you to.

After the meeting, Ana is ambushed at work by Christian:
"If you'll excuse me, Roach, I'd like a word with Ms. Steele." Christian hisses the S sibilantly... sarcastically.
How do you not say "s" sibilantly? Either way, imagine Robert Pattinson saying this line, stressing every S. It will be the best laugh you've had in days. It certainly was for me.

After making a comment about how small her office is - expect a new office in an hour, Ana - Christian says:
"I'm just looking over my assets."
"Your assets? All of them?"
"All of them. Some of them need rebranding." 

"Christian, I'm working."
"Looked like you were gossiping with your assistant to me."

 Two women speaking to each other is always "gossiping" isn't it? But when two men talk, even if they're gossiping, it's "networking" or "discussing." Fuck this bullshit. I hope Christian Grey's dick falls off.
There's a knock on the door. "Come in!" I shout, too loudly.
Hannah opens the door and brings in a small tray. Milk jug, sugar bowl, coffee in a French press - she's gone all out. She places the tray on my desk.
"Thank you, Hannah," I mutter, embarrassed that I have just shouted so loudly.
"Do you need anything else, Mr. Grey?" she asks, all breathless. I want to roll my eyes at her.

"I like to make the odd impromptu visit. It keeps management on their toes, wives in their place. You know."

 "Are you ashamed of me?" he asks, his voice deceptively soft.
"No! Christian, of course not!" I scowl. "This is about me - not you." Jeez, he's exasperating sometimes. Silly overbearing megalomaniac.
"How is this not about me?" He cocks his head to one side, genuinely perplexed, some of his detachment slipping as he stares at me with wide eyes, and I realize that he's hurt.
That's called a narcissistic injury. Seriously, he can't understand why someone would not want to advertise that they got their job by sleeping with the dude who owns the company? All he's focusing on is that the object he acquired to have sex with doesn't want to do as it's told.
"Christian, when I took this job, I'd only just met you," I say patiently, struggling to find the right words. "I didn't know you were going to buy the company."
What can I say about that event in our brief history? His deranged reasons for doing so - his control freakery, his stalker tendencies gone mad, given completely free reign because he is so wealthy. I know he wants to keep me safe, but it's his ownership of SIP that is the fundamental problem here. If he'd never interfered, I could continue as normal and not have to face the disgruntled and whispered recrimination of my colleagues.
See, this concept is so simple, even Ana gets it. ANA GETS IT. I feel like I can't stress how simple this is if Ana is able to grasp the fundamental truth of it.

Ana asks Christian why it's so important that she change her name:
"I want everyone to know that you're mine."
"I am yours - look." I hold up my left hand, showing my wedding and engagement rings.

That is NOT what a wedding ring symbolizes. It isn't a shackle. Marriage isn't ownership, it's partnership, and neither of these doofuses should have gotten married without knowing this. In fact, I'm going to petition the fucking White House to make people take a one-question test before they can get married. "Choose the answer which best completes the following sentence: 'Marriage is ____.' A) A declaration of ownership. B) A partnership. C) A penguin."

Christian tells her that it's not enough that she married him:
"I want your world to begin and end with me," he says, his expression raw. HIs comment completely derails me. It's like he's punched me hard in the stomach, winding and wounding me.
Ana says:
"It does," I say without guile, because it's the truth. "I'm just trying to establish a career, and I don't want to trade on your name. I have to do something, Christian. I can't stay imprisoned at Escala or the new house with nothing to do. I'll go crazy. I'll suffocate. I've always worked, and I enjoy this. This is my dream job; it's all I've ever wanted. But doing this doesn't mean I love you less. You are the world to me." My throat swells and tears prick the backs of my eyes. I must not cry, not here. I repeat it over and over in my head.  I must not cry. I must not cry.
Keeping in mind, this entire time, she's at work. Have you ever worked with someone whose partner would show up at work and upset them? I have. It happens often in ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS.

And then, this bullshit happens:
"Look, we were talking about my name. I want to keep my name here because I want to put some distance between you and me... but only here, that's all. You know everyone thinks I got the job because of you, when the reality is - " I stop when his eyes widen. Oh no... it is because of him?
"Do you want to know why you got the job, Anastasia?"
Anastasia? Shit. "What? What do you mean?"
He shifts in his chair as if steeling himself. Do I want to know?
"The management here gave you Hyde's job to babysit. They didn't want the expense of hiring a senior executive when the company was mid-sale. They had no idea what the new owner would do with it once it passed into his ownership, and wisely, they didn't want an expensive redundancy. So they gave you Hyde's job to caretake until the new owner" - he pauses, and his lips twitch in an ironic smile - "namely me, took over."
Holy crap! "What are you saying?" So it was because of him. Fuck! I'm horrified.

Of course Christian is the reason Ana got the job. We all knew this. We all knew that his promise to stop fucking with her career was just a random string of empty words he didn't believe, but he said them because he wanted to have sex with her some more. NO ONE SHOULD BE SURPRISED BY THIS PLOT TWIST.

And the hits just keep on coming:
"So one of the reasons I'm here - apart from dealing with my errant wife," he says, narrowing his eyes, "is to discuss what I am going to do with this company."
Errant wife! I am not errant, and I'm not an asset! I scowl at Christian again and the threat of tears subsides.
"So what are your plans?" I incline my head to one side, mirroring him, and I can't help my sarcastic tone. His lips twitch with the hint of a smile. Whoa - change of mood, again! How can I ever keep up with Mr. Mercurial?
"I'm changing the name of the company - to Grey Publishing."
Holy shit.
"And in a year's time, it will be yours."
My mouth drops open once more - wider this time.
"This is my wedding present to you."
I shut my mouth then open it, trying to articulate something - but there's nothing there. My mind is blank.
"So, do I need to change the name to Steele Publishing?"

A gift is not a gift if it comes with conditions. It's an obligation. You cannot "gift" someone a company under the condition that they run it and change their last name to do so. It's clear that Christian feels Ana will never be able to achieve her dreams on her own, so he has to give them to her. His sarcastic query about whether or not to call it "Steele Publishing," proves that. The idea that she might ever have a business named after herself without his hand in it is clearly laughable to him.

Oh, do you know why Christian feels she's qualified for the job?
"You're also the most well-read person I know," he counters earnestly. "You love a good book. You couldn't leave your job while we were on our honeymoon. You read how many manuscripts? Four?"
"Five," I whisper.
Seriously? She read five manuscripts in three weeks, and he thinks that's impressive? For an editor? I know an editor who read four manuscripts in a day last week.

Then, this other bullshit happens:
His eyes darken... in that way.  Oh no - I know that look. Sultry, seductive, salacious... No, no, no! Not here.
Yup. Christian thinks that after disrupting Ana's day, causing a scene at her job, telling her she only got her position because he bought it for her, he thinks she's going to fuck him:
"We're in a small, reasonably sound-proofed office with a lockable door," he whispers.

Ana is putting her foot down on this one:
"Christian, no. I mean it. You can fuck me seven shades of Sunday this evening. But not now. Not here!"
Before I read Fifty Shades of Grey, I had no idea that people used "x shades of n" as a legit expression. I mean, it's used so often in here, I assume it must actually be an expression, right? I don't know at this point, and trying to google it just leads to shit about these stupid fucking books. Whatever, at least we know what the inevitable sequels will be called.

Also, they'll be about body-snatching aliens who are in no way plagiarized from The Host.
"Seven shades of Sunday?" He arches an eyebrow, intrigued. "I may hold you to that, Ms. Steele."
"Oh, stop with the Ms. Steele!" I snap and thump the desk, startling us both. "For heaven's sake, Christian. If it means so much to you, I'll change my name!"
His mouth pops open as he inhales sharply. And then he grins, a radiant, all-teeth-showing, joyous grin. Wow...
"Good." He claps his hands, and all of a sudden he stands.
What now?
"Mission accomplished. Now, I have work to do. If you'll excuse me, Mrs. Grey."

He can't just win the argument. He has to fucking gloat about it.

So, of course, Ana thinks about how much she loves him, even though he drives her crazy, but ultimately she justs rolls over and accepts his utter control, because that's what we're supposed to do when we're in love, right, ladies? Even though she's still mad, he thinks everything is fine because he got his way, and then he leaves and emails her to joke about the fact that he just busted into her work to treat her the way he just did.
Christian is quiet when I climb into the car that evening.
"Hi," I murmur.
How the fuck do you murmur that?

Ana gives Christian the somewhat silent treatment all the way back to Escala, where they have an argument I swear to Christ we've read before:
"What exactly are you mad about? I need an indication," he asks cautiously.
I turn and gape at him.
It's so much funnier if you assume she does this with her vagina.
"Do you really have no idea? Surely, for someone so bright, you must have an inkling? I can't believe you're that obtuse."
I can't believe we haven't read this exact line of dialogue before, because I'm having wicked bad deja vu here.

They go into the apartment, where they continue to fight. I'm not going to recap the whole argument because we've seen it a thousand times before, and also, you and I both know this is never going to get resolved. She's just going to accept what he wants and go blindly on with her life. But there is some awesome foreshadowing:
"Don't be mad. You're so precious to me. Like a priceless asset, like a child," he whispers, a somber reverent expression on his face. His words distract me. Like a child. Precious like a child... a child would be precious to him!
Look, if anyone was shocked when they got to her finding out she's pregnant, then... I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. But in the condescending way the eleventh Doctor would be sorry, not the genuine way Ten would have.

Christian reminds Ana that the architect is going to be coming over, so Ana does a little more internal back and forth about how infuriating Christian is and how horrible these things are that he's doing, but how much she loves him and she's going to put up with this bullshit forever, and then she gets all prettied up to face the perceived competition:
I'm wearing my gray pencil skirt and sleeveless blouse. Right! My inner goddess gets out her harlot-red nail polish. I undo two buttons, exposing a little cleavage. I wash my face, then carefully redo my makeup, applying more mascara than usual and putting extra gloss on my lips. Bending down, I brush my hair vigorously from root to tip. When I stand, my hair is a chestnut haze around me that tumbles to my breasts. I tuck it artfully behind my ears and go in search of my pumps, rather than my flats.
It sounds to me like she's trying to fuck the architect, rather than stop her from fucking Christian, but whatever. Ana joins Christian in the great room, where they dance to a requiem - creeeeepy- and then Taylor announces Gia is there and the chapter is over.


  1. To your comment about the test people should have to take before getting married: actually, my husband (then fiance) and I, when applying for our marriage license, had to sign a form stating that we understood that we do not own our spouse and that in marriage we are equal partners. We live (and were married) in Alberta. So, while not a test, in some places they do clarify that. If we didn't sign it, then we couldn't get married.

    1. So you couldn't declare penguins?

    2. No, it unfortunately was not multiple choice. We signed it or walked out. ^^ I suppose I could have signed penguins instead of my name, but government workers intimidate me.

  2. I just realized what this shit reminds me of--the manga series Hot Gimmick. Same idea, where the plain-jane-yet-everyone-loves-her heroine falls in love with the rich asshole who owns her building, and he jerks her around and emotionally abuses her the whole time, but she's like, "it's okay, it's just his way of showing he loves me when he calls me an idiot!" Blah blah blah romantic barf. I read the series several times in high school and it made me mad every time, yet I kept going back to see if it would make me JUST AS MAD the seventh time as it did the first time. God, this stuff makes me grind my teeth.

    1. I know that one! Apparently, everything done by that manga artist is the same sort of premise - rapey, controlling rich dude, stupid, naive, innocent girl.

  3. Man, the word "asset" is used a lot this chapter. James must have that Word of the Day toilet paper (though it's at a grade school level), because it seems that every few chapters there's one or a few words that she latches onto and uses the shit out of.

  4. You know, after finishing with the horrible task of recapping the 50 shades of crap books, you should consider recapping episodes or seasons of Doctor Who. Watcha think, huh?

    1. My vote is the Beautiful Bastard books. They start fucking in the first chapter, hate each other's guts, at one point Bennett likes the loud music because no one can hear him choking her (in no context is that okay), and then suddenly true love forever. That's another fanfic of Twilight but crossed with 50 Shade, which is kind of amazing since it predates 50 Shades. My local news called BB a fanfic of 50 Shades, but I'm now wondering if 50 Shades also ripped of BB.

    2. Insufferable Proximity... the book is basically rape. He blackmails her into giving up her virginity, which he takes very roughly. Then keeps on blackmailing her further to keep having sex with him, he basically owns her, treats her as a slave. then they fall in love... I don't get in what world that could actually happen??

    3. @Anon I believe they usually call that "Stockholm Syndrome".

    4. It's not always Stockholm. If you take a woman who has low self-esteem and a man who is prestigious and he shows some interest in her, she will probably be dizzy with disbelief. Christian used this to his advantage and overwhelmed her right off the bat and made her feel she owed him for his attention. "Why is he interested in me? He's so hot he could have anyone. But he likes me and he's hot and rich." He kept pulling her in. To make it tougher, aside from Kate, everyone else in her life validated Christian right off the bat. Even Kate eventually starts to do the same. She had no escape Christian bought her place of employment and make it pretty clear he'd do that no matter where she worked. Since this doesn't rise to credible threat, going to the police would do nothing. He trapped her, and she basically made do the best she could with the cage he put around her.

    5. (Here is the first Anon speaking)

      But I suggested Doctor Who because it's a great show and Jen loves it! Though now she's recapping Buffy and I think that will keep her busy...

  5. I don't normally comment, but I just wanted to add my voice to the "thank fuck you read this so I don't have to" chorus. It's amusing in a way that just reading the books could never be and it gives me some back up when a polite "no, thank you" isn't enough to shoo away someone insisting you *must* read them.

    Plus you crack me up ("spunknesia" is my favourite word of 2013)

    Having read this one I couldn't agree with you/Kirsten Wiig more. It's not just me who thinks Chrsitain gets actively worse as the books go on, right?

    1. Christian gets worse, and then worse again, and the nastiest things happen in the epilogue. What sane person claims his unborn daughter must like sex already because she moved when her parents were getting it on? Oh, and the whole sucking his sin's fingers in a sensual way, and 10,000% proof positive of the depth of his mommy-issues.

    2. Actually, that's not Christian, that's all Ana. (It's still f*cking creepy and ewww, but wrong character)

  6. She's always worked? ALWAYS? Since the time she graduated...what was that, two months ago? Before that she worked at a hardware store. If she hadn't decided she'd be an English major would Chedward have bought her Home Depot, because she's "always worked" and "always needs to?" (Ana said as her internal focus immediately turned to anything other than the business meeting she's in)

    Would Chedward then whine when she didn't change her name even though calling it "Steele Depot" is a way better branding decision than "Grey Depot?" Although him owning a company that sells zip ties, nail guns and saws would make sense...

    1. How can Christian even just buy up SIP in the first place on the sole excuse of 'oh, my chick works there and I have to make sure she's not screwing the copy boy behind my back and keep tabs on her every movement'? Doesn't he have investors and financial advisors who rely on him? Don't they ever have a say in what happens with his business prospects and warn him about being reckless with his decisions? I can't imagine anyone in real life wanting to work with Christian because of his erratic decision-making and lack of real business acumen.

    2. He's rich enough to pay his "advisers" to be yes men.

    3. Probably, but I still think he'd be making erratic and ridiculous profits and breaking business ethics codes or something. No wonder he dropped out of Harvard, he probably was failing, but thought he already *knew* it all and mere Harvard was teaching him nothing :P

    4. Next investors meeting: "So...we see that you want your wife to run this publishing company. Aside from being an assistant editor for a couple weeks and a stock girl at a hardware store, what qualifications does she have to run an entire company? Business degree? Accounting? Previous management experience? Marketing?

      Ah, I see she has put down she has experience doing things, at places like there, there and that place across the street, and she's worked all her life doing work. We'll make sure she has an office where she gets to do 'stuff.'"

    5. Which is all then followed by the investors laughing their arses off as the head of directors, a minority woman in a position of leadership, emasculates Grey in front of everyone telling him they're pulling out of the company leaving him in ruins and will now be reported to the business board for gross misconduct and violation of ethics. Grey is then left with nothing, with the proceeds of his businesses donated to various charities and research.

    6. Such is life, Mr. Grey! Hahahaha!!!

  7. Wait! What's the answer to the marriage question? It's C, isn't it? I picked C. :)

    1. I was wondering what it means if we pick C. Because I so totally picked C. Penguins are cool.

    2. I was going to ask if C was an okay answer. Because if I had to choose between "Be married to my one true love" and "State that marriage is a penguin on a federal document", well...I'm not sure what I would choose.

  8. Did I miss the recap for chapter 6 somewhere? The links on the sidebar to your posts this month are chapter 5, a bunch of (awesome) posts, and now chapter 7?

    1. I noticed that the recap for chapter 6 (the chase scene) was titled Chapter 5. So I think there are probably two recaps titled chapter 5, and the second one is actually Chapter 6.

      But if it's a recap of the chase scene across the bridge, that's Chapter 6.

    2. Actually, looking back, Chapter 5 is the chase scene, and Chapter 6 is the really bad anal sex. So there are two recaps labeled Chapter 5, but one is actually Chapter 6.

    3. Aha, thanks! I wasn't paying enough attention, I guess. I didn't want to skip one and miss and important plot point (HA!).

    4. These books are so bad after reading all three she probably can't tell the difference anymore.

  9. I was wondering the same thing, am I looking in the wrong place for chapter 6? I am thoroughly confused!

  10. Marriage is a penguin is what I choose to take away from this.

  11. I love random Who references in the middle of the recap. I read these books before I read Twilight, because I don't know. From reading this books, I thought for sure that Twilight had to be the worst pile of shit ever, and was surprised to find out that they weren't. Also? You need to recap more crappy thing, it makes them so much more enjoyable. Like how the 7th Heaven recaps on Television Without Pity made watching the show fun...

  12. Jesus fucking Christ. Jesus tittyfucking Christ. I'm so sorry you have to read this. Are you fucking kidding me indeed.

  13. I always heard the expression as "fuck you seven WAYS to Sunday". James is clearly just making shit up at this point. And her version makes way less sense.

    Also everything else is fucked up, too.

    1. I've heard of x shades of n and have used it all my life. The x ways from/to Sunday is pretty new to me and what I'm trying to replace my shades with. Sucks having to change my life-long vocab habit over this.

    2. I'm with Alexis. I've heard x ways to Sunday rather than "x shades of n." For me the shades phrase is new!

    3. I think the shades thing is probably British. I'm British and my friends and I use it quite a lot. I think the most-used such expression is "knocking seven shades of shit out of someone" which is, well, not very nice.

    4. HAHAHAHA @ Amber! Change that to "Knocking "50 Shades of..." shit out of someone and I do believe we'll have a winner!

  14. I want to make a serious point, but I'm just going to steal your phrase Jen and say: THIS. FUCKING. GUY.


  15. X-Files AND Doctor Who references in the same episode? This is why you're my favorite person. We should get margaritas together and nerd out.

    But seriously... fucking Chedward Grullen. How incredibly pissed off would you be if you worked for SIP and suddenly this twit who has worked there for, what, a month (not counting the honeymoon time) was promoted? And then, in a few more months, RAN THE DAMNED COMPANY? Meanwhile you'd toiled in editing and screening for years, worked your ass off, and gotten nothing? I'd quit. Actually, I'd flamethrower her office, and THEN I'd quit.

    1. That should be a spitefic: Some poor woman losing her shit and trashing the place and smacking Ana out while leading the office in a mutiny :P

    2. "I'm hungry, but not for food. For DESTRUCTION."

    3. Love it! :P I imagine the spitefic as this poor woman (She's older than Ana, of course, which naturally makes her *evil* and is a minority, who are always overlooked or stereotyped in the 50!Universe) who's been in the industry for several years, works hard, puts in overtime, expects nothing in return all so she can one day advance through the ranks and provide more for her family in the future. Like Lizzy said above, she toils away in publishing and editing all without getting a free ride.

      And then this little strumpet Ana fucking Steele comes out of nowhere and overhauls everything. The whole dynamic of the company changes, some new douchebag buys the company and starts making all these ridiculous demands and changes that almost run the company into the ground.

      And then this poor woman hears rumours that Ana Steele is fucking the boss, who then is suddenly elevated to the role of boss in quick succession. The rumours are soon confirmed, this poor woman, who has worked hard for everything is pissed. She and her colleagues, in one late-night drunken session at a bar nearby the office decide on mutiny and if SIP is gonna be run into the ground by Ana and Christian, they're just gonna help them along a little faster.

      And so this poor woman leads the destruction and finally snaps in the office in spectacular fashion. There's your spitefic! :P

    4. Best part is they'll get away with it because Christian won't call the cops. He'll call Barney. And Barney'll let the bitch ,oops sorry ma'am, get away because Christian has the worst security systems ever in place.

      Has anyone mentioned how ridiculous it is that Jack Hyde managed to get into the server room? It's not like he worked for the CIA. It's not easy to get past security and into the server room of a major conglomerate. You can't even randomly get past team members at Target to get into a stores server room, I know. I'm usually the one that lets people into ours. You gotta have hella paperwork before I open that door. And I know what that paperwork needs to look like. And that's a store, not HQ!

    5. Good point. Ana will be too busy crying and calling Christian when all the other workers start trashing the office and he'll just blame it all on her while demanding that his security team do something about it, but because they're all ridiculously bumbling Clouseau-types, they'll fall all over themselves as their overpowered by this poor woman who's finally snapped and her co-workers. Thanks for adding to the spitefic :P

    6. Anon, I worked for a company that was just sold in aTEN-figure deal We're talking billion, not million. At the time I was dating a co-worker, and getting into the server room as as easy as turning the doorknob. We did things in that server room that would have made Ms. Steele and Mr. Gray blush. In retrospect, I think we shouldn't have done that because we probably could have destroyed a company that eventually sold for over a billion dollars.

  16. "Have you ever worked with someone whose partner would show up at work and upset them?"

    No, but my (abusive) father used to do that to my mom, even after they were divorced. He'd show up at her office and demand to speak with my mother (who had a restraining order against him by the end of it all) and cause a scene and usually ask for money so he could drink...

    I'd totally forgotten about all that. Thanks for dragging up my crappy repressed childhood memories, Jen! Okay, not you're fault. It's this fucking book.

  17. There are moments in each of these books where I blackout from the anger rush. In the first book it was where she said anal was a hard limit and he said no it's not because I like it. Then he stalked her all the way across this great land of ours and her mom said nothing. In the second book it was the constant reference to her "leaving" him. Which she didn't. She simple chose not to see him again, but he wanted to emotionally blackmail her so it was this huge traumatic thing she did to him.
    In this book it's this entire chapter. From beginning to end it is one huge steaming pile of masoginist bullshit. It is stated (not just implied) dierctly to Ana that she is his posession, she does nothing. He ignores her very valid reasons for keeping her name and becomes incensed that she won't change it, she gives in. He forces sex on her, she finds it charming. He tells her, in no uncertain terms she has her job because he bought it for her, she is angry for like a second. He berates her, insults her, humiliates her, undermines her at work and she just takes it! In fact she doesn't just take it, but wants to have a fucking family with him, so she plans to subject a child to this treatment as well! When you go numb down your left side, does that mean you're having a stroke?

    Then on top of all of this, my absolutely biggest pet peeve arrives. The " oh my gosh I over 22 I'm so old!"crap. Seriously? I'm nearly 40. I'm nothing like old. My oldest brother is 53. He's not old. My parents are 73. They're not old....yet. If I have to hear ONE MORE TIME HOW OLD THESE TWO ARE I'm HUNTING DOWN EL JAMES AND BEATING HER WITH THESE BOOKS.

    Sorry. Can someone call 911? I'm pretty sure I just stroked out.

    1. I will, and I AM forty by the way. Sorry to say, your anger issues will only grow especially when Chedward finds out Ana is pregnant!
      One of my peeves was in the first book when, after Ana's mum drools over He Who Is The World's Biggest Asshole, tells Ana to go upstairs to have sex with him because "your happiness" is there. This woman KNOWS her daughter has issues with C and his stalking, controlling behavior, yet still literally tells her to prostitute herself for his D-bag!

      Please, if my Mum knew my boyfriend behaved that way, she'd most likely go for his throat with her bare hands!

      Enjoy Jen;s recaps though! THey're awesome and hilarious to boot!

    2. Oh, I know. I've read it all. I think I reached my anger plateau at this chapter. All my angry was gone (because I read it in like 5 hours). I do remember being exhausted at the end.

      And ditto on the mom choking the bastard. I'm goggling at the image of my 73 year old 5'1" 100 pound mom going ghetto on Chedward's ass.


  18. First: I want to say that you have the BEST macros and gifs!

    Second: Correct me if I'm wrong, but i thought Ana was so virginal and pure that she had never so much as held hands with anyone else before Chedward. If I'm right, then the entire, "Of course I've made out with guys!" is inconsistent with the first book. Not that is much of a surprise.

    Third: Every time I see the word "Chedward" I laugh.

    Fourth: The first time I've heard "x shades of y" was from the HBO show "Dead Like Me" (was it HBO? Either way, it was from a few years back) where the main character had referred to something as "Ten shades of suck." Funny enough, that phrase would be totally appropriate for this series. Except more than ten shades. Hmmm, perhaps FIFTY shades of suck? My subconscious is laughing at my wit while my inner goddess is doing the Carlton dance for no other reason than it's funny :)

    1. Here is a Carlton dance gif because it's funny and you might find it useful someday :)


    2. How about htis link instead since I have no idea which format Blogger uses.

      I shall slink away with embarrassment now.


  19. So the best thing? Those pictures of the Camero. Pardon. Me, I meant Bitchin' Camero. I'm gonna draw me a hot bath, pour a glass of wine, light some candles turn the lights down low, lie back and fantasize about that exact car.

  20. Where can I get a t-shirt that says, "THE MOST NEEDLESSLY DRAMATIC SANDWICH OF ALL TIME"?

  21. "...you can't say that all literature is going down the tubes just because this POS got published."

    Hard not to make this claim sometimes. There are more than 75 Twilight fanfics that have been pulled to publish by legit publishing houses. I'll find the list after I'm finished reading this and doing some edits I need to get done. I was shocked that it's so many. Beautiful Bastard is the latest, and it's pretty freaking bad. Sadly I think 50 Shades is better. This shizz just keeps getting worse and worse.

    Also at what company can employees just change their e-mail addresses at will? most companies I know if hesitate to change them at all, even when married, because the one you start with is the one you've got out there everywhere and it can be a pain sometimes managing dual accounts even if one forwards to the other in case you forget to change the reply-from address and suddenly the recipient gets something from a stranger.

    "Either way, imagine Robert Pattinson saying this line, stressing every S. It will be the best laugh you've had in days. It certainly was for me."

    I imagine him in the role of Carmen in The Prpducers. Pop in the newer version and watch right before the "Keep it Gay" number where Carmen holds the S as long as he can, with a little extra at the end. RPatz as Carmen...OMG, hilarious.

    My abusive ex worked almost side by side with me at TWO jobs. His insistence that I work where he did until I finally quit the second time and promptly got smashed by a car while I was crossing the road. I was disabled for a while and in the hospital, and he still wouldn't accept that no meant no. Yes, that means exactly what you think it does.

    "Before I read Fifty Shades of Grey, I had no idea that people used "x shades of n" as a legit expression."

    Yes, I used to use it a lot, and now I can't. I've had to stop myself mid-phrase and change it to "ways from Sunday" to not sound stupid.

    ""Don't be mad. You're so precious to me. Like a priceless asset, like a child," he whispers, a somber reverent expression on his face. His words distract me. Like a child. Precious like a child... a child would be precious to him!"

    I'm reading that as him calling her a child, not saying she wants one. How does she not see his infantilizing?

    1. Wait, they're publishing more Twilight fanfics?


      I think I should hurry up and start cranking out Yu-Gi-Oh! fan fiction.

    2. You may commence crying. Here is a list of Twilight fanfics pulled to publish. 50 Shades and Beautiful Bastard are there.


      This it the money shot these days. I briefly considered rewriting my manuscript as a Twilight fic and then "editing" it back to now after getting a publishing deal, but can't make myself do that just yet, especially with as hard as I've worked to nix similarities.

    3. I have a goal. My anti-fanfic will get thrown at the publishers, too! OMGZ! I could be a sell-out, too! *swoon*

      Actually, I think I died a little inside.

    4. "I'm reading that as him calling her a child" - you're not alone. In fact, there is SO much wrong with that statement:

      - He compares her to a priceless asset. Yup, he is literally admitting that he considers her an object, a possession.

      - In the same breath, he compares her to a child. So yes, he is infantilizing her as well.

      - Let's not overlook the fact that he is implying that children are like possessions.

    5. Additionally, this is a dude who has a serious temper tantrum every time anything even remotely connected to kids comes up. Which is just like Chedward to give an insulting compliment...hey, you're really "precious" to me in the exact same way that something I hate is.

  22. I'm having a crappy day and this made it so much better. Thanks for the recap, Jen. If I ever meet you, I'm so buying you a beer (or drink of your choice).

  23. I know everyone seems to love the gifs, but argggh too many gifs! I had to hold my hand over the screen (while helplessly repeating "are you fucking kidding me" over and over in my head) until I got the bright idea of googling and found out you can turn them off by hitting escape (in firefox). Anyway, more importantly, I still love the recaps, just can't handle a giant gif every couple of lines - much better (for me) if they're spaced out enough so you can read the text while keeping them off screen then quickly scroll past.

  24. What does it mean to put on "more mascara than usual"? Does that mean she clumped the shit out of her eyelashes? I just put mascara on. I don't put on a little bit. Or a lot. I just put the stuff on.

    1. I thought that too. And the "extra lip gloss"... I picture her with giant shiny lips and really shitty mascara. With her "chestnut haze" of hair "tumbling" to her breasts and "artfully tucked" behind her ears. She must look like a 3-year old playing with mom's makeup.

    2. I was thinking she used it on more than just her eyelashes. I mean if she wanted to distract attention from Christian, mascara as blusher would do it.

      Or maybe she usually does her makeup a la Roddy MacDowell in "A Clockwork Orange" so tonight she did both eyes?

      I'd like to point out she got dressed THEN washed her face. Maybe I'm just messy, but my shirt would be all sorts of wet if I did that. Perhaps she is trying to fuck the architect.

    3. I imagine her glazing her lips with enough gloss that the shine blinds other women so they can't even LOOK at Christian, which serves those blonde whores right. Who did they think they were, smiling at him? Then as she cackles her mouth makes a little clacking sound as her shellacked lips click together.

    4. She's Tammy Faye Baker.

    5. I had that Tammy Faye image too! Haha. Maybe Ana can do a youtube tutorial: How to add MORE mascara and tumble your hair for sexy architects and abusive husbands!

  25. Whatever, Ana would be one year younger than me, and X-files is definitely not "before my time."

    Also I could not stop laughing at the idea that because she "enjoys a good book" that somehow means she will be good at running a publishing company. I imagine the people in charge never even open a book, because, you know, they're too busy running a company. Good to know Christian Grey doesn't care about everyone else's job at "Grey Publishing," because they will all lose them when Ana runs the company into the ground with her non-existent business knowledge.

    1. I know teenagers who still love the reruns.

    2. Lol yeah I was also laughing at the "enjoys a good book" bit. Uh, so do I. Also like five pages ago Chedward was disdaining her because *he* likes to read and *she* likes watching television.

    3. Oh, I dunno. I'm older than Ana and I didn't watch X-Files when they were originally on TV because my parents thought I was too young for them. I probably wasn't, but Ana might just have had parents who were weird about TV. I wasn't allowed to watch The Simpsons until I had almost finished high school.

    4. That's true, I admit that my dad was kind of weird, and I actually used to think the show was terrifying because I think I was a bit young when I started watching it. But regardless of whether your parents did or didn't think you were old enough to watch it, you were still probably aware of the show's existence so probably can't claim that you don't know it because it's before your time. I would have accepted some kind of answer like "oh I was young when it was on so was too scared to watch it" or something. Maybe I am just being picky, but I think of things like the Twilight Zone as before Ana's time, not the X-files.

    5. I didn't watch The X-Files all that much, but I remember vaguely the episode where they go to Coats Grove, Michigan because that's only a few miles from where I live, and it was all everyone around here was talking about, the Coats Grove episode of The X-Files.

    6. Shut. Up. We live in the same county.

  26. I'm sorry, I had things to say that were actually relevant to the story but now I am busy thinking about the fact that somewhere out there (read: fanfiction.net, The Lowest Common Denominator of Fanfic) there is a Doctor Who/50 Shades story* with Ten as Christian and Rose as Ana. Or possibly Eleven as Christian and Amy as Ana. Or possibly Jack as Christian and Ianto as Ana. Or possibly Jack/Ten as Christian and Ten/Jack as Ana.

    This almost certainly exists. It's almsot certainly done in a serious, non-ironic manner. However, if by some miracle it's not already out there, I *beg* you to write it, but NOT in a serious manner.

    *That is, a fanfic of 50, but set in some fucked up DW universe. Not a crossover. Though I'm sure that's somewhere (read: fanfiction.net, The Lowest Common Denominator of Fanfic) as well.

    1. Rule 34 If you can think of it it exists on the internet, and more importantly Rule 35... never ever try and disprove Rule 34.

    2. Rule 34 is, "If it exists, there is porn of it." Rule 35 is right. You'll scar yourself. Pterodactyl porn? It exists. People in costumes, but still.

    3. Lol, well I think it could be expanded to my definition of it (or at least that's how I was originally introduced to the idea of it). I was thinking of it as, "If you can think of it (sex or porn or creepy weirdness) then you can probably find a fanfiction of it," or at least that's how it is generally interpreted for me. "You say there can't be Transformers/Harry Potter/Ancient Egyptian History crossover fanfic??? Well you would be wrong." "Ha, well certainly there is no Muldoon/Velociraptor slash fic. Well... you would also be wrong." And the list goes on and on and ever more frighteningly on. Sometimes I swear I have seen the depth of the depravity of fanfiction writers and then you find something new and just a little more terrifying lurking in the deep. ;) Thus if you can think of it... it freakishly exists... somewhere. Dun, duuun, duuuuun.

    4. Rule 50: If it exists and sex can be added to it, there is fanfic of it.
      Rule 51: Never try to disprove Rule 50.

      Hey, Internets, credit to Alys B. Cohen for creating the new rules ar 5:02am on Wednesday morning, February 20th in the year 2013.

  27. I've been thinking about the awful things EL James said about abuse, as you so excellently described a couple of weeks ago - and especially about her habit of blocking anyone who says anything critical to her at all. I think we all need to organise a day and time when as many people as possible all tweet at her at the same time. how cool would it be if each person could tweet something different eg an example of something awful from the books - there's enough to go round, after all - or an affirmation that James is the one trivialising the issues... she'd have to read and block thousands of comments at once.

    I know it's vastly less important, but I keep being nagged also by the fear that James has never allowed anyone to point out all her factual and logical errors. I want her to have to go on the TV and answer for those, too. I want Jeremy Paxman asking her how on earth lifts can go UP at 'terminal velocity' and why the hell she didn't look up 'sans culottes' before using it, and why they left Paris and waited till they were in Cannes before visiting Versailles, which is, er, near Paris and a long way away from Cannes, and, oh, about ten million other questions. I want to see her forced to answer these points. I want to see her husband, who claimed to have proofed the books, forced to answer them. And her editor. Failing that, I'd like to at least ask her them myself on twitter, but if you get blocked after one negative comment, then it would need a lot of people...

    the UK is in a terrible state, culturally. One of our best female novelists made an intelligent, eloquent statement about press intrusiveness and misogyny, and is being wilfully misunderstood and castigated for it. meanwhile the author of these disgusting, misogynist books is just getting away with declaring that they're manuals describing what women want.

    1. In the last few weeks I've been tweeting her, not as a hater, but never once alluding to being a fan either. Not only has she not blocked me, but we've chatted a few times. At this point she knows my sleep schedule, and even talked to me a bit about my writing with some encouragement. I'm trying to figure her out, and I'm not so sure she's confident enough to handle criticism, and may be freaking out over the abuse comparisons because she's not sure how to handle it or woman up and speak out against her own creation's behavior.

      Do NOT think I'm making excuses for her. I'm still pissed as all hell. As adults, we are all responsible for our own behavior and to take responsibility for our action, and if you put yourself in the public eye, to take the heat that can come with it (in my blog a few months ago, I touched in a post about whether or not I could handle it: http://alysbcohen.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/the-worst-part/ ).

      I'm starting to think she's like that shy kid in school who handles it by trying to act confident only to come off as overly cocky and conceited and uncaring. However she's got a lot of power behind her, and with that power comes a responsibility she needs to take. The barrier she's built around herself does need to come down. Even if she didn't eventually set out to write an abuser with a doormat, she did just that. There's no shame in admitting that she didn't realize, but sees it now. In fact, she'd probably gain new fans if she said as much, like Sammy Sosa copping up to screwing up when he was caught using a corked bat compared to the other baseball players who lied about it even after they were caught. He said it was his responsibility to choose uncorked bats, and he didn't, no claim about being tricked or anything. Erica can do the same.

      Right now my goal is to be friendly to her and see if I can eventually help her start to see. People have tweeted her individually on many occasions. A whole onslaught at once might help her to start facing it more, or it might not. My method of trying to be a friend might help, or it might now. I'm not sure if there's any harm in trying. Best case, someone succeeds. Worst case, a bunch of people end up banned from commenting.

      I am aware she may be reading these comments, and if you are, Erica, I am refraining from judging you right now, though I will not lie and pretend to like these books, their message, or your unwillingness to acknowledge that Christian is an abuser and to talk about it. Let's talk about this in a calm and non-confrontational way, okay?

    2. Yes-I know she's a real person, and I don't think aggression ever works anyway, so there's no point piling on for the sake of venting frustration. But if enough people made cogent, considered points about the abusive behaviour in the book, and about how she really ought to be stepping back from saying 'this is the ideal'?

      I don't know. Some people get more head-in-the-sand the more confronted they are, and i suspect James is one of them. Ideally of course it would be best just to leave her alone and let her get on with being wrong, whilst according her no influence upon popular opinion or culture whatsoever, but it's too late for that.

  28. How do you tuck your hair artfully behind your ears? I tuck my hair behind my ears all the time but I didn't know there was more than one way to do it. Have I been tucking artlessly all this time?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Yes. You've been tucking artlessly seven shades of Sunday.

  29. I'm going to guess it's a British thing, with the "seven shades of Sunday" stuff, since over here I do here this phrase being thrown around from time to time: "I beat seven shades of shit out of it."

  30. That gif was perfectly appropriate every single time you put it in the recap.

    "I want everyone to know that you're mine."

    This should never appear in a romance, unless the author clearly indicates that whoever says that line is a horrible person and they hold scary, terrible ideas.

    1. I think it's also okay in very specialized contexts - i.e. "Wear this collar, because I want everyone at the fetish club to know you're mine, seeing as we are in an actual consensual D/s relationship where this is a term we use and mutually enjoy after talking about it like fucking adults, rather than me being a giant creepazoid who tries to make women I just met commit to crazy-ass slave contracts and/or thinks marriage is a crazy-ass slave contract."

    2. Now, this very specialized context would be just fine, indeed. :)

  31. This. This was the chapter I was waiting for to rage upon, the one that made me so angry when I was reading the third book I actually yelled at the screen during the scene where Christian muscles his way into Ana's office and wears her down into changing his name. His emotional manipulation and sheer arrogance just made me want to take a fucking cricket bat to his fucking head. How can 50 Shades groupies read this scene, the whole third book in general, really, and still try to justify that Christian Grey is *so* 'hawt' and 'dreamy'? If it were an ugly, poor guy storming into their place of work, there'd be an uproar. When 'hawt' Christian Grey does it, it's only because he cares >.< This is the most misogynistic and demeaning chapter yet and they still adore him???

    I love that this is still being portrayed as something that would ruin Christian Grey, both personally and professionally. He likes to spank women in his sex dungeon. As far as I'm aware, that's probably the first and mildest vice anyone is going to suspect a billionaire of getting up to.

    Especially when you've read about politicians and celebrities doing so much worse. The most Christian Grey could ever expect is to be laughed at by people until they move on to the next bit of gossip, the least have people going 'huh, who is that?' I really don't get why Christian and Ana think people are so obsessed with their sex lives or think they're even celebrities in the first place (Seriously, why did E.L. James elevate them from nobodies to uber-celebs in the space of a few months in the narrative???)

    Oh, and thanks for that delightful image of Donald Trump :O<<<<<<<<<

    I'm sick of the attitude that television is just mindless entertainment, subpar in comparison to books, movies, art, music, etc, and that in order to be smart, you have to stop watching TV.

    THANK YOU. This is exactly how I've always seen it. You're not better than me, Christian, because you decide to lord over us all with the fact that you don't watch TV. It just makes you a pretentious and out-of-touch douche who purposely decides to remain ignorant. It's not the medium itself, but what people do with it that counts. Some people create fantastic stories and narratives on TV, while some of it is complete crap. Some people write amazing stories that get published. Others don't and it still reaches the mainstream. E.L. James has unwittingly written her own critique here using Christian as her mouthpiece :P

    You don't wanna watch TV, Christian? Don't buy several of them for your pathetic art gallery of a home just because you have money to burn, you nouveau-riche dick

    Oh, and you want Ana's world to begin and end with you? What next, you gonna ensure your dick is fused to your cock for life?

    My inner goddess gets out her harlot-red nail polish

    Aw, man, my grandmother got me red nail polish for Xmas that I've been wearing. I didn't know she was trying to tell me I look like a whore XD

    *sigh* Can’t Taylor just stab Christian in the dick already and take away the one thing he loves most? There's a spitefic in there somewhere...

    1. Oh, and you want Ana's world to begin and end with you? What next, you gonna ensure your dick is fused to your cock for life?

      Crap, I meant to say 'ensure your dick is fused to her vag for life,' my bad :P

    2. Today I was in the club house of the place where I live, and an older lady and I started talking about my manuscript. She asked if I'd heard of 50 Shades, fully expecting her to be a lover of it. To my surprise she had not read it. To my further surprise, she knew many people who had and every single one of them had told her do not bother, that the first book was hard enough to get through, and none made it through the third book.

  32. I've always wanted a man who would make an uncomfortable scene at my work, coerce me into sex, pressure me to change my name and literally believe I were his property. *swoon*

    These people. These fucking people.

  33. Ok, maybe this is a local thing, but when my husband and I went in to get our marriage license, I had to sign a specific piece of paper. That paper said, basically, that I agreed that I was not becoming property by getting married. We both had to sign this agreement.

    At the time, we joked about how my husband was so disappointed that he legally couldn't turn me into a piece of property, but after reading this, it isn't so funny anymore.

    I had a client at work the other day who commented that when she asked her husband if he wanted her to change her name to his, he said, "Why would I want to call you Fred?"

    Good man. xD

  34. This chapter, at the time I read it, pissed me off like no other chapter in any of the books. And then I continued reading more chapters. And they got fucking worse. Honestly, these recaps are something of a channel for my rage at these books. I cannot stand them. They remind me of relationships my mother had, they remind me aspects of a relationship I had, and they remind me of a relationship my younger sister is currently in. If I didn't think I might need to go back and reference those wastes of whatever trees were cut down and pulped to make them, I would burn my copies, page by fucking page.

  35. This. Fucking. Guy.

    I'm really surprised that he didn't outright demand she quit working though I'm sure that comes later when she has a baby to raise and a house to run. Be right back gotta go chase my eyes I rolled them so hard they popped out of my skull. This book is so infuriating. The repeated gif is super appropriate. HOW DO PEOPLE THINK THIS IS ROMANTIC? HOW? I feel like 'bodice rippers' are more feminist forward than this book. I don't even... how... what? <I think I just had a minor stroke. This book is the fucking worst and I don't even want to touch Beautiful Bastard or the other tripe with a ten foot pole. I'm just going to go sit in a corner and cry and rock myself.

    Here have a picture of an adorable Corgi because for sanity, yes.


    1. What is Beautiful Bastard? If it's relates to this fsog pos, I don't even want to Google it and corrupt my search history...

    2. Anon, Beautiful Bastard is a fanfic released the Tuesday before Valentine's Day. While it predates the original fanfic of 50 Shades, 50 Shades has enough elements of it to cause a lot of believe that Beautiful Bastard is a fanfic of 50 Shades. The truth probably is something more like Erica was it and used it when writing her own Twilight fanfic, and then, when the authors of BB did a little rewriting for print publication, were inspired by Erica. Both series have a male lead in a position of authority over the female lead at her workplace. Any surprise both places are publishing? Nots of animosity toward each other with sex every which way from Sunday. Sudden and unexplainable twu wuvs out of nowhere.

      Enjoy the hilarious comments: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16102004-beautiful-bastard

  36. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your pro TV rant. The whole 'everything that happens on a TV is for idiots and everything in print or on vinyl is made of Einstein's pure unfiltered plasma" thing gets me like little else. Also, I really think you do need to get that per- marriage quiz through the fed and codified because I though marriage was option C and was none too pleased afterwards when I found out all I got to go home with was this dude.

  37. Man I don't know how it works in England, but in California it took me MONTHS to finish changing my name. It took about a month to even get certified copies of my marriage certificate, and then I had to use those to change my driver's license and my social security card, which take another month. And then I had to send copies of my new ID to every account I've ever held in my life... ANYWAY.

    This fucking guy.

    1. It's like this in the entire US. Marriage license, then social security card before you can change anything else. Wait for that to arrive. Then hit up the DMV with your new social security card, marriage license, and old ID. Armed with a new ID, which takes weeks to get, your new social, and your marriage license, then you can start contacting every place that's ever held one of your accounts. On the low end, it's a few months of work and waiting and spending days in lines.

    2. Anyway, Christian owns the company and has people who can wipe emails from the server! Plus nothing better to do than meddle. I'm surprised he didn't just have the email address changed himself.

      I'm wonder if this is all meant to be banter - 'errant wives' 'wives in their place' - maybe it's meant to be supercute, a depiction of a couple who have their own little injokes and references, as much as anything else. The way Ana just rolls her eyes and goes 'Durr! Silly Christian and his silly controlling ways!' is what makes me think that.

      But because he actually means this, and is actually angry, her fondness just makes her come across as astoundingly incapable of reading people. And makes James come across as astoundingly incapable of writing coherent or believable characters.

    3. I told my husband that if wanted me to take his name, he'd have to do the paperwork. And pay all the fees. He was all likev"how much could there be?" I gave hin the list. SS card, driver license, passport, work, bank accounts, investments, health insurance, car registration,licensing for work, personal email, credit cards, mortgage, home owners insurance...

      I kept my maiden name.

    4. I am so bringing this up the next time someone gets on me about changing my last name.

      Not that I'm married. Or engaged. Or not-single in any way.

    5. Here's a funny story. So my parents have been married for 53 years. Two years ago my mom was renewing her ID. The girl at the BMV looked her up by her SSN rather than by her name.

      Here's the punchline. For 51 years of marriage my mom had NOT changed her name. How did the government miss that? Back in the fifties you could change your name for free but had to pay for a new Social Security card. She got her first ID when she got married so that had her new last name but she did not feel the need for to pay for a new SSC so she never knew it wasn't changed. The issues that caused! Holy hell. That was why I was not changing my name. I already went through the drama with my mom. My dad said to not bother but my mom was worried about bank accounts erroneously in their joint married name if he should die first.

      It was a nightmare!


    Fair point well made, MS. Trout, she typed sibilantly.

    I imagined Daffy Duck and Sylvester Cat both trying to say that sentence. Sibilant season, duck season - FIRE!

  39. " 'No. No sex.'
    And then they have sex."


    Please, please tell me that there is more that happens between these two points. Please tell me that it at least involves her saying, at some point, "okay, you have convinced me, Mr. Grey, let's have sex." It would still be creepy (because who keeps pressuring "consent" out of their partner after a clear no?), but slightly less awful. Please tell me it's not just "and then he keeps initiating sex and she just realizes she's into it and goes along with it and it's supposed to be okay because she's decided she wants sex after all, even though he has no way of knowing that".

    Oh god. I am so with everyone else here - each time you think the books couldn't possibly get worse...

    1. Hate to burst your hopes, but this isn't the first rape scene. I've had a few friends justify them by saying that Ana ended up enjoying them and didn't had regret after. Too bad it's still rape. If enjoyment and what you think afterward are what matter, than having sex and regretting it the next day would be rape. What matters is she said no and was forced into it. Coersion and manipulation matter just as much as physical force.

  40. TV is wonderful. It has Doctor Who and David Attenborough (though sadly, not together). Plus, penguins.

  41. Sorry to keep ranting, but there is just so much wrongness in this one chapter...

    - Aaargh Chedward's ridiculous jealousy. And I swear I saw it coming, too, as soon as Ana showed the slightest sign of knowing what Jack Hyde looked like (because Chedward doesn't want her so much as looking at any man, ever). And this is supposedly the man scores of women fantasize about, and wish that their husband were more like. I realize that there's a (tragically deluded) school of thought that holds that it's wonderful and flattering if your partner is constantly jealous, because that means they ~care~ and you are ~so special~. Heads up, if your partner is rabidly jealous, it's not about you, it's about them - their narcissism and possessiveness.

    - How she goes "oh shit" anytime he "stiffens" or calls her Anastasia or frowns, because she is afraid of him.

    - " 'I want your world to begin and end with me,' he says, his expression raw. HIs comment completely derails me. It's like he's punched me hard in the stomach, winding and wounding me."
    …Yeah, that would be my reaction too. Not for the same reasons, though, I suspect. I figure Ana feels gutpunched because OMG he loves her that much and oh look he's hurting, the poor dear. I would feel gutpunched because oh shit apparently I got married to a possessive sociopath.

    - Apparently there are people who say they like Ana because she is such a "strong character" and that she's right for Chedward because she "stands up to him". Which really makes you wonder which books they read… but I suspect it's because occasionally, she gets to think things like "I am not errant, and I'm not an asset!" in situations like that utterly horrifying office scene. Never mind what actually happens. There seem to be a whole bunch of people who will look exclusively at what someone is saying, and seem incapable of processing what that person is actually doing, if that happens to conflict with what they say. Whenever someone calls out any instance of the ever-popular "I am not a racist, but [awful racist BS]" or "of course, it would be ridiculous and abhorrent to blame a rape victim for what happened to her, but [cue explicit victim blaming]", there always seem to be plenty of people who will pop up and go "you are so wrong, he said he is not a racist!" or "she's not victim-blaming, she said it would be wrong to blame the victim!". Ugh.

    - And finally, it's such a shame… without the utterly horrifying context, the "assets that need rebranding" could have been quite the clever BDSM pun. Of course, EL James, who seems to think of spanking and ass play as the pinnacle of kinky edginess, would likely faint she ever heard of branding in a BDSM sense…

    1. If Christian TRUSTED Ana, he wouldn't be jealous if she looked at other men. This signifies his lack of truth in others, and a lack of trust in others is usually indicative of a lack of trust in oneself because oneself isn't deserving of trust. We all know Christian can't be trusted. He's misplacing his feelings on her and it's manifesting as jealousy.

      The "Ana is so strong" reminds me of the people who said the same things about Bella and claiming she's a feminist character for "choosing" to not go to school, have a career or hobbies, or anything else outside of identifying herself as someone's girlfriend. Problem is the only women with careers in the series were portrayed as lonely or "whorish" and who deserved to be miserable as someone's underling rather than anyone with careers that fulfilled them and made them happy. The one woman with much of a job was a werewolf (who suddenly wasn't a werewolf when it wasn't convenient to the plot) and suffered from depression because she wouldn't be able to bear children because she was a female werewolf. The anti-feminism messages are strong there, and poor over here.

    2. And she doesn't trust him either! She gets upset when women look at him, or in ludicrous situations like with Leila - she's as bad as he is. The idea behind this is similar - they're both so attractive everyone they meet is smitten with uncontrollable lust, and they both CARE so much they can't BEAR the thought of losing the other - but she's portrayed as having more reason to be jealous cos he's had sex before. But if strength is found in being unable to cope if your husband speaks to a waitress, I don't want it.

      and the homophobia! Christian ought to be jealous of Kate, and Ana ought to be jealous of Taylor, characterwise, but their narrowmindedness stops them. ugh.

    3. Plus they're both utterly vile to everyone else, from best friends to waiters. No crush would survive being spoken to the way Christian speaks to anyone, or indeed Ana's stupidity. They really have nothing to worry about.

    4. they sound like members of the Saudi Royal family- in boston a flight attendant was chased around the plane by a princess with a knife who said she could have her killed if she didn't continue to serve her alcohol. in the end, the royal got off easy.

  42. "He's also clearly an American Conservative, because he's insisting his opinion is a fact and refusing to entertain common sense." - http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mct4mez9vh1qzwovi.gif

    You know, it only just dawned on me what he meant when he was talking about his assets needing rebranding. At first I thought it was an excuse to talk to her alone but I totally just got that he's referring to HER. http://th163.photobucket.com/albums/t306/shakesville/th_forehead-slap.jpg

  43. Also, we totally need This Fucking Guy t-shirts. Just sayin'

    1. *gasp* with a gray tie forming the "T"??

    2. OH YES! That is a brilliant idea :) I'm going to work on that this weekend.

  44. Just so you know (not including that YouTube video) you posted that gif 18 times for just one chapter. That's fcking sad. I hope E. L. reads your recaps because she could damn sure use a lesson from you.

  45. So basically, thanks to Ana's surprising usefulness and Chedward's incomparable astuteness, we now know that Jack Hyde cut and dyed his hair before setting Gray HQ on fire (wait, there was a fire??!!), then a week later had his hair re-grow so much that he could pull it in an ponytail for the car chase.
    With the high level of intelligent deduction here displayed, I'm not surprised Chedward runs an extremely successful business all on his own. -.-"

  46. I cannot believe people can read a chapter like this and not see Christian and Ana's relationship as unhealthy and abusive. I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. I am absolutely bewildered that anyone could ever consider this kind of behaviour romantic or even remotely acceptable or excusable. FUCK.

  47. "Two women speaking to each other is always "gossiping" isn't it? But when two men talk, even if they're gossiping, it's "networking" or "discussing." Fuck this bullshit. I hope Christian Grey's dick falls off."

    Thank you for calling this out. There's so much bull shit in these books, but this makes me bat shit crazy.

  48. Jen I think I love you for the TV rant! I have a relative who is like that about TV and I had to hear her brag all Christmas about how she hasn't turned her TV on since the Mad Men season 5 finale. It's SO GD annoying! We get it. You think you're better than us. But you're not. Knit a ladder and get over yourself!!!

    1. People like that make me roll my eyes hard.

      Great, you haven't seen the show I'm discussing with someone else because blahblahblah(I don't care why)
      .....we are still discussing the show, and since you have nothing to contribute, I guess we are done here?

    2. On the other hand, the opposite also holds true.

      I don't watch tv (I only use my tv to play video-games), and when it comes up in a discussion (when people ask if I've followed some new tv-series or whatever) I often get the reaction 'You think you're so much better than me!'...

      the same goes for reality tv. I've never had any interest in Big Brother, or pretty much any reality-shows. (Unless Mythbusters counts)
      But back when Big Brother was popular and new, saying you weren't interested in it meant you were either a snob or lying.

    3. There's absolutely nothing wrong with not liking TV. There IS something very wrong with having an entire room dedicated to an activity you hate, and then whining about it like an old man. Seriously, what 27-year old uses the word 'drivel' to describe pop culture? Hipsters, that's who. And we all hate hipsters.

      If Christian hates TV so much, he should STFU and do something he enjoys. But then again, the only thing he enjoys is being an utter douchewaffle, so we're right back where we started.

  49. I have to second the love for your TV rant! For me, the best way to bond with someone you just met is through pop culture like TV shows that you watch or movies or books ... whatever. It's a great conversation starter at a party, but then many times I end up stuck standing near that person who sneers about the quality of cinema or TV. Then I usually make my exit to the bathroom (even if I don't have to go) and never return.

    When I attended Comic Con for the first time years ago, I was so happy. I could just say one line from any movie or TV show, and I'd have several people around me quote the next line right back. Everyone there had a love and respect for pop culture and know how ingrained it is in our lives and society. Definitely, my kind of people.

  50. "So, do I need to change the name to Steele Publishing?"

    Would have loved it, if she'd been like:
    "Would you?? Thanks hun! See you at home, I've got work to do!"

    1. Now THAT would have been awesome.

      And really, if this was something you meant as a gift to the person you loved, something that reflected their talents and interests - wouldn't you want to name the company after them?

      (Of course, that would involve loving that person for them, and not as personal accessory/extension of yourself...)

  51. I want to get in on the snarky comments but I'm just too depressed by this whole series. I've spent a lot of time arguing with people who think this is a good book, and they all claim he sees the error in his ways and stops treating her like she's his property by the 3rd book. I really really hope THIS isn't what they are referring to, because damn.

    "I'm sick of the attitude that television is just mindless entertainment, subpar in comparison to books, movies, art, music, etc, and that in order to be smart, you have to stop watching TV. Or that just not watching television makes you somehow more erudite than all the brain-dead savages drooling in front of the idiot box."

    THANK YOU. I am so annoyed by people bragging about not watching TV as though they are some kind of more evolved creature. OK, you don't watch TV? I..... don't care? And I'm most certainly not impressed?

  52. I was thoroughly enjoying making fun of these two numb nuts. And then this chapter happened. I continued reading hoping it would somehow get better, but it didn't (not in this chapter or in the rest of the book).

    It was right at this chapter that I began to holdout hope that everything that had happened was one big dream sequence. I wanted the third book to end with Ana driving Kate's Mercedes into the parking garage at Christian's office. She suddenly realizes that she zoned out the entire drive and had been imagining what it would be like to marry a millionaire. As she steps off the elevator onto Christian's floor, she decides in that moment that she is not going to fall for any of his shit. She does the interview, gets the hell out of there and never looks back. She lives happily after without him.

    The book doesn't end like that, but it's a great fanfic idea if anyone wants to right the wrongs of EL James.

  53. I legitamately used to say "fifty kinds of wrong", etc., so shades isn't that far off. Honestly one of the things that ANNOYS ME MOST aout this book is I had to STOP saying it :P

    1. "X shades of N" is a phrase I used to use and had to stop using. Same with "oh my."

  54. How is tv mindless drivel to him? He's not read a book yet. He reads files from work, the buisness section of newspapers and he fucks Ana. He's not taken her to see a five hour documentary on the plight of. Third world nations. They have not gone to the theater once. They fuck to classical music and he's played a couple of sonatas. That's the sum total of his cultural forrays.


    And I just wanna add Top Gear to the list of awesome things on tv.

    1. Too true. He's totally one of those fake pretentious people who pretend to love all that kind of stuff, but then are secretly playing Minecraft in their bedrooms all night.

    2. Haha I misread minecraft as minsweeper that basic computer game and it's making me laugh.

  55. Carson onIs Taylor a butler? He seems to announce people a lot. He's no longer Jason Statham in my head but. Carson. Is this "Fifty Shades of Downton "?

    Speaking of which, I can't believe they killed Matthew. What was Jullian Fellowes thinking?! He killed my two favorite characters in one frigging season. Now the only ones left are Mrs Crawley and the Dowager and they won't be snarky to each other because Mrs Crawley will be devestated and even the Dowager isn't that horrible. And Mary is going to be more annoying than ever. I don't think I can watch next season.

    Stupid Kilwillie. Go back to Glenbogle and stop torturing me!

    1. The guy who plays Matthew has dreams of Hollywood apparently and refused to stay a few more episodes so they could give him an ending involving his character being given a job abroad. Shows how much he cares about the fans "-_- So... not Julian's fault. He tried to convince Dan to stay.

      Also. Monarch of the Glen! Used to love that, lol.

    2. Spoilers, damn it!

  56. And the Oscar for Most Inspired Use of the "are you fucking kidding me?" GIF goes to...Jen! Seriously, it should play on a continuous loop while reading this book.

    Can I say how much I hate Christian? He makes Theon Greyjoy look like Prince Charming. Except this is an imperfect comparison because Theon actually has a few redeeming qualities. What. A. Fuckass. I've had strong feelings, good and bad, about fictional characters, but I have to say that Christian Grey is the first one that made me want to crawl through the pages of the book and kick him in the kiwis.

    And I hate EL James for presenting this complete and utter doucherocket as the ideal man that we should all inspire to bag (except we never will, because we're not as perfect and beautiful and pure as Ana Steele). Seriously, the fact that this pathetic hack is raking in money by the truckload while real authors are struggling makes me want to scream. I'm not even a writer and I want to scream from the injustice. I'm not what you'd call religious, but I'm still convinced that there is a contract in Satan's file cabinet with "EL James" on the signature line scribbled in her blood. I hope the payment when he comes to collect on his end of the deal is to strip her of every penny she made from these books and donate the money to battered women's shelters, GLAAD and NOW.

    There, now I feel better. Thank you so much for these recaps! They're hilarious, insightful and the only thing that makes James' word vomit remotely readable. Can't wait for the next one!

    1. "the ideal man that we should all inspire to bag"

      *aspire. It's aspire, damn it.

    2. Theon Greyjoy has NO redeeming qualities IMHO. He shines in comparison because of excellent writing.

    3. Are we talking TV Theon or book Theon? Because book Theon is a horrible arrogant bastard who (SPOILER?!) *murders children* to protect his precious pride.

      But at least he's well written.

  57. Count me in as one of the people who thought EL James coined the "x shades of n" phrase.

    On a related note, I recently heard TLC's "Waterfalls" on the radio, and they actually played Lefty's rap (which is usually cut out even though it rocks) and one of the verses is now RUINED because of these stupid books:

    I seen a rainbow yesterday
    But too many storms have come and gone
    Leavin' a trace of not one God-given ray
    Is it because my life is ten shades of gray
    I pray all ten fade away
    Seldom praise Him for the sunny days

    1. Good catch. I forgot about that song. I learned to rap to the stanza, and I can still do it to the very end. This validates my claim that x shades of n isn't new to America.

  58. Aw, I wish this gif wasn't so tiny, but here is my every-five-seconds reaction to 50 shades:

    1. 'Whoever wrote this episode should die!' I love Galaxy Quest : D

    2. Galaxy Quest rules! We always misquote the "I've got one job and it's stupid but I'm going to do it" line at my house.

  59. For some reason this chapter infuriated me just a little more than the rest, which really is saying quite a bit. Good fuck I hate these characters and want horrible things to happen to them.

    Also, I wish marriage was a penguin. If it was, I might actually have an interest in getting married.

  60. Another thing somewhat besmirched by its association with these books is a The 6ths song, "Night Falls Like a Grand Piano", which includes the lyrics: "I wonder why you look so far away / Against the sky in fifty shades of gray". However, regardless of this pathetic piffle, Stephin Merrit (and everything he does) will remain awesome.

  61. Hey! This is the first time I actually post a comment (not just a reply to another comment) in one of your "50 shades" recaps. Although you can't really tell, because I'm writing as Anonymous. But still. I have to say two things.

    1 - This is the single most infuriating chapter of all the trilogy so far. I've only been reading your recaps, but I've never felt _so_ angry about it. The psychological abuse that's in this chapter is, in my opinion, even _scarier_ than all the abuse we've seen so far. I'm not sure why. Maybe because they're in a freaking public place. Maybe because they're freaking married, so she can't really escape. I don't know. It just scared the crap out of me.

    2 - I was hardly hit by your television apologia. Coming out time: I am one of those horrible people who think they're more sophisticated because they never watch TV. You shouted at Chedward, but were also indirectly shouting at me. I apologize!

  62. ...Remind me again why people think this guy is charming?

    1. Because he has abs, Robert Pattinson's hair and pants that hang 'just so'. Cassandra Larkin wrote a book called lighter shades of grey where she thinks the pants have to be palazzo pants. PMSL.

  63. I'm totally on board with hating this book because I totally do, but it is true that it made me start thinking about BDSM for the first time. Though what I think is that I find it totally unappealing, a big part of what makes it unappealing is that apparently REAL BDSMers have to spend so much fucking time earnestly talking all the fuck about it before they get to do anything. That alone would make me want to steer clear.

    1. It's less "earnestly talking all the fuck about it," and more, "setting appropriate boundaries and finding out what each partner is into." As a submissive, I find that part a big part of the anticipation. :D

    2. Yeah that whole stupid contract shit she put in there isn't completely off track. I love these negociation sessions. It's like foreplay only, not boring. If you want to steer clear of this talking shit, you'd be better off not exploring bdsm and keep it in fantasy land.

    3. My negotiations are certainly not boring and contractual. Most of them go something like this: Do you want to do X, Y, Z? Is there any area I should avoid or you don't want touched? Are marks okay? Red for stop and yellow for slow down okay for safewords? Cool, let's go.

      That's it. Less than that if it's an established partner who already knows my limits and safeword preferences and a bit more if blood or sexual contact are on the table (that's for play, a 24/7 D/s relationship is a bit different and should be discussed at length but I'm not into 24/7 so that's outside my experience). The negotiation is critical though because you are doing things that without clear consent would be serious crimes and you want to know you're partner is aware of the risks of whatever play you are doing.

  64. Thank you for posting this on Tuesday when I was home suffering through a stomach flu. The constant Kristen Wiig gifs had me giggling and forgetting how unhappy my stomach was.

  65. A few weeks ago this guy came into my library wanting to update his details because he'd just changed his name. Because he'd just gotten married, and his wife had decided she didn't want to change her name, so he took hers.

    I honest to God high fived him across the counter.

    Now I wish I'd offered to throw him a fucking ticker tape parade.

  66. Dude! I was just reading The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl by Belle de Jour and she says:

    "If I had wanted an equitable relationship, I would have arranged to be born a penguin."

  67. I was so gleeful, and happy, and amused during the Camaro part, because honestly, who wouldn't be happy looking at that car? And then the rest of this chapter happened, and all joy was sapped from my bones.

    But then this happened, "It sounds to me like she's trying to fuck the architect, rather than stop her from fucking Christian, but whatever." That sounds amazing! Where's the fanfic for that?! "After enduring years of emotional abuse, Mrs. Grey finally snaps and turns to the fairer sex to get the pleasure and emotional support she craves." I'd buy it.

  68. To the previous commenter: That makes two of us! I was going to comment saying the exact same thing, but you beat me to it!

  69. I have things to say, so I'm going to have to do this in bullet point form.

    -I have a bone to pick with Ana. I'm 23. In 2013. The X files was not before my time. I watched the X files occasionally. Sure, it was when I couldn't sleep and got up to sit with my father, and sure, it didn't help me sleep not one bit, but definitely not before my time... which leads me to

    -Pretty much EVERYONE freaking knows what the X Files is. ALL my favorite TV relationships are a total Scully/Mulder dynamic. JAG? Bones? Please, Bones even REFERENCED the X files, *to illustrate how ignorant Dr. Brennan is of popular culture*! I shall quote here to demonstrate, because I am a nerd.
    Booth: We're Scully and Mulder!
    Brennan: I don't know what that means.
    No, no you don't, because your character is intentionally socially awkward, Dr. Brennan. It works there. (oh, and PS: THAT's what foreshadowing is.) What's Ana's excuse? Oh right, she's just awkward, period.

    -Taylor Swift is going to be really miffed about the 'harlot red lipstick'. Perhaps we can expect a song about it. Oooh, Taylor Swift, can we please have a song about the relationship in these books that makes it clear that the guy is as big of an ass as all the ones you've dated?

    -I used brain bleach so that I wouldn't remember that incredibly pedophilic passage at the end of the recap there... I feel really bad for the kid they're going to inevitably have... what fucked up parents, and that's saying something considering the number of fucked up parents I've met. I sure hope "Mr. Grey" doesn't "protect" his kid like he "protects" Ana (with his penis). Ew.

  70. "Over the phone, Barney uses the word "asshole" and apologizes for it by saying, "Sorry, ma'am." Because, you know, our fragile lady vaginas will seal right the fuck up if we hear the barest utterance of profanity."

    Maybe Ana's does. That's why she's always careful to use phrases like "down there" when she's having sex, so she doesn't give Christian an impromptu penisectomy.

    1. If only her vagina had teeth, this series would've been over so much faster.

  71. Ohmygod. Thisfuckingguy. I want a This Fucking Guy t shirt with the hairy, eyebally tie image on the back, please!

  72. What happened to chapter six? I can't find it on the website anywhere.

  73. Continuing in the "are you fucking kidding me?" vein:

  74. I've never heard people saying 'x shades of n' either. But I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that Erika James doesn't speak the same English as anyone else. It's not a British thing, it's an Erika thing (otherwise, I spend too much time talking cross-Atlantically. If that's even a phrase).

    Also, I'm writing a book where the main characters don't watch TV. They will if they're bored, but you don't get much action from sitting on a sofa staring at a screen. On the flip side, they don't read unless made to either, so it's not a pretension thing, it's meant to be so they can go out and have flipping lives. This sounds like I'm defending her ... I feel dirty.

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