Friday, March 15, 2013

50 Shades Freed recap Chapter 10, MERLIN EDITION

Thank you, everyone, for sending me links and outrage over E.L. James's upcoming writing how-to guide. I'm going to just ignore the whole thing until it blows over, because otherwise I'll drown my inner goddess in a public toilet.

In case you weren't already horrified at the number of young women reading and wanting to emulate 50 Shades of Grey, check this shit out:

I'm actually pretty concerned about this, in a really annoying, mom way. Look, Claire's. Icing. Let's have a chat.

I know that 50 Shades is the hottest property out there right now. And I know that as a business model, you guys push whatever is hot at the moment. If it's Twilight, you offer Twilight merchandise. If it's One Direction, you sell One Direction stuff. That's a good strategy, because teens are fickle and their tastes change. Also, they're not teens forever, so you have to be able to target the next group of teens and their fickle tastes. I get it.

But dude. I have a daughter. The last thing I want her to be interested in is 50 Shades of Grey. She's too young to fit your target demographic, but someday she will be a teenager, and I beg of you: think before you merchandize.

Look, I'm not afraid of teens knowing about sex. I think the more teens know about sex, the better, really. But I don't think they should be learning it from a source like 50 Shades of Grey. The sex in 50 Shades is unrealistic, negative in the portrayal of a female's role in a sexual relationship, and portrays fairly standard kink as a symptom of a battered psyche. Let's not even start on the relationship, which is all about emotional manipulation and the woman pleasing the man, being responsible for his behavior and mental health, yadda yadda. And the outright abuse, there's that, too.

Basically, I'm not objecting to teens being exposed to sex. I'm objecting to them being exposed to unhealthy relationship models exhibited in fiction that was written for adults. Because when you're telling them to want the t-shirt, you're also telling them to want the abusive dickhole in the book.

Just do me a flavor here, Claire's and Icing: stop carrying this merchandise. 50 Shades isn't for your ideal customer. Stop, please, just stop.

End pointless appeal to heartless corporation.

If you follow me on twitter (@Jenny_Trout) or you started following me and then unfollowed me because I tweet so goddamned much, then you probably know that I'm watching the tv series Merlin on Netflix right now. Like three or four years ago I watched season one, but that was all there was on Netflix at the time, so I kind of wandered off and never thought to pick it back up again. Now, I've started from the very beginning, and I'm challenging myself to illustrate these recaps with ONLY Merlin .gifs I've found on Tumblr. Let's see what happens. (And if you don't watch Merlin and you're all, "No! I'm going to be left out!" don't worry, because it's just for this one post. I have to grasp at straws these days to make these recaps bearable for myself.)

When we last left the Escala, Ana had just come home to find Jack Hyde unconscious in the wrecked up foyer:
"Is he - " I gasp, unable to finish the sentence and gazing wide-eyed and terrified at Ryan. I can't even look at the prone figure on the floor.
"No, ma'am. Just knocked out cold."
Relief floods through me. Oh, thank God.
"And you?" I ask Ryan.
No, he's not dead, either. Thanks for asking.

To her credit, Ana asks about Mrs. Jones, too. Which shocked me, because Ana is the most self-centered human on the planet. Mrs. Jones asks Ana if she's okay:
I nod briskly and realize she's probably just come out of the panic room that adjoins Taylor's office. Who knew we'd need it so soon? Christian had insisted on its installation shortly after our engagement - and I had rolled my eyes. Now, seeing Gail standing in the doorway, I'm grateful for his foresight.
Oh my god. Could you imagine being trapped in a panic room with Chedward and Annabella? You'd be all, "I hope the police get here soon," and they'd be biting their lips and twitching their palms and you'd know for a fact you're going to see them get nasty, whether you want to or not.

Also, I'm not sure it counts as foresight if a billionaire installs a panic room after someone has already broken into his house. Remember, Leila came after them in the second book and got into the  apartment, so why no panic room then? Or like, when he moved in? If Grey is such a paranoid guy, you'd think there would have already been a panic room. They could have put it in the tv room that he never uses because he's so much smarter than everyone else.
A creak from the door to the foyer distracts me. It's hanging off its hinges. What the hell happened to that?
What the shit do you think happened to it, Ana? "Oh, the door? Totally isolated incident, it was broken when Jack Hyde got here."

Ryan explains how he got into the apartment:
"Through the service elevator. He's got quite a pair, ma'am."
A pair? Of service elevators? Oh, you were talking about his... right, never mind.

What an odd thing to say, Ryan. Did you see them?

He gives Ana some more details, namely that he let Hyde come up in the service elevator after seeing him on CCT and deciding he was going to just end this shit right now. Ryan sounds like a guy who can get things done. He says they need to secure Hyde, and Ana knows just what will do the job:
Cable ties. I flush as memories of the night before invade my mind. Reflexively, I rub my wrists and glance quickly down at them. No, no bruising. Good.
WTF was she doing with cable ties that she would have bruised herself? If Chedward is putting them on that tight, he's a fucking moron. If he was using them to restrain her to something, and she was pulling against them, he's still a fucking moron, because cable ties can really, really hurt a person. In the bad, "worst papercut of your life" way. Not the good way. But here I am, arguing about the safety of a method of binding someone when we already know Chedward is into leaving marks on her that she doesn't want to have. Which is really the bigger problem here, Jenny?
"I have something. Cable ties. Will they do?"
All eyes turn to me.
That must be very fulfilling for you, Ana.
 "Yes, ma'am. Perfect," Sawyer says, serious and straight-faced. I want the floor to swallow me up, but I turn and head for our bedroom. Sometimes you just have to brazen things out.
Brazen what out? I feel like E.L. James has never seen a cable tie before. Pro-tip, they're not bright red, and they don't have "This is for sex use only" printed on them. Lots of people buy zip ties and never use them for sex. Probably because, as someone who has had her hands zip tied before (not by a sexy billionaire, unfortunately. By a cop. Apparently riding your bicycle drunk is a crime or something), it doesn't feel great to have your hands tied up with those. I'm sure some people do use them for bondage, but they're used for literally everything else, too. The security team isn't going to immediately think, "Oh, they use those for sex." Check out this blog dedicated entirely to using zip ties for things that don't involve deranged billionaires. There is no reason for Ana to believe they're going to think about her sex life, except for the fact that she's 1) embarrassed and uncomfortable when it comes to her own sexuality and 2) convinced everyone in the world is as fixated on her sex life as she is.
Not even a little, Ana.

Ana brings back the cable ties, Sawyer ties up Hyde, and Mrs. Jones provides first aid to Ryan.
Then I notice the Glock on the floor with a silencer attached. Holy shit! Jack was armed?
No, Ana. No, Jack came to your apartment to say he's really, really sorry, and he's not going to intrude upon your life again. That's why Jack is there. To let the healing begin.

They won't all be Arthur, I promise.
No, they might all be Arthur.

Now, I'm not targeting E.L. specifically with this one, I honestly just do not understand why guns always have silencers/suppressors on them in fiction. It might be because in the movies, they show the bag guys having them on their guns, and the shot makes this "bzzt" noise so they can shoot bad guys or good guys or whatever without being overheard. But silencers don't really work like that. All a silencer does is muffle the sound of the explosion as the bullet leaves the gun. The bullet itself is going to make a loud noise, since it's travelling at such a high speed. A Glock is still going to be loud to varying degrees depending on ammo type, even with a silencer. All Jack Hyde has done here is make his gun bigger and more difficult to conceal. But like I said, I don't really blame E.L. for this. It's a common feature for guns to be scarier in fiction if they have a silencer on them, but it's stupid, and usually pointless, because it's almost always depicted as a way to cover up a the crime of shooting someone. People would definitely still hear it.

Sawyer gets some gloves and goes to pick up the gun.
"Should you be doing that?" I ask.
"Mr. Grey would expect it, ma'am." Sawyer slides the gun into a Ziploc bag then squats to pat down Jack.
Notice that he didn't answer her question. At all. "Should you be doing that?" is a wholly different question from "Would Mr. Grey expect you to do that?"

Sawyer finds duct tape in Jack's pocket, and Ana suddenly becomes all hardware detective about it:
Duct tape? My mind idly registers as I watch the proceedings with fascination and an odd detachment. Then bile rises to my throat again as I realize the implications. Rapidly, I dismiss them from my head. Don't go there, Ana!
Remember in the first book, when Christian came to her store and bought all sorts of sketch murder supplies, and she was like, "Isn't he dreamy?" How did she become such a fucking expert about what murderers do with duct tape in four months?
"Should we call the police?" I mutter, trying to hide my fear. I want Hyde out of my home, sooner rather than later.
Ryan and Sawyer glance at each other.
"I think we should call the police," I say, rather more forcefully, wondering what's going on between Ryan and Sawyer.
One of my biggest pet peeves with the ongoing plot of these books is that no matter how appropriate police involvement might be, they never, ever call the police. Someone breaks into your house and stands at the end of your bed? Don't call the police! Crazy ex-girlfriend who's after you gets a gun permit? Definitely don't call the police (even though they would have issued the permit and probably would be able to track her down)! Same crazy ex pulls a gun on your girlfriend? The police would only just muddle everything up, better not involve them at all!

Why is it a fucking question whether or not they should call the police? Oh, because they can't reach Christian, due to the time difference between the east and west coasts.
Part of me bristles. This man - I glance down at Hyde again -  has invaded my home, and he needs to be removed by the police. But looking at the four of them, into their anxious eyes, I decide I must be missing something, so I decide to call Christian.

There is no reason to call Christian. There is a dangerous man who has assaulted you before, set fire to your husband's company, and who broke in and brought a gun and duct tape - and not to make you a fucking prom dress. Nut up and call the police. If Christian is going to mad about that, it's because he's a fucking idiot. And spoiler alert, we already knew he's a fucking idiot. He married you.

Even the dragon loves my sick burn.
Get it. Burn? Dragon?
No one appreciates my art.

My scalp prickles. I know he's mad at me - really, really mad at me - and I falter at the thought of what he'll say. And how he'll stress because he's not here and can't be here until tomorrow evening. I know I've worried him enough this evening. Perhaps I shouldn't call him.
No, you're right, Ana. Make up the fucking guest room for Jack Hyde and wait until your lord and master returns from abroad to solve the situation. Jack can be your gentleman hostage or some shit until then.

Ana tries to call Christian:
Perhaps I shouldn't call him. And then it occurs to me. Shit. What if I'd been here? I pale at the thought. Thank heavens I was out. Maybe I won't be in so much trouble after all.
Remember, the trouble she is going to get into is that she went out to have a drink with a friend. She's twenty-two, and she went out to have a drink with a friend.

Also, how does she know if she paled? Is she looking into a mirror? There's a writing tip for you. Your first person POV narrator can't tell the audience what she looks like unless she can actually see it. Like, she knows her hair is brown. She knows how tall she is. Those things are constant. A flush she can feel, she can probably feel the blood draining from her face, but she can't possibly see herself turning pale.
I reach into my purse and pull out my Blackberry, and before I can give too much though tot the extent of Christian's anger, I dial his number.
He's across the country, remember. Thousands of miles between them, and he still has so much power over her, she's almost too cowed to call him on the phone. That's how deeply inside her head this fucking guy is. I wish I had a degree in psychology so I could properly explain how fucked up this all is. I wish I had a magic wand so I could bespell everyone in the universe into seeing how fucked up it is. I WISH I WAS MERLIN.

Ana can't reach Christian, so she leaves a voicemail and tells Sawyer to call the police. Which is probably the first thing they should have done.

After a paragraph break, we get to see how well Ana has adjusted to being rich:
Detective Clark is barking questions at me as we sit on the couch in the great room. He's tall, dark, and would be good-looking if it weren't for his permanent scowl. I suspect he's been woken and dragged from his warm bed because the home of one of Seattle's most influential and wealthy business men has been breached.
Because for the rest of us peasants, they don't send the police when someone breaks into our house. They just let them sleep in.

The detective asks her some questions, then tells her she'll need to come down to the station to make a statement. I think he can take her statement right there, can't he? But it doesn't matter, she can't leave anyway because of the paparazzi camped out in front of the building. No, seriously:
I shudder at the thought of the photographers outside. Well, they won't be a problem until tomorrow. I remind myself to call Mom and Ray just in case they hear anything and worry.
Do you guys remember when some guy broke into George Harrison's house and stabbed him? And it was on the news and stuff? HE WAS A FUCKING BEATLE. That's why he got that attention. In America, we don't give a shit if that stuff happens to one of our captains of industry, because we hate them. Seriously, it's like the French revolution over here right now. If someone broke into the house of the guy who owns Little Caesar's Pizza and broke his table, we'd be like, GOOD. It wouldn't be on all the magazines, unless it happened to a vapid, pointless reality star. If it happened to Teen Mom, then we'd care. But some random CEO? Nope. And since when is Seattle a hotbed of paparazzi action, that they can be there within minutes of this incident occurring? And how did they find out about it? Did Ana issue a press release?

Mrs. Jones offers Ana something to eat, and since Christian isn't there, Ana can accept food without a big, stupid discussion about it.

So, a few weeks ago, someone asked me a question either on twitter or facebook, and forgive me, but I don't remember exactly who it was, but what they wanted to know was if I picked up on Daddy Dom/Little Girl sub themes in 50 Shades. And I really hadn't, because for the most part, I view the whole "Daddy Dom" thing as being incredibly hot, and this series is the opposite of hot. But then I got to this part:
I want to crawl into his lap, have him hold me and tell me he loves me, even though I don't do as I 'm told - but that won't be possible until this evening.
I was all, "huh. I see where she was coming from now." However, one of the things I've noticed with regards to daddy/little girl D/s relationships is that the Dom doesn't seem to be into withholding affection as punishment, and Christian Grey does. I'd be interested to see comments from people who have been in daddy/little girl relationships, because it's always possible that I'm misunderstanding the dynamic as an outsider. Either way, I think we can all agree, Christian isn't a good Dom anyway we can slice it, because he's too goddamned selfish.

Ana wakes up the next morning and Christian is there, all creepily watching her:
He's wearing his tux, and the end of his bow tie is peeping out of the breast pocket. I wonder if I'm dreaming.
Yes. You're having a nightmare.
My heart almost stops. He's here. How did he get here? He must have left New York last night. How long has he been here watching me sleep?
I don't know why people keep thinking this book is ripped-off from Twilight. I mean, come on, Edward never sat and watched Bella sleep, right?
"You're still mad." I can hardly speak the words.
He gazes at me, as if considering his response. "Mad," he says, as if testing out the word, weighing up it nuances, its meaning. "No, Ana. I am way, way beyond mad."
Let's examine the reasons he's so mad at Ana, shall we?

  1. Ana, a twenty-two year old woman, went out for drinks at a bar with a friend.
  2. Someone broke into their apartment.
That's it. Instead of going, "Thank god my wife wasn't at home when the murderer broke in," he's "'way, way beyond mad,'" because his wife wasn't at home when the murderer broke in.

I'm not saying he's trying to have her killed, but he certainly doesn't want to tell the police how disappointed he is that she didn't get killed, you know what I'm saying?
"Ryan caught Jack," I try a different tack, and I place my glass beside his on the bedside table.
"I know," he says icily.
Of course, he knows. "Are you going to be monosyllabic for long?"
You know how I know that Ana didn't pay attention in college? The only monosyllabic sentence he's uttered at this point in the argument is "hello." Every other line of dialogue has been two or more syllables. Hey, real life English majors, Ana doesn't know what monosyllabic means, and she got an editing job right out of college. You can swallow your cyanide capsules now, if you've been waiting.
His eyebrows move fractionally, registering his surprise as if he hadn't expected this question. "Yes," he says finally.
He's probably trying to remember when it was he was being monosyllabic.
Oh... okay. What to do? Defense - the best form of attack.

What? Defense isn't the best form of attack! That doesn't even make sense! Defense is what you do when someone else attacks you! Offense is the best form of attack! It's the only... GAH! This chapter is stupider than an episode of Merlin!

 Ana tells Chedward she's sorry she stayed out, and then she admits she's not really sorry, she just doesn't want him to be mad at her. So, it's good that they have such clear and honest communication in their relationship that Ana apparently views as a nonstop battle.
He looks beautiful. Mad, but beautiful. I drink him in - Christian's back - angry, but in one piece.
I should hope his back is in one piece, I - wait. Oh... I get it.

Ana tells Christian not to be so cold, and he responds:
"Anastasia, cold is not what I'm feeling at the moment. I'm burning. Burning with rage. I don't know how to deal with these" - he waves his hand, searching for the word - "feelings." His tone is bitter.

You know how to deal with your feels, Chedward. Just grab a belt and go to town on her, like you know you want to. Because you're a bad person. If you were Uther, you'd just cut off somebody's head or throw someone in the dungeon.


*hastily scribbles Morgana/Uther incest BDSM fanfic idea in notebook beside laptop*

Okay, where were we?

Right, so Chedward doesn't know how to cope with his "burning rage" over the fact that his wife went out for drinks with a friend. Imagine what he's going to go through when she has to go to the grocery store for something and doesn't consult with him first. I knew letting women wear pants was a terrible idea!
Oh shit. His honesty disarms me. All I want to do is crawl into his lap. It's all I've wanted to do since I came home last night. To hell with this. I move, taking him by surprise and climbing awkwardly into his lap, where I curl up.
I'm beginning to find the whole "curl up in daddy's lap" thing a little gross. Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who just wrote the words "Morgana/Uther incest BDSM fanfic" like it weren't no thing at all. Maybe it's because I'm sick of Chedward's slow but steady progress towards infantilizing Ana, so that she is dependent upon him for everything in her life. Just a hunch.

They talk about how Chedward's had two drinks, and how Ana slept on his side of the bed while he was gone because it smelled like him and she's half cocker spaniel. He nuzzles her hair and stuff, but tells her he's still mad at her. Ana is all:
"And I'm mad at you," I whisper.
He pauses. "And what, pray, have I done to deserver your ire?"
I don't know, dick, maybe you like, forbid her from going out and having a good time with her friend she hasn't seen in forever because you're a terrible person?

Pictured: Chedward's inner goddess.

So, then this happens, and I really, really don't understand it at all:
"I'm okay. We're all okay. A bit shaken. But Gail is fine. Ryan is fine. And Jack is gone."
He shakes his head. "No thanks to you," he mutters.

Was Ana suppose to stop Jack Hyde? WTF does Christian mean, "'No thanks to you,'" in reply to that sentence. Even if he meant, "No thanks you, because you were reckless and went out when I said not to," it doesn't make sense, because it is thanks to her that she went out and wasn't there when Jack showed up. Chedward promises to tell Ana what he means later, but I honestly don't remember if he ever does.

And then, some bull. fucking. shit.
"I want to punish you," he whispers. "Really beat the shit out of you," he adds.
 Pictured: THE TRUTH.

My heart leaps into my mouth. Fuck. "I know," I whisper as my scalp prickles.
"Maybe I will."
"I hope not."
He hugs me tighter. "Ana, Ana, Ana. You'd try the patience of a saint."
"I could accuse you of many things, Mr. Grey, but being a saint isn't one of them."
Finally, I am blessed with his reluctant chuckle. "Fair point, well made as ever, Mrs. Grey."
Ana. Girlfriend. Listen. While I agree with Christian's assessment that being around you for any length of time would make even the most patient, kind person want to beat the ever living fuck out of you, this is your husband. This is the man you have chosen to live your life with? And he's threatening to beat you? Notice he didn't say, "I want to take you into the Red Room of Pain and give you a good seeing to," he said he wants to beat the shit out of you. And now you feel you've been blessed when he laughs at your joke about him beating you?

Christian tucks her into bed like a fucking child, because it's all about the tenderness after you tell your wife you want to beat the shit out of her. And just so you're aware, the exchange is on page 218, so you can arm yourself with scripture against the 50 Shades apologists who insist he's not abusive. He's mad, he says he wants to beat the shit out of her. This has nothing to do with kink, it's abuse, and E.L. herself wrote it that way in this scene. There is no way they can twist the words of their most holy prophet on this one. She. Made. It. About. Abuse.

Ana goes back to sleep, and wakes up to Christian's standard hangover cure of orange juice and Advil.
And I'm momentarily zapped back to the Heathman Hotel and the first time I ever woke up with him.
You mean that time you were out with Kate, getting drunk, and he thought you weren't safe enough, so he came and took you back to his hotel room while you were unconscious? I wonder why this situation would remind you of that...

Christian is going to go take a shower, because he's all sweaty, so Ana chugs down her orange juice:
It's delicious, ice cold, and it makes my mouth a much better place.
I don't even.

Then she runs to the shower, gets naked and gets in with him.
I think of all the times he's fucked me and all the times he's made love to me in here.
I hate that people think there's a distinction between "making love" and "fucking." Like one is all special and magical and the other is all dirty and cheap. Like just putting it in a more gentle way changes the fact that it's two or more people getting sweaty and rubbing each others' junk to get each other off. If it's making love there's supposed to be some deeper meaning to the orgasm? I don't get it.

Anyway, Ana starts touching Christian, and he tells her not to, and OMG THE DRAMA:
He's saying no? My mind goes into free fall - has this ever happened before? My subconscious shakes her head, her lips pursed. She glares at me over her half-moon glasses, wearing her you've-really-fucked-up-this-time look. I feel like I've been slapped, hard. Rejected. And a lifetime of insecurity spawns the ugly thought that he doesn't want me anymore.
I'm torn between:


 You seriously think being turned down for sex ONE TIME in your ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP means he's totally done with you forever? And yet, that would be awesome, for you and for me. So I don't know which side to choose here, Ana.
"Don't be mad at me, please. I think you're overreacting," I whisper.
HE'S overreacting? This from the girl who laid down and cried on the floor of a parking garage because the guy she'd talked to TWICE didn't want to date her. Sheesh. These people, it's always such drama with them.
"Overreacting?" he snarls. "Some fucking lunatic gets into my apartment to kidnap my wife, and you think I'm overreacting!" The restrained menace in his voice is frightening, and his eyes blaze as he stares at me as if I'm the fucking lunatic.
You're both kind of the fucking lunatics.
"No... um, that's not what I was referring to. I thought this was about me staying out."
He closes his eyes once more as if in pain and shakes his head.
"Christian, I wasn't here." I try to appease and reassure him.
"I know," he whispers, opening his eyes. "All because you can't follow a simple fucking request."
So, is it just me, or is this starting to sound like he wanted her to be there for Jack to kidnap her?

Christian says he doesn't want to argue, so he gets out of the shower, and then Ana gets out and decides to get dressed up all pretty so Christian can't possibly be mad at her anymore:
I do the same, throwing on my favorite plum dress and black sandals, and I'm conscious I've chosen this outfit because Christian likes it. I vigorously towel-dry my hair, then braid it and wind it up into a bun. Fitting diamond studs into my ears, I dash to the bathroom to apply a little mascara and glance at myself in the mirror. I'm pale. I'm always pale. I take a deep steadying breath. I need to face the consequences of my rash decision to actually enjoy myself with my friend. I sigh, knowing that Christian won't see it that way.
Here's the thing: I know that "the consequences of my rash decision to actually enjoy myself with my friend" is supposed to be sarcasm. But all her other actions? Tell the reader that yes, she really is trying to atone for her sin of going out with Kate and having a good time with her, with someone who isn't Christian. She's trying to make it up to him by being the pretty object he would like her to be.
Christian is nowhere to be seen in the great room. Mrs. Jones is busying herself in the kitchen.
Let me take a minute here to discuss what a fucking snob and misogynist Ana is. Notice that when a man is doing his job in this series, he's "all business" or "serious" or "concentrating." But when Mrs. Jones, a domestic servant, does something, she's "bustling" or "busying herself." Because she's a female, and she's doing a job routinely associated with females, she's not actually doing any work. She's just filling up her time.

Since Christian isn't at breakfast, Ana goes to look for him. Because god forbid they're apart for like, two whole seconds.
Christian is on the phone, dressed in a white shirt with no tie, looking every bit the relaxed CEO.
I have hated these descriptions of Christian for all three books, but I've only just now put my finger on what's wrong with them. See, if I said to you, "I frolicked through the children's department in a tiny jacket, looking every bit like Chris Farley in Tommy Boy," most of you are going to understand that description, and visualize a fat person in a little coat. But if I said to you, "I reclined in my lazy boy, looking the very picture of my great grandfather watching Friends," (true story, he totally loved Friends) you wouldn't know what the fuck I was talking about. Just like most of us have no clue what a relaxed CEO looks like, because most people in the world aren't at liberty to see CEOs of huge companies chilling at home. It's the most nondescript description ever. "It looks like this thing you've never seen." Sounds great. She might as well have written he looked every bit like a space vegetable.

Christian doesn't want Ana to bother him while he's on the phone, so she has a brief conversation with Taylor, then eats her breakfast and goes to brush her teeth:
As I brush them, I'm reminded of Christian's sulk over the wedding vows.
Why, was there teeth brushing in your vows?

Ana thinks about how she needs to talk to Christian, and let me tell you, I can never get enough of listening to Ana think about how she needs to communicate and then never actually does. Highlight of my week.

When she comes back out, Christian is eating his breakfast. She "bravely" walks over and asks:
"I don't want to fight. I was coming to ask you if I could take my car."
"No. You can't," he snaps.
"Okay." I acquiesce immediately.
I know a lot of you are going, "What? This is total bullshit!" But don't worry, Ana has a theory on this one:
I remember my mom's "words of wisdom" talk the day before my wedding. Ana, honey, you really have to choose your battles. It'll be the same with your kids when you have them. Well, at least he's letting me go to work.
 I'm not going to lie to you, reader. There are times when I'm reading these books, and I get a sharp pain in my neck, and I think, "Is this what it feels like when stress kills you? Because I sure hope so." This was one of those times. Seriously, this book makes me reconsider my choice to drop my mortuary science major.


Taylor and Prescott take Ana to work, and of course the media is just all over the place. There are reporters swarming outside their apartment, at SIP, it's just impossible for Ana to go anywhere because she's Princess Diana. Obviously.

Later in the day, Elizabeth comes to Ana's office to see if she's okay. When she leaves, Ana thinks:
That has to have been the briefest, most pointless meeting in the Western Hemisphere today. Why did Roach send her here? Perhaps he's worried, given I'm his boss's wife.

Everybody remembers the scene in 50 Shades Darker where Elizabeth talks to Ana about Jack Hyde, and Ana gets the feeling he's done something horrible to her, right? There isn't a gas leak in my office or anything? Back then, Ana was sympathetic, but now she doesn't even remember? What the fuck is wrong with this person?

Christian sends Ana an email, telling her that he's insisted the detective come get a statement from her at work:
I have insisted that he should come to you, as I don't want you going to the police station.
What does Christian think is going to happen to Ana at a police station, for Christ's sake?

Then this bullshit happens:
Did Christian come home because I was out or because of the Jack incident? If he left because I was out having a good time, he would have had no idea about Jack, about the police, nothing - until he landed in Seattle. It's suddenly very important to me to find out.
It's important to me, too. And probably you, dear reader. Place your bets.

Ana emails him:
What time did you decide to come back to Seattle yesterday?
This causes a three page email fight, in which Christian refuses to answer the question and ends his final email to her:
You should watch your language. I am still fucking pissed.
So, yes. He came back because she was having a good time with her friend and he could not STAND that she wasn't sitting at Escala, pining for him.

I can't even get mad anymore, guys. I'm just like, "Okay, fine. Whatever." Because I can't get angry on Ana's behalf anymore. Because I know they're going to be together forever and ever, no matter what I rage about here. She's never going to wise up, people who love the series are never going to wise up, and we're all basically doomed.
I don't respond, but pick up a manuscript recently received from a promising new author and being to read.
I bet you anything she's about to read 50 Shades of Grey and publish it because it's so romantic.
My meeting with Detective Clark is uneventful. He is less growly than the night before, maybe because he's managed some sleep.
Yes, he managed some sleep. I'm sure he was up all night worrying about the case, Ana. She asks if Hyde is in police custody "yet," which is fucking stupid. He would have been in custody the moment they took him away. You can be in the hospital and be in police custody. They don't just wait outside the ER doors and hope they can catch you on the way out.

Ana heads home from work and has all these deep thoughts:
My heart is pounding, my mouth is dry, and my palms are sweaty. I don't want to fight. But sometimes he's so difficult, and I need to stand my ground.
But we all know she won't, so why do we even have to read that.

Ana makes some mention of liking the fact that Prescott isn't talking much today, and then they get to the apartment:
"Good evening, Mrs. Grey," Christian says softly. He's standing by the piano, dressed in a tight black T-shirt and jeans... those jeans - the ones he wore in the playroom. Oh my. The are overwashed pale blue denim, snug, ripped at the knee, and hot. He saunters over to me, his feet bare, the top button of he jeans undone, his smoldering eyes never leaving mine.
"Good to have you home. I've been waiting for you."

Well, they didn't yet, because the chapter ends. But yeah, they're pretty much going to fuck their problems away. Because this is good writing.


  1. Tampering with the evidence is a great way for it to be inadmissible in court. Way to go, Sawyer. You just helped reduce the charge against Hyde. Now you have breaking and entering because the gun, which could have added "with intent to cause bodily harm," is no longer valid evidence. A felony will now likely be a misdemeanor.

    1. "The only monosyllabic sentence he's uttered at this point in the argument is "hello." "

      "Hello" is one word, but as two syllables. "I know" is two monosyllabic words. You got that a bit backward. I don't blame you. These books really kill your brain cells and turn the rest to mush. I'd like to see a study on how these books affect the ability to think and comprehend. There's so much WTFery that it's hard to keep straight.

      "I hate that people think there's a distinction between "making love" and "fucking." "

      I've always known the former to be about emotional connection and the other to be more carnal. Neither is more right than the other and neither is bad. They're just different descriptives for ways to have sex.

      "So, is it just me, or is this starting to sound like he wanted her to be there for Jack to kidnap her?"

      Spoiler: in my fic, Couple Shades of Taylor,, I am having this as the reason. There is no other logical reason that he could be mad. Even if she was his teenage daughter who was grounded, and she went out when he was gone and someone broke in, you'd think he'd be more relieved she wasn't there. Sure, add a week to being grounded, but should anger that someone you claim to love really be the emotion you feel when they would have died otherwise? Or should it be relief? He's so mad at her for not being in the way of danger that he wants to beat the shit out of her. BDSM is never to be done in anger, so the sycophants can't even claim this is part of it.

      Also Mrs. Jones' real reason for being there is not purely as a domestic servant. What I've done with her has had some readers say they can see Christian doing it and they're sad for it, and one who's said it wouldn't happen. Because apparently there's something, other than being a good man, that he wouldn't do.

      "Christian is on the phone, dressed in a white shirt with no tie, looking every bit the relaxed CEO."

      This is from the same author who describes things as "or something."

      Know what's creepy about the end? We know he wants to beat her and physically harm her dor having the audacity to go out and spend an evening with a friend, which really is extremely safe when you are tailed by security and can't even pee alone. Since he's wearing his "Red Room of Pain" (I still can't type that without literally laughing out loud) pants, the reader is led to believe that he's going to take her in there and have sexy-times with a crop, while those with brains will realize that he's trying to couch his angry punishment of her in a BDSM light. It's not BDSM just because of the location. It's abuse.

    2. I still don't understand what we're meant to think of him always saying 'Soon you will stop defying me' and 'I want you to obey' and yet him supposedly, according to the text, wanting to hit her as punishment for disobeying. I mean, we all know it's because this has nothing to do with BDSM and everything to do with abuse, but the book would have it that wanting to 'punish' her gets him off sexually. So why all the insistence on 'I want you to obey'?

      I mean I'd understand if he "wanted her to obey" as part of a sex game, but it isn't written like that.

      So fans who buy into this bullshit - how do they reconcile that? How do they view his "BDSM" being a response to stuff he says he wants her NOT to do?

    3. Alys, in your fic, I see that you say there aren't any Army bases near Seattle. McChord is actually Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the Lewis part coming from Fort Lewis, which was and is still Army (McChord being the Air Force side).

    4. As a former prosecutor, I'm going to have a major problem with these numb-nuts pawing the gun - with or without gloves - do you know how bad it looks for a purported victim to start handling items of evidence with goddamned rubber gloves on??? Gloves still smudge prints so if finger prints are the only thing connecting Jack to the gun - there goes your armed burglary charge. Although you can still present evidence that's been "tampered" with to the jury - the weight of that evidence is substantially diminished. This is a defense attorney's wet-dream.

      "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client was merely visiting his former employer to talk about some concerns he had with his unwarranted firing when Mr. Grey's gang of armed goons attacked him, knocked him unconscious and brutally tied him up with bright red zip-ties that had 'for kinky sex only' stamped on them! And then these same armed thugs present the police with a gun they had conveniently wrapped in a plastic bag and want you to believe that my client brought this gun to his former employer's residence? Preposterous! I ask you to return a verdict of Not Guilty and let these Wall Street types know that if they think they can bully the little guy, justice will prevail!"

      *Defense Attorney then wraps himself in American flag and begins to hum National Anthem while weeping*

    5. Prosecutor Anon, if there was a like button for your comment, I'd abuse the shit out of it. I do forensic psych with a minor in forensic science so whenever either is played out inaccurately in media, I go insane.

  2. Anyone else get the feeling EL James stopped bothering to try to make Chedward a romantic lead and just went full-on villain? I mean, at least in the beginning, when he got 'violent' it was because he was aroused by Ana. Now he's just pissed the hell off and wants to take it out on her with blows. (Never mind that it makes no sense to beat her up for doing something that likely saved her life.) There's nothing sexy about this.

    Powerful urge to write a thriller/Agatha Christie-esque fic about Chedward actually plotting to kill his besotted wife (who may or may not be a gold digger).

    1. Man, I must have got halfway through the recap of the first book before realizing: "You know, from anyone else's perspective (and if Ana didn't keep such a lid on her inner monologue), these two idiots would be antagonists."

  3. Man...I really need to go through Facebook and de-friend all the people who think this is a romantic sexy story. They might be sociopaths.

    1. oh god me too. i had a friend tell me that Christian's much better by the end of the third book. well we're - what - 200 pages in and he's still threatening to beat the shit out of his wife? yeah. MUCH BETTER.

    2. Yeah, he's actually way, way worse. I've had all sorts of people tell me, "Oh, you have to read ALL THREE to understand," and it's like, uh... I read all three. He becomes a bigger, more controlling dick, right down to telling his wife she WILL have a c-section whether she wants to or not.

    3. Jennie, the argument I've heard for him being "better" is that they get along more, but really Ana's the one changing to appease him and becoming mentally beaten to the point that she's just accepting this as fate rather than worrying anymore. Someone by the name of Stockholm names a Syndrome about this....

      Jenny, too bad he apparently didn't look up stats that show that purely elective c-section have a higher rate of maternal and neonatal death than vaginal births, and that the US has the second highest maternal and neonatal death rates in all the developed world to accompany our extremely high rate of elective c-sections. His insistance that she have an unneeded c-section increases the risk to her life, not to mention the baby's. So many elective c's are done shortly after the 37th week, and even ACOG is trying to get laws passed banning non-medically-needed c-sections before the 39th week.

      I think Christian just likes the idea of having control. If she wanted a c-section, he'd either have said no, or he'd have agreed just to have her laid up and helpless while recovering. Because she wanted a vaginal, of course he'll say no because he has to be in control, AND gets her laid up. He doesn't have to decide.

      Honestly I'm somewhat surprised he didn't force her into an abortion with as against having a baby as he was.

    4. I deleted someone on Facebook just a few days ago, after she told me: "You preach hatred about EL James (she compared me to a homophobe using religion to persecute gays, I shit you not), but her books are saving people's relationships." SO. MUCH. RAGE.

    5. Now that I think about it NOT in a hillbilly dialect, Hello definitely has two syllables. But it sure don't when I say it.

    6. More like "Hlo"? That would make it one.

      Mrs.Manics, your friend needs to read about the relationships ruined because men refused to becoming like Christian when their now-ex-wives demanded it. In my opinion, a man who would divorce to prevent ever being pressured into abuse is a good man to have.

    7. @mrsmaniacs- as a gay person...i just...i can't...that argument doesn't even make a little bit of sense! good on you for de-friending her! hate when people try to guilt other people into thinking how they do. i just can't anymore with this.

    8. The only other reason he wanted her to have a C-section, I'm betting, is because he's expecting a nice little nip/tuck action with it. Can't have saggy baby belly and stretch marks on our Ana! I bet he would beat the crap out of her if she dared to get stretch marks. I'm almost disappointed EL James skipped over that one.

      Also, I was thinking about all this crap (I'm a shift manager of a McDonald's branch, I don't want to think about fucking burgers all the time, so I fill my head with this instead, apparently) and how writers inadvertedly insert themselves in books. And you said in another thread that James admitted as much ... but I think AnaBella is meant to be a projection of James. She said a cameo, sure, but based on her behaviour and giving the go ahead to products like you linked above ... I really hope I never meet her. I'd want to punch her in the face so bad. I'd want her to eat the food from my restaurant, even. I hope all her friends are watching their backs with her because I would put money on it that those lovely inner monologues we're treated to are lifted out of the ones James has about her besties. I kinda love how none of her rationalising makes sense either, it totally sounds like when my mum's off on one.

      Also, I love the Merlin gifs. Nice touch with Anthony Head as well, since you're doing the Buffy recaps ;) Totally off topic but had to be said.

  4. so i take it now they're going to fuck and everything's going to be dandy and there's going to be absolutely NO addressing of the fact that Christian's response to his wife having a night out with a friend is to immediately fly home and threaten to beat the shit out of her?

    sorry to break the Merlin theme but this is literally me right now -

    1. Bernard is an acceptable discontinuation of theme. Carry on.

    2. Oh, they'll do it alright, but be prepared to be even MORE ENRAGED when Jen tells you what this prick does next!

    3. honestly i think i'm almost beyond rage now - just really fucking depressed that there are actually women out there who want their husbands to be MORE like this guy. what is happening in this world? :/

  5. I hate this series. So much.

    Athough, you know what would rock? If James writes it from Grey's POV, and it's like when John Malkovich went through the portal into Malkovich Land... but it'd be nothing but Grey. 120,000 words of pure self-centered egotism.

    Like this, but without all the abuse. Just Grey.

    1. Oh, my dear, she started to. It's in the supplemental material at the end of the third print book. My digital copy may or many not have it. I am still a few chapters from the end. The guy who writes the blog at said that Chedward's POV makes him even worse.

    2. I'm thinking Being John Malkovich but with Christian Grey.

      It's decided. I'm going to light Christian on fire like he was a marshmallow caught in a bonfire with Intervention of Ana. Fuck that asshole. Maybe a suppository of C4 to round things out.

    3. C4 suppository! YES!

      Omg Being Christian Grey would be...may I steal that? I want to write a fic about that after the Taylor one, or maybe while still working on Taylor.

    4. You know the French princess in Braveheart? Her real-life counterpart was a part of a scheme to remove her husband from power in leiu of their son. Her lover (not William Wallace or any Scot) had her hubby killed by a red-hot poker in his gloryhole.

      There's a part of me that wants that sort of poetic justice for Grey.

      Hence Z's special C4.

    5. If James writes Chedward's point of view, it'd be all 'she is soooo beautiful! I've never seen a more beautiful woman! she is so clever and slim and beautiful and clever' wouldn't it. Basically, a kind of reverse-Sue. A validation-of-Sueness.

  6. Was the duct tape prom dress a reference to Project Runway last week? Extra love if so!

  7. Rumors out there indicate that Emma Watson may play Ana in the movie version. If that happens, I may rage quit the internet. Please, Hermione Granger, don't kick me right in the feels!

    1. Her stipulation is that Ryan Gossling play Christian, and he's still a front-runner. I think a lot of people would have a hard time watching someone we all saw grow up from a young child to a young adult in an overtly sexual role. It would very much be "Hermione is having explicit sex!" even if a body double is used.

      I think these will be career-ending roles. There will be no bouncing out of the typecasting that will come with non-artistic, hard-core porn. People still refer to RPatz as Edward when he does other roles. Daniell Radcliffe is still Harry Potter. Emma Watson to many is still Hermione. Ana and Christian are roles so far out there that they will consume the careers of whoever takes them. You can't go back to PG and PG-13 after doing porn. Ask the small-time porn actresses trying to break out of it.

    2. I'd be totes okay with her doing porn or borderline porn. It's her staring in just this(these) fucking film(s) that would bug me. Daniel Radcliffe did Equus and that was pornographic. And Bestial. Didn't bother me a bit.

      There's better roles for you, Emma!

    3. Emma ceased to be Hermione Granger for me when I saw Perks of Being a Wallflower. She's just so good that she becomes whatever role she takes on.

      But, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, Emma (and Ryan because I like him a LOT, too), DON'T DO IT! NO! NO! NO! NO!

      I will have to forever shun any actor who takes a role in this movie and I don't want to have to give up either of them. :-( I can't believe any self-respecting actor with any amount of talent and an established, good career already would do this movie. For what reason???

    4. She just did The Perks of Being a Wallflower, didn't she?

      I have to admit, I finally understood the Pattinson love when I saw Cosmopolis. he was pretty hot in that. I think in Radcliffe's stuff - The Woman in Black, that thing about doctors - he's maybe less convincing, because he's still kind of wholesome looking. Pattinson just looks filthy, all the time.
      And I liked Snow White & the Huntsman, but then again I love Thor, so...

      I'd really like to see Taylor Lautner do more stuff (that thriller he was in was terrible) but that's mostly just because he's good-looking.

    5. I will be broken if Emma and Ryan star as these fuckwits. I like them both so much, and they seem lovely.


    6. The whole Emma Watson as Ana is a false rumor. She's denied it many times, and I believe she's WAY too smart for that.

    7. Yay! I'm so relieved.

    8. Didn't she say that she would consider it but hasn't read it? She's a smart girl, she won't break my heart and do it ... right? She's like, top of my list of 'girls who could turn me' and I would hate to drop her from the list. It's not a long list.

    9. Found this:

      Basically, she has no idea what she's saying she might consider doing it. And besides Gosling, she says it must have a strong script and interesting character development. Therefore, I think we can all rest easy that she won't take it if offered.

    10. An article I say dates yesterday said she's not. I wish our "reliable" media was, you know, reliable. Or maybe she really is going back and forth. It'll be a very high paying role.

      Equiis' nudity was for artistic purposes, and despite the hubbub around it, he wasn't naked half the time having sex. 50 Shades isn't an artistic portrayal of sex. It's meant to be pure raunch and just happens to follow the Twilight books.

    11. She just tweeted this

      So, I think we are safe.

  8. "I can't even get mad anymore, guys. I'm just like, "Okay, fine. Whatever."" I started to feel the same way about this point. I just don't understand how anyone is enjoying reading this or idolizing this relationship? He flew back early from a business trip because she went out for drinks with her friends. She was monitored the entire time by a team of security guards AND avoided a kidnapping/death at home and somehow it's ok that he is furious? If I hadn't already read 2.5 books of this bullshit I would be full of rage, but at this point I just roll my eyes at these fucking two.

  9. Offense is the best form of defense, yes. Defense, however, cannot be the best form of attack because by definition that would be impossible.

    I wanted to cry when I got to that bit... More than normal for these books, I mean.

    1. Thank you! I caught that too - EL James literally got that saying backwards. And it makes no sense backwards. "Offense is the best defense" is about a pre-emptive attack (even if you disagree with the philosophy, it's at least a statement that makes some sort of sense). "Defense is the best offense"? Nonsensical. Unless it's some oblique reference to being passive-aggressive. "I'll make you feel bad by being defensive." Charming.

    2. ...and healthy, in a husband-wife relationship. ;)

    3. 'xactly.

      And now I'm thinking that EL James might consider this some sort of pseudo-feminist moment - y'know, "women using their weakness as strength" and "employing their feminine wiles to be the stronger one" and such rot. Ugh.

      That is not to say that this would never be a legitimate or even admirable strategy. (Sansa Stark surviving in the Baratheon Court after her father's execution comes to mind.) But this applies in fucked-up, reactionary systems that keep traditional power and strength from women and force them to use indirect methods. It should not be something touted for a modern woman in a supposedly happy relationship. In this day and age, women should be able to be legitimately strong, none of that "appear weak to be the truly powerful one" business.

  10. I have cable ties in my kitchen. We use them to hang the curtains with. And, you know, tie cables to things. THE SHAME.

    1. You HUSSY!

      I've been wanting to say that since I first saw this comment. I feel better now. :)

  11. According to my mother (the retired English teacher, God help us) these books are romantic because it's fantasy. Even after I pointed out all the abuse in them, she still argued that they are fantasy so it doesn't matter. Even after I reminded her that I am a survivor of domestic abuse and that it is absolutely NOT romantic, she continued to insist that the books are romantic fantasy. She kept telling me about Christian's horrible childhood with the prostitute junky mother and the physical abuse from the pimp and the being left alone with her dead body and that was the reason for his behavior. I pointed out that none of that justifies or excuses the way he treats his wife. She then went on to say that Ana changes Christian, that by the end he's no longer controlling and no longer wants to engage in BDSM behavior. The argument continued with me explaining that 1) you can't cure a man from being abusive by loving him, 2) BDSM isn't something someone needs to be cured of, and 3) the BDSM in the book is barely BDSM and isn't practiced safely. She made me extremely irate because she just didn't care--it was fantasy and I should read it because then I would agree (yeah, um, not gonna happen).

    Later on after I'd hung up on her because she made me want to scream with frustration and that's not exactly a good thing to do in the office, especially when your boss is just across the hall, it dawned on me what it is that women are feeling excited about: the fantasy of fixing or changing a man. Women throughout time have made the mistake of trying to do this and have suffered as a result. Here is a man who behaves just like a wounded animal, and Ana, by the power of her love alone "saves" him. (Apparently they see him as fixed at the end, whether he actually is or not).

    How fucking SAD is that?!?

    1. I am so sorry your mother excused the abuse you experienced and cast it in a positive light as long as it's someone's fantasy. I want to give you a big hug and then to tell your mother that fantasizing about abuse doesn't make it romantic.

      I'd like to see people excusing these books for being "fantasy" excuse Bluebeard's actions. He killed all his wives and kept their bodies in a locked room, tempted his newest child bride into peeking, and would have killed her too if her brothers hadn't arrived at that exact moment. Can we call that romantic fantasy too?

      There's more romance in the original Little Mermaid, and that's a tragedy.

    2. James said the books were her fantasy, and I accept that women can have rape fantasies - the surrender of control, the absolution from blame, etc...

      Never heard of a woman having fantasies about extreme jealousy and stalking, though. If that's what EL fantasises about... yeah, that's really nasty

  12. I think "making love" is just supposed to be the slower, more intimate junk-rubbing. Around here, we call that "Barry White", which I happen to think is a way better name.

  13. I'm going to save my cyanide capsules just in case, BUT when the whole, "Fair point, well made, Mrs. Grey," came up once again I almost took two. It's soooo noticeable and makes me want to strangle myself.

    I can't stand these books. I'm going to wash the bad taste out of my mouth with The Boss. Thank you Trout God for weekly releases. Praise be to J. Trout the magnanimous.

    Here have a cute dog picture.

  14. My daughter uses cable ties to "play violin" which is awfully cute. I'm not sure why we actually have them, but it wasn't for sex.

    Why doesn't the security team have something for tying up captured intruders? That seems a bit odd to me.

  15. After reading your amazing recaps I'm not sure I can't take this bs anymore. It pangs me to say that I think I might just come here for the boss for now on, which is amazing.

    These books are just so awful. I've got to give el James some credit here. No books have ever made me feel so emotional (in the bad way) as these series have done. I just want to rage quit every time. It makes me hate life and humanity and I just don't want to have these feels anymore. /sigh

  16. "Let's examine the reasons he's so mad at Ana, shall we?
    1. Ana, a twenty-two year old woman, went out for drinks at a bar with a friend.
    2. Someone broke into their apartment."

    There might also be 3. Ana called the police. Without getting Chedward's permission first (which we know he would have never given).

    After all, we know that Chedward never wants anyone to call the police, ever. Heck, Ana and all of his security staff know that - that's why they were so hesitant to make the call, and tried so hard to check in with Chedward first, under circumstances where immediately calling the police should be a no-brainer.

    Which... wouldn't that make you wonder, and wonder real hard, about your employer / husband? After a series of refusals to get the police involved, under increasingly "holy shit call the police" circumstances, wouldn't you wonder what this guy has to hide? Yeah, yeah, he has a kinky past with a series of subs, but that isn't illegal (or rather, what he has told us about it isn't... what is he not telling us?). The oddly CEO-focused paparazzi might care, but the police will not give a damn.

    Seriously, at this point I am suspecting at least one dismembered former sub hidden below Escala somewhere.

    1. Honestly, that's pretty consistently been my headcanon for this book. Chedward's done something bad (his business is a bit...unclear. Maybe he's in the mafia?) that's the only logical reason. Also, in Twilight, didn't Edward go all Dexter after becoming a vampire? Like, he figured if he needs to feed on blood, he's at least going to kill people who did bad things (Vampire Vigilante and all that.) And, you know, with Christian being a stand in for Edward and BDSM being a stand in for Vampirism, we can pretty safely say that Christian brought people he deemed evil/amoral (probably prostitutes, because they reminded him of the "Crack Whore") and killed them. Because if he needs to beat women, he's going to beat "bad" women.
      I'm pretty sure it's a testament to how bad 50 Shades is that most of that made sense to me and actually fits Christian's character way better than any bullshit E.L. James has come up with. I'm also going to believe that the reason Christian doesn't want Ana going to the Police Station is because he's been brought in a few times for questioning and he's afraid that some of the cops (who don't believe his story and can't be bought) are going to try to get information out of Ana. Not that she'd have any, but it would definitely give her ideas and she might start paying more attention to all the secret hidey-holes in the apartment. It's probably why he doesn't want to sell his room at the Escala after they move too.

    2. Great, now I'm picturing Chedward as Patrick Bateman...

    3. I thought about this a while back and ended up writing a Boondock Saints crossover where they found out that Chedward had a basement full of bodies and ended up shooting him in the back of the head.

      It was cathartic writing.

    4. Please tell me this is online somewhere we can read it?

    5. You mean you weren't already picturing him as Patrick Bateman?

    6. you know, if this was a psychological thriller, it'd actually be pretty good.

      let's just take a moment to let that reality sink in, shall we?

    7. I think he's supposed to hate/loathe the police because of some unspecified aftermath from his childhood when his crack-addicted birth mother died and he was stuck at home with her body (until the police came?).

      Because, seriously, as a rich white dude who was adopted into an upper-class family and is also vehemently anti-drug (and also has serious authoritarian abuse of power and control issues), he ought to be best buddies with the local po-po. I'd imagine he'd almost have to have a couple of crooked cops on retainer in order to be able to do all that stalking and investigating of everyone in his life that he loves to do.

      If James were a better writer, then his hatred of police could be foreshadowing of some shady dealings, or at least indicate that he might have some shady relationships with the law that he doesn't want to risk getting exposed (as in Alys's "Couple Shades of Taylor" version of Grey buying off judges in order to buy Taylor's loyalty / silence), but James' version of Grey is just so stuck-up and prudish that I'm pretty sure her reason for him never wanting to call the cops has got to be related to some PTSD childhood trauma related to the "crack whore" mother that he hates.

      And is it just me, or wouldn't "kinky prudery" be a much better summation of their sex life than "kinky fuckery"?

    8. Actually, now that I think about it...

      That puts his keeping trophies of the women he's been with, in the form of pictures, in a whole other light. One that makes sense.

      He's actually a serial killer. He is against getting police involved because they WILL find bodies, as he's a) not that smart and b) keeps trophies/stuff he's used on other people.

      It explains so much.

  17. 1. Maybe he didn't want to have sex with you because of your HORRIBLE MORNING BREATH. Seriously.

    2. Oh. Wow. Acid washed ripped jeans. So sexy.

  18. Hey this @1pageaday, and I had to make an account because this total b.s.chapter deserves to be addressed. The sexy architect deserves to be dealt with for Ana's obvious hatred of other women, (and Annoyed Picard Meme helped me) but it pales in comparison to this chapter. I am a wife and a mother and if my daughter ran off and disobeyed me I would be furious, and then eternally grateful that she was alive and well.

    But in a relationship between two adults/equals I would have been eternally grateful that my SO, was safe and sound as well. (and my husband is big and strong, but no one is truly safe from a person that would do them harm. Hate will always find a way)

    Ana needed her man to take her in his strong arms and soothe her fears. He denies her this, What masochist would torture themselves with this fantasy? (I am not a masochist so I wouldn't know, but from what I've learned, this still seems horribly wrong-headed)

    Women want to be rescued, but so do men. Peter Gabriel's song "Mercy Street" proves this. We all want to rescued from evil, but what happens when the evil we want rescued from is the evil we love and sleep beside.

    And who would masturbate about this? YIkes.

  19. Also, to add to Her Awesome Troutness' excellent comments about gun silencers, this is again something that goes way beyond EL James and happens throughout fiction in all forms, but if someone is "just" knocked out cold for more than just a few moments, chances are they are going to be very much not okay. As in, likely to die, fall into a coma, suffer serious brain damage,...

    I can't believe I am quoting Cracked as a reference here, but they are linking to some actual medical sources in the article:

  20. "I do the same, throwing on my favorite plum dress and black sandals, and I'm conscious I've chosen this outfit because Christian likes it."

    DA FUQ?!

    Bitch, that is NOT your fucking dress!! That is Kate's dress that you apparently stole! Aren't you rich now? Shouldn't you be able to buy your own damn dresses?

    This entire chapter made me so angry, that the plum dress became the fucking straw that broke the fucking camel's back....

    1. I am so glad I wasn't the only person whose immediate thought was that. Her favourite dress is her roommate's!

    2. AH, you beat me to it!

      I bet Kate keeps searching her closet for that thing, wondering if it got lost during the move...

    3. I got so angry about that too! I had those friends who "borrowed" my stuff and then after they thought I'd forgotten about it, it was suddenly their favorite thing to wear, play, whatever. What a klepto ho.

  21. Hey Canadians, remember when Jean Crétien was Prime Minister and a knife-wielding paranoid schizophrenic broke into his house and his wife threw an Inuit carving at the guy?

    That's all I could think when Ana was shitting herself over the paparazzi that was sure to be outside her building after this terrible, terrible crime that the entire world was definitely going to know/care about. And, actually, it makes a better story than all 3 of these stupid books combined.

    American characters (ill-)conceived by terrible British writers are sooo full of themselves!

  22. I saw some stuff like that at Icing at the mall today, so I can confirm it is a thing unfortunately. I didn't look very closely because I didn't want to be seen staring at it. I noticed some handcuff jewelry. I don't really think that is exclusively a kink thing in the first place?

    We were already bombarded with Twilight when I was in high school. I really don't think teenage girls need another ridiculously popular book series with a "you can LOVE him into a decent person" plot. Also E.L. is not only ripping off Twilight she's basically doing was Smeyer was planning to do with Midnight Sun. Which going through the same story all over from another character's perspective would require that character's thought process to be very interesting and that's obviously not happening with this.

    1. Back in my heyday (okay, about ten years ago) I used to go into moshpits with fluffy red handcuffs on one arm. If I was there with a friend, and it was really rowdy and we wanted to stick close, I'd handcuff my friend to me so we could mosh together. Handcuffs aren't even exclusively 50, but I bet James would sue the shit out of anyone trying to use handcuffs now. Even if it isn't in 50 in the first place.

  23. Then the quote from this chapter that REALLY stuck in my craw was

    "Christian, I wasn't here." ...
    "I know," he whispers opening his eyes." "And all because you can't follow a simple, fucking request." ... "I don't want to discuss this now, in the shower. I am still fucking mad at you, Anastasia. You're making me question my judgment."

    Prick can't even admit to himself that he has shitty judgment. Who would've thought that caging your wife doesn't actually make her safer?!!?

    1. That "you're making me question my judgment" quote is so horrible when you think about it. "I might have actually been wrong, and your arguments are showing me that I might have been wrong, and that is making me terribly mad at you." Whut?

      The only other way I can interpret that is that he's not even talking about his judgment regarding the going out/staying in thing, and instead hinting that she's making him question his judgment in having married her. Which...ugh. Your wife luckily escaped an armed intruder and is probably still traumatized, and you're musing about how her "disobedience" makes you question your relationship?

      Also, the shower sexual rejection scene was really painful to read. Not because Ana is being overdramatic about it (under other circumstances I would agree that she is), but because it's such obvious, cruel emotional manipulation. He's taking the thing he knows she's utterly insecure about and is using it to undermine her sense of worth to punish her.

  24. I don't understand how this can be romantic. I do NOT get it. Twilight, I can understand. You're appealing to the id of teenage girls, and throughout it all Edward does constantly confess his love for Bella and how she's his everything, and so on and so forth. Christian doesn't even do that much. He just wants to control Ana and is so fucking obvious about it. Even if BDSM is your kink, this isn't anything to do that anymore! There's nothing to do with what goes on in the bedroom- he's getting angry about her having a life. That's the biggest red-flag there is!
    I just... screw it. I don't even know what to say. I do not get this. And this is the person she married! Even Bella and Edward's marriage didn't boggle my mind as much as this. (And that's saying something because Breaking Dawn was the book that single-handedly killed my fascination with Twilight.)

  25. "I hate that people think there's a distinction between "making love" and "fucking." "

    Jen, I love ya and I love your books but you said the exact same thing in Sweet Surrender, about how Esau fucks Honoria but Jude makes love to her. (I just finished reading it yesterday and it was awesome, by the way.)

    1. Right, but I don't understand it. Like, I get that there is supposed to be a difference (and I've referenced the difference more than once in books I've written), but I don't see why there is a difference. It's one of those nuanced human things I do not understand, I guess. Maybe it will be a mystery until the day I die, LOL.

    2. For me fucking, is a a little bit more selfish and goal oriented than making love. While fucking is all about getting off and slapping your nasties together, making love is more about expression your feeling for the other person. How you choose to do that is entirely up to you though. To make it more clear. While I can fuck my boyfriend (like a morning quickie, to get me in a better mood and get over my head ache), I can also make love to him. I cannot make love to a stranger. I can however, fuck him.

  26. Oh, I love this! I'm going to have to go read all the other recaps now!

    My big problem with the writing both in this section and any other in these three books- and you sort of picked up on it in one spot- is that both of them must be facial contortionists to express all the emotion the writer packs into every sentence. In the same paragraph (that takes place in a 2-minute-at-the-most time period) I'm sure Christian and Ana change facial expressions 200 times. First Christian is horrified, then raging, then thoughtful, the happy, then surprised, then impassive, and smouldering.... while Ana blushes, is embarrassed, frightened, horrified, content, thrilled, horny....yeah, you get the picture. The human face can't do all that- but THEIR faces can, and do every paragraph. My face gets tired just thinking about it.

    Can't wait to read the next recap!

  27. Fifty Shades Derper! Haha! I love it. And I'm glad everyone else sent you the link to EL James' "how to write erotica" link because I was going to add it to the comment section if they hadn't.

    1. I want this book, she leaves blank pages for note taking. My notes would include "Go Fuck yourself, James." Over and over. In sharpie so I can't read her Godawful advice (which is probably, "find an already popular book, plagerise in a fanfiction, buy some fans, send it to an editor, get lucky, then if anyone dares use your ideas - because they're YOURS now - sue the fuck out of them")

      I just ... I can't even ... is this why I'm not published yet?

  28. I never understood the difference between making love or fucking either. Maybe I'm just not emotionally mature enough.
    I have to admit that even with you being my buffer between me and this book, I still get so blindly angry that I black out for a bit. I'm shocked that when I read the post you wrote in the first book's recap that you weren't sure you were going to do the other two books and there were comments about how the relationship/they get better. This is better?! If my boyfriend pulled this shit I would punch him in the dick.
    What is funny is I was in the Goth/Punk scene when I was a teen and I had a bracelet made out of mini handcuffs and I still have my favorite black leather watch that has handcuffs all over the band. Now I have to wait for this damn fad to get over to start wearing the watch again and who knows how long that will be and I'm getting to old to wear stuff like that.

  29. I do the same, throwing on my favorite plum dress and black sandals, and I'm conscious I've chosen this outfit because Christian likes it.

    SHE STILL HAS KATE'S DRESS?! What a terrible friend.

    Remember how I mentioned a while back that I wanted to do a psychological write up on Ana? Well, I finally did do that DSM IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 4th edition, Text Revision) diagnostic analysis. Links included. As a warning, I'm not a professional, this is just what I got from reading about this character and how she interacts with people.

    Anastasia Steele

    Personal History: single child, parents divorced, biological father dead, somewhat close to her stepfather, mother remarried four times, few friends
    Medical History: Possible heart condition, acute stress reaction
    Psychiatric History: Never been in therapy/diagnosed
    Symptoms: Visual and auditory hallucinations (her "subconscious" and "inner goddess"), paranoia, feelings of inadequacy, feelings of irrational jealousy, lack of empathy, everything is about her, nothing is really her fault, dependency (while claiming independence), inability to make up her mind, flat/blunted affect

    GAF=51 (current) Moderate symptoms (e.g., flat affect and circumstantial speech, occasional panic attacks) OR moderate difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning (e.g., few friends, conflicts with peers or co-workers)

    Axis I: 295.70 Schizoaffective Disorder, Depressive Type
    R/O Schizophrenia
    307.50 Eating Disorder NOS
    R/O Orthorexia Nervosa
    R/O Alcohol Abuse
    Axis II: 301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder
    Axis III: Acute stress reaction, possible hypertension
    Axis IV: Abusive relationship with husband, lack of family support
    Axis V: GAF=51 (current)

    R/O= Rule Out
    NOS= Not Otherwise Specified (by the DSM standards)
    GAF= Global Assessment of Functioning

    This is all coming from what I learned during a class on maladaptive behavior. Through the course, we were given several vignettes (all of them from real life cases) as practice for doing the Axis diagnosis. My instructor said that I got pretty good at it and I passed my final with flying colors, so… Yeah. If I had a chance to sit down with this character and actually interview her, I might have some different conclusions. As I said, I'm no professional. As another note, I quit grad school because I didn't feel comfortable with it after all the stuff I learned in two criminology courses. Some things I would rather just not know. It's back to searching for a graphic design job to go with my undergraduate degree for me.

    Which isn't working out so well.

    1. This was very instructive and educational. Thanks for taking the time to do this and hope you find a job soon!

    2. speaking of psychological disorders, chedward has severe narcissistic personality disorder (which is not someone who wants to look in the mirror all the time, btw). my dad has it, so trust me when i say i can spot it. and my dad is a mild case (but still enough to be emotionally damaging). chedward is off the fucking chart.

    3. Read at the end, Cassandra talks about this guide for knowing if someone is a borderline psychopath, and Chedward rates pretty high. I also love her gay-boy gif every time she questions Ana's sexuality. I don't know if it's available on btw, but she has part of the book on her blog

    4. Good show! No I am not a brit but I have read those books and they were flat out hilarious! I urge all haters of 50 shades to read them. The anger everyone here feels about 50 will fade away into laughter.

  30. I'm watching the Rifftrax of Breaking Dawn Part 2 and near the end when Irina is questioned about Irina and she says that she made a mistake, Bill says the author of Fifty Shades of Grey finally breaks down. Haha I love rifftrax.

  31. Jenny, if you're Merlin, may I please be Morgana (I want to be as pretty as Katie McGrath).

    I'm saying it. This guy. This fucking GUY! Where does he get off being mad that his wife WASN'T at home to be viciously attacked?

    and I do not understand how "I want to beat the shit out of you" could possibly be romanticised. I do not understand... If a guy on the street said that, you'd be screaming assault. Hell, we judge Chris Brown nine ways to Sunday (and rightfully so) for doing exactly that to Rihanna.

    just... WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!

    I hate this planet.

    1. Sadly if you go searching on Chris Brown fansites or twitter (not something I recommend you do) you can find hundreds of people claiming he never beat up Rhianna, that she made it all up. Or that she must have "done something to provoke him" [ repeatedly punch her in the face and bite her and choke her until she almost passed out]

      This is not just people defending a fictional character. It's far far worse than that.

    2. Sorry I forgot... not to mention the many many tweets along the lines of "I'd let Chris Brown punch me in the face"

      The world is a disturbing place.

    3. oh, that's right. only sane people judge Chris Brown for his actions... i'm assuming those girls who say Rihanna provoked him also dream of marrying Chedward. oy.

  32. You know, I'm really, really pale, but I never look in the mirror and think "I'm pale. I'm always pale." Who does that?

    1. I'm really pale also, but I only think about it when I'm at the beach wearing a hat, sunglasses, long sleeves, and a few pounds of sunscreen next to people in bikinis getting tan. I also sometimes am annoyed that I will most definitely have skin cancer at some point despite my precautions.

      I don't just look in the mirror and think, "I'm pale." I went to an elementary school where I was one of two white students, and even THEN I didn't ruminate on it. It's a fact. It's not something to dwell on.

      Of course, she's supposed to be pale so she can fit in with her vampire buddies in Twilight. I'm not sure what the point of it is in this book.

    2. Me. I get paler after exercise. I took before- and after-ballet pics a week or two ago and complained on Twitter about it. I'm aware of it because people always think I'm sick and ask about it.

    3. When I get really tired, I get way paler than usual (which is saying a lot for me). I tend to notice because I look slightly dead.

  33. the first .gif had me totally falling out of the bed!! seriously! Also, what the fuck is wrong with this girl? who says "I know" when someone-any guy tells u that he wants to beat the shit out of you? E.L.James, I WANT TO BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF YOU!!!

  34. I might be slow, but it took me this long to fully apprehend the enormity of Chedward's misogyny. That bit where he outright states he wants to beat the shit out of her? It hit me like a train. And just as I was metaphorically getting back on my feet, I am trampled by the fact that Ana genuinely believes he is entitled to decide whether she goes to work or even leaves the fucking house.

    These books. These fucking books. And they're being marketed at teenagers now. Wow. Lovely.

  35. "I don't want to fight. I was coming to ask you if I could take my car."
    "No. You can't," he snaps.
    "Okay." I acquiesce immediately.

    I just laughed. I've already wasted all my anger and now I just laugh. BTW I like the gifs, keep them going, please:-)

    1. That shows it's not really her car. It's his, and she can only use it with his permission. If it really belonged to her, she could do whatever she wanted with it.

    2. This is why he got rid of her bug.

  36. This is just so. aaaargh! I fucking hate them. All of them. -.-

    But Merlin is cute. :)

  37. This is the chapter that's brought me the closest to screaming out loud at the book and wanting to set it on fire. He gets mad at her for going out, which turned out for the best since she was able to avoid a dangerous encounter with a stalker? Fucking hell.

    Also, I offer a theory as to why Christian didn't want Ana calling/going to the police: A lot of police officers are men--and we all know how Christian feels about Ana being in close proximity to ANY other male besides him.

    1. Your theory makes a lot more sense than mine (that it was some sort of PTSD about cops from when he was stuck with his dead birth mother as a child). I keep forgetting how completely over-the-top obsessively jealous Christian is about all other men and his "possessions". It's almost like this "romantic hero" is a pathetically insecure bullying sociopath or something.

    2. I really don't understand why women keep writing leading male characters like that, as possessive and jealous and viewing any other man as competition while the woman can never be trusted in another man's vicinity lest she somehow suddenly snap and run away with him because of her crazy lady hormones >.< Hell, I don't even think I've written any male characters like that in my own stories. I don't think it's something I've ever considered sexy, I just see it as creepy and immature.

      Apart of me wishes Ana would just run away with some other random guy in the story, at least things would get interesting...

    3. Ooh, I have Ana run away and shack up with a guy, way up in the mountains in my spitefic. She assumes a new identity, while her bodyguard plans ways to make Christian pissed off to the point of recklessness.

      Then Christian dies. A glorious, fiery death that leaves no reason to give him a "proper" burial.

    4. Writerling, in my Sacred Blood manuscript, my hero character actually trusts the woman. He's also not a jerk, and when he did get pissed and yell at her, he immediately regretted it and groveled, though I think most of us would feel justified being really angry if someone just let the enemies know where we are. Some of the things he said crossed a line and his family sided against him.

      He also acknowledged earlier in the book his chauvinistic history. Even when the woman character here tries dismissing it as it's just how he was raised 20 years ago, he accepts responsibility and uses abolitionists as an example of people who went against their upbringing to do right.

      I'm still waiting for any agent to be interested. It's not abusive enough, and a few people have told me I'd have a better chance if she ends up with the abuser who sold her body to a friend without telling her, and then reformed him. Not enough desks in the world for me to slam my head into for that one.

    5. @Mandi - Oh my God, I spent yesterday reading Intervention of Ana, I love it so far! :P And I usually don't like hard sci-fi-ish kinda stories, but this one has me real interested. Great world-building, and some of the stuff Christian says I wouldn't even be surprised if I read them in the actual trilogy. Great stuff.

      @Alys - Why am I not surprised that some people would think that was a great idea for the female lead to end up with the abuser? Is it because he somehow *makes* her see the power of his love and possession or some bullshit like that and just for her *own good*? >.<

  38. BTW, when I read "relaxed CEO", I immediately pictured Richard Branson lounging barefoot on a beach on his private island, a person who seems strikingly un-like Christian Grey. I've seen a lot of Silicon Valley CEO's and assorted rich folk who seem pretty damn relaxed most of the time as well.

    So I think it's not necessarily a bad description, other than that it's a completely terrible and out-of-character description of Christian Grey. I haven't read the books, so maybe I'm missing something, but has this fucking guy ever been relaxed about anything, ever? I'm surprised he's not constantly having to go to the dentist from all the constant teeth-grinding he seems to be doing (or would be doing, if James were a better writer).

  39. I just paused in my reading to say I would care if something happened to Mike Illitch (founder and owner of
    Little Caesars). He's a wonderful old little man and he own's my favorite hockey team so yeah, I'd care.


    back to the recap...

  40. Did we seriously just have an entire chapter devoted to whether or not Christian came back from NY because his wife was almost kidnapped or because she disobeyed him? Because that is all that happened in this chapter. It's appalling what passes for conflict and/or plot in this book.

    I suppose anyone who thinks it's "romantic" when your spouse is so overprotective of you that it's ok for them to take that anxiety out on you probably thinks that their constant fighting and power struggles is ALSO romantic and wouldn't be put off by the someone pointing out how much time they spend fighting. Because it's passionate, you guys.

    I would love to see someone do some kind of summary listing each conflict in the books that is introduced, and then dropped, without resolution, to never be mentioned again (or possibly once in passing) when the next one starts. Or maybe I should just wait for E.L. James's book on writing tips: "Introduce a new conflict every 2-3 chapters so your readers won't get bored." Even soap operas aren't as bad.

  41. I didn't know there were more ways for this book to piss me off, but as someone in a police family I just go bonkers over the snarly, angry detective stereotype that has come out of TV. Why would you be so angry, barking questions at the dang witness/victim?? Also, what is the obsession with bringing people back to the station? And why isn't this guy getting any sleep? He's not even a homicide detective, he's in investigations, they work regular daytime hours-- in fact, why did a detective get woken up to come to the scene in the first place if it wasn't a homicide? Homicides you call a detective and it's super time-sensitive. But a break-in and intended assault? Patrol cops handle this crap. They arrest Hyde. They take a statement. Later on she's going to hear from some lawyers.


    1. Maybe they think the overzealous security detail could have accidentally killed Hyde while subduing him, making this potentially homicide. I bet the police hate responding to these calls when private security is involved. They must go in prepared to arrest absolutely anybody.

  42. I'm writing a new fanfic from the points of view of Subconscious and Inner Goddess. They hate each other, and they both hate being stuck inside Ana's otherwise-empty head. They were put there as punishment, in fact; each of them used to belong to someone else, but they both did something very bad, so the judge sent them to the head of the biggest dimwit in North America. In a head so devoid of intelligence, they were supposed to have time to reflect and mend their mischievous ways.

    But then Ana meets Christian. She has no way of processing her emotions other than to project them onto the tiny genies in her unused brain. And every time she makes them wear stupid costumes or express idiotic opinions, they hate her a little more and they punish her by prompting her to ignore Grey's abusiveness and put up with his bullshit. An uneasy truce develops as they watch with glee as Ana fails at everything.

    But things take a turn for the serious when Ana decides to commit to Grey and begins to lose the meagre shreds of sanity and intelligence she had. there's going to come a point where the ladies are going to have to put their differences aside if either of them is going to escape the rising tide of stupid that threatens their shared home...

    1. I would so read that.

    2. 10/10 Would read.

    3. I'd love to link to it on if you don't mind, Anon.

    4. :) nothing's ready to be seen yet but I'll keep you posted

  43. In a former relationship, my partner and I were very into cable ties. Yes, they can be fun; yes, they hurt; no, you cannot use them without getting bruised, or at least marked. Unless you put some padding under them, but then you may as well just be using cuffs.

  44. This is fairly unrelated to above discussion, but I re-watched 'Secretary' (which I love) the other day, and the messed-up dom character is also called "Mr Gray".. Is E.L. plagiarising NAMES too!?

    1. I just think E.L. is a self-entitled knob who thinks everything she does is genius when in fact she lacks imagination and actual grammar skills. She's probably one of those morons who thinks writing is *easy* just because she's the world's luckiest loser at the moment...

    2. See, I've watched "Secretary" with my partner at the time (we definitely enjoyed our share of BDsM in the bedroom) and we laughed during the whole movie. My friends had recommended it, raving about it and let us borrow it thinking it would really get us going. We were just really found it hilarious. Masturbating to peas? lol There was just so much silly for us. I'd probably have to re-watch it now to actually see if maybe with age I've matured past the odd parts like that, though. lol

    3. I have a theory that ELJ was reading Twilight while Nip/Tuck was playing in the background. Christian Troy is a pretty kinky dude who's rich and successful, but he's stayed single all these years because he doesn't want emotional baggage. (Let's ignore the Julia thing for a moment and just go with the first impression.)

  45. TOOOOOO many yesses! I have a teenage daughter; I taught her a long time ago that when you find a creepy stalker of any species watching you sleep, you take the 9 iron to him (she says the putter will do more damage at short range). When you find this deviant in your shop, phone the cops. End of fucking STORY.

  46. Just...ugh. This book. This fucking book.

    It's a whole series where Joffrey Baratheon is the romantic hero, and somehow millions of people think that's completely okay.

    1. I might have enjoyed if the ex subs banded together to give him and Ana a Red Wedding for their very own.

      Although it sickens me to liken Rob Stark with Grey.

  47. Please tell me the book ends with them killing themselves, Romeo and Juliet style.

    1. Pfft, all the ladies out there who actually like this tripe would still probably think that ending would be *uber-romantic* and 'see, they really do love one another!' like people do with Romeo and Juliet now *barfs* Hell, I think even if it was a murder-suicide with Christian killing Ana, then himself, everyone would still warp it into it being 'but Christian couldn't live without her, so he did it because he *luvs* her, no one else could have her!' That's how sick these people are. They actively choose not to acknowledge the obvious abusive overtones in this book and try to rationalise them somehow.

    2. There would be a plus side to the Romeo and Juliet ending if people chose to enact it: Darwinism at its finest.

      At least with that ending, you KNOW she died at her own hand and not his.

    3. Would you really be surprised if Ana killed herself if Christian left her for some *evil* blonde or something happened to him? She couldn't *possibly* keep on living without him! What man would *ever* match him in her short lifetime? It's either move on or become a shrivelled old spinster at the grand old age of *gasp* 30! Of course, like abuse, James would probably romanticise such references to suicide and these idiots who actually enjoy this would eat it up

  48. Jenny, for your next recap can I recap gifs from the UK version of Being Human. Because that would be awesome!

    1. OMG, I love you! BH is the best! Why did that have to get axed, yet this Fifty Shades shit gets to live on somehow? :(

  49. I wonder if all of these break-ins are actually Chedward's elaborate scheme to either get Ana killed or else make her totally dependent on him. That's why he doesn't want to involve the police--Jack, Leila? Actually working for him.

  50. I am married to a man with narcissistic personality disorder, and contrary to what most people think, it's not a problem that means my husband likes what he looks like and spends too much time gazing into the mirror. It's a serious fucking problem, and unfortunately, the spouse doesn't usually see the symptoms of it until he/she is firmly entrenched in the marriage, making it difficult to leave. We have children together, our finances are interwoven, as are our lives. By the time I figured out what was going on, I was in deep. And the person with NPD is usually very much in denial about it, thinking he is perfect and any problems in the relationship lie with the other person. He is usually very abusive and impossible to deal with.

    So yeah, my husband has NPD to a great degree. But Chedward? He's off the motherfucking charts.

    1. idk if you saw my comment up there somewhere, but my dad has npd. my mom finally asked for a divorce and so they're going through that now.
      so i can definitely agree that npd is very real and can be very damaging to anyone close to the person with the disorder. and to make matters worse, the narcissist will likely not ever acknowledge that they have a problem and just continue to blame other people.
      i don't really know where i'm going with this, but i understand completely.

  51. I'm a guinea pig owner and always have zip ties on hand. For many owners, they're pretty indispensable--we use them to build cages, hay racks, playpens, etc. I guess the clerk at the grocery store where I bought them now thinks I'm a kinky freak, lol.

    This chapter wigged me out even more than the others (which isn't easy) b/c seriously, Ana sounds so much like an abuse victim. Like it was legit freaking me out. The more I read the more DDDDDDDDDDDDD: I was.

    The Claire's thing is so weird, too. I can't wait till these fucking books fade away.

    Until then, however, I will just laugh at these recaps, b/c they are legit the best thing to come out of these books' existence.

  52. This causes a three page email fight, in which Christian refuses to answer the question and ends his final email to her:

    You should watch your language. I am still fucking pissed.

    This was such a small moment amongst the many MANY things I found offensive about this entire series, but it still made me really mad. So Chedward is telling Ana that her delicate ladylike little mouth must utter only the purest words full of rainbows and obedience but he is allowed to drop the F bomb when he tells her to watch her mouth? This. Fucking. Guy.

  53. *Ugh*. You know, I think Chedward really *was* hoping that Ana would get hurt/kidnapped. That way, she'd learn that wanting to do anything independently of him would have horrible results. Plus, if she was traumatized, she'd be all the more vulnerable to emotional manipulation. Win-win!

    (Granted, there was a chance that Jack might kill her. But hey, two out of three positives ain't bad!)

  54. I haven't commented before this though I absolutely LOVE these recaps.

    I live a 24/7 bdsm relationship-- basically even though Sir and I have lots of vanilla sex, I submit to him 24/7 as a consenting adult.

    This fucking book is terrible and I don't see the whole Daddy dom thing at all. I'm not a little and Sir is not a "daddy" but we have friends with that dynamic, and Christian and Ana do not use that dynamic at all. It's extremely common after an intense scene or intensely sadistic punishment for the top to provide aftercare for their bottom. Sometimes this means a lot of snuggles and a situation kind of described in the book where the sub basically crawls up onto their Dom's lap and gets lots of cuddles and kisses and sweet words. Sometimes it's just the sub getting wrapped up in a blanket, given a drink and some rubs and then left to "come down" from sub-space gently. What's going on with Ana and Christian isn't a scene or clear-cut "punishment". When a Dom does punish their sub, they are always super careful to clearly state, "This is a punishment and this is why I'm punishing you." Otherwise, they're engaging in a scene and there's been some warning and discussion before hand. I can't think of a single fucking time these two boorish and fucking awful characters have actually communicated and Ana has actually, you know, consented.

    1. (con't)

      All that being said without fail almost every Daddy-little relationship I've seen is hallmarked by the fact that Daddies are rarely sadists. Usually corporal punishment is relegated to spanking with a bare hand if they even use it at all. I've never yet personally met a little who is a pain slut or a masochist. That just isn't the proper context for a S&M relationship at all. Usually a slave or a sub is going to be in a relationship with that type of dynamic, not a babygirl.

      The final thing that really puzzles the absolute fuck out of me is Christian's blase use of sadistic techniques without any regard for the context. Sir is a sadist and I am a masochist. When Sir pulls me over his knee to beat my ass for a half hour, I know it's not because I am in trouble, it's because we both love it and I've consented to it. Sir usually stops along the way of "funishing" me to make sure I'm okay and obtain my ongoing consent (or he gets it as he does it, i.e. after every smack I have to tell him how much I love it, hehe!). When I legit fuck up in my duties (mostly chores because I am lazy as shit, woops) he does not spank me or whip me or tie me up or viciously throat fuck me. He usually has me write lines or puts me in a stress position while I have to read out loud from a book I hate or he has me do pages of multiplication problems without a calculator. If I super fuck up big time he'll take away my hot water privileges for a week. Sir is not alone in using these techniques- every Dom who is also a sadist with a masochist does this and there is a clear as daylight line of demarcation between funishment and punishment. Sexy, fun, S&M things are relegated for pleasure use, not for behavioral correction, because a) using sadism as a punishment for a masochist is fucking dumb as hell and just begging for a sub to purposefully break the rules just to get some spanking action and b) it's confusing as hell for a sub to have corporal "punishment" be used both for pleasure and as a corrective measure and it's potentially psychologically damaging to not have a clear cut line of the whys and whens certain things are done.

    2. (con't)

      I could write an entire book on everything that is wrong, wrong, wrong with Ana and Christian's relationship but it absolutely disgusts me and it disgusts me that ignorant women are getting off to EL James stupidly equivocating a BDSM 24/7 relationship to some fucked up dude being an abusive bag of jagged dildos to a woman. If Sir ever treated me the way Christian treats Ana the last thing he'd see before being served divorce papers would be my ass out the god damn door and I am not alone among women who are subs. You are 100 percent correct that the only dynamic going on between these two is an abuse dynamic and each of them as individuals being absolutely terrible people.

  55. Hey I just wanted to let you know that Claires has sold handcuff jewelry in the past. Years ago I had seen mini handcuff earrings, the dangly kind, and I bought at least 4 bracelets which were each made of 4 mini handcuffs linked together to form a chain. Those bracelets are freakin awesome because each of the mini handcuffs were separate, working trick handcuffs with the little lever on the side to undo them, so they all came apart. You could link all the bracelets together and make a giant necklace chain. I gave a couple of them away as birthday presents and I think I lost a couple of individual cuffs, but I know I have at least one intact bracelet! I love it.

  56. This chapter was really the one that made me pissed as hell. But....the Merlin gif's was what kept me laughing! Can you add more to the next recap? Please? :)

  57. "She's never going to wise up, people who love the series are never going to wise up, and we're all basically doomed."

    Also I've been reading lately that there has been an increase in pregnancies of 50 Shades readers (naturally because reading about boring sex is such a turn on)


  58. I'm a babygirl in a full time Daddy/little relationship. If my Daddy /ever/ treated me the way Christian treats Ana in these books, he'd be like my ex-partner and not someone I'd be with in any way, shape, or form. (Whoops, had my own CG for a while there!)

    It's inadvisable for a Daddy (Or /any/ Dominant,) to use the silent treatment or affection withdrawl as punishment. It will fuck with your submissive/babygirl a /lot/. It would fuck with me so much and make me wonder what I did wrong to make my Daddy /angry enough/ to not want to talk to me and not want to explain to me what I did wrong, because if/when I do something wrong, he'll sit down with me and tell me what I did wrong, and what I should do instead for next time. And he'll reassure me that I'm a good girl and that everything is okay, and we all make mistakes. (And those talks are punishment enough, honestly. Barring that we have a long distance relationship right now, I get nervous and embarrassed enough over him explaining to me what I did wrong that I'll never do it again, and the embarrassment lasts for days, haha. And, especially lately, I haven't done anything, and don't do anything, that really warrants a real punishment, rather than "funishment".)

    The whole "crawling into Daddy's lap" concept is something I love about the dynamic - my Daddy infantalizes me on a daily basis, but even so, it's not something that is done to control me or demean me/all aspects of my life. It makes us both very happy, and past that I'm still an independent woman who has a career to manage and family obligations to uphold. He never pushes about that and is always as respectful as possible, and encourages me to work/uphold obligations. The dynamic also helps ground the both of us in hard or rough times, so it's extremely beneficial from an emotional standpoint, too.

    And I have to respectfully disagree with Qora - I enjoy pain/the idea of some painful play! I really am interested in edge play, impact play, some light blood play, etc - but that might change when Daddy and I try it. :) (Though I know that I love spanking as a "funishment", definitely!)

    But yes. There is absolutely nothing D/s related in these books whatsoever. It's an abuse dynamic, plain and simple. (And also I really enjoy reading your recaps Jenny! I'll read them to Daddy whenever there's a new one out and we both laugh and facepalm really hard. Keep going,you're almost done! ;w; )

  59. @Anonymous

    I don't think I phrased myself well there but the point I was trying to make is I don't know of any Daddies/babygirls that use pain as both punishment and funishment, it's usually one or the other though as in all things everyone is different! I know lots of subs are masochists and others aren't at all, I just see the clearest divide between play and punishment with our friends that are in Daddy/babygirl dynamic. I didn't really think it through fully before typing that, so apologies!!

  60. Chedward's inner goddess. Ha! ...Oh wait, now I don't like Anthony Head anymore because of the Chedward. =*(

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  62. Hahaha, she just got it backwards! It's "offense is the best defense". That's a saying.

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    And it makes sense. BUT HOW THE HELL IS DEFENDING THE BEST WAY OF ATTACKING? Sorry, I just got stuck on that, being a sports fan.

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  72. Hot Topic started carrying 50 Shades merchandise. Thats a teen store too. I used to shop there a lot when I was in middle school. Since they also carry stuff like Justin Beiber, One Direction, Twilight and Doctor Who merchandise, they've probably got a younger customer base than when I was in middle school 10 years ago. Not good. So not good.

  73. Hot Topic started carrying 50 Shades merchandise. Thats a teen store too. I used to shop there a lot when I was in middle school. Since they also carry stuff like Justin Beiber, One Direction, Twilight and Doctor Who merchandise, they've probably got a younger customer base than when I was in middle school 10 years ago. Not good. So not good.

  74. So there's this My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fic where Fluttershy manipulates and breaks Rainbow Dash's mind so she acts like a child and becomes her "baby". Later she makes her drink a serum that makes it irreversible. This entire chapter reminded me of that fic, with all the emphasis on infantilizing Ana, and it's every bit as creepy.

    - Nana

  75. 'I'm not saying he's trying to have her killed, but he certainly doesn't want to tell the police how disappointed he is that she didn't get killed, you know what I'm saying?'

    That's if the police ever get called in the first place.

    The picture of Chedward's inner goddess made me laugh until I wheezed.


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