Sunday, June 2, 2013

50 Shades Freed recap Chapter Seventeen or "Grey's Anatomy"

Someone sent me this link: Scott Shepherd Hit My Friend and I'm sorry, I don't remember who sent it to me, but it's worth reading. It's a perfect example of how society punishes women for their abuse.

In this link, Laci Green describes the differences between a healthy relationship and a not healthy relationship. NSFW, language wise.

And Yahoo! has everything under control, kinksters (many folks sent me this link) BDSM practitioners aren't mentally ill: study. Basically, rest easy, you're not into kink

When we last left Ana, she had just gotten a call saying her father was in the hospital.
"Mr. Rodriguez, what's happened?" My voice is hoarse and thick with unshed tears. Ray. Sweet Ray. My dad.
I love it when the first lines of a chapter are super clumsy.

Ray has been in a car accident, and he's been transfered to a hospital in Portland:
Portland? What the hell is he doing in Portland?
Yeah, why didn't they take him to Seattle Grace?

 Seattle Grace is on Ana's proscribed list of hospitals. Because this.

Actually, it's better that they didn't take Ana's dad to Seattle Grace, because there are too many evil hot chicks there:
And of course, an evil gay man. Look at all of them, plotting to steal Ana's husband. Especially the blonde.

Ray has been airlifted to the Oregon Health and Sciences university hospital, and Mr. Rodriguez and José OMG I CAN ACTUALLY PUT THE ACCENT MARK IN BLOGGER'S COMPOSE MODE?! WHEN THE FUCK DID THIS HAPPEN?!

Ahem. José and his father will meet Ana in Portland. She calls her boss up and tells him what's going on, and tells Hannah to cancel all her appointments for the rest of the day and Monday. Which, of course, is going to affect her birth control shot again. I don't want to spoiler it for anyone, but Ana MAAAAAAY be pregnant.

Hannah says:
"I hope he's okay. Don't worry about anything here. We'll muddle through."
Keeping in mind that Ana has worked there all of three months, three weeks of which she was on her honeymoon, is she really that integral to daily operations? Or by "muddle through" does Hannah mean, "We'll somehow manage to make it through our days without your husband dropping by to cause a scene and interrupt us all?"
The concern etched on her pinched, pale face is almost my undoing.
Even in crisis, Ana can think of the most unflattering adjectives possible to describe another woman.

Ana orders Sawyer to take her to Portland. This is how it goes down:
"We're going to Portland- now."
"Okay, ma'am," he says, frowning, but opens the door.
Moving is good.
"Mrs. Grey," Sawyer asks as we race toward the parking lot. "Can I ask why we're making this unscheduled trip?"
"It's my dad. He's been in an accident."
"I see. Does Mr. Grey know?"
"I'll call him from the car."
Compare this to Ana's interaction with Prescott in the chapter before, and earlier in the book when she goes out for drinks with Kate. Prescott fought with Ana over seeing Leila and going out with Kate, and ultimately she was fired when Ana did what she wanted to do. Ana just told Sawyer she's making an unscheduled trip to another state, and he's like, "Yes, ma'am." There is no chance of him getting fired, because he's a white male. And you might be thinking, "But Jenny, this is an emergency, her father is in the hospital." To you, I say, "This is Christian Fucking Grey. Why wouldn't he fire someone for driving Ana out of state without his express permission, even in an emergency? He only wants to keep her safe."

Ana tries to call Christian, but she gets his assistant, instead. She leaves a message and then he calls her immediately back, so... what was the point of a page-long conversation with his assistant? Why did we have to read that? She doesn't have any ECIF (external conflict/internal feelings) about not being able to reach Christian, it has nothing to do with the plot, but we had to read it because E.L. is, at this point, bored of writing this story and she's adding unneeded shit to pad out her word count.

Ana talks to Christian and tells him her father has been in an accident and she's heading to Portland. Christian is going to fly there to meet her, but he can't come for about three hours:
Oh shit. Charlie Tango is back in commission and the last time Christian flew her...
"I have a meeting with some guys over from Taiwan. I can't blow them off. It's a deal we've been hammering out for months."
Why do I know nothing about this?
Do we really need an answer here? Ana, you didn't know your husband had a list of people your security team was supposed to forbid you from seeing. Why would he tell you jack or shit about his business?

PS. Christian could have just said, "I'll meet you in three hours," but he had to be sure to mention flying. For a moment there, Ana was almost worried about someone other than Christian, which is obviously unacceptable.
After hanging up, I hug my knees once more. I know nothing about Christian's business. What the hell is he doing with the Taiwanese?
Ana knows nothing about his business, but she somehow finds it odd or incongruous that he would be working with a company from Taiwan? Why do we even have this thought in here? Shouldn't she be more concerned about the fact that her father has been airlifted somewhere after a horrible accident?
He must fly safely. My stomach knots anew and nausea threatens. Ray and Christian. I don't hink my heart could take that. Leaning back, I start my mantra again: Please let him be okay. Please let him be okay.
We all know she's talking about Christian and not her dad now, right?

After a section break, they arrive at OHSU:
My mind flits back to my last visit to OHSU, when, on my second day, I fell off a stepladder at Clayton's, twisting my ankle. I recall Paul Clayton hovering over me and shudder at the memory.
Now, we remember that Paul asked Ana out and she wasn't in to him. Maybe it's because it's been a year since I read the first book, but was he really like, so creepy and bad that you wouldn't want him to help you if you twisted your ankle? And hey, Ana, maybe he was hovering over you because you were a brand new employee and he was worried you'd sue his family business. But either way, this paragraph is stuck in here to remind us that Ana has never, ever had naughty down there feelings for any man other than Christian, and men are able to form intense and creepy obsessions with Ana in a mere two days. This is important to remember, because in the OR waiting room, she runs into José:
"Ana!" Mr. Rodriguez gasps. His arm is in a cast, and his cheek is bruised on one side. He's in a wheelchair with one of his legs in a cast, too. I gingerly wrap my arms around him.
If you're having a hard time picturing this totally original, wheelchair bound character, allow me to provide some help:

It's not plagiarism if everybody ignores it!

José gives Ana a hug:
José gently strokes my hair. I wrap my arms around his neck and softly weep. We stand like this for ages, and I'm so grateful that my friend is here. We pull apart when Sawyer joins us in the waiting room.
Because he'll inform on you to your husband. At this point, Sawyer mumbles into his headset, "She touched another man, sir. Should we initiate protocol Othello?" No, just kidding, that doesn't happen. But let's be honest here, we all know it could.
José holds up his hands to halt my barrage of questions and sits down beside me. "We don't have any news. Ray, Dad, and I were on a fishing trip to Astoria. We were hit by some stupid fucking drunk- "
Mr. Rodriguez tries to interrupt, stammering an apology.
"Cálmate, Papa," José snaps. "I don't have a mark on me, just a couple of bruised ribs and a knock on the head. Dad... well, Dad broke his wrist and ankle. But the car hit the passenger side and Ray."

According to Google maps, it taks about two hours and forty-six minutes to drive from Seattle, where Ana works, to Portland, where her dad is in the hospital. Mr. Rodriguez told Ana on the phone that he was about to leave the hospital in Astoria at the beginning of the chapter. But he has already a) been seen by doctors b) been sent for xrays c) had those xrays read, and d) been casted and released from the ER. Then he drove to the hospital and got there before Ana did. That entire "You've got a broken leg" process takes a lot of time, so... why didn't José call Ana to tell her? If he was fine, why did he wait until his dad was discharged for anyone to let Ana know that her father was seriously injured? Either the timeline here doesn't make sense, or the Rodriguezs are jerks.
Oh no, no... Panic swamps my limbic system again. 
I get that Ana is supposed to be really, super smart, but how many times does the average person, in the middle of a serious emotional crisis, think, "My hippocampus is totally doing [x] right now?"

Ana is freezing, so José gives her his jacket and Sawyer gets her some tea:
Sawyer reenters, bearing a paper cup of hot water and a separate tea bag. He knows how I take my tea!
...made out of hot water and a tea bag? I don't...
We wait... and wait. Mr. Rodriguez with his eyes closed, praying I think, and José holding my hand and squeezing it every now and then. I slowly sip my tea. It's not Twinings, but some cheap nasty brand, and it tastes disgusting.
Like Twinings is the most posh and exclusive tea brand that there is? I'm dying. Twinings is like three dollars a box.
I remember the last time I waited for news. The last time I thought all was lost, when Charlie Tango went missing.
The tea was better then. It was rich people tea.
Closing my eyes, I offer up a silent prayer for the safe passage of my husband. I glance at my watch. 2:15 p.m. He should be here soon. My tea is cold... Ugh!
The order of storytelling importance in this chapter is:
  1. Tea
  2. Whether or not Christian gets in another helicopter crash
  3. Ray might die
Sorry, Ray. It's hard to compete with those one and two slots.
Christian strides in. His face darkens momentarily when he notices my hand in José's.
Really, Chedward? Really? You think she's trolling for a piece of ass in the hospital waiting room while her dad is fighting for his life? Way not trust your wife. What makes this even worse is, Ana doesn't even think, "Wow, I can't believe he really think I would cheat on him when my father is being operated on? What kind of person does he think I am?" She thinks:
Then I'm wrapped in his arms, his nose in my hair, and I'm inhaling his scent, his warmth, his love. A small part of me feels calmer, stronger, and more resilient because he's here. Oh, the difference his presence makes to my peace of mind.
So, there's that.

José introduces Christian to Mr. Rodriguez:
"Mr. Rodriguez- we met at the wedding. I take it you were in the accident, too?"
No, Christian, the wheelchair and casts are his Halloween costume, he thought he'd wear them to the hospital to see how convincing they were.

Once Christian has been filled in on the details of the accident, it's time to continue with his unchecked insecurity over Ana's friendship with José:
"Have you eaten?" he asks.
I shake my head.
"Are you hungry?"
I shake my head.
"But you're cold?" he asks, eyeing José's jacket.
I nod. He shifts in his chair, but wisely says nothing.
That's right. He's subtly letting Ana know how upset he is to have found her associating with José without his permission. So, I'm guessing we know at least one name on that "proscribed list."

A doctor comes in to update Ana on her father's condition:
"You're his next of kin?" the doctor asks. His bright blue eyes almost match his scrubs, and under any other circumstances I would have found him attractive.
 So what you're saying is... they did go to Seattle Grace?
"I'm his daughter, Ana."
"Miss Steele-"
"Mrs. Grey," Christian interrupts him.
"My apologies," the doctor stammers, and for a moment I want to kick Christian.
Welcome to the club, Ana. Not the Sub Club, just the club of people who want to cause bodily harm to Christian Grey. Seriously, sit down, little boy. This is not about you.
"He's suffered severe internal injuries," Dr. Crowe says, "principally to his diaphragm, but we've managed to repair them, and we were able to save his spleen. Unfortunately, he suffered a cardiac arrest during the operation because of blood loss. We managed to get his heart going again, but this remains a concern. [...]"
No shit? His heart stopping is a concern? I never would have guessed. Also, excuse me, but if he was in that much danger of bleeding out, why did they attempt to save his spleen? If it were damaged and bleeding and he was that bad off, a surgeon would just take it out. In fact, until recently, a surgeon wasn't going to try and save your punctured spleen at all.

Here's another thing I don't understand- and if there are any trauma doctors or surgeons who read this blog, or medical school students or what have you, feel free to correct me on this stuff, I'm not a doctor- but if they were taken to the hospital in Astoria first, wouldn't they have treated the massive internal bleeding themselves to stabilize him, then sent him via helicopter to OHSU? It seems like peritoneal lavage would have been performed when Charlie  Ray first came into the ER, and with a ruptured or punctured spleen they would have had to act fast. Dr. Crowe goes on to tell Ana that her father has a closed head injury, something that could have necessitated a transfer to a larger hospital, but it just seems sketch to me that they'd put someone with abdominal bleeding that bad in a helicopter and fly them to another hospital.
"And what's the prognosis?" Christian asks coolly.
"Mr. Grey, it's difficult to say at the moment. It's possible he could make a complete recovery, but that's in God's hands now."
I would be so mad if a doctor ever said that to me. Not just because I hate the default "of course everyone believes in God," but because it sounds like they're saying, "Well... basically... done here. Don't have a lot of interest in... you know. Saving your loved one. Let's just see what happens."

Ana gets permission to go see Ray, and Christian offers Sawyer's driving services to José and Mr. Rodriguez. Before they leave, José and Ana have a tender goodbye:
"Stay strong, Ana," José whispers in my ear. "He's a fit and healthy man. The odds are in his favor."
Let's try to remember which young adult franchise we're plagiarizing and when, okay, dear?

I hug him hard. Then, releasing him, I shrug off his jacket and hand it back to him.
"Keep it, if you're still cold."
"No, I'm okay. Thanks." Glancing nervously up at Christian, I see that he's regarding us impassively. Christian takes my hand.
Then he lifts his leg and pees on her, just in case all the other men in the hospital don't realize that she belongs to him.
And with that they leave. Christian and I are alone. He caresses my cheek. "You're pale. Come here." He sits down on the chair and pulls me onto his lap, folding me into his arms again, and I go willingly. I snuggle up against him, feeling oppressed by my stepfather's misfortune, but grateful that my husband is here to comfort me. He gently strokes my hair and holds my hand.
"How was Charlie Tango?" I ask.
He grins. "Oh, she was yar," he says, quiet pride in his voice. It makes me smile properly for the the first time in several hours, andI glance at him, puzzled.
"It's a line from The Philadelphia Story. Grace's favorite film."
"I don't know it."
"I think I have it on Blu-Ray at home. We can watch it and make out."
Her dad is in a coma.

What's the point of introducing a quirky new phrase for a character two thirds of the way through the third and final (oh god, I pray it is the final) book? Just to fill space? So he can impress Ana with his knowledge of old movies? Why did this scene feel like a good fit here? Was any of this information needed by the reader at all?

No? It's just a self-indulgent crapfest, you say? All right, then, carry on.

Christian tells Ana about the Taiwanese shipyard he's just purchased. It's cheaper to build ship hulls in Taiwan. But what about the shipyard and the workers he already has in the states?
"We'll redeploy. We should be able to keep redundancies to a minimum." He kisses my hair.
Oh baby, talk some more of that sexy talk about shipping American jobs overseas. It gets me all hot and squirmy to think of you two fucking idiots rolling around in a bed covered in money and your love juices while some blue collar shipyard worker gets told he's a redundancy and ends up moving his family of four out of their foreclosed house and into a two bedroom apartment.

But enough with Christian's business, let's go into the ICU to see Ray. He's in a bad way. I won't quote the whole description, but he's on a ventilator, he's got a cast on one leg, and his chest is covered in a big bandage. This is all very disturbing to Ana, but not so disturbing that she can't notice a few key details about the situation:
"A petite young nurse stands to one side, checking his monitors.
"Can I touch him?" I ask her, tentatively reaching for his hand.
"Yes." She smiles kindly Her badge says KELLIE RN, and she must be in her twenties. She's blonde with dark, dark eyes.
Ana. Your father is in a coma. Do you really need to point out to us that his nurse is not a natural blonde?

Okay, okay. I'm caught. I'm criticizing something that is actually a crucial plot detail, because you see, just a few lines later, this happens:
"All Mr. Steele's vitals are good," Nurse Kellie says quietly.
"Thank you," Christian murmurs. I glance up in time to see her gape. She's finally gotten a good look at my husband. I don't care. She can gape at Christian all she likes as long as she makes my father well again.
See, we know that Kellie is no threat to Ana right now because she's not a natural blonde. If E.L. hadn't included the description of Kellie's blonde hair and dark eyes, we would never have known that her blonde beauty was artifice, and we, the vapid, shallow readership of this crap,  would have been more concerned with the possibility of yet another evil!blonde ruining Ana's perfect fairy tale happiness. You know, instead of worrying about the dude in the bed in the coma.
"Can he hear me?" I ask.
"He's in a deep sleep. But who knows?"
Nurses do. Nurses know that coma patients can hear what's going on around them. I worked in an ICU/NCU, and I heard nurses every day telling people to talk to their loved ones, because they could hear them, or turning on the television so the people in the coma had noise to listen to. And this isn't some big mystery or anything; people who have been in comas often report that they were aware of what was happening around them.
"Can I sit for a while?"
"Sure thing." She smiles at me, her cheeks pink from a telltale blush. Incongruously, I find myself thinking blonde is not her true color.
No, Ana, that's not incongruous. You often think jealous, bitter, and uncharitable thoughts about other women and their appearances. Who do you think you're fooling here?

Christian goes out to make a phone call, while Ana stays with Ray and talks to him:
Very quietly, so as not to disturb anyone, I tell him about our weekend in Aspen and about last weekend when we were soaring and sailing aboard The Grace. I tell him about our new house, our plans, about how we hope to make it ecologically sustainable. I promise to take him to Aspen so he can go fishing with Christian and assure him that Mr. Rodriguez and José will both be welcome, too.
Worst. Coma. Ever. Can you imagine being unable to wake up, move your body, speak, but you have to listen to Anastasia Rose Steele talk to you? I would suggest they make a Twilight Zone episode about it, but I'm sure E.L. would just see Twilight in the title and plagiarize that, too. Plus, Ana is lying to this poor man; there's no way in hell José is ever going to Aspen with them.

After a while, Christian suggests they check into a hotel so Ana can rest and stay close to the hospital. Gosh, I wonder where they'll go?
The suite at the Heathman looks just as I remember it. How often have I thought about that first night and morning I spent with Christian Grey? I stand in the entrance to the suite, paralyzed. Jeez, it all started here.
Yeah, three long, long months ago, when your dreamy romance boyfriend kidnapped you from a night out with your friends and brought your unconscious body here and put you in his bed. He is truly Prince Charming.
"Do you want a shower? A bath? What do you need, Ana?" Christian gazes at me, and I know he's rudderless- my lost boy dealing with events beyond his control. He's been withdrawn and contemplative all afternoon. This is real life in the raw, and he's kept himself from that for so long, he's exposed and helpless now. My sweet, sheltered Fifty Shades.
I'm glad Ana is concentrating on the most important part of this whole ordeal with her father being on deaths' door: how Christian is handling it and whether or not he's able to fulfill his yearning for absolute control. Because I totally care about that psychopath's internal struggle right now.
"Oh, Ana," Christian murmurs. "I've not seen you like this. You're normally so brave and strong."
No she isn't.

They go to take a bath together, and Ana asks Christian if he got in the bathtub with Leila when he bathed her after her breakdown. He says he didn't, and then Ana asks how long he's going to support Leila.
"Until she's on her feet. I don't know." He shrugs. "Why?"
"Are there others?"
"Exes who you support."
"There was one, yes. No longer though."
"She was studying to be a doctor. She's qualified now and has someone else."

"Leila says you have two of her paintings," I whisper.
"I used to. I didn't really care for them. They had technical merit, but they were too colorful for me. I think Elliot has them As we know, he has no taste."
I giggle, and he wraps his other arm around me, sloshing water over the side of the bath.
"That's better," he whispers and kisses my temple.
"He's marrying my best friend."
"Then I'd better shut my mouth," he says.
Christian is being a good partner by distracting Ana with her favorite subject: dissing other women. Ana should be feeling a lot better about herself and her dad's situation now.

After a section break there is a pointless scene in which Christian gripes about Paul at Clayton's having a crush on Ana, because that is just unacceptable that any man laid eyes on her before Christian Grey came along, then there is another section break. In another pointless section, Ana and Christian talk about how young Ana looks and how she's going to be a year older the next day, and then Christian tries to get her to eat again, but she just wants to go back to the hospital.

Remember how I said before that these recaps would get shorter because not much was happening in the book? It is super evident in this chapter. The weird thing is, there's almost too much plot happening at any one time in the storyline, but there still is nothing happening now. Which means that when the plot actually does happen, it will be wrapped up with unrealistic speed. So if you've been really concerned and worried that the book might get unexpectedly good and there will be nothing to be angry over or to mock, don't worry. That definitely does not happen.

Christian and Ana go back to the ICU so Ana can say goodnight to her father. José is there, visiting, but he's just about to leave:
José eyes Christian quickly, then pulls me into a brief hug. "Mañana."
"I'M MEXICAN!" José screams, pulling a sombrero and serape out of no where before playing a jaunty tune with his Tejano band.
"He's still nuts about you," Christian says quietly.
"No he's not. And even if he is... " I shrug because right now I just don't care.
"And even if he is... it doesn't matter, because you've put your tiny golden shackle on me, and I'll be your prisoner forever."

Isn't it amazing how we're all reading this book where we're rooting for the heroine to end up with the guy who was basically going to date rape her in the first book of the series? Because compared to the guy she's actually with, he seems like the best option? What the fuck, world?
"Well done," I murmur.
He frowns.
"For not frothing at the mouth."
We're giving him praise for not causing a scene at her possibly dying father's beside over his petty insecurities. DREEEEEAAAAAM MAN.

Not a lot happens in this hospital visit, except Christian has had his mother and a Dr. Sluder, an "expert in her field," come to evaluate Ray's condition. Dr. Sluder assures Ana that her father will be okay. We don't learn what Dr. Sluder's field is. For all we know, it's farming mushrooms or building yurts or something.

After a section break, we're back at the Heathman, and Ana and Christian are going to bed.
We're not going to make love? And I'm relieved. In fact, he's had a totally hands-off approach with me all day. I wonder if I should be alarmed by this turn of events, but since my inner goddess has left the building and taken my libido with her, I'll think about it in the morning.
Sign #2,598,390 that this is not a healthy relationship: you should never have to wonder if the person you're with is mad at you for not having sex with them during a tragedy.
"Promise me you'll eat something tomorrow. I can just about tolerate you wearing another man's jacket without frothing at the mouth, but, Ana... you must eat. Please."
Ah, sign #2,598,391, right on schedule.
"Thank you for being here," I mumble and sleepily kiss his chest.
"Where else would I be? I want to be wherever you are, Ana. Being here makes me think of how far we've come. And the night I first slept with you. What a night that was. I watched you for hours. You were just... yar," he breathes.
Why is this coming up again? Is this a thing they're going to be saying now? Like "Laters, baby?" Because I may have reached my threshold of tolerance for these morons saying stupid shit.
"Sleep," he murmurs, and it's a command. I close my eyes and drift.
Every time I end a chapter with characters going to sleep or begin a chapter with them waking, I think about these books and I feel so, so ashamed.

That's it for this thrilling chapter, that was not in any way at all a means to stretch a third book out of what was originally a two-story series to bilk readers for more money.


  1. "I'M MEXICAN!" José screams, pulling a sombrero and serape out of no where before playing a jaunty tune with his Tejano band.

    I fucking love you.

    1. I second that. That line made me spit my chewing gum onto my keyboard I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY JEN

    2. Third that--still hysterical about that one. Overall recap was on fire though. So, so funny.

    3. That was the line that made me post this review on my Facebook wall.

    4. I'm pretty sure he had his band playing the Mexican Hat Dance and then he yelled, "Arriba arriba andale!" and ran off like Speedy Gonzalez.

  2. "Like Twinings is the most posh and exclusive tea brand that there is? I'm dying. Twinings is like three dollars a box."

    In EL's defense, more than a few actual Brits have told me Twinings is one of the best brands to drink. But I guess the "cheap" comment still doesn't make sense! Not that anyone expects much in this book to make sense ...

    1. Twinings is $2.39 at my local Walmart.

      Pinkies up!

    2. I don't mean they said it was expensive, just that it tastes good. I was getting advice on making the perfect cup of English Breakfast Tea. :-)

    3. The Brits I knew preferred PGM Tips. But to each their own.

    4. I feel like Twinings is considered to be better than whatever other brand, I think it's slightly more expensive here from what I've seen. I don't think cheap makes sense since it's not expensive relatively, but I could see bland as a comparison lol.

    5. Twinings Everyday isn't that nice (my mum HATES it) but if you go for their more expensive, loose leaf teas, I think they are awesome. But Ana being all "oh, it's not TWININGS" is a pile of crap, it's just someone saying the poshest thing they can think of to sound impressive.

    6. Really, if Ana was so into her tea, she would drink a blend from a speciality store, loose-leaf and properly brewed in a teapot, not bog-standard tea-bag Twinings (this is not an insult to Twinings, which is perfectly nice, but not exactly Speshul like E.L wants us to believe. My favourite Twinings blend is actually Lady Grey, which has a kinda fruityness to it).

    7. Fuck that. I drink PG Tips for the Monkey, bitches.

    8. It's one of the better of the cheap brands, and I'm quite pleased when I'm out and they have that instead of Liptons, but it's not great in the general sense of Tea.

      If you're a tea aficionado you're going to be drinking if loose leaf or at the very least buying whole leaf tea or broken leaf tea bags, such as Mighty Leaf, Tea Forte or Two Leaves.

    9. Twinings is okay, but PG tips are the nuts. She's just trying to be pretentious, but that's no real surprise.

    10. I would just like to say that you lot are absolutely fucking awesome. Just - just - teeeeeeeeeeaa! Okay, I'll stop before I post Douglas Adams' Tea.

      Tea tea tea tea tea tea tea tea tea tea tea! Sorry, I think some leaves from another plant were in my tea today.

    11. The one time I tried Twinings was the same reaction when I tried the Tazo tea. It's crap. Tazo it was that no matter what it was too damn strong(even without letting it fully steep it was too strong for me...that or Starbucks did something stupid to it without my noticing because I shouldn't have to make my tea syrup to drink it). Twinings was too weak. I had mine steeping for 2 hours and it was still too weak. I can't drink my tea like that. Luckily it was free and I tossed it out. One of these days I am going to get myself a new tea pot and buy the better teas I like. I mean come on, if you're going to try and sound pretentious about your tea at least know what you're talking about and make it a loose leaf tea. And as far as "cheap" teas go, Stash is so incredibly better. But I tend to prefer my PG Tips that I have for bagged tea.

    12. I'm pretty sure Ana couldn't handle tea made with loose leaves, because there would be no way to keep it weak enough. That's why Sawyer is carrying the bag separately, so she can half-dunk it and discard.

    13. Twining's Russian Caravan tea.
      Try that one, if you can find it.

      Or Tastes of Summer.
      And I second the Lady Grey.

      But there are also a zillion teas in other brands I like.

    14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    15. Love Lemon Ginger Stash tea!

    16. I was just thinking 'oh yeah, that Lipton tea - so bland and cheap'... b/c Lipton (or Bigelow) is likely what the hospital would have.

      I also love that we're arguing about tea. =)

  3. So...

    Christian Gray who cares SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH about the poor of the world, is buying a shipyard in Taiwan to exploit the lack of worker protections and safety regulations and tax loopholes that over seas business promises? And he HAS a shipyard that he's going to liquidate and lay people off? Just so he can save what is to him a pittance and exploit weaker labor laws?

    And there's no reason for him to. He's wealthy, he's financially fine. The only reason is either that he is so fucking greedy he's a sociopathic monster, or he's a sadist who likes to use his money to control and oppress people.

    1. My mistake, no "Or"

      Christian Gray is the 1% and all the world's his sub

    2. I love you so much for just saying that.

  4. I'm sure the fancy-scmancy perfume Ana wears is just distilled Christian urine tinged with wealth, elitizim and utter hypocrisy. Perfume d'Douchebaggery.

    So like she's been pissed on, but in a sly, "you don't need to know" way.

    1. I just read that ELJ is putting out a fragrance line next.

    2. mean Mini Moltov cocktails for taking out FSoG displays.

      Finally, EL is contributing to society!

  5. Sorry, what? She makes tea by adding a teabag to hot water? Is she taking the piss???

    BOILING water onto the teabag, which is left to brew for three to five minutes before being removed. (Milk/lemon/sugar then optional.)

    No clue about men. No clue about tea.

    1. It sounds like Ana drinks her tea very weak and so adds the teabag just for a second instead of brewing it for a while. My mother orders tea like this, it causes no end of confusion.

      Because it is, of course, doing tea completely wrong. So Ana's tea snobbery is just another completely inconsistent facet of her 'character' :)

    2. This is how I react to people who dip the teabag and then remove it:


    3. My nan drinks her tea like that. She goes mental when I make tea because I let that shit stew, so I joke that she just likes hot milk near a tea bag ;)

  6. "Protocol Othello"!!! Its so clever! And yet... so depressing...

  7. I am just writing my review of Lolita and I've realized that I was reading it while I was trying to read the first book of 50 Shades of Grey so I decided to compare those two a little bit in my review. I am using the quotations you used in your reviews because I don't have the book nor I want to get it. Also, I will put a link to your blog for my readers in case they wanted to know more about this... thing (I refuse to call 50 Shades of Grey a book:-) I hope that's okay with you. Thanks for your reviews :-)

  8. Huh. So Chedward is dealing with some dudes from Taiwan. Sinister. Hey, you know what else is from Taiwan? The laptop I'm typing this on. It's an Acer, and it's made in Taiwan.

    OMG. I'M A SPY.

  9. My limbic system is totally fighting with my hippocampus right now, over the fact you dissed Twining's. It's eleventy bajillion monkeydollars a box over here!

    Okay, halfway through the recap and just had to say that. Also, hi. I've bothered you enough times on Twitter; it's about time I stalked your blog as well. I've read all the recaps and for some reason never said how entertaining they are.


    Okay, back up the page to read the rest of the recap now.

  10. Okay, finished now, and I have to tell all you unedumacated Americans out there that Twining's Assam (£2:73 for 50 teabags) is the best tea in the world.

    So there.

    1. I'm very partial to Stash Teas, but that's because I like loose leaf.


      Except when I'm more in the mood for Irish Breakfast of course. ;)

    3. Lady Grey, iced. Garnished with a sprig of spearmint... that's summer happiness in a glass. But for hot, this stuff is beyond awesome (in my humble opinion) ... so good.

    4. You're all wrong. Whittards Vanilla Tea forever. Only I've switched to decaff so I can only have one cup in the mornings.

      I think Ana's snobbery about the tea may be because over here, each store has half a dozen of its own brand teas, plus the value range so anything that isn't Tesco's own is considered posh.

  11. If Christian says "yar" ever again, I might hurl myself off a bridge. It's the most irritating thing and I can't even pin point WHY.

    That said, it does also make me picture him as a pirate. "Yar, I won't let no salty sea dog steal my bride! Avast ye Jim lad..." He's still a massive dickhead, but now he's a dickhead who sails the seven seas.

    1. It's irritating because it refers to sailboats in the movie, not effing helicopters and because THEIR RELATIONSHIP DOES NOT RESEMBLE C.K.DEXTER HAVEN AND TRACY LORD'S RELATIONSHIP IN THAT MOVIE AT ALL.

      Sorry for the shouty caps, but when he brought it up a second time it really seemed like she was trying to make some kind of analogy about their relationship to that movie and it. does. not. work. at. all.

      Plus, can I point out that he's saying she was "yar" that night, i.e. "easy to handle," when she was unconscious and basically completely within his power.

      So much wrong with this. I want to punch E.L. James in the face for tainting The Philadelphia Story by mentioning it in her shitty, shitty book series.

    2. I much prefer High Society, anyway. 'Twas a crime to do away with the fabulous music.

    3. O.K., now I'm picturing a dick steering a ship. Standing at the wheel. And I can't stop snickering.
      I think I'm gonna fall over. : D

    4. I tried to post that as a reply to mrsmanics.

      Skill. Wut is it?

      mrsmanics, Thanks for the snicker!! : D

    5. I bet they say yar at Eton, Oxford or Cambridge ... But Ana's not British, honestly!

    6. Guaranteed they say that at Harvard too. But since Christian dropped out after a semester. Wait, has it been mentioned that Bill Gates did that, too?

    7. I'm with Melanie. Do not taint the awesomeness of CK Dexter Haven, Tracy Lord, Cary Grant, or Katharine Hepburn by associating it with the steaming pile of shit that is 50 Shades.

    8. "This... is the skin... of a rapearrr and piligarrr"

  12. ...what in the blue hell is "yar" supposed to mean?

  13. I work in an ICU (as a pharmacist) so I can back up you up on the talking to people in comas thing. Not that it needs backing up because, as you say, it's common knowledge. The nurses I work with talk to the patient all the time when they're adjusting equipment to let them know what's going on and tell them when they have visitors and so on. They even instruct them to take deep breaths to get them beck in sync with the ventilator.

    I also think you're right about him not being transferred until the bleeding was treated, it doesn't seem to make sense to put him in a helicopter with blood filling his body cavities. Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see any reason he needed to be moved to another hospital at all (for the purposes of the plot, I mean).

    While we're on the subject, I can't believe this conversation she's having with the surgeon. I've heard surgeons say some dumb things, but a prognosis of 'dunno, we'll see what happens' is just unbelievable. Between the cardiac arrest and the head injury, isn't anyone going to tell her that her dad probably has brain damage? Or at least give her an idea of what to expect over the next couple of days? Or discuss resuscitation if he has another arrest? I call bullshit.

    And seeing as this comment isn't long enough already, why didn't anyone from either hospital call Ana? I don't think they'd leave the contacting of someone's next of kin to some guy who was in a car accident with him (potential concussion much?) when the patient's on death door.

    1. The surgeon does go on to tell Ana that there's a chance of brain damage, so she is aware. It was just a lot to type, so I cut the quote where it made sense to for the dumb joke I was going to make. LOL

  14. I'm somewhat of a regular at OHSU. Spent Monday night in the ER, as a matter of fact. It is a phenomenal hospital. Oddly the hospital is on the top of a hill with a bunch of hairpin turns to get there. I've gone there by ambulance, and it's not too fun. Airlifting is the better way in case of a trauma or a neck injury, even though neck injuries wouldn't usually be airlifted. It's just all those turns.

    I hate it so much, so so so so sooooooo much, when places I know and love (yes, I love that hospital) show up in these books. When I was there on Monday I mentioned it to one of the nurses, and he rolled his eyes and told me he hates those books and a lot of his coworkers aren't thrilled with somewhat being in them.

    1. And guess what else. THERE IS NO TEA-MAKING SET-UP IN THE OHSU ER WAITING ROOM!!! Give me a few weeks and I'll probably be back there again (I've been there twice in the past month). I'll take pics. There's a vending machine that takes cash and Visa cards (debit and credit), but not Mastercard, down the short hall to the bathroom. There's a soda machine to the left of the candy/chips machine. But there is no hot water. There are no tea bags. If you want tea, you're leaving the ER, going back down a windy hill, and into town, and you'll probably need to hit up a Starbucks. This is why I can't stand places I know showing up in books. I can't suspend disbelief this much. I've been to ONE hospital ER that has a tea set-up, and they had Lipton. Yeah, I get sick a lot. I've mentioned this. But OHSU is my "home base," and has been for 18 years. BASTARDS!!

      The ONE thing right in this scene is the scrubs are blue, but they're a periwinkle blue, not navy.

      But back to what's wrong. The doctor won't have that discussion in the waiting room! They'll take the family back to the patient's room, or if that's not possible because of the severity, to a private waiting area that's not the main waiting room. HIPAA laws and all that about keeping patient information away from strangers.

      You're right. Astoria would have attempted to stabilize him before putting him in a helicopter with the equivalent of EMTs. Not to diss on EMTs since they save lives, but they aren't doctors, and their jobs are to stabilize until they can get someone to a doctor.

      Also not enough time has lapsed for them to have had an accident what sounds like just a few hours before, then to get him to Astoria's hospital, onto a chopper, to OHSU, and into surgery and out and the doctor out in the waiting room. Not if his injuries were severe. And OHSU doesn't presume anyone is any religion!! It's not some midwest small hospital in a small town where everyone probably is. In all my many times there not once has a doctor invoked a deity. At that hospital, they don't give the "well, there's nothing we can do" bull. My dad was in a severe accident and nearly lost his legs and he was sent to OHSU. THEY DON'T DO THAT!!!!

      Sorry to get so angry over this. I just take this sort of thing as personally as the abuse-as-love, only I get to work that out slowly, and, unlike Ana and Christian, OHSU is a real place, and it looks terrible here, right on down to Ray's nurse going gaga over Christian when she's got a patient. And Christian calling in some random doctor to just prance int a hospital where he doesn't have privileges and gets to read the charts of a patient who isn't his... James has made a wonderful hospital look unprofessional and stupid.

      I don't know if I could give a pass on how the ICU allows DIRECT family only (Ana would qualify, Christian and Jose would not, and when I was in the ICU there, even my own grandparents didn't get to go in) with a limit of two at a time, and that the nurses' name badges give their first AND last names, and will say "Registered Nurse" instead of RN, and most have little embroidered red rose sticky things on them.

      And another nitpicky detail - there's a hotel at the bottom of the hill where families often stay because it's literally at the bottom of the hill. Getting from downtown Portland to OHSU can take a while, especially if one of the many drawbridges are up. One of those suckers can add half an hour to your drive. Stay at the hotel at the bottom of the hill and you can get there within five minutes if you must. It's not five-star, but...well, it's not like Ana cares about here dad, only about how fancy the room is. She didn't ask to stay closer. So it's on her.

    2. Does the cafeteria have tea? I'd imagine you can get tea somewhere in the hospital. She doesn't really say where it comes from.

    3. Nowhere near the ER. Getting to the caf would take longer than finding a Starbucks, and unless they've changed it veeeeeery recently, tea is in white ceramic, not paper cups, and they have Twinnings and Lipton. So for paper cups? You're heading to Starbucks and getting a Tazo-brand tea bag.

    4. I don't understand why we even had to be told the name of the hospital. I mean, really, if I was writing a story and I included a real place, whether it was a hospital or a restaurant or a hotel, I'd do some research and find out what that place was like, so that someone reading the story (like you, for instance) who was familiar with that place wouldn't be thrown out of the story by the glaring inconsistencies.

    5. Paramedic chiming in here. It looks like Astoria has a level III trauma hospital, which is equipped to deal with emergency surgery like Ray would have needed, and they would have definitely stabilized him first, though I bet he would've died. And not to nitpick, but EMTs don't fly on helos (unless it's a very strange circumstance). At the very least he'd be flying with a flight paramedic and a flight nurse, maybe even a doctor if he went on a fixed wing flight and not a rotor wing. Hell, he could've even gone by ground transport with a team, depending on the set up they have. I think it's all a bit of a moot point though -- survival from traumatic cardiac arrest due to hemorrhage on the operating table is only about 10%, and that number is from the Mayo Clinic, arguably one of the best hospitals in the country. In EMS we have a saying: "Dead from trauma, is dead from trauma."

    6. It's probably a Britishism that the editor missed - in British hospitals there's a tea machine everywhere you look. Hot drinks are how we cope.

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. I agree with you totally Alys. My dad was there for back surgery and all the doctors there are so wonderful. I agree, it would be quicker to go to Starbucks than the cafe for the tea! (and I didn't see any either when I was there.) And yes, the motel at the bottom of the hill (I think it's called The Cedars?) Going all the way into Portland to the Heathman is absurd with all the traffic and whatnot. But...this is 50 shades.....

    9. Also, do Americans say 'how I take my tea'? I thought you guys said 'how I drink my tea' or maybe 'how I make my tea'

    10. We tend to say "how I like my tea." or, usually, "give me my damn coffee."

    11. When I was younger, I was raped by an abusive ex, got pregnant and chose to have a termination. I did a bit of research and found some conflicting info between articles over whether abortions were likely to complicate future pregnancies or chances of getting pregnant again at all. So because I desperately wanted children (when I was ready, and not some douchebag's kid) I asked the nurse during my pre-op assessment whether there was a chance of this affecting future pregnancies. And you know what she did? She chuckled and said "Only God can tell you that." I was sixteen fucking years old and an atheist, and that comment (plus the laughter) put me in a hell of a rage. Too bad I was too naive and socially awkward to challenge that.

    12. I hate when the occasional medical staff makes their views known about what they presume of teen pregnancy and then cast a shadow over the rest of the nursing profession, and over that person's life.

      I'm sorry you had to deal with that, on top of rape. That's inexcusable.

  15. I totally read the doctor's name as "Luder", which is an old-fashioned German word for "slut". Wouldn't surprise me in the least if that was the inspiration behind that name.

    ... but wait, that would mean E.L. actually did some work looking up the word. Ignore me.

    Other than that, thank you for suffering through these books and recapping them so others don't have to. :)

  16. ' many times does the average person, in the middle of a serious emotional crisis, think, "My hippocampus is totally doing [x] right now?"'

    I know people (myself included) that do this. Maybe not in an emotional crisis, more like, I dunno, food poisoning or something.
    But it comes from being in scientific/medical fields where you literally can't not think things like 'oh hey, adrenal glands!' when stuff happens.
    I'm not saying that Genius Ana doesn't have the knowledge (are there actually mentions of her knowing any human anatomy besides 'hair' 'hands' and 'down there'?), but you're right in that it's not average - and we all know Ana is Little Miss Average, so plain and demure that nobody could ever be attracted to her except every man she ever looks at. Ever.

    Also, these recaps cost me at least one mouthful of snorted tea every time.
    (Not Twinings, alas. From the UK - Twinings is pretty damn classy compared to the many, many other brands. Didn't they have Stephen Fry doing some adverts? Or is that just my 'English archetype' mode going into overdrive?)

    1. Stephen Fry is the only reason I ever tried Twinings. Love him!

    2. Stephen Fry could get me to try anything!

  17. Jenny, I just want to say that you are awesome. I found your Fifty Shades recaps through a link somewhere (don't even remember now), got really into them and then got super excited when you started recapping Buffy because I had just started watching the whole thing myself (although I don't have the patience to watch along with you - I'm up to season 7 now). I've also started reading your regular blog posts although I'm saving The Boss for when you've finished it.

    Thank you so much for pulling these books apart like this. I read them last year just to see what the fuss was about and was appalled and disturbed by both the writing and the content but didn't put enough thought into it to really get into WHY (apart from the glaringly obvious). Your recaps make me feel better both about myself and about a world which, although it has Fifty Shades fans in it, also has awesome people like you and your commenters.

  18. "What the hell is he doing with the Taiwanese?"

    You missed the crystal clear racism here. He told her he'd been hammering out a deal, and she wonders why he's with with people Taiwan, as if there's no reason he should deal with people from other countries. Why is he dealing with THEM? It wasn't just a company from Taiwan. "What the hell is he doing with a Taiwanese company?" would make more sense if she thought he didn't deal internationally, but she asked about the Taiwanese. The people.

    Oh, and she's worried about her husband being in a helicopter crash, but who cared about her dad who was just in a car accident and a helicopter. Priority is the rich guy who makes horrid demands of her over the working-class man who livingly became her father when her biological father ended up being a deadbeat, and was the only parent who was there for her when she graduated. It's just so heartbreakingly sad that Ray takes second place in her concerns.

    There is NO REASON to go to Astoria to fish unless they were taking a chartered boat, and those leave in the morning. And how to you get hit by a drunk while you're fishing? It's either on your way there, or on your way back. And guess what. FIFTY FREAKING PLACES TO FISH that are a lot closer than Astoria.

    Let me change topics so I don't start crying. Don't need to do more of that.

    "Oh baby, talk some more of that sexy talk about shipping American jobs overseas."

    I know, right? Send a bunch of American families, many of them with kids, to a foreign country where they don't speak the language and don't know the culture to pay them less than they're making here. Ship-builders don't exactly make a fortune even in the US.

    And I can excuse him begging her to eat the next day ONLY because stressful situations can make people forget to do that. Too bad it's a running theme in these books and he makes her eat even during normal times when she's simply not hungry.

    God I need a bottle of wine.

    1. I really really hate to point this out because it sounds like I'm trying to derail the conversation, but Ana's biological father wasn't a deadbeat; he died in a freak Marine training accident the day after she was born. ::painfully ashamed, apologetic::

      The Taiwanese/Taiwan business deal stood out like a sore, racist thumb to me as well. I don't speak business jargon so I'm still not clear on what exactly is meant by "redundancies", but I got the impression that he was going to be laying off or firing a lot (if not all) of his American workers, rather than moving them overseas.

      Really chaps my ass that EL James felt the need to include that detail, given the state of the American economy. (And it's obvious EL was aware of how crappy the US economy had/has been, because Ana explicitly acknowledges in the epilogue that SIP-turned-Grey-Publishing is doing well despite the US's bad economy.)

      I shouldn't be surprised; this is one of the few consistent bits of characterization in the series. I remember alllll the way back in book 1, that Christian blithely told Ana that if he decided he didn't want to be in the communications industry anymore, there would be a lot of people who would "have trouble making their mortgage payments tomorrow". On a "first date", no less.

    2. Ah, I forgot he died. Usually absent fathers are deadbeats in books like this.

      Redundancies are what happen when you merge two companies and find out you have too many people for a certain position. I worked for a company I'll call A. We merged with B. Company B had two front-desk ladies, and we had one. For being open 9-5, the new merged company didn't need three front-desk receptionists. So we have a redundant person and one of them was laid off. Usually the ones laid off are the ones who make the most if skill sets are comparable. Even if they're not, if they think a higher-paid, better-skilled person can be replaced by a cheaper employee, that long-time faithful employee will be nixed.

      When my company, let's call it AB now, decided to do the whole "we'll do it cheaper moving to Arizona," some people were laid off. For the rest, it became a bid war for who would work for the least. When a move is about saving money, they really do try to pay as little as possible, even if it means trying to get highly-skilled people to take $10/hr.

      Saying "first date" reminded me of a first date I had with a guy who worked in bill collections. He was proudly telling me about how good he was at getting people to pay bills they couldn't afford and that sometimes it meant people had trouble making housing payments. I asked him what about those who are living on disability and who were abled when getting into debt. "Well, they should have thought about that before taking credit, so if they end up on the street, it's their own fault." I swear on everything I love, I did a 180 on the spot and, without another word, walked to the bus stop. If he could be so heartless to people going through a hard time in their lives, how would be be toward me? And yet Ana had no problem with Christian admitting he held the lives of his employees in his hands, rather gleefully, if I recall correctly.

      That Taiwan scene could have been a great chance to make Christian do something decent. Say he wasn't willing to do business with them after al because he wasn't comfortable with the terms and what it would mean for his American employees who would have trouble finding new jobs if theirs were shipped overseas. And no, complaining that stockholders wouldn't like that doesn't cut it. All my stocks are with a company that keeps everything down to its customer service stateside or in Canada (and is moving production here and is big on making sure employees who are overseas are paid far better than average), and even though my stocks would be worth more if costs were cut, I feel much better knowing I'm supporting a company that would rather try making sure people get fair treatment than to add a few more dollars to my stock value. Apparently enough other people feel the same way to make it one of the most valuable companies in world history.

      So Christian doesn't have that excuse of concern about shareholders. But noooooo, instead he callously will ship people to Taiwan, those who get to keep their jobs and are willing to rip their kids away from their lives. What a JERK.

    3. Redundancies don't have to be due to a merger though, it can simply be a change in operational structure. The business could be going through a rough time and downsizing, or they could change who manages what and end up with too many staff.

      Basically, Grey's business is moving its base of operations for a particular area, and the workers won't transfer with it. Some businesses will attempt to find displaced workers new positions within the company, but in a situation like that it's much more likely that everyone working in the original site will lose their jobs.

    4. Minor nitpick - I think when it's mentioned that jobs are being "shipped overseas" it usually means that the jobs are being taken off the people in the home country, and given to other, cheaper people in the overseas country. Which is actually worse than moving American families overseas to do the same job for less pay. At least in that scenario, they'd still have jobs. Of course, either course would be reprehensible in this story because you could guarantee Chedward would take the most sociopathic route...

    5. 50 closer places to fish? Like...Oh mayyyyybe Forks? ;)

    6. I just thought of something. You know who would be a spot-on actor for Christian Grey? Mitt Romney.

    7. Anon, you made me laugh so hard I pulled a muscle.

    8. Tournee, when jobs are shipped over and Americans can go after them, they'll get the wages the locals there would make. Few American families will move overseas to countries with poor labor laws. Sure, they'll have a job, but the hit in the quality of living will be substantial in many cases, far too substantial to justify the move. I'd rather be unemployed in America than working for slave wages overseas.

      Since Christian gloats about how one paycheck to his employees would make them unable to pay their housing, I don't see him as the kind of guy sending jobs to a first-world European country where American families will still be comfortable. He'd pay them as low of wages as he could get away with. Offering them the chance to keep their jobs if they'll move to a slum overseas is nothing more than a token gesture so he can say he made the offer and those "ungrateful" employees are complaining about nothing when they talk about how they were cut from the payroll in favor of slave labor.

      Anon, I actually had a thought similar to that. Mitt's too old, but I've thought that Christian could be his son. Stingy and all about himself.

  19. Two things I thought about reading your recap:

    Nurse Kelly is not a natural blonde- and Christian is not attracted to blondes, but brunettes because they all look like Mommy and that gives him an excuse to beat him- she must have known this and disguised herself from him. Smartest thing she could have done in that chapter. So really, Ana's dismissal of her smacks of hypocrisy...not that I'm saying Ana is a hypocrite *COUGHsheisCOUGH*. Not sure that makes sense, but hey, this book doesn't.

    And it is amazing to me that Christian calls his PEDIATRICIAN mother to come in and give her opinion about a patient with BRAIN and INTERNAL INJURIES. She might be able to translate the doctor-ese on the chart for them, but consulting?? I think not. And since Dr. Sluder may, as you pointed out, be an expert in yurt-building, it just makes even less sense. That always irritated me in the book.

    1. Christian calling his mother in pissed me off quite a bit. If someone came into my hospital room to tell my boyfriend how I was doing and then stated that they were a pediatrician, he probably would have sued the hospital for malpractice. I had a team of highly qualified surgeons and doctors along with med students. I don't know if this is a teaching hospital but if I am not mistaken Anna's father would already have plenty of qualified people working for him which wouldn't require Christian's mother getting involve. Although if it made Anna feel better hearing it from a trusted source, I somehow doubt that they would allow some pediatrician waltzing in and reading private medical history. I might be mistaken on that one though.

    2. I can see having his mother speak to the doctors and maybe even view the charts. My sister is a nurse, and she did review our mother's hospital records, even if she wasn't the one who took Mom to the hospital, nor the closest geographically. She could ask better questions than the rest of us and get a better understanding than the rest of us.

      Still, we all would respect the tending doctors.

  20. The fascinating thing about this book is that there is no discernible plot despite the fact that a) we're two-thirds through and b) it's jam-packed with potential plot *elements*. And yet... no plot. The whole thing reads like a series of loosely-connected vignettes, interspersed with some extremely tiresome and repetitive sex.

  21. That entire "You've got a broken leg" process takes a lot of time, so...

    When I was about eleven, I went down a slide standing up, thinking that the snow would break my fall. I ended up breaking my left wrist and spraining my right wrist. I didn't want to go to the ER, so my mom made an appointment and I got out of school the next day (which was fine, since I couldn't write at all). I got X-Rays, I waited in the little exam room for a few hours, the doctor came back and told me I'd broken the growth plate in my left wrist, then I got a "Sam Splint" put on my wrist, and I had to wait another two hours for the technician to come by and put a fiberglass cast on me. By the time the cast was done, it was already about an hour until school was supposed to be over. I had spent the whole day at the hospital. So, yeah, the "you've got a broken" anything process takes a lot of time. I can't even imagine how much longer it would take with a leg. I've had my knee X-Rayed a lot of times, and even without a break, it still takes a long time to look over the X-Rays.

    Yet another instance where I have to wave my "suspension of disbelief" flag in surrender. Nope. I don't buy this crap for a second.

    Like Twinings is the most posh and exclusive tea brand that there is? I'm dying. Twinings is like three dollars a box.

    No kidding. The most expensive tea I've ever bought was at this awesome place called Teavana. Sixteen ounces of Earl Grey was $30.40.

    "Mr. Grey, it's difficult to say at the moment. It's possible he could make a complete recovery, but that's in God's hands now."

    For whatever reason, I just thought of that stupid doctor in Arrested Development.

    We don't learn what Dr. Sluder's field is. For all we know, it's farming mushrooms or building yurts or something.

    Or farming mushrooms off some half-dead diabetic patients in shallow graves. Thanks, Hannibal. Mushrooms, pork, and now fish are ruined for me.

    1. I pictured the mushroom farmer from Hannibal too! Wouldn't it be great if the "doctor" was the mushroom guy, and he slipped out with Ray while Ana was busy gazing at Chedward? Tbh, I'd prefer it if the "doctor" took Chedward instead but anything could happen to Ray under Ana's *cough* dotting eye.

    2. How about mushroom guy takes Ray and Dexter shows up for Chedward?

  22. "What a night that was. I watched you for hours. You were just... yar," he breathes.


    1. I can't stop laughing at how that sounds in my head. It's like he's turning into a pirate mid-sentence.

    2. In my head, he's turning into a pirate against his will. Like, imagine Robert Pattinson slightly choking, his eyes boggling as he tries to say something, but all comes out is like, "yaaaar!" and "matey!" and a grotesque growth covers his eye and becomes the form of an eyepatch. Also, a beard sprouts, and his earlobe stretches and forms into a golden earring.

    3. Now "The Empty Child" has merged with pirates in my head.

      Thanks, Jenny. My dreams will never be the same.

    4. Didn't Ana become a pirate in a chapter in the first book? I'm too lazy to go look to see which one. Maybe now it's Chedward's turn.

  23. Re the "It's in God's hands" thing from the doctor:
    My grandfather passed away a couple of weeks ago after a lengthy, risky operation. While we were sitting there in the waiting room waiting for news at midnight, the head nurse wandered by and brought us a progress-report mid-surgery. During the conversation the NURSE (who was otherwise very kind, competent and helpful) repeatedly referenced God, that it was God's will whether Grandpa lived or died and even offered to pray with us. Grandpa was a minister and most of my family is Christian so they weren't offended but it made me roll my eyes a bit.

    Mind you. I wasn't SURPRISED, given the state and the area I live in (very very south). But still. It would be a bit more surprising to encounter that attitude in Seattle or Portland areas I think.

    Anyway. Thanks as always for these. Truthfully, they always inspire me to write more and better. If this shite can get published, there's hope for me at least. ;)

    1. I have to say, I am a Christian and someone saying 'it's in god's hands' to me during a medical crisis would piss me right off. Because, you know, whatever you believe (or don't) of God, he clearly isn't in the business of making every human life last as long and be as healthy as possible. But you know who is in that business? DOCTORS, MAN.

    2. This book is seriously messing with my head. I read the first line of your post as "I am Christian" and thought OH SHIT, he's found us!

    3. Damn it, I totally posted my reply in the wrong place. It's somewhere above here but yeah, when a nurse told me that "only God can tell you that" about a vitally important aspect of my future - one that there had been plenty of medical research about, thank you very much - I was really, really pissed off.

  24. One more thing that bothers me about these books is people saying 'But it's porn, of COURSE it's going to have crappy dialogue and a silly to nonexistent plot!' Basically saying, 'Don't judge it as you would other stuff.'
    But whatever these books are, it's NOT porn. It's not marketed as such, and it's certainly not received by the fans as such. If it were, the tons of issues with this work would be less severe, in my opinion. If it were mostly about the sex, it would mean Ana would be in it basically only for the nookie. Chedward could still be a mysogynist dickhead, but at least their relationship would be more equal. And it would probably also be a wholly different and much more enjoyable story, lol (since in that case it would have been hard to plagiarize from Twilight). What this issue also brings up is the reinforcement of this stupid, stupid myth that 'men want sex, but women want LUUURRRRRRVE!' Argh!

    1. See, I don't buy that excuse, because I hold my porn to a pretty high standard. Have as much sex as you want; that doesn't mean that you can't write a halfway decent plot to go with it. And if your plot sucks, chances are the porn isn't going to magically be amazing.

    2. Yeah, porn. Because Ana is supposed to be the character readers project themselves onto, and I would totally want to imagine my dad involved in my porn story. Oh yeah, and let's throw in a potentially fatal accident because SEX. While we're at it, let's kill two birds with one stone and have my dad in a potentially fatal accident. And throw in my limbic system to boot. There, I'm gonna go jill off now.

  25. And not to nitpick further, but The Philadlphia Story does not exist on Blu-ray. Not even High Society, its musical remake, exists on Blu-ray. But I guess when you are Chedward, anything is possible!

    1. He did make a MacBook Pro with 32 GB of RAM appear more than three years before it was even technologically possible, let alone commercially available, so ...

    2. A nitpick of your nitpick, but I believe High Society came first. I think it was on Broadway before The Philadelphia Story.

    3. And ... Egg on my face. You are correct. I always thought the Cole Porter musical predated both movies, but a luttle research says I have been mistaken all these years!

  26. Sawyer reenters, bearing a paper cup of hot water and a separate tea bag. He knows how I take my tea!

    No. No he doesn't. He has no fucking clue how you take your tea, he just handed you all the component parts. He surrendered before trying, "here, you make it because I have no idea what you want you vacuous twit." If he knew how you took your tea, he'd have made the tea for you.

    Speaking as something of a tea snob with two dozen double-lid copper tins of the stuff in my pantry, Twinings is the stuff I bought in college when I couldn't afford real tea. I have single cup French press I bring along when I travel because hotels never shell out for good tea at the breakfast bar. Ana has zero tea cred. None. In fact, she loses tea points and I sentence her to drink Lipton for the rest of her insufferable long days.

    1. So now the question is whether EL James is a terrible representative of British tea drinkers or if she was trying to be clever about making Ana think that she's a tea snob (you know, because being with Christian has taught her how to be a snob about food and wine and EVERYTHING because he's so sophisticated and taught her soooooo much) when she's actually just a tea ignoramus. Oh wait, did I use the word "clever" in reference to EL James? Obviously I was mistaken.

    2. >> I have single cup French press I bring along when I travel because hotels never shell out for good tea at the breakfast bar. Ana has zero tea cred<<

      I love you.

  27. "She's looking mighty yar."
    "She's shipshape, and bristol fashion."
    "What does that mean?"
    "What does 'yar' mean?"

  28. The whole tea thing is so bizarre to me. Ana is supposed to have inherited her love of tea from Ray, because whenever he's stressed out or worried, he puts on a kettle of tea and it makes everything better. I'm sorry, but if you're trying to write Joe Everybody, he would NOT be drinking tea -- not if he was American. He'd be drinking black coffee.

    1. Oh yeah and also -- Christian Grey HATES television, but movies are okay...? God, I bet he's one of those douchebags who only watches SERIOUS BIZNS dramas that are over two hours long because anything shorter than that is for plebs.

    2. Either that or he's one of those douchebags who says, "I don't watch tv," and then sits on the sofa watching tv shows on his laptop.

      Sidenote: I love when the pretentious cheapskates who say, "TV is for stupid people - I don't even OWN a TV," then start posting on FB asking if anyone wants to share their HBOgo password because they have to watch Game of Thrones.

  29. Okay, so this chapter bugged me a lot. I'll get the worst thing out of the way first:


    The usual misogyny. Disgusting as always.

    Moving on: all the medical stuff bugged me. All of it. You don't risk transporting critical patients until they're stabilised, unless it's an extremely unusual case (and a ruptured spleen ain't one). The "not speaking to coma patients" bit. Explaining a patient's condition in the waiting room.

    The "it's in God's hands now". That's not how you say it. You tell the family "we're doing the best we can, but his condition is delicate".

    Just, argh. At least EL James didn't write about defibrillating cardiac arrest.

  30. Oh, and thanks, Christian, for not physically abusing Ana for holding a friend's hand when she was scared that her dad might die.

  31. Jenny, I don't know how you do it, but thanks for suffering through these god-awful books.

  32. As someone else pointed out, PLOT, WHERE ARE YOU? I know Chedward and Ana are mean and annoying, but please, come join us! Don't let all of these meaningless, random scenes take over!

    Then, second but not less important, HELLO, ANA, YOUR DAD IS DYING HERE! Please show some concern instead of worrying about Chedward who is completely fine! I seriously cannot comprehend why she would be so worried about him. She really gets ridicoulous.

  33. Lost my previous comment, so I'll try again:

    Point 1:

    Ouch, That "What the hell is he doing with the Taiwanese?" was pretty racist. I could almost imagine Ana scrunching her nose as she thought/said that.

    Point 2:
    Jose and his random Spanish. I could understand it if a few things were clarified.
    One that his folks spoke Spanish and 2 that he also spoke Spanish (and I don't mean the few Spanish words sprinkled here and there.)
    Why I bring this up?
    I'm Mexican-American, my parents speak Spanish, I speak both English and Spanish, and I tend to use "Spanglish". I don't know if that's what EL is going for and just doesn't know how to write Spanglish, because that would make some sense. I usually sprinkle Spanish words in my talking, but I do mit when I'm speaking w/ others that either speak or at least understand Spanish. I can't be bothered to remember if Ana has any knowledge of Spanish, because if she doesn't Jose's Spanish makes no sense.

    Point 3:
    Christian's dismissiveness of Leila's art. Maybe because I draw too, but that really bothered me. I admit, I will be the first one to admit that I believe art is in the art of the beholder and that you can’t really rate art, but I will also be the first one to say that I do not believe that minimalist art is art. So Mr. Douchebag saying that " They had technical merit, but they were too colorful for me. I think Elliot has them. As we know, he has no taste."

    So he is basically saying that they are technically good paintings that he just didn’t like, and I’m ok with that. What bothered me was what he said next about Elliot having no taste, because I took that to mean that the paintings were really not that good, even though he had just said that they had technical merit. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but by saying that his brother has no taste for (apparently) liking the paintings, I found that insulting to Elliot, but specially to Leila.

    1. I'm Australian, but I was born in Ecuador and my whole family is from there. I find it odd that Jose intersperses his Spanish with people who don't know or don't speak Spanish. I don't do that, and my parents don't do that. Even if he only grew up in a strictly Spanish only household, I still find it odd that he sprinkles it in there with non-speaking Spanish people. Can't he honestly say '0h my god, Ana' to Ana?. I agree, it just doesn't make any sense. Even with my parents, I speak to them 90% English and 10% Spanish. Jose speaking is just really off putting because its very misplaced. That's E.L for you though.

    2. I don't know about Spanish speaking people, but I am French, and when I am tired or extremely annoyed or if I am vein intimate, my French will come out even if I am with English speaking people. So that particular trait in Jose's otherwise racist characterization doesn't bother me that much.

      As for Christian and Taiwan, I read some guy's blogged recaps of this crapfest and he ventures that Christian is in the slave trade business... Which would totally makes sense. Don't remember the name of the blog just that the guy's name was Dave.

    3. (Disclosure: I'm half American, half Mexican, was raised bilingual)

      It's the way it's executed that's irritating. There are white people who think it's hilarious to drop grammatically incorrect Spanish into their speech, and it drives me nuts, and that's exactly what Jose' sounds like. ELJ clearly took the three or four Spanish words she knows and decided to use them over and over. I don't know anyone who would say "Dios mio" in an English conversation, though certain swear words sound better in Spanish, so if Jose were to call Christian a pendejo or complain about the pinche drunk driver, that wouldn't sound off. No one says, "Manana," to say goodbye. It would still be slightly weird if he told a native English speaker, "Hasta manana," but at least it would make some kind of sense. Jose's caricature is supposed to make him sound Mexican to white people, but he just sounds white to Mexican people.

    4. I guess that's just another case of ELJ plagiarizing Stephenie Meyer since Twilight is full of Poirot Speech too. (no offense to Poirot, he's awesome.)

    5. Again with the random Spanish? Is José supposed to have recently made it across the border or something? Has Ms. James ever actually met an immigrant, or even just someone who's bilingual? I really don't get it, and I know that it's probably a minor gripe in the midst of this shitfest of a series, but if I focus on the romanticization of abuse, the rampant misogyny or the quality of the prose, I'm gonna give myself a coronary.
      But seriously: I'm not a native speaker, I do not reside in an English speaking country nor have I ever lived in one for long. I was raised strictly in French, surrounded by people who have a very tenuous grasp of foreign languages. Yet when I am in a foreign country and happen to speak the language, as José obviously does since he has attended the University of Dimwits at Forks, I keep it monolingual. Especially if I'm talking to someone who isn't smart enough to realize that Tess of the d'Urbervilles wasn't written as a how-to for romantic relationships. So I call bullshit. As for the tired/annoyed excuse, I don't buy it. In my experience, short of not knowing the actual words you would like to use, being mockingly cutesy with someone who you know happens to speak your mother tongue or purposefully trying keep their interlocutors in the dark, people stick to the language they have in common. Lapses in accent? Breakdown of proper grammar? Sure. Random, poorly constructed phrases? Not so much.
      I'd also like to point out, just like Anon right above, that I have never heard a Spanish-speaking person of José's general age say "Dios mio". That's something your grandmother from Andalucia says. It's almost like the author took a common American/British utterance, thoughtlessly translated it into Spanish, stuck it in to add a dash of "exotic" flavor and called it a day. José's not Mexican, or whatever flavor of Latino he's supposed to be, he's a cheap, folksy stereotype thrown in because googling Native American tribes in the Washington area and looking up their languages and customs would have been too much work. So instead we get tacos, pinatas (pardon the absence of tilde) and Dios mioses.

    6. @anonymous exactly. It just To me it sounds like E.L just sat there and went on google translator.
      Incidentally the only person who can get away with being white and sounding Mexican/Spanish is the Terminator.

    7. And he's Austrian!

    8. I read somewhere that E. L. James' mother is from Chile and that she loves Fifty Shades of Grey. So E. L. might know a bit of Spanish and how bilingual people speak, she's just seriously bad at writing.

      Also, if I wrote such a bad and sexually charge story as this, the last person I'd want to show it to would be my mother, but there you go...

    9. My mom's not even allowed to read my books because they have kissing in them.

    10. There. You see? EL James knows Spanish, she just sucks at writing.

      Also, as a fiery Latin woman, I find it offensive that 'fiery' Latin heritage is cited as an inspiration to this POS.

    11. OMG! One of the books I'm writing has some sex in it. It's not erotica level and it's more of a fade-to-gray, PG-movie kind of sex, but the main character talks about how she feels about the male lead in a sexual way and stuff.

      So, last night I put something on FB about needing to find someone to tear it apart for me when I finish (hopefully in the next few weeks) and my best friend's stepfather (who's married to my mother's best friend and who I've known since I was 16 ...) offered to read through it for me.

      I'm going to send it to him because he's a big reader and should have some good feedback, but oy! I'm going to be mortified.

    12. I choose to interpret that nugget of inforrmation in a "she-used-to-be-smart-when-she-was-little-and-look-at-her-now" kinda way!

    13. So now she's claiming her mother inspired the books? She's also claimed that a book on erotica that she found back in the 80's inspired it (I need to find that interview - I read it in the last week). I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be looking to my parents for inspiration for erotic writing, and I was raised in an open household (I can tell you more about my conception than anyone should ever know who wasn't conceived with medical assistance, down to the exact location).

      The random Spanish in these books isn't natural. She's taken the most stereotypical phrases and used those. It's like she thinks readers will forget that Jose is Mexican and might think he's Croatian or even mistake him for a white American. There really is a lot of racism in these books.

  34. I'm not a medical anything, but the hospital in Astoria is pretty much only good for band aids, they typically shuttle patients to St John Med Center in Longview, WA. Also, it's nearly 4 hours from actual Seattle to actual Portland. Astoria is an hour or 2 from Portland, I forget.

  35. I've barely made a dent in this recap, but I wanted to talk about the bleeding thing.

    Five years ago, I had this rare blood condition develop, called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Basically, my blood was clotting in my capillaries and the only way they could save me was to speed me to the nearest specialist hospital, in the middle of London. On the way, I was being given blood and plasma transfusions, like I had in the two days before I was officially diagnosed. Long story short, I was dying. Internal bleeding is one of the big medical emergencies, they're not going to fuck about with blood, because it starves your brain of oxygen to go with out (translation: I'm technically brain damaged. No real memory and I find it hard to hear two people at once).

    My point is, you're right. Ray would have been treated as well as he could have for the internal bleeding before transfer, and is Portland a haematology specialist? I somehow doubt it.

    Also, funny she mentions the spleen, as it processes your bone marrow and creates red blood cells. Other people who've had what I've had, have had their spleens removed to try to stop them getting sick (and sorry for the repetitive sentence there) ... so if Ray's bleeding out, the spleen might not even be necessary. It could damage him more to keep it.

    1. Oh and also, one day early in my treatment my mum was told they had no idea if I'd make it, but they embraced positive thinking and had funded complementary medicines so patients could relax and their endorphins could help their medication and treatment. They kept the death card away from patients as much as possible. I got reiki and reflexology in my time there, and they insisted I eat chocolate (for the potassium), I could watch DVD's and go on my laptop and use their wifi too ... so bollocks that the doctor would have been so callous about Ray.

    2. OHSU does have hematology specialists. They run the training program that turns out new specialists. OHSU and their connected children's hospital, Doernbechers, consistently rank among the best hospitals in the nation. In 2011, out of about 5,000 hospitals nationwide, only 140 had any specialties rank among the top 16. Nine of OHSU's specialties ranked among the top 16 in the nation.

      It is an amazing hospital, and I consider myself to be very lucky to be so close to it, and feel much safer for it. As someone with a major medical history, I do pay attention to hospitals. Someone with severe damage from an accident would be in some of the best hands in the US by being at OHSU.

  36. The tea thing. My god the tea thing. I imagine if Ana had Tazo tea it'd blow her damn mind.

    And oh my god, I just had a horrible thought. Twinings Lady Grey? I can totally imagine Christian buying out Twinings and rebranding that tea as Lady Ana Grey or some bullshit.

    This whole "BLONDS ARE THE ENEMY" thing is really disconcerting. Maybe Ana/EL identifies blonds as evil because if it were black/brown women that would make her racist? And she has to be the #1 special wonderful brunette, hence blonds? What about redheads? Asians? Has even a single asian woman been mentioned in these books? I bet Ana would use words like "porcelain," "geisha," and "Oriental" to describe them.

    Christian saying "Yar" actually made me laugh because it just reminded me of the giant, inbred trolley boy from Hot Fuzz that always said "Yarp."

    1. Oh my god, I'm so happy someone else thought of the "Yarp" from Hot Fuzz when reading "Yar." The second time more so because the slight pause before it made me think of "Narp" instead.

    2. I'm a redhead and am half Asian (granted, my hair is dyed). I think my existence would blow Ana's brain cells.

    3. But at least she wouldn't be threatened by your existence unless you dyed your hair Whore Brown!

    4. The blonde-hatred is because of Twilight. SMeyer was teased by some popular blonde girls in high school, and so made them into the females we're supposed to despise, though she overlooked personalities and gave the snooty, bratty attitude to Bella.

  37. I hate to defend or agree with EL here, but I have to say that Twinings is the only good bagged Earl Grey tea. I'm not saying it's expensive or posh really, just that it does taste the best. Tetley and all of the others I've tried taste like ass to me. I've had a few good looseleaf Earl Greys, but when it comes to cheap bagged tea, Twinings is like Earl Grey ambrosia. :)

    1. Yep,I agree. I love Earl Grey and I get the Twinings one. I read it thinkinh Ana was referring to the taste rather than the level of teabag poshness anyway.

      Twinings is always going to beat something like Liptons, which is basically weak dishwater.

  38. By the way don't blame José for almost date-raping Ana he's just the victim of an incredibly bad ff-writer using the trope: Ron the Death Eater. I used to do this a lot with my RP fan-fiction when I was an adolescent girl (and everyone agrees that that's the mentality EL James has0. Plus that scene was a total rip-off from Twilight's Jacob forcibly kissing Bella, which was a character assassination, because at that point Smeyer realized that Jacob was much cooler than Edward.

    Awesome re-cap, Jenny, though incredibly dull chapter.

    1. I immediately thought of the Jacob thing too. That's a classic fanfic author strategy--prevent sympathy for the competing love interest by making him come down with a sudden case of Jerkhood, even (especially) if he never showed signs of it before.

    2. SMeyer has this interesting habit of writing pretty compelling relationships when she's not trying. Jacob and Bella weren't actually intended to be couply, just good friends, and instead they had organic chemistry. Then Jacob and Leah had a while there when they'd started earning each other's respect, one fantastic chapter that would have made the entire series much stronger if SMeyer had gone with it instead of having Jacob become a pedophile.

  39. Somehow this was the chapter where I was no longer able to handle Ana's monumental shittiness. I know she's been a whiny, hateful, pathologically insecure piece of shit since page 1, but I felt sorry enough for her that I was sympathetic on balance. The sneering misogyny act at her father's deathbed is where I really rage-sploded. This woman is no better than Chedward. She 100% deserves him.

    You know what I'd like to see as a fic? A rewriting of 50 Shades where Ana is actually an OK person. Like, maybe Kate is working on an exposé of Grey Enterprises, hoping to jump-start her career as a journalist, and she convinces Ana to date Christian and act as a mole. Then the story could trace Ana's downfall, "Donnie Brasco"-style, as Christian's abuse twists her into the fucking shitty person we all know and hate.

    1. My version of Ana killed her Inner Goddess once she got away from Christian. He created Zompires (vampire/zombie hybrids that glitter before they explode)so he could make the world his snuff film.

      I like my Ana a lot more than EL James' take on an abused woman.

    2. You know, I actually had the exact same reaction in this chapter. I've read all of Jenny's recaps so far and I'd always been aware that Christian and Ana are shitty people, but this chapter really drove home just how shitty they are. I could not believe Ana was really going to talk smack about the bleached-blonde nurse when her father is in a coma. I was all, "Really, EL? Really?"

    3. ITA - maybe instead of thinking bitchy things about the nurse based on her hair color and the fact that she has the fucking gall to have eyeballs and use them in the vicinity of your husband, you should BE NICE TO HER since she is taking care of your father. I know it's the nurse's job and all, but still.

  40. American expat in the UK here! I've not even finished reading this recap but I had to stop and read the bit about Twinings aloud to my (working class) English husband. He laughed and said, 'Twinings isn't fucking posh. It can seem that way to working class people because it's more expensive than your PG but it's still shitty. It's just needlessly expensive. Anyway, posh tea doesn't come in a tea bag! It's fucking tea leaves! What the fuck?'

    Your blog makes my goddamn day.

  41. as a Chinese, this is the second time I feel offended by this hellish books. The first one would be that scene in book one where they eating stir fry noodles which were cooked perfectly by ana and OMG THEY USED CHOPSTICK TO EAT!!! if it was some restaurant take-out I'd get it because it always come with disposable chopstick right?. honestly thought, how many American college students kept that wood sticks in their kitchen? even chinese youngsters here in my town prefer spoons and forks (and we are still kinda traditional here). I guest I'm just being unreasonable bout this....Oh another reason I hate that scene: a fucking stir fry noodles is not an easy to cook dish no matter how simple it look! so a fucking dimwit like ana can cook it? gaaaah!!! this book just make me into a crazy-angry-incoherent rambling-madwoman :(

    and Christian, you were doing it wrong if you want to make big profits by moving your shipyard to Taiwan. Next time try South East Asia countries, we are cheaper. Taiwan labour workers consist of SEA migrants anyway (legal or ilegally)

    1. forget to say this: Jenny you're awesome, I LOVE YOU!! love your recaps of this shitty books. although reading it can bring side effects of losing concentrations and short-terms amnesia caused by anger. Never read it while at work!! #truestory

    2. I don't know, maybe it's a YMMV thing, but I'm half Japanese and I use chopsticks all the time. We keep chopsticks in our house. I also live in Hawaii, though, where there is a significant Asian population and half the restaurants here give out chopsticks, so using them is just second nature to me. I don't have a particular eating utensil preference.

      I do think it's offensive the way EL did it, though, like "hehe so cute these cute Asians with their cute little chopsticks!"

      Stir fry noodles are so easy to make even I can make them and I can't cook for shit.

    3. but that's it, we are east asian, it's one of our common household things to have.

      I just can't wrapped it around my head why ana, an american COLLEGE student would have it as eating utensil. unless she was really into cooking east asian cuisines (but this is ana who hate everything, sooo...)

      I think this was EL's stereotyping american. everyone and their mom whose lived in a big city eat chinese take-out (look at those romance movies!)~oh so cool! so american!~

      this books is so wrong from every angle...

      our local stir fry noodles is quite difficult to cook :(

    4. I dunno, when I was in college on the East Coast we'd usually have an extra pair of disposable takeout chopsticks lying around. Some people even tried using chopsticks in the mistaken belief it would make them eat more slowly and thus lose weight. (Seriously.)
      Sometimes people would pick up a cheap set at Ikea or keep the ones that come with Chinese or Thai takeout. Although, that's a problem in itself, since Thai people don't actually use chopsticks...oh, Americans and their cultural appropriation.

  42. I've been saying "You were so...yar" in my head over and over in every possible way. Whispers, loud, normal, and IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE! If my husband described me as "yar" I'd punch him in the face.

  43. I don't think EL James really understands what whispering is. I mean, all the lines that are being whispered actually sound really bizarre like that and I don't get it.

    "Leila says you have two of her paintings," I whisper.


    1. I think she does it to make what Ana is saying more 'dramatic and suspenseful".
      When she does that, I think of the dun de dun dun dun piano music in those old black and white movies with the bad guy cackling and twirling his mostache

    2. But you remove the drama and suspense when they whisper/murmur/mumble every goddamn sentence!

    3. Ha, whenever my husband and I whisper to each other (on purpose), we follow it up with a Buddy the Elf stage whisper of "ARE WE TELLING SECRETS?"

    4. I'm trying to picture the movie where they are always mumbling. You would need closed captioning to be able to follow the dialog. Of course, with this dialog, maybe you wouldn't want to.

  44. I love Jenny's recaps, but the comment section is the best. I have never before read so many comments on tea. I put out tea in our breakroom at work. I use Twinnings simply because the bags are individually wrapped so no one has to worry about their bags getting fingered (that doesn't sound right at all). I always put out Earl Grey & English Breakfast (I know jack about tea being American and a feindish coffee drinker that does not understand the point of tea when espresso exists in this world). Now it think I'll add Lady Grey to the rotation

    Also, I love love love the diversity of the commentors. There are all walks of life from all parts of our world here hating on these books. All thought I suspect most of us came to hate but stayed for love (of Jenny and her peeps). I know I did!

  45. I have seen two cars so far with Laters Baby stickers and one of them had I drive like a Cullen which I don't get. Makes me sad for humanity.

    1. The Cullens drive 200MPH and manage to do it in a magically safe manner because their reflexes are faster and somehow the laws of physics don't apply to their cars.

  46. I have heard from so many people how Christian changes so much in this book and especially when Ray ends up in hospital. This was Chedwards final chance of redemption for me and he failed:
    A) Chedward claims Ana is his world but when he finds out that her FATHER IS DYING he's all 'sorry but I actually have this really important meeting'. Maybe it's because I hate him but he doesn't even seem that apologetic. He happily flew back from a business trip when Ana went out for cocktails with Kate but the one time we would all actually be rooting for Chedward to drop everything to come and support Ana (when she actually needs support) he doesn't!
    b) Rather than being happy that Jose is supporting Ana he visibly shows that he is jealous.
    c) He actually bitches out the doctor for calling her 'Miss Steele' Even if Chedward wasn't looming ominously over Ana's shoulder, would the doctor reeeally flirt with her? 'So your dad has just had a cardiac arrest and might not make it... want to grab some Twinings tea?'
    I also noticed the subtle misogyny in this line. Ana says 'I'm his daughter Ana' so why does the doctor call her 'Miss Steele' in the next line? At work if somebody introduces themselves to me by their first name I would call them that. But it gives Chedward a chance to say 'no she is no longer the property of her father, she is my property'. Again my brain hurts and I'm getting carried away.
    d) In the words of Regina George 'stop trying to make Yar happen. It's not going to happen'. Please do not associate screen goddess Katherine Hepburn with your boat of domestic abuse.

    Ana, you are also a twat. For the love of god can you not make us sympathetic towards you in a scene when your fathers life hangs in the balance? Do we have to hear more insults about women? And Twinings is a cheap brand of tea which may well be served in hospitals but even if it isn't- priorities!

  47. That entire "You've got a broken leg" process takes a lot of time, so...

    When my mom broke her wrist, I spent a solid eight hours driving her from the doctor's office to the x-ray clinic, from the clinic back to the doctor's for casting, and then to the ortho clinic for a sling. Three places, none of them busy, none of them a critical care center. I don't even want to imagine how long it would have taken if we'd had to include a stop at the ER on top of it. (Last time I was at the ER: six hours for one x-ray and interpretation. Nothing else.)

    Also, that comment about the closed head injury and the airlifting bugged the crap out of me. I'd imagine James thinks that all head injuries are the same, but a CHI can be anything from a minor concussion, to swelling of the brain, and some injuries can cause permanent brain damage. If he's in a coma, he's under the care of a neurologist, and Chedward's pediatrician mother isn't going to supersede that. Also, depending on the injury, airlifting could have caused more damage than it prevented over ground transport, especially if Astoria didn't bother to stabilize their freaking patient, first.

    And if a guy told me I looked 'yar' I'd show him the door.

  48. This whole 'yar' business is really irritating. It's a sudden, random addition to the characters' vernacular in the same way that Ana (an American) suddenly kept using the word 'Arse' a few chapters back for no reason.

    I wonder if E L James had just watched The Philadelphia Story and just decided to add it; almost as if adding a word from such a classic film would invest her book with some class.

    And I was raging at the bit towards the end where Ana and Christian were giggling over Leila's art - the pair of them showing their disrespect towards Leila, Elliot, and Kate in one fell swoop - what nice people they are!

  49. What, Jose didn't also throw on some bandoliers and eat a taco?

    1. Jen does have a point. Now that you mention it, why couldn't she think of another authentic Hispanic name? I like Javier. Jose seems so overused and stereotype-like. I would like to add to your eating a taco part if I may.

      After he eats the taco, he brings out this huge sombreo and does the "Mexican hat-dance for good measure.
      THEN he brings out a full mariachi band and serenades Ana with "Que Lindo" as Cheward looks on with those smoke circles coming out of his ears, and daggers shooting out of his eyes!

  50. I'm confused. Jenny, did you leave something out of the description of the nurse that would indicate that she wasn't a natural blonde? Or is Ana just going off the dark, dark eyes to come to that conclusion? I've read it over three times, and still can't figure it out. Help! I'm about to go to my library's website to download this horrible book, just to figure this out. Because OF COURSE natural blondes can't have dark, dark eyes... only yucky brunettes, amirite?

    1. That threw me a little too, but having read the book, the not-a-natural-blonde quote came in the paragraph following the one given. Ana thinks to herself something like "idly, I find myself thinking that blonde isn't her natural color."

      The dark, dark eyes thing was really weird to me. If she had just had dark eyes, it would've been fine. Why the need to describe them as dark, dark eyes? Ana only ever used repeated adjectives to describe Christian's eyes ... I'm thinking score one for the people who think Ana is a lesbian in denial.

    2. 'Idly' is another one of those words that ELJ massively over uses. I think she thinks it shows that Ana is so cerebral and always thinking clever thoughts, that her bitchy, stupid ponderings are just happening in another part of her brain. Or something, as a bestselling author would totally use to finish a thought.

    3. I think it's because the nurse blushes. Because all blondes are brazen hussies.

    4. Think of a car idling. Yeah. I think that's what she means. Motors on, but shit ain't goin' nowhere.

  51. "Sawyer reenters, bearing a paper cup of hot water and a separate tea bag. He knows how I take my tea!"

    I present to you the most unintentionally hilarious fucking bit of writing I have ever seen in my life. I legit laughed so hard I was crying for almost 5 solid minutes. My sides genuinely hurt, omfg.

    It's like the only criticism at all that actually sunk in was "Americans :D! Wait. WAIT OH NO the tea thing is uncommon/odd? Must Americanize immediately! ...PERFECTION." and... and... then this happened.

    Oh hon. Hon. Sweetie, no. xD

    ...and on come the gigglefits again.

  52. Okay you tea people. Listen up!

    My husband was born overseas into a place with a big tea culture and he loves the fuck out of Twinings. Yeah, there is other good stuff available, and he won't even drink that Lipton crap. Fortnam and Mason pwns Twinings, but it isn't exactly available in your local supermarket, is it?

    Now that we live in the US he still does Twinings Earl Grey as his go-to. This man knows his tea well and he chooses. SO SUCK THAT SHIT UP.

    When his parents come through Heathrow on their way to visit they bring us fancy pants UK Tea.

    It is entirely possible that someone raised in suburbia who has never been to England would prefer Twinings, especially if they like their tea weak. My husband isn't a big PG Tips fan because it brews so strong so quickly.

    I also drink tea but I am bigger on infusions, especially rosehip. I also like my tea stronger.

    Basically, EL James screws a lot of stuff up, but this isn't one of them, so chill your pants.

    1. I don't think Jenny's arguing that Twinings doesn't make decent tea. It seems to me that her point it that Ana is made out to be this tea connoisseur who contrasts "cheap, nasty and disgusting" brands with Twinings.

      And I really don't know what Twinings bagged tea sells for in the UK, but here it's pretty damn cheap, and the prices are similar to that of Lipton tea.

      It's also conflating cheap and nasty, because those morons are all about ostentatious displays of social status, sad elitist clichés and weird catholic guilt: art that's colorful and technical is pedestrian, classical music equals sophistication, TV is for the unwashed masses, literature died with queen Victoria and so on and so forth. It's seriously like listening to a dumber version of your WASP-y grandparents, down to the gender dynamics, the purity crap, the makeup-is-for-whores and all that jazz.

      And this stuff about the tea is hilarious because it's just another case of James trying to present her character as discerning and smart, and she misses the mark yet again. The Twinings line is both unnecessary and just plain stupid: Twinings is neither exclusive enough or noteworthy enough for her to be such a prat about it.
      It's like looking down on people who drink Budweiser because you drink Heinekein. Sure, it's marginally better beer, and it sounds fancier, but it's still not much to write home about. If you're going to have her compare the merits of tea and wax poetic about a brand, let's hear about your Fortnums, your mariage Frères.

    2. Ding ding ding! All of this. The problem isn't that Brand Name Product is good or bad, it's that Ana is constantly saying that Brand Name Product is soooooooo much better than what plebs drink/eat/drive/use. Not only is she a snob, she's an uneducated snob. She's the worst stereotype of New Money.

      She reminds me of the spoiled rich kids at the New England college I went to, bragging about how they picked up a taste for mineral water during their summer in Italy. Oh, honey, mineral water is a working class beverage in Europe. You might as well brag about drinking Poland Springs. Pretentious douchebags.

    3. I actually like Lipton. It's not the best and not the worst. It's just another variety, like Diet Dr. Pepper to Cherry Coke Zero. I prefer the Coke by a long shot, but still enjoy DDP. Lipton makes really good iced tea. For hot tea it's more meh without a lot of Splenda. I've got some chai that was $16 for 8oz, some Tazo chai for a lot less, two different brands of chamomile, and a bunch of others, so it's not like my only experience is Lipton. Sometimes that's what I want over a cup of English Breakfast. It just depends on my mood.

  53. Hey, also. I think the Grey Secret Service would probably be able to go one block down the street to get Mistress Ana her tea. You know it isn't just Sawyer, right? Those are probably the guys Christian lets Ana know are there. I would bet with his funds that there are more.

    "We aim to please, Mrs Grey"

  54. Count YurgenJankerVonSchmittgarten's NipplesJune 4, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    I think EL James considers Twinings to be super mega posh tea because here in the UK Stephen Fry does their TV adverts.

    He is epic and has a posh voice and I don't think it would occur to EL James that just because someone with a posh voice is paid to advertise a product it does not mean that the product itself is necessarily posh.

    Also, Ray is going to die. I know this because he is a man who Ana is fond of and isn't Christian, therefore he must be destroyed. And EL can't do a "Oh my god Christian is jealous so I can't see Ray anymore thing" because incest might have been the straw that broke the camels back for the bored housewives of the world.

    I bet Ray was on that proscribed list as well. In fact I'm guessing it just said "no one can see Ana but her assistant and that gynaecologist I got her. And maybe my mother."

    Also, here is a picture of a cute dog:


    And a bucket of sloths for good measure:


    1. No, Ray won't die, because that might actually inject something resembling "plot" into this series. If he died, Ana would have so many complicated and conflicting emotions, and she'd need to go through a long grieving process...and EL James would never be bothered enough to do that. This book is only to get off to, not to actually, you know, produce anything that gives it any sort of depth, no matter how little.

    2. Plot??? I reckon E.L lost that a long time ago..

      Jen,as always,thank you for not only reading this shit so we don't have to,but for always making it so entertaining. Just as I'm about to get angry and violent at Chedward and his simpleton of a wife's latest escapades,you come in with something hilarious,and I can only imagine the difficulty of that with the material you have to work with!

    3. He'll probably die so events can unfold like so:

      - Ana becomes super sad, doesn't want sex
      - Chedward gets angry, feels neglected, guilts Ana by saying things like, "Why won't you let me make you feel better?!"
      - Kate says something a human with feelings might say, like "Chedward is being an asshole."
      - Ana gets super defensive, internally hates on Kate for ten pages.
      - Inner Goddess peers disapprovingly over a vaguely famous gothic novel, "well you're just as bad as Kate because you won't fuck him."
      - Ana compares her dead father to Chedward's dead mother, they have so much in common now! She understands him better!
      - Ana has a revelation* that she should have sex with Chedward because every time he's out of her sight he might die.
      - Ana apologizes to Chedward for being so insensitive, let's him touch her "down there" with some entirely common place sex toy that Ana is astonished by, like a vibrator.
      - Ray is never ever mentioned again.

      *I originally typoed this as "revulsion."

    4. Nah ESL that won't stop Ray dying. There have been plenty of times where events have occurred that should have been major plot drivers but were just glossed over for sex. This will be another of them.

      They'll probably shag at his funeral or something. Maybe it'll be open casket and they'll sneak in before the event so Christian can be like "See motherfucker? She's mine now you dead son of a bitch".

      Bet he payed the guys who hit their car.

    5. omg Marteani ... that was literally one of the best ELJ imitations I've ever read. If Ray actually died, that is exactly what would happen. In fact, expect ELJ to be releasing an alternate universe version of Fifty Shades Freed in 2015.

  55. Wait, I don't get it. I mean, blondes can have dark eyes. Am I missing something?

    1. Shh, don't confuse us with that independent assortment of genes.

  56. Christian's insistence on correcting the doctor made me SO angry. Your wife's father is in critical condition and you're nitpicking about how he addresses her before he's even been able to say a word about how her father is doing? STFU. Yes, obviously that is the most important thing to focus on right now. She's married so hands off, doctor!

    And as someone who is married, I still have the miraculous ability to speak. If I want a new person to be corrected about my name, I'll do it myself. I can't imagine my husband ever doing something like that. Of course, I kept my maiden name so he would never correct someone and tell them to call me Mrs. So and So but that's besides the point - he knows that I'm a big girl and that if I'm standing right there, I'll decide if I want to say something myself. Plus my husband isn't an insecure control freak who is irrationally jealous of every man who gets within ten yards of me, so there's that.

  57. I'm starting to wonder if E.L. invested in Twinings stocks or something. The amount of times something as irrelevant as the protagonist's favorite tea is brought up is bizarre.

    1. My take: it's padding. Can also look at it as a British insertion into Americana [Southern plantations in the Antebellum period vs British Colonization of India... for tea]

      Twinings doesn't have a good reputation when it comes to Fair Trade and Ethic Consumerism. In fact, Ethic Consumer Magazine rated Twinings a 2 out of 20 this year... So all of Chedwards protestations that he really does give a fuck for the poor, despite wasting water like it's fucking free and whatnot, it's just padding to hide the rampant elitist assholes.

      Hey! What does Chedward and a tea plantation have in common? They both take advantage of young women.

      (Traditionally, the havesting of tea on plantations was done by women, bossed around by male overseers.)

    2. Damn. That sucks about the Twining's and Fair Trade thing.

      For some reason I think about that regarding coffee, but hadn't with tea. Damn.

      Oh, and Holy Crap, too.

    3. If James wanted us to believe that Cheddie really cares, why not model him after Lady Gaga? She's extremely wealthy, yet still gives tons of money away like she's hemorrhaging money, starting up foundations and donating entire concert tours' worth of income to various causes, and she's pretty quiet about it because she's not doing it for the accolades. If she wants British inspiration, since she sure seems to try to promote Britain in books based in the US, she could look to JK Rowling. That woman fell off the billionaire list due to how much she's donated. I doubt Bill Gates would even ping her radar since he's both American and a PC-user (and she's so heavily on the side of Apple that, if it weren't for my own diehard love of the company, I'd probably chuck the five Apple produce within arm's reach of me out the open window behind me), but he could have been used as the model for Christian. Bill, in addition to being local to Cheddie, issued a challenge to other millionaires and billionaires to donate at least half their fortunes while still alive. He's done so, and is still a billionaire.

      But nooooo, we see a guy who tried making himself a god to Darfur and then forgot about it, and otherwise hasn't bothered sullying his hands with philanthropy, and takes every chance he can to exploit the third world and other non-first-world countries. And Ana's disgust of non-whites isn't reflecting well on all of this.

  58. This chapter, this fucking chapter. I work as a medical lab tech, and the bit that gets me angry the most about this chapter... The rampant breach of privacy. From Chedwards mum getting access to the records, to the doctor giving a report to Anna in front of all the other people who are most definitely not relatives, and especially answering christian's question like that... Seriously fuck all that. Any one of those breaches of confidence could get someone fired.

    1. I'm a regular at OHSU, so take is especially personally. Every time I go there they reverify who they're allowed to release information to.

      The ER waiting room isn't large. There are three double-seats that two can sit in, ten plush armchairs, and two wooden-armed chairs on either side of a round table right outside the door to the ER waiting area for children (children and their families have a waiting room that is child-friendly and goes to a different section in back that's specifically for peds - I've been there several times too). You can't talk in that waiting room without people hearing. So when you initially check in, they get the most basic of info, and then get more info when you're triaged behind a closed door. Then they get you into the back to wait pretty quickly, never longer than about an hour's wait in the waiting room. It's nice getting to wait in a room laying down.

      I could see a doctor there answering Ched's questions with Ana by his side not overruling his asking, but it would be in a private room. A snowball has a better chance at getting through an hour in hell without melting than a non-privileged doctor has of waltzing in there and getting to go through the charts, even if Ana says okay. All that would get Ched's mom is a copy at a later date, and even that's only a maybe. If Grace was even going to be allowed into an ER, it would be the Doerbecher's side for kids.

      Basically this entire scenario is as far from realistic and violates so many laws, and when I was in the ER there a week and a half ago, one of the nurses said they're not too thrilled with how the hospital, especially the ER we were in, was portrayed in that book.

  59. As a Brit, I totally support Ana prioritising her tea over everything else.

  60. I somehow smushed one of your comments together with the last line of the chapter, so I read, "I close my eyes and shit," and I thought Ana had finally taken passive aggressive revenge.

    1. Her showing any sort of backbone would have vastly improved the book.

      "I close my eyes and shit" is now canon.

  61. Did she really say she was feeling oppressed by her stepfather's misfortune? Someone PLEASE tell me I read that wrong. Seriously, who the fuck says that when someone they claim they really love may be dying? Oh oh oh and the "my sweet sheltered fifty shades"..... did anyone else wonder that if his life qualifies as sheltered that a nonsheltered life would likely be the Earthly equivalent of the seventh circle of hell. His birth mothered was a crackhead prostitude and he was raped for year's by his adoptive mother's best friend. And them he develops his own seriously warped version of BDSM in order to continually punished his birth mother. HOW THE HELL IS THAT SHELTERED? I just vomited in my mouth a little and my head did a 360 due to these seriously assinine comments. on the whole tea thing.... Well I'm Southern. We like our's sweet and iced. Yes I prefer some brands over others. Folks are the same way over coffee. But for Ana to make such an idiotic comment over the teabags offered at a hospital ER just makes me want to slap her. I've been to alot of hospitals in Eastern N.C and yes, most of them have a little area set up for hot tea and coffee. And no, neither of them are the best of the best. That's just the way the cookie crumbles kid. You take what you can get and you be thankful they even had it to offer. One hospital near me ever has a lady who brings a little snack cart out to the ER waiting room. She makes sure everyone gets what the need and then she checks to see if anyone needs a blanket or a emesis bag or ice pack. Whatever you need. And you know what? As awesome as that is I have still seen her take shit from irate people just because she didn't have EXACTLY what they wanted. Do they not realize that this complementary service is NOT the norm? Pisses me off everytime I see that lady being bitched at over something stupid when she does everything she can to make sure a waiting room packed with patients is as comfortable as possible. Idiotic people. Ana would fit in with them well.


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