Look this is the worst chapter in the whole thing. One could so, so easily skip it entirely and just go on to 11. 10 could just be a little parenthetical note: (Christian haz a mad.) And then that's it! No reason to go into details, really. In fact, the more detail, the worst. My draft of this chapter is better than EL's and mine takes way way less time to read so that's something.
Let's keep this brief, shall we?
But wait. Where were we?
Ana Steele is married to billionaire / kink-enthusiast / child-abuse survivor Christian Grey. He is domineering and they are usually upset with each other except for when they're having sex.
- Ana takes her top off on a beach while reminiscing about the wedding and Christian gets mad.
- They ride a jet-ski back to their honeymoon yacht and riding jet-skis cheers up Christian a bit. Then they have sex.
- Ana discovers that Christian gave her a bunch of hickies and she is angry. But then she gets over it and they look at art together and CG learns that there was a fire in his server room.
- Ana buys a camera.
- Ana and Christian return to Seattle. After visiting Christian's parents, they become embroiled in a medium-speed chase on the interstate. After eluding their pursuers, they have sex in a parking lot.
- Ana figures out that Jack Hyde was the arsonist.
- Christian bullies Ana until she agrees to go by "Ana Grey" in her professional life.
- Ana is extremely jealous of the architect hired to remodel the new home she will share with Christian. Ana cuts Christian's hair.
- Ana discovers that Christian keeps an unlicensed gun in his office. While Christian is away on business, Ana has a few drinks with Kate. When Ana returns home, Jack Hyde has been apprehended during an apparent home invasion.
So why is this chapter worse than all other chapters?
It's pretty simple. While Ana does offer some refreshing push-back, this chapter is just about CG being shitty because Ana went out with Kate instead of staying home.
Plot twist: no one can argue that Ana was at greater risk out with Kate than she would've been at home, since Jack Hyde tries to infiltrate Ana's home while Ana is away. Hence, if anything, Ana made the safer decision. But also? She's an adult and she's being followed around by two security goons. If something happens to her at a public restaurant in Seattle while she's being followed by two security goons, it's not her fault. I mean even without some of these modifiers it's not her fault. But what I'm saying is that she's only a couple of notches below POTUS security-wise so it's pretty dumm to try to claim that she's being unsafe or whatever.
But CG proves himself less concerned about Ana's safety than he is about his own ability to boss her around. He never really expresses any concern for her near run-in with Hyde. Never expresses any role that he might have shared in creating this situation. Just acts all pissy at Ana for the whole chapter and reminds us what a shitty guy he is in general.
Here's how our chapter begins, with Ana trying to take in the grisly scene at her home:
My heart is pounding and blood thrums loudly in my eardrums; the alcohol flowing through my system, amplifying the sound.Look I'm only pasting this in because look at this sentence! Look at it! It's just the most awkward pile of bad clauses. It's like two normal sentences crashed into each other and then somebody was like, "Quick! Put them back together before anyone notices!" Only they did it too fast and I noticed and so did you because it's awful. Swap "amplifying" for "amplifies" and drop the comma and then you've basically fixed it as much as it needs fixing but EL has sold the most books and is therefore the best writer and does not need an editor thank you very much.
There's a security goon named Ryan. I have no idea who all the security goons are at this point. There's Taylor. And Sawyer. And Kate. And Charlie. And Hurley. JK I'm just naming Lost characters now because I am tired of this book. Anyway Ryan knocked out Hyde, who got in through the service elevator, which doesn't make any sense at all as an explanation. This isn't the Death Star. The service elevator isn't some hidden vent that must be left open for engineering reasons. It's one of two entrances to the condo. "We got this one door really well protected with a lock and everything but we forgot about the other door! He outsmarted us!" I don't know. Whatever.
They tie up Hyde with Ana's sex cable-ties. This is good. It's a reminder that all your sex toys can double as tools for self defense. Think about it. Right? I'm right. Completely right.
The security goons take a full page deciding whether or not to call the police and then finally call the police and this chapter is draaaaaaggggging.
This is like a puzzle to see how good I am at keeping track of characters I don't give a shit about:
Officer Skinner is deep in conversation with Ryan at the dining room table. Officer Walker is with Sawyer in Taylor’s office. I don’t know where Prescott is, perhaps in Taylor’s office. Detective Clark is barking questions at me as we sit on the couch in the great room.
I literally don't even know who Prescott is, let alone where. EL could totally slip in some extra names here and I'd just be like, aight.
“Hyde is known to us,” Detective Clark murmurs.Cool that he quit barking. I'm sure Ana appreciates that. Hey here's a thing I don't remember and won't look up: did Ana srsly not call the cops on Hyde originally? I mean, she must've, right? Considering that Hyde got all beat up and everything, notifying the police about his assault attempt would've been a necessary step in order to protect Ana and her employer (CG) from lawsuit or whatever. But maybe they didn't? Is that possible? I mean everything is possible in this book. But now I can't remember.
Anyways Mrs. Jones makes Ana a peanut butter sandwich and this makes Mrs. Jones v. happy because she lives only to make sandwiches for her employers I guess. And then Ana goes to bed.
And then CG is there in the morning because he came home early or whatever and he's angry and not like, angry at the dude who invaded his home. Mad at Ana for for not following his every whim. The beginning of the chapter you can kinda be like, "Huh is he just like, real upset about this whole situation? Maybe he's not actually mad at Ana but just real upset in general?"
And then he drops this little gem:
“I want to punish you,” he whispers. “Really beat the shit out of you,” he adds.Oh ftb. For the obvious reason, obvs. Oh and also for tagging the second phrase with the totally redundant "he adds."
Why am I even putting up with this guy? With this book? With a man who has this thought, and then says it out loud? With a book that glamorizes a relationship in which these thoughts happen? That tries to flip things around and make it look like it's Christian who needs help, and not Ana, who lives in a state of permanent, mild terror?
“Maybe I will.”
“I hope not.”
He hugs me tighter. “Ana, Ana, Ana. You’d try the patience of a saint.”Right? Yeah cause Ana is the one who's real difficult to deal with. I mean how does he even put up with her? Amiright fellas?
Later Ana slips into the shower with CG which seems like an obvious make-up type of move but CG rejects it because he's a bad person.
“I don’t want to discuss this now, in the shower. I am still fucking mad at you, Anastasia. You’re making me question my judgment.”This is the most telling line in the chapter, as it suggests that CG sees that he's wrong about the whole thing but continues to take it out on Ana because he is an asshole.
Anyway Ana goes to work. Our heroes exchange various emails. Ana wants to know whether CG left NYC early because of Hyde, or because he found out that Ana went out for drinks instead of staying home. CG won't say, which means that he came home early because he was mad at Ana, not worried about her safety.
Anyways Ana gets home from work and CG is in his sex pants and it's sex time.
Groan. They're not going to like, work through their problems. They're just going to have sex or whatever. But the good news is that this garbage chapter is over and also the good news for you is that I've kept this very short but that's mostly because absolutely nothing happens other than a bit of wrapping-up the Jack Hyde situation and then CG being pissy for another twenty pages. In person. Over email. Etc. Etc.
I can only hope we've kinda bottomed out in this series. I hope we've reached the low-point of the trilogy. But I guess we'll just have to see, won't we?