Friday, June 17, 2016

50 Shad3s: Chapter 23

Ana recovers in the hospital and everything is fine. 

Seriously tho: we're almost done. Almost done with this whole thing. We can do this, friends. We can do this. And in order to move shit along, I'm no longer on any type of schedule. I'm just making this happen. I'm getting that last burst of energy you get when you're real close to the finish line and you're just so, so sick of the marathon you're running because it's repetitive and clichéd and sexist and my metaphor may have broken down there somewhere.

Oh but 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. 

  1. Ana takes her top off on a beach while reminiscing about the wedding and Christian gets mad.
  2. They ride a jet-ski back to their honeymoon yacht and riding jet-skis cheers up Christian a bit. Then they have sex. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Ana buys a camera.
  5. 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. 
  6. Ana figures out that Jack Hyde was the arsonist.
  7. Christian bullies Ana until she agrees to go by "Ana Grey" in her professional life. 
  8. Ana is extremely jealous of the architect hired to remodel the new home she will share with Christian. Ana cuts Christian's hair.
  9. 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. 
  10. Christian spends a whole chapter pouting because Ana went out with Kate without telling him. 
  11. Christian pouts some more and reveals that he and Jack Hyde both used to live in Detroit. 
  12. I don't remember. So probably nothing I guess.
  13. Oh I guess in twelve everyone left for Aspen. And then in thirteen, Elliot asks Kate to marry him. 
  14. Kate says yes and someone touches Ana's butt and she slaps him and then CG hits him.
  15. They go home and nothing happens but Leila shows up at the end.
  16. That Leila thing is NBD but at the end Ana learns that her dad has been injured in a car wreck.
  17. Ana goes to Portland to be closer to Ray while he recovers.
  18. It's Ana's birthday and Ray is recovering. 
  19. Back to Seattle. Ana learns she's totally pregnant. 
  20. Christian is mad at Ana for being pregnant. He goes out and gets drunk with his ex. 
  21. Ana and Christian are fighting a lot. Christian flies to Portland on business. Ana gets a call from Jack Hyde via Mia's phone. 
  22. Ana withdraws ransom money from the bank. Christian believes she is leaving him. Jack Hyde attacks Ana. Ana shoots Hyde in the knee. Ana hears Christian's voice as she passes out. 
Ok so. 

I guess it's kind of ok this time for Ana to be all groggy and confused when she wakes up because she got smacked in the head and everything. So it's annoying because this is how EL starts every chapter, but I don't have all that much room for complaint. Ana overhears CG receiving information about her state. The baby is fine. That thing is like the tiniest ball of cells still so I was never worried about it. The doc says that Ana's skull is fractured (!) but she's basically fine and I'm like, goddamn how hard did Hyde hit her? Did I miss a spot where she hit her head or something because that's nuts? No mention of the concussion that Ana obviously also has considering that she lost consciousness. But hey. She's probably fine. 

EL has Ana fall asleep again immediately after offering us a little update on her brain and whatever.

Ana wakes up a little bit again. This time just long enough to overhear CG talking to his dad. This time we learn that Mia got roofied so yeah I guess she was in fact kidnapped and that wasn't just an elaborate ruse. That little errand accomplished, EL has Ana pass out again. This whole chapter is dominated by these pointless little scenes where Ana wakes up for a sec and loses consciousness again over and over. During most of these bits she learns some little bit of information so basically this is just kind of a lazy way for EL to fill Ana in on lots of details without having to have her be like, "Ok and then what happened?"

Ok so here's maybe the worst part of this entire trilogy! What's amazing to me is that it just kinda comes out of nowhere and you're like, "Whoa. That's the worst!"

The fog lifts but I have no sense of time. 
“If you don’t take her across your knee, I sure as hell will. What the hell was she thinking?” 
“Trust me, Ray, I just might do that.” 
Dad! He’s here. I fight the fog . . . fight . . . But I spiral down once more into
oblivion. No . . . 

I don't really see any reason to comment on this. I will say one thing though: I am looking forward to not having to read this particular stupid euphemism for spanking all the mutterflushing time. 

I wonder if anyone read this and thought it was funny. Right? "Haha it's funny how Ray is talking about CG punishing Ana as though she were a tiny child and not an adult, but CG is talking about spanking Ana for his own sexual pleasure! They're talking about the same thing but also kind of not! Hilarious!" I mean I guess that's possible! Considering that some people like these books. That's probably possible. The world is a terrible, terrible place.

Another scene:

“Detective, as you can see, my wife is no state to answer any of your questions.” Christian is angry. 
“She’s a headstrong young woman, Mr. Grey.” 
“I wish she’d killed the fucker.” 
“That would have meant more paperwork for me, Mr. Grey . . .” 
“Miss Morgan is singing like the proverbial canary. Hyde’s a real twisted son
of a bitch. He has a serious grudge against your father and you . . .” 
The fog surrounds me once more, and I’m dragged down . . . down. No! 
Again, this is probably a fair expression of the chumminess between cops and rich people. But I do hate this scene. I hate all these pointless, tiny scenes. The cops are happy to share information about an ongoing investigation like it's no big deal. And I think that "more paperwork" line is likely EL's way of telling us that, no, there won't be any legal ramifications for the fact that Ana shot a man with a gun she had absolutely no right to possess. Who stops a bad guy without a gun? A good guy with a gun stolen from a different bad guy. That is the lesson here of course. 

Another micro scene. Now CG's mom is yelling at him about CG and Ana's fight.

Another micro scene. Goddamn I'm sick of these. Same players. CG's mom is feeding him outrageously dumb clichés.

  1. We always hurt the ones we love, darling. 
  2. I think you can only be truly mad at someone you really love.

I don't much think either of those are true but thanks for trying, Christian's mom!

Another micro scene. 

Another micro scene again.

And now we're just like, getting into hospital business and I don't understand why it's in this book at all, or what point it's serving, other than to kinda humiliate Ana. Ana wakes up. Ana has to pee. THis is a real-life thing that I imagine is a bummer if you're in a hospital and out of sorts but I do not know why I have to read about it. There is much discussion about this fact. A nurse tells Ana that she has a catheter which is certainly a thing that we readers needed to know. Ana insists on getting up and peeing normal-style and who can blame her. CG insists on staying while the nurse is like "Hey why not GTFO for two minutes?" And CG fights about that because I don't know why. To love someone is to deny them all privacy and dignity I guess? I don't know. Anyway he relents. And that's the end of the NINTH scene in this awful, awful chapter.

CG leaves, then returns and  carries Ana into the bathroom. He takes a moment to shame her about being too thin, because he's a real asshole. And then tells her to pee and she's like, "Uh no leave first." And he's like, "No you might fall down and also I can't believe you don't remember that I totally have a pee fetish." I am paraphrasing. He eventually gives in and leaves and hurray! Ana pees in peace and I kind of can't believe how much we've belabored this. Has there ever been a book that spent so much time filling us in on the process of a character making her way to a bathroom and urinating? I mean maybe but I don't know what that book is and I don't know that I want to read it. This thing is really awful. 

I probably wouldn't be feeling so desperately hostile to this chapter if I weren't making notes on it. Since nothing is happening, if I weren't writing this I'd just scan through this thing and be done with it. But somehow I have to fill you in on all these stupid, stupid details because I have a job to do or whatever. It's really pretty awful, this thing. Pretty awful. 

Ana asks after Mia: 

“How did they get her?” 
“Elizabeth Morgan,” he says simply. 
He nods. “She picked her up at Mia’s gym.”
Really wondering if like, EL is going to explain this one or not. Because c'mon. That's not any kind of explanation. But hey. It's kind of as good an explanation as we ever get in this book.

Oh and CG totally understood everything the whole time obvs:

“What I said. I was never going to leave you.” 
“Hush, baby, I know.” 
“You do?” His admission halts my tears. 
“I worked it out. Eventually. Honestly, Ana, what were you thinking?” His tone is strained. 
He worked it out, guys! I hope this is as much explanation as EL offers here, too. Just a little shrug. "Yeah I worked it out. NBD." Worked out that there was a ransom. Worked out that Ana was dropping off ransom money, and where, and the right time to show up to save her. Yeah. Worked it out. Don't worry guys. He worked it out. 


CG explains that he was already back in Seattle when shit started going down so that's fine I guess. He keeps telling Ana how mad he is that she like, tried to save his sister's life. He is a real, real asshole, and I hate him. So glad we're almost done with this book so that I can be done with Christian Grey--the 26 year old man who sounds like he's fifty and talks to his wife like she's seven. 

Anyway. We learn that Ana totally swiped the banker's phone and put her own phone in with the money, and it was the banker's phone that Elizabeth threw away. Good one Ana! Very cloak and dagger. So that's how that all worked basically.

Ana eats some soup and CG sleeps in her hospital bed with her and this annoys the nurse because she is a lady and all ladies are uptight about all things all the time but CG is very rich so he is allowed to stay the night there in the hospital with her.

The next morning CG leaves before Ana wakes up and later CG's dad comes to talk to Ana and he's a real piece of shit I guess: 

“He’s a little mad at you, as he should be.” Carrick smirks. Ah, this is where Christian gets it from. 
“Christian is always mad at me.” 
“Is he?” Carrick smiles, pleased—as if this is a good thing. His smile is infectious. 
This is a very healthy relationship they have, of course. Very very healthy and good and great. Nice to see that some of CG's shittiness is nurture, not nature. Only fair!

CG comes back with breakfast and Ana is eating like crazy in this chapter, after three books of not eating ever. Fuck. Is that Ana's arc? Is her journey one from not eating much food to eating a more normal amount of food? On account of how she's pregnant now? Terrible. Just terrible.

They end the chapter talking about their kid that they're going to have eventually. And that's the end of that.

I think this might have been my least favorite chapter in this whole thing maybe. All I can figure is that this was an attempt by EL to kind of retcon in some stakes. As in, the more drawn out she makes Ana's recovery, the more danger it seems like she was in earlier. Is that possible? I don't know.

Anyway it was a huge waste of time and the only interesting revelation is the fact that Ana stole a cell phone so that she could keep her own phone on her so that CG could track her. It's interesting, but the whole chapter was Ana seemingly doing her best to deceive CG--to keep him from knowing what she was doing and where she was going. So then, what's the difference, really, between telling CG what was happening and just kind of relying on him to intervene? I dunno. Whatever. Seems like it worked out but CG is still being shitty about it which is unfair but he is a bad person so it's only what I expect from him.

Mainly though, I just don't really care about this little side plot. This book isn't about Mia's kidnapping. I don't really know what this book is about, but it's not about Mia's kidnapping. Two chapters left. Two chapters that are just going to be about how everything is fine forever. We may see CG's other ex, Elena. Seems like maybe his mom was learning about that sordid bit of history while Ana was drifting in and out of consciousness. But hey. nothing left but two more chapters of mopping up!

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