Saturday, June 18, 2016

50 Shad3s: Chapter 24

Did you even see that shit? When I dropped TWO mutterflushing chapters on your head in the Same Day? Ridic. Shit was ridic.

AND NOW this third one like a day later? I'm putting you on notice, book from ten years ago that nobody cares about anymore. I'm like some kind of sports team that started out hot and then lost for like several years but is now looking like maybe, maybe, maybe it's going to put together a little bit of a comeback maybe.

We only have two chapters left. You're going to want to go slow. Savor it. JK let's hurry through this together. There's nothing left. This is the end of the party and there's nothing to drink but the stuff no one likes like "melon liqueur" and nothing to eat except for crackers and not even any cheese. You should've come earlier. No. You should've left earlier. Only the dregs remain. We're deep into the mop-up stage and there's not really anything left to mop up but EL is still swishing that same dirty mop water all over the floor again and again. 

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. 
  23. Ana recovers in the hospital. Christian figured everything out and rescued her because Ana secretly hid her phone so that she could be tracked.
New chapter. CG is hassling Ana about eating so things are back to normal. Somehow he brought her oatmeal and pancakes. What kind of monster is he? These are terrible choices. Ana is neither an old nor a child so neither of these would be her preference obvs. But then, Ana usually never eats anything at all so I guess it would make sense that CG would have no idea what kinds of foods his wife enjoys. 

Cops come in and talk to Ana but that all happens in between scenes. Ana has been cleared to leave the hospital at long last. I guess her head isn't broken anymore. Maybe it is. I dunno. I'm not really paying attention. I think I read something about Ana having to wear one of those cone things that dogs wear so they don't bite their stitches? [Editor's note: you're really phoning it in, Eagle.]

CG pulls a doctor aside to ask if Ana is cleared to get her swerve on and the doctor is like "Hell yeah boyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" and is like "High five!" and then is like, "And don't even worry about wrapping it up because she's already pregnant dogg!" And then there's an air horn. 

“I have a headache.” I smirk right back. 
“I know. You’ll be off limits for a while. I was just checking.”

That's a weird phrase, right? "Off limits" should apply to like, "Hey kids. Watch tv if you wanna but pay-per-view boxing is off limits because that shit is expensive ok?" Basically it makes her sound like an object, is what I'm saying. Whatever. She's been objectified this whole dumb book so nothing's new. But also saying that Ana is off limits makes it sound like CG is saying, "Hey there's a whole lot of ladies I can totally bone-down with but not you right because you're off limits." What I'm saying is that sometimes EL chooses phrasing that I would not.

CG reminds Ana about that shitty shit Ray said about how Ana ought to be spanked so I get to relive that particular delight, and so do you. Ana goes to see Ray, so I guess they're all in the same hospital together or something still? I don't know. Whatever. Very fun very fun.

Ray yells at Ana because somehow he thinks she did the wrong thing and that's an uncomfortable scene. I used to think Ray was kind of a chill dude but EL is on a campaign to make sure that I hate everybody by the end of the book.

Anyway they go home and on the way we're told that CG's investigator has dug up something about Jack Hyde and it's probably either that he's Christian's dad or secret brother or mom's murderer or something cool like that. But the investigator hasn't shared yet because he wants to do it in person so we have that to look forward to.

Ana feels a lot of feelings when they get home and then they take a shower and that takes a few pages of like soap and water and stuff and it's all v v interesting.

So EL really didn't think through this blackmail thing very well. Here's the explanation as to the apparent hold Hyde had over Elizabeth:

“Hyde had videos. Videos of all of them. On several USB flash drives.” 
What? I frown, my skin tightening across my forehead. 
“Videos of him fucking her and fucking all his PAs.” 
“Exactly. Blackmail material. He likes it rough.” Christian frowns, and I watch confusion followed by disgust cross his face. He pales as his disgust turns to self-loathing. Of course—Christian likes it rough, too. 

Ok so. Again. "Do what I say, or else I'll distribute this video of me doing rude things to you" is just not the best threat. I mean maybe if they were all married or something. Then maybe you'd have something maybe. But I don't think they are / were. So I don't get it. It's a pretty weak explanation, really, but whatever. There are so, so many things in this book that are way worse so what am I going to do? Waste a bunch of time on this when we're so close to the end?

Yes. Yes I will. Hey and then when he shows these videos to people, and they're like, "Wow and did she know you were filming?" And then he's like, "No I was secretly filming, which is probably illegal now that I'm thinking about it." And then they're like, "Oh and so they wanted to have sex with you, but didn't know they were being filmed?" And then he's like, "Oh no. No they definitely didn't want to. I kinda like, you know. Made it so they thought they had to. Because of the implication."

It just really doesn't add up! And also why bring up that they were on USB drives? Fool didn't even back up his shit to the cloud? You gotta back your shit up to the cloud, fool.

Here's another thing: "Oh!" happens in Ana's head. Not out loud. So when CG says "Exactly" it's pretty unclear what he's reacting to. Ana's thoughts inside her head that she's not saying out loud? Maybe I guess.

It's cool how now CG is feeling kinda shitty about how much he enjoys hurting women during sexy-times, but Ana does everything she can to be like, "No, no, you're totally different!" But like, no. They're not that different. And they're secret brothers or something probably. Just waiting for that big reveal!

Anyway, I hate this book. Ana just had her skull cracked by a villain and shot a man and probably could really use the support of the people who love her but literally everyone is on her ass even though she was a total hero.

“Yes, it was reckless, but you know, your sister was in danger.” 
His face falls. “Yes. She was.” Switching off the hairdryer, he puts it down on the bed beside him. He grasps my chin. 
“Thank you,” he says, surprising me. “But no more recklessness. Because next time, I will spank the living shit out of you.” 

Ok ok ok ok ok. Here's one thing: let's all be careful in our application of the phrase "the living shit out of" because when you're talking about spanking, you're talking about butts and there's a danger of this sounding all too literal. I mean am I wrong? No. No I'm not.

And "next time"? Next time, what? Next time someone kidnaps someone in CG's family? Which next time are we talking about?

And lastly, I am so fucking sick of Christian talking about spanking. Just so, so sick of it. And all his threats, and rules, and just every last thing about him. I've just had enough of it all and that's why I'm so glad we're so close to the end of this shitshow.

Ana tries to get CG to have sex with her but he doesn't because she just got out of the hospital an hour ago and that strikes me as rather reasonable of him.

Then Ana eats leftovers and takes a nap. When she gets up CG tells her that he just met with the investigator while she was asleep. Now CG knows that he and Jack Hyde briefly lived at the same foster home. This is not the super-weird revelation that I wanted. I was hoping for something way more over the top and ridiculous, like that somehow Hyde was CG's secret brother that he forgot about or something. Or his dad! I guess Hyde is too young for that but like, if you're going to do something silly, why not go full Star Wars? That's what I would've done, if I were writing a super-ridiculous book and didn't really care about my readers or their intelligence and also assumed nobody would ever read it so why bother. EL is trying way too late in the game to make Jack a funhouse version of Christian, and it doesn't really work. This revelation doesn't really add any clarity. It's not a cool twist that makes you go, "Oh I get it now!" Instead it's just like, "Oh huh. Weird coincidence."
Weird part about this is that CG brought up the investigator earlier, while they were driving home, and mentioned that the PI had some news he wanted to share with CG in person. I took that to mean that EL wanted the PI's revelations to happen in scene for greater drama. Very sensible--seeing a character experience big news is more dramatic than hearing about it after the fact. Yet instead, CG experiences the big news while Ana is asleep, so from the standpoint of the reader, the PI might as well have just told CG his big news over the phone or sent him an email or whatever, but EL had the guy fly from Detroit just to meet with CG for one minute. Still getting the feeling that maybe EL hasn't looked at a map of the US. It's a big place, EL!

This news makes Christian feel a lot of feelings. Ana tells CG to invite his parents over to talk because of all the feeling he's feelings so that happens. Very typical: Ana has just heroically saved her sister in law, shot a man, and been hospitalized for a few days with a cracked brain-holder. And all the other characters are like, "OH SHIT IS CHRISTIAN OK? WHAT ABOUT HIS SAD FEELINGS?" Get your shit together, literally everyone in this book!

Then all the other characters show up too. Kate. Elliot. Miami. Kate joins the list of characters who yell at Ana for bravely saving Miami's mutterflushing life and I'm getting pretty sick of that thanks! The more all these shits tell Ana that she made a mistake the more I'm just like, tell them to take a flying fuck at a rolling donut, Ana. I'm digging in on this one. I don't see any of these other assholes doing anything but lecturing, but my homegirl Ana was out getting shit done. All you other doofuses are in a low-rent soap opera and now Ana is going like semi-Tarantino and everybody's trying to bring her back down their boring-ass level. Don't let them, Ana! Don't let them.

What if at the end of mutterflushing Iron Man or some shit all the other characters were like, "Ugh geez Iron Man! Fighting Jeff Bridges was so dangerous! That guy had all those weapons and stuff and you could've seriously been hurt! If you do that again we're going to spank you!"

No, Ana isn't flying around in a robot suit or whatever but she's still like the main character of this book. And this is not a book where the main character is a villain. So like, what's another story where at the end, all the side characters are like, "You really screwed up this time, Hero! Way to totally defeat the villain and save your sister-in-law's life! YOU SHOULD BE SPANKED!!!!1!"

Anyway. Everyone's there. CG talks to his parents. Ana drinks champagne even though she's pregnant, but just a little because CG's mom said it was ok if it was just a little and she's a doctor but maybe not a good doctor. Everyone is very happy when they're not being angry at Ana. The evening ends.

CG is remembering more about his early life, because we were all very interested in that. Once everyone leaves and our heroes are in bed, CG starts talking about getting seduced by his mom's friend when he was a teenager.

And that's the end of the chapter.

I'm disappointed that the revelation about CG and Hyde wasn't bigger and dumber. I wish they'd been secret brothers but instead they just were at the same place at the same time for a while. They both became misogynists. They both became extremely successful in their chosen fields, only CG got way richer because his chosen field wasn't small-time publishing and we all know that nobody reads anything and there's no money in that. It's not a very good choice on EL's part, I don't think. Making Hyde an editor. It's probably just because of her obvious hatred of editors. But it would've been a more interesting book if Hyde were more in parallel with CG. Like if he were some kind of gangster or crime lord or something. That woulda been neat. Instead the thing we have is not very neat at all.

We're almost done tho. We're so, so close to being done. Next chapter is the last chapter!

. . . and after that there's an epilogue and a bunch of dumb appendixes. But still. We're close! We're very very close! We'll probably have to do another entry after the final chapter for the epilogue and assorted nonsense but I'll throw those in in quick succession too just so we can be get EL James off our back once and for all.

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