Monday, June 20, 2016

50 Shad3s: Chapter 25! THE LAST CHAPTER!* *not really the end tho

Hey you know how at the end of Lord of the Rings there's like ten different endings? And then after that there's all those appendixes and whatever? And you read about how Gimli and Legolas sailed off to the Gray Havens together? To the west? Meaning they literally sail off into the sunset together and therefore your Gimli / Legolas fanfic is totally supported by the text and anyone who says otherwise should maybe crack open their copy of Lord of the Rings and like, you know, read it?

Anyway EL does pretty much the same thing here. There's just all this assorted stuff at the end and I mean, this thing is done, right? There's nothing else to happen. Ana threw the one ring into the lava and that totally destroyed Christian and then she and Kate rode on the back of an eagle. But then there's so much stuff after! SO MUCH. After this chapter, there's an epilogue, and a Christmas special, and a ludicrous "Author's note" and also the opening of what would eventually be released as just Grey--the first of these dumb books, only from CG's perspective only. I won't talk about that. I'm just now remembering that, oh shit, I think I read that. Right? Yeah I totally did! Goddamn. It's pretty bad!

But anyway. What I'm saying is that we're not quite up the mountain yet. I'm going to bash on through this chapter, and then do one final post on all the shit that comes after the last chapter. Pretty unfair, I think.

But we're close! We're very close.

I know I sound miserable when I'm doing this. Part of that is just for fun; I sound miserable most of the time. All my friends will attest to this fact. FACT! But anyway. There are parts of each chapter that I really enjoy writing about, or at least that are fun springboards for me to do whatever nonsense joke I want to do.

But yeah. This is a bad book. A thing I mentioned last chapter is that this shit would go a lot faster if I wrote more in line with how I'd normally read a book like this. So here's a confession: like if I'm reading a book, and there's a whole big section in italics? I'm basically not going to read it. Or if a character in a book has a dream? I'm skipping ahead to when they wake up, even if that character is having a green dream. Just can't really be bothered. Or if some character is like, "Oh here let me sing you the song about the maiden and the bear, because that's like Westeros's 'Stairway to Heaven' basically," yeah. I'm totally skipping it. So if I were somehow reading this book for my own amusement, I'd give the emails the most cursory glance and move on. And I basically would've skipped Chapter 23 entirely because it's like, I get it. I get it. She's in the hospital. I get it.

But instead, I'm a completist, so I go through all these little things that have no right to be in this book and there's no reason at all for you to know about them because they don't matter, but somehow I'm like, I SWOAR AN OATH! and I tell you all this shit that doesn't matter. I don't know why either, really!

But hey. We're almost done. We're almost done! There will be much rejoicing!

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.
  24. Ana goes home and everyone is an asshole to her even though she saved Mia's life.
Ok so CG continues on, and tells Ana about his affair with Elena when he was in high school. Not going to lie: it's not an interesting story. And I get it: he was fifteen. EL doesn't exactly want to like, give us a real hot story about a fifteen year old for reasons that are, I imagine, pretty obvious. But all EL does is talk a little bit about the first time Elena kissed him and it kinda doesn't really explain anything. We're meant to believe that Elena really controlled him and kinda took over his life, and I am kind of curious about that but we don't get any of it.

I'm also curious about how CG went from his relationship with Elena--in which he submitted to her control--to future relationships where he dominated a series of partners. How'd that happen? What was that first one like where he was like, "Ohhhhhh I'm supposed to spank you right right right." I am not really curious because I don't care, but that at least sounds interesting to me in theory. 

Instead we just get this boring-ass Stacey's mom scenario where CG is doing yard work for Elena and she makes out with him and slaps him and then CG talks about everything after that in quite vague terms. 

“I just couldn’t bear anyone to touch me. I couldn’t. Couldn’t bear anyone near me. I used to fight . . . fuck, did I fight. I got into some god-awful brawls. I was expelled from a couple of schools. But it was a way to let off steam. To tolerate some kind of physical contact.”  
Let's stop and remind ourselves that this guy eventually, we are told, attends a little university in the Boston-area called "Harvard." Hey Harvard scholars: anyone got stats on how many people go to Harvard after being expelled from a couple of schools? I'll hang out while you grab that for me.

Oh zero? Thanks. That was my guess. Zero, with a margin of error, plus or minus, of zero.

Cool cool cool. Just one of the core fantasy elements of this series. I don't know when this guy made his first billion, but let's say he hasn't been a billionaire for long. Let's say, since he's twenty six, he made his first billion when he was twenty five. And goddamn! I guess that's the mutterflushing book I want to read! The book about the ten years in between fifteen and twenty five! I do not want to read Book 1 from his POV because I already read that shit and it was even worse than the original. I do kinda want to read how he made his first billion!

“Well, the next day I went back to the house, not knowing what to expect. And I’ll spare you the gory details, but there was more of the same. And that’s how our relationship started.” 
Well, the next day, we all set off for Mordor, not knowing what to expect. And I'll spare you the gory details, but there was more of the same, with the Nazgul and everything. But anyway, we made it. Seriously tho: what's the point of telling this story if he's not going to tell this story? Like at all?

Anyway. I kinda am rushing through this because it's awful. CG says a lot of real nice stuff about Ana that seems way excessive considering what a mutterflushing bore she is. Oh and CG says that his last time drinking with Elena showed him that he was finally truly done with her, etc, etc, etc so I guess that that's kind of a big deal, or at least supposed to be. I guess the reason this confession from CG falls so flat for me is that it's so expected. We're here, at the end, and yeah, we expect some mopping up and some happily ever after, and there it is. Yay.

I'll repeat the fact that this is all based on CG's own self-improvement campaign, and has nothing at all to do with Ana, who is not really the protagonist. Just a lady who hears about some stuff from her husband. Oh! And also she saved the day, but she's still getting absolutely no credit at all.

Oh and I'll repeat my assertion, made I dunno. Years ago probably. That in the end, of course CG would backpedal from kinky sex, and that's precisely what's happened. We're going to see one last little scene later in the ol' sex room, but yeah. This book is deeply conservative. In the end, order is restored in the form of the bourgeois family. How liberating!

Anyway the next morning Ana dresses all sexy so her husband will do sex to her and then she eats a balanced, complete breakfast and everyone is so happy now that she's doing all this eating. Finally, everyone's food-shaming paid off! Great work team!

Hey here's something for a change: you explain this part to me.

“I’m not sure this look is suitable for the workplace,” he murmurs. 
“Well, since I’m not going to work, that’s a moot point.” 
“Moot,” I mouth.
Did I miss a part where "moot" was like their code for some super dirty shit? What's even happening?

Anyway they're both going to work from home because Ana's head is probably still broken and whatever and that's no good.

They immediately abandon work and instead drive out to check in on the remodel at their new suburban home. Seems like a house.

They eat a picnic lunch far from the house because somehow this is like a huge country estate which is plausible but I think it ought to be somewhere outside of Seattle proper, up to the north but whatever. Not important.

Here's a weird nonsense part at the end:

CG hears from his investigator that Elena's ex-husband, Linc, was the one who paid Hyde's bail. I'm confident that I haven't done a good job filling you in on all the details about Hyde and his comings and goings and that's because I don't really give a shit and that stuff's boring. But anyway. He was arrested, and I forget why exactly. I don't remember which charges he'd been held on. But anyway. While our heroes are picnicking we learn that this dude Linc bailed out Hyde.

See, the thing is that none of us were wondering about this, I'm pretty sure. There are lots of things I wonder about in this book but one of them is definitely not, "Hey who posted Hyde's bail?" Because I don't know why. But yeah. Who cares.

So anyway it turns out that Linc is this background character who's also a villain and he abused Elena and purposefully got Hyde out of jail in hopes that he'd do something bad to Christian, because Linc knew about CG and Elena.

So then CG reveals that he's secretly owned Linc's timber business all this time and so he tells his right-hand lady to chop it up and sell it off and that's the end of Linc's timber business.

Glad we tied up that little thing that nobody was wondering about at all!

“But he’s seriously crossed the line with Hyde. Linc’s made this personal by going after my family. I’m going to crush him, break up his company right under his nose, and sell the pieces to the highest bidder. I am going to bankrupt him.” Oh . . . 
“Besides.” Christian smirks. “We’ll make good money out of the deal.” 
I stare into blazing gray eyes that soften suddenly. 
“I didn’t mean to frighten you,” he whispers. 
“You didn’t,” I lie. 
He arches a brow, amused. 
“You just took me by surprise,” I whisper, then swallow. Christian is really quite scary sometimes. 
And even here, at the very end of this thing, Ana is still scared of her husband. Isn't that great? I mean, sometimes couples get into a rut, you know? And they really lose that fear that's the foundation of a great relationship. But not Ana and CG! They've still got that ol' spark! Love is really something special.

Oh and then they have sex and it's very regular sex other than how it's outside. Oh! And I forgot about how CG is an X-Man who's power is making panties evaporate:

“I hope you’re not attached to your underwear,” he murmurs, his eyes wild and bright. His fingers trace the elastic along my belly then slide inside, teasing me, before grabbing my panties tightly and pushing his thumbs through the delicate material. My panties disintegrate.  

So like, what? Ana wears some type of weird single-use underwear? [Editor's note: reserve JIC] 

So yeah they have sex and then there's a last little scene where CG is playing the piano because of course he is and Ana is like, ooh I should get him to come have sex with me right now so what does she do? How does she inform him of her desire?

I'll let you think on it for a moment.

Should be easy.


Ok of course! She sends him a mutteflushing email because email is the most seductive of all means of communication. And then they totally do it.

And that's the end of the book, aside from all the shit that happens after the last chapter. FTB.

We're so very close, my friends. So very close. Thank you for making it this far, if, in fact, you made it this far. If you didn't make it this far, I understand.

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