This is it, everybody. The last chapter of Fifty Shades of Grey. Will Ana and Christian… man, what’s their problem again?
Ana wakes up, finds Christian is off playing piano at 5am again (that’s our Christian Grey!), and E L James tries to subtly inform the reader that Christian’s still got issues that are going to become important very soon.
Shrouded in darkness, Christian sits in a bubble of light as he plays
I’m not going to make fun of the “shrouded in darkness” thing, but rather focus on how on earth can he be shrouded in darkness and in a bubble of light simultaneously? Doesn’t matter! Because Ana points out that he’s playing a sad song and asks him to play an even sadder song (makes sense), and then they’re all “haha it is five am! Oh man, what should we do?” and let’s see how well we understand our characters by now.
If you did not answer the last question, um, I seriously doubt you have actually been reading any of this book with us. Go back to the beginning and start over.
Except Ana doesn’t want to have sex because she wants to talk about us (Not you (the reader) and me. It’s her and Christian. In case you were confused. Or scared.). For some reason, this means talking about the contract.
“Well, I think the contract is moot, don’t you?”
And holy shit, you guys, this goddamn contract. It’s brought up at the beginning of the book and Christian’s all “you need to sign this for contractual sexy times!” and then they have sex for the entire book anyway. They even mention pretty early on that the contract isn’t legally binding anyway. But no, they keep bringing up this contract they are ignoring throughout the entire book, until we get here, to the last chapter, when they finally admit that the whole thing was pointless. Thus resolving the most pointless plot point ever conceived in fiction. This is their actual exchange after that last line of dialogue:
I hate you both.
Even though they decide “haha, yeah, that whole contract thing was really stupid. Let’s go read it again!” because Christian still wants the “spirit of the contract” or whatever. While we wait for Christian to go get the contract, Ana describes how taking medicine works.
My pill! I rummage in my purse, which I left on the breakfast bar, and find them quickly. One swallow and I’m done.
Wow, Ana, you should write children’s books!
Christian comes back with the contract and it’s copy-pasted in this book (in part) for, and I’m being completely completely serious, the third time. We finally just admitted that it’s been pointless all along, and now we’re expected to read it again? NO. I put my foot down, E L James. My FOOT is DOWN. And you know what? SO IS ANA’S! Ana asks why he still wants the obedience thing and he’s all “have you not read the last 500 pages of this book?” and she rolls her eyes and he’s like “I’m gonna spank you! haha!” and Ana PUTS HER FOOT DOWN. After she plays “chase me around the kitchen” with him.
Suddenly, he lunges for me, making me squeal and run for the dining room table. […] My heart is pounding and adrenaline has spiked through my body … boy … this is thrilling. I’m a child again, though that’s not right.
This is just mind-blowing new depths of horrible writing. James tries to capture how happy and playful Ana feels at this moment, compares their foreplay to being like a child again, realizes “wait, no, that’s wrong and really creepy”, and then leaves it in anyway, but adds her realization about how wrong and creepy that is?
“We can do this all day, baby, but I will get you, and it will just be worse for you when I do.”
“No, you won’t.” I must not be overconfident. I repeat this as a mantra. My subconscious has found her Nikes, and she’s on the starting blocks.
James is trying so hard, it’s almost upsetting.
“Anyone would think you didn’t want me to catch you.”
“I don’t. That’s the point. I feel about punishment the same way you feel about my touching you.”
Suddenly the playfulness goes out of Christian and he looks super sad! Ana realizes what she’s done!
He looks completely and utterly lost, like I’ve pulled the rug from under his feet.
Okay, those mean two different things, but we get it. Ana realizes she’s said something that really got to Christian that she can never take back! So Ana tries to get out of it and tries to get Christian to tell her why he needs BDSM anyway. But he won’t!
“If I [tell you], you will run screaming from this room, and you’ll never want to return.” He stares at me warily. “I can’t risk that, Anastasia.”
So instead of thinking “man, he really doesn’t understand what a healthy relationship is”, Ana’s response is to let Christian spank her as hard as he possibly can. For some reason. She spends like four pages trying to explain why and it never makes sense at any point, so I’m not gonna bother summarizing for you. Basically we end up here:
“I am doing this so that you remember not to run from me”
Which is maybe the clearest sign that she needs to get the fuck out of there, but, well, we need to experience some slaps first with the moving and visceral power of language only E L James can muster.
Holy shit… that smarts.
So it’s over and Ana’s crying and hurt beyond her imagination and now Ana puts her foot down. She yells at him, and some of it is actually pretty okay, makes sense, and conveys her feelings well enough (“This is what you really like? Me, like this?”) and then she storms out!
Okay, she storms out into a different room in his apartment and lets her cuddle with him, but, uh, foot totally coming down, like, any second now! But she’s totally upset!
Oh, this is a dark morning of the soul for me.
She wakes up again and Christian’s on the phone and we catch that something went really badly with his business, but I guess we have to save that for the sequel, because Ana and Christian sort of fight, sort of make up, and Ana says she can’t be with him because she isn’t everything he needs, and he says nuh uh she totally is, and she’s all “oh, okay then”, and then Christian says she can’t be with him because he isn’t everything she needs. Basically it flips around a lot and it’s hard to tell where everybody’s coming from and what they want. But breakups can definitely get like that, so I don’t really hold it against Fifty Shades of Grey.
Anyway, Ana tells Christian that she loves him, and he’s horrified that he makes her happy when when he’s “not doing what I want to do” (which is pretty fair), and Ana realizes that this is it. She leaves her gift she got Christian (a model glider, and this is actually rather touching and genuinely sad, which is upsetting and all, but YAY the book got good for a paragraph!), gives him back all of the stuff he gave her and leaves. And also ruins the dignity of the moment.
“Please, Ana, take that stuff.”
“Christian, I don’t want to fight – I just need the money [for my car].”
“Will you take a check?” he says acidly.
“Yes, I think you’re good for it.”
He doesn’t smile
“I’m breaking up with you and I’m making jokes about your problematic mental state. Why aren’t you laughing?”
I turn back to face Christian.
Quick! Sum up the entire novel in two lines of dialogue!
“I don’t want you to go,” he murmurs, his voice full of longing.
“I can’t stay. I know what I want and you can’t give it to me, and I can’t give you what you need.”
Perfect! Now we can just point to the second last page and they don’t have to read the whole book! AND THAT IS IT! WE ARE DONE WITH FIFTY SHADES FOREVER!