Wow! Ariel and I have our senior theses turned in, know what we’re doing after graduation… shit’s getting real here, guys! Anyway, I bring this up because we took off last week for our theses and read The Hunger Games instead, so now we’re returning to Fifty Shades Freed! It’s been kind of a while, what’s even happening in this book?
Oh, right, nothing happens in this book.
Christian’s brother Elliot just proposed to Ana’s best friend Kate! These people are clearly so unlikeable they have no options except for each other. Or they go to a small liberal arts college. E L James describes the scene with her renowned ability for metaphor.
Silence stretches like a taut rubber band. The atmosphere is oppressive, apprehensive, and yet hopeful.
Wow, that’s a lot of adjectives that don’t make any sense with each other. Also, just so we’re clear, what we’re talking about here is a rubber band.
Kate accepts the proposal! We’re 2/3 of the way to the characters who we aren’t supposed to hate ending up together forever!
They kiss, remarkably chaste for them, and the crowd goes wild.
Okay, readers, get ready for a LESSON IN THE MAGICAL POWER OF GRAMMAR! What this sentence is trying to say is that their kiss was very chaste, right? But because “remarkably close for them” is an adverb clause describing “kiss” and not describing another adverb, what this sentence actually says is that the fact that they kissed each other was what was chaste. Apparently Kate and Elliot usually just dry hump each other when they’re out in public or something. What a wacky misunderstanding! Anyway, that’s it for today’s LESSON IN THE MAGICAL POWER OF GRAMMAR. I know grammar lessons are boring, but if you don’t sit through them, you have smartass college seniors mocking you on the internet for being a shitty writer, and – worse – they’re objectively correct.
“Way to go, Lelliot,” [Christian] murmurs. Elliot says nothing, for once stunned into silence, then cautiously returns his brother’s hug.
Oh man, this “Lelliot” thing is going to be an incredibly boring mystery that gets solved after three pages of zero tension. (Update: It doesn’t! Get ready for this exciting new plot point to occupy your thoughts as we read the rest of this novel that has very clearly run out of things to do!)
They decide to go to a club to celebrate the engagement! They get there and get VIP service because of Christian. The girls want to drink champagne and the guys want to drink beer, so Christian places this order.
“Bottle of Cristal, three Peronis, and a bottle of iced mineral water, six glasses,” he says in his usual authoritative, no-nonsense manner.
Wait, Peroni? Seriously? I thought the whole point of these books was that Christian was a huge snob. Peroni’s actually not that great a beer. I mean, it’s fine, and I could certainly understand people liking it, but it is objectively mass-produced, nothing special beer. Christian Gray has four or five lines a chapter about how he has expensive tastes. This is about half of his characterization. I mean, we’ve already gotten such lines earlier in this chapter:
He summons the waiter. “Two bottles of the Cristal please. The 2002 if you have it.”
I smirk at him.
“What?” he asks.
“Because the 2002 is so much better than the 2003,” I tease.
He laughs. “To the discerning palate, Anastasia.”
And he just ordered beer that you can get in a can.
Ana, Kate, and Mia go onto the dance floor and E L James continues to do best to 1) remind the reader that Ana studied English literature in college, because apparently this is important right now, and 2) to make sure any reader who actually studied English literature in college wants to die.
Why did I spend the first twenty years of my life not doing this? I chose reading over dancing. Jane Austen didn’t have great music to move to and Thomas Hardy … jeez, he’d have felt guilty as sin that he wasn’t dancing with his first wife. I giggle at the thought.
Except a creepy rando immediately starts dancing with Ana! Dammit, Ana! Stop thinking you can dance and do other things you enjoy doing like a normal person or E L James is going to keep using humanity’s worst examples of still-existing patriarchal behaviors in society to put you in your place!
Oh Jesus, everyone, I’m so sorry. I still haven’t fully realized I just turned in my senior thesis and don’t have to think entirely in complex analytical thoughts anymore. Here, let me make fun of this scene where a creeper tries to dance with Ana with an animated GIF instead.
Ana slaps him in the face! She shouts at him that she’s married and he “shrugs rather arrogantly and gives me a halfhearted, apologetic smile”. Christian runs up and punches him in the face! It is a bad day to be this guy’s face, everyone.
He crumples to the floor like the scumbag he is.
Goddammit. Okay, fine, here’s another LESSON IN THE MAGICAL POWER OF GRAMMAR! E L James, you’re literally saying that scumbags are actual items, and furthermore are relatively well-known for their flimsy construction and tendency to crumple. This is because you tried to write a simile but wrote a mixed metaphor instead. There, that was another LESSON IN THE MAGICAL POWER OF GRAMMAR, can I please not have to do this again this chapter.
Ana and angry Christian start dancing. Ana wants to move on from the incident and just have fun dancing with her husband, which is a pretty reasonable request.
As Christian gazes at me, the fire in his eyes slowly changes, evolves into something else, something darker, something hotter. Suddenly, he grabs my wrists and pulls me flush against him, pinning my hands behind my back.
“You wanna dance? Let’s dance,” he growls close to my ear
They eventually get back home, Christian and Ana talk about how much they love each other, and Christian wants to watch Ana pee.
I snort. “So coy, Mr. Grey. Yes, I need to pee.”
He laughs. “You expect me to leave?”
Because why fucking not.