Ana Has an Awkward Conversation With Her Husband’s Former Mistress: Fifty Shades Freed Chapter Sixteen

This is my last finals week ever. Unless I go to grad school. Not knowing if I’m eventually going to grad school or not is really undercutting the magnitude of these “last ____ ever” statements.

Chapter Sixteen

The last chapter ended with Ana at work, back from her weekend trip to Aspen, when suddenly her secretary and security team tell her that Christian’s mentally unstable ex-sub Leila has arrived at the building!

“Mrs. Grey, Leila Williams is on your proscribed list of visitors.”
“What?” I have a proscribed list?
“On our watch list, ma’am. Taylor and Welch have been quite specific about not letting her come into contact with you.”
I frown, not understanding. “Is she dangerous?”

She broke into your apartment with a gun, Ana. What do you fucking think?

Ana decides that, for some reason, she wants to talk to Leila. Her security team reluctantly agrees, and states that they’re going to search Leila first.

I’ll grant her this concession. Besides, last time I met Leila, she was armed.

Goddammit, Ana.

Ana learns that Christian has already been informed that Leila’s there, and knows that he’ll be there soon and so she doesn’t have much time to talk to Leila. She then cancels her next appointment that’s later that afternoon so she has more time to talk to Leila. I wish I was making this up. Ana goes in to meet with Leila, and finds that Leila brought another woman.

“Mrs. Grey, thank you so much for seeing me.” Leila’s voice is soft but clear. […] “This is my friend, Susi.”
“Hi.” I nod at Susi. She looks like Leila. She looks like me. Oh, no. Another one.

Ana meets more of her husband’s exes! Awkward! Amusingly, she gets this one right:

“Yes,” Leila says, as if reading my thoughts. “Susi knows Mr. Grey, too.”
What the hell am I supposed to say to that? I give her a polite smile.

The situation continues to be weird as balls (the technical term).

“We call ourselves the sub club.” [Susi] grins at me, her eyes shining with mirth.

Oh my God, I love this. E L James basically wrote the name of her fanbase into the novel, as though in fear that her readers wouldn’t come up with something clever enough themselves, which, given the people who enjoy these books, is probably a valid concern. But seriously, she wrote in the name she wants the fangirls to call themselves.

If Benedict Cumberbatch plays Christian Grey in the movie, then we can call them "subclubberbitches"
If Benedict Cumberbatch plays Christian Grey in the movie, then we can call them “subclubberbitches”

Christian calls Ana, furious at her. Ana doesn’t give a fuck.

“Don’t shout at me.”
“What do you mean don’t shout at you?” he shouts, louder this time. “I gave specific instructions which you have completely disregarded—again. Hell, Ana, I am fucking furious.” […]
“Good-bye, Christian.” I hang up and switch off Prescott’s phone.

Leila explains that she’s there to thank Christian for helping her, because apparently Leila has recovered from her mental instability in the three or so months in which this novel has taken place.

“To thank him. I’d be rotting in a stinking prison psychiatric facility if it wasn’t for him. I know that. […] I suffered a serious psychotic episode, and without Mr. Grey and John—Dr. Flynn . . .”

Leila comments on how Christian is different and happier with Ana than with her.

“He seemed very happy. With you,” she says.
[…]“How would you know?”
“From when I was in the apartment.” She adds cautiously.
Oh hell . . . how could I forget that?

I don’t know, Ana. You really need to keep better track of all these people who are trying to murder and/or kidnap you.

Christian enters the room, fires Ana’s security person, and yells at Leila to stop harassing him and Ana, saying that he’ll cut off all the medical and therapeutic support he’s giving her if she returns to the West coast. It’s actually kind of a genuinely fascinating scene, because Ana’s horrified but Leila accepts it because this is the controlling version of Christian she knows. Of course, it’s also fascinating for reasons that were certainly not intended, because Ana only ever thinks about how she disagrees with Christian’s behavior, so she’s actually submitting to it the whole time just like Leila, demonstrating once again that Christian is still a controlling asshole and Ana’s basically running on Stockholm Syndrome.

Ana and Christian fight and talk about their love and kiss and make up and end up having sex and it’s even getting old to say that it’s getting old because we’ve read it all before. Ariel and I both just completely skipped over the last eight pages of this chapter in our posts and neither of us care. Although there is this one interesting moment halfway through before it immediately turns back to being the exact same thing we’ve read a million times again:

“Christian.” My voice is weary. “I’m tired of having the same argument with you.”

We are too, Anastasia Steele. We are too.

And the chapter ends with the sudden plot twist that Ana’s dad, Ray, has been in an accident and it in the hospital, so, uh, look forward to next week’s jokes somehow about that?

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5 comments

  1. Peter Tupper Reply

    I’m surprised neither of you made a bigger deal out of the revelation that Ana has a proscribed visitor list she doesn’t know about, and that her secretary is screening her calls. Christian is slowly taking control of every single aspect of Ana’s life.

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      I dunno, this made some sense to me. It didn’t seem like an unusual company policy to me to flag visitors known to be dangerous. It *did* seem like unusual company policy to just kind of ignore that.

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  2. Bellomy Reply

    I think we should all take a moment just to appreciate that Benedict Cumberbatch has a fan club called “the Cumberbitches”.

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  3. Irish Skye Reply

    Why the fuck are Christian and Leila seeing the same therapist?
    They would not be. It would be unethical of Dr Flynn to treat Christian for his abusive tendencies and knowingly treat one of the women he abused. I don’t give a shit how much money Christian Motherfucking Grey gave him to do it, if the man’s license to practice is worth the paper it’s written on, Flynn would have passed Leila’s therapy on to another doctor and not told Grey who it was. It was one thing when we were told Christian was getting her psychological help and paying for her treatment; I could understand that. But to find out that the help he is getting her is with his OWN therapist??
    Just further proof that ELJ does NO research before she writes this crap.

    Also, I’ve been meaning to mention for a while now that I laugh at how she tries to end every freaking chapter on some kind of twist that is supposedly going to make the readers go on to the next chapter to see what happens. I can’t help wondering if this is a device she used from the beginning, when she was posting it a chapter at a time as fanfic, or something she decided to do after the fact when she figured she could sell this b.s. as books. Given that all of these twists are resolved within the first 2 or 3 pages of the following chapter, I’m leaning towards the idea that she did this just before she published, to make it seem like “things” were actually happening.

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