Leila’s Gun Is The New Chekhov’s Gun: Fifty Shades Freed Chapter Twenty-Two

Previously in Fifty Shades, Ana has an accidental pregnancy, Christian yells at her for being stupid and gets drunk with his ex, Ana gets angry, and Ana and Christian aren’t speaking to each other. Thankfully, they don’t actually have to work out their problems by talking about it like adults because the kidnapping of Christian’s younger sister will bring these crazy kids back together! Who wants to read this! It doesn’t matter! I’m reading it for you for some reason!

Chapter Twenty-Two

So Jack calls Ana to tell her that he’s kidnapped Christian’s sister Mia.

“Listen here, you prick-teasing, gold-digging whore. You fucked up my life. Grey fucked up my life. You owe me. I have the little bitch with me now. And you, that cock-sucker you married, and his whole fucking family are going to pay.”

Whoa. Dude. I get that you’re the villain and all, but language!

“I want his money. I really want his fucking money. If things had been different, it could have been me. So you’re going to get it for me. I want five million dollars, today. […] You have two hours to get it. That’s it—two hours. Tell no one or this little bitch gets it. Not the cops. Not your prick of a husband. Not his security team. I will know if you do. Understand?”

DUDE.

“Keep your phone with you. Tell no one or I’ll fuck her up before I kill her. You have two hours.”

This is some seriously lazy writing, E L James. It’s possible to make someone seem evil without loading their language their profanity. This just looks like how a thirteen year old would think you write decent bad guy dialogue. I mean, 8% of Jack Hyde’s words in this chapter are profanity. That’s kind of a lot! Actually, let’s keep track of the profanity. Just Jack Hyde. Just this chapter. Let’s judge this book all scientifically.

This very scientific record was taken on the back of a receipt my friend Colin gave me. Thank you for your contribution to science, Colin.
This very scientific record was taken on the back of a receipt my friend Colin gave me. Thank you for your contribution to science, Colin.

Getting back to the actual plot, now, Ana decides that the best thing to do is the keep the whole thing a secret and go along with Jack’s plans until she comes up with something better.

I gaze out the window in stark terror as I go over my plan. Get home. Change. Find checkbook. Escape from Ryan and Sawyer somehow. Go to bank.

Yep. Her plan to give Jack Hyde five million dollars is to get it from the bank. For real. In accordance with her plan, Ana goes home to change (I have no idea why) and looks for her checkbook, where she also find’s Leila’s gun which has suddenly been reintroduced as a device in the narrative.

Get it?
Get it?

Ana angsts about her troubles with Christian while this is going on. We’ve read it all before.

Ana evades Sawyer to get to the bank, knowing that eventually Christian will figure out what is going on, although she’s unconcerned that this man who has literally spent their entire relationship knowing exactly where she is at all times and showing up immediately wherever she is finding out about what’s going on. She then gets to the bank to withdraw five million dollars from Christian’s account, where everything suddenly becomes fucking hilarious.

“Please take a seat.” She gestures to a black leather chair by a glass desk bearing a state-of-the-art computer and phone. “How much will you be withdrawing today, Mrs. Grey?” she asks pleasantly.
“Five million dollars.” I look her straight in the eye as if I ask for this amount of cash every day.
She blanches. “I see. I’ll fetch the manager. Oh, forgive me for asking, but do you have ID?”

This is all E L James gold, guys. Excessively described mundane settings, robotic and illogical dialogue (why is she asking for ID after asking how much money she wants to withdraw?)… what could be next? Another banker comes in because this scene isn’t silly enough without having to repeat it.

“My colleague tells me you’d like to withdraw a large amount of money.”
“That’s correct. Five million dollars.”
He turns to his sleek computer and taps in a few numbers.

What the hell could he possibly be typing?

“We normally ask for some notice for large amounts of money.” He pauses, and flashes me a reassuring but supercilious smile. “Fortunately, however, we hold the cash reserve for the entire Pacific Northwest,” he boasts.

I love this, I’m not even kidding. E L James is straight up admitting that this part of the plot really doesn’t make sense, that this is not the way things work in the real world, that suspension of disbelief is completely going to hell – but it’s fine here because this is a special case! Phew! For a second I thought that no bank in the world would actually do this was going to keep the plot from continuing! Once again, we’re going to play one of my favorite blog games: Could you imagine if other works of literature did this?

    • “You’re a wizard,  Harry.” Hagrid said. “Normally, people aren’t wizards. Fortunately, however, we are two of a small portion of the population who have magic powers.”
    • Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time. Normally, people don’t travel uncontrollably through their own personal timeline. Fortunately, however, Billy does.
    • As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. Normally, people don’t turn into gigantic insects. Fortunately, however, this is an absurdist text and this makes a certain degree of sense here.
    • So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Normally, boats don’t travel through time. Fortunately, however, this is just a metaphor.
Normally, fish don't talk. Fortunately, however, these fish talk.
Normally, fish don’t talk. Fortunately, however, these fish talk.

Christian finally gets in touch with Ana over the phone when the bank calls him to be like, “Hey, your wife is taking five million dollars in cash. What’s up with that?” and, man, I actually almost feel really bad for Christian.

“You’re leaving me?” Christian’s words are an agonized, breathless whisper.
What?
“No!” My voice mirrors his. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no—how can he think that? The money? He thinks I’m going because of the money? And in moment of horrific clarity, I realize the only way I’m going to keep Christian at arm’s length, out of harm’s way, and to save his sister . . . is to lie.
“Yes,” I whisper. And searing pain lances through me, tears springing to my eyes.
He gasps, almost a sob. “Ana, I—” He chokes.

Christian tells Ana to just take all his money and, honestly, if I were Ana I’d be pretty worried he was going to go kill himself at this point, but I suppose Ana already has quite a lot on her plate with the whole Mia-being-kidnapped thing. Ana leaves the bank and gets in the car Jack Hyde sent to the bank, which is driven by someone named Elizabeth, who has apparently been a character this whole time. Okay. Ana gets to Jack Hyde, who continues to talk like his evil villain dialogue is being written by a thirteen year old.

  • “You’re bright for a gold-digging whore, Grey. You figure it out. And dump your cell phone once you reach the vehicle. Got it, bitch?”
  • “First things first, bitch […] The money?”

He then starts beating her: slapping her face and kicking her in the ribs (which is actually legitimately jarring since we know she’s pregnant). But then Ana shoots him without any hesitation despite never using a gun on another human before, so it’s all good.

“The bitch deserves it!” he gloats to Elizabeth. And it gives me one precious second to reach around and pull the gun from the waistband of my jeans. Shakily, I aim at him, squeeze the trigger, and fire. The bullet hits him just above the knee, and he collapses in front of me, crying out in agony, clutching his thigh as his fingers redden with his blood.
“Fuck!” Jack bellows.

I'll let this speak for itself.
I’ll let this speak for itself.
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6 comments

  1. Bellomy Reply

    Why would she bring money if she has a gun? Just bring a suitcase and when he asks for it shoot him, right?

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  2. E.H.Taylor Post authorReply

    Sadly, if you were to keep a tally of how many times BDSM was actually involved in all three novels (And I don’t mean the light stuff that a contract and playroom would be unnecessary for), you would probably have less marks than the usage of the word whore by Jack Hyde.

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  3. Irish Skye Reply

    This is some seriously lazy writing, E L James. …This just looks like how a thirteen year old would think you write decent bad guy dialogue.
    Which, really, puts it right in line with the rest of the book, doesn’t it? The whole thing seems like something a 13 year old would write.

    Ana decides that the best thing to do is the keep the whole thing a secret and go along with Jack’s plans until she comes up with something better.
    Yup, because Ana is SO GOOD at “planning and stuff.” Planning!

    Bellomy is 100% correct. If you are taking a gun, you freaking stuff the bag with newspapers or some other thing like that, and you shoot the guy instead of handing over the money.

    Does anyone else feel like this scene in the bank was just lifted right out of “Ghost?”

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  4. mcferocious Reply

    I’m gonna go out on a limb (hahaaaa it’s funny because keep reading) and assume that Ana shooting Jack in the leg, instead of in the torso or the head despite the real and immediate threat he presents, is meant to tacitly show Ana’s preserved innocence. “Look she only got him in the leg he’ll be fine! He’ll survive and she’ll still be our lovable Ana who has never killed a man.”

    Shooting someone in the limb is considered lethal force. I’m so tired of this trope. It’s lethal force. You have a better chance of surviving a bullet to your center of mass than you do to any of your extremities (I personally know two people who have survived being shot in the torso), because if you shoot someone in the arm or leg, you are EXTREMELY likely to hit an artery. Depending on the caliber of the gun, that exit wound can be HUGE and we’re talking about a narrow target with a big important blood vessel running through it.

    If (when) the bullet pierces the artery (I know I don’t have to tell a biology major this) or the ballistic impact tears it, the target’s gonna exsanguinate and die within a few minutes and I’ll be fucked if Ana knows the proper procedure for stemming arterial bleeding or what height above the injury to tie a tourniquet. Maybe Mia knows? Her mom’s a nurse right? Which still isn’t the same as an EMT. I don’t care about this family.

    So congrats, Hyde is most likely dead because James thought Ana shooting her attacker’s center of mass was too violent I guess?

    If he’s alive I’ll be so mad. All of my CATM and SABC military training was wrong apparently. What do I know about ballistics and arterial bleeding?

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      Huh, I never knew any of this. This is a really interesting, really common mistake you see in pretty much every action movie or tv show. I’m sorry you have to constantly see this! Once you see it
      … 🙁

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