Fifty Shades of Denouement: Fifty Shades Freed Chapter Twenty-Four

Posted on July 2, 2013 by

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Guys, we have three chapters left of the Fifty Shades trilogy, which we’ve been reading for over a year. Does anybody know what the plot was supposed to be?

Chapter Twenty-Four

I guess the novel hit a climax (heh) with the Jack Hyde plotline once again being re-re-re-re-resolved apparently for good (we can probably assume it is resolved for good, since there’s three chapters left). So what this means is it’s time for the post-coital pillow talk of literature: the denouement! (Dear middle school readers, 1) your literature classes may have taught this concept to you as “falling action”, and 2) this blog is not at all appropriate for you.)

What act are we supposed to be in? I honestly have no idea.

I have no idea how many times I’ve had to put this picture on this blog.

As always in the world of Fifty Shades, this just means we get more of what we’ve read a million times by now. Christian makes Ana eat food, blah blah blah. Eventually Ana visits her stepfather in the hospital to reunite with him now that she’s recovered from almost being murdered, which for some reason makes him really mad at her.

As Christian predicted, Ray is furious. I don’t ever remember him being this mad. Christian has wisely decided to leave us alone. For such a taciturn man, Ray fills his hospital room with his invective, berating me for my irresponsible behavior. I am twelve years old again. [...]
“And I’ve had to deal with your mother,” he grumbles, waving both of his hands in exasperation.
“Dad, I’m sorry.”
“And poor Christian! I’ve never seen him like that. He’s aged. We’ve both aged years over the last couple of days.”

Why is his (and everyone else’s) first reaction to “you made some really reckless decisions, but ultimately went through a terrifying ordeal to save your sister-in-law’s life” anger? Why is he more concerned about what he and Christian had to go through over Ana almost dying than he is about ANA ALMOST DYING? Why is Ana’s stepfather not happy that Ana is, you know, alive?

Oh, that reminds me. I accidentally called Ray Ana’s father in last weeks post.

Joke for people who have Toy Story 2 memorized and know the next few lines: “Has anybody found Woody’s fucks yet?”

 E L James teases the reader with finally telling us what Jack Hyde’s fucking deal is already, but first has Ana cry and apologize for everything she did, because E L James just hates women.

“I’m sorry, Christian. Just sorry for everything. For making you worry, for risking everything—for the things I said.”
“Hush, baby, please.” He kisses my forehead. “I’m sorry. It takes two to tango, Ana.” He gives me a crooked smile. “Well, that’s what my mom always says. I said things and did things I’m not proud of.” His gray eyes are bleak but penitent. “Let’s get you undressed.”

Ah, man, this section is just classic E L James. Ana, clearly much much less at fault than Christian, apologizes first… What Ana’s even apologizing for is vague and a grey area for “things that one should apologize for” at best… Christian Grey makes a jokey and half-assed apology… And then it all ends with a not-so-subtle undercurrent of sexuality. And Ana’s good with it.

He has some explaining to do, but right now I want to revel in the feel of his comforting, protective arms around me. And in that moment it occurs to me; any explanations on his part have to come from him. I can’t force him — he’s got to want to tell me. I won’t be cast as the nagging wife [...] I know he loves me.

This epiphany is terrible, but its placement at the end of the book means that is it the epiphany. This is how Ana has learned to be happy with Christian Gray now and forever: by keeping her mouth shut.

Millions of people genuinely like this book.

Millions of people genuinely like these books.

Now we finally get to learn what Jack Hyde’s deal is! First, he has compromising videos of all of his former female assistants so he can blackmail them!

“Videos of him fucking her and fucking all his PAs. [...] Blackmail material. He likes it rough.” [...]
Jeez—I could have ended up on some sordid sex tape. The thought is nauseating.

Although it’s kind of unclear how this is supposed to be blackmail against the women, since if they play out anything like the time Jack tried to seduce Ana, it’s just kind of a lot of evidence of sexual assault against Jack. Even if we assume he just managed to seduce them and they consented, these videos still seem just as compromising for him as they would be for the women involved in them. I don’t know. I don’t really understand the logistics of sex-tape blackmail.

SECOND, we learn that Christian and Jack lived in the same foster home for two months! …that is it! Apparently this is enough to be the final straw on the “OMG Jack Hyde is Christian Grey’s foil” camel’s back. It is a very figurative camel.

“When Jack called to tell me he had Mia, he said if things had been different, it could have been him.”
Christian closes his eyes and shudders. “That fucker!”
“You think he did all this because the Greys adopted you instead of him?”
“Who knows?” Christian’s tone is bitter. “I don’t give a fuck about him.”

And, with that, we apparently stop giving a fuck about Jack Hyde too, because all further exploration of Jack Hyde’s motives is dropped FOREVER.

What game are you even PLAYING, James?

What game are you even PLAYING, James?

Of course, there’s like a billion things going on in this series that are all apparently problems – most of which are variations on “how can Ana and Christian Grey be happy together” – and these also have to be resolved:

“I have a bedtime story for you. [...] You wanted to know…” He trails off, closes his eyes and swallows. [...]
“Picture this, an adolescent boy looking to earn some extra money so he can continue his secret drinking habit.” He shifts onto his side so that we’re lying facing each other and he’s gazing into my eyes.
“So I was in the backyard at the Lincolns’, clearing some rubble and trash from the extension Mr. Lincoln had just added to their place…”

Dude. Christian. Statutory rape is a shitty bedtime story.

Holy fuck … he’s talking.

Ana reminds the reader that, hey, Christian opening up about this is kind of a big deal! So much so that it had to be saved for the end of the series, meaning that the narrative arc of the entire trilogy is hitting another goddamn climax to another goddamn storyline. Because so much tangentially relevant shit has happened in these books, it ends with climax after climax after climax, which means that the erotic tour de force that is Fifty Shades has hit meta-eroticism.

Look, what fucking picture would *you* use to convey "meta-eroticism"?

Look, what fucking image would *you* use to convey “meta-eroticism”?

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