It’s The Climax: Fifty Shades Freed Chapter Twenty-Five

Remember that time when Bad Books, Good Times started and then we spent the next almost fourteen months reading the Fifty Shades trilogy? Yeah, we’re finally done with this thing. Grueling though it was, painful though it was, let’s all take a moment to reflect on how 1) you weren’t the ones reading it, so shush, and 2) without this literary atrocity to get the ball rolling, Bad Books, Good Times wouldn’t be the blog you know and love today. So many more people read this thing every day than we ever expected, and we should all acknowledge that, in a very ironic way, we all have E L James and her complete inability to write to thank for that.

Okay, enough fond reminiscing. Let’s finish this shit.

Chapter Twenty-Five

We go into the painfully long last chapter (Meaning this is going to be a super fun long post for you guys! Hopefully you don’t have much to do today!) with Christian Grey finally willing to tell Ana about his relationship with Elena, the woman who introduced him to BDSM when he was fifteen.

It reads like fucking porn.

“It was a hot summer day. I was working hard. … I was on my own, and Ele—Mrs. Lincoln appeared out of nowhere and brought me some lemonade.”

I couldn't find a gif of the "your mom came out with just a towel on" part. This is already going terribly.
I couldn’t find a gif of the “your mom came out with just a towel on” part. This is already going terribly.

“We exchanged small talk, and I made some smart-ass remark … and she slapped me. She slapped me so hard. […] But then she kissed me. And when she finished, she slapped me again.”

Somehow this ends up in them fucking, but based on Christian’s explanation of the story, hell if I’ll ever know.

“Well, naturally, I was confused and angry and horny as hell. I mean, a hot older woman comes on to you like that […] She didn’t touch me when she kissed me,” he murmurs and turns his head to gaze at me. “You have to understand … my life was hell on earth. I was a walking hard-on, fifteen years old, tall for my age, hormones raging. The girls at school—” He stops, but I’ve got the picture: a scared, lonely, but attractive adolescent. My heart twists.
“I was angry, so fucking angry at everyone, at myself, my folks. I had no friends. My therapist at the time was a total asshole. My folks, they kept me on a tight leash; they didn’t understand.”

WHAT DOES ANY OF THIS MEAN? This isn’t an explanation, this is a series of non sequitors! I get that this is a confusing event and difficult for Christian to explain, and I get that he had some serious inner demons, but he’s not really painting a picture of his hell on earth as a horny social pariah as he is just sort of dipping a paintbrush in a bunch of different colors of paint and slapping them on a picture frame and demanding us to see its artistic merit. Or, rather, how he’s not dipping his paintbrush in a bunch of different colors of paint – hey ohhhhh! Also, that doesn’t make any sense. He’s tall for his age and the girls at school… what? Does he go to the only school in the world where there are no girls attracted to tall boys? How does Ana get the picture? WHAT PICTURE?

It's like Jackson Pollock, but it's only in shades of grey.
It’s like Jackson Pollock, but it’s only in shades of grey.

But, per usual, Christian’s storytelling is nowhere near as bad as E L James’s:

“When I left that evening, she asked me to come back the next day. […] So the next day I went back. I couldn’t wait to see her again,” he whispers as if it’s a dark confession … because frankly it is.

Well, this isn’t how figurative language works! Come on, James! You literally just wrote that x is x because it’s x. Much like Ariel predicted yesterday, yes, I absolutely highlighted this quote because it’s time to play “But what if other books were written like this?”

  • “Expelliarmus!” Harry shouted as if it’s a magic spell … because frankly it is.
  • Big Brother is watching you as if it’s an allegory for an omnipresent totalitarian government … because frankly it is.
  • As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect … because frankly he did.
  • Then he went over sat down on the unoccupied bed, looked at the girl, aimed the pistol, and fired a bullet through his right temple as if committing suicide … because frankly it is.
  • Gatsby wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say, “I never loved you” as if she never loved Tom … because frankly she didn’t … as if he wanted Daisy to not love Tom … because frankly he did.
  • “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Rhett told Scarlet … because frankly he didn’t.
... because frankly Glen Coco goes.
… because frankly Glen Coco goes.

Then Christian explains that “that’s how our relationship started.” That’s it. This great big grand reveal that E L James saved for the last chapter didn’t even take two pages. But don’t worry, there’s still another thirty-six pages left for some reason.

Christian explains that he thought his relationship with Elena was helpful for him because through her dominant role, she was “making the decisions, taking all that shit away from me, letting me breathe”. Which makes sense – lots of people’s short-term coping mechanisms are forms of escapism – except then it’s all contradicted a few pages later:

“But you like control,” I whisper.
“Yes. I do. I always will, Ana. It’s who I am. I surrendered it for a brief while. Let someone make all my decisions for me. I couldn’t do it myself— I wasn’t in a fit state. But through my submission to her, I found myself and found the strength to take charge of my life … take control and make my own decisions.”
“Become a Dom?”
“Yes.”

Christian liked control too much so he gave up control which gave him strength to take control! YAY NOW IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE ANYMORE.

Christian goes on to explain that Ana coming into his life “with your smart mouth, your innocence, your beauty, and your quiet temerity” put his previous life into perspective as “dull, empty, mediocre”, and, well, I’d complain that this doesn’t make any goddamn sense, but love rarely does anyway.

I assume the delicate balance between our liberal arts degrees and the stupid pictures we find on the internet is like half the reason people read this blog.
I assume the delicate balance between our liberal arts degrees and the stupid pictures we find on the internet is like half the reason people read this blog.

We learn a few things from Christian’s side of the story, like how he visited Ana at the end of the first book wherever her mom lives (look, I’ve spent fourteen months reading this shit, it’s not like I committed it to memory or anything) at Elena’s suggestion, but later he learned that she suggested it because she thought Ana would freak out and leave him and Elena would get Christian back! Although he had known Ana for, like two weeks at that point, so she kind of had a lot of time to do this beforehand. This sort of stuff goes on for a while.

Christian explains that although he wanted a family in an abstract sense, actually being confronted with Ana’s pregnancy was too real for him to deal with at the moment, and he makes a good point that Ana immediately, depressingly, turns into an incredibly self-deprecating thought that just kind of goes unquestioned and is brushed aside forever.

“You are still so young, and I know you’re quietly ambitious.”
Ambitious? Me?

This is a four word plot summary of like 85% of Fifty Shades.
This is a four word plot summary of like 85% of Fifty Shades.

We learn that when Christian went drinking with Elena that night, she made a pass at him. This was so predictable, I honestly thought we already knew this. Christian explains that he recoiled, they realized they have no place in each others’ lives anymore, and said their final goodbyes. Christian and Ana talk about love for a while, because we haven’t read that before. Ana talks to Christian about how he loved his mother, because we haven’t read that before. They go to sleep, finally fucking ending this conversation.

ONLY TWENTY-NINE MORE PAGES TO GO, GUYS.

Ana wakes up an wants to go to work, but can’t because she got out of the hospital after being in a coma for a few days, like, yesterday. Ana’s also really horny because she’s gone maybe a week without sex. Man, guys, Ana just has the worst problems. She dresses up for work with a really short skirt to try to solve both of these problems, I guess, but all it accomplishes is a scene where Ana and Christian flirt pretty explicitly in front of the cook Mrs. Jones. Jesus, three books and I still feel bad for that woman.

They decide to go see how work on their new house is going. It’s about as exciting as you’d think. Elliot says “bro” about a thousand times in his one page appearance, which you might assume would be irritating, but honestly it was a helpful reminder for who the fuck Elliot is again. Ana and Christian go have a picnic somewhere on their grounds away from all the construction, before Christian gets a phone call, which he is very angry about.

“Ros, how much stock do we own in Lincoln Timber? […] consolidate the shares into GEH, then fire the board … except the
CEO … I don’t give a fuck … I hear you, just do it … thank you … keep me informed.” He hangs up, and gazes at me impassively for a moment.
Holy shit! Christian is mad.
“What’s happened?”
“Linc,” he murmurs.

“Linc? Elena’s ex?”
“The same. He’s the one who posted Hyde’s bail.”

Okay, James. You can’t expect us to actually give a shit about this. This is another thing that’s supposed to be a twist, like “oh man, this character was a bad guy?”, except I don’t think we’ve ever had a single scene with this character. Ever. In all three books. So, yeah, kind of hard to get invested in this reveal at the eleventh hour.

Anyway, apparently nothing gets Ana in the mood like the financial ruin of a man she’s never met, because then they pounce on each other!

Holy shit.

Here’s a fun game to play when reading Fifty Shades. Skip every sex scene where Ana says “Holy shit”. I don’t think you’ll read a single sex scene.

His fingers trace the elastic along my belly then slide inside, teasing me, before grabbing my panties tightly and pushing his thumbs through the delicate material. My panties disintegrate.

Where the fuck does she keep buying these panties? This isn’t the first time Ana’s panties have disintegrated.

They keep banging, and it’s nothing we haven’t read before. But what the hell, let’s hear Ana describe an orgasm as an explosion one last time:

Ah … I love this. And inside, I’m building … building … climbing … higher. Christian’s hands move to my thighs, and delicately his thumbs press at their apex, and I explode around him over and over and over and over

I'm almost going to miss this.
I’m almost going to miss this.

Suddenly, for no reason, Ana has an epiphany about BDSM!

Images of us together, in the playroom; the Tallis, the table, on the cross, shackled to the bed … I love his kinky fuckery— our kinky fuckery. Yes. I can do that stuff. I can do that for him, with him. I can do that for me. My skin tingles as I remember the riding crop.

But… why?

he’s said he misses it. Well, so do I … especially now that he wants to explore my limits.

THAT WAS LITERALLY WHAT HE WANTED TO DO THE WHOLE TIME. This has never changed! Do you not remember where this was written in the sex contract that was copy/pasted in the first book three times? Nothing has caused this change! It’s just here because it’s like all of a sudden E L James remembered this was a book about BDSM. Although it totally wasn’t.

They end up back in the playroom, and, well, here’s the last line of Fifty Shades!

Jeez … Life is never going to be boring with Christian, and I’m in this for the long haul. I love this man: my husband, my lover, father of my child, my sometimes Dominant … my Fifty Shades.

D’awwwwww, how sweet. Anyway, it’s done! We’re out of shades of grey! It’s finally over and –

Epilogue

Oh god dammit, E L James! An epilogue taking place in the future? You’re gonna J K Rowling us now?

No, seriously, I still can't get over how Ron just looks like hell.
No, seriously, I still can’t get over how badly Ron looks like hell.

Okay, so what usually merits an epilogue? It’s gotta bring closure to the story in a way that shows how things have changed after the story ends, like a delayed denouement. So we’re looking for how things are different now, yeah?

The flogger’s sweet sting bites into my behind.
“Please what?”
I gasp. “Please, Sir.”
[…] His hand moves south and around, and his fingers slide inside me.
I groan.
“Mrs. Grey,” he breathes, and his teeth pull on my earlobe. “You’re so ready.”

NOPE. IT’S THE SAME GODDAMN SEX SCENE WE’VE BEEN READING THIS WHOLE TIME.

He eases his fingers out of me, pulls me around to face him, and removes the blindfold. I blink up into darkening gray eyes that burn into mine. His index fingers trace my bottom lip, and he pushes his index and middle fingers into my mouth, letting me taste the salty tang of my arousal.
“Suck,” he whispers. I swirl my tongue around and between his fingers.
Hmm … even I taste good on his fingers.

I found this gif a month ago and was so worried I wouldn't be able to use it.
I found this gif a month ago and was so worried I wouldn’t be able to use it.

Ana orgasms/explodes after a sex scene that is in no way different from anything we’ve ever read before, with the exception of how Ana wins “world’s most disturbing parent” by the end of it.

Christian lies beside me, his hand caressing my belly, his long fingers splayed out wide.
“How’s my daughter?”
“She’s dancing.” I laugh. […] “I think she likes sex already.”

Because this book won’t just fucking end already, the epilogue goes to another scene where Ana and Christian are playing with their first child, Ted. Ted eats a popsicle, but drops it, and is sad, and Ana actually manages to break her record for world’s most disturbing parent already by making fellatio jokes in front of her two year old child.

I take his hand and kiss his sticky fingers.
“I can taste your popsicle here on your fingers.”
Ted stops crying and examines his hand.
“Put your fingers in your mouth.”
He does. “Pop!”
“Yes. Popsicle. […] I think Daddy wants to taste popsicle, too,” I whisper in Ted’s little ear.
Ted frowns at me, then looks at his hand and holds it out to Christian.
Christian smiles and puts Ted’s fingers in his mouth.
“Hmm … tasty.”

Dude, Ted frowns while his parents are laughing about blowjob jokes. Even he knows his parents are super fucked up.

The epilogue goes to ANOTHER scene with Christian reading Dr. Seuss to Ted, then ANOTHER scene where Ana has to get an emergency C-section while delivering Ted and almost dies, then ANOTHER GODDAMN SCENE  where they look forward to Teddy’s birthday party. All of this is evidently very important information that the story would have been incomplete without.

It finally ends and here are the last lines of Fifty Shades:

He grins and kisses me again. “I love you, Mrs. Grey.”
“I love you, too, Christian. Always.”

Oh. Okay. Cool. We have never read these two characters saying they love each other before, and I was totally uncertain this would continue to be the case where the novel ended before the epilogue. Now we’re finally done with-

Author’s Note

CHRIST ON A BICYCLE, E L JAMES.

Hey, so remember when I made fun of that one scene a few chapters ago where Ana goes to the bank and withdraws five million dollars? Well, it turns out E L James knew she was full of shit!

I am aware that today you cannot walk into an American bank and withdraw five million dollars.

…at what point in time could you do this?

The conversation Ana did not hear went like this:

And then, I shit you not, E L James writes a 111 word dialogue between Christian Grey and the owner of the bank.

“Troy Whelan.”
“It’s Christian Grey. I’ve spoken to my wife. Give her the money. Whatever she wants.”
“Mr. Grey, I can’t . . .”
“Liquidate five million of my assets. Off the top of my head: Georges, PKC, Atlantis Corps, Ferris and Umatic. A million from each.”
“Mr. Grey, this is highly irregular. I’ll have to consult with Mr. Forlines.”
“I’m playing golf with him next week,” I hiss. “Just fucking do it, Whelan. Find a way, or I’ll close all the accounts and move GEH’s business elsewhere. Understand?”
He’s silent on the end of the phone.
“We’ll sort the fucking paperwork out later,” I add, more conciliatory.
“Yes, Mr. Grey.”

Was there really never a time E L James could have worked this information into the narrative? Really?

And with that, we are finally done with Fifty Shades.

The End

Also we never find out more about Jose because nobody cares about Jose.

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25 comments

  1. Manny Reply

    José? Who is José? I guess he wasn’t even nominated once in this last instalment, or am I wrong?
    And the “Happy-Ever-After” ending… who would have thought it could end otherwise?

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    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      Hahaha he just faded off into the night. I’m surprised we didn’t hear about Kate and Elliot’s wedding or Mia and Ethan’s relationship. James gave no fucks about any other characters, really. I think there was more information about Mrs. Jones and Taylor being together than those other guys,

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  2. Izabella Reply

    Did you read “the fault in our stars”? could you write a raview if you did please:)

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  3. Bellomy Reply

    Dude, I am so looking forward to you and Ariel’s wrap-up post about this book. It should be AWESOME. Please do one.

    Also, that last section with Christian about the money is hilarious. First, Ana is an idiot for asking for two million dollars. Second, I REALLY don’t buy that James had thought this in advance. It seems far more likely to me that so many people pointed this out to her that she shoe-horned in this ridiculous conversation to cover her ass. And I’m not even sure how much sense it makes anyway even with the explanation. The randomness and awkwardness of the whole thing is just awesome.

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  4. A Reply

    “grabbing my panties tightly and pushing his thumbs through the delicate material. My panties disintegrate.”

    I find this very disturbing. It’d be like saying, “and then I ate a horse and sat on the sun.” I can’t picture any scenario in which either pushing through cloth or an item of clothing disintegrating can happen. Geez, even if the material somehow collapsed, she’d still have the elastic bands, if not many many bits of cloth all over the place.

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    • Anna Reply

      That’s kind of interesting, because I read a translated copy of the book (because I live in a country where English is not the official language) and in there her panties doesn’t disintegrate, they are ripped apart (I actually had to go back and check because I was disturbed over the fact that this didn’t disturb me). Although there is a literal translation for disintegrate available.

      Wonder how much editing the translators did? Dann! Now I might have to buy an English copy of the book and compare!

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      • matthewjulius Post authorReply

        What language did you read the book in? If this is a task you feel up to, I would totally be up for a guest post or two on differences like this in translations – especially ones that actually make the book make more sense (or ones that make it worse???). Totally serious.

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      • Alib Reply

        I read the trilogy in french. The copy I read doesn’t have the conversation between Christian and the bank manager at the end. Instead it has a chapter titled “Christian’s version” (it is basically the beginning of Fifty shades of Grey but from his point of view) and a (scary) note from the author that says “that’s all…for now”.
        Unfortunately, Ana’s panties disintegrate in the french version also.

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  5. Anna Reply

    Okay, I just found this blog a couple of hours ago and I’m in love! I’m in love with the blog and with you guys! (Because I’ve learned from a lot of bad romantic books you don’t really need to know someone to love them, you just know, you know? You fall into someone’s office or into someone’s blog and then – BAM! Love!)

    Yeah…now I feel the need to point out that I’m not a crazy stalker-type along the line of Christian Grey – you can sleep safe. I just…I love this blog!

    I have to admit something as if it’s a dark confession…because frankly it is….I liked this book the first time I read it. (There was sun, there was a beach, there was beer – and beers really clouds your judgement, it’s been proven time and time again!) I still kind of like it somehow (and I’m a lit. major, so I really should know better), but I still very much like this blog and your reading of the book. It’s hilarious!

    Okay, maybe it’s time to wrap it up and summarize (or repeat, which is more like it, and repeat is good – I learned that from Fifty Shades): I love this blog!

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    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      You’re right, if these books have taught us anything it’s that the best kind of love happens in seconds! So I too love you! Because of this I forgive your initial feelings about the book. I got Stockholm syndrome when I read the series (only occasionally but it happened), so I can’t judge. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment 😀

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      You are neither the first nor the last person to find something/someone more attractive because beer. Glad you like the blog =)

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    • Anna Reply

      I read the books in Swedish and I’d totally be up for the challenge! (Well, at first I would need to get myself English copies of the book to see if there’s even enough translation discrepancies or if the one mentioned above was just a fluke).

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  6. Anna Reply

    Okay….apparently I replied to the wrong post. (Computers and I have a life-long history of misunderstanding each other’s intentions. I’ll blame that!)

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      Not to worry! If you’d like to discuss this further, would you prefer we talk via facebook message or the email you gave us to leave a comment?

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  7. Anna Reply

    Either way is fine with me, so whichever way is more convenient for you. The email I left you consist of my name and I’m the only one in the world with that first name-last name combination (wohoo – I’m special!) so you could easily find me on facebook if you’d prefer to talk there.

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  8. travesaou Reply

    That was my exact reaction to the Author’s Note!! If I had the book in my hand I would have thrown it threw the window. Why, won’t, you, end, already!!! *bangs head on computer desk*

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  10. Irish Skye Reply

    Christian explains that he thought his relationship with Elena was helpful for him because through her dominant role, she was “making the decisions, taking all that shit away from me, letting me breathe”.
    FINALLY! There was SOMETHING in the book that was true-to-real-life BDSM! In real life, the control freaks usually become subs, and the ones who are more easy-going are the Doms/Dommes. BDSM is acting out sexual fantasies, and a fantasy is “an idea about doing something that is far removed from normal reality.” (ELJ, meet my friends, Merriam and Webster.) Someone who is submissive in his or her real life with few demands on his/her time or emotions is not likely to be highly aroused by being submissive in the bedroom. It is FAR more likely s/he will become a Dom/me and get off on the power exchange. Likewise, subs are almost always people who like order and control in their lives, or who find that they have a lot demands on their time and a lot of decisions to make during the day. This is the reason that a lot of women are subs, in fact. Since it primarily falls on them to run the household, schedule all appointments for their families, decide what to feed the family and make the meals, clean up the house, and very often still work 40 hours a week OUTSIDE the house, the allure of giving up all control and putting herself in the hands of someone else can be powerful. As long as the Dom is a TRUSTED partner and all the limits have been predetermined, it can be highly arousing.

    This role-reversal is FAR more common in BDSM play than some asswipe who is a control freak holding someone emotionally and mentally captive like Christian does. Even those who live the lifestyle full time and go for full-on Master/slave roles don’t let it bleed over into their lives outside of their own home.

    Anyway, I’m glad this shit is done, and I thank you for proving to me that I never have to read these books to know how fucked up they are. 🙂

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  13. Brittany L Reply

    Even if he had that money in his account, no bank is going to have anywhere even slightly close to 1 million dollars in cash just sitting around. Um security risk much? I worked at a bank and legally you have to keep only the minimum amount of cash that the bank needs to function. For example, you need anywhere from 5 grand and up in cash? Well unless we just cleared out cash deposits from the atm you are shit out of luck. Place an order and come back after shipment. Its not like in cartoons, banks arent just endless vaults full of stacks of cash.

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  15. Kasey Vasicek Reply

    I am new to this series (I know….I’m always late to the party) but this is the most entertaining blog EVER! The books are SO bad that I skimmed them because it was to painful to read. I actually like the concept behind the book….And yes I think Christian is a very F’d up person,but I like that Anastasia discovers her sexuality. I thought the movies have done a better job portraying that then the books did….the books were so poorly written that they were comical.

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  16. themikecollective Reply

    i freaking binge read your posts on this trilogy and it was an experience. Not sure if reading about each chapter twice made it better or just prolonged my suffering. Back when the books were hot shit, I found caitlinliveblogs on wordpress (then tumblr) and loved the way she tore it apart. Now i’m off to read every other shitty on your blog I guess?

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    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      Hahaha thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Honestly, I can’t believe we were blogging the same chapters back in the day, and I’m really happy we don’t anymore. It was cool at first to see what Matt might pick up on in a chapter that I didn’t, but man it got tedious!

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