Yes, I’m back with another recrap – after the monstrous awfulness that was Fifty Shades Darker the (barely) motion picture, I had to take a break for a little bit to swoon on to my fainting couch and get over all the outrageously sexy missionary position and massage oil. We left off last time with Christian and Ana having hissy sex, and we open with Ana waking up to Christian missing from the bed. He soon appears to soothe her;
“”Were you watching me sleep?”
“Yes,” he says gazing at me steadily, studying me […]”
Christian tells Ana she was talking in her sleep, and they wide-eye at each other about how they need protecting etc (there was a fire at GreyCorp, set by an “unknown” assailant). Then, he drags her out of bed so they can go play on a jet-ski – and he even lets Ana drive! What a non-controlling and decent man he’s been all along, and not just in this book as EL tries to retcon his dramatic terribleness out of existence. Ana manages to fuck up and throw them both off the jet-ski, whereupon Ana is, kind of obviously, damp;
“”I like you wet.” He leers.”
“Leer” is not exactly a word I associate with, you know, sexy romance. I don’t know, is this just me? No matter how into the person I am, “leering” is just a word that connotates a creepy lechery that I don’t think we’re meant to associate with Christian. I mean, I do, but I don’t think I’m meant to.
We cut to Ana and Christian in the airport, where Christian tells her that he wants to get the arsonist who attacked his building out of their lives for good.
“A shiver runs down my spine at his menacing tone. He gazes at me impassively, and I don’t know if he’s daring me to be flippant or what.”
Oh, come on. i get that Christian is meant to be sexy, powerful, and in-control, but once again, EL’s staggering lack of talent has it read as far more like creepy, controlling, and childish. They travel the rest of the way home, and Ana is outrageously exhausted after being up for three days straight while riding on the back of a camel from France all the way back to Seattle (including through the actual ocean). Oh, wait;
“Travelling is exhausting, even in first class. We’ve been up for more than eighteen hours straight, I think—in my fatigue I’ve lost track.”
Eighteen hours?! Fuck off. I have really excitingly shit bouts of insomnia throughout the winter, and my record is about thirty hours, and that was spent probably working, going to class, and trying to stop the cat from licking my fingers while I wrote an essay or something. But yeah, eighteen hours in first class. How is she even alive? Do humans work that way? Christian has to carry her into the house lest we forget that Ana is an actual child, and we’re finally done with the interminable honeymoon bullshit. Christian obviously comments on the fact that Ana has put on weight, because he’s a great guy and knows the needs of women innately and better than your husband does. He says that it’s good, because Ana lost weight when she left him back at the start of the first book or whatever. They snog in the lift, then drink some champagne, and we fade to black on Christian telling her he wants to hit that (not the words he uses, but if only).
Ana wakes in the night thanks to the new timezone, and thinks about how they’ve only been together three months but they’re married and stuff. Then, she admires Christian’s beauty in this bizarre description-
“He looks so young and carefree in his sleep, his long lashes fanned against his cheek, a light smattering of stubble covering his jaw, and his sculptured lips slightly parted.”
How fucking fleek are his lashes that they are fanned out ON HIS CHEEK? Bitch needs to start a fucking make-up channel on Youtube. On another note, Christian strikes me as the kind of guy who would get up in the night to redo his make-up before his partner woke up, and pretend that it was all his effortless perfect natural beauty. I mean, if his eyelashes are literally an inch and a half long, it’s not very subtle, but Ana’s so stupid she can’t see that he’s literally wearing drag-queen falsies to bed, so…
Ana thinks about the fire some more, and tries to figure out who would have done such a terrible thing;
“My blood chills. Who could want to harm Christian?”
Christian and Ana head over to his family’s place for a welcome-back Sunday dinner, only to find that his family have fled the country in his absence, seeing an opportunity to escape Christian and Ana and their punishing dullness at last. Nah, everyone’s there, including Kate (who is still dating Christian’s brother). Christian and his brother talk about the plans for the new house that he’s going to build for him and Ana, and of course, it’s a chance for her to be jealous as fuck for no real reason;
“Why does he make these decisions without telling me? Or is it the thought of Gia—all lush hips, full breasts, expensive designer clothes, and perfume—smiling too provocatively at my husband? My subconscious glares at me. He’s given you no reason to be jealous.”
Aye, and neither has she. From all we’ve heard of Gia, she had the temerity to be a) female, b) in the presence of Christian, and c) to do her job by showing them around a house. She wasn’t fucking rolling up the waistband of her skirt-suit to show off a few more inches of thigh as soon as she set eyes on him. But what is this book without Ana hating women so passionately that I feel the need to go apologise to EL personally for whatever my gender has done to her?
Christian and the rest of the family return to the house, where everyone is having a perfectly nice time until Christian sits at the piano and just starts playing and singing to himself. I mean, it’s meant to be this beautiful moment and an example of Christian’s emotional breakthrough since he met Ana, etc, but all it proves is that EL James has never been to a party where some cunt has whipped out a guitar and the entire thing has had to grind to a halt to indulge them.
Christian and Ana head home, and Christian lets Ana drive. But! It turns out that they’re being followed, and we get to sit through the most boring car chase in living memory. It’s all Christian talking Ana through how to fucking drive and where she should go, while Ana thinks about her stepfather Ray teaching her to drive safely. Ana thinks three seperate variations on “boy, can this car move”, just in case we didn’t know Christian’s dumb sportscar can go real fast. It’s not worth recreating here, and Ana is just so fucking interminably stupid that it makes me want to scream.
Ana bursts into tears as soon as they’ve parked up in some parking lot, and of course, Christian takes the moment to land this slick line on her-
“”Your lips are so soft when you cry, my beautiful, brave girl,” he whispers.”
Yeah, that’s real hot, letting me know that your boner is still into me when I’ve just had to outrun a pursuer. Of course, Ana is super into it, and they start making out, though Christian tells her he doesn’t want to do it right there and then.
“My craving spirals out of control at his words, tightening all my muscles below my waist once more.”
They bang in the car, and Christian tells Ana she’s “so ready”, etc. Then, their security team contacts them again to let them know that the driver of the car that was pursuing them is a woman. They head back to the apartment, where they have a pointless conversation with a neighbour who just moved in. Legitimately, I went over this section twice just in case I missed some cleverly-buried subtext, but there is none. This chapter just wasn’t long enough already, apparently. Won’t someone please think of the recappers?!
They get to their place, and Ana rolls her eyes at Christian, and well, you know what that means. Time for some kinky BDSM fuckery. But we’ll have to save that for next week, as this chapter is (mercifully) done with. Have a great start of the month, and don’t get caught up in any boring car chases!