You realise there are five hundred pages of this to get through, right? Five hundred magnificent pages in this book, which is thick enough to comfortably wrap in pastry and be called a Book Wellington? In happier news, here’s a gif from Vikings featuring Floki, giving the greatest motivational speech in television history. Finding it has been, so far, the highlight of my day (apart from, of course, the heroin).
So, as we plunge headfirst into Ana’s sopping wet personality, let’s pick up the start of chapter five. At the end of the last chapter, Christian had turned up at a bar, declared Ana drunk, and whisked her away to his hotel room where she was hilariously sick everywhere. She takes an entire page to rouse properly, and remembers the hideous events of the night before. Christian arrives, and Ana comments that his jogging bottoms hang off him “In that way” (what way? WHAT FUCKING WAY IS THAT?!), and that the thought of his sweat does strange things to her. To be fair, the thought of my lover’s sweat does strange things to me too, but most of them involve gagging and making rude comments.
They talk for a while, and it’s revealed that Christian decided NOT to take Ana back to her apartment in case she threw up in his car on the way, and undressed her while she was passed out. Let’s repeat that: he undressed her when she was passed out. This is not something a concerned stranger does. A concerned stranger calls you a cab and makes sure you get home okay. He does not travel cross-country to pick you up personally, take you to his hotel, and take your clothes off while you’re comatose. This is not how healthy relationships start. Ana notices this, stunningly.
“You didn’t have to track me down with whatever James Bond technology you’re developing for the highest bidder!” I snap. He stares at me, surprised, and , if I’m not mistaken, a little wounded.
“First, the technology to track cell phones is available over the internet.”
Let’s consider this: despite her righteous anger, Christian completely ignores the reason WHY she’s upset and goes on to patronisingly explain how things work as way of excuse. The issue at hand is not how much money he spent on tracking her phone, it’s that he felt the need to track her phone at all, after meeting her-what, twice at this point? He claims that she would have slept with Jose if he hadn’t come to save her, and then it’s just dropped. At this point, I’m getting pretty fucking angry.
Oh wait, there’s more! Christian scolds her for not eating, and tells her that if he had his way she “wouldn’t be able to sit for a week” after the “stunt she pulled”. What, getting drunk and going out with friends should be disciplined with a thrashing that the female lead has in no way consented to or encouraged, much like, I don’t know, all of Christian’s creepy actions so far? CONSISTENCY.
“My medulla oblongata has neglected to fire synapses” EL, NO TWENTY-SOMETHING TALKS OR THINKS LIKE THIS. Ana’s subconcious sounds like it was written by a fourteen-year-old with a thesaurus and an inferiority complex. After she’s started synapse firing again, he touches her face and she starts “squirming with needy, achy…discomfort”. Sounds like a bladder infection, pal.
She goes for a shower and starts fantasising about Christian feeling her up. He’s sent his bodyguard out to go and buy her new clothes, including a super-fancy bra and pants. Now, forgive me, but if a guy had done all the stuff that Christian had up until this point, and then bought me a sexy underwear that fits perfectly somehow I would probably be calling it a day roundabout then. Because he’s continually invaded Ana’s privacy and personal space in a way that she’s never really given consent to (or been in a sober enough position to give consent too). All this ignorance of the system of consent is making me want to touch my bad parts.
Christian orders them both breakfast, and scolds Ana for having her hair too damp. This is after he’s called her out of a shower to eat breakfast. She offers to pay for the clothes and return his books, but he declines “because [he] can”. Mr Charitable Starving Nations 5000, ladies and gents. Ana asks why he sent her the mysterious books, and he explains.
“”Well, when you were nearly run over by that cyclist-and I was holding you and you were looking up at me- all “Kiss me, kiss me, Christian”….I felt I owed you an apology and a warning”
Yes, I recall, after she was nearly mowed into a paste by that psychopathic man on a pushbike. He tells her he can’t stay away, she tells him he shouldn’t, he gasps. Actually gasps. He tells her “I’d like to bite that lip”
Ana basically squirts everywhere, saying “Jeez!” internally. He tells her he’s not going to touch her “till I have your written consent to do so”. WELL FUCKING HALLELUJAH. Yes, it’s fine for Christian to remove her from her friends against her will while apocolyptically drunk, choose not to take her to her apartment but to his hotel room, undress her, sleep next to her, and buy sexy lingerie for her, but God forbid he actually touch her without her consent. I am trying to work with you, EL, I really fucking am.
They agree to a date, but this encounter isn’t over yet! Nope, there’s still time for Christian to ostentatiously order his helicopter, Charlie Tango, and order Ana to finish her breakfast-which is now cold- because he doesn’t like wasted food. Despite, you know, ordering a wide selection of food from the room service menu which Ana clearly could not consume herself because he couldn’t be bothered being all like “Hey, Ana, what would you like for breakfast?”.
After two pages of Ana drying her hair and putting on clothes, they both step into the lift where Christian pins her up against a wall and yanks her hair and makes out with her. Then they seem to start grinding really slowly, while Ana thinks “I’m helpless”, and any sense of sexiness is lost with the notion that our heroine has basically no agency over her own sexual life. Whee, sexual revolution! The chapter draws to a finale with this edifying exchange.
“You’ve brushed your teeth” he says, staring at me.
“I used your toothbrush”
His lips quirk up in a half smile. “Oh, Anastasia Steele, what am I going to do with you?”
Buy her a fucking toothbrush, you twat.