Fifty Shades of Grey Recaps: Chapter Twenty-One

by thethreepennyguignol

So, I’m back from Berlin, and I most certainly haven’t been writing a ton of erotica that accidentally features character names from The Walking Dead, and, if I did, it wasn’t because I have a massive TWD poster of Daryl and Rick opposite my writing chair.

LOUISE - WIN_20150608_191605

Nope. Not doing that AT ALL.

I also wrote this in response to the announcement of ANOTHER fucking Fifty Shades book, so go read that if you want my take on it. I’ll recap it if someone buys me a copy, otherwise I’ll avoid it for the rest of time.

But enough with these petty amusements- it’s time to barrel forward with Fifty Shades of Grey. We’re on chapter twenty-one now, with only five chapters after this one remaining, and I’m starting to cast my mind over what I want to recap next. Right now I’m leaning towards doing Sex and the City, series one, from a modern feminist perspective (because that shit is a disgrace, and I still kind of love it), or taking apart the Harry Potter book series, which I read literally dozens of times when I was a kid.  if you’ve got any ideas, please tweet/email/comment at me and let me know. Books, TV shows, a series of handsomely shot interpretive dance numbers; I’m game for it all (in my darkest hours, I’ve considered going on a massive mission to find the best porn parody on the internet, so adult entertainment is not out of the question).

This chapter opens with a massive paragraph which is just Ana waking up, and I already want to kill myself. Ana thinks about how she’s living the dream, but that it’s awful because he wants a special arrangement that he doesn’t want  Right, so, I’ve decided that, to try and make this recap moderately bearable, I’m going to insert a picture of Christopher Ecclestone looking stern every time there’s an example of problematic content in this chapter. I don’t want to have to sully him with this series, but his face- the face of my adolescent sexual awakening-might just get me through this alive. Let’s start off with one to sum up my ego, shall we?

Yes, that should do it. Ana nips out to the kitchen to find Christian, who isn’t in bed, and instead finds his housekeeper who introduces herself and offers Ana tea. Ana immediately curses her out as a blonde bitch in her head in case the reader got confused and thought Christian might fall in love with the housekeeper if Ana didn’t immediately hate on her like the perfect little product of internalized misogyny she is.

It’s a handy shorthand for “fuck off, EL”!

Ana finds Christian in his office, where he’s having a really fucking long conversation with someone on the phone about Generic Buisness Things, the sort of things I might say if I were transported to a high-powered office for a day in some sort of great and terrible mishap. Once he’s done, they discuss her trip to Gerogia, then Ana demands to be fucked over his desk. I’d like you to read the description of Ana’s orgasm here:

“I cry out a wordless, passionate plea as I touch the sun and burn, falling around him, falling down, back to a breathless, bright summit on earth.”

You know what else might work here? “I came really fucking hard, and it was fucking excellent.” That would also be pretty good. I believe I’ve said it before in these recaps, but if you can think anything other than “FUCK” as you’re about to come, you’re doing it wrong. Or he is. Once again, Christian lasts just under a page.

Ana gets upset when she realizes that Christian has had sex on his desk before, when she should really be upset about the face that he told her that he liked her sore because it acted as a reminder that he was the only one allowed in her vagina, not before grabbing her face and saying “YOU. ARE. MINE.” Because swoon, ladies, amiritie?

See, I was thinking about this earlier today. I was wondering about what the perception of Fifty Shades would have been if the roles had been reversed- obviously, it would still be a book about abuse, but my guess is that we’d be a lot more willing to actually see the horrific abuse at hand, because we’re so used to seeing romantic male leads act this way, especially in New Adult fiction. The stalking, the intimidation, the obsessive establishment of ownership instead of actual love, all held up as the epitome of romance- it’s a total trope, a usually unquestioned one at that, and that makes genuinely turns my stomach.

They talk some more, and Ana goes for a shower, upset because Christian seemed weird and off with her. I mean, I assumed that was what she liked about him, but as a woman myself I know we can never make our minds up about anything and also Ana’s just probably on her period, the mouthy bitch. Ana goes to get some breakfast, and Christian offers to let her take his private jet when she says that she wants to get a commercial flight. She actually stands her ground for once, and she goes to get ready for a job interview. As Christian asks if she’ll miss him, she thinks “He’s got right under my skin…literally”, which, you know:

This is a Chrissy Ecc episode, so it counts. Also, this is the second time I’ve got Slitheen banter in these recaps! Raxacoricofallapa-LARIOUS!

We join Ana on her second interview of the day, because anything she does that doesn’t revolve around Christian is pointless, and a woman described as having black, pre-Raphelite hair appears. Which is funny because when you think of pre-Raphelite hair, black isn’t really the colour that springs to mind. Let’s see what happens if I take four seconds out of this recap to google it:

Research is FUN!

Ana remembers how Christian demands that Ana take her Blackberry with her when she visits her mother, and considers how “…that’s just the way he is. He likes control over everything, including me.” Which is exactly what Ana has been protesting this entire book- whether it’s sexual control, emotional control, or physical control, she’s bucked against it. But here she is, again, dismissing it, because EL James didn’t bother to get a beta reader for her shitty, shiity fanfiction. Oh dear why is this knife at my wrists-

A more self-aware Ana. It’s so stinking unfair, by the way, that my Doctor only got one season. Grumble, grumble.

Ana goes into the inteview, and notes internally a young man with “small, silver, hooped earrings”, and that’s a good enough excuse for me to squeeze in this, because that’s clearly the description of a pirate:

Tim Curry in Muppet Treasure Island is my Dad’s hero, and you should know that.

That man is Jack Hyde, who, spoiler alert, becomes a moustache-twirling villain later in the series, which I will not be recapping unless someone has a copy of Fifty Shades Shiter and Fifty Shades Fucked that they’d be happy to lend to me and let me scrawl all over. Because I ruined my copy of FSOG:

There's a whole page in chapter one with "PRICK" written across it.

There’s a whole page in chapter one with “PRICK” written across it.

The interview is boring, and Ana goes home to find Kate unpacking. Kate cocks her head, and Ana gets annoyed that everything is reminding her of her “favourite Fifty Shades”, and everybody take a shot because the title of the book is in the text. What Lord of the Rings was really missing was Aragorn turning to metaphorical camera every five pages and going “YOU TRULY ARE…THE LORD OF THE RING(S)”. And that’s why no-one remembers Tolkein now. Ana scolds Kate for winding Christian up with her comments about Jose at dinner, and Kate rebuffs with this bit of ironclad logic:

“He’s a real control freak. I don’t know how you stand it. I was trying to make him jealous-give him a little help with his commitment issues.”

Yeah, Kate, what you should do to the control freak boyfriend who obviously intimidates your best friend is WIND HIM UP. Then he can give her a fucking black eye or a broken nose and you’ll have proof, because emotional abuse is just made up, right?????!??!111one

Ana starts to cry, and Kate asks her what’s wrong, and Ana says that she just has such strong feelings for Christian. Kate says that it’s clear that he fancies her too, and those crazy kids should just go for it already. Kate is obviously as bored of this fake conflict as I am.

Christian and Ana email back and forth, and it’s totally, horrifically, painfully, insultingly boring. I mean, I know all the fans of this book who defend it were just skipping from sex scene to regurgitated sex scene- and I know this because whenever you bring up the abuse with them, they say it wasn’t there- but could EL not even try and make a hint of effort with this filler passages? Christ almighty, it’s like listening to the Telegraph bitch and moan about the Jeremy Clarkson being fired for punching someone in the face.

Ana gets to the airport, and Christian has upgraded her ticket to first class after she specifically told him not to interfere. WHAT A TOP NOTCH HUMAN BEING!


I promise I’ll continue the theme of gifs of men who awakened my sexuality with Chris Barrie next week.

So gorgeous. Where did my bra go?