Fifty Shades Darker Recaps: Chapter Three
Hello, and welcome back to another week’s recapping (you can find last week’s post here, if you want to catch up) Thanks to all who’ve been tweeting and otherwise social media-ing me about these posts- knowing that I’m making you all suffer with me is all I need to keep me motivated.
So let’s thunder on with chapter three-strap in, because this week’s recap is fucking enormous, just like Christian’s-
We left off with Christian and Ana declaring their love for each other, Christian giving her an iPad with some music on it, and the two of them officially getting back together oh god oh god why. Ana heads to work (at a publishing house, because writers always write about writers in some way or another), and is glad for her carlessness as she listens to the music Christian loaded on to her new gadget on the bus. We all remember why she doesn’t have a car, don’t we? Hint:it’s because Christian sold her original car without asking her, and then tried to force a new one on her which she eventually returned. But Christian would never do anything to her without her consent, right, guys? Guys?
Ana and Christian email back and forth about whether or not Ana has eaten breakfast (combining two of my favourite motifs in one- fucking interminable email exchanges and hand-wringing over Ana’s eating habits), and then Christian warns her that shes “going to need all her energy for begging”, with not further context, which lands us firmly at the Serial Killer end of the Christian Grey spectrum for this chapter. And, as I’ve said before, if I’m hooking up with a hot fictional psychopath…
Ana goes for lunch, and listens to some more of the music Christian chose for her, and she notices that he’s put up a piece by the composer who he played through headphones to her while he did mild sensation play in the last book.
“Oh, Fifty has a sense of humor, and I love him for it. Will this stupid grin ever leave my face?”
First, take a drink for the book referring the Christian in-text as fucking Fifty. I’m not sure what her definition of a “sense of humour” is, but it’s certainly pretty far from mine. It’s another example of the book being all “Look how FUNNY and PERFECT and CLEVER and HANDSOME Christian is!”, while not really explaining why he is any of those things. He just is, aight, and if you think he’s in fact an abuser,you OBVIOUSLY don’t understand GREAT LITERATURE.
Ana’s bored in the afternoon, and sends Christian an email telling him she’s twiddling her thumbs. So he’s all, I could find a better use for them, which is either a reference to anal play or thumbscrews, both of which would make the book that much better. He also mentions that her work emails are monitored, which for some fucking reason she didn’t know, so they can’t have kinky cyber sex or whatever he was planning.
Ana’s boss is guided by the honing device of his unquenchable erection in the direction of Ana’s desk, and invites her out for a drink with the rest of the office (at a bar called “50s”. Take a shot!). The most interesting thing about this section is an arguably missing comma. Ana goes to email Christian about it, mentioning the name of the bar, and announcing “The rich seam of humor that I could mine from this is endless”.
LOL THE BAR IS NAMED LIKE YOUR NAME HA HA. There, I mined it for you. They chat a little longer, and he says he’ll see her “Sooners rather than laters, baby.”
Which might be my favourite line in the whole series yet. Ugh, series- not I’ve reminded myself there’s still another book to go after this. On an unrelated note, you ever eye your bedroom window and idly wonder if the drop would kill you or just inure you badly enough that no-one would expect you to fulfill your blogging-related commitments?
Ana gets ready to meet Christian:
“I grin at the mirror and straighten my pale blue shirt—the one Taylor bought me. I am wearing my favorite jeans today, too. Most of the women in the office wear either jeans or floaty skirts. I will need to invest in a floaty skirt or two.”
Look, I don’t know if I’m conveying here how utterly fucking stunningly boring this chapter is. Like, last week’s was bad and full of abuse and what have you, but this is just fucking dull. This is proof positive if ever we needed any that people just skipped straight to the sex scenes, because there’s no way anyone in all of fucking Christendom would have put themselves through this dirge out of choice.
As Ana leaves the office, she hears her name being called, and something finally happens in this chapter.
“I turn expectantly, and an ashen young woman approaches me cautiously. She looks like a ghost—so pale and strangely blank.”
Spoiler alert, this woman was involved with Christian Grey.
“Like me, she has dark hair that starkly contrasts with her fair skin. Her eyes are brown, like bourbon […]“What do you have that I don’t?” she asks sadly.”
The woman reveals bandages around her wrists, and then wanders off. And Ana’s all like, “What was that about?”. Look, I don’t want to imply Ana’s an idiot here, but come on now. What could that woman poooooossibly have wanted? Walking around, looking like Christian’s type, asking her what Ana has that she doesn’t.
Ana heads over to the bar, and tries to forget about the girl who just approached her. She asks “have you any plans for the weekend?” because EL James 100% gets how American twenty-somethings talk, and that brief fizz of interest in this chapter wetly plups out, never to be heard from again.
She drinks a few beers with her colleagues, and then AMC’s The Walking Dick (IE her boss) appears to letch over her.
““Ana, think you made the right decision coming here?” Jack’s voice is soft, and he’s standing a bit too close.”
Why does everyone who’s interested in Ana talk to her like their minutes away from dragging her horse-tranked body to their caravan in the middle of the woods? Seriously, if someone asked me “Do you think you made the right decision coming here?”, I would assume they were either politely implying I should fuck off or about to prove to me why I made the wrong decision.
Jack backs her up against the bar and starts practically humping her leg, but then Christian turns up and he backs off. Christian and Jack start staking their territory, to the extent that I was fulling expecting one of them to whip out his cock and start pissing up Ana’s leg. As we all know, ladies, the dream is to have two guys get into an embarrassing yet also intensely dull dick-measuring contest over you.
Christian and Ana head back to the car, and Christian gives her a “panty-combusting” look-
And he talks about how they’re going to bang, etc. And then we get some…um, interesting developments.
“Your boss, Jack Hyde, is he good at his job? […] That man wants into your panties, Anastasia,” he says dryly.”
“Well, he can want all he likes . . . why are we even having this conversation? You know I have no interest in him whatsoever. He’s just my boss.”
“That’s the point. He wants what’s mine. I need to know if he’s good at his job.””
Wants what’s mine. Wants. What’s. Mine. Because Ana is a possesion to be owned, not a person with thoughts and feelings and fucking agency of her own. I mean, it isn’t news to me that Christian sees her like this, but yet somehow people are arguing about how he respects her and sees her as an equal when he just blatantly does not. Christian talks about how he wants to fire Jack Hyde-
““I mean it. One move and he’s out.”
“You don’t have that kind of power.”
Christian gives me his enigmatic smile.
“You’re buying the company,” I whisper in horror.”
YUP. So that’s happening now. He tries to reassure her and tell her that, in fact, he’s already bought the company. After promising not to interfere with her career. He’s BOUGHT THE COMPANY SHE’S WORKING AT. And this didn’t happen overnight-knowing that these things probably take more than a couple of days, it’s safe to assume that Christian started this process while they were dating the first time round or worse, broken up. And just didn’t mention it. He tells her it’s because he needs to be sure she’s safe, and she calls him an arse, then he laughs at her, and she laughs back, and-
““Just because I have a stupid damn grin on my face doesn’t mean I’m not mad as hell at you,” I mutter breathlessly, trying to suppress my high-school-cheerleader giggling. Though I was never cheerleader—the bitter thought crosses my mind.”
Oh cool, so we’re just sliding straight past the fact that he PURCHASED THE COMPANY YOU WORK AT TO EXERCISE CONTROL OVER YOU because you were never a cheerleader. Awesome. Great. So happy right now.
They go back to her place, and cook stir-fry. Christian says he’s hungry for her, blah blah, and “everything south of [her] waistline clenches”.
Christian demands Ana tell him what she wants, and her inner goddess is too busy thrashing about on a chaise longue to answer the question. She touches Christian, and he bats her away (pretty reasonably, given the number of times he’s told her how little he likes to be touched). They make out some more, and-
““What do you want, Anastasia?” he breathes.
“You.” I gasp.
AW YEAH GET ME SOME OF THAT HOT SEXY HARDCORE BDSM EROTICA. They go to bed and Christian makes Ana ask to be undressed, kissed, etc. She motions for him to go down on her, and he demands she say where she wants his mouth-
“Oh, he’s taking no prisoners. Embarrassed I quickly point at the apex of my thighs, and he grins wickedly. I close my eyes, mortified, but at the same time beyond aroused.”
Ugh, can we just stop with the whole Ana-is-humiliated-by-having-a-vagina thing already? It’s uber-gross, and the word “mortified” shouldn’t really be coming up during an ostensibly vanilla fuck sesh. She bats him away after, like, ten seconds because she doesn’t want to come yet- Ana, one of the great things about having that vagina you seem to hate so much is multiple orgasms. Not that Christian seems to know about them either, to be fair.
She sucks his dick a little bit, he sucks her tits, then he fucks her, and it’s all writhing and groaning and begging and so, so fucking dull. They shag for about half a page, and then-
““Come on, baby,” he gasps. “Give it to me.”
His words are my undoing, and I explode, magnificently, mind-numbingly, into a mil-
lion pieces around him, and he follows calling out my name.”
And, with that, this agonisingly long chapter is finally done with. See you next week for more escapades into the boring and abusive!