Fifty Shades Darker: Chapter 12
Like a broken car radio that you can’t untune from that one weird Christian music channel, I’m inevitably back with another dose of Fifty Shades Douchier. And I’m starting right here with a shout-out to my best friend/long-time reader of these godforsaken posts Ellie, because it was her fucking birthday yesterday and we’re going to get together and get sloshed all day tomorrow and I can’t WAIT. Like a food processor or a vibrator that doesn’t shake the foundations of your entire apartment when you’re trying to have a quiet wank, you should all have an Ellie in your life.
Moving on. I’ve also finally, FINALLY updated the blog directory with alllll the Fifty Shades of Grey/Darker recaps so far, so please feel free to browse through them and all the rest of the crap I finally got round to linking.
We start as Mrs Robinson arrives at Christian’s apartment- Christian informs Ana that he called Mrs Robinson and told her to leave Ana alone, and he’s such a powerful, dominant, in-control guy that it totally worked oh wait.
Mrs R tells Christian she has a problem that she needs his advice on, and he’s just like “OH COOL COME IN LET ME GET YOU A DRINK”. Look, I’m not saying that demanding your partner stop seeing someone is a normal thing to do, but Ana has repeatedly expressed her discomfort around Mrs R and her and Christian’s past relationship (/molestation). So it seems a bit insensitive, at best, for Christian to be making her so at home while Ana just sort of stands there awkwardly.
Mrs R (who I’m just going to call by her real name, Elena, from now on) tells Christian she’s being blackmailed. And Ana is all “Oooh yeah, chickens coming home to roost, having sex with underage boys” etc, which is entirely accurate and understandable. Christian and Elena discuss a note that she’s been given, and Ana tries to leave but Christian won’t let go of her hand. Because he respects her wishes. Ana eventually leaves the room, then lurks outside to listen to what they’re saying.
““What is her problem?”
“You . . . What we were. What we did. She doesn’t understand.”
“Make her understand.”
“It’s in the past, Elena, and why would I want to taint her with our fucked-up relation-
ship? She’s good and sweet and innocent, and by some miracle she loves me.”
“It’s no miracle, Christian,” Elena scoffs good-naturedly. “Have a little faith in your-
self. You really are quite a catch. I’ve told you often enough. And she seems lovely, too. Strong. Someone to stand up to you.””
Leaving aside the iteration of the “characters say things about Ana so EL doesn’t have to show Ana being them in the text” in the section: Ugh, I kind of feel sorry for Christian here, which is a world-first. Here’s the woman who groomed him when he was underage, knowing he was the victim of abuse in his childhood, into being her submissive sex slave, basically. And she’s telling him that he should “make” Ana understand that horrible relationship. For once, I think Ana might be right here. Fuck, has EL James actually managed to write a chapter where I’m on-side with the lead characters?
Elena and Christian continue to talk, and Christian tells her to back off Ana and that Ana is his future while Ana explodes with joy inside. I feel like if Chrsitian’s therapist were any good- any good at all- he would have told Christian to cut Elena out of his life fucking pronto, but then if he was a good therapist there’d be many, many things he’d also be telling Christian that he clearly isn’t so what do I know?
Elena leaves, and Christian comes through to talk to Ana. Ana asks him to explain his relationship with Elena in greater detail, and I’m immediatley back into “thinking Christian Grey is a towering cockwomble” territory when he tells her that “I fucked her in all sorts of ways you can’t even imagine”, because Jesus Christ is doesn’t need saying that you DO NOT SAY THIS TO YOUR CURRENT PARTNER ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS ONE FUCK.
Christian tells Ana that “my past and my future are colliding in a way I never thought possible”, revealing that he’s suddenly become fluent in back-cover blurb. Ana admits that she was listening to their conversation, and Christian tries to reassure her some more. Ana tells him she’s not jealous, which, lol- even she rescinds it straightaway in her inner monologue.
““I’m not jealous.” I’m wounded that he would think that—or am I? Shit. Maybe that’s what this is.”
It’s funny, because Ana 100% has legitimate reason to detest this woman and want her out of both their lives. She’s an abuser, someone who took advantage of a young, damaged boy and continues to weasel her way into his life on the premise that their relationship was “special” and “misunderstood”. But most of the time Ana thinks about her, she’s just pissed at her continuing presence in Christian’s life because they used to fuck. Which is, ugh.
happier even more thunderously depressing note, you remember in the last book when Christian stalked Ana across the country after she told him she needed space? Well, EL has some thoughts for the people who thought that was hella creepy-
“”I loved you then, Anastasia,” he whispers. “You’re the only person I’d fly three thou-
sand miles to see.””
Love is never having to say your sorry for pursuing a woman who has repeatedly told you that your presence makes her uncomfortable and that the sex stuff you’re into really disturbs her literally thousands of miles across the country to watch her creepily from a bar while she shares cocktails with her mother. Or, and then criticise the number of cocktails she’s had and pull her tampon out and bang. Glad EL cleared that up for us.
Christian then tells Ana than Elena encouraged him to chase her to Georgia, which makes perfect sense considering Elena is CLEARLY TRYING TO BREAK THEM UP. Quite rightly, Elena probably banked on any normal woman having to be fucking crazy not to find that kind of exploit horrifyingly creeptastic, but she didn’t count on Ana as a leading lady. A fatal error.
They chat a bit more about Elena and her current sub (who’s of age), and Christian mentions that her car has arrived. But, oh, she’s not allowed to drive it:
““You know why not. And that reminds me. If you are going to leave your office, let me know. Sawyer was there, watching you. It seems I can’t trust you to look after yourself at all.””
OKAY. SO. Even though Ana didn’t get hurt at all, didn’t so much as get a fucking splinter or a split nail leaving the office, Christian can’t trust her to look after herself? So much so that he’s purchased her a car and won’t even let her drive it? What kind of screwed-up head fuckery is this?
And hey, while we’re at it, let’s play Red-Flag Bingo! All these extracts come within a page of each other, as Christian and Ana argue about Sawyer watching her (honestly, I’m stunned Christian can bear the thought of another man’s eyes on his fucking favourite toy, but WHATEVER).
- Do you feel afraid of your partner much of the time?-“He closes his eyes briefly as he struggles to contain his temper. I swallow and watch anxiously. Jeez, this could go either way.”
- Does your partner have a bad or unpredictable temper?-” Can we ever have a normal conversation without it disintegrating into an argument? It’s exhausting.”
- Does your partner push for intensity and high involvement quickly in the relationship?-“We just don’t know each other that well. Do I really want to move in with him?”
- Does your partner ignore or put down your accomplishments or opinions?-“Evidently he’s bored with the whole Elena thing—he’s right, I need to move on. Let it go.”
Again, less than one page. And all this horrible, disturbing crap. But hey, it’s fine, because Christian has brought her a pretty nightdress and now she feels like a movie star!
Ana dozes off reading a book, and Christian carries her to bed. When she wakes up, he’s playing the piano because, and say it with me now-
-THIS IS PLAGIARISED FROM TWILIGHT. He feels her up a bit, and is all “why do we fight”, to which the answer is “because you’re horribly suited to each other and should unequivocally break up forever.” Instead, they bang on the piano. Well, Christian starts by going down on her, and not letting her come-
““This is my revenge, Ana,” he growls softly. “Argue with me, and I am going to take it out on your body somehow.””
Not only is that hella creepy, and bascially abides by the rules Christian had promised not to enforce from the contract, but the last thing I want to be reminded of when I’m getting down is a row I had with the person earlier. Like, this isn’t sexy make-up sex- the argument is done, and now Christian just reminding her of it for no good reason. This is basically like me screaming “YOU FORGOT TO TAKE THE BINS OUT LAST NIIIIUUURRRGGHH” at the point of orgasm. Which is not as hot as it seems, trust me.
Oh, then we get my new favourite description of a sex acr, as Christian fingers her-
“The other persecutes me, slowly, agonizingly, circling round and round.”
Persecutes. Persecutes. Persecutes. Again, because the hottest thing I can think of is oppressed minorities and past and present injustices.
I thought this chapter would be over at the end of the sex scene, but God, it just goes ON. Ana wakes, and she and Christian discuss his painful childhood because EL is nailing the light pillow talk this chapter. They fuck again (off-screen, mercifully), and then have breakfast and talk about the banging they did the night before right in front of his housekeeper. Because Christian Grey is the epitome of discretion.
As Ana goes to work, Christian reminds her that Kate’s brother is arriving at Ana’s apartment later that today. She tells him she’ll have to stop by after work, and Christian pouts like a fucking child because she can’t POSSIBLY go ANYWHERE by herself lest she ACTUALLY DIE. Or something. Christian playfully bites Ana’s finger, and she’s all, “He has a hotline to my groin”, which-
Ana gets to work, chats with the receptionist, and makes some coffee for her boss. She takes a fucking age to do it, and he’s understandably annoyed. She and Christian exchange another interminable round of emails about how much they wuv each other, and then Ana actually does some work. She calls Christian when her boss sends her out to lunch, and God this work stuff was really just thrown in to fill up space, wasn’t it? Christian graciously gives her permission to leave her office building, under the accompaniment of his fucking bodyguard.
Sawyer takes Ana out, and Ana finds herself wondering if they’re all “infected” with Christian’s paranoia- to which the answer is no, he’s just the richest, whitest guy here so what he says, goes.
As Ana’s boss hits on her some more, Ana gets a call from Kate’s brother, Ethan. She emails Christian some more about the three of them getting dinner, and the only notable thing here is that Christian stone-cold refuses to let Ana pay because #MasculinitySoFragile.
Ana goes to meet Ethan at the apartmentt, but when she gets there OMG LEILA IS WAITING FOR HER WITH A GUN AND HOW WILL OUR HEROIC ANA GET OUT OF THIS ONE ALIVE????????