Fifty Shades Darker: Chapter Twenty
Another week, another Fifty Shades Derper recap. Hey, in Fifty Shades-adjacent news, did you hear that Jamie Dornan will allegedly be getting his cock out in the next movie? I’m not particularly bothered about seeing Jamie’s Dornan, but at least that will balance out all of the female nudity in the last movie. Because, you know, this is a series of books meant to appeal to straight women, and all.
We’re on chapter twenty, and at the end of the last chapter, Ana accepted Christian’s proposal by giving him a tacky keyring.
““Say it,” he orders softly, his gaze intense and hot.
“Yes, I’ll marry you.””
Ugh. The first thing Christian does is make Ana say that she’ll marry him. Even if his gaze is “hot”, this still irritates me. Christian points out that Ana gave him the keyring before they met with his therapist, but wouldn’t let him look at it till now.
“Christian blinks at me in disbelief. “So all yesterday evening, when I was begging you for an answer, I had it already?” He’s dismayed. I nod again, trying desperately to gauge his reaction. He gazes at me in stupefied wonder, but then narrows his eyes and his mouth twists with amused irony.
“All that worry,” he whispers ominously. I grin at him and shrug once more. “Oh, don’t try and get cute with me, Miss Steele. Right now, I want . . .” ”
Aaaand once again Ana is left trying to figure out what Christian’s reaction to a completely innocent action is going to be. Because she should have no reason to feel unsafe around him, of course. Because he’s never gotten mad at her over pointless shit and taken out his rage in irrational and sometimes frightening ways. This is 10000% a man she should marry, is what I’m saying.
Christian suggest some “retribution” is in order-
“Retribution? Oh shit! I know he’s playing—but I take a cautious step back from him anyway.”
If you know he’s messing around, why are you trying to physically distance yourself from him? Why are you afraid of him? Why are you “cautious”? You shouldn’t be cautious around someone you trust and love, you shouldn’t have to second-guess their “playful” threats. Sometimes, I feel like I’m just repeating the same shit over and over and over again, screaming into the blackened void that Fifty Shades has left on our cultural landscape, and it becomes like an exhausting Sisyphean task that I’ll never find an end to.
Anyway. Christian picks Ana up and sprays freezing water over in her the shower while she’s still fully dressed (ugh), and then they get down to fuckin’. Ana touches Christians chest and it’s deeply meaningful, etc. Honestly, I thought laughing at the bad sex scenes would be the most fun I would get out of these recaps, but the sex scenes are so bloody uninspired and bland and seeeerrriiiooouus that I just lose the will. The scene jumps to the two of them in bed afterwards, and Ana asks Christian whether or not he was rushing home because he didn’t want her alone with Jose, to which she doesn’t get an answer.
“I find José at the counter, eating a bowl of cereal. I can’t help but flush when I see him. He knows I’ve spent the night with Christian. Why do I suddenly feel so shy? It’s not as if I’m naked or anything. I’m wearing my silk floor-length wrap.
“Morning, José,” I smile, brazening it out.
“Hey, Ana!” His face lights up, genuinely pleased to see me. There’s no hint of teasing or salacious contempt in his expression.”
Hahahaha what? Did Ana seriously expect her friend- who, let’s recall, slept the night at her partner’s house-was going to look at her with contempt because she slept the night with him? Is her honour ruined now? Quick, she should tell him about the engagement, maybe dig out those bloody bedsheets from the first time they fucked to prove she’s still virtuous.
Ana and Jose talk some more, and Jose has to assure her that he doesn’t think she’s a gold-digger. Wow, project much? Then Christian arrives-
“Holy fuck, he’s wearing only pajama bottoms that hang in that totally hot way off his hips—Jeez!”
Oh, THAT way? So we get nine paragraphs describing how a room looks, but I still have no idea in what way his trousers hang from his hips. And that’s a shame, because it’s apparently really fucking hot. Christian practically cocks his leg to piss on Ana, and tells her that he’s looking forward to his “other birthday present”, apparently just to make Jose uncomfortable. Then Jose tells him a little about Ana and his father fishing together, and I lose the will to live and skip to the next section.
Jose leaves, and Ana points out that he’s not so bad to Christian-
““He still wants into your panties, Ana. But can’t say I blame him.”
“Christian, that’s not true!”
“You have no idea, do you?” He smirks down at me. “He wants you. Big time. ””
Yeah, shut up, dumb woman, and let me spunk my male opinions down your throat because they’re BETTER THAN YOURS. “You have no idea”, bloody hell. He’d have no idea about the murder I was planning if he pulled that shit on me.
Christian points out Ana didn’t tell Jose about the engagement.
“Christian nods. “Yes, you’re right. And I . . . um, I should ask your father.”
I laugh. “Oh, Christian—this isn’t the eighteenth century.””
Of course- of COURSE- Christian thinks he should ask Ana’s father before he marries her. That’s fucking gross- it just is. It’s not “respectful”, it’s nonsense. I’m 99% sure I had a conversation with my Dad about this at some point, and he basically said that if a guy felt the need to get his permission to hand me off to him, he wouldn’t get it because that decision has nothing to do with my Dad and everything to do with me. Fuck’s sake. Christian, of course, implies that he’s going to do it anyway.
Ana gives Christian his other birthday presents, one of which is a model of his helicopter, Charlie Tango, because Ana has a DARK sense of humour. Oh, and she bought the gift prior to the accident. Christian talks about salvaging his real-life chopper, and refers to the vehicle with a female pronoun. Ana reacts reasonably.
“Her? I am shocked at myself for the small pang of jealousy I feel for an inanimate object.”
Ah yes, deliciously rational. She immediately scolds herself for this but…why? Why is it here? Why did EL James think we needed to hear every irrational little thought that darted through Ana’s head, if not to prove how jealous and pathetically hateful she was towards women, fuck, even female fucking pronouns? What’s the POINT of this if not to illustrate that?
Ana’s other gift to Christian is a card that lets him know that she wants to go to the playroom again. He agrees, and demands it right at that instant.
“My inner goddess somersaults round her chaise longue. Finally!”
And with that impossible little tidbit to ponder on, I shall leave you for this week. If you can figure out how the fuck this is possible, send your answers to me on a postcard addressed to wherever the fuck you want.