Final Fifty Shades Darker Recap: Chapter Twenty-Two
And so, friends, we reach the end of another Fifty Shades “book”. Hush, hush, hold your tears, for as soon as my American Horror Story recaps are done, I’ll be back for the final segment of this thrillogy. In the meantime- Let’s. Do. It.
We left off with Kate storming up to Ana at Christian’s birthday bash with a printed-out email regarding their oh-so-dirty BDSM sex life. Christian demands to know how she got it, and Kate reveals that she’s as good with privacy as everyone else in this fucking book-
““That’s irrelevant.” At his stony glare, she hastily continues. “It was in the pocket of a jacket—which I assume is yours—that I found on the back of Ana’s bedroom door.”
Ha, imagine if that wasn’t his jacket and Ana and Christian were totally vanilla (well, they essentially are, but for the sake of argument go with it) and that was about a kinky BDSM set-up she had going with another guy. Now THAT’S the twist I want to close this book out on.
Of course, Kate’s, um, righteous anger at what Christian wants to do to Ana is literally forgotten within two pages, because EL needed a cliffhanger to dangle in front of her readers for the last chapter without actually distracting from the fact she’s got no plot to fill out the end of this book. Seriously- this is how it’s resolved-
““I’ve never been happier,” I whisper. She reaches forward and grabs my hand regard-
less of Christian’s arm wrapped around me.
“You really are okay?” she asks hopefully.
“Yes.” I grin at her, my joy returning. She’s back onside.”
Oh, glad to see we wrapped that one up so quickly without anyone having to do anything. Though we do get a reminder, via Kate, how short a time they’ve been together- she mentions leaving Ana alone for just over two weeks to find that she’s engaged, and I want to dive into a lake as I recall how much Ana has given up for this man she’s known less time that I’ve had a single UTI.
As Christian and Ana go to continue with his birthday party while Kate mumbles her apologies (as she should, but I feel like Christian should have to apologise for everything he’s ever done to anyone in this book so it’s a little hollow). They’re greeted by a huge crowd of people applauding Christian’s existence, and let’s take a look at how Ana describes them-
“…all the Greys, Ethan with Mia, Dr. Flynn and his wife, I assume. There’s Mac from the boat, a tall, handsome African American—I remember seeing him in Christian’s office the first time I met Christian—Mia’s bitchy friend Lily, two women I don’t recognize at all, and . . . Oh no. My heart sinks. That woman . . . Mrs. Robinson.
Gretchen materializes with a tray of champagne. She’s in a low-cut black dress, no pigtails but an updo, flushing and fluttering her eyelashes at Christian.”
So, we manage to squeeze in a reference to a “bitchy” woman, as well as get in a dig at another girl for “flushing” at Christian. Which, lest we forget, Ana does eight times a minute when in his presence. As a representative of womanhood, EL, I want to offer my hearty apologies to whatever members of my sisterhood clearly pissed you off, as you do seem to detest women so very strenuously.
Mrs Robinson approaches Christian and tells him how worried she was about it, while making reference to the numerous messages she left him. She finally greets Ana-
““Ana,” she purrs. “You look lovely, dear.”
“Elena,” I purr back. “Thank you.””
Christian backs off Elena and instead announces his and Ana’s engagement. This is the first thing he says to her as everyone applauds-
““You’ll soon be mine.”
“I am already,” I whisper.”
Now, remember how Christian isn’t her dom anymore? How this is a regular relationship? With that in mind, is it not kind of gross that the first thing he associates with marrying Ana is owning her? Not that he gets to spend his live with someone he loves, or their future together as a family- but that he gets to have her, legally, as he points out in the next sentence. Bleh. I can now firmly say that this book is worse than the last- not by much, mind you- because EL has really doubled down on the ownership and dominance themes all while trying to distance Christian from being an actual dominant.
Hey, you remember how I mentioned women-hate earlier in this chapter? Well, good thing I brought it up, because this is one of the first things Ana’s inner monologue does after the engagement announcement-
“Lily, who is standing beside Mia, looks crestfallen; Gretchen looks like she’s eaten something nasty and bitter. As I glance anxiously around at the assembled crowd, I catch sight of Elena. Her mouth is open. She’s stunned—horrified even, and I can’t help a small but intense feeling of satisfaction to see her dumbstruck.”
Yes, Ana doesn’t take in all the people happy for her- nope, she decides to relish the fact that she’s beaten out other women to the prize that is Christian Grey. I like to think their reactions are more because they think Ana could do better than the arsehole she’s chosen to marry and are easily able to see the early signifiers of his abuse, but, you know, that’s not what it is at all. Ana wins, nyeh nyeh nyeh, all other women come nowhere near her.
Ana manages to stomach the loathing of all womanhood for a moment to talk to Dr Flynn’s wife, while Christian and Dr Flynn discuss Leila and how her treatment is going. I mean, I thought Hannibal Lecter was a bad psychiatrist on account of him murdering and eating his rude patients, but at least he had some moral code where he wouldn’t spew the personal details of everyone he was treating to anyone who asked. Calling it- Flynn is a worse psychiatrist that Hannibal Lecter. And has the temerity to be less interesting, too.
Mia collars Ana, and asks her for advice on her relationship with Ethan (Kate’s brother). She’s into him, but he doesn’t want to date as his sister is dating her brother and he views it as kind of incestuous. Ana has some great advice-
““Oh, I see,” I mutter, trying to buy myself some time. What can I say? “Can you agree to be friends and give it some time? I mean you’ve only just met him.”
Ah, yes, of course. Ana- who got engaged to a man she already broke up with once after less than a month- thinks someone else should take it slow. The hypocrisy doesn’t burn here at all- nor does the fact that EL clearly realises that relationships generally take MORE THAN A FUCKING MONTH TO DEVELOP. Luckily, Mia calls her out and we get this stone-cold rebuttal that completely does away with all of my questions about the speed of Ana and Christian’s relationship-
““Look, I know I’ve only really just met Christian but . . .” I scowl at her not sure what I want to say.”
Oh wait no it’s not. And that’s how we leave it- no more thoughts on the matter, just the grim knowledge that Ana has got engaged to a man she’s “only really just met”. And that this isn’t all the basis for some crummy reality TV show.
Mrs Robinson appears from nowhere and corners Ana, telling her that she’ll never be able to satisfy Christian’s needs, that she’s a gold-digger, that she’s mousy, etc. Ana finally grows a fucking backbone and calls her a child molestor and throws a drink in her face (hurrah!). Christian storms in, and Elena lays into him, saying that she taught him what he needed to survive and that without her he wouldn’t be the success he is today. We get this tantalising tidbit;
““You never once held me,” Christian whispers. “You never once said you loved me.”
She narrows her eyes. “Love is for fools, Christian.””
Now, wouldn’t that be an interesting alley to explore? Elena, the child molestor, hunts out vulnerable underagers because she knows she can’t fall in love with them, and when one of her victims comes to her looking for love and companionship, a complex relationship emerges. But nah, instead, Christian’s mother storms in and drags her son away after overhearing what was said.
Ana tries to listen in, but then wanders off and thinks about all the other women he’s had BDSM relationships with for a bit- you know, the usual, can she live up, etc. Then, Christian reppears, and Ana asks how his mother is.
““Mom is pretty fucking mad at me right now. I’m really glad you’re here, and that we’re in the middle of a party. Otherwise I might be breathing my last.”
Just…just give me a second here though. Why would his mother be angry at him? He was the vulnerable young adult who was molested by her family friend. What on earth has he done wrong? Why isn’t Christian’s mother ripping the hair from her long-time friend’s head over the fact that she took advantage of her child in a sexual manner when he was too young to consent, as well as the trust the family had in her? For once, I have to ask- WHY IS CHRISTIAN IN THE WRONG HERE? Christ, the entire Grey family are terrible, terrible people, which means Ana will fit in perfectly.
Christian and Ana squeeze in a last “eat-I’m not hungry- you have to eat” back and forth, and then the party wraps up.Christian takes Ana outside, and does a big dramatic proposal surrounded by pretty fairy lights and what have you.
““Oh, Christian,” I sob, suddenly overwhelmed with joy, and I join him on my knees, my fingers fisting…”
“…in his hair as I kiss him, kiss him with all my heart and soul. Kiss this beautiful man, who loves me as I love him; and as he wraps his arms around me, his hands moving to my hair, his mouth on mine. I know deep down I will always be his, and he will always be mine. We’ve come so far together, we have so far to go, but we are made for each other. We are meant to be.”
Yes, they sure do have far to go after
coming so far being together for less than three full weeks. And we’ll be following them in their adventures in Fifty Shades Freed, coming whenever I forget how awful these books are and decide to recap the final section!
Thank you for joining me on this adventure for a second time, friends- as ever, you can find all the Fifty Shades of Grey/Fifty Shades Darker recaps linked in the blog directory, and please do stick around for more merry adventures of The Cutprice Guignol. Till next time!