Fifty Shades Freed: Chapter Thirteen
Unlucky thirteen indeed. I hope you’re all having a genuinely wonderful week so I can ruin it. Also, just a heads up – I’ll be heading to Spain for a week to visit my parents (who, yes, are still of a globe-trotting gap year well into their fifties and have been for the previous five years) so general blogging/these recaps will be quiet. Today also happens to be, according to Facebook’s On This Day features, the anniversary of the first one of these godforsaken recaps, so if you’d like to celebrate by going back to the start, you can so so here. On with the chapter!
We left off last week with Ana and Christian going to stay at their cabin in Aspen. Christian congratulates the pilot on landing the plane well, because that is a very normal and natural thing for a person to do ever, and the group get out of the aircraft and go to a minivan waiting outside which Christian is predictably snobby about. He’s all over Ana, and she wonders “Who is this man, and what has he done with Mr. Unbelievably
Angry of the last couple of days?”, which gets this chapter off on a really nice foot of Not Being Able to Predict Your Intimate Partners Emotions and When or Why They Might Force Them On You.
Ana asks about Christian teaching her to ski, which he shoots down at once because, you know, she might die. No, that’s literally he’s reasoning – he says she might break her neck and she drops the subject at once so as not to “sour” his good mood. What a strong female character ™! Sentences later, Christian reveals that he learned to ski in Aspen when he was a kid, so basically he’s saying that he doesn’t trust Ana to take on an activity he tragically failed to die doing when he was a kid. Juuust so we’re clear.
They go up to the house where Christian introduces Ana to the housekeeper, blah blah. There’s lots of lovey-dovey smooching and Ana’s heart “Stuttering” which she should probably get checked out, but otherwise this chapter is pretty uneventful so far. Ana keeps going on about how rich she is and how she did nothing to earn it, which will certainly lead to extensive charity work and attempts to redistribute the wealth in a positive manne- Oh, wait, she’ll just internally monologue about it then forget it again? That’s cool too, I guess.
Gia, the slutty cunt bitch architect who dared interact with Ana’s husband, remodeled the house, which Ana has to bring up because Christian’s brother had sex with her and it’s upsetting Kate (?).
“Christian gazes at me for a moment, gray eyes unreadable. “Elliot’s fucked
most of Seattle, Ana.”
“Mainly women, I understand,” Christian jokes. I think he’s amused by my
Christian nods. “It’s none of my business.” He holds his palms up.
“I don’t think Kate knows.”
“I’m not sure he broadcasts that information. Kate seems to be holding her
I’m shocked. Sweet, unassuming, blond, blue-eyed Elliot? I stare in disbelief.”
Oh my GOD. Just when this book couldn’t find another avenue of awfulness to head down, it dredges up some biphobia just to make sure we don’t feel too accepted in this universe. Yes, sweet, unassuming, blond, blue-eyed people can be bisexual. Also, I don’t recall a time when Christian’s brother was sweet and unassuming, just off the top of my head – he’s always been aggressively into Kate, making out with her in front of people and what have you, which aren’t exactly the actions of someone unassuming. Not to mention the fact that Ana “gasps” after she finds out he’s fucked most of Seattle, which suggests to me that she actually thinks that’s literal? Sometimes there’s just too much crappery to unpack in one small section of this damn book so you’ve just got to focus on the worst parts.
They banter some more:
” “I thought you were celibate. How wrong I was.” I wrap my arms around him, marveling at the ridiculousness of Christian being gay.””
Yes, someone who the opposite sex finds attractive must be automatically straight!
Ana talks about how great Christian is and what an eligible bachelor he was before they met, and they snog a bit. They head back out and the men decide to go fishing while Christian’s sister suggests shopping, which Ana eventually agrees to because she haaaates shopping because she’s noooothing like those ooooother giiiiirrrllls.
Ana goes shopping and Mia picks out a short dress for her that Ana spends a good paragraph being scandalised over before she spots Elliot outside the store chatting to the slut-cunt-bitch Gia! The fucking drama of it all! He kisses her cheek and goes to a waiting car and Ana practically has an anuerysm. Look, you shouldn’t be sneaking around your partner’s back meeting up with ex-lovers on purpose, but Elliot mentioned earlier in the chapter needing to go into town to buy a battery for his watch. If he’s just run into her, a little chat and a peck on the cheek isn’t out of the realms of possibility if they left things on good terms. Has Gia actually done anything wrong yet, or is it all Ana’s utter bullshit flailing to find something to hate about her? God, this book.
Ana drops about a grand on the dress and some shoes and a necklace, and they head back to the car. Ana decides not to tell Kate about what she saw because it could have been innocent, which is very reasonable of her. Oh, up until the point where she refers to Gia as “Ms Well-Groomed Sexual Predator”, which I’m not even going to bother deconstructing the stupid, inaccurate, misogynistic bullshit of. Actually, you know what, I will – suggesting that a woman who has had sex with someone you know before is a sexual predator is such a grotesque twisting of that word, especially when there have been several examples of actual sexual predators in this book (Jose, Mrs Robinson, Jack Hyde, and of course Christian) is just infuriatingly reductive, and proves once again the problem this book has with sexual women who don’t fit into Ana’s rigid worldview of what a woman’s sexuality should look like and how it should be expressed.
Kate reveals that Elliot has been distant for a while and that she’s in love with him and wants to grow old with him, which, you know, nice for her. Elliot returns and tells Ana he had some business to take care of in town, blah blah fucking blah. Ana continues to be suspicious, because that’s her default setting for anyone who isn’t her husband, even though she’s the one she should most likely be suspicious of considering the fact he’s obviously trying to get her killed.
They go to have a bath and fuck, but luckily there’s a section break and we cut to them bathing in a bath that’s literally overflowing with water because Christian is an environmentalist, don’t you know? As he nibbles on her feet (but, actually), she tells him she saw Gia and Elliot together, and he dismisses it. He then pulls faces about why his brother is so into Kate, and derides her in comparison to Ana. Ah yes, every woman’s dream – to have their partner shit on their best friend. Fuck, if my boyfriend came into the room right now and was like “Just so you know, I like you better than your best friend Ellie”, I’d probably get into a row with him about how he’s wrong and she’s a truly exceptional human being in comparison to the piece of bellybutton lint that I am.
Ana gets dressed up to go out in the new outfit she bought, and talks about how hot she looks for a while before calling Christian in to get his approval. He fingers her a bit, says he doesn’t approve of the outfit, but doesn’t stop her wearing it. Progress?
They go downstairs for drinks, where Elliot is still acting funny. Ana wonders “what’s eating him? Is it that woman?”-
-and then, of course, Elliot proposes, and this exceptionally boring chapter ends. See you next time, fucks!