Fifty Shades Freed: Chapter Eighteen
I actually made an “uuuuuUGH” of distaste when I realized that it was about time for me to put up a new Fifty Shades recap. We’re so close to the end, friends, and yet so very far. As ever, if you’d like to read some arguably less-shit romance and erotica, please take a look at the Buy my Books page where you can get your hands on my work!
We left off last time with Ana’s stepfather ending up in the hospital after a car accident, and
the happy couple Ana and Christian staying in a nearby hotel. Ana wakes up, and it’s her birthday so it’s time for Christian to chuck her a bunch of expensive shit. We start with a charm bracelet, which, of course, has a pile of charms that only relate to Christian on it (an ice-cream cone for “vanilla”, mementos of their trip together, a glider), including a large letter “C”.
“I was his first girlfriend to use his first name…”
Really? Really now? So every single other one of the partners he had only ever referred to him by dom/sub terms? Like, when he met them, and he introduced himself, and they went “Nice to meet you, Chr-” he jammed his finger to their lips and shook his head and forced the printed-out Wiki page for BDSM into their hands? Why must this book be so wrong at every possible turn?
They canoodle a little and then Ana goes to brush her teeth:
“I used his toothbrush after I first spent the night with him. I smirk and grab his toothbrush in homage to that first time.”
HAHA LOL NOPE. I read this bit out to my boyfriend and he shot me a look of utter and complete disgust which is the only correct reaction to someone else using your toothbrugh I’m actually heaving a little thinking of it.
Christian checked in with the hospital and confirmed that Ana’s stepfather is no worse, so they have plenty of time to call each other Mr and Mrs Grey and reminisce about the last time they were at that hotel when Christian kidnapped a blackout drunk Ana from a bar and took her back to his place and undressed her while she slept. They snog in the lift, and EL James insists on describing it as “our tongues exploring the oh-so-familiar but still oh-so-new, oh-so-exciting territory that is the other’s mouth” which for some reason also gives me the boke. Did I eat something bad? Oh, wait, no, it’s just this fucking book.
Christian buys Ana a fancy-ass car, and everyone just breezes by it because it would be awkward to bring up the time Christian sold Ana’s old car without her permission haha, this chapter is just a greatest-hits of reminding me of all the shit that Christian has pulled over the last…oh, yeah, the last four months or so, because they still barely know each other.
Christian indulgently lets Ana drive to the hospital, where her stepfather is as fine as he can be, and Christian makes a big show of getting the drunk driver who crashed into him dealt with. Ana gets a little pissed that her mother hasn’t bothered to reach out to her, which is understandable given her stepfather’s injuries and the fact that it’s her birthday, but I can’t bring myself to care about some bad-mother subplot thrown in in the last half of the final book. It feels like EL James has only just now realized how shite and thin these characters are and is trying to plug in a trilogy’s worth of character development in the last ten chapters, which fits with the amount of effort she put into the rest of the series, I guess.
Christian and Ana leave and Christian shares some details of some nebulous business deal with her, and they honestly just talk about how much Ana loves him and how great he is and wow, this chapter is just a big fucking pile of filler, isn’t it?
They drive to find somewhere for lunch, and end up at a place they’d been to before in the last book because this is actually a Greatest Hits of Fifty Shades and I’m offended that I’m being forced to pull up these memories that I did such a good job repressing. Christian makes some dick comments about a waiter flirting with Ana the last time they were there, which of course he would remember because all he cares about is when and where people dare enroach on his territory. They eat, and then go back to the hospital, and then Christian insists on taking her out for dinner, and honestly maybe I’m making this chapter sound more exciting than it actually is because it is truly a punishing exercise in how far I’ll go before I actually go into stasis from boredom.
Christian gets Ana a fancy dress and shoes and a bodysuit, and then sennnsssuuuaalllyyy dries her hair and takes her out for dinner. It’s a weird mix, this chapter, because it’s half Ana worrying over her stepfather and feeling deep worry and sadness over his condition, and half sexy, fun birthday times. Did…is this the best way she could think to do this? These two halves don’t belong together.
And then…oh my goodness Christian has thrown Ana a surprise party and her mother is there and she’s loved her all along! A satisfying end to that long-running thread about her difficult relationship with her mot- oh, wait, that whole thing started earlier this chapter and is completely unearned. My bad. Christian’s brother greets Ana “”S’up babe? Your old man will be fine.”” which for some reason irritates me more than anything else this chapter because, wow, that’s not how you speak to someone who’s father figure was just in a near-fatal accident. They all mingle and talk about how great Christian is (but really, Kate discusses how hot he is), and then Christian takes her home and we get a skipped-over sex scene lest the audience accidentally be jolted awake from the restful slumber this chapter threw them into.
The next day, Ana and her mother visit Ray and Ana’s mother talks about how she’ll always love him, then they drop Ana mother and her partner off at the airport and send them on their way. Ana returns to the hospital, and we’re left on the cliffhanger of Ray waking up and everything being fine, thus rendering this entire fucking subplot nothing but a waste of my time, your time, and these finite seconds we have on this mortal coil. Have a great fucking week, and I’l see you again for another disgraceful traipse down Deep Boredom Avenue once more.