Carrie Recaps: Part Thirteen
Another month, another Carrie recap. And a brief aside to remind you, with the new movie coming out, that the recap project I so cruelly abandoned in order to take this one on was Fifty Shades Freed, and that you can catch up on all those recaps before the movie (“movie”) comes out here. On with the recap!
We briefly check in with Sue at the start of this chapter, as she thinks about Tommy, and I actually quite like this opening:
“Her period was late. Almost a week late. And she had always been as regular as an almanac.”
Now, I think there are a lot of issues regarding the way this book handles cis-women’s bodies and puberty, but this right here is a neat little reminder of the supernatural power of the period as laid out in this book – obviously, you’ve got the obvious meaning of almanac in terms of predicting the weather, but a coded touch of stuff like the Wican almanac, too. That connection the supernatural and powerful is a pretty slick way to foreshadow what’s about to come.
We head over to spend some time with Chris and Billy, who are preparing to crash the prom as they had planned earlier. Billy reminds Chris of the enormity of what they’re doing and, once more, it really doesn’t seem like Billy is being intentionally framed here as some guileless, tit-driven idiot:
“When I get to the car, I’m going to drive away. If you’re there, you can come. If you’re not, I’ll leave you. If I leave you and you spill your guts, I’ll kill you.”
In fact, he’s definitely the more aggressive and violent here – aside from outright threatening to kill Chris if she doesn’t do what he wants, and is gripping her wrist through this whole conversation so tight that she can feel her bones grind. I’ve got to say, this is some decent tension-building to pull me back in after the mess of the last recap. Oh, and look, it’s finally time for my cameo in the book as we cut back to the prom to vote for prom King and Queen:
“‘This contest insults women!’ Myra Crewes called with uneasy good nature.”
Yup, that’s me alright: Lou MacGregor featuring as Myra Crewes, nervous feminist killjoy. Carrie is shocked to see that her and Tommy have been nominated, and Tommy gets her to vote for the two of them. She does, delightedly, and then breaks the pencil by mistake and accidentally jabs herself:
“The sight of the blood was distasteful to her. She blotted it away with her napkin.”
The blood here, I would say, represents Carrie’s power and her temporary rejection of it, her attempts to surpress it in the face of the normality that is being dangled in front of her. It’s obvious, but I’m a sucker for metaphor so, you know, sue (Snell) me.
The votes are counted and Carrie and Tommy tie for the top spot, much to Carrie’s shock. They go to vote again to break the tie, and then we’re back with Chris and Billy outside the prom. The brisk pace of this is actually turning the prom sequence into one of the better scenes in this book – we’re no longer taking long breaks to check in with irrelevant characters or wade through lengthy excerpts from exposition-heavy extracts from fake books. This is just good storytelling. Billy talks down to Chris some more and she pouts around a bit, before heading over to check in with Carrie and Tommy where Tommy is voting for the two of them. Carrie has a vision of her mother, and we get our third Blood Count of the book in a quick check-in with our beloved Margaret, waiting at home for Carrie:
“The knife slipped from the whetstone, and in an instant it had sliced the cup of her palm below the thumb. She looked at the cut. It bled slowly, thickly, from the open lips of the wound running out of her hand.”
Again, this metaphor isn’t subtle, but I can get behind it for now. The obvious comparison between the lips of her wound and vaginal lips is subtle enough not to be too jarring, and there’s that hint that this injury might be the work of Carrie as she was thinking of her mother when it happened. It’s right that her first potential attack of the night is directed at her mother, even if neither of them know it.
We close out this chapter as Carrie and Tommy win prom king and queen (betcha didn’t see that one coming, huh?), and Carrie goes, overwhelmed, to the stage, but not before we squeeze in one last reference to her titties:
” Her legs were trembling under her and suddenly, even with the comparatively high neck of her gown, her breasts
felt dreadfully exposed.”
But just this once, thanks to how much I liked the rest of this chapter, I’ll let this one slide. As ever, if you enjoyed this recap and want to see more stuff like it, please consider supporting me on Patreon, and thanks for reading!