Updated on August 5, 2015
50 Shades Darker – Chapter 5
So last time we were treated to our first glance of Mrs. Robinson, Christian Grey’s erstwhile Dominant. I imagine Ana will not be overcome with jealousy and just treat this woman politely, because Christian is still her friend and the last thing he needs is for his current piece to cause a scene. We’ll see.
50 Shades Darker
My scalp is trying to leave the building.
An apt but completely foul image.
…my spidey sense has not let me down. Spidey sense? my subconscious snorts. Pedo sense.
And there was I thinking her subconscious was snorting at her for making a feeble reference to pop culture.
There is some achingly detailed description about what Ana can see of Christian’s exchange with ‘Mrs Lincoln’. He says something, she nods, he looks over at Ana, she picks her nose, he gets his dick out, I paper-cut my own eyeballs.
Fifty strides back to me…
Fifty! Symbolism! Metaphor! Literary devices!
“You didn’t want to introduce me?”
“But I thought –“
“For a bright man, sometimes…”
What? WHAT? If he had introduced you, you would have given him a whole ton of shit afterwards for not appreciating your delicate feelings.
Christian walks wordlessly beside me as I try to mull all this over in my head.
As opposed to mulling it all over in your kidneys.
I keep my head down, avoiding the trees on Second Avenue.
Why? What’s wrong with the trees?
…he has the grace to look contrite.
Congratulations, Christian, your facial expression calibrates with Ana’s expectations.
We are standing on Second Avenue, and I gaze in the direction of the larch sapling in front of me, its leaves the newest green.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T LOOK AT THE TREES!
“Killed in a car crash? When?” Christian interrupts my reverie.
Oops, think that other sub copped it.
Nothing catches my eye. There are just the shoppers, the traffic, and the trees.
Unless one of these trees falls on her head, I cannot imagine why EL James is dedicating so much page space to them.
Christian gets off the phone and explains that Leila (the painfully wistful ex-sub who’s been hanging around Ana) left her husband a few months previously, and ran off with a guy who recently died in a car crash. That’s probably why she’s being all wimpy and shit.
“Wait a minute. We were in the middle of a discussion about ‘us’.”
God forbid that the conversation should turn away from you, you self-centred harpy.
“I don’t want to go to your place. I want to get my hair cut!”
Is baby going to have a tantrum?
“You are coming back to my apartment if I have to drag you there by your hair.”
The universal romantic hero is, apparently, the caveman.
“No,” I state stubbornly. I have to make a stand.
Sure, a token one. I’m pretty sure you’ll be having sex with him in his apartment before the day is out.
He literally picks her up (On Second Avenue! In front of all those trees!) and SLAPS HER ON THE ARSE. She, quite understandably, gets pissed off and stomps away, making a mental list as she goes. Because EL James doesn’t understand about NOT BREAKING THE FLOW in fiction, we literally get a numbered list in the middle of the text, enumerating everything that she’s pissed off about. Of course, we’ve already read all that so I won’t repeat it, even though the FREAKING WRITER OF THIS BOOK thinks it’s a good idea.
“You didn’t insist that I go to your place yesterday. So what’s happened?”
“She managed to obtain a concealed weapons permit yesterday.”
“That means she can just buy a gun,” I whisper.
She forgives him for everything. It seems that the fact he might be murdered by a psycho negates the fact that he’s a fucking psycho himself.
Did Mrs. Extraordinarily Glamorous in Spite of Being Old Robinson really put him off blondes? I shake my head – Christian Mindfuck Grey.
Jesus Healed the Sick and Divided the Fishes Christ! Stop inventing laboured names or Miss Angry Medium-Height Caucasian Brunette Book Blogger is going to kick up some shit, the likes of which would make Admirably Moustachioed but Nevertheless a Prick Stalin weep!
“[Mrs. Robinson’s] husband was wealthy – big in timber.”
I bet he was! *wink wink*
They go back to his apartment and she finds that the closet in ‘her’ room is filled with super expensive clothes. This sends her into a downward spiral of misery and confusion, because beautiful dresses will do that to a girl.
Why, oh why, have I fallen for someone who is plain crazy – beautiful, sexy as fuck, richer than Croesus, and crazy with a capital K?
I hate this sentence so much, I shat out most of my internal organs when I read it.
I … call my mom.
“Mom, it’s complicated. I think he’s nuts.”
“Tell me about it. Men, there’s just no reading them sometimes.”
Way to hear your daughter’s cry for help, mother.
Oh, someone else has problems. I’m not the only one.
Such perception! Such depth of character!
Franco [the hairdresser] is small, dark, and gay. … he gushes with an outrageous, probably fake Italian accent.
EL James has, once again, consulted her Big Book of Stereotypes.
After all that fuss about getting her hair cut, there isn’t even a scene about it. Franco cuts it, gesticulates heavily and Christian says it’s nice. Then they go back to discussing their fucking relationship again.
I dutifully follow [Christian], dazed. From a locked filing cabinet, he pulls a manila folder. Typed on the tab: ANASTASIA ROSE STEELE.
“You can keep it,” he says quietly.
Nothing says love like giving your other half their own personnel file.
“Anastasia, I earn roughly one hundred thousand dollars an hour.”
Then your personality flaws mean nothing. Take me now.
I need music if I’m going to cook, and I’m going to cook non-submissively!
How? By beating him with a spatula?
I gather potatoes, ham, and – yes! – peas from the freezer.
For a generation of future writers reading this shite: explaining every detail of how your character prepares a Spanish omelette is NOT acceptable material.
He nuzzles my hair and inhales deeply.
No. I shrug out of his embrace.
“I’m still mad at you.”
Oh, come ON. This happens at the beginning of EVERY SEX SCENE. Can we PLEASE have some originality?
He puts Nina Simone’s ‘I Put A Spell On You’ on the iPod whilst she cooks, and once again Ana considers what the song with the obvious title really means in the context of their relationship. At this point I think EL James is just copy-pasting from her own book.
His proximity is overwhelming, exhilarating.
“I’m going to touch your face,” I breathe.
Speak on, sweet songstress.
“Mr. Grey.” Taylor coughs, and Christian releases me immediately.
What does Taylor want? My mind races – is this about Leila?
This frothy interior monologue is really just padding to inflate a plot that, in the hands of a better writer, could be dealt with far more powerfully in about fifty pages. Yes, I said fifty.
He’s like several different people in one body. Isn’t that a symptom of schizophrenia? I must Google that.
God, you give a person one computer and one BlackBerry and one iPad, and suddenly they’re a techno-whiz.
I am overwhelmed with technology. I set about transferring Christian’s playlist from my iPad to the Mac, then fire up Google to surf the Net.
Watch out, NASA. This girl understands the internet, and she’s not afraid to abbreviate and capitalise it.
He tells her to draw on him with lipstick, marking out the areas she isn’t allowed to touch. It basically sketches out a vest-shape on his torso and, inside, there are lots of scars.
“Those are the boundaries.”
“I can live with those.”
“Well, Miss Steele, I’m all yours.”
Except my chest, of course.
I squeal with childish delight and catapult myself into his arms, knocking him flat.
God, you’re so hot when you rugby tackle me, baby.
Read Chapter Six.