Thursday, June 13, 2013

50 Shades chapter 19 in which Erika is grateful for it being short

This chapter is short. You may have noticed the pattern of short chapters=ones where things actually happen. I feel EL James determines her chapter length by content/when she can have a cliffhanger. I always fucking hated cliffhangers as a kid. They either worked and I read the next chapter (causing me to stay up far later than I should have) or, more commonly, I found them trite. Yet another reason for me to dislike James' writing, I suppose.

Last chapter left off with: CHRISTIAN GREY GOD AMONG MEN HAS GONE MISSING! It's cool, being a super-warlock, was there ever any doubt he'd be back by the end of the chapter? This chapter opens with Ana, nearly catatonic, staring numbly into the fire (isn't it still summer?) while pretty much the entire cast of the book loiters around Grey's apartment being WORRIED and waiting to hear from the cops. Except for Jose, who is just feeling super awkward and worried about Ana AND NO ONE ELSE and Kate who is scouring the news because Grey going missing for less than a day is news worthy. Except that it takes 24-48 hours for the police to declare an adult missing, and how did the media get wind of it?

What ever, these detail are not related to Ana and Grey and their TWU LUV so I shouldn't expect the author to pay them any mind. I should be used to this by now.

So, while Ana stares into the fire SO WORRIED AND SAD she has flashbacks to random one off things Grey has said through out the series so far. I get that James was going for "here is someone devastated" and that's hard to write from a first-person point of view, but... it just isn't well written. Like the rest of this book. WHY DO I STILL EXPECT BETTER INTERNET?

Somewhere, Taylor and Carrick are talking to the authorities who are drip-feeding us information, but it’s all meaningless. The fact is—he’s missing. He’s been missing for eight hours.

Again, 24-48 hours to legally declare someone missing, so I'm shocked the cops are doing ANYTHING. I also find the set up interesting, I skipped the women, but Mia/Grace are crying on the couch, Ana is brain-dead, the boys are around the breakfast bar talking in "hushed tones" and Taylor and Carrick, the head of the family and security guard, are the ones dealing with the news. Kate is the only one who's chosen to be alone (although she has less emotional stake in Grey individually, she is in love with his brother, and THAT should be enough to merit a LOT of concern) and is trying to be proactive in finding news. I didn't catch the gender differences in the behaviors before, but this bit makes me kinda like Kate again. Now I will save you the pages of angst because everyone loved Grey soooo much and skip ahead to when he walks in the front door.

Wait, he just walks the fuck in? Of course he does. And the jack-wagon is surprised everyone is there, and worked up.

His expression is one of utter bewilderment. He deposits his jacket and shoes on the floor in time to catch Grace, who throws her arms around his neck and kisses him hard on the cheek.
Christian gazes down at her, completely at a loss.
“I thought I’d never see you again,” Grace whispers, voicing our collective fear.
“Mom, I’m here.” I hear the consternation in his voice.

Consternation. He's anxious and dismayed. At his Mom being worried that he was missing.

“I’m here. I’m good. It’s just taken me a hell of a long time to get back from Portland. What’s with the welcoming committee?” He looks up and scans the room until his eyes lock with mine.
He blinks and glances briefly at José, who lets go of my hand. Christian’s mouth tightens.

And yet he still finds time to be threatened and annoyed at another man for being near his woman. At least he's consistently a possessive jackass, right?

Wait, so Grey has been missing with no contact--his helicopter never made it where it was supposed to, right? Why is he SURPRISED that everyone lost their shit? That seems pretty reasonable. In fact, if he was fine this whole time, him not calling seems like a huge fucking dick move.

It would be, except for the fact that the entire book world will bend over backwards to excuse Grey's shitty behavior in the name of plot justification. You see, Grey's phone died, as did the phone of the person with him! So everyone stands around (Jose still being SUPER AWKWARD and Kate is trying to calm down Ana) until Grey tears himself away from his folks to go smell Ana a little bit.

“Hush,” he says and holds me, burying his face in my hair and inhaling deeply. I raise my tear-stained face to his, and he kisses me far too briefly.
“Hi,” he murmurs.
“Hi,” I whisper back, the lump in the back of my throat burning.
“Miss me?”
“A bit.”
He grins. “I can tell.”

She then starts looking for any injuries on him, frantic and relieved, and this bit I actually kind of like. This actually feel real to me. I can picture Ana, in-between sobs choking out "a bit" in an attempt to keep some humor about the situation, and Grey, grateful for it, playing along and loving her even more for it.

I step back to fetch him something, but he doesn’t let me go. He tucks me under his arm and extends a hand to José.
“Mr. Grey,” says José evenly.
Christian snorts. “Christian, please,” he says.
“Christian, welcome back. Glad you’re okay . . . and um—thanks for letting me stay.”
“No problem.” Christian narrows his eyes

I kind of love this bit. I love that Jose is SO AWKWARD even though he's saying and doing the right things. He had no reason to be there before save for a turn of circumstances, but tried to be there for his friend. Grey makes a show of being dominant, and owning Ana, and Jose still just is polite. I still don't like Jose, but I am enjoying how awkward he is in this chapter, and how Grey is STILL BEING A JACK-WAGON.

He spies Taylor hovering at the entrance and nods. Taylor nods back.
“Your daughter?”
“She’s fine now. False alarm, sir.”
“Good.” Christian smiles.
Daughter? What happened to Taylor’s daughter?

No idea Ana, and we don't get to find out, either! There's also a bit that's kinda nice between Grey and Taylor where they talk to each other like human beings who give a flying fuck about each other. This is to really explain how Grey was able to end up in a spot of trouble. WHAT HAPPENED? you ask? His helicopter exploded into an inferno and went plummeting to the ground! Grey was saved only by the liberal use of his dark magic powers! Or they happened to be flying low when BOTH engines burst into flames (Carrick makes a big deal out of this being suspicious and weird). Grey and Ros (business associate, I assume she's blond) put the fire out but they couldn't flick the electronics back on because fire.

"GPS was still working on the Blackberry, so I was able to navigate to the nearest road. Took us four hours to walk there. Ros was in heels.” Christian’s mouth presses into a disapproving flat line.
“We had no cell reception. There’s no coverage at Gifford. Ros’s battery died first. Mine dried up on the way.”

Wait--wouldn't the GPS not work if there was no signal? I don't own a smartphone, but I'm pretty sure it's the same signal your phone uses for GPS as it does for, well, calls.

“We hitched and pooled our resources. Between us, Ros and I had six hundred dollars, and we thought we’d have to bribe someone to drive us back, but a truck driver stopped and agreed to bring us home. He refused the money and shared his lunch with us.” Christian shakes his head in dismay at the memory. “Took forever. He didn’t have a cell—weird, but true. I didn’t realize.” He stops, gazing at his family.
“That we’d worry?” Grace scoffs.

So, I'm just saying, they could have ordered their own damned lunch, gotten a ride to the nearest bus or train station, bought tickets home, as well as a new pay-as-you-go garbage phone and some minutes to let everyone know they weren't dead for that amount. Or, you know, called one of their assistants to have someone come get them? THIS WHOLE SCENARIO IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY! And seriously? Grey actually assumed no one would notice or care he was gone? I get that he thinks he's totally unloved, but he has to be aware of his status within the business world. Going missing would make the news, and he's surprised by that, too. No, the reason he was too busy to stop and make a call to let people know he wasn't dead (or get a bus ticket) was because he was anxious to get back since Jose was there that night.

It has taken me far too long to find a .gif like this.

So, everyone starts to clear out because it is late as hell, and we get this.

“I was so worried, darling,” she whispers.
“I’m okay, Mom.”
She leans back and studies him intently while he holds her. “Yes. I think you are,” she says slowly, glances at me, and smiles. I flush.

GET IT GET IT BECAUSE ANA HAS RESCUED HIM FROM HIS DARK AND TRAGIC PAST YOU GUYS! Because naturally that is what any Mother would be thinking in this moment.

So Kate tells Ana that she's glad Grey is safe (for her sake) and that Ana seems happy and they'll talk tomorrow when she's not so exhausted and is off. I'm curious how this book would be going down if Kate had been around for it before this point.

“Yeah, Mrs. Jones, she showed me earlier. Quite a place you have here, Christian.”
“Thank you,” Christian says politely as he comes to stand beside me, placing his arm around my shoulders. Leaning over, he kisses my hair.
“I’m going to eat whatever Mrs. Jones has put out for me. Goodnight, José.” Christian wanders back into the great room, leaving José and me at the entrance.
Wow! Left alone with José.
“Well, goodnight.” José looks uncomfortable all of a sudden.

Because it's only now that he starts to be awkward. Also, REALLY GREY? You can't go seven seconds without being possessive?  In their moment being left alone, Jose says he's glad she's happy and if she needs him, he's there for her and goes to bed. It's meant to have some notes of HE LOVES HER SO MUCH ISN'T IT SAD? But Jose has had so little page time in this book, and been so inappropriate when he has, that I just can't muster any fucks to give.

“I need to put my jacket down,” he murmurs.
“Drop it,” I murmur against his lips.
“I can’t.”
I lean back to gaze up at him, puzzled.
He smirks at me. “This is why.” From the inside breast pocket he pulls out the small box I gave him, containing my present.

"Good thing I gave you that Fabergé egg to carry around for the last few days!" Figuring it's his birthday, she tells him to open the MYSTERY PRESENT. Which is....

His brow creases as he fishes out a small, rectangular, plastic keychain bearing a picture made up of tiny pixels that flash on and off like an LED screen. It depicts the Seattle skyline, focusing on the Space Needle, with the word SEATTLE written boldly across the landscape, flashing on and off.
He stares at it for a moment and then gazes at me bemused, a frown marring his lovely brow.

HAH PSYCHE SHE JUST GOT HIM A FLASHING KEYCHAIN! Except it says "yes" in flashing letters on the other side (is this a thing that can be done? I've seen key-chains that you can have your name put on back, but never flashing ones. Internet, help me out.) because SHE IS AGREEING TO MARRY HIM! Yeah, even with the caps I can't muster an iota of surprise. I could put the actual scene here, but it's boring, so I'll write you a better one.

"Happy birthday Grey! Your present is my ongoing servitude me!" I said, eyes beaming.

His super sexy eyes twinkled, "Good," he murmured sexily, "because the dark lord needs his sacrifice, baby. Laters."

And that is the end of this chapter! Sound off in the comments, and we'll see you next week!

("The dark lord" is what he calls his penis.)


  1. Is there any reason whatsoever we had this whole interlude of Christian's helicopter crashing and everyone going into panic mode? Is it really just to make it more dramatic when she gives him his present with her acceptance of his marriage proposal? REALLY??

    Though I do love the Dark Lord thing. He's such an asshole he would name his penis, and name it that.

  2. It's the hook for book 3. The helicopter shouldn't have burst into flame in the way it did- not BOTH engines. So obvs someone is trying to kill Grey. My moneys on Mrs. R or Jack.

  3. or the other physco ex- was it Leila? the one with a gun. Also, is it just me finding it slightly cliched that she had a gun? the whole "girls with guns are totally hot" thing seems a bit....

  4. ...I'm not narratively surprised by this, but it's really weird that Ana says yes to a marriage proposal to someone who has treated her like this for two books...

    ...and didn't think of calling anyone when he was finally near a phone! What kind of jerk is he?

  5. I really desperately hope you're just making that up. It would be too disgusting otherwise.

  6. GPS will work without signal on your phone, as long as it can lock on to enough satellites, so usually full view of the sky is best. Smart phones can usually also guess your position fairly accurately by triangulation of the towers when you do have reception and then there are also built in compasses, apps that can track by wifi and so on.

  7. Ultimately a small grain of truth in an otherwise implausible plotline. I'm not an expert but typically if there is time or you are able, the pilot will get off a mayday call. Even if not, typically air traffic control will either notice you dropping off radar or even if you are not on radar then someone would notice pretty quickly that you were expected, how long ago you were last contacted and are now overdue,and ultimately that you would have run out of fuel so must have either diverted or crashed

    Also seems like a stupid idea just setting off into the distance even with a GPS, people have died in the desert after just a few kms trying to head to a nearby road...

    Anyway, thanks for the laughs.

  8. Oh and furthermore, not sure what the regulations are like in other countries but here regulations require an ELT to be fitted to aircraft, which is an emergency beacon that activates on impact... unless maybe conveniently the fire destroyed it ?

  9. Just fyi, there's NO waiting period for reporting someone missing in Canada or the US. That's a complete myth/misconception. If someone is reported missing and it is out of character or occurring under suspicious circumstances, investigations usually start immediately. Also, police don't "legally declare" someone as missing - if a missing persons report is made about an individual, that individual is considered missing from that point on, and until investigation suggests otherwise.

    Other than that, bang on - these books are ridiculous.

  10. Jash Derin Kol-ZeJuly 24, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Well Ana has never been shown to be smart or act like a real human being in these situations...

  11. Awesome as always, Erika!