Previously: Ana finally encounters a gun-wielding GSP! We now continue reading to see what disappointing thing happens next.
Sweeney: After that incredibly promising chapter end, it is now sadly time to figure out how/why the GSP fails to kill Ana even though she’s pointing a gun at her. Ana’s subconscious faints, reminding me that her subconscious sucks too. Or maybe she’s just so excited that Ana’s about to die that she faints? Let’s go with that.
Lorraine: I want to play a little game here. Here’s how the game goes: we all pretend someone who is mentally unstable is pointing a gun at us. Do you a.) have time to think, “my subconscious swoons into a dead faint, and I don’t think even smelling salts will bring her back?” or b.) I hate this stupid fucking book.
Cool game, huh?
Sweeney: A great game.
Ana “blinks rapidly” while she attempts to do some thinking, because apparently blinking powers Ana’s brain? Like an internal windmill-esque thing? Or maybe it slows time to allow her to have all these thoughts in this ill-defined time span?
Ana wonders where Ethan is, in a rare display of recognizing that there are people other than her and Grey. There’s more really failtastic non-description involving time – split seconds that coincide with eons of thinking about thinking and shutthefuckup and tell the story.
Ana decides to offer the GSP some tea. I’m not making this up.
Lor: Someone who is mentally unstable is pointing a gun at you. Do you a.) offer them a spot of tea or b.) Jesus Christ this crap is melting my brain.
Sweeney: This whole scene is just weird and, once again, E. L. James manages to make a scenario that should be compelling and high stakes and make it terribly uninteresting. The GSP just keeps mumbling about being alone, so Ana can’t really ascertain where Ethan is, but I appreciate that she keeps remembering that he is supposed to be there and is now maybe dead. It’s very big of Ana.
Eventually the GSP repeats the question she asks when they first met, “What do you have that I don’t?” Ana has no idea what this means, because she’s slow. GSP elaborates that “Master” lets Ana call him by his given name. She speaks in oddly short sentences that are all Master this and Master that and I just laugh because I can’t help but picture Dobby. Especially when Ana uses the word “inadequate” (to describe her capacity as a sub, which, you know LOL) and GSP repeats the word slowly as if it’s the first time she’s ever heard it before.
This, coupled with all the descriptions of blank stares, vacant expressions, and hair twirling while repeating herself, is all meant to convey ZOMG CRAZY. But, again, I’m just getting house elf. If Christian Grey was a wizard, he would absolutely force house elves into sexual slavery.
Lor: A+. Hermione and S.P.E.W would have a field day with that.
GSP the house elf is apparently here as a prop for Ana to see how amazeballs she is for Grey, because GSP goes on about how Master is happy and laughing and smiling and Master doesn’t usually do that because he’s a Death Eater. Or something like that.
GSP points out that she and Ana look alike, which makes me giggle since I’ve already cast Dobby to play her in the movie. She points out that all the subs look like them and Grey likes his women just like them: crazypants, idiotic, submissive twinsies, which probably means that he’s a
Death Eater dark fucked up guy, but GSP loves him anyway. Ana internal monologues about how Grey isn’t a Death Eater dark, but in the light with her where they are going to frolic and play and live happily ever after. After all, GSP does point out that Ana is speshul, what with her sleeping in Grey’s bed, which GSP watched happen. Kinky, GSP. And creepy. Mostly creepy.
Ana tries to get the gun back and then I’m not sure if GSP is a house elf or Gollum, because she gets all “PRECIOUS!” about the gun, as it’s the last thing she has left. Just when she might cross the line and actually give us a happy-Ana-is-finally-dead ending, Grey and The Red Ranger burst through the door and spoil my headcanon wherein Red Ranger and GSP are working together.
I think that this brain-functioning-powered-by-blinking thing is also a popular trait with Grey’s submissives, because GSP blinks rapidly while she decides her next move.
Lor: GSP also looks up at Grey from “beneath her lashes” so it’s clear that Grey seems to also seek out women who have no idea how their eyes work.
Sweeney: Grey makes his move first, though, and it’s a really long, drawn out process in which he DOM STARES at her and she just sort of cowers. I was just reading something about Vampire Diaries today even though I have never seen the show, but it said that their vampires do this weird staring-mind-control thing and it feels like this is actually a full package Teen Vampire Shit fanfic.
As Grey mindcontrols the gun away from GSP, Ana has lots of internal monologuing about witnessing their connection and part of his past.
Lor: If your boyfriend is trying to get a gun away from his batshit crazy ex-girlfriend and is staring at her do you a.) suddenly wonder if maybe all that staring means they are in love or b.) Seriously. Someone just give me the gun. Please.
Sweeney: If only I could.
He tells Ana that Ethan is downstairs and sends her away too, but she doesn’t leave immediately, due to being stunned by the whole your-ex-girlfriend-got-a-gun-and-broke-into-my-apartment thing. He yells at her, “For the love of God, Anastasia, will you do as you’re told for once in your life and go!” I love when we imply that Ana has a spine.
Ana is seriously butthurt about the fact that he’s sending her away and staying with the GSP, presumably to talk the crazy out of her, but hopefully to get murdered. Except not because he took the gun. Damn. Ana, however, decides that GSP is the portrait of a true submissive and, as such, exactly what Grey needs, which isn’t her and blah blah blah HOW ARE WE STILL ON THIS?
Lor: And what’s more, HOW IS THIS THE MOMENT SHE’S HAVING A SELF ESTEEM BREAKDOWN? GSP has a gun, you guys. She looks like she hasn’t showered in forever, she keeps speaking in Dobby-like sentences, she’s jerking her neck this way and that and Ana is thinking, “THEY ARE SO PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER.”
Sweeney: The Red Power Ranger has to carry Ana’s useless ass downstairs because she is incapacitated by her fear that she’ll never be enough of a sub for Grey. The irony is surely lost on her.
She sees Ethan, who was apparently late and was essentially mugged in the lobby when Grey and Red Ranger stole his keys. Ethan wants to know what the fuck is going on and Ana gives a really brief summary. He asks if anyone has called the cops, but Ana says, “It’s not like that.” Um, his ex-whatever broke into your apartment with a gun. I’d say it’s very much like that, unless you are trying to protect your murderer boyfriend.
Lor: This is especially true since The Red Power Ranger informs us that they actually checked Ana’s apartment earlier, but the GSP keeps alluding them. Hey, guys. Know who is really good catching criminals? THE POLICE.
Sweeney: That would be the logical theory. Of course, we can’t bring up the police around here without being reminded that they have an established history of not being very good at that sort of thing elsewhere in Traumaland. BUT STILL.
They agree to go off for drinks, even though Red Ranger isn’t happy about it, since Grey wanted Ana to go directly back to his apartment. She gives zero fucks, however, since the GSP’s whereabouts are now known. She realizes that she left her purse in the car, but it’s cool because Ethan will pay. I am only sharing this detail because she’s 21 and it’s another example of E. L. James not understanding the setting for her story, because only the shadiest of dive bars would serve her without carding her first.
Lor: Maybe her Inner Goddess or Subconscious have a spare ID.
Sweeney: They go to the bar and when Ethan asks her about what’s going on, her internal monologue grumbles about her Non Disclosure Agreement that Grey hasn’t rescinded. It has been a while since we’ve referenced all the lol-tastic “legal documents” involved in this “relationship.” Ana vagues up GSP’s relationship to Grey, but does share the now-she’s-got-a-gun detail, and when Ethan’s shocked her narration adds, “at last he’s got it,” because her narration is a bitch. You withheld information from him and he was an idiot for not knowing said information until you shared it?
Ana gets back to her heavy drinking while Ethan talks about the vacation with Kate and Elliot, but we don’t actually hear any of that because Ana isn’t actually paying attention because neither she nor Grey are part of those stories. She whines forever about how much Grey must miss The Red Room of Domestic Violence and how since she doesn’t know what’s going on back at the apartment, what’s happening is probably a dom/sub reunion scene.
Eventually, she sees an SUV pull up to the building and Dr. Flynn gets out with a girl in blue scrubs. Grey comes out, carrying GSP wrapped in a blanket. The four of them get in the car and drive off; Red Ranger leaves in the Audi.
Later, when she’s good and drunk, she finds herself locked out of the apartment because contrivance demanded that she go back to Grey and separate from Ethan. He arranges to crash with a friend and walks her to Grey’s building.
When Ana walks into his apartment, Grey immediately starts yelling at her for not going directly back to the apartment like he ordered and how worried he has been because it’s after 10:00 now, y’all! Remember all the daddy/daughter shit that Lor mentioned in the vlog? Yeah. It’s a little like that. It’s also worth reminding everyone of some things, in case you fail to see how unfair and inappropriate his anger is:
1) They’ve only known each other for five weeks. We like to bring this up as often as possible because this is relevant to everything.
2) They don’t actually live together, and have only newly established themselves as boyfriend and girlfriend, so they’re hardly in a waiting-up-for-you place.
3) The supposed threat to their safety was with Christian so what actual difference did it make, unless
4) This is another crazypants example of Christian Grey feeling that he has the right to dictate Ana’s every movement, which is also a form of abuse, as with nearly every other aspect of this relationship.
Anyway, Ana starts the fight sticking up for herself for like a split second and points out that he was with his ex, so she didn’t really see the issue with going to a bar instead of running back to his apartment. She asks where they took the GSP and Grey tells her some psychiatric hospital.
Lor: I’m highly disturbed by how much Ana doesn’t understand what just happened. Grey was with his ex… ESCORTING HER TO A PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL. For all her boo-fucking-hooing, you’d think Grey and GSP were off on a romantic getaway.
Sweeney: Right? She lacks the capacity to understand that there are problems in this world that are larger than her romantic struggles. Even when she was at dinner with Ethan, her concerned internal monologue wasn’t anxious that she last saw her boyfriend with an unstable gun-owning stalker, it was, “IS HE GOING TO LEAVE ME FOR HER?”
Anyway, Grey asks her what’s wrong and we get the I’M NO GOOD FOR YOU / I CAN’T BE A SUB thing for the four-hundredth time. Grey has a panic attack because he thinks he is being dumped again. They have this weird stuttering exchange in which she’s all, “IDK,” and he’s all, “NONONONONO!”
Then, Grey drops to his knees, looks up at Ana expectant and the last line of the chapter is, “Holy fuck . . . Christian. The submissive.” I tried to come up with a good place for my headcanon to take this, but I’ve come to know these books too well to have any feelings beyond, “Yes, it really will keep defying all odds by getting even worse.”
Lor: A mentally unstable person finally holds a gun up to Ana and she still doesn’t die. Do you a.) finally give in and stop reading this because the truth is that yes, it will continue to get worse or b.) See you all next week!
Murmur Count – 6
Whisper Count – 8
Next time on Fifty Shades Darker: How many more ways can E.L. James tell us she thinks BDSM is for crazies and broken people? Find out in Chapter 14.