Fifty Shades Freed Chapter 18 – Rotten.

Previously: Ana’s father was in a coma, but our heroine wasn’t written to care very much at all.

Lorraine: EL James only ever starts chapters one second after the previous or with Ana waking up.

So, Ana wakes up, and it’s her birthday. I’m pretty sure enough has been said about how loathsome it is that her birthday is near or around mine (and so many of you in the comments!) but I’m saying it again, because the Number Gods have deemed that I am to cover her actual birthday on top of it all.

Problem Child It's My Party

Ana takes full moments to “orientate” herself, and it comes with a sense of deja vu over being at the Heathman again. She “gasps out loud,” and look if these jokes are recycled, file a complaint with EL James who after three books, didn’t learn that a gasp is an audible thing.

Sweeney: It’s really awkward how frequently we have to recycle jokes, but this is like the 70th chapter we’ve covered, and given that it’s really just been 2-3 chapters re-worded 20 times a piece, I’m amazed we’ve come up with as many jokes as we have.


Lor: Um, yes. Your way is better. Go us!

Anyway, Ana is gasping-but-not-silently because she remembers that, oh yeah! Her dad is injured and stuff. I mean, I think that’s what this sentence means:

“Shit! Daddy!” I gasp out loud, recalling with a gut-wrenching surge of apprehension that twists my heart and starts it pounding why I’m in Portland.

Thankfully, Grey is just sitting on the edge of the bed, fully dressed and almost certainly watching her sleep. He informs her that he’s already called the hospital. Ray had a good night. Grey kisses her, wishes her good morning, and asks her if it’s okay to wish her happy birthday. Ana laughs all, “of COURSE you can. I’ve filled my chapterly quota of caring about other people one second ago when I gasped my dad’s name out loud.” She thanks him for “everything,” and Grey asks, “everything?” Probably because he’s thinking, “even that time I non-sexy times hit you? Or when I pulled out your tampon? How about that time when I arranged birth control without your consent? When I raped you? That other time I raped you? Maybe when I raped you? Thank you for all of that?”

Everything,” Ana assures him. Then, it’s birthday gift time. The card says, “for all our firsts on your first birthday as my beloved wife. I love you. C x.

I’m probably seeing evil everywhere, but I can’t help but think that Grey can’t even wish Ana a happy birthday without making it in some way about him. Happy birthday… AS MY WIFE!

Sweeney: I hope you like the birthday card I’m going to send you, wishing you a happy second birthday as a Snark Lady, because your life before this blog was meaningless.

Lor: Clearly, it’ll be the best ever, because nothing good happened to me before this blog. 

Appropriately, the gift is a charm bracelet from Cartier, and each charm is something that in some way relates back to Christian Grey:

Attached to it are several charms: the Eiffel Tower; a London black cab; a helicopter- Charlie Tango; a glider- the soaring, a catamaran- The Grace; a bed; an ice cream cone? I look up at him, bemused.

This guy really included  A BED on his REMEMBER OUR THREE MONTH RELATIONSHIP?? charm bracelet.

The ice cream cone is “vanilla,” as a reminder that Ana was the first time Grey had vanilla sex. The remaining charms are a lock to put Christian’s picture in, a letter C for Christian and a key, representing that she has the key to Christian’s heart and soul.

Sweeney: “LOL, remember that one time where we had sex that didn’t include me beating you? This charm is your reminder that it happened once and will obviously never happen again.”

Lor: Guys, I’m pretty aware that I’m a selfish person, so if someone gave me a them charm bracelet for my birthday? I’d be pretty unamused. Even if it was my husband. Save that shit for an anniversary. My birthday is about ME.

Ana finds it amazing, though. In fact she calls it, “yar.”

She throws herself at him and gives him a bit of a sniff just to confirm that he does in fact still smell like Christian. She cries over how happy and sad and conflicted she is, and Christian says he understands. They’ll grab breakfast and then stop ignoring her father in a coma.

Ana is thanking Grey for ordering breakfast, like getting yogurt and granola makes him the god of mornings. Grey’s all, “seriously, stop thanking me. I just like controlling everything you do,” and Ana thinks that she wouldn’t want him any other way.

Sweeney: This is almost reasonable, given that we have 70 chapters of evidence that she can’t possibly run her life all by herself.

Lor: Before they head off to the hospital, Ana decides to brush her teeth, and Grey smirks at this amazing plot development. It takes Ana a second to realize why, and then we are all reminded that back when Ana was at the Heathman with Grey for the first time, she used his toothbrush. In case you don’t click that link, let me remind you of how I felt about this toothbrush sharing, back on May 10, 2012:

Not sexy. Not sexy. Not sexy. Not sexy.
Not sexy. Not sexy. Not sexy. Not sexy.
Not sexy. Not sexy. Not sexy. Not sexy.
Not sexy. Not sexy. Not sexy. Not sexy.
Not sexy. Not sexy. Not sexy. Not sexy.
Not sexy. Not sexy. Not sexy. Not sexy.


“I smirk and grab his toothbrush in homage to that first time.”



Back in chapter 5 of book 1, I was still operating under the impression that this story had some sort of sexy element to it, even if it wasn’t well written. All these months later, I’m rid of that delusion, BUT THAT DOESN’T MAKE TOOTHBRUSH SHARING ANY LESS DISTURBING TO ME. I CAN’T HANDLE IT. DON’T TELL ME IF YOU DO IT. I WILL DIE.

We are privy to all of Ana’s thoughts while spreading another person’s tooth gunk around her own teeth: The last time I was here I was single, and now I’m married at twenty-two! I’m getting old.

I’d give you another eye roll gif, but I hear being in an abusive relationship does age you prematurely. Plus, I have a feeling Ana’s not aging as much as she is rotting.

Sweeney: Nope, sorry, can’t resist. “I’m twenty-two. I’m getting old,” must get eye rolls for days.


Also, this is a gif that I have saved on my computer and this is about as close as I’m ever going to get to making it relevant. I’d apologize, but this is a Fifty Shades day so we do whatever the fuck we want:


Lor: I appreciated the little break. 


They finally head off to the hospital, but unfortunately for me, have to take the elevator downstairs. Ana makes a “fuck the paperwork!” joke, and Grey says that one day he’s going to rent that elevator for the whole afternoon. Should the hotel be crazy enough to accept this offer, I hope they use some of the ridiculous amounts of money they charge him to invest in industrial strength bleach.

Outside, Taylor the Red Ranger drives up in a white Audi R8, which is the car Ana wanted in the last book, but which Grey said she couldn’t have right then and there because of reasons. But she can have it now, because he said so. Ana can barely contain her excitement and forgets even more about the fact that she’s driving this bright, shiny new car to visit her father IN A COMA.

Oh, and she does get to drive! She has to ask for permission to drive her new birthday car, and Grey’s all, “of course!” as if he’s never stopped her from driving her own car before. He does growl at her to stop driving so fast though, so there is that.

After a section break, we’re back at the hospital with Ray. Remember him?

Ray’s condition is the same. Seeing him grounds me after the heady road trip here. I really should drive more carefully.”

Seeing him breaks my heart, because he’s my father? Nope.
Seeing him makes me cry because his life hangs in the balance? Nope.
Seeing him makes me feel out of control because there is nothing I can do? Nope.

Seeing him reminds me that Christian Grey was right, and also, that I should be careful about MY life because fuck almost dying like this guy! Sounds about right.

Sweeney: It’s so hard for me to keep track of which one I hate more.

Lor: Both. Definitely both.

The doctors take Ray for a CT scan and Ana goes out to the waiting room, where Grey has been making some calls. We catch the tail end a call to his father, where he’s angrily yelling stuff about throwing the book at someone. After he hangs up, Ana guesses he was discussing the driver who hit Ray, a guy Grey calls “some drunken trailer trash from Southeast Portland.” After that, Grey’s all, “hey, done visiting you father in the hospital yet? We’ve been here for like five whole minutes.” Ana tells him about wanting to wait an hour until the CT scan results are in.

This is not how I envisaged spending today,” Christian murmurs into my hair.”

Envisaged? Can we chalk that one up to a Britishism? No?

Sweeney: Pause to say that we are terribly sorry for pinning all of this clunky writing on the British. This is generally us trying to say, “Well, maybe this one moment isn’t nearly as annoying as we think it is!” I don’t know why we try, though, because it always turns out that, “Yes, this moment is exactly as annoying as we think it is.”

Lor: Truly. We don’t mean to say anything bad about Britishisms, just trying to find meaning in this meaningless world.

Ana thinks maybe she should call her mother and tells her about Ray, but then realizes that her mother hasn’t called her, even though it’s her birthday. Ana calls and gets no answer. ELJ doesn’t write, “dun dun dun,” but it’s implied thanks to (1) – all the HMMM. I WONDER WHAT IS HAPPENING and (2) – the required 1-2 subplots per chapter.

Grey takes another call and says stuff like, “when are the packages arriving” and “does the Heathman have all the details.” When he’s done, he tells Ana that the call was about the shipyard in Taiwan, and this bitch is so dense, she doesn’t ask what a shipyard in Taiwan has to do with packages at the hotel they are staying at, but whatevs.

To further pass the time while waiting to see if Ray’s brain is as fried as mine is while reading this drivel, Ana and Grey decide to talk about how rich and successful Grey is and how much they wuv each other.

“I love philanthropic Christian,” I murmur.
“Just him?”
“Oh, I love megalomaniac Christian, too, and control freak Christian, sexpertise Christian, kinky Christian, romantic Christian, shy Christian… the list is endless.”
“That’s a whole lot of Christians.”
“I’d say at least fifty.”
He laughs. “Fifty shades,” he murmurs into my hair.
“My fifty shades.”
He shifts, tipping my head back, and kisses me. “Well, Mrs. Shades, let’s see how your dad is doing.”

Oh, hey! A fifty shades reference. Wow.


Lor: We section break to Grey and Ana getting back into her new car and in between sexual innuendo around the word “drive,” we’re informed that Ray’s brain is totally okay! All better now.

After another section break we follow Ana and Grey to lunch, mostly so they can reference, yet again, shit that went down in the first book, like when Grey tracked Ana’s cell phone to a bar because she was getting drunk. ELJ reminds you of this like it’s a good thing.

After another section break, Ana and Grey are back at the hospital and Ana reads to Ray while he’s in his coma. We actually have a “coma” tag on Snark Squad, thanks to that one time Elizabeth Wakefield went into a coma and woke up a whore. You should really read that post. WhoreLizabeth is one of my favorite Snark Squad things ever.

Sweeney: I miss those Wakefield bitches. They were delightfully terrible.

Lor: Grey decides he wants to go. Ana doesn’t want to leave her father, but Ana only gets to decide things like, “if Grey can wish her a happy birthday.”

Then, things get confusing because after Ana kisses Ray goodbye, there is no section break, but in the next line we’re back at the Heathman? So Grey says he wants to dine downstairs, and I’m all, “…at the hospital cafeteria?” But no. Because after after three different examples of section break abuse JUST ABOVE THIS PARAGRAPH, they’ve omitted it in a place where it would’ve actually been useful. Okay.

Anyway. Grey tells Ana, “I want to feed you,” and it’s kind of creepy. I can only guess he’s got a bib and the baby food in his back pocket. Ana claims to have nothing dressy to wear, since she’s here visiting her father in a coma, and didn’t pack Kate’s Plum Dress or anything. But Grey’s bought her a new dress, shoes and sexy underwear. After she takes a bath, Grey offers to dry her hair for her.

“Come,” he says, regarding me intently. I know that expression, and I know better than to disobey.”

I know better than to disobey. 

Sweeney: That just about sums it up. It’s a bummer how quick we go from partying “SHIT’S STUPID, LOL!” shots to, “The world is bleak,” shots.

Lor: Our consolation is that at the end of the day, shots is shots.

As Grey dries Ana’s hair, she notes that this isn’t his first time to the hair drying rodeo, and it’s hilarious on account of remember Grey was once raped by a woman who owns a hair salon? Right.

After another section break, we’re back in the elevator, and there are women in there who give Ana bitch face because Grey is sooo hot, but mostly because EL James hates women. Downstairs, Grey leads Ana to a room, and SURPRISE! It’s a party. Her mom is there, see? And that’s why she didn’t bother to call her daughter, even though her other parent was in a coma. Sweet. Happy birthday.

Ana hugs her mom and starts crying, but her mom’s all, “don’t worry about Ray! He’s strong and it’s your birthday!” Her friends all greet her. Josecob gives her a, “you can cry all you want to, Ana– it’s your party,” making me feel extra pleased with my Problem Child gif earlier. Elliot offers, “your old man will be fine.” Ah, the picture of concern. Ray needs some new people in his life, STAT.

Sweeney: It almost makes me feel sorry for these sad puppet characters who essentially amble in and out of scenes waiting for their moment to comment on the fuckability of the Grey couple and/or wondering how or why they got there in the first place.

I think that my Fifty Shades fanfic will be a zombie novel, in which all the other characters are zombies. It’s a tragedy, though, because then the zombies starve, because Ana and Christian don’t have brains to feed them. Poor zombies.

Lor: I’m crying already.

After another section break, Ana tells us about the party and how much she appreciates life, but most importantly, Kate calls Grey hot because he can fly a helicopter.

After another section break, Ana gets a chocolate cake and Ana wishes her father better.

After another section break, Josecob Sr says he wishes Ana would’ve married Jose. Weird.

After another section break, Ana and Grey are back at the hotel, and we imply the beginnings of birthday sex, but don’t actually get the birthday sex. HAPPY BIRTHDAY WORLD.

After another section break, Ana’s telling us about breakfast and gifts from her friends and family. Then, she heads to the hospital with Grey and her mom. Ana’s mom talks about how she’ll always love Ray, but they just drifted apart as people. It may sound like a conversation just started about someone other than Christian and Ana, but it’s really just the introduction to a conversation about Christian and Ana, because their love is epic. Later, Ana goes to see her mother and step-father off at the airport.

After another section break, (I really wish I was kidding about these, you guys) Ana’s back at the hospital where Ray is off the ventilator. She starts reading him the sports section and Ray wakes up asking if they really lost a soccer a game.

I’m betting we start next chapter once second after this one.


Whisper Count – 12
Murmur Count – 11

Favorite comment last post: Christian wandering off cements my theory that he is in fact a psychiatric patient whose delusion that he runs his dad’s massive company is indulged by his family, and believed in only by Ana because Ana is very, very, very stupid.

I love this theory because it explains literally everything in the books that makes people go wtf. Taylor & Sawyer et al are his nurses, which is why they never call the police. They know Jekyll Hyde isn’t really a threat. His family are amazed he has a girlfriend, because, you know, he’s a delusional paranoid who can’t function in society. He never actually does any work, so when ELJ says he’s yelling businessy words into the phone, she means literally hes just standing there going ‘buy! sell! sack them all! profit! business!’ into a dead phone. ditto with ‘shouting nautical terms’. etc, etc, etc.

the only thing it doesn’t explain is why people read this bullshit — Cabbagesoup


Next time on Fifty Shades Freed: Grey wants to celebrate Ray not dying and it somehow ends in rough sex in Chapter 19.


Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

Sweeney (all posts)

I collect elaborate false eyelashes, panda gifs, and passport stamps. I earned my MA in Global Communications and watching too many YouTube videos. Now people pay me to edit YouTube videos. The circle of life. Reconciling my aversion to leaving the house/wearing pants with my deep desire to explore everything is my life's great struggle.

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  • Clément Polge

    Seriously ? The dad wakes up to ask if they lost a soccer game ? So we went from abuse-land to the looney tunes in just one line ? WHAT FUCKERY IS THIS.

    And I love that Grey line of “This is not how I envisaged spending today,” Christian murmurs into my hair.”, because it seriously sounds as if he’s disappointed that her father’s in a coma and he just want to have fun.

    Also, if I may offer a suggestion, that Tina Fey/Amy Poehler gif would actually be pretty easy to use as a “WTF face” without the quote. Still a great quote though, just hard to find a context for it 🙂

    • Indeed, but I did not make the gif. I just snagged it from some random post-Emmy post somewhere on the interwebz and have been laughing silently to myself at it ever since.

    • The only way to make the waking-up-to-ask-about-sport-scores thing EVEN BETTER is to have Ray wake up as a whore. Here’s to hoping.

      Grey’s supreme disappointment that Ana’s dad is in a coma is not a thing you are imagining. The chapter is dripping with it. Or wait, maybe we’re just both imagining it, in which case: HIGH FIVE.

  • That fabulous gif of Tina and Amy reminds me that you guys should totally do Girls!

    I haven’t seen it yet, but it HAS to be better than the vile sh*t that is FSoG, right?

    • I have seen it! It’s a pretty good show, but one we could easily snark the shit out of.


      • YAY!!! I hope you guys get to do it!!!

        Middle school sucked for me too – seriously, who enjoyed middle school??? It’s like our own bodies, brains, and peers are all hazing us at the same time.
        Have you seen Eddie Izzard’s bit on puberty? It just sums up that whole horrible awkward time brilliantly:

      • behind blueiz

        I’d totally read snark on the show Girls. So love that show!

  • Adriana DiVolpe

    “Grey says that one day he’s going to rent that elevator for the whole
    afternoon. Should the hotel be crazy enough to accept this offer, I hope
    they use some of the ridiculous amounts of money they charge him to
    invest in industrial strength bleach.”

    Can’t Grey afford to just, like, fucking BUY a vacant building that has an elevator? With all that “hundred thousand dollars an hour” that he supposedly makes?

    “We section break to Grey and Ana getting back into her new car and in
    between sexual innuendo around the word “drive,” we’re informed that
    Ray’s brain is totally okay!”

    If EL James doesn’t care about anything but these two idiots fucking, why does she insist on putting in all these other pitiful excuses for subplots just to fill more pages in this PORN novel? Why not just write about them fucking? But then often it seems like she’s bored of that too, because every sex scene lasts like a page. Although that’s possibly because ELJ has no idea how to describe any passage of time at all, so it always seems like “insert cock, thrust twice, Ana orgasms, thrust twice more, ejaculate, sex scene finished, everybody go home because there’s nothing to see here folks”.

    I guess my main question is, “EL James, if you’re so fucking bored with writing your novel, WHY ARE YOU INFLICTING ALL THIS BOREDOM ON THE REST OF US?”

    • One of the many questions we all gather around The Table of Ugh to ask each Wednesday…

    • Alex

      “ELJ has no idea how to describe any passage of time at all”

      YES. This, x 100000.

      This is probably the thing that drove me the most crazy when I read these books. It’s like she feels she has to narrate every single step that Ana takes and the only time she takes a break is when Ana goes to sleep, hence why Ana is always falling asleep and waking up at such random times. Then she decides that Ana needs a birthday party, but actually narrating a whole birthday party? Fuck that. So instead, she just sticks in all these random section breaks where the plot (haha) lurches forward in time with no warning and it’s so damn frustrating to read!

      What I can’t understand, though, is how much time is supposed to have passed between the end of the last book and the beginning of this one. We zoomed past the wedding and went straight to the honeymoon, which I’m guessing means we skipped at least a few months (of wedding planning etc?) Yet there’s literally NO reference to anything having happened during those few months… the rest of the book carries on as if it’s just picking up where the last one left off, except that they’re now married. I seriously do not get it.

      • Clément Polge

        MONTHS of wedding planning ? My understanding was that Christian just blew a whole load of cash at a few hundreds people (BECAUSE HE’S RICH. GET IT ?), and then some bluebirds created the bride’s dress and gathered all the animals of the forest to do the orchestra.

        So yeah, that’s like 2 days, tops.

        • effie

          Christian Grey is RICH???
          DO PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THIS???!?!?!?

      • The last book happened across 13 days in June. It ended on June 18th and it’s September 11th at the end of this chapter. So about 2.5 months passed between books.

        We did a timeline for the second book, and I want to do one for this book too, and then perhaps do a whole series timeline. Ana and Grey met around her graduation time, which I’m guessing would be May. May to September, friends, and they’ve hooked up, broke up, got together, and she’s carrying his demon spawn.


        • moonie27

          The books don’t make it to December, I think, which means there’s still a chance for this to be a May-to-December relationship!

          • It’s got to go on a little longer, no? Will we not see the birth of the demon spawn? Don’t answer that. I just threw up a little thinking about these to and procreation.

        • Stephanie Gertsch

          It’s September 11 in the book? Do they ever mention that? Not that it’s an important day for us Americans or anything…

  • I strongly believe that both Christian and Ana think that their germs are magical enough for them to share a toothbrush. I mean, this is Ana we’re talking about. Meanwhile, I’m hoping that one of them gets herpes from that magical toothbrush (spoiler alert: it doesn’t happen, unfortunately) and wishing to death that I could magically go into the book and punch both of them in the throat with my magical fist.

    P.S: Happy birthday, Lorraine. I am so sorry.
    P.P.S: This series is an example of how one can get rich and famous from a book without letting an editor see it.

    • I don’t even want to think about the reasoning behind the toothbrush sharing. Seriously, my reaction to toothbrush sharing is violent. I may be an extreme case. Stick your tongue in my mouth, let’s have sex all over the place, BUT GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY TOOTHBRUSH.

      • Insanitydividedby0

        I have this thing about saliva, it makes me dry heave. I can hanle my boyfriend’s up to a certain point when kissing (fortunately he isn’t a but even though we have been together for 4 years, if he used my toothbrush it would be a dealbreaker. I read the first book on my old kindle (old because I threw it against the wall in the middle of reading FSoG and yeah I know it was a waste of money but it was a reaction I couldn’t control) I had to put it down and gag during the first toothbrush scene. I thought at that point that maybe it was just me and trudged through the book, hoping for some sexy times, but they never came.

      • Angela

        I shouldn’t be surprised that the toothbrush thing popped up again in this story, given everything else that’s happened. And yet, I am.
        STOP with the toothbrush thing, James. Just…just stop. Now.

  • Izzygirl

    No butt plug charm? Seriously?
    Reading your list of qualities embodied by Grey that Ana lurves made me think of one thing: I love lamp. (Actually, I love kinky, philanthropic lamp. I hate one-dimensional lamps.)

    • Do you REALLY love lamp, Izzy?

      • Izzygirl

        Lol- it’s almost unseemly how much I love lamp. It tells me what to eat, who to hang out with, and when I could use a bit of exercise. We are blissfully happy and you are probably very jealous, but I forgive you because I know how irresistible my lamp is.

        • It’s the way it hangs its lampshade IN THAT WAY.

          • Izzygirl

            LOL- yes!!

  • Melodye

    That Superman gif: I love it. It is now one of my favorite Internet things.

    • Clément Polge

      Christopher Reeve was such a great Superman, his Clark Kent was so different from his Superman, and even his red-kryptonite-Superman was really different from those two.

      I enjoyed Henry Cavill as Superman in Man Of Steel, but the real test, for me, will be to see his Clark Kent.

      • I never caught Man of Steel. I almost wrote Steele. RUINED.

    • I was delighted when I found it. It’s just the right mood of shot pouring.

  • Clare

    British citizen back here again! I didn’t realise envisaged wasn’t used elsewhere but you may thank E.L for bringing this word into your lives. Obviously, she’s managed to make the word sound selfish and bitter when really it’s commonly used in various sentences.

    Side note: EL’s books are the most commonly left behind books in our cheap, sleezey hotels.

    • cabbagesoup

      I’m from London and it’s true, anything in these books that happens to be a Britishism is still really annoying as well because ELJ can’t write. I guess when the story was about a hundred year old vampire she thought long words was a way to make him sound vaguely archaic, and no one bothered to rewrite, etc.

      I’ve noticed a lot of charity shops are not accepting books at the moment. I fear it is because they are stuffed with these things. There ought to be an amnesty like when the council collects Christmas trees for recycling in the first two weeks of January. There could be skips. ‘deposit your 50 shades books here and we’ll turn them into loft insulation and gerbil bedding. Let that tree not have died in vain after all’
      it would be beautiful.

      • Strawberry_Pocky_Moose

        I’m all for recycling, but I’d like to think my gerbils would know enough to dig that shit right out of the bars of their cage in protest.

        • cabbagesoup

          ‘ew’ they’d say. ‘this bed feels stupid’. yeah, maybe no products that go near intelligent life.

      • Clare

        I read half of the first book before finding this blog. Once I started reading this, I put it straight into my recycling box ready to be turned into something hopefully more beneficial.

      • The main point about the Britishisms isn’t that they are Britishisms… BUT THAT EL HAS WRITTEN (or stolen) AMERICAN CHARACTERS. UGH. SHE SUCKS.

    • Strawberry_Pocky_Moose

      Yes, I’m from Cornwall (where everyone over the age of 50 sounds like the Sea Captain from The Simpsons) and ‘envisaged’ is definitely a thing here too. I’ve used it a few times myself. Not as pretentiously or clunkily as James, but that takes a special kind of talent.

      Here, in a sentence: I never envisaged that an unsexy, abuse-promoting porn novel could outsell Harry Potter.

      • Clare

        Oh, that’s a fantastic use of ‘envisaged’, I couldn’t have put it better myself! I wish she’d stop ruining our phrases.

  • Kate Leona

    One small thing that confuses/ irritates me- why does Christian refer to Ana as a vanilla conquest when they frequently participate in bdsm? I know this book is pushing the whole ‘perverse slutty submissive’ vs ‘holy virginal wife’ but Ana enjoys submissive sex. So Christian frequently calling their relationship a ‘vanilla relationship’ makes no goddamn sense, because if all his past submissives are dark and depraved, as EL James clearly wants us to think, then so is Ana.

    • Alex

      It’s cos they have sex in beds sometimes as well as in kinky red dungeons, I think.

      • Yeah! Sometimes he lets Ana decide if she wants to have the sex, too.

        • Clément Polge

          I wouldn’t go that far, I’d say that sometimes he lets Ana decide if she wants to have the consensual sex or if he should just force her to say yes.

          • Sorry, I got carried away.

          • Insanitydividedby0

            Yeah, it seems when she really wants it, he denies her. That time during the Aspen trip, she wanted it and he just made her go to bed. Although him treating her like a child that evening would have made the sex extremely bad (granted it is terribly anyway).

    • I’m going to answer your question to the best of my ELJ-understanding, but I want you to know that remembering stuff about this series brings me great pain and deep shame.

      Back in book 1, after Christian Grey saw Ana once and was like, “she reminds of my momma!” and decided that he wanted to beat her on the regular, he was surprised to find that Ana was a virgin! And so, despite the fact that he had NEVER EVER EVER had “vanilla” sex before, he decided to have it this one time to relieve Ana of her virginity.

      But, you are right about how stupid it is that we’re supposed to think that Grey is “cured” of his BDSM, and this is a totally vanilla, wholesome relationship. I mean, they occasionally have “vanilla” sex because one time he beat Ana so hard she ran away from him. I mean, she didn’t run away from him for good, and he didn’t stop abusing her all together, but you know.

      • moonie27

        Can I just say the BDSM sex can be exhausting?
        Like, okay, sure, there people out there who rarely have ‘vanilla’ sex. But if you’ve been sexually active for years and presumably in some sort of long-term relationship with somebody, there are times when you’re just going to look at your overly large collection of (ew, used) butt plugs, whips, and restraints and go… “god, that’s like 30 minutes of set up, and an hour to do the deeds; then I have to clean up and do aftercare, and shit I have to be up at 6 am and it’s already 10 but I’m just super horny and haven’t had any for weeks…”
        And at some point you’re thinking 10 minutes of foreplay and 10 minutes of missionary is starting to look reeeaaalll good right now.

        • I think I just decided I’m waaaay too lazy for BDSM. Let’s be real: a solid 89% of always, I’m too lazy to put pants on.

    • moonie27

      I theorize that it’s because Anna only enjoys kinky sex with Christian because she “likes” all sex with Christian because it’s Christian with his sexy way of wearing waistbands in THAT WAY. She’s not really submissive, then; she only likes kinky sex because he has it with her.

      But all his other submissives were just slutty-slut sluts who would have kinky sex just because it’s fun and not because their partner had magic pants hangers for hips.

  • cabbagesoup

    YAY! thank you, lovely ladies!

  • Miba Stierman

    Cabbagesoup sounds like a wise person. Her (his?) theory is my new headcanon (alongside the theory that Christian sold his soul to the devil, obviously).

    Also: YAY RAY IS AWAKE FOR A MOMENT I ALMOST THOUGHT SOMETHING BAD MIGHT LAST FOR LONGER THAN A CHAPTER!!!!!11ELEVEN!! I had been wondering how those Fifty Shades fans could stand all the tension of not everything being perfect on Ana’s birthday…

    • cabbagesoup

      thank you! I am a woman yeah. I wish I had chosen a less stupid name when I signed up for Disqus. Something like Snowdragon Iceprincess Fairystarlight or something.

      • “Snowdragon Iceprincess Fairystarlight”

        DAMN IT. You took the best pen name ever. D:

    • DON’T WORRY GIRL. He totally recovered from brain swelling in a day! Thank you birthday cake wish.

  • cabbagesoup

    Also I love the zombie fanfic idea. Do it! Tagline: “Christian was obsessed with making other people eat – but now HE’S BECOME the wasted food!” I started a fanfic once about Subconscious and Inner Goddess and how much they hate being stuck inside the empty desert of Ana’s head and how they give her terrible advice on purpose because they hate her, but it remains unfinished.

    Also: LOLOLOL at ‘Mrs Shades’

    • Izzygirl

      You finish that fanfic asap. Sounds like it’d be hilarious 🙂 Maybe the Snark ladies will do a special ‘fan submissions’ chapter.

      • Clément Polge

        We should probably find another word than “submission” though, because that sounds like fan getting their tampons ripped off or getting raped in some damp dungeons.

        Maybe the “fan getting it right” section ?

      • We totes have a pipe dream of having a not-a-fan fic section on Snark Squad. This was one of the first, first, things Sweeney and I discussed when we relaunched FF. It really came about because we always talked about doing crossovers.


        • Oh, then maybe I’ll go back and finish that “Kate spins the tale of her tragically fucked up friend to a tabloid reporter in a bar” story….

          • You have time, don’t worry. But I expect to see it when the time comes.

    • “That bitch is talking to us again. Watch me do an ice skating move off of this high bar and really confuse her. LOLOL.”

  • Madeleine sims-fewer

    I am Canadian, and I thought envisaged was a pretty standard word…am I wrong, or do Canadians use it but not Americans? Super confused by people not having heard this word!

    • Alex

      I don’t think it’s so much that the snark ladies and their fellow Americans haven’t heard it before, as just the fact that it’s a super-clunky way of speaking. Try saying ‘This is not how I envisaged spending today’ out loud. Now try and mutter it seductively as if you were speaking into your lover’s ear (or hair, apparently). Sounds silly, right? Just another example of the awkward, unnatural way that E. L. James has her characters talk, though my favourite still has to be Christian describing his first evening with Ana as ‘diverting’.

      • Right! So, like, I know the word like you know a vocabulary word, but I’ve never heard anyone use envisage. Envisioned, yes.

    • Adriana DiVolpe

      I’m Canadian too and I’ve never heard anyone use it. Regional thing, maybe? I’m in southern Ontario.

      • I’ve never heard anyone use it either! I got a little panicky for a bit that maybe I was the only one. 🙂

      • Madeleine sims-fewer

        I’m from Toronto…but yeah I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say it out loud, just a word I know from reading. It is super clunky dialogue, but the Snark Ladies seemed to think this was a British word, which it isn’t It’s in the Canadian dictionary!

    • I think we’ve all heard the word; we just don’t use it in casual conversation. I’d personally use “imagined,” or “pictured,” or even “envisioned” before “envisaged.”

      Then again, I’d never write a sentence like, “I gasp out loud, recalling with a gut-wrenching surge of apprehension that twists my heart and starts it pounding why I’m in Portland,” so clearly I know nothing about grammar.

      • Alex

        That sentence makes me feel sea-sick. Or maybe it’s just regular sick, these books do tend to have that effect.

        • BOTH. And also angry, because it’s so clunky you have to read it more than once just to understand wtf she’s trying to say. Once is bad enough — can you envisage how many brain cells we’re murdering with repeat readings? 😉

  • Coey Ohwow-Godsey

    Now they’ve ruined charms for me. I had a young husband buy his wife charms in the book i’m writing but it was a camera, a pencil and a musical note. Not…um… ice cream cones and beds.
    I also get this weird urge to apologise on behalf of all British people but then I remember Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, the Brontes, all that good stuff. I like your previous theory that E L James is in fact a robot. It makes more sense than thinking of her as British. (I knew the difference between American words and British words when I was fifteen!)

    • And see, I’m sure your MC likes cameras, writing, music, etc. It wasn’t like Grey got her a charm with a book, an inner goddess and a tea bag, because she loves those things. HE GETS HER CHARMS THAT ALL RELATE TO HIM. Ugh. Worst.

      All countries have their pride and shames. I feel like the world should apologize to you, since you have to house her and stuff. Sorry.

  • effie

    I just gave myself a small round of applause for rolling my eyes one second before you ladies saw fit to use an eye-roll gif. The little things that keep me from tearing all my hair out and cry. So far, anyways.

    • This is worthy of applause. If you find this stuff eye roll inducing you are in the better percent of the population.

  • Heather

    her mother flies all the way to Portland for a birthday dinner but can’t be assed to stay when her ex and daughter’s father is in a coma?! I mean, he wakes up like 5 minutes later, but still. That’s kind of cold.

    Also, we have spent nearly 3 books establishing that Ana can barely walk, dress herself, or remember to eat but Grey buys her a fucking race car? He doesn’t trust her to go to work and survive the day but he gets her a car that can go 0-60 in less than 4 seconds?
    Maybe these books end on a high note–she flips that stupid car off a highway ramp on the way back home and they die in a fiery crash? That would be some good fan fic. I would read the shit out of that.

    • behind blueiz

      I totally thought the same thing! The mom flies all the way there and can’t be bothered to, at the very least, to check on her baby’s daddy? I guess we see where that charming quality Ana possess of “How does this relate and/or affect me? ” mind-set comes from. Gotta love it.

      • Wait… I was under the impression that Ray is actually her ex-step-father. Is he the man who actually spawned Anna, or just the only adult relative (sort of) who feels enough pity to remain a part of her life?

        • Alex

          Ray isn’t her biological daddy (he dead) but her mum was with him when Ana was little, although she is now married to someone else, but Ray is ‘Dad’ to her. If that sounds confusing, then just think of it as basically

          • behind blueiz

            See, I really didn’t retain that information cause I was too busy not caring.

    • AGREED. Everyone is being super lax about this man in a coma. I appreciate that they all believe he’ll come out of it fine, but that doesn’t really downplay the fact that he was in an accident bad enough to put him there in the first place. THEY ALL SUCK.

      • Heather

        it is just another example of crap writing, because a coma isn’t like a nice nap. It is your brain shut down because you are super super broken. I hate these people.

        • To be fair, it was a medically induced coma. BUT BECAUSE HIS BRAIN WAS SWOLLEN AND BROKEN.

          • Medically induced comas can be worse, at least according to my brother, who has been in both. In the medical one, he was aware part of the time, but because of the coma-inducing drugs, he couldn’t get real sleep, which resulted in him hallucinating like mad and being completely disoriented. When he woke up out of it, he was so violent, they had to sedate him again. Brain injuries are so, so serious. It infuriates me that she just brushes it off.

          • I love how the CT scan tells them that everything’s totes okay, long before he wakes up and can be evaluated. What an amazing machine! (And so handy, plot-wise.)

            I’m guessing in addition to not owning a mirror and/or a face, ELJ has never been in a hospital.

      • effie

        Maybe they’re all just aware of the fact that they live in a universe where problems are resolved within the chapter because they are written by someone with the attention span of a tea spoon?

  • Angi Black

    Damn – who knew you needed a section break count as well? seriously – WTF?

    • I DON’T KNOW. There are all these weird little scenes that do absolutely nothing to advance the plot. NOTHING. It’s a new level of depressing, watching this crap slowly die.

  • behind blueiz

    Ladies of Snark, you forgot to give Christian and Ana gold stars for saying the name of the book in this chapter. No worries, I’ll get the industrial nail gun to fasten the suckers to their foreheads.

    • Alex

      AND THEN THEY… oh who are we kidding?

      • Clément Polge


        We’re like the Spartan wall from 300, each one of us helps his/her neighbour believing that this book will have a happy end where the whole world goes up in flame and EVERYBODY EVER dies and god himself descend on earth to retcon the universe and delete the very existence of Ana and Christian.

    • Nailed to their heads is the only, only way they’d get our precious, shiny gold stars.

  • behind blueiz

    I guess Pandora ran out of the “Nasty Used Items” charms: the butt plug, tampon, and toothbrush–so Christian had to go with the vanilla ice cream cone instead. Lucky Ana.

    • For the abused woman in your life, Pandora introduces the Nasty Used Collection. Show her how much you care. About controlling her.

      Coming Nanuary 32nd.

      • behind blueiz


  • moonie27

    If the hospital was checking to see if Roy’s brain was okay, they should’ve run an MRI, which looks at soft tissue (so’s it can image the brain/see if there’s major brain trauma). CT scans look at hard tissue, so they’re used to find bleeding, bone trauma, tumors but not actual brain damage, so there’s no way the can say, “the brain’s okay” after a CT scan.

    I mean, presumably Christian hires the best medical staff EVAH. You’d think he’d get someone who actually knows how to deal with head trauma. Or that ELJ had access to Wikipedia and Google.

    • behind blueiz

      That would mean EL would need an actual brain to know how to look up how doctors check for ‘drain bamage’. I guess this wasn’t one of the things on the list when EL “fired up google.”

      • cabbagesoup

        now now. she knows the words ‘medulla oblongata’ as she is hasty to let us know.

        • behind blueiz

          Forgot about that tasty tidbit of EL’s brief anatomy lesson. Still, I stand by my brainless scenario. I hate to believe one with a brain, could EVER think up this trash.

    • I love you and this so much. Speaking of the best medical staff, last chapter Christian brought in his mother to be a second opinion, since she’s an amazing doctor, and one other person we’re only told is the best in their field. We aren’t told WHAT field, just that they are the best. I’d like to think this mystery person is a podiatrist or maybe a dentist Or maybe this person is the best in the field of mortorbike mechanics or deep sea fishing. All of this would explain a lot of what’s happening to Ray right now.

      • moonie27

        Ah, thanks! (I actually have Strong Feelings about head injury treatment, as my family knocks their noggins a lot.)

        I like to think that he just told the Red Ranger to find a doctor who’s “best in his field” and Red Ranger, who secretly wants everyone to die, brought back a dermatologist who had 100% ratings on Yelp.

      • Insanitydividedby0

        On top of that, she is a pediatrician and does not specialize in brain trauma. She doesn’t even practice in that state so I don’t think they would let her look at his medical records without express permission from the person in charge of his medical decisions. I assume it would be Anna and I don’t remember her giving them permission. When I was in a coma my boyfriend had to make the choices for all the surgeries that I needed and he could only do it because I gave him the power of attorney awhile ago. The next chapter gets even better because with Ray awake Christian still makes some very dangerous medical decisions without consulting Ray first. It made me see red because I spent six months in the hospital and they were hesitant to move me for any reason even when I was quite lucid.

  • Alex

    I accept your apology on behalf of the UK.

  • hodorhodorhodooor

    Please note that this is the third car that Grey has given Ana during the course of the three months they’ve known each other. The two previous cars have been driven approximately zero times by Ana, given that Christian has to be the driver because he said so.

    • 1- Your user name is fantastic.

      2- I didn’t even think that this is the third car, which is just so incredibly STUPID considering the amount of time they’ve known each other, but also, yes: SHE NEVER DRIVES HER CAR. HE NEVER LETS HER.

      • hodorhodorhodooor

        Hodor 😉

        I’ve been a huge fan of you snarky ladies for a long time, but have never taken the trouble of actually creating an account to be able to comment. But THIS is the moment where I can’t even anymore. Why would anyone need a monthly car? What happens to all the old cars? Is this going to be a thing, like “happy 174 month anniversary! Here’s your 174th car!”? Why does Ana even need a car, given that she ‘s always driven around by body guards and/or the red ranger? So many unanswered questions, so much useless information about the divinity of orange juice…

      • Clément Polge

        Actually, it’s pretty smart from Grey’s part. We know for a fact that Ana does not have the brain power to feed or dress or think for herself, but that she does want to drive.

        By giving her several car a few weeks apart, he’s sure that 1) she wouldn’t notice and b) the fact that she now has to THINK about which car to drive ensure that she’ll just get stuck in the parking, and would die of dehydration before actually getting in the car.

        So, yeah, it’s actually a pretty solid plan.

    • Alex

      I upvoted you just cos of your username. Don’t get me wrong, your comment was funny too, but that username deserves all the votes!

  • Guest

    You know, I read somewhere that the book makes strong references to pedophilia, that although Ana is legal age, that the character is so immature that you can easily replace her with a child. I’ve never read past the first book, because I’d probably fall into a deep depression and never ever stop drinking if I did – but reading that he does things like buy her clothes, dresses her, dries her hair – my god, he seriously treats her like a small child. It makes me feel like vomiting in my mouth. IT’S SO CREEPY!

  • I love my (totally non-abusive) husband very much, but here are some things he is not ever allowed to do: Tell me when and what to eat or how much. Tell me I can’t drive my own car. Make plans for me without consulting me first. Strike me. Humiliate me. Storm into my workplace, for any reason whatsoever. Sexually assault me. Tell me I can’t wear what I want to wear or in any way retaliate against me because he doesn’t approve of my clothing. Make me feel bad about spending time with relatives, regardless of the reasons therefor. Stop me from talking to my male friends or complain that I have them. Do my work laundry. Deal with my wet hair.

    Long, wet hair should be handled by the person sporting it or a professional stylist. Everyone else needs to get the hell away from my damned head, because ow. I don’t know why that bugs me so much. It’s not sexy that he dries her hair. It’s weird.

  • Petra47

    I just lost a lot of time watching that pretty, pretty Ian Somerhalder gif… but then I felt sad since his name’s been kicked around to play Grey… I don’t know if I could stand it if my lovely Damon was ruined in such a way…

    On a side note, you should definitely add The Vampire Diaries to your wish list of possible series to snark. It’s such a wonderful guilty pleasure, but it’s also ripe for the snarking. Plus! Ian Somerhalder’s eyes are in it!

  • Your jokes never strike me as recycled, although I get what you’re saying because it’s precisely how I feel about commenting. How many different ways can I say how infuriating, disgusting, disheartening, appalling, nauseating, repulsive, abusive, horrific, hateful, and vile I find the characters, writing, “plot,” and messages of this book? (See, ELJ? I own a thesaurus, too.) After awhile, it all just devolves into “FUCKTHISFUCKTHISFUCKTHISFUCKTHIS.” And then I curl into a ball and howl (aloud) in anguish.

    Seriously, though, y’all do an amazing job of keeping each recap fresh and funny, even though it’s the SAME DAMNED GARBAGE every single week. I don’t know how you do it. (Alcohol? Narcotics? A latent masochistic streak?) Whatever it is, I applaud you.

  • Angela

    “The last time I was here I was single, and now I’m married at twenty-two! I’m getting old.”

    No, I’m pretty sure I and everyone else who’s had to be subjected to the batshit insanity of this entire story has the right to bitch about feeling old.

    (Also, I’m turning 29 next month and I want to tell her to shut up. But that’s nothing new.)

    “Kate calls Grey hot because he can fly a helicopter.”
    Oh, Kate. Don’t fall into their trap! Nooooooooo!
    Also, if I were Ray and this is what I woke up to, I’d be begging someone to pull the plug post-haste.

    • wlreed

      I’m 38, so I should clearly have a wheelchair and copies of my will in every room since I must be on death’s door

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  • I kinda laughed at Ray waking up asking about soccer. I HATE HATE HATE IT when authors give allusions and then outright explain them in the story; that completely defeats the purpose. “Envisaged” is a weird-sounding word and “envisioned” would have sufficed. Love the Clint Eastwood gif. I remember WhoreLizabeth fondly. Let’s pretend for a minute that Ana has the ability to drive a luxury sedan when she didn’t even have a cell phone or know how to use a computer. Let’s pretend this series makes any sense at all! If I were Ana and married to a really rich guy, I would make him spring for a Lexus LFA. Nothing says love like over $300,000 of luxury supercar. I don’t think Ana could handle more than 300 horses, though. She should be driving a Geo.

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  • Dani

    I have to back and like Cabbagesoup’s comment because it is perfection and my headcannon ffom now on. Also, is it sad that I am more concerned for your zombie characters than both of the Greys… together

    edit: Weaslesoup

  • Alicia


    What happened to them beating us over the head with her wedding vows “Promise not to obey” or some bullshit? Here she is, fucking obeying again.