This is it, everyone. This is the final chapter of Grey.
For those who’ve asked, yes, EL James is planning to re-write all three books from the original series so there are two more to go. Yes, she probably will call them Greyer and Greyest because she’s awful. And yes, I probably will recap them when/if they come out. Maybe. No promises. But... probably.
I don’t want to weigh everyone down with a big pre-amble. I suspect I’ll want to make a separate post talking about this experience, anyway, so let’s dive right in.
If you recall from last time, we ended on a THRILLING CLIFFHANGER.
What will Ana say!?!?!?
From: Anastasia Steele
Date: June 8 2011 14:25
To: Christian Grey
Bold. I like it. I wonder how many tries it took for her to get just the right opener.
Thank you for the flowers; they are lovely.
So Ana picked up on the “get a gift, give a compliment!” tone of Christian’s e-mail as well, I see.
Yes, I would appreciate a lift.
Wow. Some jaw-dropping stuff there.
Assistant to Jack Hyde, Editor, SIP
Quick reminder that a paid position as the editor’s assistant is somehow the same thing as an “internship” in EL James’s world.
Sarcasm aside, let’s admit that Ana’s tone here is pretty frosty, even if she is accepting the ride (which, girl, why?).
Relief floods through me; I close my eyes, savoring the feeling.
So is he just stoked that she responded at all?
I pore over her e-mail looking for clues, but as usual I have no idea what the thoughts are behind her words.
Hang on, though. I thought he claimed he needed to send this via e-mail because she was always more “open” and “natural” via e-mail. But now he’s saying that he can never figure out what she’s saying in her e-mails? Also, how do you pore over a grand total of 16 words, not including all of the superfluous titles/introductions/signatures?
The tone is friendly enough, but that’s it. Just friendly.
It’s not even friendly, but did he expect her to pour her heart out through a company e-mail account? Probably. It’s not like he’s ever had a real job.
Carpe diem, Grey.
It’s a little late to admit this, but I’m still not 100% sure what the italic text is meant to represent. I think it’s his equivalent of the Subconscious from Ana’s version? It’s very odd. It either seems to give him third-party pep talks, or else wanders around thinking about its best friend, The Cock. Interestingly, though, where Ana was always self-doubting and self-effacing, both Christian’s Subconscious and Inner God spend basically all of their time cheering him on.
Christian e-mails back asking when he should pick her up. Ana e-mails back to say that the show starts at 7:30, and asks what time Christian thinks would be good. I’m so glad we have all of this in intricate detail with all of the proper headings and time stamps.
We can take Charlie Tango.
To a student art show in Portland, Oregon.
Christian reminds Ana that Portland is a long way away (God he’s so knowledgable) and suggests 5:45. He says he looks forward to seeing her. She responds that she looks forward to seeing him. I don’t look forward to any of it.
My campaign to win her back is under way.
This still isn’t even a plan yet.
I feel elated; the small blossom of hope is now a Japanese flowering cherry.
Yessss. Yessss. Please, EL James, please just keep writing stupid shit like this that makes me laugh instead of horrible abusive bullshit that makes me sad. His hope blossom is now a very specific type of tree for no particular reason? Great. Yes. Good. More of it. More of it always.
Christian buzzes Andrea. She tells Christian that Ros already went back to her office because she was tired of waiting in a reception area while a billionaire feverishly checks his e-mail to see if his ex-girlfriend has responded to a manipulative trap. Christian tells Andrea he already knows that, and he actually doesn’t even care about the Ros thing. He wants Andrea to get Taylor — so that he can PLAN.
Now, because Christian is a new man who has been healed by his experience with Ana, it’s time for Christian to stalk Ana’s boss without her knowledge:
Anastasia is working for a guy named Jack Hyde. I want to know more about him.
Oh, but it’s okay that he’s doing this because the audience knows that Jack Hyde is a Bad Man. Even so, if Christian bought this company just to “keep an eye” on Anastasia, surely Jack Hyde’s name would’ve popped up as one of the senior employees. And doesn’t Christian run background checks on literally everyone? So wouldn’t he have already begun this process?
But fine. He’s protecting his sweet, fragile princess from the Bad Man. It’s not that he can’t stand a grown woman being around other dicks in any capacity and that his horrifying jealousy will continue to isolate and entrap Ana until she eventually gives in and Christian becomes her entire world.
Christian calls Ros.
She sounds pissed. Tough.
So you can now add Ros to the list of women that Christian thinks are effectively worthless, aka. all women but Ana, his adoptive mother, and his sister.
Christian asks Ros to do the background check on Jack, which isn’t her job. In fact, he literally has an employee whose entire job it is to do these shady background checks, but since Ros is worthless and probably just doing silly lady work, he makes her do it.
Ros isn’t best pleased, though:
“Christian, I don’t know what’s got into you recently.”
“Ros, just do it, okay?”
She sighs. “Okay. Now can we have our meeting abut the Taiwan shipyard proposal?”
Slow your roll, Ros. Don’t get those crazy lady ideas. Christian didn’t make it to the top by doing actual business.
“Yes. I had an important call to make. It took longer than I thought.”
Given that Ros is his COO, surely she’d know most of the things that the company is currently working on and could figure out pretty quickly that he wasn’t on a work-related call, right?
We pick up post-Taiwan shipyard meeting (me neither), with Ros reminding Christian about WSU next Friday (I have no idea).
“And I get to fly in the company chopper?” Ros bubbles with enthusiasm.
“Helicopter,” I correct her.
Just a neverending source of charm, this guy.
“Whatever, Christian.” She rolls her eyes as she enters the elevator, and it makes me smile.
I thought women never amused you.
Ros leaves. Christian tells Andrea to ready the chopper (sorry, helicopter) for the student art show that he definitely needs to arrive at in a helicopter. He notices that Olivia the Sandwich Ruiner is gone.
Andrea says that she moved her to Finance.
Because definitely the best place to put an inept employee is the department that oversees your money. She can’t remember mayo, but she can get those T4s together, right?
Grey Enterprises Inc. Holdings Business.com isn’t a real company anyway, but God.
“Good thinking. It’ll keep Senator Blandino off my back.”
Andrea looks pleased at the compliment.
Christian confirms that Andrea has arranged interviews for Olivia’s replacement. She has. She’ll be interviewing Olivia’s replacement because Christian has learned nothing from this experience. But he loves Andrew Carnegie and he’s so good at business and picking the right people for the right jobs.
Then Christian cancels all of the day’s meetings and fucks off.
Because he’s so busy.
All the time.
2 more pages. We’re in the home stretch, friends.
We open with Christian in the back of the car. Taylor’s driving. He asks, “Where to, sir?” because he’s American and definitely not a British caricature of a butler from 1926.
“The Mac store.”
“On Northeast Forty-Fifth?”
Great Googling, EL!
Christian says yes. Then he lets the audience know his cunning plan:
I’m going to buy Ana an iPad. Leaning back in my seat, I close my eyes and contemplate which apps and songs I’m going to download and install for her.
It’s not a present if you open it up and set it up for her, grandpa. Can’t Ana do anything for herself? Can’t she have any of her own tastes or interests?
I could choose “Toxic.” I smirk at the thought. No, I don’t think that would be popular with her.
Should I open a brand-new iPad, choose all of the set-up information, download a bunch of shitty music, and then taunt her with the spectre of my ex-girlfriend?
Hmm. Everything but that last one. That’s too far.
She’d be mad as hell—and for the first time in a while the thought of her mad makes me smile.
Glad you overcame that challenge.
Mad like she was in Georgia, not like last Saturday.
So “why did you stalk me across several states” mad, not “why did you beat me with a belt” mad. Yeah, that first one is better.
I shift in my seat; I don’t want to be reminded of that.
It’s been — what — 3 days and he’s learned nothing from the experience? I’d say we’re fine, then.
I turn my thoughts back to potential song choices, feeling more buoyant than I have in days.
Will he include something raucous and violent, like My Humps?
Then Christian’s phone buzzes. It’s Elliot.
Elliot: Hey. Asshole. Beer?
Hell. A text from my brother.
One of the only times Christian and I are on the same page.
Christian says he’s busy. Elliot continues to be a cartoon human:
You’re always busy.
Going to Barbados tomorrow.
To, you know, RELAX.
See you when I get back.
And we will have that beer!!!
Laters, Lelliot. Safe travels.
Did Elliot just wish himself safe travels?
It’s been a diverting evening, filled with music—a nostalgic journey through my iTunes, making a playlist for Anastasia.
“A nostalgic journey through my iTunes” is a phrase that has delighted me more than anything else in this book. What a douchebag.
He thinks to himself that he wishes he knew what song she’d been listening to as she danced in his kitchen. But he doesn’t. So he’s just going to keep polluting her new iPad with a bunch of terrible shit he thinks is good instead.
That was after I fucked her for the first time.
No. After I made love to her the first time?
Neither term seems right.
Who wouldn’t yearn for this Romeo.
Christian remembers that time Ana asked him to make love to her.
How shocked I was by her simple statement—and yet all she wanted was to touch me. I shudder at the thought. I have to make her understand that this is a hard limit for me—I cannot tolerate being touched.
Again, let’s be clear: this is fine. He’s allowed to have his own limits. But he needs to respect hers’ as well.
Anyway, Christian says he’s getting ahead of himself. So instead he looks at the inscription he had put on the iPad. A fucking inscription. On an iPad:
Anastasia—this is for you.
I know what you want to hear.
This music on here says it for me.
You couldn’t put that on a note? She has to walk around with an iPad that has a vague, slightly creepy message scrawled on the back? What?
Perhaps this will do it. She wants hearts and flowers; perhaps this will come close. But I shake my head, because I have no idea. There’s so much I want to say to her, if she’ll listen.
A great tip on getting people to listen is to listen to them as well. Just a thought. But I’m sure writing a weird note on a iPad will be roughly the same thing as having a mature conversation.
Christian just hopes Ana will listen to the songs, at least.
But if she doesn’t like my proposition, if she doesn’t like the thought of being with me—what will I do? I might just be a convenient ride to Portland. The thought depresses me, as I head toward my bedroom for some much-needed sleep.
Literally right out of the Friendzone playbook. He offered her a ride under the pretense of being friendly, and he’s already pissy because he wonders if she’ll be enough of a bitch to just use him for a ride. A ride that he offered. Under the pretense of being friendly.
He’s the worst of men.
Do I dare to hope?
Damn it. Yes, I do.
End of Chapter.
It’s the last moldy cheese dream. This time, a wonderful rich woman is here and Christian is saved:
My new mommy is pretty. She’s like an angel. A doctor angel.
AngelDoctorMommy lets him eat cake and he has a family now and it’s all wonderful. Except that Elliot’s a bit of a dick, apparently. So Christian hits him, which the family isn’t thrilled about. But I’m sure it’ll all turn out fine. Christian is learning piano to please his new family. It’s all sweet... yet tragic. Haha, not really. It’s just shittily written and repetitive, like this:
Miss Kathie sits at the piano with me. She teaches the black and white notes. She has long brown hair and she looks like someone I know.
She smells of flowers and apple pie baking.
How do all women smell like apples to this guy?
She smells of good. She makes the piano sound pretty.
Again, you get it. RoboChristian has new family. New family are nice and not poor, which is good. Money is good, poor is bad. Poor make alcohol do bad to belt men and whore women.
EL James is awful, etc.
Anyway, the piano teacher eventually turns into Ana who sits with him while he plays the piano, which is a great metaphor for their relationship. She says she loves him.
Ana. Stay with me. You’re mine. I love you, too.
He did it, everyone. He said the word.
The robot is now a real boy.
I wake, with a start.
Today, I win her back.
And that, my friend, is the actual end of this neverending nightmare. Except that it did end. So I guess it was just a normal nightmare.
I hope you all enjoyed this journey, and I do plan to do a kind of post-mortem on all of this later.
I’mma go drink now.