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June 26, 2012

The ESC Reads 50 Shades of Grey: Chapter 5

WARNING: This blog post contains spoilers. But, of course, that's kind of the point.

We decided to tackle the Fifty Shades of Grey series one book at a time and give everyone chapter-by-chapter summaries and critique. We're going to read Fifty Shades of Grey... so you don't have to.

Chapter 5

Summary: Ana wakes up in Christian Grey's hotel suite and although she's barely hungover, she's utterly mortified. He assures her that they didn't have sex, scolds her for drinking too much and makes her eat breakfast. He has sent her clothes to be cleaned but had Taylor buy her new clothes and shoes. She gets a thrill out of using his toothbrush. Ana learns the following fascinating things about him: He's not gay. He's not celibate. He hates wasted food. He never sleeps in the same bed with anyone else. He doesn't do the "hearts and flowers" romance thing. He can't stay away from Anastasia no matter how hard he tries, but he's not going to "touch her" until he has her "written consent"... although she'll probably not be interested anymore once she knows why. (Foreshadowing!) They make a date for that evening and then they have steamy kiss in the elevator.

Sexiness factor (scale of 1-10): 3.5

Admittedly, the scene in the elevator is a little hot.
“Oh, fuck the paperwork,” he growls. He lunges at me, pushing me against the wall of the elevator. Before I know it, he’s got both of my hands in one of his in a vice-like grip above my head, and he’s pinning me to the wall using his hips. Holy shit. His other hand grabs my ponytail and yanks down, bringing my face up, and his lips are on mine. It’s only just not painful. I moan into his mouth, giving his tongue an opening. He takes full advantage, his tongue expertly exploring my mouth. I have never been kissed like this. My tongue tentatively strokes his and joins his in a slow erotic dance that’s all about touch and sensation, all bump and grind. He brings his hand up to grasp my chin and holds me in place. I am helpless, my hands pinned, my face held, and his hips restraining me. I feel his erection against my belly. Oh my… He wants me. Christian Grey, Greek god, wants me, and I want him, here… now, in the elevator.
...although we could do without phrases like "bump and grind" because then we just start thinking about Bump N' Grind and get distracted.

Number of times Ana's "subconscious" communicates with her: 4 or 6
I flush at the waywardness of my subconscious – she’s doing her happy dance in a bright red hula skirt at the thought of being his. [...]
He’s affected all right – and my very small inner goddess sways in a gentle victorious samba.
Is her very small inner goddess the same as her bitchy subconscious? Or are they two separate personalities in her head? And why do they both express themselves via dancing?

Number of time it is foreshadowed that Christian Grey is a dom: 9
"You’re lucky I’m just scolding you.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, if you were mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday.

“You are quite the disciplinarian,” I hiss at him.
“Oh, Anastasia, you have no idea.”

I leave the table, wondering for a moment if I should ask permission but dismissing the idea. Sounds like a dangerous precedent to set. I head back to his bedroom.
Okay, we get your super subtle hints, E L James. Just say it already! We're ready for the totally shocking reveal that he's a dominant now.

Plot Holes, Fact Checking Fails, and Other Observations:
Oh no. I cringe inwardly. I don’t remember coming here.
How do you cringe inwardly?
One minute he rebuffs me, the next he sends me fourteen-thousand-dollar books, then he tracks me like a stalker. And for all that, I have spent the night in his hotel suite, and I feel safe. Protected. He cares enough to come and rescue me from some mistakenly perceived danger. He’s not a dark knight at all, but a white knight in shining, dazzling armor – a classic romantic hero – Sir Gawain or Lancelot.
Mistakenly perceived danger? She was practically about to be date-raped by her "friend" Jose. Ugh. (Although we agree with the stalker part.) And what the hell is with the classic romantic hero bullshit? We're cringing outwardly at the idea that a grown woman would be sitting around thinking all of this 'knight in shining armor' nonsense.
My mouth pops open as I gasp and swallow at the same time.
Is that even physically possible?
Don’t lie to yourself – my subconscious yells at me – it’ll have to be pretty bloody bad to have you running for the hills.
"Bloody"? Her subconscious is also British.
I head into the bathroom. I want to clean my teeth. I eye Christian’s toothbrush. It would be like having him in my mouth. Hmm… Glancing guiltily over my shoulder at the door, I feel the bristles on the toothbrush. They are damp. He must have used it already. Grabbing it quickly, I squirt toothpaste on it and brush my teeth in double-quick time. I feel so naughty. It’s such a thrill.
She gets a thrill out of using his toothbrush, because it's like having him in her mouth. Come fucking on. It's a toothbrush! And think of this - he's such a control freak that he sent someone out to buy her clean clothes (including bra, panties and sneakers). He didn't think to get her a freaking toothbrush!? And he discovers that she used his toothbrush after he kisses her. (He says "you've brushed your teeth".) If she hadn't brushed her teeth she would surely have a nasty case of morning breath, especially considering that she threw up last night. So why wouldn't he buy her a toothbrush, why would he be surprised that she brushed her teeth, and why would he kiss her if he thought she might not have. So many questions. (Of course we realize the most important question is why are we wasting more time trying to figure this out than E L James ever did? We ask ourselves that question a lot.)

Some of the worst writing in the chapter:
Actually, I don’t feel that bad, probably much better than I deserve. The orange juice tastes divine. It’s thirst-quenching and refreshing. Nothing beats freshly squeezed orange juice for reviving an arid mouth.
Please E L James, tell us more about the orange juice. Spare us none of these fascinating details.
Christian Grey’s sweat; the notion does odd things to me. I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I feel like a two-year-old; if I close my eyes then I’m not really here.
What odd things does the notion of his sweat to do her? She went from feeling (and acting) like a 14-year-old and now she's regressed to a 2-year-old? Also, it's kind of a weird transition to go from thinking about how hot you are for Christian's sweaty post-workout body to saying that you feel like you're two years old.
He comes and sits down on the edge of the bed. He’s close enough for me to touch, for me to smell. Oh my… sweat and body wash and Christian. It’s a heady cocktail - so much better than a margarita, and now I can speak from experience.
Shut up, Ana.
He cocks his head to one side, still grinning. My heartbeat has picked up, and my medulla oblongata has neglected to fire any synapses to make me breathe. His grin widens, and he reaches over and runs his thumb down my cheek and across my lower lip.
E L James has such an odd writing style. Part of the time she sounds like she's a 14-year-old writing in her diary and part of the time she sounds like she's channeling an old fashioned romance novel. But then she goes and drops a line straight out of a science textbook. Do we really want to know what her medulla oblongata is doing? Should we check in with her spleen as well?
What does that mean? Does he white-slave small children to some God-forsaken part of the planet? Is he part of some underworld crime syndicate? It would explain why he’s so rich. Is he deeply religious? Is he impotent?
Okay, maybe we're completely horrible people, but this part just makes us laugh so hard. She's afraid of what his "deep dark secret" that will probably scare her off is and why she would need to sign paperwork before he can be with her... and these are the potential reasons she comes up with? (Also, nice use of "white-slave" as a verb.) It's funny that she equates being "deeply religious" and "impotent" with the other horrible possibilities and it's also pretty damn stupid of her. He has made it clear already that he's not celibate and that he likes his women "sentient and receptive". Why would she think he was impotent? And why would she need to sign paperwork if he was? Maybe getting drunk for the first time has fried a lot of her brain cells - we'll ask her medulla oblongata and get back to you.
“Like Eve, you’re so quick to eat from the tree of knowledge,” he smirks.
Shut up, Christian.
“Sleeping with someone.” He picks up his newspaper and continues to read. What in heaven’s name does that mean? He’s never slept with anyone? He’s a virgin? Somehow I doubt that. I stand staring at him in disbelief.
We don't know if this is delusional wishful thinking on Ana's part at this point or what, like maybe she's trying to convince herself that they're both virgins or something, because he's been pretty clear. It's one of the few things that he actually has been clear about so far.
“I can’t eat all this.” I gape at what’s left on the table.

“Eat what’s on your plate. If you’d eaten properly yesterday, you wouldn’t be here, and I wouldn’t be declaring my hand so soon.” His mouth sets in a grim line. He looks angry.
So let's get this straight. He's mad at her because he chose to track her cell phone and show up at the bar, and then chose to take her back to his hotel, and then chose to order her a huge breakfast that she didn't ask for, and then chose to make a date with her so that he can 'declare his hand'. What a dreamboat he is, and what a bitch she is for making him do all of those things.

Conclusion: This book sucks and we hate all of the characters right now, with the possible exception of Taylor. Any guy who can go out shopping and bring back a pair of jeans that fit you perfectly on the first try can't be all bad. On to Chapter 6 and the big reveal! (We were going to write a longer conclusion, but our inner goddesses are late for dance class.)


Jamie said...

I haven't even finished anything past the first paragraph of the post, and I'm already headdesking. ...he gets her clothes dry cleaned AND sends out for new ones... yet he doesn't buy her a toothbrush, or have any extra on hand? Is this some new dom/sub thing? XD "USE MY TOOTHBRUSH." This... all... needs to just die in a fire.

_Caroline_ said...

"My mouth pops open as I gasp and swallow at the same time."

I read this line to my boyfriend who proceeded (for the next 5 minutes) to make sure that it wasn't physically possible.

Elodie said...

She gets a thrill out of using his toothbrush.


Not just any ew, either. She didn't brush her teeth last night after she barfed, and now she's sharing tartar with him. Without his permission. If someone just up and used my toothbrush without even asking me first, I'd be furious. Not that I'd let them use it anyway. Because ew.

merrill said...

After reading this abortion, (don't worry, I didn't pay for it) and seeing it praised all over my social internets, I have decided it is my litmus test for people I don't care to know. What's that you say, pregnant girl I used to work with, you are "LOVING 50 SHADES AND OMG SO HAWT!"? Please note that you have been relegated to a steadily growing unsubscribe list Also, please DIAF.

Anonymous said...

I love you guys for writing these summaries. A daily dose makes my day. Too funny! :)

Anonymous said...

Two points:

First, if she's pulling phrases out of a science textbook, she's doing it wrong. You can't "fire a synapse" because a synapse is the gap between neurons... so that also doesn't make any sense.

Second, my husband has also been trying to gasp while swallowing after I read him that passage, and he is making some of the most disgusting noises I have ever heard. That Ana sure is a catch.

Anonymous said...

I think my inner goddess wants to learn how to waltz.

Does Ana do anything for herself? The recaps make it sound like things just happen to her, without her having any input in them, e.g. Grey taking her to his hotel room.

Epiphora said...

What do you mean, I thought everyone's subconscious was British!!!!

OK, of all the things that suck about this book so far, the use of the word "subconscious" is pissing me off the most. Does she not know the definition of subconscious? It's BELOW THE LEVEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS. At the very least, she should not be bothered by it ALL THE DAMN TIME.

Plus it's so obvious this "subconscious" and "inner goddess" shit only exists so that E L James can easily tell us what Ana is thinking/feeling. Laziest writing ever. Fuck you.



Thanks so much to everyone for sharing our pain. Our suffering is worth it if we can entertain all of you.

Epiphora - We agree 100% on the subconscious thing. There's a reason why we had to give that its own section in each recap. You can only scream "you can't communicate with your FUCKING subconscious like that because it's SUBconscious, EL FUCKING JAMES!!!" so many times before you have to work through your feelings somehow.

JD @ Honest Mom said...

Oh my GOD. I love you guys for reading this book for me. I can't believe you're five chapters in and there's NO SEX yet. Sheesh.

PS - I love that your blog sponsor is Masque. Never heard of them until now. I may be making an internet purchase in the near future. Maybe. If I can work up the bal- oh, I won't go there.