Dec 302012
 

Jack Hyde is somehow out of police custody and is holding Mia hostage (or so he claims). He uses Mia’s cell phone to tell Ana to withdraw $5 million in two hours. He wants revenge on Christian and Ana for getting him fired. Ana must not tell Christian, the police or anybody else. (Hyde doesn’t specify anything about what form the money should be in; maybe he’s never heard of dye packs or marked bills.)

Ana has a Goon drive her back to the Grey suite, without telling anybody what’s going on. (Perhaps she learned something besides mild bondage from Christian.) She decides to follow instructions, go to the bank and get the money. (She also takes Leila’s loaded gun from Christian’s drawer.)

The easiest way to do this is for Ana to say, “I think I’ll go out shopping by myself.” Instead, she goes through an elaborate sequence of sneaking out of her home, avoiding the CCTV and running from the Goon Squad.

Now, let’s suppose a counter-factual. Suppose Jack Hyde hadn’t called with the ransom demand and Ana just decided she wanted to step out of Christian’s place and go for a walk by herself. Remember, at this point everybody assumes that Jack Hyde is safely in police custody, and there’s no need for this security, but Christian still has the Goon Squad in place, shadowing Ana everywhere. Ana also fears upsetting Christian.

This means that, if Ana just wanted to go outside on her own, she’d have to sneak around and create diversions to foil the Christian Grey Goon Squad. This, more than anything else, shows just how much of a prisoner Ana is in her new life as Mrs. Grey.

I take another deep steadying breath and briefly contemplate the irony of escaping from my own home like a felon.

Ana drives to the bank to get the money. I know Ana and Christian don’t have a prenup, and the text states that they do have one joint chequing account, but I doubt Ana would have access to that kind of money, in cash, without some kind of co-sign. Even Christian might not be able to come up with $5 million cash on short notice.

The bank gets a call from the Expander, who wants to know why his wife is trying to withdraw the kind of money usually involved in drug deals. Ana makes some bizarre leap of logic and decides that the only way she can save Mia is by making Christian think she’s walking out on him and taking a big chunk of his assets with her. There’s a scene that would be heartbreaking if it weren’t so contrived, as Ana tells Christian she’s leaving him. Christian tells the bank to liquefy some assets and she gets the money.

There’s a certain irony that this whole business started with Christian tracing a cell phone and butting into things that didn’t really concern him, and it’s ending with Ana unable to trace a cell phone and deciding to shut Christian out of something that definitely does concern him.

Then Ana has to evade Sawyer in the bank’s lobby. Ana calls Mia’s cell and gets instructions to take it to a car waiting behind the bank. The driver is Elizabeth, another employee at the publishing company, who tells Ana to get in.

Ana gets an inkling that Hyde has some hold over Elizabeth, before they meet Hyde in person. He beats Ana, and Ana pulls Leila’s gun and shoots him in the leg. Jack Hyde is just the most feeble villain ever. Ana had a harder time sneaking out of her own house than defeating this guy.

Ana passes out, just after hearing Christian’s voice.

Once again, EL James creates a dramatic situation that could generate excitement and tension for several chapters, but resolves it almost immediately. I expected at least another chapter of finding Mia, seeing what Jack Hyde’s nefarious scheme was, Ana being resourceful, the usual thriller stuff.
Now we’re just back to the unending drag that is Christian and Ana’s marriage.

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  One Response to “The Curious Kinky Person’s Guide to Fifty Shades Freed, Chapter 22”

  1. You can’t withdraw that kind of cash on short notice, and if you try at all, the FBI will get involved. Anti-money-laundering.

    Most banks have limits of $3,000 in cash you can withdraw without calling ahead. They really don’t keep much more cash than they expect to need. The only reasons you’d need $5mil in cash is something illegal. There’s no chance, at any US bank, that Ana could walk out with that money.

    Also liquidate? A billionaire should already have $5mil in liquid assets. That’s pocket change.

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