Even if you’re a huge Fifty Shades fan, you have to admit that the first two film adaptations – Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker – are incredible in that “so bad, they’re good” kind of way. The cheesy dialogue, nonsensical storylines, and watered-down BDSM sex scenes are all part of the fun, right? The third and final film in the trilogy, Fifty Shades Freed, is no different.
While the soundtrack is complete and utter fire, the last act of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele’s relationship includes some truly questionable moments. There’s an unexpected and fairly awkward piano ballad! There’s a thinly drawn kidnapping plot! There’s . . . Rita Ora! It’s a lot (and yet somehow it’s still not enough).
After watching Fifty Shades Freed in a theater full of people openly – and affectionately, for the most part – roaring with laughter at all the silly things that happen, I’m still coming down from the high of being able to witness the final installment of such a beautiful disaster of a movie franchise. Join me as I break down the best moments in the climax (heh) of author E.L. James’s masterpiece. (Note: big spoilers for Fifty Shades Freed below!)
- The boob fight: The movie starts with Christian and Anastasia’s lavish wedding and quickly segues into their equally lavish Parisian honeymoon. They end up heading to the South of France, where Christian whisks his new bride to a topless beach, which totally checks out, given all the sexy stuff they get up to in their private life. But then . . . he becomes furious . . . that Ana . . . takes her top off? At a topless beach? I totally get why – he’s psychotically possessive and needs decades of therapy – but it’s still ridiculous. Spoiler alert: Anastasia still takes her top off. (“There are boobs in Boobland.”)
- Their magic plane: Christian and Ana take a tiny private jet from Seattle to Paris for their honeymoon, which obviously isn’t possible unless you’re riding in that car Elon Musk shot into space. What kind of secret, advanced flight technology is Grey Enterprises hiding?!
- The Jack Hyde problem: Remember Jack Hyde? Anastasia’s old boss at Seattle Independent Publishing who sexually assaulted her and was then fired by Christian? Well, he’s made it his life’s mission to take down the Greys. We discover that while the newlyweds have been gallivanting around France, Hyde broke into Christian’s office building using a high-tech hacking device and stole important information. Since when does being a fiction editor at a small-time publishing company prepare you for corporate espionage? What grad school did he go to?
- Anastasia’s promotion: Speaking of SIP, once Ana returns from her honeymoon, she discovers that Christian has not only Fixer Upper‘d the sh*t out of her new office (a Pinterest dream, to be honest), but that she’s also gotten a huge promotion. She’s totally thrown by the news (she literally says, “I got a promotion?”), taking in the fancy new space and title looking like a deer in the headlights. Does she not have email, or . . . ?
- Hyde’s universal key: OK, but really, though – how does Hyde break into Christian and Ana’s penthouse? This man used to read fiction for a living and now he’s running around Seattle in a khaki jumpsuit, acting like he’s the villain in an action thriller opposite The Rock. Regardless, he’s able to sneak in without any of the Greys’ 900 bodyguards realizing, leave a threatening note, and hold Ana at knifepoint before she’s rescued by her two personal bodyguards, Sawyer (Brant Daugherty) and Prescott (Kirsten Alter). Prescott gets the upper hand, throwing him to the ground, but doesn’t have anything to restrain him. Cue Anastasia chiming in about how she and Christian have plenty of extra handcuffs laying around. OK, girl.
- The mysterious case of Ana’s missing bodyguard: While Sawyer remains with Anastasia until the end of the movie, Prescott disappears after apprehending Hyde, never to be seen or heard from again. Maybe she just got sick of listening to all the sounds coming from the “playroom”? I mean, I’ve shared a dorm room. I can commiserate.
- Why is every man in Fifty Shades identical? With the exception of Hyde (who looks like he hasn’t slept or showered in weeks and subsists on Monster energy drinks alone), all the guys in this movie look the same. At one point, there’s a scene featuring Christian, Ana’s bodyguard Sawyer, and her new author, Boyce Fox (Tyler Hoechlin), all muscular white men of relatively above-average heights with dark hair and significant scruff. It’s like a slightly more rugged version of that white guys/Saltines meme.
- Poor Tyler Hoechlin: Speaking of Hoechlin, I hope he’s on the hunt for a new agent. The actor, who’s been in everything from Everybody Wants Some!! to Teen Wolf, plays a hot new author assigned to Anastasia’s division at SIP. He’s written a book with an unfortunately designed cover called Purgatory (which is written on the front in garish red font that looks like Comic Sans dipped in blood) and sits down with her in a scene that lasts for less than one minute. Then Christian comes in, furious that his wife would dare have a private meeting with another man. After that, like Prescott, Boyce vanishes from the movie. He’s, no joke, in it for one minute and three seconds, if I’m being generous. Maybe it’s because I used to be a huge Teen Wolf fan (#noshame), but I feel like he deserved more than that.
- Ana’s showdown with Gia: At one point Christian takes Ana to a gorgeous old mansion, which he informs her he bought for them to start a life in. He’s also hired family friend and architect Gia Matteo (Arielle Kebbel) to tear it down and design a new space, and she clearly has the hots for her new client. Ana is not cool with Gia’s flirty behavior and shuts it down before uttering one of the most unnecessarily savage lines I’ve ever heard in my entire life: “You can go and climb into your sh*t-colored car and drive back to Seattle.” I gasped, choked, and screamed simultaneously.
- Christian’s performance: Guys. Guys. I’m not sure if I’ve ever cringed harder than I did while watching this scene. Shortly after bringing Ana, his sister Mia (Rita Ora), brother Elliot (Luke Grimes), and more pals up to the Grey family mountain house to get away from it all, Christian sits down at the home’s piano and starts singing. His pick? “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney and Wings. Jamie Dornan isn’t the worst singer in the world, but the scene is deeply uncomfortable and so out of character. Just look at the reactions he gets from Ana, Mia, and Elliot above (my face was personally the closest to Elliot’s).
- The Ben and Jerry’s: Later that night, Ana decides to drown her sorrows of knowing her husband will never win American Idol in a pint of vanilla Ben and Jerry’s. First of all, when shelling out $ 6 for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, who chooses vanilla? Was that the prop master’s subtle dig at how sexless this sex movie really is? Second of all, if I’m only buying ice cream to later drizzle it on my partner’s hairy thighs (as Ana does), you can bet I’m not purchasing the most expensive pint in the freezer. My bank account and I will make do with a $ 3 gallon of Turkey Hill and be on our way.
- Hyde’s true motives: Throughout most of the film, Ana and Christian can’t seem to figure out why Hyde has it out for them (why they “owe him a life”). They’re truly baffled, and the reasoning is revealed in one of the most bizarre plot twists of all time later on, but like . . . Christian gets Hyde fired from his job in Fifty Shades Darker. In this economy, that’s reason enough to carry out an elaborate vendetta. Do they just forget about that or what?
- Ana’s courtroom “disguise”: When Anastasia finds out that Hyde is being arraigned in a courtroom downtown, she immediately decides she needs to go see it for . . . some reason. She slips in the back in what’s supposed to be a disguise, but it’s actually just big sunglasses and her hair kind of in her face. Hyde sees and recognizes her immediately. Obviously.
- Elliot’s proposal: Elliot proposes to his girlfriend and Ana’s BFF, Kate (Eloise Mumford), in a loud club (A CLUB!!!). He’s from one of the wealthiest families in Seattle, and he chooses to ask Kate to marry him as servers are walking around with giant trays of shots and Pitbull is playing in the background. Sorry, I’ll never get over it.
- The running commentary about Gia’s boobs: Not only does Gia get made fun of for having a poop-brown car (apparently) but also for her bra size. Elliot, Kate, and Anastasia all make comments about how big, and likely fake, Gia’s boobs are throughout the movie. I’m no Victoria’s Secret employee, but they didn’t really seem big enough to warrant such attention. And also, it just makes Elliot, Kate, and Anastasia seem like real d*cks.
- Mia being kidnapped: Mia gets kidnapped by Hyde after giving her bodyguard the slip, which it’s mentioned she’s done a few times earlier on in the movie. Where does Christian find these awful bodyguards? The Paul Blart School of Private Security?
- Ana’s harebrained scheme to get $ 5 million: When Hyde tells Ana she needs to bring him $ 5 million in cash and not alert Christian or the police – or else he’ll kill Mia – she organizes this whole plan to escape her own bodyguard (seriously, dude? YOU HAVE ONE JOB), heads to the bank, and demands an executive take the money out of Christian’s account. And then . . . the guy immediately calls Christian to tell him what’s up. Obviously! It’s like no one in this movie has the ability to think beyond 10 minutes into the future.
- Hyde kicking pregnant Anastasia right in the stomach: I don’t really have anything else to say about this other than DEAR LORD.
- Hyde’s true master plan: OK, so after all is said and done (i.e., after Anastasia shoots Hyde in the leg and he’s arrested, Mia is set free, and the baby survives – yeesh), it turns out that the reason Hyde went after Christian wasn’t because he lost his job at SIP. It’s because – dun dun dunnn – he and Christian grew up in the same foster home together as kids in Detroit. Because Christian was a few years younger (and not a psycho) (hah, just kidding – not as obviously a psycho), the wealthy Grey family chose to adopt him instead: Christian reaped the rewards of a family with money, while Hyde was left to rot in the system (and yet still become successful in the publishing industry, but I guess that’s neither here nor there). That’s why Hyde thinks Christian “owes” him “a life.”
- Christian’s terrible memory: HOW DOES CHRISTIAN NOT REMEMBER GROWING UP WITH HYDE? He’s all, “Ugh, I was really young back then – way too little to form lasting memories.” But then Anastasia pulls out a photo of him and Hyde and he’s definitely around 10 years old. Also, did I mention that this “twist” comes in literally the last five minutes of the movie? The writers just drop it in and then move on (which, ironically enough, I’ll never be able to do with my life after seeing this movie).
- The entire movie, basically: This movie is a wild, butt plug-filled emotional roller coaster from start to finish, making it an extremely entertaining way to spend 105 minutes. If you don’t believe me, just ask the two elderly women sitting in front of me in the movie theater who scream-sang Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” and pumped their fists with glee as Anastasia and Christian walked off into the sunset with their toddler and the credits rolled.