The third installment of British author E.L. James’s Fifty Shades Trilogy
, Fifty Shades Freed
(2012) focuses on the tumultuous relationship between Anastasia "Ana" Steele, an editor at a publishing company, and Christian Grey, a wealthy entrepreneur. In 2018, Fifty Shades Freed
was adapted into a film by director James Foley.
At the end of the previous book in the series, Fifty Shades Darker
, Ana accepts Christian's marriage proposal. Following a lengthy honeymoon, the newlyweds return to their home in Seattle. Ana and Christian have their first fight as a married couple after Christian discovers that Ana refuses to change her last name to "Grey" at work, preferring to stick with her maiden name, Steele. Though initially obstinate in her refusal, Ana reconsiders once she realizes how important it is to Christian that she take his name. With this spat out of the way, Christian surprises Ana by giving her control of Seattle Independent Publishing, the publishing company where she works and which he owns. As a further gesture of her willingness to take Christian's last name, Ana's first executive decision as the new boss is to change the name of Seattle Independent Publishing to "Grey Publishing."
Christian travels to New York for a business trip, leaving Ana behind. Going against Christian's explicit instructions to stay at home at night for her own safety, Ana goes out for a drink with one of her closest confidantes, Kate Kavanaugh. When Ana comes home a few hours later, she discovers that Jack Hyde—her former boss who was fired for being unhealthily fixated on Ana and attempting to rape her—has been caught trying to break into the Grey estate. In his van, security guards find duct tape, tranquillizers, and a ransom note. This discovery leads to his arrest.
Hearing the news of Ana's near-abduction, Christian immediately returns to Seattle, cutting his business trip short. Rather than responding with love and concern for Ana's well-being, he berates Ana for stupidly disobeying his orders and leaving the house at night. In response, Ana calls Christian "controlling," advising him that he can't keep her away from her friends. They go to bed angry, but eventually, they reconcile. Christian admits he was wrong to behave in such a controlling manner. To help make up for it, he plans a surprise trip to Aspen with all their friends. During the Aspen trip, Christian's older brother, Elliot, asks Kate to marry him. Kate accepts his proposal.
Christian and Ana return to Seattle, only to discover that Ana's step-father, Ray, is in a coma after a terrible automobile accident. Fortunately, Ray wakes up and is relocated closer to Ana. The following weekend, Christian throws Ana a big birthday party, giving her lots of presents—some are symbolic and thoughtful gestures about their relationship, while others are lavish and expensive gifts such as a new car, an Audi R8.
Ana and Christian have another fight, however, after she reveals that she is pregnant with his baby. Rather than view this as a blessing, Christian is characteristically furious. He says a number of hurtful things, such as that Ana got pregnant "on purpose." Deep down, the truth is that Christian is extremely insecure, claiming that Ana will choose their future son over him. Moreover, he chauvinistically dismisses the notion that the baby could possibly be a girl. Making matters worse, Ana discovers that Christian received a text from Elena Lincoln, an ex-girlfriend of sorts. Years ago, when Christian was only fifteen, Elena first immersed him in the world of BDSM sex, the thematic backdrop against which the entire book series is set.
As the relationship drama between Ana and Christian builds to a climax, Christian once again departs on a business trip. While he is away, Jack calls Ana to reveal that he has kidnapped Christian's younger sister, Mia. He tells Ana that he will kill Mia if she doesn't deliver $5 million in two hours. Mia will also die, Jack says if Ana tells anyone or enlists anyone's help. This creates a problem for Ana, as Christian has assigned a bodyguard named Sawyer to watch her every move in Christian's absence. Nevertheless, Ana manages to give Sawyer the slip and runs to the bank to withdraw the $5 million. She also brings a gun with her to the meeting with Jack.
At the meeting point, Jack accepts the money and agrees to let Mia go. But after seeing Ana again, he erupts in anger and tries to kill her, shoving her hard to the ground. Before losing consciousness, Ana manages to shoot Jack in the leg. Jack is arrested, and Ana recuperates at a local hospital. She awakes to see Christian looking over her. He apologizes for getting a drink with Elena but insists that it was nothing more than that. Christian had been feeling haunted by memories of his foster family and needed an old friend to talk to, he says. Ana forgives him.
The narrative moves ahead two years. Christian was right: Ana had been pregnant with a boy, whom they name Teddy. Now, she is pregnant with a girl whom they will name Phoebe. Blissfully happy, the two engage in BDSM sex before partying merrily with all their friends.Fifty Shades Freed
provides a fitting end to E.L. James' massively popular trilogy.