In this sequel to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, the opening scene shows Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) having a nightmare about his childhood. He overhears his mother being abused by his father. Young Christian hides, but his father finds him and prepares to abuse him with his cigarette.Meanwhile, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) has found a new job at the publishing firm Seattle Independent Publishing as an assistant to her boss Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson). Christian sends her flowers to congratulate her. She is about to throw them out but decides to keep them. As Ana is out around town, she is followed by a strange woman (Bella Heathcote).That night, Ana attends an art show for her friend Jose (Victor Rasuk). She’s unnerved to find six pictures of herself hanging from the walls. The art director then approaches Jose to tell him that somebody has bought all six pictures. Of course it’s Christian. He approaches Ana and wants to fix their relationship over dinner. Ana agrees only because she’s hungry.
Over dinner, Christian explains that he wants to take Ana back to be his submissive mate, and he is willing to negotiate with her on her terms. She just wants him to not inflict his dominant desires upon her, to which he agrees. Eventually, they renew their relationship and start having kinky sex again.
Jack invites Ana out for drinks. Before meeting with Jack, Ana is approached by the woman who was following her. She knows Ana’s name and says little before Jack pulls Ana away. Christian finds them in the bar and is suspicious of Jack’s true intentions when he catches Jack acting a bit flirty toward Ana. Later at home, Christian informs Ana that he bought SIP and will essentially be her and Jack’s boss. Ana isn’t too thrilled at this concept.
Ana sees the same strange woman out on the streets while out for breakfast with Christian. She asks him who the woman is. At Christian’s home, he takes out a file with pictures of this woman. Christian explains that the woman’s name is Leila Williams, and she was a former submissive of Christian’s. She wanted more from the relationship than Christian did, so they parted ways. Leila got married to another man, but he later died in a car accident, leading to Leila having a nervous breakdown. Ana asks Christian if he has a file on her as well. Without an answer, she know he does and demands to see it.
In Christian’s room, Ana sees a picture of his birth mother, who slightly resembles Ana. Christian mentions that she was a crack addict who died of an overdose when he was age 4 and was not found for three days while he stayed with her body. He later met his stepmother Grace (Marcia Gay Harden) at the hospital, and she would later care for the boy.
Christian invites Ana to a ball. He takes her to a salon in preparation and runs into Elena Lincoln (Kim Basinger), the woman that got Christian into the BDSM lifestyle. Ana is none too happy since she knows Elena was Christian’s dominant. Christian assures Ana that Elena is just a business partner since they co-own the salon. It does nothing to ease Ana’s mind.
Before they head off to the ball, Christian takes out Ben Wa balls for Ana to put in her vagina for consistent pleasure during the party. He then tells her it is a masquerade ball. The two meet with Grace and Christian’s adoptive sister Mia (Rita Ora). They sit for a bidding to a luxury vacation, which Ana wins when she bids $24,000 that Christian had transferred into her bank account. In the bathroom, Elena approaches Ana and urges her to break it off with Christian before both of them get hurt. Ana tells Elena to leave them alone.
In the parking garage at Christian’s home, he and Ana find that Ana’s car has been vandalized.
Ana and Christian later go on their romantic getaway on Christian’s boat, which he named after Grace.
Back at work, Jack is more cold to Ana after learning Christian is her boyfriend. He reminds her to set up a meeting in New York between himself and other publishers, plus to get a room for herself since his assistant needs to be with him. Later, Jack tries to seduce Ana in his office but comes off like a predator. Ana kicks Jack in the groin and runs out of the building. Christian is outside as Ana runs into his arms telling him what Jack tried to do. Christian later has Jack fired.
With Jack gone, Ana is given a temporary position to his old job as acting editor. She attends a meeting with the higher-ups and offers a suggestion that they reach out to a broader demographic instead of just publishing to established readers.
Christian asks Ana to move in with her, and she agrees. As they go to pick up Ana’s stuff from her place, Leila is there, having been stalking both Ana and Christian. Leila pulls out a gun. Ana tries to placate her by making it seem like Christian still cares about her. Christian and his bodyguard Taylor (Max Martini) arrive after Leila has already fired a shot at the wall. Christian orders Leila to get on her knees, and she immediately obeys. Ana thinks Christian can’t get off without being dominant, and she leaves the house for hours. Meanwhile, Leila is sent to a psych ward to get help.
When Ana returns home, Christian is pissed at her until Ana explains her feelings toward his dominance. He then turns submissive to Ana and gets on his knees so that she won’t leave him. Ana gives in and they go off to have sex.
Christian has another nightmare while Ana is awake. She goes over to comfort him in bed. He then asks Ana to marry him, but she doesn’t give an answer because she needs time to consider.
Christian goes with a business partner to a trip in Portland. As he returns from the trip, his helicopter’s engine breaks down, causing them to crash into a forest. Ana hears the news while out for drinks with Kate (Eloise Mumford), Elliott (Luke Grimes), and Jose. Ana waits and watches the news with Christian’s family. Just as it is reported that Christian was found, he walks into the apartment. Everyone embraces him.
Ana later finds out from Mia that Christian’s birthday is coming up, as he failed to mention. Ana gets him a keychain with “Yes!” written on the back, meaning she has accepted his proposal. Christian is elated.
The couple attend a birthday party for Christian. He announces his and Ana’s engagement to the whole party. Elena later confronts Ana and accuses her of being after Christian’s money and not actually loving him. Ana throws her drink in Elena’s face. Christian orders her to leave. Grace overhears the confrontation and slaps Elena before demanding she leave the house.
Christian takes Ana to a nearby boathouse where he proposes with an actual engagement ring. She accepts, and fireworks start to pop. The couple join Christian’s family to watch the fireworks together. Meanwhile, across the lake, Jack is watching the fireworks and looks really worn out. He holds a picture of the Grey family and burns out Christian’s face with a cigarette.
Note: After the end credits, there is a brief teaser for “Fifty Shades Freed”, which sees Ana and Christian about to get married, plus the promise of more kinky sex.