This week on the sixth episode of Trust, “John, Chapter 11,” Chase and Gail go to the morgue to identify a burnt body believed to be Paul. Penelope receives a photo of Paul’s alleged remains and storms in on Paul Sr. having his dimensions taken for a wax statue. She berates him for being unable to see that this is about his grandson, not money. Meanwhile, Chase asks Gail to tell her other children what has happened, but Gail isn’t ready yet, saying that despite the unwritten rule against having favorite children, Paul was always her favorite. She decides that the real first rule of parenting is to keep your child alive. Getty Sr.’s butler and gardener talk about how he doesn’t care enough to know the staff’s real names. Paul Jr. is in a haze, doing drugs nonstop and telling everyone how awful his father is. Gail realizes that the body can’t be Paul because it had tied shoes on and he never ties his shoes. The paparazzi hound Gail again and follow her cab; the driver tells her that it’s because she doesn’t cry for his son. She decides to walk, and goes to the theater to meet Fifty, the cousin Primo has been using to communicate over the phone. She tells him she knows the body isn’t Paul, but that she’s disgusted with them for doing that to anyone’s son. She tells Chase at his apartment that Paul is alive.
When one of Paul Sr.’s girlfriends finds out she’s pregnant, he dances to “Putting on the Ritz” and tells his butler to pack him a bag and take the day off. He asks Penelope to go with him to Rome to get Paul III but she declines, saying she already has plans. Elsewhere, Paul III is chained to a wall in a cave. One of his kidnappers forces him to eat and tells him he’s responsible for Angelo’s death. Paul Jr. shows up at Sutton Place, drunk and coked out, and unloads his anger at his father. Sr. shows him a paper from Chase stating that Paul III is alive and has him escorted out. The butler and the gardener meet again, but this time the gardener has a female companion, which seems to make the butler uncomfortable. Paul Sr.’s girlfriend tells him she’s pregnant, and he gives her the choice to either have an abortion or leave. Chase and Paul Sr. meet with the kidnappers and Paul Sr. discusses the situation with Primo’s uncle. Primo asks Chase about his radio, and he shows that he can use it to summon a helicopter, making Primo a little agitated. Paul Sr. seems to get along with Primo’s uncle pretty well and Chase tells the other kidnappers that Paul won’t pay because the rich think differently. Getty tells Primo’s uncle that he won’t pay the ransom because little Paul bears sentimental value, but he is not a sentimental man. They settle on 5 million dollars. Primo’s uncle tells Getty that empires don’t have to crumble and he shouldn’t give up on his sons. Finally, Getty tells Chase to call Paul Sr. and inform him he will be footing the ransom bill.
“John, Chapter 11” is a really interesting episode with a lot of great character moments. The look on Gail’s face when she sees Paul’s shoes on the body is sheer horror. Even the usually stone-cold J.P. Getty Sr. is genuinely horrified at the sight of the body, and breaks down in tears in front of his secretary. Penelope and Paul Jr. are both reflections of how the audience feels, watching J. P. Sr. through this whole thing. Even when Paul turns out to be alive, it’s still reasonable for Jr. to say what he said to his father, drunk or not.
Penelope and Paul Sr. aren’t flawless themselves, however. Paul Sr. isn’t any better to his children than his father was to him, and he’s a loser who takes solace in substance abuse and whores. Penelope seems to stick around only for the lavish lifestyle, as she frequently picks arguments with Paul Sr., takes issue with his other girlfriends and has her own lover whom she sneaks off to see. In fact, as we learn more about this character and she gets more screen time, she becomes more perplexing. She acts high-and-mighty, but she’s apparently selling herself to Getty for money while being in love with someone else. She’s not really any less despicable than anybody else in the house.
My favorite moment in “John, Chapter 11” was Paul Sr. talking to Primo’s uncle. There’s a lot happening here; they again emphasize that the Italians don’t understand how little these people value their own family. Primo’s uncle, who has no sons of his own, simply can’t see why a man with such a large family has just given up on them as heirs to his industry. However, he is prepared to negotiate with Getty and his tight purse strings. This talk likely did absolutely nothing for a man who would rather have his unborn child killed than raise it, though. Not only is this character despicable, but he gets more so with every episode. Paul Sr. doesn’t value his girlfriends or family members as people, but as things there for his convenience. Even his own kidnapped grandson is a business transaction to be used as a bargaining chip.
While the kidnappers are horrible people doing terrible things, you almost have to sympathize with Primo’s Uncle. He wants to bring some wealth to Southern Italy and restore the people and place to its former glory. It doesn’t justify kidnapping, but it is something to think about. Gail and Chase are the most likable characters in the show, likely because they are the least complicated. Gail is defined by her love and search for Paul. Chase is funny and smart, and knows how to deal with people. I’m wondering if they’re trying to indicate that Getty’s butler is in love with the gardener, but I assume there will be further interaction between them.
“John, Chapter 11” is a really strong episode. The acting is spectacular as usual, it looks great and there are a lot of terrific scenes. Every major character, and even some of the side characters, get to shine and the plot moves forward nonstop. Overall, this is one of my favorite episodes so far.