FX’s season one episode one of the dramatic series Trust ended with John Paul Getty III (‘Paul’) fleeing through a field of sunflowers. Episode two airing April 1, 2018 begins with Martine Zacher (Laura Bellini) and Jutta Winklemann (Sarah Bellini) trying to reach Paul by phone. The pay phone set up at John Paul Getty’s estate (Sutton Place) rings but no one answers.
Martine and Jutta claim Paul’s getting the money he owes from his grandfather, but the people who they owe money to have run out of patience. The girls are being held against their will and while one is being attacked, the other grabs a gun and begins firing. She’s not aiming to kill anyone, just to scare them off.
Brendan Fraser as James Fletcher Chace breaks the fourth wall and speaks to the camera. He recalls pivotal events in recent history, including the Moon Walk. When he gets to 1973, he has nothing good to say. “It was the year that America finally admitted that a billion dollars of firepower could not beat back a bunch of dollar-a-day Commies,” recalls Chace. Student riots, Nixon declaring he wasn’t a crook, and workers went on strike all during that otherwise blasé year. Nothing good came out of ’73 declares Chace, adding it was also the year John Paul Getty III disappeared.
Gail Getty (Hilary Swank) arrives home from a camping trip with Paul’s younger siblings to discover Paul’s been kidnapped.
J. Paul Getty (Donald Sutherland) glances at an article in The Times stating his grandson has been kidnapped. He cares more about the butter being hard than he does about the kidnapping.
Gail calls her ex-husband, Paul’s father John Paul Getty Jr. (Michael Esper). She informs him of the ransom note and that the kidnappers are threatening to kill their son. However, the note doesn’t say how much they want. Her ex suggests they just sit tight and see what happens. Gail, irritated, calls J. Paul Getty when Jr. does nothing.
Next we learn that Sutton Place is being fortified due to Paul’s kidnapping. John Paul Getty Jr drives through the security checkpoint, angry they’ve asked for his ID. When he arrives at the house, J. Paul Getty advises him to never just barge through or he’ll be shot.
J. Paul wonders why John Paul Getty Jr. isn’t already in Rome looking for his son. Jr reminds him he’s wanted by the police there and isn’t allowed to go to Italy.
As they meet with Chace, the senior Getty thanks his son for warning him about Paul’s drug use. Of course, if John Paul Getty Jr hadn’t told his father about the magazine spread, Paul would have had the money to repay his debts and the kidnapping wouldn’t have happened.
Chace learns that Paul needed $6,000 and that the Getty patriarch didn’t give it to him. Instead, he kicked him out of the house after learning about the magazine article.
Bullimore (Silas Carson) confirms he was the last person in the house to speak with Paul, and that Paul told him he owed money to the mafia. J. Paul Getty isn’t happy about the possible mafia involvement and sends Chace off to Rome to learn the truth.
J. Paul warns his two other sons to get bodyguards and hunker down. The’re all in danger.
Fletcher Chace arrives in Rome, flashing money at the hotel. He’s a big tipper and asks one of the bellboys about the mafia. After slipping him a $100 bill, he tells the bellboy to spread the word around that he’s looking to speak with a member of the mafia.
Chace’s next stop is at the police station where he questions the inspector about the lack of effort being put into finding John Paul Getty III. The inspector believes most kidnappings are resolved without violence. He informs Chace the ransom note was brought in by the twins, Martine and Jutta. The inspector doesn’t know if the note is in Paul’s handwriting, but he thinks the boy will be released unharmed after negotiations are complete. He also thinks the negotiations will go better without police involvement.
Chace sets the wheels in motion on the streets while Gail continues to receive hoax calls from fake kidnappers.
Chace and Gail finally meet, and he informs her he’s been sent by J. Paul Getty. Gail’s boyfriend fills in the blanks on Paul’s personal life, including his drinking and drug use.
Gail takes Chace to Paul’s place which is messy and covered with Paul’s drawing. Gail describes Paul as 16, headstrong, and with a father who doesn’t care about him. Paul was living with Martine and Jutta, and although Gail didn’t approve, she kept quiet. She tells Chace that John Paul Getty Jr hasn’t talked to Paul in six months.
While Gail and Chace are looking through Paul’s place, Martine and Jutta arrive home. Martine gives Gail a hug and Chace immediately asks about the kidnap note. Martine explains they found the note in bed in the evening. Jutta wants to know why Chace is grilling them, and he explains he’s trying to figure out when they found the note so he can determine when it was left and who left it.
Chace thinks the fact there wasn’t a random demand is strange.
The bellhop places a business card from Ristorante Sabatini into Chace’s boots outside his hotel room. Chace follows his only real lead and questions the restaurant’s manager, Bertolini. He glances around the place and sees Paul’s drawings on the walls. Bertolini doesn’t want to talk about Paul, so Chace takes a seat and orders a meal.
Chace hangs out all day until it’s time for the restaurant to close. Bertolini realizes Chace isn’t going away without information so he finally agrees to answer a few questions. Bertolini explains that when Paul didn’t have money for his bill, he would agree to take one of Paul’s paintings. He also admits Paul owed lots of people money, and that if Paul was still around he’d kidnap him himself.
Chace pulls out a huge wad of cash wanting to pay off Paul’s debt. It’s not enough and so he keeps adding more to the pile. Bertolini had suggested Paul was in Morocco or America, but Chace has Paul’s passport and knows the kid’s still somewhere near Rome.
Chace tells Bertolini he’s heard he’s one of the men who runs Rome. Bertolini laughs and claims the people who run Rome don’t run restaurants. Chace explains he’s simply there to pay off Paul’s debts quickly and retrieve Paul. He leaves a case full of money behind when he exits the restaurant.
The bellhop visits Chace, delivering a package of playing cards and revealing someone wants to meet with him at 8pm. Chace calls J. Paul Getty to advise him there’s a deal in the works. He also suggests all members of the Getty family be rounded up once Paul is released. He doesn’t want the police to ask any questions.
Gail and her children board a private jet, and Gail’s overjoyed to tell her three children that Paul will be joining them soon. She’s been assured Chace knows who took Paul and he’s gone to retrieve her son.
Chace shows up at the meeting at 8pm as instructed and is told the mafia are not holding Paul. They return his briefcase with the cash and Chace hands it back, calling it a “loss leader.” The men he’s meeting with reiterate that they’ve asked all the companies they do business with and no one has Paul. However, if that changes Chace will be notified.
Chace boards the plane to let Gail know he was unable to get Paul back.
The next day, Chace meets with street artist Marcello (Luca Tanganelli). Chace informs him he’s capable of killing a man with a pencil. Marcello reveals where he’s been for the last few days and that Paul was supposed to be with him, but he never showed up. He wants to know if Chace has any news on Paul’s whereabouts.
Chace has run out of patience and demands Marcello write down every place Paul went during the last two weeks. As Marcello makes a list, Chace reads Paul’s journals which include a story about a kidnapping. Paul also had a ticket stub to Travels with My Aunt among his journals.
Chace begins tracing Paul’s steps, asking random people if they’ve seen Paul. He finally strikes pay dirt when he enters the Treetops night club. (Treetops is where Paul danced and bought a waitress a drink immediately prior to his kidnapping.)
The waitress informs Chace she saw Paul before he went missing.
Chace meets with Gail and calls Paul “creative.” He shows off Paul’s journal in which it appears Paul was writing a movie. He then tells her Travels with My Aunt has a fake kidnapping scene as does the film Paul was writing in his journal. Gail can’t believe it and says it’s bullsh*t.
Chace proceeds to show Gail the bullet he dug out of the wall where Paul was staying. Plus, there’s a newspaper article from yesterday and he believes it shows the twins Martine and Jutta as being unconcerned about Paul’s whereabouts. He’s also learned from the police that ransom notes are always sent to a television station or the newspaper and are never just left on a bed.
Gail remains certain her son wouldn’t do this, but Chace is equally sure Paul staged this kidnapping. He points out that the ransom note reads: “Since Thursday I have been in the hands of kidnappers.” Paul was seen at Treetops two days later, buying the waitress a drink before leaving in a hurry.
Chace further explains the waitress only works on the weekends because she’s in college so she couldn’t have the days wrong. Chace tries to convince Gail that Paul did this to himself, but Gail has a hard time accepting it. Chace suggests that when Paul turns up, Gail needs to “whoop his ass” for what he put her through.
Chace reports in to J. Paul Getty, explaining this was a hoax. J. Paul says he has three sons, 15 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. “That’s enough to keep a kidnapper in business for the rest of time,” says the senior Getty. He wants to nip this kidnapping thing in the bud immediately.
Gail traces Paul’s steps the night he went missing.
John Paul Getty Jr. is at a bar making small talk with a woman when his father comes on television. J. Paul Getty informs the world he will not be paying one cent of ransom money. He will not be negotiating with any kidnappers now or at any point in the future.
Gail stands in front of the fountain in the exact place her son stood when he was taken away. A street artist (a man posing as a statue) reveals he saw her son, “the golden hippie,” get taken away by two men on a Saturday night. They put a sack on Paul’s head, threw him in the back of the car, and then drove away. She begs him to tell the police what he saw.
Gail returns home and throws out her boyfriend, blaming him for the fact Paul didn’t feel comfortable staying in her house.
Brendan Fraser as Chace breaks the fourth wall again to discuss life as a rich man. He’s come to the conclusion that a rich life is just as messed up as a poor life; it’s just a different kind of messed up.
The final scene is a brief glimpse of John Paul Getty III (Harris Dickinson) chained up and hooded in a cell.
More on Trust:
- Recap of Trust Season 1 Episode 1 “The House of Getty”
- Recap of Trust Season 1 Episode 3 “La Dolce Vita”
- Recap of Trust Season 1 Episode 4 #That’s All Folks”
- Recap of Trust Season 1 Episode 5 “Silenzio”
- Recap of Trust Season 1 Episode 6 “John, Chapter 11”
- Recap of Trust Season 1 Episode 7 “Kodachrome”
- Recap of Trust Season 1 Episode 8 “In the Name of the Father”
- Exclusive Interview with Sarah Bellini and Laura Bellini
- Recap of Trust Season 1 Episode 10 “Consequences”