J. Paul Getty III is still being held by kidnappers as FX’s Trust season one episode four begins. Two of Paul’s kidnappers aren’t happy about being forced to bury two bodies, but they do so because they’ve been ordered to by Primo. They also snap a photo of Paul (Harris Dickinson) tied up next to Bertolini’s (Giuseppe Battiston) dead body, a photo that will prove to be pivotal in convincing Paul’s family he’s actually been kidnapped.
Primo (Luca Marinelli) visits his uncle Don Salvatore and Leonardo, a man Primo calls “the accountant,” and informs them he has Paul. Don Salvatore doesn’t believe it at first and then slowly realizes this could mean a huge payday. Primo thinks they can get a $200 million ransom but Leonardo knows that much money would require Getty to sell assets. They need to lower their demand so that Getty won’t have to spend time pulling together the cash.
Leonardo realizes that since they’re dealing with Getty, $10 million would be the most he would possibly part with. Primo’s not happy with that figure, and Don Salvatore sets the price at $17 million. Leonardo goes along, although he’s sure the top dollar amount will be $15 million.
At Sutton Place, J. Paul Getty (Donald Sutherland) and Penelope (Anna Chancellor) stroll through the garden, discussing their relationship and the lack of sex. Penelope believes the senior Getty’s harem is embarrassing, but he assures her he only enjoys spending long days with her.
J. Paul believes his gardener is gay and just to be an evil jerk, he turns two of his dogs loose on the man who has to run for his life. J. Paul laughs and says to himself, “He certainly runs like a queer.” (Penelope has already left his side when he does this, but his other girlfriends watch from a window and laugh.)
Next, Primo visits his cousin (who goes by Fifty) and demands he act as the negotiator. Fifty (Niccolo Senni) is instructed to speak directly with Paul’s mother. Primo hands over the photo of Paul tied up next to Bertolini’s body to convince Fifty he’s for real.
Primo returns to the hideout and allows Paul, who’s been kept chained up in a small room, to smoke a cigarette. Primo believes now it’s just a matter of waiting.
Paul’s mother and siblings are attempting to deal with his kidnapping, with journalists wanting interviews and paparazzi outside the house. Primo’s cousin calls and says they have Paul, but Gail (Hilary Swank) – quite understandably – doesn’t believe him. She asks questions about Paul that anyone who’s holding him should be able to answer, but Fifty can’t and Gail hangs up.
Fifty then calls the newspaper and reveals they’re demanding $17 million. He’s placed a pillow over his mouth while he talks to disguise his voice, but all it’s really accomplished is making him unintelligible to the woman who answers the phone. He slams the pillow down and tries again. After he goes through his demand again, she asks what desk he wishes to speak with. Frustrated, he asks, “Who deals with kidnaps?” She suggests the news, but she’s not sure.
Once he’s connected, Fifty repeats that they want $17 million for Paul. He demands they put it in the paper and the reporter asks, “What else would we do with it?” and hangs up. Fifty slams the phone down and curses this kidnapping scheme.
The newspaper story is somewhat embellished. The reporter added the negotiator reports directly to the underworld and demanded the story run on the front page. The article’s sent to J. Paul Getty’s assistant Robina Lund (Charlotte Riley) who hands it off to Bullimore (Silas Carson) to deliver to J. Paul. She promises rather gleefully that it will curdle his eggs.
J. Paul tells his women about the ransom demand. He doesn’t believe Paul’s been kidnapped and crumbles up the letter – as he does with all “begging” letters.
After J. Paul leaves the room, the women indicate they also believe Paul hasn’t been taken. Plus, they reveal they know Penelope is sleeping with Getty’s pilot.
The two friendlier kidnappers allow Paul five minutes in the river to wash up. They even join him in the water and try to catch fish with Paul teaching them how. They make small talk and Paul admits he likes being out in nature and one of the kidnappers – translator Angelo (Andrea Arcangeli) – reveals he’d rather be somewhere with girls, drugs, and Mick Jagger. Paul tells him the Rolling Stones party at Treetops in Rome and he knows them, and Angelo’s a bit starstruck. Paul offers to introduce him, but Angelo thinks Paul’s just trying to get on his good side.
The other kidnapper catches a fish and in the ensuing chaos, Paul picks up the dropped rifle and kills the fish that’s flopping on the ground. The kidnappers panic and take the gun back, but it was obvious Paul wasn’t going to try and shoot them. They eat the fish together and Paul learns they’re asking for $17 million. Paul tells them that won’t ever happen but admits he has no idea how much he’s worth to his grandfather.
Fifty calls Primo and informs him they need proof they’re holding Paul since other people have been calling Gail Getty pretending to be the kidnappers.
Primo provides Paul with cocaine and asks him to tell them a story about himself. Paul tells a story about JoJo the dog who was scared of heights and the horse who talked him into jumping off a cliff, using shadow puppets to illustrate the tale.
Paul confirms he had a dog named JoJo and reveals the name of two other dogs. Fifty calls Gail and she realizes they do have him. She’s given the address of a place to meet and is told to come alone.
Gail calls Sutton Place and Robina pretends J. Paul has left the estate. Gail knows J. Paul is probably standing right next to Robina (he is) and informs her she’s spoken to the real kidnappers. Robina promises to pass along the message.
J. Paul thinks this has all become too bothersome and he’ll have James Fletcher Chace deal with Gail from now on.
Gail heads off to the meeting spot. It’s in a cinema and once inside she’s motioned toward a theater. She takes a seat and Fifty sits behind her, warning her not to turn around. She informs him she doesn’t have $17 million or even $1,700. She confesses J. Paul thinks Paul made this up to get money. Fifty hands over the photo of Paul and the dead Bertolini and reveals he’ll be in contact soon. Gail begs to talk to her son, but Fifty just leaves her sitting alone in the theater.
Gail shows Martine (Laura Bellini) and Jutta (Sarah Bellini) the photo and Jutta says they don’t know the dead man. Martine cries but doesn’t say anything while Gail shows her the photo again and points out how scared Paul looks. Martine remains silent.
After Gail leaves, Martine wants to go to the police. Jutta says no, still under the impression this is all part of Paul’s plan.
Gail faxes the photo to Robina.
J. Paul and Chace (Brendan Fraser) meet about a proposed land deal that’s being thwarted by Native Americans who don’t want to sell their sacred land. The meeting’s interrupted by Penelope who shows J. Paul the photo. Chace recognizes Bertolini and changes his mind; he now is certain the kidnapping is not a hoax because Bertolini is definitely dead in the photo. J. Paul’s also convinced Paul was really kidnapped and instructs Chace to open negotiations for his grandson’s release, telling Chace to take the private plane and get back to Rome immediately.
Jutta and Martine scream at each other, and Martine heads to the police station to tell everything she knows. The officer warns her that aiding and abetting is a criminal offense but she doesn’t care. She swears she just wants Paul back. Martine signs the report and the officer suggests she return to Berlin to see her family. He strongly hints that she’s about to be killed if she doesn’t leave after reporting what she knows.
That evening, J. Paul and Penelope discuss the ransom demand. J. Paul’s willing to pay $600 plus expenses, explaining that it’s possible to load up a lot in the expense column. Penelope points out it’ll still be far less than $17 million and J. Paul assures her that’s how negotiations work.
Paul and the kidnappers relax by the river, and Paul invites Angelo to be his best man if he’s ever set free. Primo assures Paul he’ll be set free because there’s a big phone call set up for that very evening.
Chace fills Gail in on the plan and Gail begs him to take her with him to the negotiations. He refuses but promises to be back when it’s over.
Chace meets Fifty in the same movie theater and delivers J. Paul’s response. Fifty reads the note and can’t believe it. He calls Primo, who’s been out partying and drinking expensive alcohol, with the low-ball offer.
Primo returns to the hideout, drunk and angry. He calls Paul a bastard and a piece of sh*it, saying his family only wants to pay $600 for his return. Paul laughs and Primo slaps him. Primo says, “The richest man in the world would pay more for his dog.”
Paul believes it’s a mistake and Primo adds that they offered him $600 plus expenses. One of the kidnappers explains this must just be the start of negotiations but Primo’s furious. He’s offended and they’ve insulted him, and Paul’s going to pay the price by being returned to chains in the barn.
Primo instructs his associates to dig a hole. He wants Paul dead now, declaring the kidnapping is over. Primo demands they murder Paul and have him buried by the time he returns. Primo leaves to get gas and the kidnappers figure out it’s to burn the evidence.
Meanwhile, Paul’s making shadow animals in his cell. He hears the digging outside and realizes what it means.
The kidnappers don’t want to kill Paul but can’t go against Primo. Angelo enters Paul’s cell and tells him they have to get out of there right now.
More on Trust:
- Exclusive Interview with Sarah Bellini and Laura Bellini
- Recap of Trust Season 1 Episode 1 “The House of Getty”
- Recap of Trust Season 1 Episode 2 “Lone Star”
- Recap of Trust Season 1 Episode 3 “La Dolce Vita”
- Recap of Trust Season 1 Episode 5 “Silenzio”