The third installment of Trust set FX ablaze last night with an opening sequence that included cocaine snorting, twin sister models making out at a photo shoot, an out of control antiwar protest, public fountain sex, and the return of Harris Dickinson’s John Paul Getty III. Last week’s episode focused on the beginning of Brendan Fraser’s James Fletcher Chase character’s investigation for the missing JPG III who seemed to be kidnapped at the end of episode one. Episode three opens with Getty being pulled from a car and handed over to the mobster Berto who owns a cafe and sold JPG III 7K in white stuff that the hippie billionaire never made good on.
Last week’s episode was a lot of fun and Fraser did not disappoint, but Trust is a story about John Paul Getty III and it was great to get back to him and his story. Berto stuffs JPG III in the trunk of a car before Getty III falls into a reverie of recent memories and the whole episode becomes a series of long flashback that finally invites viewers into the Roman decadence that caused all the trouble in the first place. The recent American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace was gaga for flashbacks, telling its whole tale in a reverse chronology. Trust has been less predictable in its jump-around plotting, but I’ve enjoyed the way Boyle has confidently danced across his character introductions, action sequences and exposition in a manner that’s juggled these elements into three very compelling chapters.
By the end of the episode JPG III dropped from Berto’s frying pan into the fryer of another group of gangsters he doesn’t even know. This third chapter finally confirms that JPG III might have been involved in a conspiracy to profit from his own kidnapping, but as soon as the possibility of that kind of plan is presented nearly everything that might go wrong absolutely does.
Next week will likely be a return to the John Paul Getty I’s English manse, and the intrigue of one of the wealthiest men in the world who’s promised not to pay a single cent to this grandson’s kidnappers.