Little Paul is, for all intents and purposes, dead.
Or at least his family believes he is throughout the majority of Trust Season 1 Episode 6.
"John, Chapter 11" didn't do much plot-forwarding, but it did allow for some excellent performances.
We're just past the midpoint mark of the season, so it's not too surprising that the show has slowed down (momentarily) to take a look inward. And it was certainly worthwhile!
Picking up shortly after where Trust Season 1 Episode 5 left off, the discovery of a burned body led the public and the Getty family to believe that Paul was dead for the majority of the installment. In reality – as anyone who is remotely familiar with the real-life Getty family's history is well aware – that body was not Paul at all. It was Angelo.
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(RIP, Angelo. I'll miss seeing your beautiful face on my TV screen.)
Interestingly, the writers allowed the audience to go along with Gail and Getty and John Paul Jr. and everyone else in believing that the body may have been Paul. We didn't get a glimpse of him until fairly well on.
This allowed for viewers to grieve right along with them.
Jr., predictably, retreated into drug abuse. He's not exactly the most interesting or complex of the characters, but Michael Esper has done solid work with what he's been given. "John, Chapter 11" contained his most impressive performance to date.
We also got a further glimpse of his damaged backstory.
Jr. was traumatized by his former wife Talitha's death due to a drug overdose. When thinking Paul is also dead, he bemoaned the fact that he'd lost them both – his late wife and his son.
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It's an ... interesting choice, given that we've already seen how little Jr. cared about his son.
First, on Trust Season 1 Episode 1, we saw him rat out Paul's drug use to Getty, prompted by jealousy. Then, he immediately believed Paul was faking his kidnapping – which turned out to be true (at first), obviously, but still.
But the best performance of the hour, by a landslide, belonged to Hilary Swank as Gail, Paul's heartbroken and determined mom.
As the writers have represented the events, Gail was crushed when she thought Paul was dead, to the point where she wasn't willing to accept it was true. Her hunch turned out to be correct, as we saw during that brutal scene where she returned to the morgue to view the burned body once again.
One of the greatest moments was Gail's quiet musing on the nature of being a parent and having favorites when she confessed to Chace that Paul had been her favorite child of the four she had with Jr.
Never have favorites. That's the number one rule of parenting. But he was our first. A..