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S01.E08: In the Name of the Father

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Leonardo celebrates his son's confirmation with Primo, Salvatore and the other Calabrians, but unresolved business casts a shadow over the special day.

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This is the first episode that bored me to bits. I have no interest whatsoever in any the kidnappers. Did they really need an entire hour to show us Leonardo wanting to keep his young son out of the business, but -- oh noes! --that wacky kid cut off the Getty kid's ear and now he's covered in blood -- and surprise! -- I guess the the sins of the fathers have passed down to the sons again, etc. etc.  The whole episode felt like filler to me. 

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For at least half of the episode, I was looking at Francesco's white suit and wondering how long before he got it dirty. Later when I saw that he had managed to get both of the knees covered in dirt, I thought ugh, his poor mother just wanted to have one nice day and I'm pretty sure she's going to be mad when she sees how dirty he managed to get his confirmation outfit.

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I turned it off as soon as I saw what happened to the lamb.  I am done with the series.  I don't need to see that shit.  Yes, I know that crap happens in really life, but I shouldn't have to see it on my television screen.   I have no reason to believe that it wasn't real.  I hope it wasn't.  I hope it was fake, but it looked awfully real to me.

Still, they need a better rating system than the bullshit before the beginning of this episode.  Give me some kind of fucking warning so that I can avoid the episode entirely.

This series doesn't have much of an audience to begin with.

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This series could have easily been done in about 4 episodes.  They are dragging it out so much.  I feel like I have been abducted for weeks.  I refuse to watch this show live.  Recording makes it easier to fast forward the boring parts.  This episode that was most of the episode.

Did we really need to see the entire confirmation ceremony and party? 

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1 hour ago, LakeGal said:

This series could have easily been done in about 4 episodes.  They are dragging it out so much.  I feel like I have been abducted for weeks. 

Yeah, this could have been a made for television movie event stretched over a couple of nights.  It would also help if I gave a shit about any of the Getty's as they are portrayed on this show.  None of them come off looking good at all, and I don't much care if they get JP3 back at all.

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I found this episode disturbing, yet bold and powerful.  The nearly-all Italian was work for the viewer, but it proved effective in setting the tone.  I was impressed by all the religious symbolism--the sacrifice of the goat at the beginning for the meal mirrored the sacrifice of Paul (his ear, anyway) at the end.   Bloody dripping followed each event.   That meshed perfectly with all the confirmation proceedings, which in this context felt correct with its detail.  Even the group climbing the hill to the cave to kill Paul echoed the Roman leadership climbing the hill to arrest Jesus--and both of those events resulted in somebody's ear getting sliced off.  

Like most of viewers, I already knew about that ear cutting, but if this series plays close to accuracy at all, that little bit of surgery didn't happen at all as I'd surmised.  Less an act of violence, more a desperate act of salvation, done with the greatest of good intentions, however horrific.  Paul losing his ear likely saved his life.  And if you're a believer, Christ losing his life saved ours.  

Of course the greatest message was the generational passing of the violence, father to son, whether intended or not.  And the women...objecting to it all, but ultimately powerless, suffering some of the greatest heartache in the end.  

Like most great story telling, this is something I won't forget. 

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Oh, one more piece of religious symbolism in this confirmation episode—

The boy carries in the loaves of bread to Paul before his supposed murder, not unlike the Last Supper breaking of the bread.  

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So.fucking.boring.

I wouldn't have minded the kidnapping being the centerpiece of the entire Getty family saga in all of its glorious weirdness as a unifying or overarching theme like it's kind of being used for now, but I do not have 2 shits to give about the actual criminals that took him.  If Donald Sutherland isn't on my screen being all salty, clever, and 15 kinds of fucked up, I do not want to watch.  

If there has to be filler, why can't the filler be ol' JP I's early days and start in the business?  Or George's descent into barbecue fork suicide?  Or something other than a mob story?

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If there has to be filler, why can't the filler be ol' JP I's early days and start in the business?

I thought I read somewhere that if season one is successful, then season two would probably be a 'prequel', showing his rise to wealth and power, but I might be mistaken.

The whole confirmation/celebration/Mafia family plot was interesting, but I also viewed it as filler.  To me, it showed that the entire kidnapping story could have been done in -- at most -- four episodes.  If the powers-that-be really wanted to have a 10 episode season, then I would have liked to see one episode focus on the Getty family's point of view, the next one from the Mafia family and the villagers, the next the Gettys, and so on.  It might have been interesting to see how the Italian family kind of compared to the Gettys.  The men were not good guys, but they loved their home and family.  If they had done that, then this episode might have actually meant something to me, the viewer.  As it was, I was wondering why I should care about these people? (and I even wondered about Angelo's grandmother.  It was sad, but since we knew nothing about his background, then it didn't mean anything to us). 

Finally, I know that the series is 'inspired by actual events', but I think they really took liberty with the whole ear scene.  Maybe there are more detailed accounts out there that I haven't seen, but most of what I've read just say that 'the kidnappers', 'his captors', etc. cut off his ear.  I've never read anything about a teenage future Mafia kid doing the deed (in his white confirmation suit, no less!) 

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2 hours ago, Fouts said:

I found this episode disturbing, yet bold and powerful.  The nearly-all Italian was work for the viewer, but it proved effective in setting the tone.  I was impressed by all the religious symbolism--the sacrifice of the goat at the beginning for the meal mirrored the sacrifice of Paul (his ear, anyway) at the end.   Bloody dripping followed each event.   That meshed perfectly with all the confirmation proceedings, which in this context felt correct with its detail.  Even the group climbing the hill to the cave to kill Paul echoed the Roman leadership climbing the hill to arrest Jesus--and both of those events resulted in somebody's ear getting sliced off.  

Like most of viewers, I already knew about that ear cutting, but if this series plays close to accuracy at all, that little bit of surgery didn't happen at all as I'd surmised.  Less an act of violence, more a desperate act of salvation, done with the greatest of good intentions, however horrific.  Paul losing his ear likely saved his life.  And if you're a believer, Christ losing his life saved ours.  

Of course the greatest message was the generational passing of the violence, father to son, whether intended or not.  And the women...objecting to it all, but ultimately powerless, suffering some of the greatest heartache in the end.  

Like most great story telling, this is something I won't forget. 

I admire @Fouts for this thoughtful review of the imagery. 

But I have to agree with @Larapu2000:

1 hour ago, larapu2000 said:

  If Donald Sutherland isn't on my screen being all salty, clever, and 15 kinds of fucked up, I do not want to watch. 

HA!!  I've been waiting over a month for that ear to come off.  Every week, I say to myself, "Well, they can't possibly stretch this caper out another hour without THE EAR."

And for some reason I feel a little . . . ripped off that when we finally get to The Ear, it's a Hail Mary move by JPGIII.  Puhleeze.

 

If 2/3s of the show has to be filler, at least let it be crazy Getty "The Rich Are Different" fuckery.  I've seen the majesty of the Carpathians; show me harem malcontents and private payphones.

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6 hours ago, LakeGal said:

This series could have easily been done in about 4 episodes.  They are dragging it out so much.  I feel like I have been abducted for weeks.  

Did we really need to see the entire confirmation ceremony and party? 

I thought the confirmation ceremony is actually a great part of the episode.  So Godfather like.  

4 hours ago, Fouts said:

I found this episode disturbing, yet bold and powerful.  The nearly-all Italian was work for the viewer, but it proved effective in setting the tone.  I was impressed by all the religious symbolism--the sacrifice of the goat at the beginning for the meal mirrored the sacrifice of Paul (his ear, anyway) at the end.   Bloody dripping followed each event.   That meshed perfectly with all the confirmation proceedings, which in this context felt correct with its detail.  Even the group climbing the hill to the cave to kill Paul echoed the Roman leadership climbing the hill to arrest Jesus--and both of those events resulted in somebody's ear getting sliced off.  

I agree!

3 hours ago, Fouts said:

Oh, one more piece of religious symbolism in this confirmation episode—

The boy carries in the loaves of bread to Paul before his supposed murder, not unlike the Last Supper breaking of the bread.  

I do love symbolism.

I found this article in Variety with the caption: ‘All the Money in the World’ Angers Family of Getty Kidnappers.  While I may be reading about another production it is still relevant to Trust and found the article interesting and the comments hilarious.

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Yeah, this show definitely could have cut down on a lot of this stuff, but I still liked this episode, even without Elder Getty being a weird rich asshole. It felt very immersive, with all the Italian and the feelings of the community. It gave more context as to why all this is happening,and why its so hard for Paul to get out. 

The lamb killing was very Silence of the Lambs meet Abraham meets Godfather. "Can you still hear them screaming, Clarice?"

Really, the biggest badass in this story is Angelo's grandma. After Angelo was so worried about her being shunned, turns out she gives zero fucks about that, or about these mob guys and their bullshit, she just wants her grandson to be safe, or at least to have some kind of justice. It was pretty awesome when she was like "what do I care if he kills, me, I've lived long enough, so stop dicking around and tell me what you did to my grandson." That was awesome. 

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I hope that in real life, mafia members do not think they are as devout Catholics as those in movies seem to believe. The hypocrisy of acting so pious in church, while outside they threaten and bribe and torture and kill, is something I hope is dreamt up by filmmakers for its contrast. That and "family honor."

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Despite Fouts' excellent review, I was very bored.  I like to casually watch TV while I'm doing something else, and reading captions keeps me tortuously tied to my TV.  So, maybe while I was distracted doing something productive I missed WHY Paul Jr. told the kid to cut off his ear.  He knew he was going to be killed, so why the ear? 

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3 hours ago, suzeecat said:

I missed WHY Paul Jr. told the kid to cut off his ear. 

In the context of the episode, in which much artistic license with the facts was taken to create a religious metaphor, I think Paul III "sacrificed" his ear for the sins of his captors. And to create a visual call-back to the killing of the lamb at the beginning of the episode.

In real life, my reading suggests that this happened back when the kidnapping was being dismissed as a hoax. The captors sent the ear and a lock of hair to prove that they had him. Nobody would believe Paul would go to this length if he kidnapped himself.
 

3 hours ago, suzeecat said:

I like to casually watch TV while I'm doing something else

Yes, must stay awake when watching captioned TV.

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On 5/14/2018 at 1:14 PM, larapu2000 said:

So.fucking.boring.

I wouldn't have minded the kidnapping being the centerpiece of the entire Getty family saga in all of its glorious weirdness as a unifying or overarching theme like it's kind of being used for now, but I do not have 2 shits to give about the actual criminals that took him.  If Donald Sutherland isn't on my screen being all salty, clever, and 15 kinds of fucked up, I do not want to watch.  

If there has to be filler, why can't the filler be ol' JP I's early days and start in the business?  Or George's descent into barbecue fork suicide?  Or something other than a mob story?

To me that is the biggest problem - you bring in Hillary Swank, Brendan Frasier, and Donald Surtherland and they barely use them.  I was interested at first because of the great casting - this is true crime there is no suspense - if you dont know the outcome it takes 2 mins to google how it ends.  I came for the performances. 

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Question for anybody who is Catholic and has experience specifically with the Catholic Church in Italy:

I was raised Catholic, and the response of "And with your spirit" to "Peace be with you" was not de rigueur in English-speaking, American Catholic churches until around 2010 or so. It used to be "And also with you" (side note: anybody who hasn't seen John Mulaney's bit on this change is missing out!). But was that not the case in Italy? Was it always that in Italian but they just changed it in English a few years ago? If not that was a huge anachronism, and especially glaring for an episode that got a lot of the other religious symbolism right on the money.

On 5/14/2018 at 8:47 AM, icemiser69 said:

I have no reason to believe that it wasn't real. 

Here are several:

- It is illegal to harm or kill animals for entertainment purposes, at least in the States. This appears to have been filmed on-location in Italy, but it was a union production with all the protections that entails. If a lamb really was killed, someone (a crew member, actor, etc.) would have one hundred percent run to the press with it. Do you remember the hooplah when it looked like a dog was being forced into the water on the set of A Dog's Purpose a while back? PETA et al. would have been all over this shit if it was real.

- Please find me a child actor (or even an adult actor) that would be willing to really kill an animal on set. Even if they could (unlikely), this kid has parents, agents, and managers who absolutely would have not allowed it. I work for a manager who specializes in child and young adult talent. If we got a script for a kid where he had to really kill an animal, she would have refused to even let them audition. The kid appears to be Italian so maybe as a culture they would be more lax, but if he's in this show he's got SAG-certified agents repping him and they absolutely would not have allowed it.

- Please find me a child, actor or no, who would have been able to kill the lamb that cleanly. Can you imagine a director forcing a child to keep trying again and again on different lambs until he got it right?

I don't like seeing violence against animals either, but this could not have been real. I also thought it contrasted really well with how the Gettys treat the animals they raise for food. Getty's driver ran over the black goose without a thought, but this was done thoughtfully. These people live in a rural village, this is part of their livelihood. They know how (and want) to kill their animals humanely. It was done as a ceremony, and then used later for food. It wasn't tortured or mistreated, just a part of the food chain.

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I hope you're right.

That said, there are hunting shows on television, and for some hunters I would assume that is a form of entertainment.

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3 minutes ago, icemiser69 said:

I hope you're right.

That said, there are hunting shows on television, and for some hunters I would assume that is a form of entertainment.

Reality shows are non-union and since they ostensibly portray reality, the rules are different. I don't watch any hunting reality shows but if they hunt properly, follow all rules and laws associated with hunting, they're covered.

What's shown here is not hunting. It is a staged production with tons of regulations associated with it. Killing real animals is not a problem any studio/network needs when adequate special effects are available.

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On 5/20/2018 at 2:48 PM, helenamonster said:

Reality shows are non-union and since they ostensibly portray reality, the rules are different. I don't watch any hunting reality shows but if they hunt properly, follow all rules and laws associated with hunting, they're covered.

What's shown here is not hunting. It is a staged production with tons of regulations associated with it. Killing real animals is not a problem any studio/network needs when adequate special effects are available.

Thank you for the information.  I understand it much better now.

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On 5/20/2018 at 1:34 PM, helenamonster said:

Question for anybody who is Catholic and has experience specifically with the Catholic Church in Italy:

I was raised Catholic, and the response of "And with your spirit" to "Peace be with you" was not de rigueur in English-speaking, American Catholic churches until around 2010 or so. It used to be "And also with you" (side note: anybody who hasn't seen John Mulaney's bit on this change is missing out!). But was that not the case in Italy? Was it always that in Italian but they just changed it in English a few years ago? If not that was a huge anachronism, and especially glaring for an episode that got a lot of the other religious symbolism right on the money.

I have no experience with the Catholic Church in Italy, but had the same thought. 

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