This Trust review contains spoilers.
Trust Episode 8
When Trust operates at its full potential, it usually does so within the confines of a more standalone story. When the action hops around across continents, spending brief moments with each member of its sprawling cast, it can all feel a bit disconnected and like it’s hitting well-worn beats cemented by other large ensemble shows. Trust feels most vital when it keeps its focused fixed on one or a small subset of characters, often telling a tale with a beginning, middle, and end like in the premiere, “Lone Star,” and the chase episode “Silenzio.”
“In the Name of the Father” mostly works because it follows this format. We focus on Leonardo and his two families; his immediate one and his extended, crime connected family. The episode also sticks to Trust’s other main overarching theme, telling a familiar, if not satisfying story about fathers and sons that has a definitive, cutting ending.
Leonardo is forced with figuring out how to tell Salvatore about the failed ransom exchange on the day of his son Francesco’s Confirmation. With the whole village in attendance and well-aware of the mob’s extracurricular activities, there’s more to celebrate than Francesco becoming a man; everyone believes Salvatore and co. are now filthy rich and expect the wealth to trickle down. If everyone became aware that Paul was still in captivity, hiding away in a cave without garnering a single lira, it will make Salvatore and everyone involved look weak and silly.
With the celebration and all of the religious iconography dressing up this mafia drama, one can’t help but think of the Godfather. The connection is also reinforced by Leonardo’s relationship with his son. Especially with all of the danger and complications he’s dealing with at the moment, Leonardo doesn’t want his son involved with crime at all. He may be becoming a man in the church’s eyes, but that doesn’t mean that he’s man enough to deal with the heavy, dirty business that they’ve found themselves in. Leonardo has higher ambitions for his son, seeing him as the first in his family that will escape the trappings of their village and go on to university.
Sure, it’s all a little rote, but it’s all sold on the strength of the performances. Leonardo and his wife’s conversations feel so real and lived in, like these are characters that we’ve been watching for weeks. All they desire is to get through their son’s special day without the Getty kidnapping spoiling the affair, but it’s the number one thing on everyone’s minds, whether they’re looking for a handout or trying to hide their displeasure at the fact that the whole affair is still ongoing. There’s so much loaded in every half-hearted smile and especially in those Confirmation toasts.
The episode’s most gripping moment comes when the grandmother that Angelo referred to in “Silenzio” comes looking for her grandson, and Leonardo’s wife is forced to tell her the bad news, then immediately put on a public face and begin dancing with the man that threatens to tear her family apart. The duality of everyone at the celebration casts an artificial air over the whole proceeding, showing once again how money and can spoil and infect a family.
The moment that everyone has been waiting for also comes in “In the Name of the Father” as expected; Paul loses his ear. I’m unsure if this is actually how it happened, with Paul deciding himself to cut off the ear in an effort to buy him more time, but it’s a brilliant idea in the context of the episode. In his Confirmation suit, with the knife gifted to him by Salvatore, Francesco really becomes a man, much to the chagrin of his father. It’s a “sins of the father” moment that neatly ties a bow on the whole episode, and Francesco’s teary eyes and his father’s gutted disbelief makes the scene land with maximum dramatic weight. Also, kudos to Harrison Dickson, who finally displays some Emmy reel acting when he realizes that he can no longer run away and that death could be imminent. He especially shines as he begs Francesco to use that brand new knife.
Though it’s playing in played out mafia tropes, “In the Name of the Father” keeps its focus tight and gets phenomenal mileage out of each performance. It’s able to tell a complete, family-focused crime story in a breezy 44-minutes and doesn’t once make you miss Getty or a visit to Sutton Place. Trust has been mostly average and can’t quite ever maintain its momentum, but its tidy, compact episodes like this and “Silzensio” prove that it could have been something special had it retained a standalone episode-driven format.