The season one finale begins with a press conference from the hospital where young Paul is being treated for malnutrition, and a head wound caused by having his ear cut off. Then Chace Fletcher introduces the show and promises that this is not the movies and there are no happy endings, just consequences.
That sort of sums up life in general, doesn’t it? It’s all a bunch of consequences of choices that we’ve made.
Paul’s girlfriend is ironically by his side. Didn’t she pretty much fuck him over?
Paul pulls his mother aside and confesses that he planned his own kidnapping. I can hardly pay attention to him because he doesn’t even look like the same person in this scene. It’s like he lost five pounds in his face that was already skinny to start with. She doesn’t want to believe him.
While the TV flashes to the eldest Paul introducing his museum plans, I am flashing back to a college teaching evaluation I had as an associate professor of reading at a small college. They had just gotten white boards and Internet and all manner of “cutting edge technology.” So when my evaluation lesson approached I did an interactive lesson on the John Paul Getty museum that went so well, that my department head felt out done. That was a great success and a new set of problems. I barely remember the lesson itself or what concept I was teaching. I do remember that the museum itself was fascinating. I’ve never thought of that lesson again until now. Please pardon the personal interruption.
I understood very little of the transaction for the museum other than apparently, Getty is buying off someone for some priceless artwork that belongs to the Greeks to the tune of half a billion dollars. This is a ransom he had no problem paying. I can’t understand Chace Fletcher half the time because his lips don’t move when he talks and I’ve become quite dependent on lip-reading.
Back in Italy, Primo stops by to see the nervous lawyer who wanted no part of the kidnapping. He lives with his aunt. Primo gave her a present before walking the poor guy to his death. He oddly leaves his share of the money on the tall ledge he pushed him off of. I have a feeling the present for his aunt was equally deadly.
Next we see a woman driving a car with Primo in the trunk through some sort of guarded area. The woman goes in and has sex with a guy, I think it is probably Salvadore but since he is in bed in the shadows it’s hard for me to tell. After they have sex, Primo comes in and kills him in his post coital slumber.
Oh no, not Leonardo and his wife! Please let Leo kill Primo! Leo goes down to confront Primo with a shot gun only to find him sitting at his kitchen table having a drink. He quickly lets Leo know that Salvadore is dead. He wants Leo to be his number two. Leo just wants to grow olives. Leo just wants to get back into bed with his wife. Leo just wants to raise his son in peace. Primo has some plan to get some of the money the government is pumping in to the area for regeneration. Because apparently his cut of the five million is not enough. If that is the case, why leave the wad of money that was the attorney’s cut blowing in the wind? Primo wants to build a port.
Over in jolly old England, the senior JPG is recovering from a face lift. It seems he needed a little bit of a refresher to make him feel better since his stable of women was fleeing like fillies in a barn fire. Bullimore announces that young Paul is on the phone for him, but he is much too busy admires himself in the mirror to take the call. Bullimore is finding it very hard to keep a professional face at this point. Old man Getty tells his doctor than the boy lied to him, they all lie to him, sons, grandsons, he is done with them all. When Bullimore delivers the answer to Paul, he fails to give an adequate excuse and basically tells the truth. Young Paul asks Bullimore why he stays with him. Bullimore politely ends the call. GO MAKE THE POISON TEA BULLIMORE!
Apparently, young Paul was calling to invite him to his wedding. Young Paul’s dad is a hot mess. Young Paul’s fiancée is pregnant and seems to be marrying him out of guilt. Apparently, Paul’s mom stopped speaking to him after his confession. This is a mighty big venue for a wedding for someone whose entire family is not speaking to him. Of course Gail showed up. Gail blames herself for the kidnapping. She wants to be his mother and be a grandmother.
The wedding is silent lest for the tenor singing Opera. I hate that I can’t identify the music. Sorry. Mixed in with the happy couple twirling in massive amounts of rose petals, are scenes for Paul’s future, shooting up drugs and living in a wheelchair all alone.
From that depressing scene we are back in Calabria, where the evil Primo is popping bottles with some big wigs at the site of his new port. Sadly, Leo is there with him and not somewhere growing olives with his family. Primo tells Leo this is the first hole he had dug that wasn’t for a body. Even sadder is the fact that his boy Francesco is there headed into the family business.
Chace Fletcher is narrating this entire sob story in hilarious fashion. So there is that. He tells us that the people involved in kidnapping did no time. Even worse, the mafia made sure a few innocent people did the time instead.
After some brief negotiations that didn’t go the way he’d hoped, Bullimore drives the old man to see Belinda, his female companion that left him to have his baby. Why on earth would Bullimore be driving him? Ah well, I am always happy to see him. It seems that the old man wants to go see his newest son. Despite the fact he claims to hate Eaton, he wants this new son to go to school there. I think he hates it because he couldn’t get in there, but I’m simply guessing. The boy’s mother is not down with the plan and points out that technically the boy is not his because she signed a contract which stated he was not to be considered a Getty heir. Belinda says unless he wants to renegotiate the contract, he has no say so in where the boy goes to school. It seems even the old man is facing a lot of consequences.
Old man Getty’s dogs have ulcers of the mouth and the esophagus due to something they ate. I highly suspect Bullimore is trying out the poison tea recipe to see how much it takes to kill the dogs before serving it to the old man. Or maybe I am just ever hopeful.
The Getty museum opened in LA without the old man because he refuses to go to the US. The reviews are awful in the American press. It is vulgar and would have been better if it had stayed as a model. The old man is devastated. He destroys his beloved model of the museum in a fit of rage. Hey Bullimore! This would be a fabulous time for the tea! It could look like a suicide! That night he is so upset he drives himself to find Penelope. When he is told she is not there, he waits in the car in a rainstorm for her to return. He watches her go into the house and embrace her lover. I presume this was the pilot, but the pilot seemed to act like he didn’t know who Getty was.
Back at the house, there are three members of the harem and his male porn writer enjoying a night off. They compare notes and realize that he seems to have lost the desire for sex, finally. Bullimore is attending to them. When one of the ladies asks for another drink, he politely gives her the recipe and walks off.
Bullimore makes a phone call and the next thing we see is a very well dressed Bullimore walking into a a cricket museum. There he meets his equally well-dressed gardener friend. He is there to return the flower puzzle. He has solved it. All the flowers are poisonous to dogs. Wait, not just to dogs! Please tell me he poisoned the old man! The gardener and Bullimore are looking a an exhibit of a sparrow who was killed by a cricket ball in an important game. The sparrow has been stuffed and attacked to the ball. The gardener asks, “Can you imagine being attached for all eternity to the thing that killed you?” Bullimore replies, “You got me out just in time.”
Fletcher tells us, “It turns out the Lord has a sense of humor. The old man who hated drugs paid for the port that imports 80% of Europe’s cocaine, making a bunch of goat farmers one of the largest crime syndicates in the world. And the richest. It that irony don’t grab you, how bout the fact that the port is built in the shape of an ear?”
And in the end, Getty died old, rich and alone. And Fletcher realized the importance of family and went to meet his son.
Okay, I love this series. And yes if the other two seasons air, I’ll be watching. Season 2 is going to be about old man Getty as a kid and how he turned out to be so fucked up, and season three is about the end of his life and the family squabblings over the will. I’ve read that there will likely be two years between seasons because shooting over seas and the vast cinematography stuff is both expensive and time-consuming. I hope you enjoyed the recaps, and hopefully, I’ll still be around for season two.