Feud: Capote vs. the Swans episode 5: Truman & James Baldwin

Feud: Capote vs. the Swans
Photo: FX

What did we see throughout the entirely of Feud: Capote vs. the Swans episode 5? Well, for starters, another unique presentation of the story.

Beyond just that, though, we had a notable guest star in Chris Chalk, who came on board here as James Baldwin, a man who fresh off the Esquire fiasco, served as a source of passion and inspiration for Truman. It was him who tried to further illuminate the Swans and beyond just that, illuminate his talent. He tried his best to remind him that he went into a hole after In Cold Blood and failed to give himself a way to actually share what he was capable of doing with the world.

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For a time, it did seem as though some of what Baldwin said actually worked, largely because Truman did find a way to get on a more creative track. However, he never actually finished his final book Answered Prayers, regardless of the effort he put into it.

What makes the entire episode a little bit jarring is that in real life, the encounter never happened. It is an imagined meeting between these two as a way to articulate a lot of key messages on the show — namely, how gay men often find themselves within society. There are broader discussions in here on privilege, what it means to be a Swan, and also how some of them clearly never anticipated a betrayal by Truman. There was more of an emotional unpacking to these relationships. Did the story move forward all that much? No, but this was more about understanding than necessarily a big leap forward in progression.

We have to give a tremendous amount of credit here to Chalk for this performance, which was as nuanced and powerful as anyone could hope. It is really hard to actually reflect a real life person, but he nailed it.

What did you think about the events of Feud: Capote vs. the Swans episode 5?

Be sure to share right now in the attached comments! Once you do just that, remember to come back — there are some other updates ahead.

This article was written by Jessica BunBun.

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