Created by Ryan Murphy and Jaffe Cohen, Feud season 2 is a fictional retelling of a real-life American novelist and screenwriter, Truman Capote, and his group of socialite friends, or maybe we’d better call them frenemies. These two episodes depicted the beginning of Truman’s friendship with his group of socialites, whom he used to call the swans. Even though Truman Capote was well appreciated by his swans, a feud among them marked the beginning of the end of their relationship. Let’s see what led Truman to cut his ties with his swans.
How Did Paley Meet Truman?
The first episode of Feud season 2 opened in 1984, with Truman Capote wandering around a graveyard when he laid his eyes on a flock of swans swimming on a nearby lake. The scene shifted back to 1968, when Truman paid a visit to his closest friend, Babe Paley, a socialite married to a wealthy man named Bill. Bill had been involved in an affair with the governor’s wife, Happy Rockefeller, who had left Bill’s home after leaving the stain of her menstruation in his bed one day. It was a deliberate deed by Happy so that Babe would see it and leave her husband. However, Babe, being on the verge of divorcing her husband, couldn’t decide where to turn, so she sought solace in her most trusted friend, Capote’s arms. Like an ideal best friend, Capote gave her free therapy, but his ways of consoling a friend are atypical. Capote asked Babe to calm down and think about the most expensive jewelry she had, which would probably be the best way to forget her pain. Babe confided in Truman, saying that he was the only man who’d never betray her trust.
Truman Capote met with Babe Paley and her socialite friends in 1955, when the Paleys and Rockefellers were to go on a vacation. Truman was invited by one of their common friends, and initially mistaken to be President Truman. Truman Capote was a homosexual man who was already a famous writer at the time and a gossipmonger at his best. Meeting with Babe Paley, he explained that he wanted to call her a swan because Babe had suffered an accident and subsequently gone through plastic surgery, which transformed her into a swan from an ugly duckling. Babe Paley became fond of Truman’s company, while Truman managed to gain her trust by informing her that he had just spotted her husband making out with Mrs. Rockefeller. Not only that, but Capote also gave her some good gossip around the city, like how Ann Woodward, a friend of Capote, had allegedly killed her husband. Babe Paley enjoyed the gossip and didn’t let a single doubt come into her mind, because as long as she wasn’t the subject of gossip, she was fine with it.
What Happened To Ann Woodward?
In 1975, a decade after Truman’s masterpiece Cold Blood‘s huge success, Truman Capote had been suffering from writer’s block and became an alcoholic. His boyfriend, Jack, left him, and a heartbroken Truman didn’t try to stop him. At a sauna, he was able to find a new romantic interest for him. David, a married and closeted homosexual, felt attracted to Truman, and the two of them had an intimate moment at the sauna.
David would never be the one Truman would date or flaunt in public, but still, he gave his new partner a chance and took him to La Côte Basque, where he met with his ladies, the swans: Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, and Babe Paley. None of them liked David or thought he might be a suitable match for Truman, but more than David, they concentrated on another hot topic present at that place. It was none other than Ann Woodward, whose life and reputation were at stake because of Truman Capote. Ann confronted Truman, asking him why he’d decided to defame her by spreading gossip about her being the murderer of her husband. Truman also spoke out, saying that he didn’t want to do it, but when he learned that Ann had disrespected his sexuality behind his back, he was driven to it. Ann acted out and threw a glass of wine at Truman’s face, humiliating him in front of everyone.
How Did Babe Paley And Truman’s Friendship End?
Despite the fact that David wasn’t a great match for Truman, at least according to the swans, he came up with a cunning and evil idea. David advised Truman to write about the lunch at La Côte Basque and the events that took place regarding Ann and the other swans. Truman couldn’t shake the idea and chose to pursue it. Coming back home, Truman completely shifted his focus to writing and wrote his heart out about everything, starting with Ann’s erratic behavior as well as Babe Paley’s cheating husband and the personal conversations he once had with her. The manuscript was subsequently sent to Esquire, which instantly published this scandalous article. The article dropped like a bomb on the lives of the swans and caused a catastrophe. Having been unable to tolerate the infamy, Ann committed suicide, and Babe Paley was heartbroken, as she could have never imagined her best friend, Truman, would betray her trust. To tame his hunger for fame, Truman eventually threw away his valuable friendship with his swans away.
In the concluding scenes of Feud season 2 episode 1, Babe Paley met her friend, Slim Keith at La Côte Basque and cried over the betrayal Truman committed. Slim advised her to seek revenge and make Truman pay for what nightmare he had brought into their lives. Slim said it was Truman who had killed Ann, and therefore he should die too. The first episode of Feud: Capote vs the Swans ended with the opening scene from 1984, when wandering around the graveyard, Truman kept staring at the swans on the lake. Probably, he felt guilty for his mistakes, for ruining the lives of his closest friends who trusted him and spoke about their personal lives in confidence. Let’s see how Babe Paley would be able to take her revenge on Truman in the upcoming episode.