Based on Laurence Leamer’s Capote’s Women, the third episode of Feud: Capote vs. The Swans, titled Masquerade 1966, is all about friendship. A friendship that is broken and betrayed, but where there remains a desire to mend it even though you know it is doomed already. In the previous two episodes, we have already seen how Truman Capote completely threw his best friendship with Babe Paley under the bus by writing an article on her scandalous marriage, but in this episode, we went back to 1966, when everything was fine between these two. At that time, they were the closest friends who seemed to be very genuine on camera, but no one knew at that point that their union would take a drastic turn.
What Happened In Masquerade 1966?
Episode 3 is all about a documentary shot by the Maysles brothers, Albert and David, who wanted to make a film on Truman’s life. Truman asked them to film the precious moments of his life with his group of swans, Babe, Lee, Slim, and CZ, who were his inner circle. The episode opened with Babe flaunting her knowledge of art and aesthetics on camera, as well as talking about her bonding with her best friend, Truman. Truman, an absolute people-pleaser, told Babe that she had always been the center of his world and would remain so. After that, the scene shifted to a dinner table at La Côte Basque, where Truman joined his group of swans with his camera crew, but while Lee, Slim, and Babe were enjoying the spotlight, CZ was getting quite uncomfortable being recorded. She expressed that she couldn’t be herself in front of a camera. However, Truman dropped the bomb, saying that he was going to have a masquerade party at the Plaza Hotel where he had invited his elite friends and would also be announcing a guest of honor. The camera instantly panned to Slim, and in the next scene, we saw her giving an individual interview to the Maysles. Upon being questioned about who she thought would be the Guest of Honor, she said that she thought she was in with a chance, as she was the one who helped Truman when he was nothing and also helped him write his masterpiece, “In Cold Blood.”
After Slim, Babe was also asked the same question, but she wasn’t as overconfident as Slim was and said that she didn’t need the tag of Guest of Honor to celebrate her special and singular bond with Capote. However, while in front of the camera, Babe always put on a fake smile; off camera, we saw her in her vulnerable state. When she learned that the caterer hired by Truman was her husband’s new mistress, she stormed out of the place and sobbed in front of Truman without knowing that the camera was secretly capturing her.
CZ was a tad bit different from the other swans, as she didn’t like to be on camera like the others did. She had been betrayed in her love life as well and was frustrated about her husband, Winston Guest, but she didn’t want to talk about it. Truman, on the other hand, cheered her up by praising her artistic style and beauty, but one thing that truly cheered her up was when Truman simply lied to her and said that she was the Guest of Honor at the party.
Who Was The Guest Of Honor?
After lying to almost everyone in his closest circle, Truman finally decided to announce the Guest of Honor, an outsider relative, Katharine Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post. On camera, Truman shared his reason for choosing Kay as the Guest of Honor, which truly brought discomfort to her face. He went on to say that Kay had lost her husband, who had killed himself, and after that, she pulled herself together and showed her courage to establish herself, which, according to Truman, was admirable but embarrassed Kay a little. Meanwhile, Slim had initially made a scene after knowing that her ex-husband’s newlywed wife, Pamela Harriman, was also invited to the party. Even though she made peace with that, at the party, she couldn’t control her anger and got into an argument with Pamela.
Who Appeared At The Party Uninvited?
Some uninvited people came to Truman’s masquerade party and revealed their faces. Truman was shocked to see it was Ann and her son Jimmy, with whom he had a very bitter relationship. Ann really wanted to fit in once again and allow her son to be noticed by these elite people, but Truman was against it. He humiliated Ann and asked her to leave right away, but embarrassed (when she found the cameras), Ann told him that what he chose to do was very low and upsetting. Truman didn’t change his mind, and Ann had to leave the party with her son. Truman was a little hurt before, but he controlled his emotions. However, when he found Jack dancing with his swans, he made a scene out of anger, showing his jealousy. It upset Jack, who came in front of the camera and said that at this party, only those who pretended to love Truman were invited.
In the concluding scene of the episode, we saw Truman watching the recorded footage with Albert by his side. After finishing it, Truman changed his mind and said to Albert that this documentary didn’t work; rather, it should be a book that he would title “Answered Prayers,” a quote from a poem suggested by Albert. Truman really liked the title, and in reality, he also wrote a book with the same title, but it remained unfinished as Truman died in 1984.
Feud: Capote vs. The Swans ended with a colorful scene from the ball, where a drunk Truman imagined his mother being by his side. Even though he previously compared Ann to his mother, saying that both of them were lousy mothers, he said completely different things to his mother’s ghost. He acknowledged that, in the end, it was his mother who had always been his best friend. His mother demanded to dance with her son at the ball, and the episode ended with Truman dancing with his mother in the giant party hall filled with his elite invitees.