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‘Paul T. Goldman’ Episode 5 Ends on a Humdinger of a Cliffhanger

Peacock‘s chaotic new series Paul T. Goldman seems to have saved its wildest twist for last. In the penultimate episode of the series, we learn that the show’s subject, Paul T. Goldman, decided to transform his “true” life story into an incredibly fictional franchise called — what else? — The Paul T. Goldman Chronicles. (Written by yet another fictitious alter ego, “Ryan Sinclair.”) Moreover, Paul demanded that series director Jason Woliner adapt these James Bond-esque sequels in which Paul’s heroic alter ego becomes a super agent fighting the evildoing of his nemesis, Royce Rocco. Woliner complies.

It all seems to be coming up roses for Paul T. Goldman, until Woliner unveils one last twist. Episode 5’s cliffhanger ending reveals that Paul T. Goldman Episode 6 will give us the real Royce Rocco’s side of the story. And thank goodness for it. Only by bringing Goldman’s increasingly outlandish version of events back to earth can this show nail its landing.

In case you’ve missed it, for the past few weeks, Peacock’s Paul T. Goldman has been taking viewers down an increasingly troubling and always bizarre rabbit hole. The series follows the eponymous Paul T. Goldman, a mild-mannered “wimp” who allegedly transformed himself into a “warrior” after discovering his shady second wife had a criminal double life. While there’s ample evidence that Paul’s second wife “Audrey” did attempt to extort the bumbling insurance quoter out of his money, it’s less clear if she was, in fact, part of a global sex trafficking ring, as Paul alleges. Paul is so obsessed with proving the guilt of both Audrey and her secret boyfriend Royce Rocco that he contacts the F.B.I., ransacks Rocco’s garbage, consults a psychic, and pens a novelization of his outrageous experience.

Initially, Paul T. Goldman is merely a docuseries about director Jason Woliner’s attempts to adapt Duplicity, the book Paul wrote about Audrey. By simultaneously shooting both the adaptation per Paul’s vision and the behind-the-scenes drama, Woliner is able to question Paul’s version of his own life story. Things truly go off the rails in Episode 5, when Paul tosses any loyalty to the truth out the window. He has asked Woliner to continue past the final pages of Duplicity. They are now adapting the The Paul T. Goldman Chronicles.

In Paul T. Goldman Episode 5, this show within a show ends with “Paul” trapped in a burning building in Paris. He thinks to himself: “Royce. He had to be behind this.”

We cut back to the docuseries. Jason Woliner asks Paul if it’s okay to show him something. Paul shrugs. We then see what he’s apparently watching. At some point in 2022, Woliner and his crew tracked down a man named John “Cadillac” McDaniel. Who is that? The real Royce Rocco.

Yes, Paul T. Goldman Episode 5 ends with the reveal that Woliner tracked down the real Royce Rocco and interviewed him.

While Woliner has gently pushed back on Paul’s version of events from the start, we can’t help but think the real Royce Rocco will have quite the rebuttal to the wild allegations that he has been running an international sex trafficking ring. We might also learn more about the mysterious “Audrey” and if Paul T. Goldman’s personal campaign for glory has hurt anyone along the way.

All this is to say…we can’t wait for the Paul T. Goldman finale to air on Peacock next Sunday, January 22.

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