The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story S02E01 Recap

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I don’t remember ever having come to hate and despise a character in as short a time and as much as I did in this first episode of the new season of American Crime Story. And certainly not so quickly after having first sympathised with them. The opening sequence of this episode was so evocative. And going into the series knowing that Darren Criss’ character – Andrew Cunanan – killed Gianni Versace, seeing him go into the ocean and screaming and then rushing into a bathroom to throw up, I felt sorry for him. Here I thought that he was conflicted about what he was about to do. I mean, sure, he’s about to kill someone, but he has enough of a heart to feel conflicted about it right?

Apparently not. Because in the very next scene we see him for exactly who he is; a liar and a fraud.

Just ignoring him squeezing his crotch as he watched the husband of whoever that woman was sleep, his behaviour in his flashback to his meeting Versace slowly made him unlikeable. It was rude of Versace to just ignore him like that, but Andrew forced himself into a conversation with Versace while also interrupting one he was already having and then treated the friend that introduced him to Versace like a servant. What instantly solidified him as a trash person, was that his version of events were a complete and total like. But beyond that, that his whole demeanour and personality is fake. Which came off in the actual events as well.

He was established as a pathological liar when his friend confronted him about lying about his cultural background and his sexuality. The latter of which wouldn’t make him a bad person on it’s own, but it’s simply another in a series of lies he tells to everyone. He never tells the truth I he’s a thief. Had the woman that he’s apparently living with not walked in on him trying on her husband’s suit, I have no doubt that he would have just taken it. Then he made a show of making himself pitiable so she would feel sorry for him for wearing her husband’s clothes without asking. The man is amazingly manipulative. There is nothing likeable about him and the show made such quick work of making him so.

He lied so much that I doubted that he had the date with Versace at the opera. I thought he’d shown up with the plan to just somehow weasel his way into another conversation with the man. But it looked like he was actually invited. Which would explain how he got the seats that he did. I was wondering about that.

As much of a bad person as I thought that he was, I was shocked to find out that Andrew had killed four other people before Versace and that he was a wanted serial killer. Firstly because I was five years old when this whole thing happened and know nothing about the murder or Versace or Andrew, but secondly because he wasn’t in hiding at all. At least in the flash backs. Unless he killed those other four people in between meeting and killing Versace. If not, he was very bold indeed to have been just walking around normally when he was wanted by the FBI.

Speaking of law enforcement, I did not take kindly to the way that Versace’s boyfriend – Antonio D’Amico – was being questioned. The questions he was asking about Antonio and Versace’s sex life had nothing to do with anything and were completely inappropriate. He was even dismissive of their relationship. He  got around to asking for the numbers of the other men Antonio and Versace slept with to form a list of persons of interest, but that was not at all why he asked about their sex life to begin with. He wasn’t even being pervert, just a closed-minded homophobe.

I love, love, love Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace. It’s inspired casting. Other than that though, she did very well in what little we saw of her in this episode and I like Dontella as a character so far. She’s strong and the deep love and devotion she has for her brother is so evident. Her greatest concern is preserving his legacy. Her speech about the person he was and how hard he worked to build his empire was captivating not only in terms of the words, but in Cruz’s performance.

I’m not sure if Versace was openly gay or not, but part of preserving his legacy seems to be keeping his sexuality from going public. If he was openly gay then I believe what she wants to keep from getting out is the details of his sex life as described by Antonio. Either way I can understand her trying to stop it from getting out. If he was closeted, just because he’s dead doesn’t mean that she should just let it get out. I love how she is protecting her brother.

I was a little worried about Cruz doing Donatella’s very thick Italian accent given that she herself has a very thick Spanish accent, but it worked out fine. It doesn’t sound terrible to me, but I’m not Italian so it likely won’t sound off or wrong to my ears even if it is. It slipped a few times during her speech, however.

Random thoughts:

  1. Did she see him touching himself?
  2. And he’s a stalker too?!
  3. I thought those clothes were actually his.
  4. Probably should have killed the man who saw his face when he fled the scene.
  5. Why is he still so close to the crime scene?
  6. Did she just model behind the news reporter?
  7. Officer: “I don’t want to make presumptions.” BUT YOU ARE!
  8. He collected the newspapers? Is he making a scrap book?

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story airs Wednesdays at 10 PM on FX.

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An avid reader who accidentally discovered her love and talent for writing and has loved movies for as long as she has been watching them. Stumbled into film-making and found her second love because she decided to read for a degree in it on a whim - kind of.