The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story S02E02 Recap

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After seeing the first episode of the season my initial thought was that, in the show at least, Andrew had had a relationship with Versace or something and killed him because he was a jilted lover. After all, he was shown to be incredibly obsessed with the man, worked hard to make sure he met and came into contact with him and Antonio did say to the police that he and Versace often brought other men into their bed. It seemed like the show was setting them up to have had a brief dalliance that ended horrifically. But after this episode, that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. And had the FBI done one, simple thing from the very beginning Versace maybe would not have died in the first place.

Since HIV/AIDS came up in this episode and Versace was confirmed to have it, my first thought was that Andrew’s motive for killing him was that Versace had passed the disease onto him. We did see that wound on his thigh in the first episode and I took that to mean he had the disease. It quickly became apparent that Versace hadn’t wrong him in anyway. He went to Miami with the sole intention of killing Versace. And it looks like it was hot on the heels of him having killed someone else. He had the gun when he checked into the Normandy Plaza and that was before he even met Versace. The first thing he did when he reached the city was go to Versace’s house and take photos of virtually every inch of its exterior.

The apparent reason that he killed him is really rather shallow. In his monologue about Versace’s brilliance to Ronnie, he gave himself away. Not only did he once again display his pathological lying (Versace didn’t propose to him like he said), he ended that monologue by saying that Versace was the man that he could have been and he halfheartedly agreed with Ronnie when he corrected him and said “been with.” I think that that is exactly why Andrew killed not only Versace, but every single one of his victims.

The FBI agents, Evans and Gruber, told the local Miami police officers, Wieder and Scrimshaw, that Andrew targeted closeted, older, wealthy gay men. Their being wealthy means that they have to have a certain degree of success. His other victims are likely men of the same or similar status as Versace; men that Andrew could have “been”as well. To me it looks like Andrew kills his victims out of envy. Not just because he more or less said that they represent who he would like to be, but also because he later told Ronnie that he’s done nothing all of his life.

This envy of men like Versace would also explain why he is such a pathological liar and that he specifically lies about being a better and/or wealthier person than he actually he is. It’s rooted in a hate for himself. He wants to be anyone but who he is.

The FBI truly failed in doing one very simple thing that could have aided their search for Andrew and probably prevented the murder of Versace; hand out his Wanted posters. Not only that, they didn’t even listen to Wieder. She works in Miami, she knows the city better than they do and could have been a great asset in helping them track him down. They didn’t even consider looking for him where she suggested they should, in South Beach, which was exactly where Andrew was. Had they done either of those two things, they probably could have caught Andrew. The woman in the pawn shop would have had his wanted poster, certainly, and been able to alert the police that he was there. But then again, the cashier had recognised him and that didn’t go anywhere.

It seems that the couple of months that Andrew spent with Ronnie were just one long distraction from his murder plot. I found it so weird that he hung around with him for as long as he did, because it looked like he just talked to him the day he met him to find out where he could best earn money by prostituting himself. And then they started doing drugs together? I don’t know. But he was distracted for so long that the police and the FBI maybe could have found him before he killed Versace. Perhaps that was the point of going into that storyline? In any case, he left Ronnie immediately after he saw Versace  on the balcony of his home, so he snapped out of it it seems.

I don’t think that Donatella knew her brother as well as she thought that she did. I love their bond as siblings and how apparent it is that they loved each other deeply. It’s also an interesting dynamic that she is the younger sibling and is fiercely protective of him, not just in his death but when he was alive as well. She was wrong about Versace and Antonio’s relationship; that they only slept with other men because it was what Antionio wanted. Versace smiled as he watched Antonio have sex with another man. Antonio was the one who said he wanted to stop doing that, be monogamous and get married. Twice. Her perception of their relationship was way off. And it was so mean that she didn’t let Antonio go to Versace’s cremation. He was his partner for 15 years. As much as she disliked him, he should have been there.

Random thoughts:

  1. Penelope Cruz is acting her butt off in this show.
  2. Discount Javier Bardem?
  3. He wanted to overlook the ocean so he could pick up men!
  4. I really thought he was about to kill this man.
  5. Did Donatella fight with him to push him? She doesn’t seem upset to have lost the runway show.

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.