The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story S02E05 Recap

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With this episode we came to the last – or rather the first – of Andrew Cunanan’s victims with Jeff Trails. It was a maddening and also saddening episode. Not just because we got to see the way that Andrew ruined lives before he decided to start ending them, but because we got to see Jeff before the murder; who he was, what he was going through and the ways in which Andrew contributed to that. Beyond Jeff’s situation in particular, it was eye opening to see how homosexuality was viewed in the 90’s…just twenty-eight years ago! On a happy note, we finally got back to Versace.

Going back in time doesn’t just put everything in perspective, it hits you hard in your feelings; seeing the lives that Andrew’s victims led makes their murders that much more painful. Jeff had so much to live for and Andrew took it all away from him. He had a beautiful relationship with his sister who accepted him, she was pregnant with a niece he already loved beyond words and he had loving parents that he was about to come out to. We don’t know if they’d have continued to be loving parents after he came out to them, but I trust in his sister’s assessment that they would have. He may not have had the life in the military that he desired, but he still had a rich life outside of that.

I really didn’t understand the mentality of the homophobic men that Jeff served with. Why they hated the idea of homosexuals in the military, singling them out with violence and why that one guy’s immediate reaction was to kill they gay man who bumped into him. I didn’t understand the extreme hostility at all. This episode left me wondering which states the majority of the persons in the U.S. military at the time came from and their backgrounds. Was it that they hated homosexuals in general or homosexuals in the military?

It was also enraging that Jeff was suspected of being gay simply because he stopped the other men from killing a gay man. As if he could only care about the life of another human if he was gay himself. Humans can’t care about the lives of others unless they’re one of them right? I highly doubt that there was a gay man who was outing others by identifying their tattoos. I expected that the man who told Jeff that was doing so to later check on Jeff to see if he removed his tattoo (I cringed during that scene) so that he would have confirmation. But that wasn’t the case. I wish Jeff had asked him how he knew where the hook up spot for gay men was. That would have shut him up.

It was heart breaking when Jeff tried to kill himself. Aside from ending the anguish he was experiencing, it felt preemptive. Like he was going to kill himself before the other men could. That’s just messed up. So is the fact that I was worried that someone would come in and see him. I should have been hoping that someone would and they’d stop him. Someone seeing him trying to kill himself would just confirm that he was gay and I would not have put it past them to aid him in his suicide.

I loved the juxtaposition of Jeff coming out in his CBS interview and Versace coming out in his Advocate interview. Both were doing the same thing and both were risking their careers. Whereas Versace could and chose to openly come out, however, Jeff could not. In some ways, his coming out to the nation pushed him even further in the closet because he had to hide to do it. Furthermore, it ended his military career. Given that the Versace brand is still around, I think it’s safe to say that Versace’s coming out didn’t hurt them in the long term. Although I’m not sure how it affected them in the short term.

Regardless of the consequences, I was happy that the two of them chose to do their interviews, despite the resistance with which their intentions were met. Donatella was genuinely concerned for Versace. Andrew was not when it came to Jeff. I don’t know what he would have gotten out of dissuading Jeff from doing the CBS interview, but everything Andrew did was motivated by his selfishness. It did seem like he wanted Jeff to be dependent on him, though, the same way he forced David to depend on him in the last episode. It was like he could smell the vulnerability on Jeff when he met him at the gay bar and swooped in to take advantage of it. Luckily, Jeff stuck  to his decision and later came to see Andrew for who he was.

The moment that Versace had brought up the Advocate interview I knew that that would have been what put him on Andrew’s radar. It’s such a shame that his moment of liberation was the thing that ultimately got him killed. It looks like Versace was Andrew’s goal to begin with, but I think it was initially romantic. He had cut out images of Versace and glued his face over Antonio’s and scratched Antonio’s face out of others. Somewhere along the way, for whatever reason, his romantic intentions for Versace soured. We did see in a previous episode that he went to Miami specifically to kill him.

What Andrew wanted is very confusing, though. He was very clearly pursuing Versace, but then he proposed to David…and then he seemingly came onto Jeff. His desires and who he wanted to be with were all over the place. He was so desperate to love and beloved. Too bad he was a terrible person.

Random thoughts:

  1. Versace: “Well at least we keep Elton.” Lol.
  2. It’s astounding that that recently being an openly gay public figure could ruin your career.
  3. Well now we know why his credit’s in the toilet.
  4. Finn Wittrock!
  5. He don’t want you Andrew!
  6. Andrew isn’t generous, he tries to buy people.
  7. Why is he going through Jeff’s things?!
  8. He didn’t even bother to clean up.

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.