I actually didn’t hate Andrew in this episode. I didn’t like him or empathise or sympathise with him, but I didn’t despise him as much as I usually do while watching this show. He was far less insufferable than he usually is. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve gotten used to his particular brand of unlikeable or if he actually was a less despicable person in this episode. I kind of feel like it was the latter, mostly because he wasn’t as much of a pathological liar in this episode and we really got to see how he started heading down the path that led him where he ended up at the beginning of the series.
It was a little satisfying to see him as a “lowly” supermarket employee, considering how lofty his ideas of and goals for himself were and how much better than everyone he thought that he was. He looked so utterly bored and utterly unhappy. In the last episode we learned that he’d dropped out of university, so I found it interesting that he lied to the customer about finishing is PhD. Unless he hadn’t quit school at that point as yet? In any case, here we saw that he had someone else in his life – his manager – encouraging him to get his life together and work hard. But of course, Andrew wasn’t about any of that.
The frustrating thing about Andrew is that he was very intelligent, or at least very knowledgeable. As we saw when he recited the facts about Häagen-Dazs and the play he’d gone to. Not only that, he was charming to a fault and worked pretty hard to get what he wanted, he just put that energy into achieving it the faster, easier way.
He naturally had everything he need to succeed, he had every potential to be what he wanted to be, but as was established in the last episode, he was just lazy. If he’d just put that much effort where he should have, he’d have been everything he wanted to be and maybe, just maybe, never would have become a serial killer. Instead, Andrew decided to become an escort and live off of rich, older, gay, men.
Since we’d seen Andrew in a relationship with Norman, I was surprised that it was Lincoln he’d ended up with and was curious to see how he’d go from one man to the other. Lo and behold, it was actually quite grisly. When I saw Lincoln approach the man in the bar, for a second I thought that Andrew had hired him to kill Lincoln since he’d been spurned. He does react violently to being rejected. Instead, it seems like Lincoln’s murderer was just a man who was so deeply closeted, that he reacted violently to even the most minor of interactions with an openly gay man.
Not only did we get to see Andrew’s journey to Norman, we got to see how he met David. And it was far more random than I would have expected. David seemed like someone that Andrew would have targeted, which I guess he sort of did – he saw him at the bar alone, bought him a drink and invited him over – but targeted in the way that he did Norman. And I must say that their first meeting was rather sweet, but gosh does it make David’s demise so much sadder.
David seemed so happy and comfortable with Andrew and the way that Andrew looked at him made me think that perhaps his feelings for him were genuine. Which I didn’t really think before. In my mind he loved what David represented and could give him and not David himself. But the two seemed pretty taken with each other. Andrew was lying to him at the time, though, and continued to throughout their friendship. I can see now why Andrew was so smitten with him and wanted him so badly. But then he stole David’s story in order to lure Norman to him and just ruined it.
Andrew’s mother didn’t act as imbalanced as she had in the last episode and I expected more of that from her since she featured heavily in this one and I thought that maybe she wouldn’t go there. Then she freaked the hell out when Andrew was leaving. Did she really think she’d go with him in a literal sense? Even if Andrew had meant it, which I doubt that he did, it would have been figurative. She didn’t know that he was lying, but considering she thought that he was telling the truth about travelling for work, he certainly couldn’t take her with him. That she thought that he would and could was just…disturbing, especially given her reaction to not going.
I love the scenes between Donatella and Versace! The immense love they have for each other as siblings and the close bond that they share always comes through. It’s palpable and heartbreaking and it’s all thanks to the sublime performances by Penelope Cruz and Édgar Ramírez. Honestly I don’t know why the Versace estate was so against this series. It portrays both siblings with such reverence and respect and paints them in a positive light.
Even when the two siblings were fighting and disagreeing you could feel how much they loved each other and understood perfectly where they were coming from. It was obvious that Versace was being so harsh with Donatella because he wanted her to rely on her own talent and blossom into a designer and was grooming her to take over when he died. We didn’t even need the scene that followed that expressed precisely that. It was well conveyed by Cruz and Ramírez.
I was so scared when Versace let go of Donatella’s hand and left her to take the spotlight for herself. I could feel the tension and it wasn’t even a moment that was particularly drawn out, the way some creators do when they want to create tension. The emotional stakes were there already thanks to not just the scene that immediately preceded it, but the opening scenes as well. This was Versace’s moment to position his sister to replace him as the head and face of his company. So much was riding on it and it went very, very well.
I was so not ready for Versace to lose his hearing, even though it had been hinted it in the scene as it progressed. I was really curious as to why he kept telling the woman to speak up. I assumed he was just annoyed and taking it out on her. That was such a tragic moment and it hurt to see him so scared, Donatella as well, especially in the context of their story for this episode. For much of the episode she was as unprepared to lose her brother as she was to take over, but thanks to his fading health, by the end, I think she came into her own as leader of the company. She had no choice.
- Oh look, she hated Antonio so much and he stuck up for her.
- Look at Andrew, pretending even with strangers. Unnecessarily.
- Even something as minor as ice-cream he needs to have “the best.”
- That is a DRESS!
- Norman’s friend had Andrew pegged from the beginning.
- Well that dude was clearly very afraid of his own sexuality.
- Andrew showed real emotion and it was remorse! Of all things!
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story airs Wednesdays at 10 PM on FX.