The second episode of ‘American Crime Story’ hints at what went on behind closed doors in the Gianni Versace’s glamorous life, while Andrew Cunanan plotted and evaded the police.
The second episode of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story starts out in Miami in March 1994. Gianni Versace keeps a low profile as he goes to the hospital for blood work. He catches a glimpse of two gaunt men in their side-by-side hospital beds. The show implies that Gianni finds out he’s HIV-positive. (The Versace family vehemently denies this.) Despite the diagnosis, Gianni is certain he will get better. Donatella is devastated over the news. “What is Versace without you?” she asks her brother, who replies, “It will be you.” She continues, “Who am I without you?” He says, “You’ll find out.” Donatella is equal parts angry and sad over the diagnosis. She blames Antonio for allowing Gianni to participate in wild activities. She thinks that Antonio has given Gianni nothing — no marriage, no kids, nothing. But Donatella doesn’t see everything. She doesn’t see Antonio comforting Gianni or taking care of him. Gianni senses the tension between Antonio and Donatella. He begs them to get along so they can all be a family.
Cut to three years later and one day after Gianni’s death. Donatella tells Antonio that “there is no need for us to pretend anymore.” Donatella goes to see Gianni’s body and dresses him in a custom Versace suit. The stoic Donatella finally breaks down in tears over the loss of her beloved brother. She cremates Gianni and takes his ashes back to Italy.
Three months before Gianni’s death, Andrew Cunanan is on the run. He heads to Miami after killing four innocent people. He shows no remorse for the crimes he’s committed. Andrew drives to the Normandy Plaza and asks for a room. Right off the bat, he name-drops Versace and schmoozes the concierge. He stays under the radar, but not completely out of sight. During his first night in Miami, he walks right up to Versace’s villa. The gates are locked, of course. He buys a camera and takes photos of Versace’s house to have for himself.
The police are looking for him, and there are boxes of wanted posters just waiting to be distributed, but they’re not a priority. Detective Lori Wieder thinks otherwise. Agent Evans is convinced that Andrew is headed to Ft. Lauderdale, but he’s right there in South Beach.
Andrew meets a man named Ronnie (Max Greenfield) and asks where he can get some drugs. Ronnie reveals he has AIDS and explains how he made his way to Miami. He asks Andrew if he’s sick, and Andrew quickly gives him a definitive no. Andrew admits that he lost both his best friend and lover in the past year, but doesn’t say anything about being the one to kill them. Ronnie also asks why Andrew’s in Miami. “I know people,” Andrew says. “Versace.” Andrew tells yet another wild story and claims Versace proposed to him, but it “didn’t work out.” When Ronnie says he doesn’t like Gianni’s clothes, Andrew is offended. Andrew calls Gianni a “great creator” and the type of “man I could have been.”
In addition to the murderous side of Andrew, he’s also got a sadomasochistic side. He wants to live out these crazy sexual fantasies that involve duct tape. A lot of duct tape. He picks up an elderly man on the Miami beach and goes back to the man’s hotel room. He loves when his sexual partner is helpless and suffering. Andrew duct tapes the man’s face and nearly suffocates him. The man calls 911 but doesn’t say anything when the responder answers. Another missed opportunity. (Can we also talk about Darren Criss in that pink underwear? Whoa.)
Just a few days before Gianni’s death, there was a fashion show. Donatella thinks Gianni is stuck in the past. His only concerns are fashion and the art of fashion. Donatella considers the politics and image. Donatella and Gianni engage in sibling rivalry at the fashion show, with Gianni coming out on top. Gianni believes this is his second chance. His health is improving, his designs have never been better, and Antonio wants to marry him. He has it all. Meanwhile, Andrew has nothing. “I’ve done nothing my whole life,” Andrew says. He envies Gianni’s life. He wants Gianni’s fame and fortune, but he doesn’t want to work for it. Ronnie knows something is up with Andrew but is too scared to ask.
Andrew trades in an expensive gold coin at a pawn shop for quick cash. When the pawn shop worker looks at the list of wanted posters, Andrew’s isn’t there. Another missed opportunity. He stops for food and the cashier recognizes him from America’s Most Wanted and calls 911. Andrew is gone by the time the police arrive.
Gianni and Antonio decide to go out to a club nearby. Andrew, realizing Gianni’s not home, goes to the same club. Gianni and Antonio leave soon after arriving, realizing they’re done with their wild phase. It’s time to settle down. On the dance floor, Andrew tells a stranger that he’s a “serial killer.” If only the stranger knew that Andrew is being serious…
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