Like father, like son. The March 14 episode of ‘American Crime Story’ focuses on Andrew as a boy and teenager. One shocking realization changes Andrew’s life forever.
While Gianni Versace grew up knowing how far hard work and perseverance can get a person, Andrew Cunanan learns the complete opposite. In 1980, Andrew and his family move to a nicer home in San Diego. Andrew gets treated like royalty by his mother and father, while his siblings get nothing. Andrew is even given the master bedroom because his father thinks he’s special. His father, Medesto, says that if you feel special, success will follow. That’s not how it works, dude.
Medesto becomes a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch, the ultimate job in his eyes. He thinks he’s finally made it. Andrew interviews to attend the prestigious Bishop’s School. When he’s asked if he could have one wish, Andrew says he just wants to be special. Medesto, who is emotionally and physically abusive towards Andrew’s mother, puts a lot of pressure on Andrew with his high hopes. He stresses that being smart is not enough, you have to fit in. This is where Andrew gets his warped values. Medesto puts all his stock in Andrew because he feels that his son has everything he didn’t have growing up. When Andrew is accepted into the prep school, his father buys him a new car, even though he can’t drive.
Years later, Andrew has no problem standing out. He’s dying to be noticed by anyone and everyone. He goes to a party wearing an red leather jumpsuit. That’s where he meets his friend Lizzie. He’s named “Most Likely to be Remembered” by his senior class. His quote: “After me, destruction.” How fitting. Meanwhile, his father is no longer working at Merrill Lynch. He’s been cheating good people out of their money by trading non-existent stocks. When he realizes the feds are onto him, Medesto books it out of the country and back to the Philippines. His lies finally catch up to him.
Medesto leaves Andrew and his mother with nothing. Andrew refuses to believe what his father has done until he sees it for himself. He travels to Manila and realizes that his father is nothing but a liar and a thief. This life that Andrew’s father had created was never real. Medesto calls Andrew “weak” and a “sissy.” Andrew grabs a knife, and his father tells him to “be a man for once.” At this moment in time, Andrew does nothing. But this moment shatters Andrew and sends him down a dark path that leads to murder. When he returns to the United States, instead of being a better man than his father, Andrew begins to fall in his footsteps. Because for Andrew, lies are better than facing the truth.