‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ Episode 2: “Manhunt”
Warning: This episode may contain spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
Episode two of American Crime Story season two adds some much-needed pieces to the Versace puzzle. New pieces of the plot become clearer and more background is brought into the light with Andrew Cunanan. This episode mainly focuses on Andrew’s slowly dwindling sanity along with some history between siblings Donatella and Gianni Versace.
It is surprising to find out that Gianni was sick. Gianni and his partner Antonio had an open relationship which led to Gianni contracting AIDS. This revelation causes hardship between Donatella and Antonio. Donatella wants what is best for Gianni, but he is unwilling to give up Antonio. The big reveal here is that Gianni was already dying before he was killed. The issue of running Versace after Gianni’s death is put into question. Donatella does not feel ready but decides to run the company.
The episode provides emotion right off the bat. Donatella does her best to stay out of the press when Gianni passes. She brings him a nice suit and dresses him for his viewing, but he is later cremated. His ashes are sent with Donatella on a plane back to Italy. She then mentions all the hardships her brother had to face during the AIDS epidemic. Gianni had claimed he was HIV negative to the press. As viewers, we know this simply isn’t the truth. The writing here is brilliant because it provides a glimpse into the struggles Gianni faced. His open relationship with Antonio was difficult to accept and he was dealing with internal decisions. He was more than a celebrity and fashion designer.
Andrew Cunanan continues to evade the authorities with ease and checks into a hotel in Miami. Cunanan’s obsession with Versace has led him to follow up on everything he has ever made or accomplished. This becomes obvious in a conversation with Ronnie, a local in the Miami area. Andrew’s personality changes so frequently within the episode it is hard to decipher his true intentions. At this point he makes his money by becoming a local escort for wealthy men.
His friendship with Ronnie quickly dwindles and Ronnie is left dumbstruck by Andrew’s change in behavior. Andrew has a layout of his own movements on the wall and realizes he needs to move on. At this point it becomes obvious that he is also a compulsive liar. He tells everyone a different story about his life and dreams. It makes us realize that even we as the audience don’t know who Andrew really is. He’s very cunning and is good at staying under the radar.
Andrew’s lifestyle leads him to the gay culture in Miami, Florida where he is learning to take advantage of young, naïve men. He is very open about his sexuality. His hiding from the authorities leaves him hurting for money, hence the escorting. Adding this to the episode demonstrates just how dangerous Andrew truly is; he will say and do whatever to gain someone’s trust but will also break someone’s trust just as easily. He is beginning to form patterns of behavior which the FBI starts to recognize. This episode is more about the background of the characters rather than the events taking place. This is done very well using both the past and the present.
Featured image from Laughing Place
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