Jose & Tiana Watch: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Episode 4
Each week, Tiana and I will be discussing The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. True to the series' namesake, we'll be picking out our best and worst fashion from each episode, as well as giving you a play-by-play, and finishing off with some overall thoughts. ~Spoilers ahead!~
In episode 4, we see Andrew in Minneapolis as he kills his first victim, and attempts to take his eventual second victim, David Madson, on the run to Mexico.
This is the second episode in a row where American Crime Story has played a sense of homage to Andrew's victims. Last episode it was Marilyn, iconically played by Judith Light. She was a victim by proxy of her husband who was killed by Andrew. This episode it's really about David.
Fashion - We made a conscious decision to not talk about fashion this episode, mainly because for the second episode in a row, we didn't really have any. That being said, we both really agreed that this has been one of the best episodes thus far.
Let's jump right in...
JM: I feel like Andrew was very calculated in this episode. More so than he's seemed in prior episodes. When he killed Lee and Gianni, obviously, he was planning both of those, but they didn't seem as calculated as him killing Jeff (his first victim). Like, how he has David go down to get Jeff and let him into the building. Then how he manipulated David into not speaking to the police.
TD: Okay, I think most of Andrew's murders have been calculated. This one we just see more of his process. We also see more emotion from Andrew. He cries when watching the guitar player in the bar! Maybe the more people you kill, the less emotion you feel? I don't know. I'm not going to pretend I know what it's like to be a serial killer.
JM: Yes, on the emotion. I feel like this was the first time we did see Andrew get emotional in a way that wasn't anger. I feel like that goes along with how he felt about David. However, it's so hard to tell if Andrew cared for him because he is such a liar.
TD: These murders don't really go along with my theory of Andrew killing powerful men. Like, Jeff "figured him out" and that's why Andrew killed him. Jeff knew Andrew wasn't shit, so maybe that feeling of inferiority was what set him off.
JM: I actually do think your theory about powerful men still holds up in a way. Hear me out...David was a small town boy when they met in San Francisco. From the conversation in that diner, it sounded like David really idolized Andrew and his experiences. How he's outgoing. In a way, Andrew is drawn to that, someone to look up to him. At least at first, someone believed his stories. So it isn't so much powerful men, as much as it is for Andrew to feel power over them.
TD: YES. That makes perfect sense. Andrew also babied David after he killed Jeff. Comforting him (which also seemed condescending), washing him in the shower, etc.
JM: The one thing that leads me to believe that Andrew truly cared about David was the scene in the parking lot, where David thinks that random woman recognized him. Andrew's default emotion is clearly anger, and he becomes impulsive and wants to run her off the road, and he does this to show how much he cares.
TD: Or, it's just another excuse for murdering someone because that is his one true love, haha.
JM: I mean, kind of the same thing though, right?
TD: Fair point. Also, I think it's pointless to discuss fashion because this had nothing to do with Versace.
JM: Agreed. One question that came up for me watching this episode was if Andrew is charismatic, or if people feel sorry for him. David was kind of hanging out with him even though those around him didn't get it (like Jeff, or the co-worker who tells the police he's weird).
TD: I think he's just charismatic, because think about Gianni. I don't think he felt sorry for Andrew at all. At least maybe not in the beginning.
JM: That's a good point.
TD: Also, I'm sad that David didn't climb out that window.
JM: There was a lot to unpack here, and that scene was pretty tragic - but I really think it comes from the shame that David talked about while they were driving. He sort of felt like he was in this lose-lose situation, where even if he escaped, the police wouldn't believe he had nothing to do with the murder because they had already made up their mind about him. The internalized homophobia on David's part (which was his shame) and the homophobia from the detectives.
This episode makes me look forward to next ones.
I felt like this was the best episode so far. Like I alluded to at the beginning of this post, this episode truly felt like a tribute to telling the story of one of Andrew's victims. One less notable than the titular Versace.