• Jose Alonso Munoz

Jose & Tiana Watch: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Episode 5

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 5, American Crime Story takes us on a trip down a homophobic rabbit hole. We see Donatella trying to talk Gianni out of coming out publically. We’re also shown more backstory of Andrew’s first victim, Jeff, as he tries to navigate coming out to his parents, and military life in a Don‘t Ask Don’t Tell world.


Fashion:

TD: The only fashion I liked was the gold dress on the dressform at the beggining. I was not here for Donarella’s blazer. Usually she fucking slays in all of her outfits, but not this one. It was like the classic Versace patterns with like Lisa Frank butterflys. Worst fashion for sure was Jeff when he went to interview with that reporter in those sunglasses with the string.


JM: I agree. Usually Donatella looks flawless, and its really because its simple. She accents herself really well. That blazer and Gianni’s pastel silk shirt for his Advocate interview were really the worst. Versace the brand is extravagant, sometimes in the worst ways, and those two pieces were very much that.


Lets jump in...


TD: There’ still so much speculation. Like: why did he kill Jeff? Why is is he so obsessed with David?


JM : I mean, I feel like Andrew was jealous. When Andrew asked David who he was hanging out with and David said it wasn’t Jeff... I dont think Andrew totally bought that. That’s probbaly what set him off. What did you of how they brought the Versace storyline back in?


TD: I thought it was kinda cool, and also kind of confusing. I don’t think it had anything to do with the storyline but it was a good stylistic way of bringing Versace back in.


JM: I was not quite sure what the tie-in was at the beggining. This episode started with Donatella trying to stop Gianni from coming out publicly. It wasnt immediatley clear how that scene tied into the rest of the episode, which was very Jeff heavy. Obviously it became more clear at the end.


TD: Yes, I thought it was cool how they juxtaposed Jeff being in the shadows and Gianni coming out of the shadows with their respective interviews.


JM: That is when the tie-in became tragically clear. I do think they really balanced that very well and I agree that it was a good stylistic choice.


TD: Okay, so I think there's some importance as to why the show is going so in-depth with the David/Jeff storyline. Jeff was the first person he killed, right? I think they're trying to start the murderer narrative from there. I think Andrew did actually have feelings for both David and Jeff. But things changed when he got shut down. Andrew showed him kindness when he felt isolated in the Navy. And Jeff didn't reciprocate. He humiliated Andrew by calling him out on all his bullshit while also saying he had no honor.


JM: One thing that keeps coming up is how emotional Andrew is. In this episode, he got so angry when Jeff was telling him how he was going to be interviewed in the dark, and disguising his voice. Similar to last week when Andrew threatened to kill that random woman who stared at David.


TD: This sort of shifts my theory about Andrew killing "powerful men." But it's still 100% about Andrew's inferiority complex. He's killing them because he thinks they think they're better than him.


JM: I do like that shift, and I think you’re right.


TD: ...because Jeff wasn‘t necessarily a powerful man. He basically had everything important talem away from him.


Final Thoughts


TD: I’m defenitly not confused as to why he killed Jeff. It’s like the classic, “I’m done with you,” “No, I’m done with you!” Jeff offended Andrew and Andrew basically said, “No, bitch, bye.” I still wanna know more about Andrew and David’s relationship. This timeline brought up more questions.


JM: Ryan Murphy is really good at what he does with this anthology series. ACS: Versace, like ACS:O.J before it, draws viewers in with a spectacle of a crime, and really ends up educating us, or reminding us, about important social issues. I won't get into how it did that with the first season about the O.J trial, but I'll expand on this season. We've seen that the pervasive homophobia has been a consistent theme this season. In this episode, we got to see life as a closeted gay man in the Navy through Jeff. ACS: Versace tells the story of a flashy headline, but it really gives viewers a very nuanced and layered look at homophobia in the 90s. The titular character of Versace just serves as the flashy vessel through which Ryan Murphy and team get to shed light on such powerful issues which we still grapple with to this day.