Thursday, February 01, 2018

My Review of The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story - A Random Killing

Written by Tom Robb Smith
Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Marilyn Miglin: "Just think of the little red light as the man you love."

I have been wondering if the titular character's life and death would be hard for the show to sustain over the course of nine episodes and to a certain extent, this episode somewhat proved a point as the focus moved away from Cunanan's obsession with Gianni to pay focus on two of his victims in an episode with a rather pointed titled.

Husband and wife business tycoons, Lee and Marilyn Miglin (Mike Farrell and Judith Light) were the primary focus of this episode as they appeared to be the ideal couple to their friends, family and media but in private, theirs was a marriage filled with secrets that threatened to come out in a big way, following the gruesome murder of Lee by Andrew's hands.

I found this somewhat change of pace rather interesting with Farrell perfectly conveying Lee's internal struggles between wanting to be a good husband and deny his true feelings to also trying to impress a visiting Andrew by taking about a famous building he was modelling. I think because of all this, it made Andrew's murder of him even more horrific to watch, despite not actually being that gory onscreen.

The aftermath of Lee's death was where the episode did excel though. Judith Light gave a wonderful guest performance as Marilyn was blatantly in denial about her husband's other life while at the same time, she was given a beautiful moment to break down and mourn his murder. The final scene where she spoke on television about her husband was just a lovely moment to end the episode on.

As for Andrew himself, this was clearly the time in his reign of terror that he was coming apart at the seams. His killing of Lee was sloppy, given that he also went out of his way to humiliate the man in death while the cops also managed to quickly figure out it was him and nearly came close to tracking him. This forced Andrew's hand into murdering another man - Reece Williams for his truck and while that death was less planned out than Miglin's, the episode did show that Andrew didn't always use his charm offensive to get what he wanted.

- Whether or not there was a real connection between Andrew and Lee seems to be up for debate by the family of the deceased.
- Going by next week's trailer, the focus will be shifting onto both David Madson and Jeffrey Trail, Cunanan's first two victims.
- The only thing Versace related to appear in this episode was Andrew briefly looking around in one of his stores.
- Chronology: May 1997 in Chicago, Illinois.

A Random Killing seemingly took a change of pace from the Versace/Cunanan focused first two episodes. For the most part, I think this actually worked well and while this wasn't Darren Criss's best one (though he can convey menace quite well), the guest performances from both Mike Farrell and Judith Light were second to none brilliant.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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