Thursday, March 01, 2018
My Review of The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story - Descent
Written by Tom Rob Smith
Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Andrew: "What else you got?"
Gianni: "I'm loved."
We're definitely at the point in the show where the pretense has been dropped about Versace himself being the main character as for the fourth episode in a row, it's more of a look into Andrew's descent in madness and murder as he faced a birthday party from hell and rejection from two lovers for the price of one.
First of all, this episode opened with Andrew having a friends with benefits style relationship with the much older and influential, Norman Blachford (Michael Nouri) but unlike some of the older guys that fell prey to Andrew's orbit, it seems that Norman wasn't entirely daft enough to believe Andrew told him.
I did like that Norman actually did his own research into Andrew and despite a foolish willingness to let some of the latter's lies slide, Norman was also willing to cut Andrew loose when the fantasist got too demanding for him. One of the end scenes where Norman rejected a strung out Andrew did more to generate less sympathy for Cunanan than before.
Of course it wasn't just Norman that rejected Andrew in this one. Because things are playing backwards yet again, both Jeff and David were also around to witness Andrew's erratic behaviour. Jeff rightly decided to cut Andrew loose when the latter tried to maliciously out him to his family and while David indulged Andrew's expense date, he halted the breaks on any sort of potential relationship when the latter's inability to stop lying became too much.
This episode certainly lived up to it's title as even later on in the episode, Andrew's non stop lying was starting to weird out the cute barman while his descent into drug abuse saw him harassing Norman before the latter rejected him again. Then there was the brief sequence with Versace, while not real was still rather disturbing nonetheless.
The last few moments of the episode then focused on Andrew reconnecting with his mother as she indulged some of his whim and believed his success story lies to boot. It was a good way of ending another strong episode, although it was also blatantly taking a bit more creative licencing as this series has been doing from the start.
- Having Andrew in a birthday picture with three of his victims (David, Jeff and Lee Miglin) as well as Norman was pretty unsettling and not actually accurate.
- Most things here such as Andrew having a master bedroom and working in a thrift store pharmacy were actually true though.
- Another episode where both Donatella and Antonio sat out.
- Chronology: 1996, mostly LA.
Descent isn't quite as impressive as the previous two episodes but it's still a rather engaging episode with some good direction as Andrew's descent into madness is keenly felt here. It's the characters who see through his lies that are compelling me the most now, even if you fear for some of them.
Rating: 7 out of 10