Thursday, March 08, 2018

My Review of The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story - Ascent

Written by Tom Rob Smith
Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Andrew: "If they could see me now."
Norman: "Who?"
Andrew: "Everyone."

Credit given where it's due, this episode felt slightly more like an even split between Andrew and Gianni with both of them getting nearly equal amount of screen time, instead of the focus being predominantly on Andrew as it has been for the majority of the season.

Delving into the Versace aspect of things first, we saw him in Milan running his business and also arguing with Donatella on what would actually sell, fashion wise with Antonio trying to be a neutral party with the conflicting siblings for the most part.

It was nice to see both Edgar Ramirez and Penelope Cruz properly play off each other this week and I think they did a great job in the scenes where they designed that rather risque dress, only to later fall out over it when Gianni's ear cancer storyline also came to a head in this episode as well, forcing Donatella to take over the company while her brother recovered in Miami. Giving the siblings the focus they needed was something of a nice change for this episode.

Of course seeing as this series has mainly been about Andrew more than his famous and final victim, the focus also went back to his disdain at working at Thrifty and his mother buying cheap ice cream, so he decided to do a little escorting on the side, only to be told by a madame that he wasn't what they were looking for.

Giving that Andrew's biggest issue is people saying no to him, it wasn't too much of a surprise that he decided to go independent on the escorting front and with this plotline we saw him meeting and seducing Norman Blachford and Lincoln Aston (Todd Waring), the latter whom also had grown weary of being used by Andrew before he was murdered by another man.

I have to admit I was actually shocked to see a grisly murder in this episode that didn't actually involve Andrew (even if he did tell Bond to run after killing Lincoln) but the latter's violent streak did come out when he attacked his mother though and next week, it seems we're getting more from that destructive relationship as well.

- Jeff made another appearance here as did David, given that we finally got to see his first meeting with Andrew. The latter then stole his story in order to charm Norman into moving into Lincoln's house after his death.
- The episode mostly got things right - Donatella's dress, Gianni's ear cancer, the extent of Andrew and Lincoln's relationship and the latter's murder.
- The escort scene however and the ex-wife bits were somewhat exaggerated regarding Andrew.
- Chronology: 1992 for most of this episode.

A bit stronger than last week's episode, I did like that Ascent was a bit more balanced between the screen time allotted to both Andrew and Gianni this week. I also appreciated more on Gianni/Donatella this week and that bit with David Madson was still a nice highlight but it is a good thing that we're heading into the final hurtle with the series now.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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