HOLLYWOOD—Ryan Murphy is totally a genius when it comes to molding some riveting narrative for the small screen. I mean “Glee” was the freshest dramedy on TV in years, and the limited-series “The People v. O.J. Simpson” was literally must-see TV! Well, Murphy’s latest series, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” is a series that has all of America talking and for all the right reasons.
At first I thought it was a murder mystery, but that is not so much the case. Some may have thought it was a series all about the life of slain fashion icon Gianni Versace, but again that is not the case. At first that was something that was a drawback to me, but the audience is introduced to the character of Andrew Cunanan played with perfection by Darren Criss. Look I will be completely honest, if this movie made it to the big screen Criss would be a bonafide contender in the Best Actor Oscar race, however, that is not the case. However, this character is mixed bag of all sorts of chaos and I mean utter chaos America.
With each week since the first episode, the narrative has followed Andrew and his sexual escapades with closeted gays, at the same time, we see this inner evil continuing to fester more and more. This guy was beyond crazy, he was a sociopath who relished in doing what he did. On top of that, he was very calculated and charming. Last week’s penultimate episode really shed light on Andrew’s upbringing and wham it totally makes sense why he behaves the way he behaved and why he acted the way he acted. This kid was treated like a king by his father, while everyone else was left to have the scraps. I mean watching this kid have the biggest room in the house, his father lie and scheme to ensure his son had the absolute best is quite telling.
The finale brought the story back to the authorities hunt to locate Andrew who has evaded their custody up to this point, but the walls are vastly closing in on him. The episode titled, ‘Alone’ kicked off with Andrew walking the streets of Miami on that fateful day where he fatally shot Gianni, and doing his best to ellude authorities he broke into a boathouse and celebrated with a glass of champagne. When he turned on the news realizing that he had made national headlines, he celebrated that much more.
Its apparent Mrs. Miglin, whose husband was one of Andrew’s victims, was not pleased that the authorities weren’t doing much to nab a serial killer whose trail of chaos spawned multiple cities. Knowing his face was plastered over ever newspaper and TV station Andrew did as much as possible to conceal his identity, but he started to freak out realizing escape might be impossible, especially when he learned his mother was being questioned by authorities on his whereabouts.
Andrew was ready to murder again after venturing onto a boat, in search for food. My fingers were literally crossed hoping he didn’t murder this woman who was poking around. From a distance he spotted the authorities on the marina. His desperation for food was bad, so bad he resulted to eating dog food, which he immediately vomited. In dire straits, Andrew reached out to his father, who was willing to help his son, but I was surprised he spoke to Andrew as if he had no idea of the crimes his son committed. He slept like a baby after speaking to his father; however, Andrew was later taken aback watching a TV interview with his father, who seemed to be a sellout. Furious, he fired a bullet into the TV. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and it all makes perfect sense now in regards to Andrew’s behavior.
Jesus, this finale is a very slow burn. I was so captivated with the drama surrounding Andrew it didn’t even matter to me that no time was spent focusing on his sister Donatella and Gianni’s lover. It seemed such a strong narrative was built around Andrew that as a viewer you don’t really care as much about those mourning Versace’s demise. Versace’s funeral got underway, which was a moment Andrew couldn’t pass up watching. I wonder if he truly felt sorry or if he was just relishing in all the grief that he caused.
Andrew’s time at that house boat he decided to crash was coming to an end, as the owner came home, and feeling threatened fired shots drawing authorities to his location. Andrew sheltered himself inside a bedroom as authorities made their way into the home. He took the handgun placed it into his mouth and pulled the trigger. Like that an elusive serial killer was no more. Donatella was an emotional mess grappling with guilt that she ignored her brother’s call the morning he was fatally shot. That was just the beginning of more sad news as Gianni’s lover chose to take a ton of pills realizing his love for his partner didn’t resonate with the rest of the world.
I have to say, the ending of the series was not as gut-punching as I had hoped for it to be. It started very strong, but ended on a small whimper. For a series with the name Gianni Versace in the title, the focus was more on Andrew Cunanan and the many lives he ruined as a result of his dastardly behavior.