‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ Episode 2 Recap: “Manhunt”

Assassination of Gianni Versace American Crime Story Episode 2 Recap
Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan in ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ episode 2 (Photo by Jeff Daly / FX)

FX reports more than 5.5 million viewers tuned in to check out The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story episode one. The second season of American Crime Story debuted on January 17, 2018 and follows the intersecting lives of serial killer Andrew Cunanan and iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace. Episode two airing January 24, 2017 picks up the story in Miami in March 1994.

Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramirez), attempting to conceal his identity from any lurking paparazzi, and Antonio D’Amico (Ricky Martin) visit a doctor. Blood is drawn and Gianni is informed there are drug therapies that can help him. It’s not stated that he’s HIV-positive, however it’s implied.

Donatella (Penelope Cruz) visits her sick brother at his home, getting emotional at the possible loss of her sibling. After speaking to Gianni, she and Anthony have a talk and she blames him for bringing other men into her brother’s life. Anthony’s lifestyle caused Gianni’s illness, and Donatella believes Gianni only went along with Anthony’s lifestyle because he loved Anthony. She doesn’t forgive Anthony for his choices, and she wants to know why Anthony didn’t give Gianni the family he wanted. Anthony claims it was because they weren’t allowed to have one.

It’s obvious Donatella has no respect for Anthony and doesn’t approve of her brother’s relationship.

A weak Gianni strolls the beach with Anthony, devastated by his sickness. He wants the disease out of him and he confesses for the first time he’s jealous of healthy people. When Gianni and Anthony return home, Gianni tells his sister and Anthony he can only get better if they are a family.

Flash forward to July 16, 1997 and Donatella cries as she watches admirers lay flowers outside her brother’s mansion on the spot where he was brutally murdered. She tells Anthony she’s done pretending they’re family.

Gianni’s body is prepared for viewing. Later, Donatella arrives to be with her brother who’s laid out in his coffin. She places him in a new suit and tie, lovingly handling his body as she dresses him. Crying, she kisses his forehead.

Gianni is quickly cremated and his ashes prepared to be taken home to Italy by Donatella and Santo Versace (Giovanni Cirfiena). On the plane, Donatella doesn’t understand how Gianni could have survived being ill only to be gunned down in front of his own home.

The scene shifts back to May 1997 in Florence, South Carolina. Andrew purchases items, including a screwdriver, at a Wal-Mart. He uses the screwdriver to steal the license plate off another car in the parking lot and place it on his truck.

Andrew drives away, changing radio stations and pausing briefly to listen to a news report that he’s a suspect in the murder of Lee Miglin. The report doesn’t bother him, and he sings – loudly – along with the radio as he drives to Miami.

Andrew checks into the Normandy Plaza which seems to a low-budget hotel on the beach. He uses a French passport as a form of ID, claiming to be Kurt DeMarrs. He reveals he’s there to have a conversation with Gianni Versace, saying he’s a fashion student.

That evening, Andrew makes his way to Gianni’s mansion and tries the front gate. It’s locked, and he stares briefly through the bars before leaving.

He buys a disguise – sunglasses and a red baseball cap – along with a disposable camera. He then takes pictures of the front of Gianni’s mansion, laying the photos out on the ground in his hotel room. He checks his wallet and it’s almost empty.

Over at the Miami police station, the FBI discuss Andrew Cunanan’s four murder victims with Miami Detective Lori Wieder (Dascha Polanco). They’re in town to warn the Miami police Andrew could be headed their way. The FBI have reason to believe Andrew will be in town, and Detective Wieder points out the popular gay clubs on a map. She offers to take the agents to the local bars and introduce them to the owners and community leaders, believing they can check all the clubs out in just one day.

FBI Agent Evans (Jay R. Ferguson) explains Andrew doesn’t visit the clubs and instead targets closeted wealthy older men. A lack of FBI wanted posters means there are only 10 available for South Beach, and Agent Evans thinks Fort Lauderdale bars may be a more likely place for someone to spot Andrew Cunanan. The flyers aren’t a priority for the FBI, so Detective Wieder makes her own copy to put up in the station.

Back at his hotel, Andrew doesn’t like the view from his hotel room and after practicing his speech in a mirror, convinces the hotel manager to give him a room with an ocean view. Andrew gets his wish and is moved to room 322, a room with a fantastic view.

Andrew steps outside and talks to Ronnie (Max Greenfield), asking him if he knows where to score. Andrew says he volunteered at an AIDS Awareness Initiative and he’s not sick, but knows Ronnie is. Ronnie admits he was close to dying a few years ago and then he got “magic pills” and he’s no longer feeling ill.

They continue talking and Andrew claims he’s a friend of Gianni Versace’s and he helped him with his costumes for an opera in San Francisco. He also lies and says Gianni proposed to him, but he turned him down.

Andrew and Ronnie take a spot on the beach, and an older man checks out Andrew. Andrew walks over and whispers in his ear. Shortly thereafter, they arrive at the man’s hotel room where Andrew learns the gentleman employs 5,000 people globally. The stranger promises he can be submissive.

The man allows Andrew to wrap his head in tape, not protesting until Andrew tapes up his nose and mouth. Andrew whispers that the man is helpless and he better accept it. Andrew dances as the man struggles to remove the tape, refusing to cut open a hole until the man stops moving and accepts that he’s powerless.

When the man finally relaxes, Andrew cuts open a hole in the tape covering the man’s mouth.

Andrew eats a delicious lunch delivered by room service as the man stands in a corner of the room. After Andrew finishes and leaves, the man calls 9-1-1 but then doesn’t actually report what happened.

Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story Episode 2 Recap
Edgar Ramirez as Gianni Versace in ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ episode 2 (Photo Credit: FX)

July 6, 1997: Gianni and Anthony are backstage as models prepare for a fashion show. Gianni tells Anthony he doesn’t like these models; they’re so skinny they look ill. When Donatella arrives, Gianni says the models look like they don’t eat or enjoy life. Donatella believes these models are the ones who get the front covers, and Gianni wonders if she means his work isn’t enough to get the front covers on its own merit anymore.

Donatella tells her brother his designs have grown old, and people are saying he’s repeating what’s worked for him in the past. Gianni explains he’s happy and grateful to be alive, but there might be a time in the future when he can create a show that’s morbid – just as she desires.

Gianni continues, saying life is special and his clothes should make people feel that way.

At the hotel, Andrew and Ronnie get high and Ronnie starts laughing. Andrew runs into the bathroom and tapes up his own head while Ronnie talks through the door, asking if he wants to run a flower shop together. Ronnie’s taken aback when Andrew opens the bathroom door with his face covered in tape.

The bathroom wall is covered in photos of Gianni’s mansion. After the shower, Ronnie asks Andrew what he did to that man from the beach. Andrew claims to have done nothing.

Gianni sketches while Anthony’s in bed with another man having sex. Gianni promises to join them later.

The next morning, Gianni swims up to Anthony who’s seated on the edge of the pool. Anthony surprises his lover by telling him he doesn’t want other men anymore and wants to get married. Gianni thinks he’ll change his mind come nighttime.

Andrew pays a visit to the pawn shop and fills out forms, completing them using his real name. The owner of the shop glances at the wanted posters and of course there isn’t one of Andrew Cunanan since the FBI didn’t spread them out in Miami Beach. Andrew completes the required form, giving his room number as 205.

Later, Andrew is walking near Gianni’s mansion when he sees a fake Donatella attempting to get into the mansion. Gianni appears at a window, telling the fake Donatella one Donatella is enough. Andrew listens as this conversation takes place, now sure Gianni is at home.

Andrew runs back to his hotel room and grabs his gun. He rips down all the photos of Gianni’s place and leaves room 322. He says goodbye to Ronnie and gives him a wad of cash. Ronnie wants to know if they were really friends, if what happened between them was real. “When someone asks you if we were friends, you’ll say no,” replies Andrew.

Andrew sits in the park across from Gianni’s home. Gianni leaves with Anthony, but Andrew misses it because he’s at a diner ordering takeout. The guy who takes his order recognizes him from America’s Most Wanted and calls the police, describing Andrew as that white guy who killed four other white guys. He can’t remember Andrew’s name, but tells the cops to send everyone immediately. Squad cars race to the restaurant but Andrew has fled by the time they arrive.

Gianni and Anthony go to the front of the line at a club. They’re greeted by friends as they pass through the crowd and settle in.

Andrew returns to his perch outside Gianni’s place and notices Gianni’s bedroom lights are now off. Andrew heads to Twist in search of Gianni. Andrew hurries through the club, even searching the bathroom stalls, but Anthony and Gianni are outside. Anthony once again says he doesn’t want that life anymore. He only wants to marry Gianni. They kiss on the sidewalk outside the club and then head home.

Inside the club, Andrew continues looking for Gianni. A guy named Brad introduces himself and Andrew introduces himself as Andy, a serial killer. The guy laughs and Andrew rattles off a list of odd professions, including building movie sets in Mexico. “You know, I’m the person least likely to be forgotten,” adds Andrew.

More on The Assassination of Gianni Versace:
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story Episode 1 Recap
The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 3 Recap
The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 4 Recap
The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 5 Recap
The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 6 Recap
The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 7 Recap
The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 8 Recap
The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 9 Recap