‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ Episode 3 Recap: A Random Killing

The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 3 Recap
Mike Farrell as Lee Miglin and Judith Light as Marilyn Miglin in ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ episode 3 (Photo by Matt Dinerstein / FX)

Episode two of FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story begins with a flashback to May 1997 in Toronto, Canada. Marilyn Miglin (Judith Light) is on the Home Shopping Network promoting her popular perfume line. The scene switches to Marilyn calling her husband, Lee, from the airport in Chicago. He doesn’t pick up the phone, so she takes a taxi home.

Marilyn arrives at her home and finds a melting ice cream container on the kitchen counter. She steps back outside and stares into her home, just as a couple of neighbors are walking by. Together, they go back into the house but the male neighbor quickly sends the women back outside. He walks through the house, calling Lee’s name. There’s no answer.

The police arrive and walk through the house, finally asking Marilyn if she checked the garage. She didn’t, and so an officer does. The couple’s Lexus is missing and then the female neighbor and the cop discover Lee’s dead body.

Another flashback takes us one week prior to Lee’s murder. Marilyn and Lee (Mike Farrell) attend a fancy function for Governor Jim Edgar, a friend of the couple. They praise each other to their friends and Marilyn makes a speech ticking off Lee’s accomplishments.

When they return home, it’s apparent the relationship isn’t as happy as the Miglins make it out to be in public. Marilyn interrupts a phone call Lee’s on, and it turns out he’s been talking to Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss).

Marilyn prepares to leave for Canada on her business trip and Lee assures her he’s just going to work while she’s gone. However, Marilyn notices he’s in a blue mood and invites him to join her on the trip. He says he’s proud of her but decides not to go.

Elsewhere, Andrew drives into a parking garage and takes a nap.

Alone, Lee puts on his wife’s perfume, has a drink, and then heads downstairs into the couple’s private chapel. He lights candles and prays, saying out loud, “I try. I try.”

Night falls and Andrew knocks on Lee’s front door. Lee takes a heavy breath and then welcomes Andrew in, immediately pulling him into a hug.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 3 Recap
Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan and Mike Farrell as Lee Miglin in ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ episode 3 (Photo by Matt Dinerstein / FX)

Over a sandwich in the kitchen, Lee admits he didn’t expect Andrew to be in town. Lee warns him next time he needs a little warning before showing up, and then invites him to stay the night. Lee pulls out sketches of the Skyneedle, describing it and then admitting it’s his pride and passion. While Lee’s back is turned, Andrew pulls out his gun and aims it at Lee’s head. He changes his mind and puts it away as he gets drawn into the conversation about the proposed Skyneedle. Lee says it will be taller than the Sears Tower by 500 feet, and Andrew is impressed the Skyneedle’s observation deck will look down on the Sears Tower’s deck.

Lee expresses his desire to walk among the people who visit the Skyneedle without them realizing it’s his building. Andrew makes him admit he hasn’t broken ground or obtained financing, and he wonders why Lee doesn’t want to name it the Miglin Tower. Lee explains he wants to inspire people to reach up, that’s why it will be named the Skyneedle.

Andrew seems angry, saying he doesn’t want to listen to Lee talk about this tower all night long. He also believes Lee’s only telling him about the tower to make it seem like this thing they’re doing isn’t just a business transaction.

Discussion over, they kiss and Lee admits the kiss made him feel alive. Andrew says most escorts don’t kiss but he does because it’s more like a relationship’s possible.
Andrew suggests they go out to “make a mess.” They head to the garage and Andrew tells Lee he’s in control now. He stuffs a gardening glove in Lee’s mouth and Lee doesn’t object. He then tapes Lee’s head, just as he did with the businessman in the hotel room.

Andrew completely covers Lee’s head with the tape but does leave a little space for him to breathe. He then lowers Lee to the ground and ties his feet together while telling Lee he knows he likes to be pathetic. Andrew briefly chokes Lee and then punches him roughly in the nose.

Andrew confesses he’s killed two people who were close to him, and that this is the real him. Andrew leans in and, because Lee isn’t wearing his hearing aid, he yells into Lee’s ear and tells him that when they find his body he will be clad in women’s panties. Gay porn will be scattered around him so the world can see “the great Lee Miglin is a sissy.”

Andrew taunts Lee that everyone will know about his secret life. He also realizes Lee is more worried about being disgraced than he is of dying. Andrew picks up a concrete block and smashes Lee’s head. He then stabs him in the chest with a butcher knife.

After murdering Lee, Andrew returns to the house and burns the Sky needle design plans while enjoying a roast. He leaves the roast with the knife sticking out of it on Lee’s office desk where the designs had been carefully laid out by Lee just minutes before.

The police and forensic teams continue their investigation of the crime scene, with Superintendent Rodriguez arriving and asking questions. They don’t know if Lee was dressed in the panties after he was dead, but they have determined every one of Lee’s ribs were broken. His body is incredibly bloody and he didn’t have defensive wounds on his hands.

After looking at the body, Superintendent Rodriguez speaks with Marilyn who’s talking a mile a minute. She lists the items that are missing including the Lexus, money, jewelry, gold coins, and suits. The killer also took new socks.

Marilyn continues, saying Lee was alone and it was an “opportunistic attack.” Superintendent Rodriguez describes the homosexual pornographic magazines that were next to Lee’s body. Marilyn doesn’t care and just wants the killer caught without her husband’s reputation besmirched.

“Dollars, jewelry, socks, suits…that’s all I’ll allow that man to steal from me. He won’t steal my good name, our good name. We worked too hard making that name and we made it together,” says Marilyn.

The cops determine the killer took a bath, shaved, and maybe even spent the night.

Next, Superintendent Rodriguez meets Duke, Marilyn and Lee’s son. He’s an aspiring actor who’s in Air Force One and his mom seems very proud, saying he’s at the beginning of a great career.

A cop spots the car Andrew had been driving with Minnesota plates. It has multiple parking tickets and when she calls it in, it was reported stolen and is linked to the murder of Jeff Trail.

Meanwhile, the Chicago police discover Lee Miglin’s Lexus had been fitted with a phone. It’s locked and Andrew can’t open it. The phone turns on when the engine is started and it has pinged twice. The second one was at 12:37 Sunday from Union County, Pennsylvania. Only the Chicago police and the FBI know about the phone, and Superintendent Rodriguez wants the info kept a secret so Andrew doesn’t discover he’s being tracked. The cops believe he’s heading to New York.

The police are correct and Andrew is in New York City. He visits a Versace store and takes it all in, browsing through a book casually as if he owns the place.

Back at the Miglin house, Marilyn says she doesn’t recognize the name Andrew Cunanan. Superintendent Rodriguez explains about the stolen Jeep that was parked nearby, but Marilyn continues to say she’s never seen this man before after being shown a photo. Rodriguez informs her the FBI are now involved.

Superintendent Rodriguez gets an update on the car’s location, and the Philadelphia police and FBI are closing in.

Marilyn talks to her associate, admitting she knows people are wondering why she isn’t crying. She doesn’t think people should refer to her marriage as a sham; they shared lots of adventures and he even rescued her when she was lost in the desert. She finally breaks down crying and says she loved him very much.

Marilyn claims they had a fairy tale life and never fought. She still insists it was a robbery and a random killing, and the family has no connections to Andrew Cunanan.

Superintendent Rodriguez learns a local radio station is breaking the news that Lee’s car phone was activated and the police are tracking it. Andrew hears the report and tries to break the phone. He then pulls over and rips off the antenna, tossing it in the bushes on the side of the road. Now on high alert, he pulls into Fort Mott State Park and attempts to ditch Lee’s car.

Andrew waits patiently for the perfect opportunity, passing up stealing from park visitors with families or people traveling in pairs. He finally spots a man (Gregg Lawrence) on his own, driving a red truck. When the man pulls out, Andrew follows him in Lee’s car. The man enters a building, unaware he’s been followed until it’s too late.

Andrew enters the building and says he’s there to steal the truck. He asks if there’s a downstairs, and the man leads him to the basement. Andrew tells him he’s going to lock him in the room, but instead forces the man to get on his knees and shoots him in the back of the head while he pleads to see his wife and son again. (The man turns out to be Andrew’s fourth victim, Finn’s Point National Cemetery caretaker William Reese.)

Leaving Lee’s car in front of the building, Andrew races away in Reese’s red truck.

Marilyn returns to the Home Shopping Channel where the host offers her condolences. Marilyn makes a short speech about why she returned to the show, saying it’s because he was her partner, her best friend, and his name is also on the bottles of perfume. She wonders how many husbands treat their wives as equals, and she’s very emotional when she says she misses him very much.

More on The Assassination of Gianni Versace:
The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 1 Recap
The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 2 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
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