FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story episode four begins one week prior to the murder of Gianni Versace. It’s April 27, 1997 and in Minneapolis, Minnesota, David Madson (Cody Fern) is home talking business on the phone when Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss) walks up. It seems they had a fight over the weekend and David hopes they can move past it and be friends.
David showers and then sees his dog, Prince, on a leash, with Andrew acting like he’s going to take the dog for a walk. After David dresses he sees Prince still on a leash, tied to a chair. Confused, he asks Andrew what’s going on and Andrew reveals he invited their friend Jeff over. David’s not happy as he’s trying to work, and he’s pissed when Andrew makes him go down and let Jeff in the building.
Jeff (Finn Wittrock) and David discuss Andrew while on the way back upstairs, and David reveals he turned down Andrew when Andrew said they should get married. Apparently, Andrew is now jealous of Jeff and David’s friendship and believes David turned him down because of Jeff. He’s right, but no one is supposed to know about Jeff and David’s relationship so they’re both surprised Andrew has figured it out.
They’re almost back at David’s door when Jeff says he never wants to see Andrew again. He’s only there now because Andrew took his gun and he wants it back.
Immediately after entering the apartment, David goes to untie Prince and is shocked when Andrew brutally murders Jeff with a hammer. Andrew is drenched in blood when he’s finished and there are blood splatters all over the living room.
Andrew heads over to David, still holding the hammer, and caresses his face. He assures him it’s okay and hugs him tight. David’s speechless as Andrew walks him into the bathroom and sets him on the rim of the bathtub. Andrew cleans them both up in the shower, gently washing the blood from David’s face, arms, and hands.
David’s still mute and shaking as Andrew dries him off. Finally, he asks, “Are you going to kill me?” Andrew says he’s not, but David doesn’t understand why he killed Jeff. Andrew explains that only happened because he lost control and that he loves David. David wants to call the police, but Andrew doesn’t want him to.
Andrew puts Prince in his cage and then sits at David’s desk just feet from Jeff’s dead body. David, now dressed, asks for the phone so he can call the cops. Andrew wonders if the police would believe David didn’t kill Jeff since he’s the one who let him in and since it’s David’s apartment. When David demands the phone, Andrew hands it over as Andrew continues to try and convince David he’ll go to jail too.
David calls 9-1-1 as Andrew takes out the gun he stole from Jeff. He won’t allow David to destroy his own life, and David hangs up the phone.
David sits on his bed as Andrew spreads out gay magazines and sexual paraphernalia. Andrew continues to try and convince David the police will view him as a suspect, and because he’s gay the police already hate him. David wants to call his dad to ask what to do. Andrew says David’s dad would have to turn him in, and Andrew won’t allow that. David wants to leave but Andrew stops him, telling him he has to think it through.
Hours later, David tries to leave again when he thinks Andrew is asleep. When Andrew jumps up, David covers by saying he was just going to walk Prince – he wasn’t trying to escape.
David gets Prince from his cage and they walk up to Jeff, dead and laying in a pool of blood on the floor close to the door. Andrew makes David turn away as he rolls Jeff up in a rug. Andrew has David help him move the rug with Jeff inside and then uses a table to hide the body.
Andrew then gets busy cleaning the blood as David starts to leave with Prince. Andrew forces an invitation and joins David on the walk. David makes Andrew promise he won’t hurt anyone else. He promises, as long as David’s on his side.
As they walk, David makes up stories he can tell the police. David cuts the walk short and they return to his place.
Prince barks as David’s co-worker, Linda, knocks on his door because he wasn’t at work. The apartment manager, Jennifer, fetches the keys and opens the door. Prince runs out as Linda and Jennifer see blood all over the apartment. They quickly realize there’s a dead body in the room, and Linda assumes it’s David.
Meanwhile, Andrew and David take off in Andrew’s stolen car.
Homicide Detectives Tichich and Jackson arrive at David’s apartment. They meet with Jennifer and Linda outside the front door and learn Prince is now with Jennifer and that she only opened the door because the dog sounded distressed. Linda still believes it’s David’s body inside and she describes David as 33, a successful architect, and a great guy. She also reveals David’s gay.
The detectives enter David’s apartment and take a cursory look at the body. They find a wallet on the table and learn there wasn’t any forced entry. They inspect the house and find the bloody hammer in the bathroom sink. They also find lots of sexual paraphernalia on the bed. The cops assume the extreme sex stuff got too rough, David died, and his partner ran. It wasn’t a robbery. However, they find a case of bullets but no gun.
More cops arrive and Linda asks to speak to Detective Tichich. She informs him David had a friend, Andrew Cunanan, who was staying with him. She describes him and says he said things that just didn’t sound right to her. He bragged about his wealth and building sets for the Titanic in Mexico. Linda tells him Andrew had dark hair and David had blonde.
Detective Tichich realizes the dead body isn’t David’s. (Jeff had dark hair, too.) However, he thinks the dead body is Andrew Cunanan’s. The police have to leave because they don’t have a search warrant which is needed because David is alive. As they leave, the detective tells Linda that David is the killer, not the victim.
The scene switches to a father and his young son hunting in a remote location. The son turns out to be David and he’s upset when his father kills a bird. His father reminds him they talked about it, but he’s not mad at his son and says they can go on hikes and don’t have to hunt together again. He doesn’t want his son to be sad.
And now we’re back with David and Andrew driving and Andrew singing. David’s silent, arm out the window feeling the wind. They pull over to eat and Andrew talks about Lee Miglin in Chicago, claiming they’re close friends who worked on projects together. He thinks Lee owes him and he’ll give him money. It’ll be a long drive, but things will be okay. He suggests David think about his new life since he’s on the run. Andrew also thinks they make a great team and it would be a shame to split up.
Search warrant obtained, the detectives and officers return to David’s apartment to gather evidence and collect the body which they still believe is Andrew Cunanan’s. Jeff’s body is put on the autopsy table and stripped as they take photos of his injuries. They find his wallet and learn he’s Jeffrey Trail.
Outside David’s place, the police interview David’s neighbors. Normally Prince runs free, but one neighbor saw him on a leash the last time she saw David with his friend. As they’re talking, the detectives learn the victim’s real identity.
Andrew and David stop for a restroom break and a woman stares at David as they walk by. He thinks the woman recognized him since she looked at him like she hated him. Andrew wants to run her off the road and David reminds him he promised not to hurt anyone else.
The detectives pay a visit to David’s parents.
Night falls and David and Andrew are still on the road. David went over everything the police will find out about him and realizes he’s worried all his life what people will find out about him.
David’s father says there’s no way his son killed anyone. Detective Tichich describes Andrew and David walking the dog while in his apartment Jeff was dead from 27 hammer blows. The hammer was David’s.
In the car, David envisions what the small-town people will say about him. He wonders how his parents will live there now.
David’s dad doesn’t know Andrew and the detective says Andrew’s described as intelligent and reliable. David’s dad again claims it’s not possible David is a murderer. The detective assures him there’s a lot about his son he doesn’t know.
Andrew and David stop and head into a lounge. A musician plays as Andrew tells David he needs to eat something. David doesn’t answer and instead heads to the bathroom. There, he breaks out a window and pauses to look out.
Meanwhile, Andrew listens as the singer sings “Drive” by The Cars. He gets emotional and begins crying as he listens to the lyrics. David returns to the table and Andrew grabs his hands.
A flashback shows David showing his dad his President’s Award from the University of Minnesota, Duluth for the Architecture Student with the Most Outstanding Thesis. His dad’s proud and tells him he deserves it, and David responds by telling his father he’s gay. His dad asks for a moment to collect his thoughts, not wanting to say the wrong thing.
David’s dad reminds him what he believes, and he does have a problem with it. But he adds, “I love you more than I love my own life.” David cries and his dad tells him not to.
Back to Andrew and David’s roadtrip. David wakes up alone in the car and cautiously leaves it, looking around for any sign of Andrew. He starts walking, picking up the pace but then Andrew comes out from behind a tree and stops him.
A little while later, they’re having breakfast in a diner and they talk about where they met: Market Street in San Francisco a year and a half ago. Andrew was surrounded by his high society friends and sent David a drink. Andrew then invited him to join his table, and David remembers Andrew had everyone laughing. David went back to Andrew’s ritzy hotel, and Andrew calls it the best night of his life.
David now knows that period was all a lie. He asks why Andrew killed Jeff and believes it was because Jeff figured him out. “It took him a few years, but he finally saw the real you,” says David. “You killed him for it.”
Andrew reacts by telling David to just wait for what’s to come in Mexico. They’ll have the time of their lives. David realizes Andrew can’t stop lying.
They get back in the car and David asks why Andrew sent him down to bring Jeff up. David has put two and two together and knows Andrew planned to kill Jeff and wanted David to see it and be a part of it. It was premeditated. Andrew doesn’t want to talk about it, and David grabs the wheel as they’re driving. Andrew pulls his gun out and points it at David’s chest. Andrew tells him they had a future together; he’d planned it all out.
Andrew pulls over, gun still drawn, and forces David down on his knees. While David begs that they still have a plan – they’ll go and visit Lee and then have a cross-country adventure. Andrew knows David doesn’t believe that, but then David describes where they’ll live. He even goes as far as to say Andrew will learn Spanish quickly, but he’ll struggle. For a minute it looks as though Andrew believes this but then he adjusts his aim again. “Why couldn’t you run away with me?” asks Andrew, realizing David would rather go to jail than be with him.
Andrew turns away for a minute and David runs into a nearby house. (There’s nothing close by but one little place that looks deserted.) He imagines his dad is seated in the cabin, just like when he was a child and they went hunting, and then has a vision of his dad handing him a cup of coffee.
In reality, he’s shot in the middle of his back. He turns over in the grass and looks into the sky as Andrew approaches. He holds his hand in front of his face to stop Andrew, but Andrew shoots him anyway from just inches away.
Andrew lies next to David’s dead body, cradling it. We see Andrew’s last shot went straight through David’s right eye. Andrew finally gets up and heads back out on the road.
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 3 Recap
– The Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 5 Recap