‘Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ Episode 5 Recap: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 5 Recap
Finn Wittrock as Jeffrey Trail and Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan in ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’ episode 5 (Photo by Ray Mickshaw / FX)

Episode five of FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story begins in June 1995 in Milan, returning to tell Gianni Versace’s story after spending two episodes concentrating on Andrew Cunanan’s murder spree. Gianni (Edgar Ramirez) and his sister Donatella (Penelope Cruz) discuss his plan to speak with a reporter and reveal to the world he’s gay. His sister’s against it and she thinks Antonio D’Amico (Ricky Martin) probably put her brother up to this public disclosure, just so he could have his own slice of fame.

Gianni quickly puts an end to their bickering by speaking to Donatella privately. She reminds him people depend on him for their living and there are countries where being homosexual is illegal. This announcement could cost the company lots of money in the long run. She also thinks famous people will back away from them, but Gianni reminds her he designs for strong women. He asks, “Is the brand of Versace braver than the man?” That renders Donatella momentarily speechless.

Finally, Gianni says he wants to do this now because he was sick and didn’t die which means this is his second chance. He doesn’t want to be afraid; he wants to be alive.

Another flashback to April 1997 finds Andrew (Darren Criss) in San Diego. He’s on the phone trying to convince American Express to allow him to charge a one-way ticket to Minneapolis. His bad credit is keeping him from doing so, but he charms the American Express agent into extending credit by promising his fortune will turn around in Minneapolis when he’s repaid by two of his best friends.

Meanwhile in Minneapolis, Jeff Trail (Finn Wittrock) takes a break from work and chats with a co-worker. He recalls his time in the Navy and being docked in San Diego. He regrets leaving the military and reveals he was an officer and graduated from Annapolis. He gets angry when his co-worker continues to ask questions about why he left the military.

Returning to work, he gets a message from Andrew to meet him at the airport.

David Madson (Cody Fern) is already waiting for Andrew when Jeff arrives at the airport. Jeff reminds David everything Andrew has ever said is a lie, but David feels sorry for him. Jeff wants nothing more to do with him and says he won’t see Andrew ever again after this weekend.

Andrew arrives, calling them the Three Amigos, and hugging Jeff and David. Jeff immediately says he’s not going to hang out with them because he’ll be gone until Sunday. Jeff’s obviously mad at Andrew and it’s revealed Andrew sent Jeff’s dad a postcard (he says it was a mistake) and signed it “Love, Drew. Kiss Kiss.” Jeff received the postcard instead of his dad, so Andrew didn’t succeed at revealing to Jeff’s parents that he’s gay.

David then lets Andrew know he’s also busy the following night and won’t be able to do anything with him.

Andrew and David make it back to David’s place and Andrew surprises David with a present. It’s an expensive gold watch, but David’s not happy about the gift. Andrew gets down on one knee and asks David to marry him, and David reminds him that’s against the law. It would be insane to get married, so Andrew wonders if they can call it a commitment ceremony. David is still a no, but Andrew tells him to think about it over the weekend. Andrew claims he’s a whole new person because of David.

Jeff avoids Andrew by spending the night at his sister’s place, confirming it’s because he doesn’t want to see Andrew. His sister thinks Jeff should come out to their parents, but he doesn’t think it’s the right time. His very pregnant sister is certain it’s time, but Jeff doesn’t want to steal her spotlight.

Andrew and David head to a polka club where David’s meeting his friend, Linda. (Linda is the work friend who will ultimately find Jeff’s dead body at David’s place.) Andrew shows off the watch he gave David, bragging that it cost $10,000 and calling himself “more than a friend.”

After Linda and David dance, she and Andrew have a talk while David fetches beers. Andrew lies and says he builds movie sets in Mexico. He also confesses there’s no one he loves more than David. When David returns to the table, Linda mentions Andrew’s job in Mexico and David’s confused. Andrew hauls him onto the dance floor but David’s irritated and done with the situation, telling Andrew he doesn’t need the weekend to think about their relationship. He doesn’t want to get married, even if was legal.

The next morning at David’s place there’s an uncomfortable silence. David calls Andrew a generous person, but then adds that he can’t keep the watch. He thinks money is tight for Andrew, yet Andrew continues to play the “everything is all right” game. David ticks off the list of lies Andrew’s told and offers to help him out.

Andrew packs to leave and as the elevator’s closing, David stops it and tells Andrew he can cancel his outing for that evening if he wants to talk. Otherwise, he’ll see him on Sunday. Andrew asks if Jeff is who David’s seeing and David reacts with surprise before answering no.

That night, Andrew stalks David and watches him come back to his apartment with a man. He then heads to Jeff’s place (Jeff is allowing Andrew to spend Saturday night there while he’s gone) and goes through the drawers. Andrew finds Jeff’s military uniform and a video tape. He plays the tape and it’s a special report on homosexuals in the military. Andrew keeps searching and finds Jeff’s gun. He stops his search as he sees Jeff (face hidden in the dark to preserve his anonymity) in the documentary. Andrew aims the gun at the screen.

The scene transforms to two years prior to Jeff’s murder. Jeff is on board the U.S.S. Gridley in San Diego when he comes upon a group of sailors watching as one of their own beats a fellow sailor. The man delivering the beating says it’s because the sailor he labels a faggot brushed up against him. Jeff stops the fight.

Later that night, Jeff awakens to hear the sailor accused of being gay being ruthlessly beaten by multiple sailors. He helps the injured sailor into the restroom and tells him he needs a doctor. The sailor doesn’t want to go to the hospital but does want to get out of the military or be reassigned. Jeff is then seen hugging and comforting the beaten man by a fellow officer.

During dinner, the officer who spotted Jeff embracing the injured sailor tells a story to a table full of men about an alleged homosexual hookup place on the base. He says the military police arrested a man there and made him offer up a list of names of fellow sailors who are gay. The sailor didn’t know all their names, but instead offered up a list of tattoos. The officer asks Jeff if he has any tattoos…

That night, Jeff takes a box cutter to the tattoo on his shin.

Jeff’s called into the captain’s quarters and he’s given a handbook titled “Dignity & Respect: A Training Guide on Homosexual Conduct Policy.” Apparently it’s being given to all officers, but Jeff knows the regulation by heart which shocks the captain. Jeff admits he doesn’t know all regulations by heart, and the captain asks him to look through the book. “Without a code, we’re nothing,” says the captain.

Later, Jeff reads the manual in the restroom. He gets up the next morning and puts on his dress whites. He stares up at a noose hanging in the shower and then places it around his neck. He starts to choke but can’t go through with killing himself.

Jeff heads to a gay club where he makes the mistake of talking to Andrew. Andrew calls him out for his first visit to a club and then the two get drunk together. Andrew’s fun and engaging, and they seem to hit it off. Jeff thanks him for making his first night something special, and Andrew assures him he’s going to remember this moment.

Jeff and Andrew continue to talk, and Jeff confirms he’s allowing CBS to interview him for a special on homosexuals serving in the U.S. military. Andrew believes the Navy will hunt him down and that this is a bad decision. Still, Jeff is convinced he needs to do this even if he can’t explain why.

Assassination of Gianni Versace Episode 5
Edgar Ramirez as Gianni Versace in ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’ episode 5 (Photo by Ray Mickshaw / FX)

The episode intercuts Gianni’s interview with a magazine reporter in which he comes out as gay and Jeff discussing life as a homosexual serving in the Navy with the CBS reporter.

Jeff talks about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and how important life is in the military to him, personally. Jeff confesses it’s always been his dream to be in the military, but most gays in the military are closeted and always will be closeted. Jeff says he realizes he’s probably ending his career by doing this interview, but he’s sure his superior officers know he’s gay and that’s why he’s never been promoted.

Gianni includes Antonio in his interview, introducing him to the reporter and saying they’ve been together 13 years.

April 27, 1997 in Minneapolis: Jeff arrives home on Sunday morning to find Andrew sitting on the floor eating cereal. He’s irritated his uniform’s on the bed and Andrew tells him the military never really wanted him. Jeff calls Andrew a liar and then they argue about what they’ve meant to each other. Jeff’s angry when he says he wishes he’d never met Andrew and tells him no one wants his love.

Andrew leaves – with Jeff’s gun – slamming the door on the way out. He returns to David’s place as David’s friend is leaving. David agrees they can have a talk that evening.

Back at his place, Jeff irons and neatly folds his dress whites. That night, Andrew calls and reveals he has his gun. Jeff agrees to go to David’s to retrieve the gun, reiterating that he’s done with Andrew.

As David showers, Andrew spots a hammer in his tool box.

Jeff arrives at David’s place and Andrew asks David to get the door. Andrew waits just inside David’s place as David and Jeff enter. Andrew stares blankly at Jeff and then strikes him repeatedly with the hammer.

Jeff dies before learning his sister has given birth to a baby girl.

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 4 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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