The finale of American Crime Story season 2 is titled “Alone,” a theme that is seen throughout the excellent episode. This season has quietly been one of the strongest things on TV right now (maybe the best show currently airing). Credit must be given to the writers and producers, because they absolutely stuck the landing, which is a tricky thing with a true story that ends in such a way as Andrew Cunanan’s story ended.
The thrust of the action returns to present-day Miami Beach (present day for the show), where Cunanan (Darren Criss) is on the run and then in hiding because of the high-profile nature of Gianni Versace’s murder. Unlike with Cunanan’s previous victims, Versace’s killing has captured the attention of the entire country, and therefore a manhunt involving hundreds of federal agents has descended upon the city.
As such, Cunanan has basically nowhere to go. He breaks into a houseboat and posts up there, initially celebrating his fame and being able to get away with killing Versace (Édgar Ramírez) in broad daylight. But as the days go by, Cunanan can’t leave the city because of police checkpoints, and he becomes increasingly desperate, to the point where he eats canned dog food because there’s nothing else in the houseboat.
In a heartbreaking scene (and it’s quite a credit to Criss’ performance that this scene is even remotely sad), Cunanan calls his father in Manila and cries about how he doesn’t know what to do. Modesto (Jon Jon Briones) promises he’ll be on the next flight out and that he’ll come get Andrew, but the next day, Cunanan watches on TV as his father is interviewed in Manila. Clearly, Modesto hasn’t even left the Philippines yet — plus, he makes up complete lies about his conversation with his son.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but Andrew has never been on the receiving end of the lies in quite this way, and it’s devastating.
When the caretaker of the houseboat comes by and finds Andrew there, the cops descend and the manhunt ends when Cunanan shoots himself in the head.
While all of this has been going on, there have also been glimpses of just how “alone” everyone else is. Cunanan’s mother Mary Ann (Joanna P. Adler) is alone and terrified, ushered out the door of her apartment by federal agents while reporters scream questions at her. Marilyn Miglin (Judith Light, who is outstanding in this episode) is trying to soldier on with her life and her business, but she is clearly a little lost without Lee and in a lot of pain.
Ronnie (Max Greenfield) is shown defending himself alone to the FBI, railing on them for not caring about these crimes because they involved gay men until a victim was so high-profile that they couldn’t ignore it anymore.
David Madson’s father is having to defend his son against accusations that David (Cody Fern) was involved in the murder of Jeff Trail (Finn Wittrock), which, by all accounts from law enforcement, he was not.
Versace’s partner Antonio (Ricky Martin) is utterly alone, even when surrounded by Versace’s friends and family, because no one will really acknowledge their love and the pain Antonio is in. In case you were wondering, Antonio is still alive, so the suicide attempt we see at the end of the episode was unsuccessful (if it even happened; we can’t find anything to corroborate that it did).
Even Donatella (Penelope Cruz) is alone, though she has a better support system than most. But she is haunted by refusing to take her brother’s call the morning he was killed, which she finally confesses to her older brother Santo (Giovanni Cirfiera) after the crowds and press have dispersed and they are alone.
It’s an incredibly tragic ending to a tragic season, but what else could it have been? Andrew Cunanan clearly was in a lot of pain and he inflicted that pain and suffering on nearly everyone around him, first psychologically and then as an actual killer. He then finally turned his pain and desperation back on himself.
What did you think of this season of ACS? Tell us @BritandCo.
(photos via FX)