FX

American Crime Story

American Crime Story Is Out Of Time

It's the end of the line for Andrew Cunanan, but for others, a long sad story is just beginning in our Epic Old-School Recap of the season finale.

July 15, 1997. Andrew Cunanan slo-mos down the just-rained-on sidewalks of Miami Beach, accompanied by Ultravox's "Vienna." He passes people in friendly conversation; he passes a pair of beat cops. He comes upon Gianni Versace's mansion, the sun now shining, and as Midge Ure wails, "It means nothing to me / this means nothing to me," we see Cunanan draw on and murder Gianni again. Gianni's fingers twitch again. Cunanan looms into the sun and blocks it out to look down Starman-ishly on Gianni's body.

Later, Cunanan waits to cross the street, smugly watching cop cars scream past him before hustling over to the houseboat on the other side. Looking strangely apprehensive given everything else he's done with it, he grips the gun barrel and uses the butt to break the houseboat door's lock, then lets himself in and creeps towards the kitchen in the dark. More confident now that he's established nobody's there, he browses the cabinets, then helps himself to a bottle of champagne with an entitled puss on, typically dropping the detritus from the bottle neck onto the floor without a second thought. He switches the countertop TV on to enjoy Dan Rather's somber report on Gianni's death, then leaps over the back of a deep white couch to keep watching on the big TV in the living room (flanked, hilariously, by gold sphinxes). He hasn't quite settled in when the champagne, shaken up by its journey, self-pops on the table and scares the shit out of Cunanan.

He flops back on the couch, laughing at himself, but sits forward again when the broadcast shows side-by-side pictures of Gianni and the prime suspect in Gianni's murder -- himself (Criss, Photoshopped relatively poorly for this production onto one of the real photos often used in the wanted posters). "Oh my god," he murmurs, not stricken or fearful but almost surprised that it happened at all, much less because of him, then repeats, almost triumphantly, "Oh my god!" As the broadcast continues in VO, Cunanan climbs to the rooftop balcony of the houseboat, a curtain (I think) slung around his neck like a tuxedo scarf, drunk and turned on by his own infamy as he watches helicopters search the streets farther down the shore. He slumps into a lounge chair and swigs champers with a contented smile.

Tampa. Marilyn Miglin is packing her case before a broadcast when there's a heavy knock at her hotel room door. It's the FBI. "Is it that man?" she asks, then confirms that her children are safe before letting them inside. The agents explain that they believe Cunanan shot Gianni. Shaken, she sits down, wondering almost to herself, "When will this end?" Then she repeats it, more firmly, before proceeding to clock them for not catching Cunanan in the two months since he murdered her husband -- how many more people will die? how much more pain do they think she can take? what has Cunanan been up to all this time? "We don't know yet," the lead agent is obliged to admit, as well as that Cunanan "evaded capture" in Miami. Marilyn's are-you-fucking-kidding-me face

is particularly impressive work from Judith Light given that her fake lashes in this scene have their own congressman, post office, and vegan bakery.

The Republic Of Lashistan is decidedly unimpressed with the agent's suggestion that, given Tampa's proximity to Miami, she should leave Florida. (As am I; it's nearly 300 miles, and whatever else you might say about Cunanan's state of mind at this point, the idea that he would double back to kill a spouse, whom he would likely find at a television studio, is a non-starter.) A tear rolls down Marilyn's cheek, but she's like, incompetent says what? They want her to run, to hide "from him," but she's never missed a broadcast and she won't start today, so they can provide whatever security they want to: on with the show. On the set, Marilyn marches up to the display, chuckling forcedly about her ability to break sales records under pressure. Her co-host gently tells her she's sorry. "I need it to stop," Marilyn grits.

The next morning, Cunanan wakes up to a news broadcast describing him as a "male prostitute" serving "an affluent clientele." He puts on his glasses as the VO continues that he's articulate, well-dressed, armed and extremely dangerous, and the newest member of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List. He peers expressionlessly at the Wanted card on the TV screen, then pads into the owner's walk-in closet to shop for an outfit, settling on an all-yellow number as, in the next room, Marilyn's voice talks about Lee as "a man who exemplified courage, honor, and dignity." Cunanan doesn't seem to hear this as he looks in the mirror, smirking. "We had a fairytale marriage," Marilyn tells the press, faltering just slightly. "He was…my prince." I don't know why it's here that I find myself thinking about those lost two months between when Cunanan murdered Miglin, then William Reese, and when he fetched up outside La Palazzo Versace and killed Gianni. American Crime Story really hasn't dealt with them at all, unless you count the Ronnie interlude, which only seemed to last a day or two at the end, and it's not that I think the show should have tried to fill in that gap, or that anything particularly noteworthy happened, or might have. Perhaps the Orth book has more insight, although my sense is that nobody really knows what Cunanan got up to during that time. But ACS did a great job imagining Cunanan's time with David Madson after the killing of Jeff Trail, and Darren Criss and others have said that some episodes started out twice as long as what we see on broadcast…I don't know. If there's ever a director's cut of the season, I'll certainly watch it, whether or not it contains a theory or fantasia on the missing weeks.

Anyway: back to what is covered. Cunanan heads out in his sunny ensemble, complete with yellow ball cap, and reads the L.A. Times coverage of Gianni's murder while waiting for an unsuspecting driver to drop her keys into an easily heistable purse, which she does. He tails her to an outdoor café and lifts the bag easily, walking past a wanted poster with himself on it in the café window and helping himself to her Mercedes. He's listening to, and giggling delightedly at, radio coverage bemoaning the instinct to blame the murder of a prominent Italian on the Mafia when he's forced to stop for a police checkpoint. When it's clear the cops are taking more than a cursory glance at the cars ahead of him, Cunanan U-turns it on outta there, cursing. He's parked on a side street, perusing a map, when an older guy comes out from between two houses and says Cunanan looks lost. He is; does the older guy know any way off the island besides the causeways? They seem really crowded. Older Guy sighs that every road off the island has police checkpoints at the moment. Riiiight, right, Cunanan acts: "Andrew Cunanan. It's terrible, I hope they catch him." Bold move. Older Guy asks, "What's your name, young man?" Cunanan gives the Kurt DuMars alias, then bustles as casually as he can manage back into the front seat, thanking Older Guy for his help. Older Guy watches him go.

Cunanan, in a snit, parks the Benz under one of the causeways, pitches the keys into the water, and bellows in frustration.

Back in San Diego, Mary Ann Cunanan is hunched under a blanket she's draped over the TV, I guess to hide her smoking, although she doesn't seem to have cared about that before? In any case, the effect is of a twisted ritual of prayer, especially with the saints candles and crosses on the same table.

She's creepily stroking the TV screen when there's a knock on the door. It's the cops. She unfastens the chain slowly, then opens the door to clasp one officer's shoulder and ask, "Have you killed my son?"

Cunanan, limping back to the houseboat, comes across a wanted poster altered to show him with lipstick, and with lipstick and a blonde wig.

Back at the houseboat, he peels off his shirt and slings it over a chair, then guzzles a Coke and continues to marinate in the coverage of his misdeeds.

What's more American than Coca-Cola and gun violence. Sigh. He's admiring the wanted posters of himself he's apparently collected when the coverage changes to footage of Mary Ann getting taken out of her apartment under the same blanket as before. She deer-in-headlightses at the jostling news crews and photo flashes before she's eased into the back of a cruiser. Cunanan watches, taken aback.

At the Normandy, Detectives Lori and George roust Ronnie, accusing him of lying to them about knowing Cunanan -- he stayed there, and he and Ronnie were friends. Ronnie lies again that Cunanan told him his name was Kurt, and he only just now saw Cunanan on the news; he was totally just going to call them. Det. George is like, cute; you can come with us. As he's led out of his room, Ronnie grumps to Det. Lori, "We weren't friends."

In an interrogation room, Det. Lori continues to nope Ronnie's version of events, saying Cunanan had been hiding in Miami for two months. Ronnie snorts that he wasn't hiding, "he was partying," and Lori's like, great. Where? She lists a few gay clubs, and Ronnie snarks that ohhh, okay, "the only lez on the force" must have been looking for Cunanan. Lori pulls one of her patented "bye bitch" faces

as Ronnie sarcastically muses that the other cops, they didn't care so much about finding Cunanan when he'd only killed a handful of "no-name gays." Why might that be? George snaps that they have over 400 people looking for him, and Ronnie's like, yeah, now you do, now that he's offed a celebrity. There's a little more salty back-and-forth, with Ronnie not having Lori's bluff that he's an accessory to murder and George not having Ronnie's contention that they don't really care about catching Cunanan, before George asks if he never mentioned Versace. Ronnie takes a swig of coffee and says he did nothing but, then muses that "we all" talked about Versace, about what it must be like to be so rich and powerful "that it doesn't matter that you're gay." He adds that "you were disgusted by him long before he became disgusting," which is true, and a good line, but like the rest of this speech not super-credible despite Max Greenfield's estimable efforts. Ronnie goes on that George et al. would prefer "them" to stay in the shadows, "and most of us, we oblige." People like him just drift away…get sick, nobody cares…"but Andrew was vain." He wanted to be heard, wanted people to feel his pain, "wanted you to know about being born…a lie." Lori flinches a little, possibly at the clumsiness of this writing compared with the subtler work we've gotten the rest of the season, as Ronnie concludes that Andrew isn't hiding. "He's trying to be seen."

Well, metaphorically. Literally, he's trying to get out of town, but his next effort -- breaking onto a boat at the marina in the hopes of sneaking out of Miami by sea -- is stymied when a dock "neighbor," mistaking him for the owner, comes onboard looking for "Guillermo." He's in the head, gun cocked, as the neighbor comes below decks calling for Guillermo, and when she pushes on the door and it's pushed forcefully closed in response, she knows something's hinky and hurries away. He exhales, then grabs his gear and bails, hopping from bow to bow as he tries to get out of the marina.

Which he does manage to do, and by the time he returns to the houseboat, the neighbor is leading Dets. Lori and Luke to the boat he tried to take, as he sees through a pair of binoculars. No time to feel truly trapped yet, though, as he can hear Lizzie Coté delivering a statement on the bedroom TV. She's addressing herself directly to him and saying she knows he's not the "despicable" person portrayed in news reports. He sinks to his knees, staring plaintively at her, as she goes on that she knows who he really is and loves him, "unconditionally." The Cunanan she knows isn't a violent person. "I know that the most important thing to you in the world is what others think of you," she adds (emphasis hers); he still has a chance to show everyone else what she "and your godchildren" know. It's time to end this, "peacefully." We go to the ad break on Cunanan's furrowed brow.

When we return, it's another news show, this one about Jeff Trail and David Madson, the voice-over wondering a little too pruriently, "What did these two men do in their days on the road?" This is an understated dig at the salacious coverage, and investigative judgments, that a so-called gay serial killer received -- that, somehow, the possibility that anal intercourse occurred is the most important thing to suggest and the chief aggravating factor in the case -- and is completely in line with the tone of the reporting at that time. When I say that Ronnie's dialogue speaks the truth but lands with a thud, I'm contrasting it with material like this, which is used perfectly whether it's contemporaneous footage or a bone-dry recreation. The newsmag goes on to interview Madson Sr., who defends his son as a victim, not an accomplice, as Cunanan sits and listens, sweating. It doesn't take long before Cunanan can't hear anymore, and begins lunging at the various television sets to turn them off. He stops before switching off the last one, though, to look at a picture of David that's now onscreen.

As with the Lizzie presser, and with Mary Ann as she watched footage of him, it's as though they're there with him, speaking to him. It's the only companionship he can really manage, an idea of it, a picture of it that he can turn off. And when Madson Sr. says his son is a good man -- was a good man -- that's just what Cunanan does, kicking at the off switch to silence a version of life and manhood he can't access.

Later, he sits on the beach, alone, listening to the hectic sounds of nightlife on the boardwalk, before returning to the now-emptied fridge at the houseboat. He goes through the trash and makes sure he's gotten every last blob of yogurt from a discarded cup, then spots some dog food. The attempt fails, as he can't hold down a single spoonful before horking it back up, onto the wanted posters on the counter. He's scraping his tongue with a paper towel (which he then throws on the floor, where he's also left the upended garbage) when Marilyn Miglin's segment comes on the home-shopping channel he's got on. Marilyn tells a sweet story about the perfume she's hawking, about how she wanted to go back in time and give her mother one of the luxuries she couldn't afford, working so hard after Marilyn's father died and putting every penny towards their room and board. Cunanan pulls up a chair and stares at the screen, ensorcelled by Marilyn's tale of her wonderful dad and his early death, of her wishing she could go back in time and give her mother this thing she made…"as a way of saying how special you are."

Now Cunanan's at a pay phone, calling Modesto. A cousin brings Modesto the cordless; Modesto, an array of articles about his son on his desk, wonders how much he should charge for an interview "this time," and looks horrified to hear who's actually on the phone. The second he hears Modesto's voice, Cunanan starts bawling like a child.

Modesto reminds him that "men don't cry, remember?" Cunanan tries to ignore this, sobbing that he's in trouble; he needs Modesto to come get him. Modesto says without hesitation that he'll fly right over, and to hell with the charges still pending against him. Cunanan tells Modesto where he is in Miami. Modesto repeats that he's coming, and when he does, "I will find you. And I will hug you. And I will hold you in my arms, like I used to. And it will all be okay." Cunanan leans his head against the top of the pay phone wistfully, then asks, "You promise?" Of course Modesto promises! Cunanan is to pack some clothes and get ready to go as soon as Modesto arrives. The operator breaks in to ask for more money, and Cunanan, nodding, so eager to believe his salvation is nigh, burbles that he's out of time. Modesto says again that he'll be there soon.

Cunanan puts a cassette in and packs: clothes, books, a French passport. Not sure what the music is -- sounds like Gershwin; could be Debussy; let me know in the comments, as Shazam didn't come through for me here -- but whatever the case, Cunanan is dreamy and hopeful as he lies in bed, watching the water's reflection play with the fan on the ceiling, then as he puts his backpack and a stolen garment bag by the houseboat's front door the next morning, and settles in next to them to read.

That night. No Modesto. Cunanan checks the water; he checks the entrance; nothing. Coming back in the house, he hears Modesto -- giving a TV interview in which he first and foremost denies that his son is gay, then brags about Cunanan evading the cops, then claims they've discussed the rights to Cunanan's story and Modesto is acting as the broker for those rights. As he's blathering about the life-story title that Cunanan and Modesto agreed upon -- "A Name To Be Remembered By" -- Cunanan goes from pained to angry to just...dark.

That title is really bad, almost as bad as Modesto is a parent/person, and Cunanan shoots the living-room TV rather than listen to Modesto BSing that the charges keeping him out of the U.S. "are bogus," or any other of Modesto's horseshit that probably smells a lot like Cunanan's own, even to him. And while I'm up, man has Darren Criss killed it in this role.

July 22, the day of Gianni's funeral. Waiting uncomfortably in a salon, Donatella grouses to Antonio that Gianni should be alive, that "if everybody had done their job," he would be. Antonio takes a beat, then tells her he heard the shots, and he knew -- because his heart stopped. Donatella looks down, briefly shamed in her attempt to put Gianni's death on Antonio, as he goes on that he knows her heart is broken too, but she and Santo have each other. Antonio had Gianni, only Gianni. Donatella doesn't apologize or return the sentiment, just asks what he'll do now. Antonio sighs that he'll stay in Lake Como; as Donatella knows, Gianni set it up so Antonio could stay in "one of the houses," and he just wants to stay close to Gianni. Donatella frowns, but is clearly not quite unhappy to inform Antonio that Gianni no longer owns any of the houses -- he "spent too much money," so the company had to take control of all the properties. The board of Versace now governs them. Antonio regards her with a dull "this bitch" stare until she finally meets his eye again, pulls a "…what?" face, and tells him to go to Lake Como and recuperate for a while. "And after that?" Antonio grunts. She non-answers that today is the day to say goodbye, and then both of them will start a new life. This expert "now isn't the time"-ing is too much for Antonio, whose eyes fill with tears as he says he guesses that's it, then; Donatella can just throw him aside like a piece of trash. Ricky Martin loses control of the accent, regrettably, as he pleadingly says he loved Gianni, Gianni was his life, and suddenly he doesn't matter? Donatella's look is hard to read, but I suspect she's thinking, "Not 'suddenly' for me, no," as Antonio says he has no home, no rights, nothing. She comes back toward him, saying firmly that the houses and the finances are controlled by the board. "You have a say," he presses, but he's not getting shit. "I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sorry for all of us!" She leaves the room in tears, not one of which is for Antonio.

The houseboat. Cunanan is kicking back with a can of dog food on the kitchen floor. Still the trash is scattered about. A huge roach scuttles across the floor, no doubt attracted to the sty-ish conditions currently prevailing, and Cunanan traps it under his drinking glass and picks it up to examine it as it sits on his palm under the glass. Little too pointed as survivor symbology goes, but Cunanan's soon enough distracted by footage of Gianni's memorial service, and all the glittery guests in their mourning attire. He hauls a huge projection system into the living room so he can watch it writ large (and because he shot the TV that was in there earlier). He projects it on the great-room wall above the doors, obliging him to look up at it, a supplicant, a worshipper, one of the congregation.

As Cunanan watches Princess Diana and Elton John dabbing at tears, Antonio numbly follows Donatella and the rest of the blood relatives into the family pew. The priest does not mention him along with the other family or loved ones, and snubs him after blessing the others in the pew; at the houseboat, as a boy soprano begins the 23rd Psalm and Antonio rises belatedly with the rest of that congregation, Cunanan crosses himself and kneels before the simulcast, singing along and weeping at the lines "yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death / I will fear no evil." Rain sprinkles the floral tributes outside Gianni's house, and the wanted posters of Cunanan tucked between the mailbox and its flag.

Cunanan buzzes his hair short, like a penitent, while elsewhere, a caretaker (I assume?) tells someone on the phone that he'll take care of it and writes down the houseboat's address. Not sure if he's responding to a complaint about the bugs or what, but he grabs some keys and a gun holster and heads out. Cunanan is napping next to a magazine with a Versace ad on the back when he hears the caretaker let himself in, the broken lock falling clean out of its housing. The caretaker creeps in gun-first, calling, "Is anybody here?" The only voices come from the TV, still on in the living room. "I am armed!" the caretaker calls. Cunanan appears in the hallway upstairs, also armed, and withdraws behind a wall, then fires a shot into the ceiling. The caretaker's not about sticking around, and tuck-and-rolls out of there.

Det. Luke is having a smoke when the police radio comes on with an "occupied burglary" call for all units. He and Det. Lori head over. SWAT gears up and moves out. Cunanan comes downstairs to hear a breaking-news update on "the siege at Indian Creek," which is a siege of…him. As the anchor describes the perimeter set up by the FBI and Miami police, Cunanan, coated in sweat, gawps at the screen.

After the commercial, more news reports. The cockroach, still under the drinking glass, is now dead. Cunanan sits primly on the couch in his underpants, watching the chopper shots of the houseboat from the outside, and the rattling of a close pass of a helicopter right overhead seems to make him only curious, not afraid -- but when the phone starts ringing, and the hostage negotiator outside gets on a bullhorn and tells him they only want to talk, he starts freaking out for real. The team leader outside, flanked by Dets. Luke and Lori, tells everyone to hold positions, as we see sniper set-ups, news vans behind the perimeter, and the houseboat and its fountain looking very small.

In the Philippines, Modesto crouches, childlike, in front of his TV as a newscaster notes that efforts to draw Cunanan out have failed. Cunanan locks himself in the bedroom, panting, and turns to see his younger self on the bed. If any recent narrative could hope to get away with this pasteurized processed trope food, it's ACS, but when you co-host a Beverly Hills, 90210 podcast, all you can think about is Dylan and his gooberama inner child at his father's funeral.

Previously.TV

I know it's unfair to ACS, this reference, but you can see why it's tough for me to take this visual cliché seriously. It's nicely acted by both Darren Criss and Edouard Holdener -- with the TV calling Cunanan "a known gigolo; a man who loved the spotlight," Li'l Cunanan looks pleased with the attention, regardless of its origin; Grownanan is staring at his younger self with a mixture of confusion and fear, with perhaps a bit of relief mixed in -- but we certainly did get it without this provol-onsense. The broadcast talks about Cunanan's schoolmates voting him Most Likely To Be Remembered, and Grownanan beams at his boy self,

but when the broadcast returns to the police tape around the houseboat, Li'l Cunanan vanishes, and a light goes out in Cunanan. He's utterly alone; he doesn't even have himself. There's no there there.

Outside, it's decided that if Cunanan were going to come out, he would have. "Cut the power," the team leader says. The TV goes off inside, and the fans. The SWAT team sends a handful of smoke bombs in ahead of themselves, and breaks the door down. Cunanan scootches up to the headboard and sits in that prim way of his, officiously removing his glasses. He cocks the gun and puts it in his mouth, far back, his lips not an inch from the trigger. He's wearing no expression, but something makes him look over at himself in the mirrored sliding doors beside the bed. I took a screenshot of the moment, which is profoundly unsettling along a number of axes -- the deadness of the eyes, the way the barrel of the gun pushes his face out of shape, the visual nod to fellatio and the Möbius of self-loathing and despair then implied, in this case, at this time; the grotesqueness of this last thing Cunanan saw, which was himself -- but it felt wrong to use it. Not to mention that Cunanan in fact shot himself in the temple, but in any case, let's leave it at Cunanan finally killing himself while staring into the camera and the bang coinciding with a smash cut to Cunanan and Gianni's night at the opera, Cunanan saying in voice-over, "I'm so happy right now."

Gianni is taking his leave of Cunanan. He chucks him flirtily on the chin and starts to make his way down the stairs from the stage when Cunanan asks, "What if -- you had a dream your whole life that you were someone special? But no one believed it…not really." Gianni looks at him with compassion as Cunanan goes on about persuading people he'd do something great. Gianni tells him gently that it's not about the persuading people; it's about the doing of that great something. Cunanan should finish his novel. "Or something else!" Cunanan Manson-lampses. "Do you think I could be a designer?" Gianni's like, uhhhhh, so Cunanan adds that he knows "literally everything there is to know about fashion." Maybe he could assist Gianni, or be his protégé? Gianni isn't looking for that, but Cunanan feels that his being there, "like this, with you," is destiny. Can't Gianni feel it? When an answer isn't forthcoming, Cunanan tries to kiss him, and is put aside -- sweetly, as Gianni strokes Cunanan's cheekbone and says it's not that he isn't attractive; he's a "very interesting young man." But he wanted Cunanan to take inspiration, nourishment from the opera, and if they kiss, it's not about that anymore. Cunanan is still selling, offering dinner the next night, club-hopping…Gianni can't, he's too busy with work before he leaves town. "Another night. Another stage. Yes?" Cunanan is almost physically crushed by this courteous rejection as Gianni heads down into the orchestra pit, and the lights go out on Cunanan with a pointed thrunk.

Dets. Lori and Luke ID Cunanan's body. Luke asks if he's what Lori expected. "He's just a boy," she says. Cunanan's body is loaded into a medical examiner's van, and Lori watches sadly.

Marilyn Miglin is packing up from her broadcast when she's informed by the FBI agents that Cunanan has taken his own life. "Good," she says. "It's over." But it isn't, quite; her co-host comes upon her reading letters from viewers, letters about Lee and his acts of generosity towards them, paying their bills, career mentoring. Lee never told her "about any of it. Why…didn't he ever tell me?" Without waiting for an answer, because she doesn't want to think too closely on Lee's things not told, Marilyn says she answers all the letters, and tells the authors Lee is alive in their correspondence. She beams at a photo of him on her dressing-room vanity, adding that she's so very proud of him.

Lake Como. Santo stares out at the water, then goes in to tell Donatella the lawyers have come. Before the meeting, she has to confess to Santo that, the day Gianni died, he called her about a show she was putting together in Rome, and he had a lot of questions, and she got annoyed that he didn't trust her judgment -- so when he called back a half hour later, she didn't answer. She begins to ugly-cry. The Albinoni from the first episode of the season begins.

Antonio pours a bunch of pills onto a plate and looks at them sadly.

Bodyguards escort Donatella onto a balcony, an umbrella held over her, in slo-mo. At the edge of the balcony, she takes the umbrella without a word and heads towards a small mausoleum at the end of the property.

A metalworker brushes a brass nameplate, and polishes it with a cloth.

Antonio jams all the pills into his mouth and washes them down with wine, which we see from below, reflected in the mirrored tray holding the wineglass.

Donatella lights a candle before a photo of Gianni, under the box holding his cremains.

Antonio holds an item of Gianni's clothing to his face, then subsides into bed to wait for death.

The cemetery worker takes his bag of tools into a crypt and screws the nameplate -- which appears to belong to Cunanan -- onto the front of one of the marble cells.

A maid comes upon Antonio on the floor. "No, no no no," she gasps, shaking him and patting his face. He opens his eyes, and seems destroyed by having survived.

Donatella puts her hand flat on the box, as if to gather power from it. She looks into the etched mirror above the urn, whose design cuts her face into pieces and pulls it out of shape.

A close-up on the nameplate, which is indeed Cunanan's, pulls away, then down the long silent hall of the crypt. It keeps pulling further back, further back.

Dozens of others interred here, hundreds perhaps, behind featureless marble, with identical nameplates. Cunanan's gets smaller and smaller. The light at the end of the hallway gets further and further away. And then it's over, and then it's gone.

And so is American Crime Story's second season. It didn't work for everyone, but despite a couple of occasional quibbles, I liked it a great deal; I admire its ambition and I think that ambition is mostly realized. Fantastic performances all around, and a dimensioned meditation on what is born and what is made, on how much is destroyed when a destroyer is created.

Thanks so much for coming on this journey with me, and for supporting Previously.TV's Epic Old-School Recaps. I'll see you in the forums. Ciao, bellas.

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