The Assassination Of Gianni Versace Begins At The End
American Crime Story returns with a portrait of the assassin as a self-loathing grifter.
After a title card reading "July 16, 1997," fade up on the trompe l'oeil clouds painted on the ceiling of the bedroom of Gianni Versace. The camera drops down to the man himself, lying in bed first thing in the morning and contemplating said clouds while Albinoni's "Adagio in G Minor" begins on the soundtrack -- an eminently clockable choice due to its ubiquity, but perhaps more appropriate than usual to accompany the story of the murder of a creative genius by a grifting striver, given its provenance.
Gianni rises and dons velvet slippers with the Versace seal on them. The camera follows him through his baroquely appointed home as he selects a pink bathrobe with a frieze pattern at the collar, to match the gold silk pajamas with the frieze pattern at the waist, and heads out to his balcony to enjoy the morning sun and survey his domain.
On the beach -- not far away, it's implied, but of course worlds away at the same time -- Andrew Cunanan sits at the water's edge, amid clumps of washed-ashore seaweed. He takes Caroline Seebohm's The Man Who Would Be Vogue: The Life And Times Of Conde Nast from his grubby backpack and turns it to the camera so we get it (drink!), then takes out a gun and regards it, then stuffs both items back in the pack and broods at what looks like a healing burn mark on his left thigh before wandering into the water and screaming at it…screaming with all his might, but barely audible against the legendary piece of music and the roar of the implacable sea. Just in case you were wondering if the motif of Cunanan's unfulfilled need to feel important weren't in play from the moment we see him.
Gianni takes pills already laid out for him on a tray. We see the prescription bottles, but not what the pills are or are for, which I note for a reason, but we'll get back to it; in the meantime, Gianni has descended through the house to the atrium, where casually liveried staff wait for him with perfectly correct posture. Taking the orange juice that one butler is holding on a silver salver, Gianni gives them a cheery "good morning," and most of them bow. Sipping his juice, he heads into the pool area, which, like the rest of the house, looks like something out of Petronius (but before it gets too nutty with the live birds cooked into pastry shells).
By contrast, Cunanan is breakfasting on Jolt and blearily giving the leathery old gents in banana hammocks on the beach promenade the side-eye.
A servant brings Gianni a covered tray of fresh fruit. Gianni fondly rubs his arm when the breakfast is unveiled. I note this because here and in the scene just prior, there's an apparent divergence between how Gianni thinks of or treats his household staff and how they've been instructed to behave; maybe nothing significant, but it caught my attention.
Gianni, dressed, heads out, blowing kisses to his be-tennis-whites-ed companion Antonio D'Amico and tenderly patting Antonio's hitting partner as he passes him. When a tourist couple asks him for an autograph, he politely declines…
…as Cunanan dashes into a grotsky bathroom off the beach and hurls into a revolting toilet that, were he not already nauseated, would probably get the job done on its own. He slumps against the side of the stall and stares dully at the homophobic graffito left on the opposite wall.
Not exactly American Vandal-level work there, Miami bigots. Cunanan splashes water on his face and tries to pull it together…
…while Gianni greets a friend at the news café, then orders up a whole whack of magazines, including Vanity Fair, which he calls "Diana." Aw.
He's tooling home when Cunanan, seemingly almost coincidentally passing by across the street, spots him, starts, and fumbles the gun out of his bag. As Gianni is taking his time figuring out his keys, Cunanan stalks across the street, gun extended, and starts firing. Doves startle up all around Gianni, who turns and grunts, "No." Another gunshot smashes us into the title card.
Cunanan, wearing an open shirt and grey briefs, lurks at a bedroom door, then lets himself in and creepers over to the bed, where a man and woman are asleep. (They are Phil and Elizabeth Cote; Elizabeth is described in contemporary coverage of the crime as one of Cunanan's "patrons," which would answer -- sort of -- Tara Ariano's and my questions about their relationship from our recent The Blotter Presents conversation about the show. According to Maureen Orth, who wrote the book on which this season is at least loosely based, Cunanan had known Elizabeth since middle school and was godfather to the Cotes' daughter; I haven't read the book yet, but you can find more in this Vanity Fair article.) He tugs at himself while looking at them with an unsettlingly opaque expression, but before that goes any further, Elizabeth half-wakes to see him looming there, so Cunanan switches gears: "Guess who I met?" He leaps into bed in between them as Elizabeth wails, "Andrew!" With great fanfare, he announces, "Gianni Versace!" and Elizabeth gasps and demands that he tell her everything while Phil clambers out of bed with a "this fucking guy" expression on his face. It's not entirely clear at the beginning of the scene when this takes place, but the next title card reads…
"October 1990," so let's assume shortly after that. We're in San Francisco, following Cunanan down the stairs into a gay club to the strains of "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life." He greets a redheaded friend, and they cut through the dance floor in slo-mo so the audience has more time to appreciate the care taken by Wardrobe with the leather harnesses and mesh t-shirts. The friend gets them into the VIP area, and Cunanan hasn't gotten more than a few steps inside when he's ensorcelled by the sight of Gianni, deep in conversation on a banquette; you can practically hear him getting starfuck wood. He leans forward and over-accents, "Signore Versace. Buona sera." Gianni and his seatmates give Cunanan the "asshole says what" look, so Red is obliged to lean down and note that it's his friend, Andrew. Cunanan gets a dismissive "hi" before Gianni returns to his conversation, so he tries again: "It's good to see you in San Francisco." Gianni:
Again he tries to return to his friends, but Cunanan is chastened only for a second before saying grandly that he's excited to see the opera Gianni is doing the costumes for, that it's time a contemporary designer did that work. Impatiently, Gianni cuts him off: "Have we met before?" Taking a beat that, if you were looking for it, would give him away, Cunanan says yes, at a garden party at Gianni's "residence" in Lago di Como. He gives just enough detail to imply that he's actually been there, and adds, "You were most gracious, of course…I remember, but for you to remember is very flattering." Who knows if this exchange actually took place, but it's flawless writing of this kind of con regardless: so-called specifics, likely available to anyone with a VF subscription; assumed intimacy, which is a gamble with VIPs but will make most marks accept that it exists regardless of social station, because the first instinct is seldom to think you're being lied to; obsequiousness that relies on the social contract to be, if not appreciated, then at least acknowledged.
It doesn't get Cunanan as far as he'd like here, though, as Gianni gives him a perfunctory "Lago di Como; that must be it, yes," and returns to his discussion. Cunanan sets his jaw, and Darren Criss does a wonderful job of showing us Cunanan's wheels turning as he refocuses his fury at Gianni not immediately inviting him into the charmed circle based on his beauty and wit, and tries to find another in. It's uncomfortable to watch, but also a master class in portraying predatory behavior that, in the beginning of its cycle, can register as merely pathetic and awkward. Cunanan hurries to say that his mother's parents are from Italy, from the south, and blares the family name: "Maybe you know them?" Hard to say if we're meant to see this as a saddish blunder -- if Lake Como were any further north, it would be in Switzerland, and there are 55 million people in Italy -- but, despite my initial assumption that Cunanan just borrowed the name of an Italian football star who had just featured in the '90 World Cup, "Schillaci" is in fact his mother's maiden name and it does get Gianni's attention, albeit in the form of a somewhat concerned expression. Cunanan quickly blathers that his mother feels a "strong connection" to Italy but she's never visited: "Can you believe that? An Italian-American that's never even seen her own country?" Gianni shoots his seatmates a look and confirms, not entirely interestedly, that she's never gone to Italy; Cunanan takes the opening, sitting down and confiding that he thinks she wants to keep Italy "in her mind as this perfect place," and of course he's talking about himself, his own idealizing of situations and estrangement from his true self -- provided you believe a sociopath can have a self, versus, in the words of Cloeckley, a finely-tuned reflex machine built to mimic human responses.
Gianni sends the guy next to him off for a refill and semi-gestures for Cunanan to take the empty seat, asking where Cunanan's mother's parents were born. "Palermo," Cunanan says, scrambling into the seat and imperiously telling Red that he'll have whatever Gianni's having. Red sort of rolls his eyes and goes to get Cunanan a club soda.
Back at the Cote…uh, cote, Cunanan is talking up how exclusive the club is and its "strict policy" on not approaching celebrities, which he would "never do, by the way…uch, so tacky." As Phil is rolling his eyes, Cunanan says "this agreeable-looking man" came up and introduced himself as Versace. "I say to him, honey, if you're Versace, I'm Coco Chanel." Remember that phrasing. Elizabeth is all "oh no you di'in't," but he says he did, and it was embarrassing when Gianni "established himself as, y'know. Versace."
Phil is continuing to make "girl, please" faces as Cunanan, helping himself to breakfastry, says grandly that he's not a fan of Versace's clothes -- "so…bright, it's too much" -- and Elizabeth has to mouth "stop it" at her husband as Cunanan proposes that "Armani designs clothes for wives, I think Versace designs clothes for sluts and don't you look at me like that." Remember that phrasing, too. Cunanan hops up on the counter with his cereal and snots, "Please, I know the score. Lecherous fag on the prowl." Phil didn't know Versace was gay, because apparently Phil is Amish, and Elizabeth scolds Cunanan for the slur. He snots through a mouthful of cereal, "What are we supposed to call them?", adding that "homosexual" sounds too scientific, and anyway, he's totally fine with it, which is why he agreed to a date with Versace. The Cotes exchange another "ohhhh-kay" look -- apparently, they don't know he's gay either, although he's been using the queenliest locutions outside Buckingham Palace during the entire scene, so maybe they've just agreed between them not to call him on his BS? It's not like that wasn't a running theme with his friends in his actual life -- as Cunanan is rinsing out his cereal bowl and waxing lofty about Capriccio being a "minor work," and Elizabeth confirms that Cunanan accepted. "My dear, sweet Lizzie," Cunanan says, sounding almost angry with her, of course he said yes.
It's at this point that I'd decide the fun was over and change the locks if I were Lizzie, but hindsight is etc.
Cunanan, Cunanan's ridiculous spectacles,
his friend, and the friend's wretched color-block sweater are walking in the Berkeley faculty courtyard as Cunanan relays this same tale to the friend. "But is it real?" the friend blunts hilariously. Cunanan's like, uhhhhhh, and the friend notes that the other day he heard Cunanan say he was half-Jewish. "Well, that's…complicated!" It isn't, Friend says. "You were an altar boy. We spoke about…what happened to you." What does it matter what I said, Cunanan snorts. It matters, Friend protests. Only if they know it isn't true, Cunanan says. "But you know," Friend points out. Hurt, Cunanan says he thought Friend would be happy about it. Happy about a date with Versace?, Friend incredulouses: "You can't even tell people you're gay!" Cunanan babbles that he does so tell people, all the time, but Friend interrupts, "You tell gay people you're gay, and straight people you're straight." Busted, Cunanan quickly recovers with, "I tell people what they need to hear." He starts to walk off, but the friend doesn't know how he's supposed to act: "Do I pretend to know the person you're pretending to be? I can't keep up! Every time I feel like I'm getting close to you you say you're someone else." He takes Cunanan's hand, saying he knows he's not impressive, but he's nice, smart, and kind. Cunanan is utterly unmoved by this -- in fact, almost disgusted -- and pulls his hand away, then makes eye contact to swear up and down that he really does have a date with Gianni Versace, honest 'n' truly. Friend gives up: "I'm pleased for you." "Good," Cunanan smugs.
Cunanan studies Gianni's various residences, in magazines laid out with compulsive neatness on the carpet. He gets up to survey the sad Cosby-sweater and worn-jeans contents of his closet…
…then goes shopping in Phil's closet instead, naked.
Gianni does a fitting for one of the singers and talks about how the most important part of a dress is the look on the wearer's face, and how he learned that from his mother, who had a little dress shop in Calabri. As he talks about how his clothes "will serve you," the singer relaxes and starts to look happier with her gown.
Elizabeth comes home to find Cunanan helping himself to Phil's clothes as Lisa Stansfield echoes through the house. She and her giant 1990 belt buckle lean in the closet doorway and snap, "You should have asked." Cunanan doesn't acknowledge this until he can arrange his face in a suitably pitiable way, then doesn't apologize, just grunts, "I have nothing." As he knew she would, she softens: "You look very nice." He was going for "impressive." Elizabeth fastens what looks like a gold Rolex onto Cunanan's wrist to help with that as he unconvincingly objects, then murmurs, "I love you." "You are rrrridiculous," she tells him, maternally, but he's pleased with what he sees in the mirror.
The opera. Men in tuxedoes give Cunanan the eye, either because he's an out-of-place striver who's not in a tux or because they think he's hot. Not in that poly-barf necktie, he isn't. Still, he's feeling himself, and nicks a pair of opera glasses another attendee left on the bar. He's using them to look at the audience, mostly, though when a cutie across the room makes binocul-eye contact, Cunanan drops the glasses pointedly. Pan over the soloist to Cunanan, watching something raptly -- possibly Gianni, whom we cut to next, watching his dress anxiously -- and then back to Cunanan, performatively dabbing his eyes and then looking around at his opulent surroundings.
Gianni opens champagne after the opera while Cunanan wanders the stage, touching the harp and various cut-glass props like a child, then stepping into the spotlight and somberly bowing, eyes closed. Gianni, amused: "Did you enjoy it?" Cunanan loved it; it inspired him. They clink glasses as Gianni asks if Cunanan is creative. "Yes, very much," Cunanan says, which is kind of an off answer, but as we're about to see, he is, in his way; he delivers a monologue about picking pineapples on his father's plantation, and how his father was in the military and used to fly Imelda Marcos's plane, and now runs his businesses from abroad with a young boyfriend as a chauffeur (his father was Filipino and did leave the family; everything else is a lie). He's going to write a novel about it! Gianni doesn't seem entirely to believe this rehearsed-sounding aria of try-hard, but is at least amused by it. Then they talk about family; it's everything to Gianni, who made his first dress for Donatella: "Maybe every dress I make is for her." "That makes me want to cry," Cunanan says. It makes Gianni smile, so Cunanan hastily adjusts with, "Yes, that too of course." Gianni talks about the logo of his company, that it comes from his childhood, and his hope that people will get to know him through his clothes. Maybe people will get to know Cunanan through his novel in that same way. A strange observation from a man who barely knows Cunanan; I mean, not that this scene even took place, really, but it just lands as something the writers wanted to accomplish with the scene and isn't organic.
Anyway, Cunanan wonders if he shouldn't have a more "literary" pseudonym like "DeSilva" -- one of Cunanan's pseudonyms IRL -- but Gianni says no, he should be proud of his name. But Cunanan's already moved on to enthusing that "when" a movie is made of his novel, Gianni has to "do the clothes." Did Gianni know Imelda had three thousand pairs of shoes? Everyone knows this, but Gianni merely flirts that he doesn't design shoes…but he could try, for Cunanan's movie. Cunanan, enthralled: "I am so happy right now." He should be, Gianni coos; he's handsome, clever -- here he plucks a stray eyelash from Cunanan's cheekbone -- and he'll be someone really special one day. Cunanan blows the lash, timed with a gunshot on the soundtrack…
…and we're back to the day of the murder. Antonio hears the shots from inside. Outside, Cunanan cocks his head Starman-ily at the dove he's accidentally shot, twitching in its death throes, and Gianni's fingers also twitching in that same way. A God's-eye shot of Gianni's blood pooling beneath his head cuts to Antonio's hitting partner coming out the front gate and giving chase to Cunanan, who runs for a while and then stops and draws down on the hitting partner to back him off. Antonio bellows for help.
A patrol car pulls up. Antonio begs for an ambulance while looky-loos gather across the street.
Cunanan flees into a parking garage, to a red pickup. He jumps in, clutches the wheel, rubs his temples, and emits a very odd -- and flawlessly observed by Criss -- laugh/yell that seems celebratory, but is punctuated by ricti of terror. As he's deep-breathing himself under control, sirens take us into commercial.
Miami detectives José Zúñiga and Luke Wheeler (fine: Will Chase) are briefed on the victim as Antonio continues to sob for an ambulance. As they look stricken by the celebrity aspect of the crime, a long-hair in madras shorts and a fanny pack sprints to his car parked nearby to retrieve a Polaroid camera (kids, ask your grandparents).
A blood-spattered Antonio and the house staff watch in horror as Gianni is bundled onto a gurney, his magazines still scattered on the steps, his housekeys still dangling from the lock.
The Polaroid guy gets a shot of Gianni going into the ambulance.
Uniforms get the BOLO for Cunanan -- grey shirt, red cap -- and spot him in a red shirt on the upper level of the parking structure.
The ambulance pulls up to the hospital, trailed by news crews, and Gianni is rushed inside.
Cops come upon a red-shirted guy whose face we don't see trying to break into a Ford Taurus, and give chase.
The trauma team hurries Gianni past an African-American doctor, who looks taken aback, for reasons we won't investigate further until the next episode.
The red-shirt suspect (heh) is tackled; it is not Cunanan. Cunanan, who has paired his red polo with red acid-wash jeans that I actually kind of want, but that are not indicated for staying under the radar after shooting a fashion icon, is fleeing the garage from a different staircase (or is possibly in a different garage entirely).
The trauma team works on Gianni, although based on that upsetting facial wound, there's probably little point. A nurse cuts off his t-shirt, bisecting the Versace brand symbol on the front. I think I get it.
Outside the estate, Polaroid Dude is starting the bidding of "the only photo of Versace" at thirty grand.
As the worried doctor looks on, the trauma team calls it. They disperse; the last nurse out covers Gianni with a spattered sheet. The camera slowly pans out to take in the mess left behind, the grubby scuffed walls and crooked switchplate in the hallway.
Cunanan grabs a cab as, in the atrium, Antonio is told (I assume) by a security guard that Gianni didn't make it. The detectives look on, and Det. Zúñiga is shocked to learn from Det. Wheeler that Antonio is Gianni's boyfriend, like, is it your first day in Miami, Det. Zúñiga? As Antonio weeps, one of the autograph-seekers from earlier ducks under the barrier to soak a page from a Versace Vogue spread in the blood on the steps. She and her husband carefully preserve the page in plastic. Consider celebrity culture indicted, show, jeez.
Cunanan heads into a schmancy, glass-brick-tastic hotel and into the restroom, where he gazes at himself in the mirror and splashes water on his face. As he's leaving, he pauses at the bar to look at TV coverage of the shooting -- and to give us a good look at those jeans.
When a woman in front of him covers her mouth in horror, he studies her response with that Starman curious head-cock again, then imitates it, but under his hand, he's smiling. This really is a fantastic, simultaneously chilling and slappable performance by Darren Criss.
As MPD runs the VIN on the red pickup and finds that it was stolen from a William Reese -- in whose murder Cunanan is a listed suspect -- the FBI brass are first confusing Gianni Versace with Liberace, then with Jordache, then scrambling to figure out how to make it not their fault that a guy they've had on the Most Wanted list for some time killed a headline name. In Miami, Agents Gruber and Evans (a.k.a. Stan from Mad Men) half-walk, half-cringe into the estate. Agent Stan briefs the local detectives on Cunanan; Det. Lori Wieder is particularly unimpressed to hear that the FBI may have known Cunanan was in the area. She's even less impressed when Agent Stan shows them a trunkful of Most Wanted posters with Cunanan on them as he says Cunanan's now killed five people. Det. Luke Wheeler asks how many of those fliers actually went out. Agent Stan doesn't respond. Det. Lori is a bitch about it: "How many have gone out, Agent Evans?" Then she stalks off. Not sure what the implication is here -- that they didn't make the cases a priority because the victims were gay? Wouldn't surprise me given what we see shortly, but we'll get to that.
First, a press conference about the shooting, which goes to voice-over as we see the ruined face of Gianni, then a plane door opening, but shot from below so it looks like a morgue drawer opening. Santo and Donatella exit the plane; even in mourning, she's in full battle regalia, leather suit and heels. Technicians collect evidence from Gianni's body, and from the dove Cunanan also shot, as the police spokesman describes Cunanan as "armed and extremely dangerous" and Donatella semi-staggers through the glare of flashbulbs and up the bloodstained steps of the estate. She greets the staff, which is again lined up quite formally, with the same warmth her brother had earlier.
Det. Luke is asking clumsily what Antonio's "involvement" was with Gianni -- was he the person who procured dancers and models for Gianni? Antonio looks ill and says he was "his partner, not his pimp." Det. Luke is like, this is a police investigation, we need to know what's what and the staff already told me the deal with the extracurriculars, so…what does Antonio mean by "partner," exactly? "What do I mean?", Antonio repeats, apparently as puzzled as I am that a Miami detective wouldn't get it with this, even in 1997, but Det. Luke finally figures out he might get further on his own, and asks Dets. Lori and Zúñiga to excuse them. Gee, hard to believe Antonio doesn't feel comfortable with Det. Lori there!
And if it looks like she's giving Antonio a particularly frosty glare there, that's literally always her face. Anyway, Det. Luke tells Antonio after the others have gone that he's on Antonio's side; he's just trying to get the lay of the land (as it were) (he is classy enough not to use that phrase; I am not). Antonio clarifies that "partner" means "companion," but Det. Luke is still confused about Antonio's bringing home "other men…for him?" And would Antonio Do It with them too, with Gianni there? Antonio:
Well, really. I get that the show feels obliged to explain to some viewers that relationships that didn't obey traditional heteronormative parameters faced an uphill battle vis-à-vis the judgments of society and specifically law enforcement in 1997 (and do still, no doubt, in some places), but I also feel like it's maybe a little proud of itself for knowing better now, when really it just makes Det. Luke look naïve and unprepared. This continues with Det. Luke asking if sometimes Gianni wouldn't join in himself…? Antonio cuts a hopeless he'll-never-get-it side-eye and says it was whatever Gianni wanted. So did these other men "consider themselves Gianni's partner too?" What's the difference? "Fifteen years!" Antonio snaps. Det. Luke concedes that that's "a good length of time," and asks if Antonio can get him the names. Antonio can find them, yes. Were they paid? Sometimes, but usually "they just fell for him. He was a genius," Antonio goes on, bereft. "He cast a spell." Was Antonio paid? "Was I paid! Was I paid to love him!" Det. Luke backs off, saying this is "new to" him -- no shit -- and he's just trying to clarify. Antonio responds that he's trying to help, but he didn't see the shooter, and before he can summon the strength to answer Det. Luke's question as to whether one of their seemingly standard tricks might be responsible, Donatella comes into the study. Antonio gets up and, his face collapsing, extends his hand towards her and Santo. She flinches, looks down, and murmurs, "Get him out of here." So that relationship seems cozy?
It's possible she meant Det. Luke, as the next shot is the cops filing out the front gates, but inside, as Antonio weeps on the settee, Donatella helps herself to a cigarette from a gold box and sighs, "That's not what I need from you right now." She demands to know what Antonio told the police -- "about my brother's life" -- while almost unconsciously correcting the position of a Greek bust Det. Luke had futzed with and moved in the previous scene. Nice bit of blocking there. Antonio sighs that they'll "find out" everything anyway, and she asks what there is to find out, then says, "Nothing was ever asked of you, except to take care of him -- and you couldn't even do that." She sits next to Santo and tells Antonio he's not to speak to anyone about Gianni without consulting her first.
Antonio, through tears, regards her with an expression suggesting he was foolish to have hoped for a more compassionate reaction from her; gets up; and slumps out of the room to start washing Gianni's blood from his arms.
But he hears Donatella and Santo going down the hall to another meeting area, so he follows them. Donatella makes eye contact with him, then closes the heavy doors against Antonio without a word. Inside, they're meeting with men I assume are lawyers or board members, and Donatella begins by saying it's crazy to talk about business right now. She seems to be hoping they'll contradict or whatever-you-think-best her, but they just stare at her, so she finishes dabbing her eyes and gets down to it: her brother is dead, and the press and the police will "rake through" his life and bring up "every rumor, every indiscretion" -- to find the killer, but to judge Gianni, too. "First people weep, then they whisper." She goes on to extol Gianni's rise from a small Milanese shop with a single rack of clothes to "all this," adding that he was "a creator, he was a collector -- he was a genius" -- and his company meant everything to him. As long as the company is alive, her brother is alive: "I will not allow that man, that…nobody, to kill my brother twice."
A family spokesperson announces that nobody in the family knew or had any contact with Cunanan, footage Pawn Star Cathy Moriarty freezes when she sees his mugshot on TV. At her pawn shop, she tells Dets. Zúñiga and Bitchface that she did everything by the book when he came in with the gold coin: got his ID, handed in the paperwork to Miami PD, the works (this system did and does exist in order to flag stolen goods, but Miami hadn't computerized theirs as of '97, which means Cunanan was cocky enough to get himself caught hocking stolen property, but the paperwork hadn't been processed yet -- in case you're wondering why we're seeing this). Bitchface stalks outside and says into her radio that they have an address on Cunanan, and can anyone do this job besides her? That last part may have been silent.
Donatella expositions to us and some bankers that Gianni was excited to be the first Italian designer on both the Milanese stock exchange and the NYSE; it's why he was in the U.S., to sign the papers with Morgan Stanley. Santo notes that Gianni would have wanted them to go ahead with the IPO, and if they don't, they can't try again for many years, but Donatella isn't hearing it; listing the company means putting it in the hands of strangers, and "now is not the time for strangers; now is the time for family." Santo makes a "why'd you pretend to ask me, then" face that I have a feeling we'll be seeing a bunch. Donatella tells the banker types to tell Morgan Stanley that they'll remain a privately held company -- "a family company." She goes to the balcony of the pool area and looks out, surveying what is now her domain much as Gianni did in the beginning of the episode.
Metro-Dade SWAT descends on the address Cunanan gave Cathy Moriarty. This event isn't quite exciting enough for the locals to put pants on
but the music agrees it's pretty intense as SWAT and the detectives charge up to a room in a grimy no-tell, boot open the door, flash-bang whoever's inside, and find…not Cunanan, but Deputy Leo from Veronica Mars, nearly unrecognizably the worse for wear and denying that he knows Cunanan.
Cunanan himself, attired in all shades of yellow and a pair of Versace shades, stops at a newsstand to admire his handiwork on the front pages of newspapers around the world. The counter man stacks them up for him: "All of them?" Cunanan smirks. "All of them."