American Crime Story

You Make It Seem So Real

Sarah D. Bunting's old-school recap would like to avoid 'hamming it up' wordplay here, but as American Crime Story investigates Lee Miglin's demise, it does make some melodramatic choices.

It's May of 1997 now, and we fade up on a Canadian Home Shopping Network host giving us some biographical background on Marilyn Miglin, who started out as a dancer and transitioned into cosmetics when the hot stage lights kept melting her face. Her face here belongs to the great Judith Light, still her gloriously bad-ass self beneath an era-appropriate immobile inverted ziggurat of Executive Lady Of A Certain Age hair. Marilyn's co-host introduces Marilyn's new line, Pheromone, a direct -- and, for the show's metaphorical purposes, convenient -- choice of brand name, and Marilyn is pretty pleased with her grand unifying theory of fragrance: "Perfume is about our bodies talking to each other without words."

Marilyn's not able to talk to anyone at her house, though; later, she's at an airport pay phone, getting the machine. "Lee, I don't know where you are," she says, frowning; evidently she expected him to pick her up, but she can't wait any longer. I mostly note the bit of dialogue above because of the Edie McClurg levels of Chicago torque on the word "are." The camera studies Marilyn's expensive jewelry as she says she's going to catch a taxi…

…and then, when the taxi's dropped her off, the expensive-looking exterior of the Miglins' townhouse. Marilyn and her array of bags stand in the manicured mulch beside the sidewalk, apparently expecting Lee -- and even if you haven't "read back" on the case and Cunanan's non-Versace victims, you've probably figured out based on passing mentions of Miglin in prior episodes (and, you know, having watched TV before) that Lee is Marilyn's husband, and is dead -- to rush out the front door full of apologies.

This does not happen, although Marilyn gives Lee ample time to correct his oversight when she flings the front door open and stands expectantly on the stoop. Nothing. She bustles inside with her things and calls, "Lee?" as the camera ensures we note the long vistas of the house; the predominantly pale-neutral color scheme of the décor; and the museum-esque tidiness of the rooms before cutting to a pint of chocolate ice cream melting insolently on the counter. Marilyn is brought up short by this, and returns to the front door to look warily inside. Passing neighbors pause to check her okay. "Something's wrong," she asserts, and the neighbors follow her inside. Spotting the ice cream, the Coke can beside it, and Marilyn's clenching at them, Mr. Neighbor seems to agree that something's off here, and tells the women to wait outside and call the police.

Mr. Neighbor begins his walkthrough of the house, calling for Lee. I find it odd initially that he doesn't stop to salivate over the Miglins' built-ins

but that's because he's spotted the "centerpiece" before I have: a ham with a butcher knife buried in it, left unwrapped on the desk in the study. Mr. Neighbor climbs the stairs to the master bedroom -- more white, cream, and pale gold -- and finds a disorderly master bath with a telling ring of mung around the bathtub. Next, an ankle-height shot set-up watches Mr. Neighbor hustle down the stairs to the basement; behind the door he opens with some trepidation is a chapel, and it too is messy. He has nothing to report to the women waiting at the front steps, but CPD is pulling up, and they do their own walkthrough, discovering bloody clothes in the bathroom and asking if anyone's checked the garage. Mrs. Neighbor offers to go with the uniformed officer.

Inside, Marilyn sits, rigid, and drums her fingers in an odd way, almost like she thinks she's supposed to have a nervous tic under the circs but isn't really feeling it. She stares at The Telltale Ice Cream.

Mrs. Neighbor was told to stay in the alley, but sticks her head into the garage to report that the Miglins' Lexus is missing. The uniform frowns and walks around the end of what looks like a vintage Corvette, then stops.

Inside, Marilyn hears Mrs. Neighbor's wail of horror, and flinches. We push in on her as Mrs. Neighbor rushes into the room behind her and brings up short. As if to reflect the falling apart of everything, the cosmetics titan's lipstick is feathering as she whispers, "I knew it."

After the title card, it's one week earlier, at a fundraiser for Jim Edgar for governor. The Miglins exposit for us via telling their tablemates that they're devoted not just to one another but to one another's careers -- he helped her paint her first storefront -- and Lee gives Marilyn the credit for their successes. Lee is played by Mike Farrell, who's had some later-in-life roles the last few years in which he's impressed; I'm thinking particularly of the Law & Order: SVU with Brenda Blethyn and Clea DuVall. I've been waiting for him and Light to show up in this season, because I like them both, and I like that the less "famous" victims are given a decent amount of the script's attention and dimensioning here. With that said, by the time the groundwork of the marriage and the Miglins' rise is laid, it's nearly 20 percent of the episode's runtime gone, and I wonder if this shouldn't move a little faster. Anyway, after Edgar jokingly asks Marilyn never to run against him, Marilyn gives a lovely speech introducing Lee, but also about him, that he was one of seven coal miner's kids who started out selling pancake mix out of his trunk. He's a real-estate mogul, but also her partner in every sense, a great father and "a perfect husband." Well: yeah. In the wings, Lee looks thoughtful as Marilyn calls him "the American dream."

At home, Lee observes that the dinner seemed to go well, and thanks Marilyn for her effusions: "I wasn't expecting that." She's heading upstairs, but stops to ask if he remembers what color they painted the Oak Street store she mentioned earlier. "What color?" he stalls. "That was years ago." "We painted it pink," she says, regarding him for a moment before going up. His smile fades; he closes his eyes and sighs briefly. Not sure what's intended here, although I will say that you remember the color of every paint job you do yourself, especially if you are an impatient painter who sucks at it, like me. I'm not saying I detour past the paint-chip display at Lowe's to flip off Benjamin Moore's Harvest Gold every time I'm at that store? But I'm not saying I don't. Forest Truffle can also suck it, while I'm up. So yeah, to me it's somewhat striking that he's failing this test, if in fact that's what it is, and I don't know why she's administering it -- he's inattentive? she's concerned about his mental acuity? we're supposed to take something symbolic from the "pink" aspect?

Upstairs, Marilyn slathers her face with cold cream and begins taking her face off. I kept thinking of the end of Dangerous Liaisons, Glenn Close wiping her mouth so roughly.

Marilyn removes her lashes and, almost absently, dabs behind her ears and at her cleavage with scent while staring at her denuded face in the vanity mirror.

In the study, Lee's on the phone: "No no, it's just so unexpected!" He doesn't seem alarmed when Marilyn comes in, looking curious, and tells the caller, "Those arrangements are fine! …And not before that time." He adds that "we can discuss this at the office," and hurries the caller off the phone; pretty good cover, but it's obviously Cunanan on the other end. Marilyn cocks a brow: "Who was that?"

Cut to a sweaty Cunanan hanging up a pay phone, and to me realizing how…restful, for lack of a better word, the episode has felt without him up to this point, even knowing we've just seen Miglin scheduling his own death.

The man himself pads into the bedroom, where Marilyn is already installed with a sleep mask. He peers over at her, then covers her hand with his. She regrips so it's more handholding, less protection.

As a red Jeep approaches Chicago, Marilyn gets ready to leave for Toronto. She asks what Lee's plans are, while she's away; he talks about finishing her "accounts," catching up with a Paul…he's sort of vague, and half-staggers to sit down on the stairs, concluding that he'll go to work, it's what he does: "Isn't that what I always do?" Concerned, she sits beside him and asks what's going on. "If you're in one of your blue moods, why don't you come with me?" she says. She likes it when he's there. I like it when an actor commits to an accent; Light is currently in the middle of Pennsylvania somewhere, I think? The Chicago leaks out of the performance pretty steadily, sad to say, and by episode's end she's firmly back in Judge Donnelly territory...speaking of SVU. Anyway: Lee seems surprised to hear that Marilyn likes him to come along; bemused, she says of course she does. He tells her he's very proud of her: "You know that, don't you?" She surreptitiously checks her watch and asks if he wants to come or not; he heaves a sigh and considers it for a split second, then says no, he's "being silly." He gives her a kiss and helps her gather her things.

Andrew Cunanan pulls the red Jeep into a parking garage, cranks the seat back, and settles in for a nap as Astrid Gilberto's "A Certain Sadness" starts up on the soundtrack and, at the Miglinhaus, Lee seats himself at Marilyn's vanity with a couple fingers of bourbon and stares at himself in the mirror…then dabs some of her Pheromone behind his ears. He sips his drink and steels himself.

Later, he heads downstairs to the basement chapel and lights a candle. Kneeling before the cross, facing the picture of Jesus, he shakes his head and crosses himself. His eyes fill. "I try," he tells his God. "I. Try." It's quite affecting, and yet my eye is drawn over to what appears to be a conversation pit in the back of the shot.

Very odd juxtaposition that must be true to life or they'd have scotched it as distracting.

Cunanan parks around the corner and heads to the Miglinhaus. Inside, at Cunanan's knock, Lee zhuzhes himself sartorially and mentally at the hallway mirror, then answers the door and hurries Cunanan inside, presumably so neighbors don't see him admitting a young gentleman at night. He hugs Cunanan warmly. Cunanan stands kind of limply; his eyes are a blank as he stiffly raises his arms to return the hug.

Cunanan's stuffing a huge sammich into his piehole as Lee makes small talk: he didn't expect Cunanan to be in town. What brings him to Chicago? "Work," Cunanan grunts, departing the kitchen with the sandwich and no plate or even a paper towel to catch crumbs. Trash. Tellingly, Lee makes sure to wipe the counter before hastening after Cunanan, hesitantly telling him that "a little warning" would have been "useful," as it's dumb luck he's alone in the house. Cunanan asks when Marilyn's back; Lee naively tells him. "We have some time!" Cunanan chirps. Lee, whose combined eagerness and lack of street smarts are killing me right here, asks if he can stay the night. Cunanan, through a mouthful of sandwich, garbage-persons, "Can you shut the blinds?" Lee goes to do just that.

Lee's in the study, getting out some drawings and saying he's wanted to "share this" with Cunanan for a while. Cunanan leans in the doorway, rummaging in his bag for his gun, and as Lee is laying out the drawings, we go to a first-person-shooter POV as Cunanan levels the gun at the back of Lee's head. "The Skyneedle!" Lee nerds sweetly, and whether Cunanan is touched by his enthusiasm or thinks it's too easy a shot, I don't know, but he stashes the gun back in his pack as Lee goes on about it being the tallest building in the world once it's built, 125 stories, 1,952 feet. This was a real project; it was never built. The Freedom Tower would have made the conversation we're about to hear irrelevant in the second place, but: Cunanan confirms that the idea is to build it right near Sears Tower, with an observation deck that will look down on the Sears Tower's -- thereby pretty much putting the Sears Tower out of business, at least from a tall-building-tourism standpoint. Lee never thought of it like that. After a pause, Cunanan snorts, "Please. That's exactly how you thought of it." Lee shrugs that, actually, he saw himself mingling amongst the families visiting it, and eavesdropping anonymously on their excitement.

But this version of pride in accomplishment is alien to Cunanan -- as are actual accomplishments, really, which is why he has to shit on it, asking if it's ever going to happen. Has he broken ground on the project? Lined up the financing? Not yet, Lee admits, and Cunanan makes a lemon face and booms, "The Miglin Tower!" No no no: it's the Skyneedle. It's supposed to inspire people to "reach up -- it's about that, it's not about me." Here again, though, Cunanan's narcissism and his rage at those he perceives as "better" than he makes him unable to tolerate a loftier explanation, and he sputters that it's the tallest building in the world, it's the Lee Miglin Tower! Why else is Lee showing him these plans? That he cares about Cunanan and wants to share something he's stoked about isn't something Cunanan can register; to him, it's a power play, and he brats that he doesn't want to spend the whole night "listening to how great you are." Lee looks at him with confusion as Cunanan continues snitting about the "great Lee Miglin Tower," inspiring schoolchildren for eons to come, but instead of suggesting that, for a guy who clearly hasn't bathed for several large states' worth of driving, a "the customer is always right" approach is not just indicated here but required, Lee just says they don't have to talk. "No, we don't," Cunanan says, more agreeably, but he's not done being a twat, smirking that he knows what Lee's doing: he's trying to impress Cunanan -- to convince himself that this is "more than a business transaction," that there's a genuine attraction there. Lee confines himself to pointing out that Cunanan could pretend, too. Cunanan keeps that fatuous challenging smile pasted on, then leans in for a passionate kiss, during which the camera dwells unnecessarily on Lee's wedding band. Lee's never been kissed like that, has he? No, Lee says, fairly trembling with desire. "It feels like I'm alive!" Oh, Lee. Cunanan points out that "most escorts" don't kiss, then crazies that he's not like most escorts; he's not like "most anybody."

Well, that's true, strictly speaking. "I could almost be…a husband. A partner!" Lee kind of cringes, which probably won't help him, as Cunanan goes on, "I could almost be. I really could, almost." He's probably trying to elevate his own status in the transaction, but Lee misunderstands, thinking he's rubbing it in more, and says he knows it's not real; he's not a fool. But Cunanan makes it seem so real. "Good," Cunanan whispers, delighted, then proposes they "go out." Where are they going? To make a mess, Cunanan says, leading Lee to the garage, and he doesn't want Lee to worry about it.

In the garage, he shoves Lee up against the wall. "I'm in control now." Lee seems a little concerned, but mostly titillated, and the proportions don't change when Cunanan open-up-and-say-ahs a gardening glove into Lee's mouth. Lee's little moans of excitement make this particularly difficult to watch, especially when he reaches for Cunanan but is pushed away so Cunanan can search the tool table for masking tape. As Cunanan carefully wraps Lee's head, Lee starts to look more puzzled than turned on, and when Cunanan's done, Lee is lowered to the floor and bound with an extension cord while Cunanan burbles about Lee's dominance in the outside world and submission "in here." The torture is actually listening to Cunanan blather on about inverting the natural order, in my opinion, never more than when Cunanan smugs that Lee likes "being pathetic, don't you." It's really that Cunanan doesn't like it and can't escape feeling it, so he has to humiliate Lee fully, crawling up his body and throttling him for a few seconds, then breaking Lee's nose with the heel of his hand. Lee emits a muffled wail. Blood leaks out from under the tape as Cunanan announces that he's killed two people very close to him, hard though it surely is to believe of "intellectual Andrew," "well spoken, well dressed." Snort. Cunanan makes a point of blaring into Lee's ear that he knows Lee isn't wearing his hearing aid (one more tiny humiliation before the final string of big ones), so he'll speak very clearly: when "they" find Lee's body, he'll have ladies' drawers on and be surrounded by gay porn, so that "everyone will know" the "great Lee Miglin is a sissy." This isn't about Lee at all, of course; it's about Cunanan feeling like he doesn't exist, and as Lee continues to groan, Cunanan winds up by asking tearfully which Lee fears more, "death, or being disgraced?" Lee sobs. Cunanan sits back and says, as if realizing it for the first time, "You know, disgrace isn't that bad -- once you settle into it."

He gets up and heaves a bag of Quikrete over to Lee, panting, "Concrete can build. And concrete can kill." So on top of everything else, Cunanan's a C-plus writer. Roger that. He heaves the bag over his head and slams it down on Lee's torso, then shoves it off, grabs some kind of screwdriver from the pegboard, and stab-falls onto Lee's chest.

Later, Cunanan tools through the house, almost artfully spattered in blood. He whomps the ham down on Lee's neatly arranged Skyneedle plans and crams meat into his mouth. Expressionlessly, he picks up the drawing of the building and tears it exactly in half, right through the tower; cut to him burning it on the chapel's altar. The hold on the shot of the hellish flames oranging his face and dancing in his eyeglass lenses is maybe a little long.

CPD Superintendent Rodriguez marches through the press scrum at the front of the townhouse, not acknowledging questions about whether Lee knew the intruder. The crime-scene techs pause at the sight of the boss, but he tells them to carry on as he looks down on Lee's corpse, now crimson with blood thanks to torture (apparently with a handsaw) and surrounded as "promised" with porn magazines. Rodriguez's question about "the underwear" lets us know the rest of Cunanan's threat was also carried out. Rodriguez sighs as the lead tech says Lee had no defensive injuries to his hands, but every single rib is broken, and says he wants no leaks; the official story is that "an elderly gentleman has been killed."

Elsewhere, Marilyn is straightening family pictures on the mantel as a guy in a suit -- presumably J. Paul Beitler, Lee's partner -- quavers that "this" had nothing to do with their business. Marilyn's like, duh, of course it didn't, and as Rodriguez enters, doffing his hat, she begins listing with grim determination everything Cunanan took: money, leather jackets, suits, the Lexus, the "unusual" gold coins Lee gave as gifts, a dozen pairs of black socks. It was a "robbery," no question. Rodriguez keeps his face impassive in this gust of denial, and also when Marilyn announces to Beitler that she knows who SupRod is; she didn't call 911, she called a police commander she knows. "We're all here for you," SupRod merely says, and as Beitler's face works in the back of the shot, Marilyn announces, "Lee was alone in the house. He was vulnerable. It was an opportunistic attack." The burglar could have snuck up on Lee, if he didn't have his hearing aid in!

Beitler hangs his head as SupRod suggests talking later. "Talk now! Why not!" Marilyn says. SupRod gently broaches the "homosexual pornographic magazines" near Lee's body. Marilyn barely reacts, blinking and saying they must belong to the killer. SupRod has an almost reflex cop response to that theory, observing that that would mean the killer brought the magazines with him -- i.e., knowing his target/that he would need them; having been invited. It took me a minute to register the implication, but Marilyn's right on top of it, and is not having it, gritting that she's not interested in the murderer's "intentions." Catch the guy; don't talk to her about what might "or might not" be going through his mind. "I understand," SupRod says. Marilyn squints: "Do you." SupRod, now a little worried: "I believe so." Marilyn, without breaking eye contact: "Dollars. Jewelry. Socks. Suits. That's all I'll allow that man to steal from me." He won't take her good name -- their good name. They worked too hard making it, together.

Rodriguez is likely relieved to escape into the crime scene, then, confirming that Cunanan not only took a bath and shaved, but appears to have slept over. He clenches, looking at the bed, as the lead tech says, "He must have known that Marilyn was coming home." He clenches again when he finds two of his detectives chowing sandwiches in the downstairs hall, and politely informs Marilyn -- who is seated beside her son, Duke, and now wearing a different suit, so the timeline here is a bit shuffly -- that she doesn't have to feed his officers. She chirps that a neighborhood restaurant wanted to help, and donated the food. Then she introduces Duke as "a Hollywood actor!" (hee/aw), and mommily upsells his career as an abashed Duke is like, "'Aspiring,' Mom." He does mention he's in Air Force One, but notes on Marilyn's proud "He plays a pilot!" that there are a lot of pilots in the film. Heh. Miglin Jr.'s film career didn't go much of anywhere, possibly because the murder of his father took him off track, possibly because most film careers…don't; Cunanan apparently suggested to several people that he and Duke knew each other and were working together, a contention the Miglins have firmly denied.

We cut away from this awkwardness to a uniform finding Cunanan's Jeep, festooned with parking tickets, around the corner. She peers in to see a map of Chicago and a copy of Out Magazine, and runs a plates check. A hit comes right back: it's stolen, and linked to the homicide of Jeff Trail. And there's more good news in terms of leads, as two detectives tell SupRod at the cop shop, namely that Lee's car phone turns on whenever the car is turned on, which lets them track the car's location. Based on the pings to date, it looks like he's heading to New York. SupRod wants this intel kept in a cone of silence -- the FBI, them, that's it -- and the three of them exult that wherever Cunanan goes, "we got 'im." (Ron Howard, wearily: "They don't.")

NYC's Versace storefront. Cunanan, attired in one of Lee's suits, I guess? Although Mike Farrell is much too tall for them to fit him properly, but that's one of those things fictionalized narrative never gets right about borrowed clothing -- anyway, he regards himself smugly in the shiny sign on the door and goes in to do some browsing. There's a home-goods display set up on a dining-room table, and as he's about to pull up one of the chairs and leaf through South Beach Stories by Gianni and Donatella, the chair makes an echoey skrronnnk along the floor. Darren Criss nails the jumpy "did anyone see that" reaction on Cunanan's part; it's just a perfect, tiny smackdown of the striver, satisfying to a viewer who has come to enjoy Cunanan's discomfiture but also a nod to the hundreds of these tiny mortifications that may have contributed to his becoming a monster. A graffiti-ish rendering of Gianni in the book shifts the soundtrack from peppy retail jazz to the foreboding strings of Cunanan's madness.

SupRod asks the assembled at the Miglinhaus if they've heard of Cunanan. Marilyn says no; who is he? He's an escort, SupRod tells them (Beitler looks nauseated, and I honestly can't tell if the actor is just trying to register in a scene dominated by Judith Light's charisma; if we're supposed to deduce that Beitler either knew for sure or strongly suspected that Lee may have had extracurricular desires; or if he didn't know but is now homophobically revolted). Cunanan is wanted in connection with two homicides in Minnesota. "What does this have to do with Lee?" Marilyn asks. Cunanan stole a Jeep from one of the victims; it was found a block from the Miglinhaus. SupRod puts a mugshot of Cunanan on the coffee table. Marilyn says confidently she's never seen him before; Duke looks uncomfortable, though it's hard to know how to take that. The camera pushes out from the side of Marilyn's face to focus on Duke's, and on Duke hanging his head, as SupRod says reluctantly that they have to understand the case is no longer solely a CPD matter, that the FBI is now involved. Marilyn says all they care about is catching Lee's murderer. Beitler stares straight ahead, clenching his jaw. Marilyn looks at him and at Duke all, "…What?"

Outside, SupRod is told that Cunanan's on the move, but the cell phone towers have tracked him to outside Philadelphia. PPD and the FBI are "closin' in." SupRod looks over his shoulder at the living room and mutters, "I hope they're ready."

Beitler lets himself into the master bedroom just in time for Light's Emmy reel, as Marilyn updates her blush and snaps that she knows what they're saying about her. Why hasn't she cried? Where's the grief, the emotion? She didn't love him. "How could a woman who cares so much about appearances appear not to care!" Beitler, probably thinking about the "allegations," sighs that people say all kinds of nasty things at a time like this. "Especially at a time like this," Marilyn adds, when you're weak, when you're down. She scrabbles around on the vanity top for a lip pencil and snaps, "How dare they say our marriage was a sham," and points at Beitler's reflection with the lipliner: "Lee and I -- shared our whole -- lives." Breaking down, she talks about the adventures they shared, and how he rescued her when she was lost. "I…loved him," she weeps. Beitler approaches and puts a hand on her arm. "I loved him very much!" Marilyn claps her hands to her face and starts smearing around the makeup she's just been carefully touching up, and gasping through a possible panic attack, she snarks, "There. Is that better? Am I a real wife now?" She stumbles to the window and sits on a stool to say that they had a fairytale life, makeup straggling across her face, and as much as I always love Light and as much as I appreciate the script underlining the emotional wreckage Cunanan left in his wake (as all murderers do), the scene is quite stagey -- like, there's really no point to the blocking except to move Light around, and there's really no point to those theatrical kinetics or whatever, because this is filmed. Light can move this ball by herself, you don't have to block her like this is the Penfield Academy production of Mother Courage. Just run the camera.

Exhibit A: "We didn't even fight," delivered with an almost ashamed glance at Beitler, as if to acknowledge that that could be construed as a lack of passion. See? Light has this well in hand. She chews her upper lip with her lower teeth as she says that Lee never lifted a finger (to her, I believe she means). "But I will," she says, getting up and crossing back to the vanity -- again, for no apparent reason except that The Big Book Of Scene Anatomies appears to have called for it. There's no "family connection" to "this Cunanan," she says. "We've never heard of him." Beitler looks stricken some more as Marilyn fairly orders him, "It was…a robbery. A random killing." She begins to straighten up the vanity top.

It's not so neat at the cop shop, as one of the detectives has to tell SupRod that Philly radio is running a story about the car phone, and that they're tracking the signal, which means Cunanan will know they're onto him -- at which time the episode director leafs through TBBOSA to "Reaction Blocking, Frustrated," drops a fingernail onto "shove everything off desk while shouting angrily," and nods. And that's what SupRod does. Come on, guys.

Cut to the Lexus, where Cunanan hears said report; hilariously starts whanging the receiver of the car phone on the console; then screeches over to the shoulder to wrench the antenna off and hurl it into the underbrush. Which is not sketchy at all, except it totally is, and a passing car's passengers give him a "tf you doing" look. He pulls out again, then quickly heads into the entrance of Fort Mott State Park. (It's in Pennsville. If you think of the state of New Jersey as a grandma in a rocker -- this is the image our eighth-grade earth-science teacher always used; don't know why it's a grandma -- Pennsville is at the southwestern tip of the state, basically Nana's nipple.) He parks, and scans the families in the parking lot for targets/prospective carjackees…or waits for the park to empty out of extraneous witnesses, which appears to have taken a while. Cunanan finally sees an older lady who looks likely, and has his gun out, but then her husband appears and Cunanan thinks better of it. Enter the red truck, and a ponytailed caretaker stopping to pick up the mail. This is William Reese, the caretaker of the on-site Civil War cemetery. Cunanan scrambles back to the Lexus and follows Reese into the cemetery, and I am not a botanist, but I'm pretty sure this sort of tree is not native to Jersey.

Let me know in the comments, but if I'm right, it seems strange they wouldn't just get permits for a local graveyard. Anyway, Reese parks next to the chapel building and heads inside, stopping to remove a weed from the flowerbed near the door as Cunanan is parking along the other side of the building. Reese is settling in in the office when Cunanan comes in, gun drawn, and says pleasantly that Reese should stay calm, nobody's going to get hurt: "I'm here to steal your truck." He asks for the keys, but tells Reese not to reach for them and to get away from the desk. Then he asks if there's a downstairs. There's a basement. "Can I lock you in there?" "Door's got a lock, yessir," Reese semi-answers.

The "basement" is in fact properly -- and fittingly, alas -- a crypt.

Cunanan orders Reese onto his knees. Reese tries to humanize himself for Cunanan, mentioning his wife and son and that he'd sure like to see them again, but Cunanan is Cunanan, and shoots Reese mid-sentence. He looks around at the crypt with that Starman blankness, then heads upstairs, grabs his backpack from the Lexus, and peels out in the pickup.

Back to the set of CHSN, where the co-host from the opener extends the HSN "family"'s deepest condolences and explains to viewers that Marilyn's husband was brutally murdered. Marilyn says she had to "think long and hard" about coming back, but believes Lee would have wanted her to: "You see, his name is on these bottles too." He was her legal counsel, her accountant, her best friend. He believed in her, she says, wiping her eyes, then wonders how many husbands really believe in their wives, treat them as equals and partners. "We were a team," she quavers, caressing a bottle of perfume, "for 38 years, and I miss him very much." The co-host asks if she's able to go on. Marilyn nods, pulling herself together and remembering a piece of advice she got from a friend who hosted a TV show: "Just think of the little red light as the man you love." Push in on Marilyn, staring sadly at the red light, then closing her eyes.

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