'ACS' (Spoiler): Did Versace Have HIV? The 'Manhunt' Episode Recap
The first few minutes of American Crime Story's "The Assassination of Gianni Versace" episode immediately raised questions. Was Versace receiving treatment for HIV or did he really suffer from ear cancer as his family claimed?
However, it appears that he is getting treated for HIV as a gay man living at the height of the epidemic.
After leaving the hospital, the fashion designer lounges on a daybed while Donatella sits over him.
"What is Versace without you?" she asks as she stares at him. He pauses and replies, "It is you."
The scene immediately follows the family drama between Donatella and Antonio. In the series premiere, Donatella made it clear that she wasn't too fond of Antonio, and as the story develops in the new "Manhunt" episode, Donatella starts to reveal why.
Donatella blames Antonio for Versace's "illness" and failing to protect him. All Antonio really wants from Donatella is respect, but he may never get it because Donatella stated that she would've respected him if he gave her brother children or safety. As for Versace all he wants is for the three of them to be a happy family.
Shortly after, the episode quickly fast-forwards to 1997 when Versace was killed by Andrew Cunanan. As Donatella watches fans place offerings at Versace's gate, she tells Antonio that he is gone and there's no need for them to pretend anymore.
The mortician begins to work on making Versace appear to look as living as possible. Donatella arrives to see Versace and brings a suit for him. She also fixes his cuff links and tightens his tie. Versace looks perfect, but all of the efforts seem to be a waste because he is cremated and put in a gold box to go back to Italy on a plane with Donatella.
Cunanan Begins To Plan Versace's Assassination
It is now 1996 again and Cunanan is seen driving a red pickup truck to Walmart, where he changes the license in the parking lot. The radio reveals that he's allegedly a suspect for the death of Lee Miglin, but he appears unbothered as he is singing along to "Gloria" in the car and happily driving to Miami.
Cunanan finally arrives in Miami and books a room at the Normandy Plaza. His lies didn't end in the first episode, he starts to tell the receptionist that he was born in Nice and asks if she has ever been there.
Now that he's finally in Miami, he makes his way to Versace's home, but the gate is locked so he patiently waits for his opportunity. In the meantime, he buys a pair of sunglasses, a hat, and a camera. He starts to take several pictures of houses, which he later uses as a collage on his hotel rooms wall.
Prior to Versace's death, Cunanan was on the FBI's Most Wanted list, which is why the FBI came to Miami to inform police that they believe he is in town or on his way.
Although he is a wanted man, Cunanan lives carefree. His lies help him befriend Ronnie, an HIV-positive man, who had been hanging out outside of the hotel. In the first episode, it's obvious Cunanan loves an audience so he talks to Ronnie about meeting Versace, but of course Ronnie seems skeptical about the obvious lies.
Things take a turn when Cunanan makes a habit out of becoming an escort for wealthy, older men. One man falls for it and brings Cunanan back to his hotel room. Cunanan then duct-tapes his entire head, neck, eyes and finally his mouth.
The man begins to struggle for air, but Cunanan ignores him and dances around the room with a pair of scissors in his hand. He continues to tell the man to "accept it."
Finally, he raises the pair of scissors above the man's head and then stabs him in the face, allowing him to breathe. Immediately following the intense "almost killing," the man answers the door for room service.
While Cunanan eats he continues to lie down. Before leaving he drops his champagne glass on the ground and the man locks the door behind him. What's shocking is that he puts his wedding ring back on and calls 911 but hangs up.
Now back to Versace, as he begins to prepare for a fashion show, he argues with Donatella about which models he should use for his show.
His relationship with Antonio also begins to evolve. Antonio tells Versace he doesn't want this lifestyle anymore and that he wants to marry him.
"You can say it in the morning, but can you say it in the evening?" Versace answers.
Presumably only a few miles away, Ronnie begins to realize how dangerous Andrew really is. Ronnie begins to talk about opening a floral kiosk, while Cunanan appears with his entire head duct taped.
After Cunanan finishes, he pawns a gold coin. While walking past Versace's house he sees Versace out on the balcony. Thinking this is his chance, he runs back to the hotel to grab his gun and take down all of the pictures.
When he returns Versace isn't home anymore. He's out at a nightclub with Antonio.
Cunanan then decides to grab a sandwich where the clerk recognizes him from America's Most Wanted and calls the police, but by the time the police get there Cunanan has disappeared.
The episode ends with Cunanan searching for Versace. While he is looking for him, someone asks "who are you?"
"I'm the person least likely to be forgotten," Cunanan replies.