ACS: Versace Recap: Andrew’s And Gianni’s Childhoods Reveal Polar Opposite Lives In “Creator/Destroyer”

It’s hard to believe that we are one week away until the finale of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. And while it’s been one hell of a ride with one hell of an acting tour de force from Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan, I must say that there are times that I wish the episodes had shared equal focus on both the leads of the show. For a program to be named after the famed designer, he hasn’t appeared much in it.

Luckily in this episode, both the men were featured as we have gotten to the very end of the flashbacks as far as the events leading up to Gianni’s death go. In the Matt Bomer directed episode and featuring an amazing turn by Jon Jon Briones, we finally got to meet Cunanan’s father, and it is safe to say that the apple did not fall far from the tree as far as behaviors go.

Gather round and let’s discuss the episode aptly titled “Creator/Destroyer”.

Daddy Dearest:  Cunanan’s childhood, as it turned out, wasn’t as bad as one might have thought it to be, at first anyway. His dad worked for Merrill Lynch, talking his way into a highly coveted job with his professed work ethic and track record of upward mobility. Cunanan’s father also spoiled him terribly: the would-be killer got the master bedroom of the house and a car before he was even old enough to drive. His father constantly told him that he was better than anyone else, even though Andrew had siblings.

Life Of The Party: Cunanan’s luck doesn’t end at the house with his father either as he gets into a prestigious private school, where he’s voted “most likely to be remembered.” We also get to see how he meets Lizzie at a house party while spinning on the dance floor in a red, leather one-piece jumpsuit.  This version of Cunanan isn’t quite the liar just yet; just a charmer who dated older men.

Two Worlds: We get one glimpse of Gianni Versace’s childhood, mostly as a means to contrast Cunanan’s. When Versace is sketching, and called a “pansy” in school, his mother comforts him and promises to teach him. “You must do what you love, Gianni,” she says. As for Cunanan, he doesn’t get that kind of love and support, especially when   Cunanan tells his father he dreams of being a writer, his dad reminds him that writing isn’t an effective way to make money.

End Of A Fairytale: We then flash forward to see Modesto “Pete” Cunanan working not at Merrill Lynch, but in a cubicle, scamming the elderly out of their money. The FBI comes for him sooner than anyone might have expected as they pop up to his office, barely giving Modesto enough time to escape home, pry out some cash from underneath floorboards, and exit through a backdoor  before flying away to Manila and leaving his family with nothing. They lose the house but Cunanan still believes in his father so he packs his case and leaves his mother to go to Manila alone to find his father, where he confronts him for his crimes. “Weak, like your mother,” Modesto tells him when Cunanan makes it to the shack where he has been living right before spitting in his face.

A Liar Is Born: When Cunanan returns home and gets a job at the pharmacy where we saw him at the beginning of last week’s episode, he’s a defeated person. That sense of utter rock bottom doesn’t last long as  Cunanan tells his first lie, which gives him the idea that he can build his own future based on said lies. His yearbook quote was in French after all, and as it turned out, oddly prophetic: “After me, destruction.”

Quote of the night: 

“You’re not upset that I stole; you’re upset that I stopped.” Modesto

Check out the promo for next week’s finale below!

Erika Negrón Rivera
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