“Just think of the little red light as the man you love.”
Well, the third episode of American Crime Story: Versace — entitled “A Random Killing” — made it official: we really, really hate Andrew (even though we still can’t take our eyes off of him).
Also, give Judith Light all of the Emmy nominations for this episode. Every single one.
Everything that happens in “A Random Killing” takes place before the death of Gianna Versace. This episode focuses on Andrew’s interactions and eventual murder of a wealthy Chicago real-estate designer named Lee Miglin (Mike Farrell).
We don’t start with Andrew, though. We begin by looking at the marriage between Lee and his wife Marilyn (Light), — the Home Shopping Network and perfume saleswoman. Yes, this is a real person, and this is what she looks like in real life:
Marilyn returns home one fateful eve, only to realize that her husband is nowhere to be seen. In fact, the instant Marilyn steps foot in the house, she knows something is wrong — there’s ice cream melting on a counter, and a random chuck on deli meat sitting out with a knife in it. She calls the cops, but she already knows the truth: Lee is dead.
It’s her calm yet sorrowful reaction that gets us, though. The soft whisper of “I Knew it” from Light is enough for an Emmy alone. But it only gets better from there…
We flashback to a week earlier. Lee is receiving some kind of award, seemingly for his work in architecture or whatnot, which shows him to be a wealthy and proud man. Lee and Marilyn return home that night, with Marilyn telling her husband she has to leave town for work.
Enter Andrew — the male escort whom Lee is clearly ashamed of, yet can’t seem to say no to. Andrew happens to be in town that night, and Lee wastes no time in inviting him over.
Early on, it’s clear the two have had sexual interactions before. Lee is hoping this will turn into more of a relationship — which is why he makes an effort to show Andrew a new building he’s designing; one that will be right next to the SEARS Tower and be even taller.
Andrew couldn’t be any less interested. Clearly, Lee is just trying to show off and that’s not what he’s here for.
Apparently Andrew isn’t actually here for sex either, as their romantic encounter soon takes a deadly turn. Andrew leads Lee into the garage, stuffs a glove into his mouth and ties him up in tape like we’ve seen him do before. Once Lee is powerless, Andrew punches him in the face confesses all to him — he’s killed two men before and he’s going to kill Lee next.
Why does he want to kill Lee? We’ll leave that one for the psychologist to figure out. His plan, though, is to dress Lee in women’s underwear and surround him with gay porn, so the world may know the truth about Lee. After all, Lee is clearly embarrassed about his little secret, which Andrew makes that pretty evident by asking him, “What terrifies you more, death or being disgraced?”
A few bags of concrete and garden tools later and Lee is dead. Andrew celebrates by burning Lee’s building plans and helping himself to that chunk of meat that was in the fridge — which he then leaves in Lee’s study. He’s long gone by the time Marilyn shows up.
Marilyn, however, is pretty unfazed by the crime scene. She has no initial reaction when told about the gay porn, saying that it clearly must have belonged to the murderer. As the scene goes on, it becomes more and more evident that she doesn’t actually believe that — suggesting that she knew her husband’s secret for some time and has already pieced together everything that’s happened. She’s inclined to keep it to herself, though, as she tells the police “I won’t let him steal my good name. Our good name.”
Speaking of the police, they’re not doing a great job at finding Andrew. They were tracking the car phone that was attached to the vehicle he was using, realizing that he was headed to New York, until a radio station accidentally announced this information on air. Andrew hears the story and immediately destroys the phone and ditches the car.
He pulls into a rest stop and sees a man driving a red pickup truck — the same truck we saw in the previous episodes. He follows him to his home, breaks in and eventually murders the truck’s owner in cold blood. That makes kill number four for Andrew, and that’s why we’re ready to declare him a monster.
Then, in the episodes final moments, we return to Marilyn. She’s back on air with her perfume, talking about what her husband meant to her. It’s an incredible scene that has a whole lot of social relevance, and Light sells every single second of it.
While this episode didn’t contain any footage of Versace itself, it gave some much needed backstory to Andrew — he’s a cruel, remorseless killer who has lost all of our sympathy. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem so surprising that Versace would up dead.
Check out the new episode of American Crime Story: Versace on FX later tonight, and read our other American Crime Story recaps by clicking here.