When hearing the phrase “House by the Lake,” it’s most likely associated with good memories for most people. Something cozy, like a nice cabin perhaps. A place to relax and let life slow down.
But Andrew Cunanan is not most people, and from this point forward “House by the Lake” is going to mean something much, much different for him.
The fourth episode of American Crime Story: Versace — “House by the Lake” — once again dives further into Andrew’s past, before he ever met Gianni (it’s a little strange how Versace in is the title of the show and we’ve barely seen him the past couple of weeks, but we’re willing to roll with it).
This episode takes place one week before everything that went down with Lee in episode three happened — showing Andrew in a far more vulnerable state.
Andrew is living with David Madson (Cody Fern) — a young architect (he’s really got a thing for architects) whom Andrew seems to be head-over-heels in love with. David, apparently, doesn’t feel the same way as he’s starting to grow tired of their relationship and is looking for a way to escape Andrew’s requests for marriage.
The two are sharing some tense moments in David’s apartment — David receiving a promotion and trying then trying leave, Andrew standing around acting all creepy — when their friend Jeff (Finn Wittrock) knocks on the door. David’s confused why he’s here, but Andrew says he invited him over pretty much just out of spite: he’s pretty sure David is cheating on him with Jeff, and he wants to give the two “a chance to talk about me.”
A frustrated David goes downstairs to let Jeff in. They talk about how weird Andrew has been lately and head back into the apartment — which is where Andrew is waiting with a hammer.
BAM. Down goes Jeff. A couple of bloody blows to the head later, and he’s out for good.
David is horrified and doesn’t know how to react. Andrew quickly reassures him that he’s not going to kill him because he still loves him and all that. Sure Andrew, sure.
Still in shock, David thinks they should call the police but Andrew won’t hear for it. He tells him that they’ll both be locked up — David let Jeff in, it's his hammer and cops hate gay people, and Andrew couldn’t live with himself if David had to go to prison. Oh yeah, Andrew has a gun too — one he stole from Jeff at one point — which further convinces David to go along with Andrew’s schemes.
After an awkward dog walk, the two wind up making a run for it. Good thing too, because it’s not long after the crime is committed that the police come knocking on David’s door.
At first, they assume that David’s body is the one they’ve stumbled upon. Then, after noticing the hair color doesn’t match, they make the next logical conclusion — it’s Andrew’s body. Upon this realization, they instantly run out of the apartment: they don’t have a warrant to be here, meaning anything they discover at this time won’t hold up in a court of law.
Finally, after they get a warrant and send the body down to the lab, they learn the truth: it’s Jeff. They send out an APB for Andrew and David, both of whom are long gone at this point.
Long gone, on their way to Chicago to try and get some money from Andrew’s friend Lee (sound familiar?) David is still a part of all of this, despite his constant confusion. We’re constantly seen flashbacks of him and his dad — a scene in which their hunting, another in which David comes out to him .
After stopping in a restaurant and hearing a cover of “Drive” by The Cars that makes Andrew breakdown and cry (which is, by far, the most emotion we’ve ever seen from Andrew. Maybe he isn’t as remorseless as we’ve been lead to believe), David — who had the chance to escape out a bathroom window — finally commits to the situation and returns to Andrew.
At least, he did in that moment, only to realize his mistake later. The next morning, David sees Andrew holding his gun — which he promised not to use as long as David was around. Andrew won’t admit to what he was doing, which then causes David to crack. He lets him know how much of a manipulator and terrible person Andrew is, how he killed Jeff just because he was in love with him.
Huge mistake. Huge. Like, yeah, David is right and everything but saying that face-to-face with a psycho killer probably isn’t the best idea in the world.
That’s what leads them to a house. After driving in tension for awhile, Andrew pulls over by a lake and drags David out of the car. David begs for his life, but there’s no saving him at this point.
David makes a run for it — and for a moment it looks like he might make it. We see David imagine that he makes it inside a nearby house, only to find his father there, offering him a cup of coffee. The illusion is touching, but only last a second. We snap back to reality to find David has been shot in the back and is bleeding out. Andrew lays with his corpse for awhile, only to then get back in the car and continue to his journey to Chicago. Look out Lee. Look out Versace.