Friday, February 09, 2018

Cunanan and Versace on FX: House by the Lake (Ep. 4)

The FX “American Crime Story: the Assassination of Daniel Versace” continued on Wednesday February 7 with an 80 minute (minus commercials) epsisode “House by the Lake” as the series tells the story in reverse (link).

Cunanan (Darren Criss) brings Jeffrey Trail (Finn Wittrock) to architect David Madson’s loft apartment in the East Bank of Minneapolis.  I think I may have been on the property in 2002 with IFP-MSP when it was casting a short film.

Cunanan stabs Trail in front of Madson and his dog and then kidnaps him and forces Madson on the run, finally shooting him at Rush Lake along I-94 when Madson tries to escape to what looks like his father’s cabin. Cunanan wants to frame Madson for the murder and the super finds the body, the police first think Madson did it.  There is an early bathroom scene which is shocking in its intimacy, where Cunanan’s washes blood off Madson’s smooth body in a shower.

The episode has flashbacks of Madson’s childhood and relationship with his father, and his father’s ambivalent reaction when a grown Madson tells dad he is gay after winning an award as a young man.  
Criss’s acting shows Cunanan as a typical psychopath, manipulative and charming, resentful of the “elite” whom he believes should be brought low like him.  Such psychopathy is rare in the gay community. 

Picture: Near Brainerd MN, my visit, June, 2011.  This is very similar to the last scene in the episode, which happened at the end of April 1997. 

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