American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 3 Review: A Random Killing

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Judith Light is a national treasure.

Buoyed by a raw and painful performance by Judith Light, American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace Season 1 Episode 3 was all about the murder of Chicago bigwig Lee Miglin at the hands of Andrew Cunanan. 

To say this hour was gut-wrenching would be an understatement. 

Lee & Andrew- American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 3

There is no Gianni Versace this week. No Donatella. No Antonio. There's no Miami. Instead, we venture over to Chicago, just a few months before Versace's death. 

Here we meet Lee and Marlyn Miglin, an older, wealthy couple who are apart of Chicago's elite society. From the outside looking in, these people have it all. Marilyn is a fixture on the Home Shopping Network, and Lee has designed buildings all over the windy city. 

But the outside rarely ever tells the full story. And the truth was that Lee was having relationships with male escorts. Andrew Cunanan among them. 

I try. I try.

Lee

Lee seems like a conflicted man, as he's built himself a Catholic altar in his basement where he can pray and seemingly absolve his sins. But even while he may be living a sort of double life, he doesn't seem to want to stop. 

When Andrew shows up, Lee takes a moment to look at himself in the mirror, making sure he's presentable. And he greets Andrew with a hug that is begrudgingly accepted by the agitated Andrew. 

Marilyn Staring- American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 3

From the moment Andrew comes inside, he's abrupt and harsh. He chastises Lee and talks down to him at every turn. Even though Lee is the older, seasoned individual in this dynamic, Andrew is running the show. 

No, I'm not like most escorts. I'm not like most anyone. I could almost be a husband. Or a partner. I could almost be.

Andrew [to Lee]

After Andrew places an intense kiss on Lee, you can see the look of satisfaction that takes over Lee. That kiss brings him back to life almost. It's what he wants but can never say out loud. 

Since the episode begins by showing us that Lee is dead, it's an intensely brutal march towards the dreaded moment. Andrew takes pleasure in torturing Lee, detailing everything like the sociopathic killer he is. 

I've killed two people, Lee. Two people that were very close to me. I know it's hard to believe. Intellectual Andrew. Well read, well spoken Andrew. Well dressed. But here I am. This is me.

Andrew

Just like in American Crime Story: The Assassination of Versace Season 1 Episode 2, Andrew covers his victim's face in tape, rendering them powerless. Andrew has to be the dominant person in every situation, every conversation, every aspect. His narcissism pervades every single action he takes. 

It's unclear how closely these two men are connected, but the narrative leads us to believe they've met at least once before. The true motive behind the killing isn't explicitly clear, but in death, Andrew wants to expose Lee to the world by surrounding him with pornographic magazines and dressing him in ladies underwear. 

Lee seems to be the kind of person Andrew hates. And that seems to be reason enough to kill him. 

Husband & Wife- American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 3

What follows the murder is a bit of a whirlwind. Marilyn isn't the grieving widow you might expect. She seems to have it together, and she's staying strong for her children. For herself. For Lee. 

She isn't interested in what the police are insinuating about her husband; she's interested in preserving the legacy of his name. Their shared name -- a name that is synonymous with success, not scandal. 

Judith Light brings a depth and realness to a woman we don't know much about. It's hard to create a character that connects fully with an audience when they only get roughly 20 minutes of screentime. But she does just that.

Marilyn Miglin- American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 3

I have a feeling when this series concludes, people will still be talking about her performance. It's just that good. 

 

It was a random robbery. And a random killing.

Marilyn

Marilyn will not let Andrew Cunanan take anything else from her. 

After the murder, Andrew flees town in the Miglin's car and heads towards New York City. The police figure out fairly quickly that Andrew is behind the murder since the car he'd stolen from his previous victim is parked near the Miglin's home. 

But like all things involving Andrew Cunanan, the police are too late. Once it's leaked that he's being tracked, Andrew is on to his next getaway car and his next victim.

While Lee's murder was somewhat personal and vindictive, Andrew's fourth victim was opportunistic. Andrew needed a car, and this man was in the wrong place, at the wrong death. 

A Conversation- American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 3

His death is chilling, and clearly, at this point, Andrew is killing to stay alive. He needs to stay alive long enough to reach his target. 

He needs to stay alive long enough to kill Gianni Versace. 

Are you learning any new information about this case from the series? What did you think about "A Random Killing" being devoid of the Versace's?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments so we can discuss and watch American Crime Story: Versace online to catch up!

A Random Killing Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (46 Votes)

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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