American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Don't Ask Don't Tell

at .

I'm starting to think they should have called this series 'The Assassination of Gianni Versace by the Coward Andrew Cunanan.'

Just like the big screen movie about Jesse James and his killer Robert Ford, this isn't a true story about the man who was assassinated and his life. This is about Andrew Cunanan.

And American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 5 continues to give us a look into the mind and actions of a killer.

The First Time - American Crime Story: Versace

We start by stepping further back in time yet again to meet the man Andrew bludgeoned to death at the beginning of American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 4. The man is Jeff Trail, and he's a former naval officer, now working at a gas company in Minneapolis.

It was fairly obvious based on the brief conversation between Jeff and David a few moments before Jeff's murder that neither man was particularly fond of Andrew at this point. But now we get some actual context to show why Andrew's friends were just about done with him.

Jeff: He's got no one. He's got nothing. Everything he's told you about his life is a lie. You know that, right?
David: Do you even like him?

Seeing Andrew's desperation as he pleaded with David to marry him was honestly odd. When Andrew shows up in Minneapolis, he and David are not a couple and barely even friends it would appear, yet within hours he's asking David to marry him?

Andrew is so very clearly off mentally and emotionally, and David seems to notice more so than Jeff, who wants no parts of Andrew.

Jeff Trail- American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 5

After getting a full episode of the aftermath of Jeff's murder and Andrew's relationship with Jeff, it was interesting to see how different Jeff and David were towards Andrew.

Save for a few scenes showing how Andrew and Jeff first met, we only see Jeff's hostility and anger, whereas David is empathetic and concerned.

And quite honestly Jeff has every right to be upset with Andrew. Andrew's postcard fiasco was very hurtful to Jeff. As his sister explains, Andrew's trying to "out" Jeff was extremely threatening.  

A Toast- American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 5

Digging further into Jeff's past reveals a man that seems to be almost ashamed of who he is. He's a man that can acknowledge that stepping in to save a man from being beaten to death for being gay was a heroic moment and one to be proud of, yet he regrets his actions every single day.

Why? Because of what it did to his career. What it did to his life.

For a man that was defined by his job and his title, not having that any longer was a huge burden on Jeff's shoulders. He carried that burden with him to his death.

Siblings Talk- American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 5

While this remains a story much more about Andrew Cunanan than Gianni Versace, the eponymous designer does make an appearance this week. Gianni is ready to come out publicly as a gay man, but he receives pushback from Donatella.

I hadn't seen the Versaces in a long time, and to be honest, the storyline wasn't missed. I don't like saying that, but it's been fascinating to get these glimpses into the lives and situations of Andrew's other victims. The other people whose deaths weren't front page news and water cooler fodder.

I don't think the irony of Gianni's freeing interview opposite Jeff's darkened interview was lost on anyone. Though a bit heavy handed, we saw the lesson before us.

While Gianni was at the top of his game and feeling lucky to be alive, he wanted to be true to himself, to Antonio and his fans by admitting to everyone who he really was. And because of his stature in society, he could do so on a public platform.

On the other hand, at a time when the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was in full effect, Jeff conducted his interview shrouded in darkness as he feared for his job, his security and even his life.

Gianni Pondering- American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 5

They were two very different men sharing their stories of what it means to be a gay man at that point, under vastly different circumstances.

If this were a different show, I would have liked to delve even further into this. But this isn't that show. Instead, we jump pretty quickly away from the interviews and back into Jeff and his final moments.

No one wants your love!

Jeff [to Andrew]

Seeing the moments leading up to Jeff's murder from Andrew's perspective doesn't do much but add a greater sense of dread.

Andrew was an unstable man who came to Minneapolis looking for one thing and suddenly realized that he wasn't going to get it. And unfortunately, Jeff Trail and David Madson were casualties of internal war.

What did you guys think about "Don't Ask Don't Tell"? Where do you think the series will head from here? Were you glad to see the Versace family back?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! And as always watch American Crime Story: Versace online via TV Fanatic anytime!

Don't Ask Don't Tell Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
  • 4.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (33 Votes)

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

Show Comments
Tags: ,

American Crime Story: Versace Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Antonio: I know my place. Unlike you.
Donatella: What is my place?

Jeff: He's got no one. He's got nothing. Everything he's told you about his life is a lie. You know that, right?
David: Do you even like him?