TV Reviews

American Crime Story Season 2 Episode 3: A Random Killing Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Chicago real estate tycoon Lee Miglin is murdered in what police describe as a random killing. (IMDB)

Writer: Tom Rob Smith

Director: Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 42mins

Since the season started with the murder of Gianni Versace, the following episodes have retraced the steps leading up to that moment with last week’s episode featured Cunanan’s arrival to Miami and his subsequent preparation. This episode solely focused on Cunanan, going a little further back from that point as we witness him kill his third and fourth victims before Versace.

First, real estate tycoon Lee Miglin (Mike Farrell) was a seemingly lonely and confused man who was murdered by Cunanan, an escort he hired once his wife Marilyn (Judith Light) was out of town. It appeared that the two had a prior relationship which Cunanan used to his advantage. He charmed Miglin as he has others until Miglin was murdered and then humiliated. From there, the focus shifted to who cared more about her image than her husband’s death. The episode started with Marilyn coming home from a business trip to the destruction in her home. She didn’t see the body at first, however, she knew what happened.

Marilyn was adamant that it was a robbery and Lee’s murder was a random killing (hence the episode title) and tried to peddle that narrative despite the evidence indicating otherwise. It appeared that she may have known the truth about who her husband really was so she didn’t want that information to come out. The police and the FBI found a way to track Cunanan through the car phone in Lee’s car that he stole. Meanwhile, Cunanan headed to New York to stop at a Versace store. Perhaps trying to shift the focus away, information about the car phone was leaked to the media with Cunanan destroying the phone and antenna after hearing about it on the radio.

Knowing that he could be tracked, Cunanan needed to find another vehicle. This was how he met his fourth victim. At least it didn’t look that way at first. He found a red truck (that we’ve seen him drive before) that he wanted and held its owner at gunpoint to get the keys. Cunanan didn’t want to kill him but talk about his family triggered something that forced Cunanan to shoot him in the head.

There may not have been too much going on here though what kept it compelling to watch were the performances from Criss and Light. Criss continues to impress in a departure for him as the charming and evil Cunanan, however, Light was simply amazing as Marilyn Miglin. She delivers an incredibly nuanced performance restrained with a subtle range of emotions both on the surface and underneath. It’s hard to tell where she really stood as she conveyed all those emotions through her strong facial expressions. She was definitely the highlight of the episode, stealing scenes throughout. Starting at the end was a risky choice but has payed off so far. It will be interesting to see how the season continues to fill the gaps with Cunanan before the Versace murder and returns to the aftermath.

Score: 8.5/10

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