TV Reviews

American Crime Story Season 2 Episode 7: Ascent Review

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

Synopsis: Andrew Cunanan leaves behind a troubled family life; Donatella struggles to find her role within the Versace empire. (IMDB)

Writer: Tom Rob Smith

Director: Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 42mins

We’re going backwards once again as this episode, like the others before it, continues to retrace the steps of the episode that came before it. The backstory was interesting at first but the redundancy is getting old. Most of the episodes have focused on Cunanan and were mostly compelling to watch, however, the way the season tries to make something out of nothing with him has become tiresome.

There actually was a decent amount of Versace in this episode as it started off with Donatella sketching some designs and getting into an argument with Gianni. This episode for her was about finding her place. Gianni was sick so he wanted her to be prepared if their company was to become hers. The two worked on a dress together that they showed off at a Vogue party with great success. Donatella reveled in the publicity they got, positive and negative. She suggested they make a simpler version of the dress for normal customers.

The pressure of success made Gianni get emotional and the fact that he was losing his hearing made it worse. Donatella informed their staff that Gianni was suffering from ear cancer and that she would be taking care of day-to-day operations of the company while he recovered. She motivated them to work even harder with him gone.

Cunanan worked at a drugstore where he was constantly late. His manager suggested he should have a plan. He enjoyed the finer things at a young age so he was upset when his mother bought cheaper ice cream. Then it was time for him to hit the town. He attended a gay bar with Trail. His mother wondered where he had been until the conversation became about his dreams and how she would be a part of them. Cunanan visited an escort agency and convinced them to hire him.

Cunanan took his talents to an upscale party where he met Norman and his friends. He charmed them enough to convince one of them, a man named Lincoln, to give him an expense account and let him stay with them in exchange for whatever they wanted from him. At a dinner with friends, he noticed Madson eating at a bar by himself so he called him over to join them. He then took Madson to his hotel room where they immediately hit it off. Afterwards, Madson told Cunanan a story about a girl that he was friends with until he told her that he was gay. Lincoln did not appreciate what he was doing with his money.

At a gay bar, Lincoln met a straight man who he took home with him. As Cunanan was walking in, Lincoln tried to kiss the straight man which made him angry enough to beat his face in with a trophy of some sort. After talking with Norman, he convinced him to move to San Diego where he would help design a home for them to live in. He then told Norman the same story Madson had told him.

Cunanan lied to his mother about where he was going but she wanted to go with him. He had promised she’d go with him. She was so desperate that when she tried to help, he pushed her off and broke her shoulder. At the doctor, his mother lied and said it was an accident.

Finally, from the terrace of Norman’s new home, Cunanan taunted those who doubted him.

Overall, this was a decent episode where the same complaints from the previous episodes remain. It may be okay but it’s getting old. The past has become tiresome so hopefully they will focus on the future, now with 2 episodes left this season.

Score: 7/10

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