In which Rayna is able to sign a functional new client so her business can thrive, Maddie cares about Daphne’s well-being, and Nashville the city is shot with loving tenderness. APRIL FOOLS, obviously. None of that is true.
Fug File: Fug The Show
Alicia finally utters the D word to Peter and no, it’s not “douchebag,” although I would have accepted that one as well.
Nobody reads anything this week. Well, except for Avery, who reads the riot act to Juliette’s therapist. If the Emmys weren’t such snobs about this show, Jonathan Jackson and Hayden Panettiere would both be multiple nominees (though sadly Juliette isn’t back yet — reports from the set have her coming back in episode 14).
FIRST! If you missed it, we interviewed Jeffrey Mossa and Amber Haley, the production designer and set decorator, respectively, of this fine program, about all kinds of things — how they got the courtroom sets so perfect, the lengths they went to to recreate Johnnie’s office, how they got the Heisman, and more. Don’t miss it! They’re both incredibly talented, and it was a fascinating look into a very interesting job.
On to the episode! This was, as usual, quite interesting –although for me, I think it was my least favorite of the season, simply because, while I was interested in the juror experience, I missed the time we lost with the legal teams. Here’s what basically happened:
1) Being on a sequestered jury for months on end looks like it sucks. (I have been on a jury, but we were not sequestered. It was the summer before I went to college, so the summer before this trial. No wonder I was so into this. I was still high on the thrill of having done my civic duty and also getting to spend part of the summer in the nice A/C of the courthouse.) This week, the jury is LOSING THEIR MINDS, and rightly; this case still holds the record for being the longest sequestered jury in California history (second place goes to Charles Manson’s jury). No TV, no magazines that haven’t been approved (and had big pieces of them chopped out), having to sit around with these people with whom you have potentially nothing in common, and not actually being allowed to socialize with them much even if you wanted to.
2) If you enjoy episodes of Marcia and Johnnie shooting each other “HOW DO YOU LIKE THIS LEGAL MANEUVERING????” eyebrow raises, this was your night — because they basically got into a tit-for-tat of having jurors dismissed to try and achieve a jury that would give them the best chance of the outcome for which they were hoping. A few jurors were dismissed because they lied about domestic violence incidents in their pasts. One was dismissed because his notebook had notes on the other jurors (presumably for a book). One was dismissed because they got a call that she was trying to shop a book — the Vanity Fair piece to which I link below gets into this, but this seems to have been untrue (that she was shopping it; she really was dismissed). Clearly neither Judge Ito nor Marcia knew anything about pitching your books to agents because I can’t figure out how any agent would have known for sure that this person was “an older white woman,” and this question is never asked. The author is in sequester, so she can’t have visited said agents. It’s 1994 so there is no Skype. How would she even BE shopping a book, given that she’s not allowed to talk to people who aren’t on an approved list? Did she include a photo when she sent off pages? That seems unlikely. I suppose the pitch could have said, “Hello, I’m an older white woman on the OJ jury,” but if she went that far, why not just give them her name? There are like two older white women on the jury; you are not really concealing your identity. In real life, the tip MUST have had her name in it. (This is the first thing that’s happened on this show that hasn’t totally hung together, and I suspect it’s because the bit where this part was explained was too boring and clunky, and we don’t know the jurors’ names, so they can’t just use it.) Someone gets dismissed because they found a photo of him shaking hands with OJ. Then a juror goes nuts and makes a run for it, which also did really happen. (She got ostracized by the jury pool after she got their bailiffs swapped out — she told Judge Ito that the previous one was giving preferential treatment to white jurors — and the new dude was super mean, but she was about to lose it before any of that even happened.) This brought us the supremely comforting line, from Ito, “now, now, Juror 452.” Gee, I can’t imagine why that wasn’t effective.
3) Robert Kardashian is the only person in the courtroom playing attention to the DNA evidence and now he is convinced that OJ did it and BOY does he feel really really really UPSET about this whole turn of events. AS ONE WOULD. Speaking of the evidence, I remember seeing some of this testimony and YES, Fung’s testimony was that boring — “I wonder what Erica Kane is doing,” I thought, while it was happening — and Barry Scheck WAS that intense and totally demolished him. And Fung actually did go shake hands with everyone after his testimony, I think I speak for Marcia Clark when I say: WTF, dude?!
4) Another shout-out to the music supervisors on this show. I probably haven’t heard Folk Implosion’s “Natural One” — to which Marcia has a brief, private hissy-fit in her office — since 1995. (It is on the Kids soundtrack. That’s the only movie I’ve ever walked out of. I saw it at a screening at UCLA, and I left because I got so irritated that Larry Clark thought his leading actor was hot enough to pull that much lady tail, no matter how naive those girls were supposed to be. Listen, if your plot hinges on this kid calling himself “the virgin surgeon,” and banging tons and tons of chicks, said kid should be smoking hot, charismatic, and, as I said to my boyfriend at the time, “IDEALLY WOULD NOT HAVE A LISP!” I have always had a lot of opinions.)
Let’s discuss! Also, this week, I strongly recommend Vanity Fair‘s fact-checking piece, which really gets into what it’s like to be on a sequestered jury.
AND, WE’RE OFF.
In the first episode back from a very long hiatus (STAY WELL HAYDEN), Emily reminds us all that she’s a woman of peerless taste and intellectual appetites by reading a copy of a particular best-selling novel which I hold dear. Also some people got married, I guess?
If I were a betting women, I would have wagered on this episode being titled THE GLOVE. As ever, this show is fascinating and brilliant, and — also as always! — I invite you to read Vulture’s excellent fact-check of this episode. (Unsurprisingly, they note that the scene in which Bob Shapiro has the brainwave to try on evidence that’s just sitting out in the courtroom is unlikely to have happened.)
Things I found particularly compelling this week include the following:
a) What did YOU think were the chances of yelling, “OH MY GOD KISS HER! KISSSSS HER!!!!” at the TV screen when you read that they were making this mini-series? Because I would have thought they were nil, and yet. The scene where Marcia Clark is virtually eye-banging Chris Darden outside her hotel room and he doesn’t go for it nearly killed me dead. Never have I wanted two characters based on real-life Los Angeles district attorneys to bang as much as I wanted these two to go for it. Both actors handled that scene so beautifully (as usual): Sarah Paulson’s Marcia Clark was perfectly deflated (and then hurt/pissed/all business at him later; I had to wonder about that car ride back from Oakland because you know it was awkward), and Sterling K. Brown AKA THE MAN I LOVE THE MOST IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW was so hopeful and then so frustrated with himself the instant her door closed on him. ARGH. YOU GUYS. THE SEXUAL TENSION. I CANNOT.
b) Speaking of Chris Darden. Oh, Chris. Chris, Chris, Chris. The show makes it quite clear that Marcia DOES NOT want OJ to try on The Glove. They’ve got nearly incontrovertible proof that the gloves found on the scene belonged to OJ, and there are too many places for that kind of grandstanding to go wrong. She simply will not sign off on it. But Chris wants a big moment to convince the jury — which seems bored — and OJ’s defense team totally manipulates him into doing exactly what he wants to do anyway, knowing that it’s going to hoist him rather than them on this particular accessory-petard, all in court where Marcia is powerless to stop anything. In addition to that fascinating mental game-play, I also thought it was interesting to see that Bob Shapiro basically pulled his own ass out of the fire by coming up with the whole Glove Thing, after a several episodes of being sidelined in favor of Johnnie, and consistently arguing that they need to make a plea. We’ll get more into The Glove Moment in the slideshow, of course, but, you know, here it is: THE defining moment of this trial. (As an aside, all the non-speaking actors did a great job in the moment where the gloves don’t fit: Robert Morse, of course, always brings it, but even the dudes who played the bailiffs had this wonderful moment where they exchange this, “awwww, shit, that didn’t go well” look.)
c) I was happy to see a bit of a return to Bobby Kardashian here — as well as the return of AC Cowlings; there was something very nostalgic, in a highly disturbing way, to see Ross Geller and Theo Huxtable hanging out, talking about murder. Kardashian OBVIOUSLY thinks OJ is guilty, and seeing everyone’s reaction to that — ranging from “You really really need to shut up now” to “well, if you really think so, then aren’t you also probably, possibly, guilty as an accessory after the fact???”– is a good way to get a read on where the rest of the defense team is, emotionally.
There’s a lot more to talk about — fax machines! Marcia Clark’s adroitness at explaining her case using shot glasses! — so let’s get into it.