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.