Airtime: Tuesdays at 10PM on FX
Episode: Season 1, Episode 7 (S01E07)
Tweetable Takeaway: #PeopleVOJ centers on another iconic trial moment: The Glove
When AMERICAN CRIME STORY first began I would say that there were three iconic moments from the O. J. Simpson trial that I remember as a kid when it was actually happening before our eyes. One was the White Bronco car chase. The other was exactly where I was when the verdict was read live over the airwaves. The third was the gloves… O. J. trying on the gloves.
Just like episode two will be recalled as the White Bronco chase episode, the seventh episode, “Conspiracy Theories,” will be remembered as the episode with The Gloves.
Despite this central story point, the episode seemed less focused than the two powerhouse previous ones. Last week belonged to Sara Paulson’s Marcia Clark. This episode did not have one central protagonist, but did give us moments to root for different characters spread across the hour of television.
It began with John Travolta’s Robert Shapiro being confronted for being part of the team that is leading the entire city of Los Angeles back towards the deadly riots, only a few years past the time of these events. We have seen in prior episodes that Shapiro has serious qualms with the way Johnny Cochran is framing this case with The Race Card. Hell, it even seemed like he had a conscious about it, but admittedly he may be more concerned with his own reputation and legacy than the destruction of the city. So when he walked into court with a pin showing solidarity with the LAPD, I cheered a little to myself. Finally a voice to not just speak up but act against Johnny Cochran, who, if other viewers are anything like me, has just become detestable in the last few episodes. Especially as we find out that he previously was abusive towards his ex-wife. He may be a changed man, but is he REALLY that changed when he defends another man who was abusive, possibly murderous, towards his wife?
O. J. has words with Shapiro about the solidarity pin and they are not nice, screaming about going against the quarterback and giving up in the third quarter. (Anyone else kind of getting sick of Juice’s football analogies? We get it, writers, FOOTBALL STAR). The rest of the defense team is angry with Shapiro as well. He’s got to redeem himself.
That’s where the gloves come in.
The gloves found at the scene of the crime with O. J.’s DNA are in the court room, and during a short recess, Shapiro tries them on. They don’t fit, and O. J.’s hands are bigger than his. This was supposed to be the prosecution’s homerun–they found credit card records of Nicole purchasing these gloves, of which only a select few were made. It was Darden’s idea to make O. J. try on the gloves. He wanted a big narrative win for their side, something that will make the jurors sit up and pay attention to THEM for once. Clark disagrees, saying it’s too risky. He should have listened. Famously, O. J. tries on the gloves and they do not fit. They’ve lost their big win.
In other losses, the subplot in which Darden and Clark are starting to catch feelings for one another was furthered when Marcia accompanies him up north for a friend’s bday. They have a grand time, drinking, laughing, and blowing off steam about the case. But Darden can’t sum up the courage to kiss her at the end of the night, which Marcia is passive aggressive about for the rest of the episode. My girlfriend who watches with me thinks this whole Darden/Clark romance story is extraneous. I’m almost ashamed to admit I’m kinda charmed (a testament to the actors) and think it adds a little something to the show, even if it is unnecessary.
I also found myself rooting for Rob Kardashian this week when he starts to question his friend O. J.’s innocence. Who else would have done it? Why are there no other suspects? It’s obviously not sitting right with him and you want to shake him, he’s so close to verbalizing all that you’re thinking. You can only deny facts and evidence for so long, no matter how emotionally tied you are to something. In one scene, Kardashian inspects a garment bag O. J. had given him, in fear that he had actually inadvertently hidden evidence for him. Alas, there were only clothes. I don’t think it happens, but I would love Kardashian’s character to end on a positive note, admitting O. J. is probably guilty and maybe even saying it to him, so he can have some sort of redemption apart from the other defense team evil masterminds. This is probably because David Schwimmer is so likeable as Kardashian, and sympathetic with those puppy dog eyes–you always feel bad for him.
Only three episodes left. We shall see.
Paul co-created and writes for SHOWoff, a game that lets players predict what happens next on their favorite TV shows, earn points for what they get right, and see where they stack up against friends and the world (free in the iOS App store). Check out the SHOWoff app at playSHOWoff.com
Paul Gulyas | Contributor