TV Recap: American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, ‘100% Not Guilty’

Written by Tommy Tracy

american-crime-story-people-simpson-poster

Full Spoilers Ahead.

So apparently my DVR failed to record the closing seconds of last week’s episode and I failed to hear the very rare use of the word “motherfucker” on live television. Pretty spectacular and, while not truly relevant to the episode as a whole, it shows that the FCC takes this show seriously enough to allow such a strong word on television.

Photo Credit: Byron Cohen/FX
Photo Credit: Byron Cohen/FX

But that was last week. We continue where we left off with “The Dream Team” building their defense for Simpson. We focus more on Cochran and his play against the LAPD and their anti-black motives, something that may not be as archaic as it seems. Dissension brews between Cochran and Robert Shapiro, both wanting to be in charge of the case. The difference is, Shapiro is an empty suit while Cochran intends to win the case, even if his methods are slightly irregular.

Race is a serious issue, no doubt about that and it is truly sensational seeing the emotion the prosecution and defense are evoking by carefully choosing a jury made up of men and women, both black and white. An internal struggle begins: Is it unethical to believe that a black jury is a bad idea because of their support of Simpson? This becomes more of a reality when a group of 20 (half white, half black) are split on a mock jury, when the decision of guilt is quite obvious. It’s pretty amazing to reflect on this; could Simpson really be convicted or set free based solely on his skin color?

THE PEOPLE v. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY "100% Not Guilty" Episode 104 (Airs Tuesday, February 23, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: (l-r) Nathan Lane as F. Lee Bailey, Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran, John Travolta as Robert Shapiro, Cuba Gooding, Jr. as O.J. Simpson, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FX
Photo Credit: FX/Ray Mickshaw

The lack of respect everyone has for Shapiro is evident here as well. He wants to cut a deal, to have Simpson admit he killed Nicole. This, of course, doesn’t fly and he is ever closer to being exiled or quitting. He isn’t looking out for his client, he believes Simpson is guilty and it causes mental and maritial problems. Shapiro comes off like a scumbag and even slips in another “fuck” on television. This word is adding to the situation. So simple.

The biggest letdown of this week’s episode includes Ron Goldman’s father. I have no idea what it’s like to lose someone to murder but the atrocious overacting this man brings to the scene is obscene and almost comical. It was hard to watch and the scene drags on far too long. Luckily it’s a small blip in an otherwise good episode that brings this whole ensemble together for high tension and intensity.

‘100% Not Guilty’ Final Grade: 8/10