If there were ever a date to air this week’s ‘The People V. O.J. Simpson,’ it was on International Women’s Day. ‘American Crime Story’ was beyond timely on March 8.
Even if you’ve never watch The People V. O.J. Simpson, you could have started on this episode, which took a deep dive into Marcia Clark (played by Sarah Paulson) — the challenges she faced as working mother, and as a new public figure — something she wasn’t ready for, and never asked for. We learned right away that Marcia was in the middle of a custody battle with her ex husband — she worked too much for his liking.
From one court case to another, Marcia had a tough time balancing, and arriving on time to Ito’s courtroom, since she was also going through a divorce and refused to lose her kids. However, when she did arrive late, it wasn’t a secret that Johnnie Cochran was ready to take advantage of that in any way possibly. But first, the case.
We saw Nicole’s sister Denise (Jordana Brewster) testy, crying on the stand about the way O.J. had treated her over the years. As a side note, that was the exact words used by Denise in the case. However, the defense had a clear plan: start by making the jury “think these cops lie about little things,” as Johnnie put it, which would lead to the big things.
Multiple cops went to O.J.’s house to alert him on the night of the murder — something that’s not common, since he wasn’t yet a suspect, but instead the ex-husband; of course, this was a small point, but planted the seed in the jury’s minds. It grew when Det. Lange took the stand; Cochran brought up the fact that he could not book a piece of evidence — O.J.’s shoes — the night of the murder; so he brought them home with him. Cochran, a friend of Lange’s, then asked where he lived, even though he knew the answer: Simi Valley, which is where the officers involved in the Rodney King case, also lived. Naturally, Cochran announced that. Rob Shapiro (played by John Travolta) then followed up the question by asking if he had ever, in his entire career, taken evidence home with him and and waited until the next day to book it. His answer was no.
The day before Mark Fuhrman was set to take the stand, Marcia was ready — so ready she even let her self take a little break and enjoy a five minute of downtime with Chris Darden (the amazing Sterling K. Brown). However, it wasn’t time for Fuhrman anyway — Johnnie decided to spring the housekeeper’s testimony on the case because she had to leave the country. But that meant the case would run late — something Marcia could not do because she had to watch her kids. So it was pushed tot he following day. However, to research and prep, her boss had her stay at the office anyway, so she did and had her ex go watch the kids.
The next day in court, she stood up to Johnnie for belittling her as a working mother — and it came out as a win. That was until her ex husband held a press conference and revealed that she lied about having to go home to her kids and ended up working home.
What could she do? Well, she tried a hair change, like suggested: something softer. Immediately, she was mocked by everyone (but Chris), and landed on the front page of every paper. We all know that if a man got a haircut, no one would even notice. With that, she was shaken upon questioning Mark Fuhrman, but stayed strong. So, F. Lee Bailey prepared to ask the question that there was no right answer to: has he ever used the “n word” in the past 10 years? If he said no, the jury would know he was lying. If he said yes, it was worse. Well, he said no.
During recess that day, Marcia was shown the issue of National Inquirer that showed her naked on the beach — the photo that was submitted by her ex husband before Gordon. The court was then recessed until to the next morning after Ito saw how visibly upset she was. “I’m not a public personality, this is not what I do,” Marcia said through tears, sitting on her office floor. Luckily, she had Chris by her side.