The People v. O.J. Simpson: ACS S1:E5 The Race Card Recap

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It's 1982 in this flashback of The People v. O.J. Simpson, and Johnnie Cochran is driving through a posh white neighborhood, on his way to dinner with his two daughters. An officer pulls him over for failure to put on his turn signal, and he calmly tries to offer his license and registration. When the officer keeps questioning him and then has the nerve to question his young girls, Cochran loses it.


The cop handcuffs him and he warns him him better check who he is or he'll regret it. He runs a check and releases him, telling the assistant DA to have a good night with no apology at all.

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Back up to speed in 1995, Cochran is being prayed over in his church by his pastor. "Great, now Jesus is on their side too," Clark comments while watching a scene of it on TV. Cochran tells the reporter that it's obvious Darden is being used on the defense team because he's black and Darden looks stricken at the remark.

The DA's office discusses points of how O.J. is an abuser, there's so much physical evidence, they have witnesses, while the defense talks about how there's blood where there shouldn't be, and that Fuhrman and the dog are jokes.

Darden goes to see Fuhrman, and he interviews him about how he will be on the stand. He informs him that the defense is going to claim he's a racist. He says, oh that's not true, I work with black cops all the time! They're my good buddies!

Darden tells Clark he doesn't feel good about Fuhrman, he's not right. He feels it in his bones. Maybe he shouldn't go on the stand after all. Clark is adamant that he should go up. Darden should just make sure he seems likable up there.

Judge Ito tells Dominick Dunn that he has a permanent seat next to the Goldmans up front during the trial. He says he'll understand the situation because of his daughter's murder. Dunn says he hopes this trial goes better than his daughter's killers did. Ito then proceeds to proudly show Dunn a signed photo of Arsenio Hall. Not inappropriate and gross at all, Ito.

Pre-trial motions and Darden tells Cochran what he said about him was a cheap shot and he hopes they can be respectful of each other from now on. They're equals. Cochran isn't having it. "I ain't trying to be respectful. I'm trying to win."

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Shapiro asks for all the charges of O.J.'s abuse be dropped since the case is a murder case, not domestic abuse. The prosecution says that's ridiculous, it pertains to Simpson's character and as to why he committed the murders. Darden tells the court that when Fuhrman is called up he has reason to believe that the defense will bring up his past to inflame the jurors and affect their ability to reason. So he asks the judge if he will not allow the "N" word to be used.

Cochran speaks and is horrified at what Darden has just said. He can't believe that he thinks that black people can't think for themselves and hear that word and all of the sudden not be able to handle it. He's deeply offended himself and for African Americans everywhere. It's completely uncalled for. He just tore him up and made the prosecution look so bad. Ouch.

At the office, Darden learns that he's being referred to as an "Uncle Tom." He wants to clear things up with the press, but Gil says no way, that's not what DAs do. Darden once again tells Clark they need to reconsider putting Fuhrman up. She won't do it. He shares with her that he feels like he did back in law school when he earned an Affirmitive Action scholarship with his good grades. He still felt like everyone was staring at him, thinking he took someone else's spot. Clark, his biggest supporter tells him he's there because he's great at what he does and they're going to win with his help.

Cochran and his wife are getting up to some business when he gets a call. 12 of his witnesses didn't get submitted into discovery. He's going to have to remove them. He's not going to do it. Fall on the sword, buddy.

Opening Statements:  Clark explains how O.J.'s public persona and his personal one is completely separate and different. She tells them the blood trail leads exactly to and from his and Nicole's house.

Cochran says there are witnesses that can exonerate O.J. He starts to name names and then Bill objects, saying they are not on the list at all! Ito excuses the jury and it's apparently just too much for Bill who faints out with an apparent heart attack..

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Clark tells Gil she thinks Darden is ready to take over for Bill as he's out for awhile while he recovers. She calls him up and asks him if he feels alright with him being co-prosecutor. He says he's glad to do it.

Dunne is at a swanky dinner party talking gossip and all the richy rich types want to know all the tea. He says O.J.'s girlfriend had left him the day of the murders, she was in a hotel with Michael Bolton. She then returned to him after the murders. But why did Nicole keep going back to him? Well, he had heard O.J. set her dad up with a Hertz dealership and she was only barely 18 when they got together. Tell us more! The jury AND O.J. will visit the crime scene and his house next week. How about that?!

Cochran looks at O.J.'s decorations in his house and decides it won't work. He changes everything out to make a super good impression on the jury. He says it's on loan for the "Cochran collection."

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Cochran tells O.J. that he needs to make a good impression at the crime scene and uh, don't be shocked when you see your house redecorated. Say what? He thinks his house is awesome as it is. Cochran tries to explain to him that he doesn't understand the people of the jury, they're trying to get to them.

Juror Crime Scene Visitation:  Nicole's house is totally bare and Clark is upset; it doesn't tell them about her, she was a mom, she had a family. O.J.'s house is a totally different story with the new African American decorations that Cochran thoughtfully switched up, and the sweet family pictures in warm frames. The jurors are thoroughly impressed. Clark is not. She bitches about how everything has been staged. O.J. sees Darden sitting on his bench and yells at him to get off. Cochran breaks it up and tells Darden he's been meaning to tell him something, "Whatever happens, don't do Fuhrman, make the white people do him."

Darden is on a rant on the phone to his dad about Cochran. Dad tells him to stand up for himself and that, "Maybe he's just trying to give you some good advice. Black man to black man."

Darden runs Fuhrman again, and he asks him if he's ever used the "N" word. He refuses to admit he has. He goes and tells Clark he will not put him on the stand. Clark finally says fine, she'll do it, his dislike for him will show anyway.

Annnd we have a closing shot of Fuhrman polishing his collection of Nazi medals.

  • I’m hearing a lot in the news about the positive portrayal of Marcia Clark, two great articles, Vanity Fair and Vogue (odd, right?), but I’ve been mostly surprised by how Johnny Cochran is shown. That was not at ALL the opinion that was prevailing after the trial