American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson 1.07: “Conspiracy Theories” Episode Review

What do OJ and the Donald Trump have in common (other than Trump being as orange as actual OJ)?

Well, we are looking at people whose own fan base care about what? Their own issues, that’s what. The Donald gets away with outright, non-filtered verbal diarrhea—and the Juice? Well come on…he got away with murder and his fans said it was OK.

Back then, we had just seen the cops in the Rodney King trial get away with busting up a black guy for no real reason. So, if Simpson slipped through the cracks of justice—well, maybe the media just needs to get the hell out of our justice system.  Maybe we need to keep cameras out of the courtrooms and tabloids out of the facts in any way.

Back to Trump.

If it wasn’t for reality TV, would this Oompa Loompa of newly minted right-wing politics be in first place amongst the elephants? We live in the world of media and spin.

Think this through: If it weren’t for spectacles like the OJ trial, do you think that Trump would ever have a platform? It was during the OJ fiasco that we realized that gaudy, in-your-face tactics made for compelling TV, and more importantly, influence.  

As we open this week’s episode of American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, we have Marcia Clark’s boss—lawyer Gil Garcetti (Bruce Greenwood), who we haven’t really gotten into, mostly because he is REALLY boring—giving crap to defense lawyer Rob Shapiro (played by the cosmetic surgery effigy piñata of John Travolta), and it is kind of whatevs. Greenwood has been background noise the whole show so far.

Garecetti goes on to compliment Marcia Clark (my crush Sarah Paulson) on her newly straightened hair. Clark replies, “Please don’t ever mention my hair again…ever.” She looks HIIIIIZZZZOT with the new soft, straight, cougar-coiffed bob.

We cut to Johnny Cochran (Courtney B. Vance) playing preacher man with police Detective Tom Lange (Chris Bauer who was amazing in The Wire and True Blood) on the stand, regarding the LAPD’s supposed incompetent handling of the evidence in the case. Cochran gets a fax from his defense team member Alan Dershowitz (played by Evan Handler—the bald guy from both Sex and the City AND Californication) in court that says, “Columbian Necktie.”

Cochran asks if Detective Lange knows what a Columbian Necktie is—graphically describing it as stylized decapitation, delivered by brutal drug dealers to their unruly cohorts. In other words—was it Tony Montana that killed Nicole? Not OJ? Let’s say it was drug dealers! It is LA, no?

Roll Credits.

We regroup in Clark’s office with her sucking down a fat-ass ciggy, giving shade to Detective Lange. He swears that he had no clue what a Columbian Necktie was OR that Simpson’s family “friend” (and horrible vulture, drug fiend, and media whore publishing her own book at the time) Faye Resnick (Connie Britton) was in debt to who the hell knows how many dealers, all distributing out of Mezzaluna Trattoria, where the second victim, Ron Goldman, used to work.

At this point, I am thinking this poor sap was just making a delivery when AGGGHHH stabbing!

Chris Darden finally shows some balls, gets up on a soapbox, and asks his team to let the evidence make the case vs. the “razzle dazzle” of the defense. Clark replies that she likes his tirade and sexily puffs on what looks like a Marlboro or a Lucky Strike—giving Darden the sexy look as well.

We then get a great scene of Cochran losing his cool while his ex goes on TV to expose his past as being a “lil’ hands-y” with his lady partners. He is visibly shaken. 

And then we get to the gloves.

Isotoner, Model # 70263.

Apparently, Nicole walked into Bloomingdales and bought not one, but two pairs of the found gloves. For who? Well, freaking OJ, of course. The prosecution has a little party about this.

Then, we go back to court (snoooooorrrrrrrrrrreeeee), reporters swamping Cochran, who deflects his issues by invoking the murder victims. What a DOUCHE!  

Right after this, Darden asks Clark to go to a party in Oakland with his buddies. Have I mentioned exactly how much I lust after Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark? Have I also mentioned how much I get irritated by Darden’s advances on Marcia, knowing they will, in fact, hook up? Grrrrrrrrr.

Rob Kardashian and Theo Huxtable (Malcolm-Jamal Warner playing OJ’s buddy AJ) fiddle with some Louis Vuitton bag that may have who the hell knows what in it. They are worried about a murder weapon, but all they find is laundry.

AJ is happy about the fact that they find nothing incriminating, but Kardashian is starting to have doubts. He starts to lose it over the fact that…umm…well…OJ looks seriously guilty to anyone with a half a clue.

Next scene, we join Travolta in a room with OJ. Simpson, who doesn’t request Shapiro felate him this time. Cuba Gooding Jr. does a great job at playing a man in crisis, but I’m sorry, I still can’t see him as OJ. Not big enough. Not enough bass in his voice. But in this scene, OJ gives Bob Shapiro grief about undermining Cochran, accusing him of “crossing the quarterback,” and he does a great job at sounding dead sinister.

The next scene is Darden and Clark at a house party full of Boho-chic types dancing to soul. I didn’t even have to call it out to know that SOMEONE at the party was going to call them on their case.

A party guest pulls out “the cops framed [OJ’s] ass anyway,” to which Clark inquires why he thinks so. The glove MUST have been planted right? Corrupt cops? Conspiracy? Clark pulls out an argument that is NIGH INDISPUTABLE, but…well….you know. Eye rolls and lady lawyers in the dark ages. 

Clark outlines the case, and a party guest says, “You should go work for Johnny.” Then, Marcia buys everyone a round.


Darden and Clark are then drunk in a hallway, groping each other like teenagers. There is a long pause before Clark heads in to her suite.

“This is me,” she says to Darden at her room, as they awkwardly googly-eye one another. They move in for the snog and then…

“Goodnight,” from Darden.


Back from commercial, and our little lawyers are looking for OJ to put on the gloves. Darden is pushing the idea, while Clark is like—umm, WHY? We GOT the case. Why would we go there?

In the evidence area, Shapiro takes a second to try on the glove during a break, with some difficulty. He shares that maybe something other than a conspiracy theory about cops railroading OJ may help the case. The glove didn’t fit Shapiro—chances are OJ’s hands are larger.

F. Lee Baily (Nathan Lane) then somehow finagles a situation where he is plotting for the prosecution to somehow get OJ to put on the gloves, but by letting the prosecution do it for them. He tells Darden his balls are that of a “field mouse,” if he doesn’t ask OJ to try the gloves. Cochran goes further, gas-lighting Darden, saying that there is no way he should bring a demonstration of the gloves found as evidence, during a quiet chat between him, Darden, and Judge Ito.

Clark looses her shizzle, probs knowing this is a set up, when Darden, after being told not to go for a fitting, asks OJ to put on the gloves.

The jury gasps.

And, of course Cochran has no objection…

Do I really have to tell you what happens next? 


Spyridon P. Panousopoulos spends his time whittling sharp sticks out of blunt ones. He has written for Flavorwire.comThe NY Press, and Gen Art in the past. He has 3 cats that all hate him. Follow him @TheRevSpyro.

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