We start off at a club. It's smart to remind us of the privilege and wealth O.J. was used to, only to put that next to a scene of O.J. in prison, far from an L.A. club. And sorry, Schwimmer, you've done a great job the past few episodes but the hair and the outfit are too much. It's a strong flashback to College!Ross.
And we have the whole Dream Team together for the first time. The 'optics' (Johnnie's mostly black team on one side, Shapiro's mostly white on the other) indicate this is not going to be a smooth operation.
Four episodes in, shit gets real with our first time in the courtroom and introduction of Ito. We are in for a bumpy ride as Cochran argues over the number of hairs the team will get for testing. The defense's 'push back on everything' is serious business. Basically, they're modern-day Republicans.
Cochran sits down face to face with O.J. for the first time and it's a great scene between Vance and Gooding. The scene also reminds the audience of the power and importance of O.J.'s fame, even if the only O.J. they're familiar with is the murder suspect. And then we have O.J.'s plea: 100% not guilty. Hey, that's the name of the episode! More trouble on The Dream Team while Shapiro is ready to cut a deal and Bailey whines about money (Shapiro assures him that he can use his fame later for $$$).
GFY's love for Connie Britton is totally earned. She's the perfect amount of sleaze, willing to sell out her friend so quickly, but she doesn't want to be exploitative. And now we all know what a 'Brentwood hello' is. Thanks Faye!
The D.A.'s cockiness only increases as they discover that AC's girlfriend claims he and Simpson were planning on heading to Mexico, then the Bahamas. We have a brief scene with the Goldman's. It's one scene out of 10 hours, plus a few cuts to in the trial. Which is about right for someone who has become a footnote to his own death. Marcia insists that 'we'll get him,' which is the more frustrating to the viewer. No, Marcia, you really won't.
Marcia gets her first hint at what's to come, when jury research shows that people just don't like her. And there's some sexism thrown on top for good measure - smile more (talk less), wear more skirts. Poor Marcia. Unfortunately, she doesn't listen. At least she has good booze options at her desk. All I know about jury selection I got from John Grisham but, basically, it's an extremely complex process and the impact it has on the case cannot be overstated.
Now that the Dream Team is assembled, we have our first scene with both teams of lawyers. And it's about the friggin' book. Way too much attention is given to what Marcia would call cash for trash. Kardashian provides some comedic relief as both teams review the book - 'Okay, that's true.'
Larry King shows up multiple times in this episode, first chatting with Connie, then Bailey, who claims Shapiro is in over his head. Then there's a great shot of Travolta, with his excellent eyebrow wigs and orange makeup, enraged, and the series' second, again well-used, 'fuck'.
- At GFY, Jessica waxes poetically about nineties' ties, Connie Britton, and bagels.
- From the Vanity Fair fact check: True. The only major deviation in this episode, besides general timeline, is replacing Shapiro with Cochran in the great hair debate (which really happened).