And now we have my least favorite episode of the series: Jury in Jail. To be honest, I think jury selection's importance cannot be overstated and John Grisham has seriously made a career out of dramatizing it. Really - his books are incredibly entertaining given the subject matter. But, in this case, the story itself and the lawyers involved are way more interesting and this episode just detracted from that. Though it is probably necessary to understand the mindset of the people who decided O.J. Simpson was not guilty. I'm conflicted, basically.
We're 8 months into the trial. Eight months without television, magazines, or booze. With strangers. I'm sure at this point these people hate each other.
Then we jump back to the beginning, when the jurors first show up at the hotel. They're excited at the prospect of free room and board, a break from their real lives. Then reality kicks in as they discover they aren't allowed magazines, that the pool is off limits. I imagine the internet makes it harder for cops to control this, right? Also, if I was on a jury like that, I would get so much reading done! And maybe lose my job - how does that work? These people were sequestered for a year and a half!
Back to the main story - following the glove debacle of the previous episode, the Dream Team celebrates as Shapiro finally demonstrates his worth. DNA might be magic but everyone understands a glove fitting (or not fitting). Also the nicknames of the jurors are excellent.
And then back to the jurors, who are arguing over the television. This argument also comes down to race as the black jurors want to watch one program, the white jurors another. Couldn't we watch both an episode of Martin and an episode of Seinfield? They're both thirty minutes! Also, the show gradually shows the relationship that develops among the jurors and the cops, leading to the drama when the cops are 'rotated out.' Which happens when everyone forgets these are people we're talking about, not numbers.
It's accuracy is questionable, but the show features O.J. in a series of poker games with his friends. As the below Vanity Fair link points out, this allows us to watch as O.J.'s friends peter away but also demonstrates O.J.'s advanced bluffing skills. And a chance to show Robert Kardashian's Meryl Streep levels of doubt. He's the one to watch during the DNA trial. While the jurors might have said 'fuck it,' Rob doesn't. He's listening and realizing his friend probably killed his other friend. The show does a great job of making Robert the view of the audience. He's the one impartial member of the Dream Team. While Cochran wants to make his big, grand statement and Shapiro just wants to win, Kardashian is the only one in for the people involved. As evidence mounts against O.J. but the prosecution makes blunders, everyone is ecstatic, except Kardashian, who seems to be taking it in and really not liking what he is discovering. One of the final scenes of the episode is him with Kris, picking up his kids. Robert admits his new greatest fear - we might get him off - and she offers a weak 'congrats.' Very honest and humbling, human. Kris suggests he leave and he says that he can't, he can't be the reason he's convicted. His plan is to just stick it out, then O.J. is out of their lives forever. It's a great, humanizing moment for both Rob and Kris. This might be the first time I've ever been remotely sympathetic to Kris Jenner.
The big trial moments, outside of the jury, are about DNA this week. And damn, it is some dry and boring stuff. The jurors are literally falling asleep and who can blame them. That being said, the evidence against Simpson is staggering. I sincerely can't believe they got a 'not guilty' out of this. But then Scheck destroys Fung, the DNA guy. It is honestly painful to watch. And then Fung shakes everyone's hands, including O.J.'s! WTF!?! I'm glad Marcia is equally shocked.
Throughout the episode, jurors get knocked off, for domestic violence history or interest in writing a book, mostly. The show does its first montage, of jurors getting called away, and its effective. Great musical choices, as usual. At one point, a juror literally makes a run for it. Apparently, per the VF link below, this happened!
Also in this episode: Marcia and Johnnie yelling at each other about juror selection. It's great - Paulson and Vance continue to be the best. At one point, Clark accuses Cochran of submitting a fake book proposal to get rid of a particularly worrisome juror. But then there's a moment of niceness, when Cochran brings her a cup of coffee. But maybe I'm being cynical when I wonder what was his purpose there? What was he trying to accomplish with that cup of coffee? The Cochran the show has shown would do nothing without purpose, whether it's a comment to a colleague or some chitchat with a witness. Also in this episode, Marcia's freak out moment, following Fung's testimony. You go girl, basically. And Bailey brings up the definition of rape. To which Marcia responds: you just said that, out loud. Again, you go girl. And fuck you, Bailey.
One more line of story from this episode: O.J. wants to testify, so they do a 'mock testimony' and it goes terribly, of course. GFY mentions Game Change and the debate practices here, which is what it made me think of as well. Also, I totally believe VF's assertion that no one wanted O.J. to testify, ever.
Finally, Marcia's wardrobe dramatically improved this week. I guess Gil's help finally showed up?
We end with the Fuhrman tapes. Shit is about to get real, y'all.
Over at GFY, Jessica questions how exactly that old lady got that book deal and also pontificates on the feelings of one Robert Kardashian.
Vanity Fair takes fact-checking duty. That one juror really did go nuts and make a run for it. Gil was nicer to Darden and Clark. Scheck really did take out Fung, though over two weeks instead of a few minutes. And no one wanted O.J. to take the stand.