“You’re a fighter. You’re a runner. And when you get knocked down, I need you to pop right back up like you know you can and keep going because this right here, OJ Simpson, is the run of your life.” -Johnnie Cochran
It’s officially time for jury duty on American Crime Story, only this is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill case so I hope these jurors are ready to step away from their lives for a long ass time. 100% Not Guilty was one of the most interesting episodes yet from a series that is doing a phenomenal job of telling the very real story of OJ Simpson. This episode had a bit of everything including the introduction of Judge Lance Ito, OJ showing off his dance moves, Shapiro being cock blocked out of lead attorney, Faye Resnick giving us all a ‘Brentwood Hello’, and Chris Darden making his first appearance for the prosecution.
Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Paulson and Courtney Vance have been superb with their performances so far and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them in their roles as actual people. Yup, let’s try to remember that this all happened fo’ real and never forget the victims because a ton of people were devastated by these murders, including Ronald Goldman’s father. This was easily one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the series so far and a pleasant reminder that we should not forget the victims in all of this.
The other intriguing aspect of 100% Not Guilty was how Faye Resnick influenced the case. While we didn’t spend much time with her, we did learn that she published a book about Nicole (and OJ) that resulted in jury selection being postponed. I did not even realize this happened and I’m sure this is going to be the first of many surprises. I was 12 when this all went down and since 12-year old me was a real dumbass, I clearly don’t remember much from the case itself which is why I have been glued to the screen when ACS is on.
Now let’s all say hi to Judge Ito and enjoy the review, fellow crime enthusiasts!
Dance Mix ’94
Just like the opening of our episode, I’m going to start things off with some C+C Music Factory to jam out too. ’90s music was totally amazeballs:
Admit it, you totally danced out to the opening scene! Plus, this happened and I can’t stop laughing:
That’s right, OJ got in on the ’90s dancing action with his amazing crotch thrusting ability. EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!
But back to the more serious issue at hand, that obviously being the fact that OJ has been charged with double homicide and is now spending his days in a prison cell where the food is absolutely terrible.
He literally went from hero to zero. Meanwhile, OJ’s dream team of lawyers is having a meeting of minds and Shapiro immediately decides to make an ass out of himself by asking everyone if they think OJ did it.
#Awkward to the max! Luckily, everyone else decides to ignore Shapiro, just like us, and get to the matter at hand, that being OJ’s defense. But unfortunately, they all let Shapiro start talking again and he immediately thinks that the plan should be to challenge everything the state throws at them. This brings us to the preliminary hearing where Marcia and Cochran are about to go head-to-head in an epic trial by combat! Oh wait, wrong show. Regardless, these two are going to battle it out with their thinking caps and it’s going to be epic.
And this is where things start to get interesting as fuck. First, Marcia requests a hair sample to compare to the hairs found at the scene of the crime. Johnnie immediately objects to this and the two heavyweights proceed to argue over the number of hairs the DA should be allowed to collect. And somehow the judge grants a special hearing regarding the collection of OJ’s hair. Yup, this is going to be a long ass fucking trial.
Now, I’m not sure if Johnnie Cochran is completely full of shit or just a damn good lawyer but Courtney Vance has done an unbelievable job filling Cochran’s shoes and the scene where he visits OJ and talks about how watching what OJ did on the field during a very rough time in his life was raw emotion. Hopefully some of us can relate to getting knocked the fuck down and having to get back up again because I’ve certainly been there and I know you probably have too, just not in the context of murdering your ex-wife and having to go to trial with the possibility of life in prison. So please, no matter how how badly you get knocked down, don’t commit murder, it’s totally not cool.
Say Hi To Judge Ito
We finally got to meet Lance Ito, the soon-to-be judge for the legal circus known as the OJ Simpson trial. Now, does anyone else think that Spousal Conflict Form Ito’s wife signed is going to come back to complicate things? We spent a little bit too much time watching Judge Ito’s wifey sign this thing so there must be some kind of conflict that the defense is totally going to exploit. I’ve also been waiting patiently for Ito’s introduction so I could share this lovely gem from the ’90s. I hope everyone remembers Pauly Shore.
Man do I ever miss the ’90s, if that wasn’t obvious already. Judge Ito takes the stand for OJ’s plea hearing and it’s time to rock and roll because we have a packed courthouse for this one. Let’s get ready to rumblllle…
…with legalese and lots of nonsense, of course. Plus, this amazing shot of OJ pleading absolutely not guilty. Go get ’em, tiger!
That smirk alone is enough to convince me that you, OJ, are absolutely 100% guilty. It was such an awkward moment in the courtroom with everyone on the defense giving thumbs up and clapping it up. If I’m Marcia and the rest of the prosecution, I’d start sweating now.
Meanwhile, one of Nicole’s close friends, Faye Resnick, has decided that she wants to exploit this fiasco further by publishing a book and she’s spilling all sorts of juicy details about Nicole, including the ole ‘Brentwood Hello’:
Ya, that is totally not what you think it is. Faye continues to tell her story about the most divorced undivorced couple she has ever known and I get the feeling that this is not going to help the prosecution’s case with the exception of the part where OJ would hide in the bushes and spy on Nicole. Creepy guys hiding in the bushes never seem to sit well with juries.
Then shit got very serious and it immediately had me gripped. Marcia meets with the Goldman family and they are absolutely enraged with grief over the fact that Ron is a footnote to his own murder. I couldn’t help but feel terrible for all of the families who were involved in this tragedy and it was an appropriate reminder that this case was as real as you and me. So many people were affected by this tragedy and I believe that it’s important that we always remember the victims because these people are the real heroes for going through all of this in front of a spotlight while the entire world watched.
Even though Marcia is out for blood, things are getting worse for the prosecution who have decided to take the death penalty off the table. Even more intriguing was when they hired an expert for jury selection and how divided his study group was regarding OJ’s guilt depending on whether they were black or white. Remember when Cochran said that all he’d need is one black juror? Well, it looks like Johnnie might be onto something because the black women also involved in this particular research study also thought Marcia was a huge bitch. This is turning out to be one helluva chess match.
How sad is it that the way Marcia presents herself in the courtroom could potentially have an enormous impact on the final verdict. If this doesn’t illustrate how the legal system is broke as fuck then I don’t know what does. Now let’s get to those jurors.
The Jury Is Out…To Lunch
The courthouse is packed and ready for fight night but, unfortunately, they are about to find out how boring jury selection really is. Admittedly, I was never a litigator during my lawyer days but I do remember falling asleep in class many times when discussing the rules behind jury selection. And rather than boring you with the real deal, I would much rather recap one of the more heated jury selections that has ever happened because of how race played such an important role. It is crazy to think that the color of a juror’s skin was a variable throughout this trial but this is apparently the world we live in.
Meanwhile, the defense seems to be having a power struggle of their own with Shapiro thinking he’s running the show and Johnnie trying to take the reigns. We all know that Shapiro would rather settle the case because that’s how he rolls but Johnnie is ready to stick it out till the end after he gets a pep talk from Lee Bailey (who was uber pissed about the fact that Shapiro didn’t plan on paying him for his services). After Shapiro suggests they hold a press conference regarding how the prosecution is aggressively targeting black jurors with their line of questioning, Johnnie attempts to put Shapiro on the bench so he can be the voice of OJ but it didn’t go as planned. Also, this meme:
Still, Cochran has his own ideas and decides to go for a shoe shine while he waits. Wait, what?! Johnnie is sitting this one out? If you answered yes to this, you would be absolutely wrong because Johnnie had planned this all along so he could have his own press conference. Classic Johnnie!
Regardless, none of this matters because Faye’s book is released at the worst possible time ever and Judge Ito is forced to postpone jury selection.
Geez, doesn’t she have some Brentwood Hello’s to give? This chick is an attention whore and it’s becoming very clear that Faye only wrote this book for her own personal gain.
Shapiro and Cochran continue to butt heads over their legal ideologies and Cochran and Bailey are trying to bring down Shapiro from his hilltop mansion on Lead Attorney Lane. Bob is not too happy about the whole situation:
And can’t forget the ‘Fuck’:
I’m not gonna lie, it’s really fun to make fun of an angry John Travolta.
Back to jury selection, Marcia has made her first huge mistake by going with her gut and trusting these jurors to make the right decision. As we all know, the jurors ultimately are the ones responsible for letting a clearly guilty man go free but maybe Marcia is too blame a little for not playing the same game as the Dream Team. This was a literal chess match with one side using the white pieces and the other side playing the black pieces. It’s hard to believe that a legal trial should focus more on race than on ACTUAL EVIDENCE and it’s definitely worrying that this actually happened in REAL LIFE. Even worse is the fact that shit like this continues to happen in 2016. Hold on, I’ll be right back while I go punch myself in the face repeatedly.
Things are not getting any better for Shapiro but it’s totally his own fault since he indirectly accuses OJ of committing the murders in front of the entire Dream Team. And after this outburst, they all want him out. Yup, Bob Shapiro is no longer livin’ the dream after Kardashian is able to convince OJ that Cochran should be the lead attorney for his trial.
OJ should be very grateful that he was able to make this decision because I have a feeling the entire outcome of this trial could have been very different had Shapiro not been benched. Naturally, Shapiro throws one of his trademark tantrums, in a Hawaiian shirt no less, but he’s given the axe by OJ regardless and a mother fucker Johnnie Cochran has officially become the head lawyer in charge. He’s got a lot more race cards to play too.
And to finish things up, the Dream Team enters the courtroom to their theme music, Above the Law’s Black Superman, while they take notice of Chris Darden who is now officially a part of the prosecution team. OJ finishes things up perfectly when he asks “what do you think of the black guy?”
And I’ll leave you with the best line of the night that someone seriously needs to make a sound clip of because it was that perfect.
Episode Score: MIKEY LIKES IT
100% Not Guilty got things moving big time and we’re almost ready for the trial to begin. Personally, I cannot wait to see the opening arguments from Marcia and Johnny and this episode is setting things up perfectly. As I mentioned earlier, this entire case is like a literal chess match that is taking place in the middle of a media circus and there is a lot more to come! Plus, points were awarded when the Kardashian brood didn’t even make an appearance for the entire episode.
I particularly like how this series doesn’t spend a lot of time on one character each episode. We get to spend time with a lot of people who were heavily involved in this case and to be quite frank, it was pretty awesome watching Shapiro dig his own grave. Still, there is something ironic about the fact that had Shapiro stayed on as lead attorney, the final verdict in this case may have been completely different (or there may have been no verdict at all because of Shapiro’s obsession with settling cases).
I was also quite surprised by how Faye’s new career as an author completely influenced the jury selection process. Admittedly, I didn’t know anything about Faye Resnick prior to watching American Crime Story so it appears that I am actually being educated while watching this which is totally awesome because knowledge is power!
And finally, Judge Lance Ito made his first appearance and there was something super nostalgic about seeing him, beard and all, behind the bench in his robes. I’ll always remember seeing the trial on television since it was on all day, everyday and Judge Ito behind the bench is something iconic that most of us will probably always remember. The casting has been pretty spot on which is no easy feat considering this was a real case with real people and real victims. Keep up the good work, show!
So what did you think of 100% Not Guilty? Are you absolutely 100% guilty of loving this series? Or are you ready to dig up an old Hawaiian shirt and head to Hawaii with Shapiro? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and thanks for reading, fellow OJ fans!