American Crime Story: ‘The Run Of His Life’ Review

American Crime Story 'Bronco Bustin'

“A friend loveth at all times and a brother is born in adversity.” -Robert Kardashian

American Crime Story brought us one of the biggest high profile chase scenes to ever happen in history with ‘The Run Of His Life’ and it certainly did not disappoint. I’m willing to bet that many of us remember this happening back in the ’90s, no matter how old you were at the time. For me, I was just a stupid 12-year old kid who probably didn’t truly understand or care about what was going on. But I absolutely remember tuning in for this because EVERYONE EVERYWHERE was glued to their TV sets on June 17th, 1994 and it wasn’t for the NBA Finals or Arnold Palmer’s retirement.

The Run Of His Life gave us an inside look of what actually happened in the infamous white Bronco and I’m not sure this event turns out the way it did without A.C. Cowlings in the car. It was obviously not an easy position to be in but thankfully A.C. and Robert Kardashian were able to convince OJ that killing himself was not the answer to his problems. It was very enthralling television and, even with knowing the outcome, I was happy to see American Crime Story successfully try to take us back in time to 1994 when this was happening.

So let’s buckle up buckaroos because we’re headin’ out to the highway in a white Bronco for a high speed chase that had an entire nation wondering what was going to happen next. Thankfully Caitlyn Jenner was not behind the wheel. Enjoy the review!

Buckle Up, Buckaroo

Keeping Up With The Kardashians

The Run of his Life picks up right where we left off with Kardashian and Shapiro attempting to figure out their next move now that OJ is on the lam. Kardashian has OJ’s suicide note in hand and Shapiro immediately questions why it was signed with a happy face. To be honest, I don’t really question this. People always do some pretty fucked up shit when they have lost all hope so I’m not sure that this smiley face actually means anything. On the one hand, it might look like evidence that OJ did, in fact, commit the crimes but it’s not real evidence if you ask me.

"Who the hell signs a suicide note with a happy face?"

The news media is reporting that there is a manhunt out for OJ and the DA is super pissed with Shapiro for letting OJ avoid his perp walk. I really find this aspect of the entire case to be very interesting. It’s high profile and involves a celebrity which obviously means the media is going to be all over this. Marcia Clark is absolutely correct though when she says that OJ can’t hide forever:

"He can't run forever. Everyone knows his face."

Gil Garcetti holds a press conference regarding OJ’s disappearance and explains that he’s a fugitive and if anyone assists him, they will be prosecuted. Things are definitely setting up for the big chase that a lot of us will remember from June 17, 1994. I recently watched an ESPN special on this incident where they talked about a variety of different sports events that were also going on at the time. The New York Rangers had just won the Stanley Cup, the Knicks were in the NBA Finals and Arnold Palmer played his last US Open before retiring. American Crime Story even made a reference to Palmer’s final eighteen holes and I love how they are including these details because it really sets the tone for what was happening at the time. Good job, show!

Everyone pretty much knows that OJ is in deep shit after vanishing without a trace and everyone in America seems to be entranced by what is going on. While I was only 12 when all of this happened, I will never forget hearing about the news and watching the infamous Bronco chase scene. Everyone everywhere was tuned in and I especially loved how ACS was setting this up by focusing on the American people giving their opinions on what was happening. Some already think OJ is guilty and I think the fact that he ended up running instead of turning himself in did not help his case, especially with regards to how the public was going to perceive his actions.

Not only that but OJ’s actions have royally pissed off the DA’s office and they are coming for him. Christopher Darden sums it up perfectly:

"OJ humiliated them. He's dead meat."

This ultimately leads to Shapiro holding his own press conference to set the record straight. Of course, it was more about his own reputation as a lawyer than anything else. Fucking lawyers eh! Luckily, this is when Johnnie Cochran comes into play and, I have to admit, I kinda like the guy. Lawyers owe a duty to their clients and Cochran truly believes that a lawyer should be in service to their client and should NEVER betray that individual…NEVER! And while I realize that defending a wanted man who looks completely guilty is no easy task, especially if you consider the ethical implications of this, Mr. Cochran appears to be damn good at his job.

I will also say this, I am quite surprised this series has been able to incorporate some humor into such an emotionally-charged, high profile case but that was exactly what happened when we see the Kardashian brood watching their father on TV. I literally can’t stop laughing at this:

Keeping Up With The Kardashians

I can’t decide who I want to see more of: these idiot children or Kato Kaelin. One thing is for sure, we will definitely be seeing more of Kato but first, it’s time to cut to the chase.

Wild Juice Chase

We cut to the streets, with Beastie Boys Sabotage playing at full blast, and I don’t think they could have picked a better track to get the juices flowing, pun totally intended:

I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to be on the road while OJ’s white Bronco was swerving through traffic so it was a really cool inclusion to see the folks in the VW reacting to seeing OJ. They were clearly star struck:

Star Power

That chick looks so happy! At least they were smart enough to call the police which ultimately gets the cops on the scene and they catch up with A.C. Unfortunately, however, OJ is busy waving a gun around in the backseat and the police nonchalantly let them drive away. Terrible police work, folks!

After A.C. drives away, we catch up with Kardashian who has convinced himself that OJ has committed suicide and he proceeds to tell the Simpson family that OJ is no longer with us. This whole scene got me thinking a lot about the entire situation. First, maybe OJ’s actions were not out of the ordinary after all. I think most of us probably think he was guilty but I don’t think any of us would know how we would react in a situation like this. Hypothetically speaking, let’s pretend he is, in fact, innocent. He has just lost his ex-wife, someone whom he loved dearly and the media is on a manhunt to take him down. I don’t think ANY of us can relate to this type of situation so who are we to judge whether OJ is guilty or innocent based on his actions here. Still, the overall evidence is very damaging which we will soon find out but I was thrilled to see exactly what was going on during this epic and historical chase scene.

Also, I’m pretty sure that they used real news coverage from 1994, including the update from Bob Costas at the Knicks game. I’m actually blown away by how unbelievably accurate they have portrayed this case so far and I definitely think including real news coverage puts us back in the time period when this all went down, including when NBC cut off the Knicks game to televise the OJ chase scene.

Go Knicks?

From this news coverage, we learn that OJ wants to be taken to his mother. OJ really wants to take his own life but he can’t seem to pull the trigger and I don’t know if the situation ends the way it did without A.C. Cowlings at the wheel. I couldn’t help but laugh at the conversation he has on his car phone (yup, car phones totally used to be a thing in the ’90s) with the 911 dispatcher, especially when she asks him if everything is okay. Cowlings had the best response possible:

“What kind of stupid ass question is that? Everything is terrible.”

Back at the DA’s office, we’re given an interesting piece of information. Marcia is wondering how in the hell they are driving the white Bronco since it was impounded but apparently, A.C. Cowlings worshiped OJ so much that he bought an identical white Bronco, so this was not the same Bronco from the crime scene. And damn, I had no idea so this was a pretty cool tidbit.

With OJ taking off though, he is definitely not going to make his trial any easier as these actions will certainly be used as evidence of guilt because innocent people don’t run away according to our idiotic criminal justice system.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

Johnnie Cochran is one smart motherfucker and I’m finding myself liking the guy more and more as this series rolls along. The writers are obviously setting things up for the race card to come out in full swing, since this is obviously what happened back in 1994, but because I was 12 at the time, I probably didn’t appreciate some of the people who were involved in this case. Seeing their story come to life on ACS has been a pleasure to see and, even though we all know the final outcome, I am extremely fascinated with this story. Props to everyone involved on this show!

As I mentioned earlier, we don’t really know what is going through OJ’s head but Cochran tells us to remember that OJ is not a person who is used to being arrested. He’s fragile and confused and his guard is up as a black man being pursued by armed police. Cochran is not wrong and I still cannot believe that this is relevant today, especially when he says the cops “shoot first and offer sloppy apologies afterwards.” Sadly, this kind of thing is STILL happening in our society and the timing of this series couldn’t have been better as I can only hope that we all start thinking about why these types of tragedies still happen.

"His only crime...the color of his skin."

This, however, is the OJ Simpson case and the police did not end up shooting an innocent man because of the color of his skin. I am still fairly sold on the fact that it’s more than likely that OJ did kill Nicole and Ron based solely on the evidence but I also believe that Mr. Cochran makes some valid arguments about race. Plus, the black community is already showing their support for OJ and, I’ll be honest, it was hard for me not to feel bad for the guy. If he is actually innocent of these crimes then we should all be ashamed of ourselves for putting this man through this. But come on, he’s clearly guilty, right?

"Well, he got the cops chasin' him. He's black now."

The DA’s office eventually gets a hold of OJ and we find out that OJ is very suicidal at this point but doesn’t want to commit suicide on the road or in a field. He refuses to throw the gun away and even says that he deserves to be hurt. Hmmm….now why say something like that unless your guilty conscience is getting the best of you. Still though, after learning a lot more about this case, the media played a major part of why everyone immediately concluded that OJ must be guilty. If there is one thing we can probably learn from all of this it’s that you should NEVER EVER believe anything you hear or read in the news. The media is straight up bullshit.

OJ and A.C. eventually arrive in Brentwood with the cops not backing down. The LAPD have armed officers around the property and decide to cut the lights so as to not spook OJ. I feel like this is another one of those important moments, especially after Cochran makes a comment that “they don’t want us to see.” I think the LAPD was justified in turning out the lights here but obviously Cochran and a whole slew of others will have their doubts regarding why they chose to do this.

OJ is on the brink of shooting himself when he gets a call from Kardashian who is somehow able to talk him out of it. They come to an agreement that the LAPD will arrest him inside the house away from the media and OJ finally exits the Bronco and makes his way into the house and finally surrenders.

sweet-surrender

With the entire DA’s office believing OJ is 100% guilty of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, and with OJ finally turning himself in, it’s definitely time for OJ to lawyer up because Marcia Clark is ready for the trial of the fucking century:

"We're taking him to trial."

I somehow don’t think that Shapiro is a great pick for OJ’s defense but we all know that Mr. Cochran is about to get much more involved with this case and I can’t wait to meet the Dream Team. I have to admit, I definitely did not know the full story about this case and I’m loving how this series is showing us every possible detail. Obviously, this being a TV show, I don’t exactly trust the accuracy of everything that is presented to us, but I do believe that the creators are trying to show us how this case unfolded by staying true to the actual facts.

So what do you think? Is OJ innocent or guilty?

The Verdict

Episode Score: MIKEY LIKES IT

Mikey Likes ItAmerican Crime Story threw us into the middle of the chase that had an entire country watching intently on June 17, 1994. I really loved every aspect of this episode, especially all of the historical references to what was going on at the time. The writers have paid close attention to every little detail, including NBC cutting away from the NBA Finals to show the OJ chase, and I think establishing this context is going to pay off. Things were a lot different in 1994 and racial tensions were at an all time high after the Rodney King incident and L.A. riots. And while these tensions still exist today, they were not nearly as extreme as they were 22 years ago.

I was also pleasantly surprised by some of the humor the writers have sprinkled into the show as well. While this series is meant to be very serious in nature, I love that we get some comedic relief every now and then. And really, who doesn’t love having a laugh at the expense of the Kardashians?

Lastly, with respect to the Bronco chase itself, I think this episode did a phenomenal job of showing us every possible detail of what went on. We got to see what OJ and A.C. were doing as they were running from the law but we also got to see how everyone else was reacting. If you were around when this happened back in 1994, you definitely know that everyone was watching the television to see how this was going to play out and it really did make me feel like I was 12 years old again, watching the news with my friends and family.

So what did everyone think of The Run of His Life? Are you as ready to go to trial like Marcia? Or is it time to get in a white Bronco and flee? Let us know in the comments and be sure to vote below on whether you think OJ is guilty or innocent:

The Dream Team is coming next week and I’m ecstatic about this. When I was in law school, me and a couple of my friends decided to be idiots and refer to ourselves as The Dream Team for absolutely no good reason but it goes to show you how popular this case and trial were. Thanks for reading and please share this review if you enjoyed it, I will be forever grateful! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter for memes, gifs, updates and more!