TV Recap: American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, ‘Conspiracy Theories’

Written by Tommy Tracy

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Warning: Full Spoilers Ahead

A lot happens in this episode. We see Marcia and Darden get very close while on a road trip to Oakland, as well as find a damning piece of evidence in their favor. We see Cochran’s personal life come into play on national television. And we see my most anticipated moment of the entire case; the glove that didn’t fit. It’s fantastic, simply enthralling. I hope I’m not giving too much away too early.

The prosecution team finds some incredible evidence, evidence that proves that O.J. murdered Nicole and Ron. This evidence consists of credit card receipts that Nicole purchased the gloves O.J. wore to commit these murders. While their joy and pride may seem silly to most people, if someone watching this was unaware of the events that happened in the case, it would almost completely prove that Simpson murdered these people. It’s a nice misdirect by the writers that may suck in the more uninformed viewers.

Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX
Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX

Marcia and Darden also become a little too close, driving up to Oakland for a weekend away. They drink with Darden’s friends and it seems apparent that they will sleep together by night’s end. This, however, does not materialize and the next time they’re on screen together (presumably the following Monday), Marcia is very cold towards the man. However, and it may be a small nitpick at the plotting of events, I question what happened on the 8-hour car ride back to Los Angeles. They drove from L.A. to the Bay Area and back again, and if Marcia was in a sour mood from not getting some, she must have shown it on that return drive, right? Perhaps she did and it was filmed but it was a strange contrivance that didn’t work.

This event does lead to a very interesting scene in a bar where one of Darden’s childhood friends claims that Simpson was framed. Marcia launches into an incredibly entertaining (and quite genius) series of events on how the police could have framed the man. Afterwards you agree with her; they simply could not have done this given the timeframe and evidence. I’m sad something like this couldn’t work very well in court. It would make being on a jury far more interesting.

Speaking of court, as mentioned earlier, the prosecution finds the proof that Nicole purchased the gloves. While Marcia thinks this is evidence enough, Darden believes they should have Simpson try them on to prove his guilt. This chain of events comes from Robert Shapiro trying on the glove, realizing it was too small for his hand, thus it HAD to be too small for Simpson’s (who has a bigger paw). Cochran and his team begin to plot their plan, agreeing that he should demonstrate the gloves ill fit in front of the jury but have to convince Darden to ask him (for ethical reasons), to which he is easily fooled into doing so. Naturally, it’s too small for Simpson’s hand. Filmmaking (or television-making, in this case) is incredibly important and the way this scene is shot and directed is a great example of that; intense and full of emotion. If the glove don’t fit….

The weakest part of this episode (aside from the L.A./Oakland time lapse) includes a scene of Robert Kardashian possibly being in possession of the murder weapon (he’s not) and Cochran being shown to be a womanizer, which is quickly dropped. While these could of played better in a different episode, they are rushed and are only included to go along with the “Conspiracy Theory” title of the episode. Jordana Brewster is also wasted in every episode she’s been in thus far. She’s had like, three lines in total. I guess it’s more than her Furious 7 role.

All in all, we have a decent episode, highlighted by Marcia’s awesome drunken recreation of events and Simpson trying on the glove. The minuses hang large over the episode though and that’s enough to say the episode is just fine. Good, not great.

‘Conspiracy Theories’ Final Grade: 7/10