An exasperated Marcia Clark is in court on the brink of contempt over her outbursts toward her husband’s lawyer. Lest we forget, Clark is in the midst of a custody battle with her ex husband for her two children. And to make matters worse, Clark is “very late” for work in a nearby courtroom where she is prosecuting the OJ Simpson for a double murder. Yikes.
She’s obviously flustered by the time she takes a seat next to co-prosecutor Christopher Darden. Today’s witness? Denise Simpson, Nicole Brown Simpson’s sister. Responding to Darden’s questioning, Denise recounts a time when a drunk OJ publicly grabbed her sister’s crotch and said, “this is where babies come from and this belongs to me.” Denise says that OJ wasn’t angry, “that’s just the kind of person he was. He wanted everyone to know that this was his property.” He sounds like a douche.
After the testimony, Clark congratulates Darden on a job well done. Darden can’t help but to gloat to Cochran that Brown’s testimony will set with the jury all weekend. Somehow, he thinks this means something in thegrand scheme.
That night, Clark pulls up to her house and stops outside for a smoke. She overhears a TV segment where her clothes are being analyzed by a style expert. She’s described as “frump incarnate…. this is not a look, this is a cry for help.”
Her son pops out the backyard to recap his day and senses that mom needs a hug. Clark nearly cries. Kids be knowing, man. In the house, she walks to a mirror and analyzes her look, particularly her hair. The criticism is getting to Clark.
At the next custody hearing, Clark’s husband makes a formal request for primary custody. Husband says that the kids spend all their time with babysitters.
Across town, Cochran and his team are at work on the case when Shapiro walks in late. Cochran is emphasizing the importance of storytelling. “We need to be telling a more credible [story]. we need to gather the jury around a fire and tell them a better story,” he says.
In the courtroom, Clark is questioning an officer who was first on the scene at the Simpson and Goldman murders. During the cross examination, Cochran wants to know if it’s standard procedure for three officers to leave a crime scene investigation to notify the ex-husband of the murder. Good question. Cochran says the officers went to OJ Simpson’s house because they believed Simpson was a suspect. The officer denies that was the case.
In Cochran’s car, leaving the court, one his junior attorney wonders that even if jurors think the cops cut corners to convict a guilty man, they still think Simpson is guilty. Cochran is unbothered. “Today we show them cops lie about a little things. Tomorrow we show them they lie about big things,” he says. This is chess, not checkers.
The following day, before court, Cochran is joking around with his former colleagues, because remember, he used to have Christopher Darden’s job. The officer is at ease, reminiscing and such when he mentions that he moved to Semi Valley. Got em!
The officer he was joking with? That’s the one that took Simpson’s shoes home on the night the murdered instead of booking them into evidence. The officer says that in his 28 year professional career, he’s never taken evidence home overnight before, other than the night in question. Clark shakes her head at the prosecution table.
Somewhere in an network office, execs are debating whether to pre-empt their daytime line up for the Simpson trial. “This is a better daytime soap than anything we’ve got,” an exec notes. They decide to clear the slate.
Darden and Clark are in the office talking about Fuhrman. Darden says it seems like the defense is looking forward to his testimony. Clark tells him to stop doubting Fuhrman. Darden lightens the mood by turning on the radio and dancing for Clark. Is he flirting with her? A new song comes on, “Who’s That Lady” and Darden and Clark share a dance. Yep. He’s flirting. And Clark is totally down for it. These two.
The next morning, Darden has the radio on as he’s prepping or work. The host asks, “Is Marcia Clark a bitch or a babe?” Geez. Darden, who got a little body on him (who knew?), calls in to declare Clark “a babe”. At the courthouse, he greets Clark by singing the chorus to the song they danced to the night before. It’s corny, but cute too.
Clark says she hardly slept, but she’s over prepared for court today. “I’m ready for anything,” she says. Because I’ve watched the previous five episodes of this show, I know that is a lie.
In court, Clark calls Fuhrman to the stand. The defense quickly interjects that they have “a situation”. The situation is Rosa Lopez, the housekeeper for Simpson’s neighbor, who says she saw the Bronco parked outside Simpson’s house at the time the defense says it would have been at Brown-Simpson’s house while OJ was on his killing spree. The witness is leaving the country and needs to testify immediately. Clark says the defense is just trying to destroy her momentum, which is probably accurate.
Ito dismisses the jury to hash out the witness issue and says the court will be going late tonight. Clark says she can’t do it. She has to get home to take care of her kids. Ito says they will recess until morning. I feel bad for Clark right now.
Back at the office, Gil Garcetti is none to happy about Clark and her childcare. “It looks like you’re losing control,” Garrett says to Clark.
Clark says she’s going home to work. Garcetti convinces her to stay at the office and work. Oh, and by the way, he’s appalled about the way that Clark’s appearance is being dragged in the media. But, um, in case she’s interested, he’s happy to pair her with a media consultant for a makeover. Ouch.
Clark calls home to tell the kids she won’t be home, then calls her ex, the one who’s already complaining that she’s never with the kids, to ask if he can watch them. Again. He says he will. I know this isn’t going to end well.
In court the following day, Lopez is ready to take the stand. Cochran says it can be done in a day if Clark can manage her child care. ooh. Low— and unnecessary— blow, Cochran. Clark saysCochran’s remarks were “unconscionable and totally out of line.” They were.
The housekeeper is on the stand. She’s a kook. She says she’s leaving the country, but she has no plane ticket, according to the airline. And she doesn’t remember now what time she saw the Bronco. Why is she here?
Outside the courtroom, the lawyers are besieged by fans and the media. A reporter runs up on Cochran to ask him about his own history of domestic abuse. I’m sorry. WHAT? The glance exchanged between the lawyers with Cochran is hysterical.
The media also caught up with Clark’s ex, or maybe he caught up with them. Either way, he’s on TV saying that Clark was lying about needing to get home from court because he had the kids. “I am sick of her using our kids as pawns,” he says. This guy.
In the office late, Cochran calls his ex-wife Barbara, all but bribing her to keep her mouth shut. He just sold some property that he got in the divorce, and all of the sudden, he wants her to have the profits since it was her pet project. “It could make you quite, you know, comfortable,” Cochran says. Coincidence or nah?
The following day, Cochran and the other attorneys are meeting with OJ at the jail. Cochran’s apologizing to a pissed off OJ about the housekeeper’s testimony on the stand. OJ says he needs to know everything in advance so he can weigh in. And then he kicks everybody out. Shapiro tries to reason with OJ.
OJ: “When I want to hear from you, I’ll rattle my zipper.”
Clark is at the hair salon, looking for something “different, softer.” Her hairdresser name drops that he worked with Farrah Fawcett. We know from history this ends badly.
In the courthouse the next day, Darden is confronting a black reporter who isn’t mentioning Darden in the press, when Clark walks in with her new hairstyle. She mistakes their looks of shock as awe and appreciation. When she’s out of earshot, the reporter asks rhetorically, “who turned her into Rick James?”
The courtroom reactions aren’t any kinder. By the time Clark makes it to her desk, she realizes she’s made a huge mistake. Darden scribbles some words of encouragement on a notepad to a tearful Clark.
She can’t catch a break. At the grocery store, she sees the tabloid headlines ripping her new hairstyle. And the guy at the counter notices her box of tampons and quips that the defense is in for one hell of a week. Um, call for the manager. This dude needs sensitivity training.
The next day, Fuhrman is finally taking the stand. He testifies about the murder scene, including the bloody footprints, and about going to Simpson’s house and spotting the blood on the Bronco.
During the cross examination, F. Lee Bailey asks Fuhrman if he took the bloody glove and wiped it on the Bronco. Fuhrman says he did not, and further “that’s nuts.” Bailey has more questions, in five different ways, he asks Fuhrman if he’s dropped an n-bomb in the past 10 years. Fuhrman says he has not.
The network execs watching are fascinated. “Can you says n—-r on TV?” they ask. Apparently, yes, then and now.
The court breaks for lunch, and Garcetti calls Clark into his office. A tabloid has run naked photos of Clark, photos leaked by her first ex husband.
Clark— bless her heart— returns to court right after she learns of the photos. At the table, Darden takes her hand, just before she dissolves into tears. Ito adjourns the court. Oh, Marcia. I really want hug her. This lady is getting hit from every direction. I’ve experienced one-hundredth of this being on The Thing That I Don’t Discuss. It was sheer hell. That’s partially why I ain’t doing it anymore. (It’s cancelled by the way.)
Later, Clark is loudly sobbing on the floor in her office when Darden stops by. “I’m not a public personality,” she says. “This is not what I do. I don’t know how to do this… I can’t take it.”
Darden, who is being portrayed as the nicest man ever, joins her on the floor and confronts her. I wonder if he’s a producer because he comes off so well. Maybe this is the writers’s way of giving him the apology he never got for the public and is owed. “You do look mighty good in that picture,” he says. It’s enough to make Clark laugh. She needed that.
I know I write this at the end of almost every re-cap, but it’s part of the reason I even bother re-capping: well done FX. Well, done.
Also, I’ve seen the show up through episode 9. It just keeps getting better.