OJ is in jail reminiscing about his wild days at the club, which included Soul Train lines, excessive pelvis thrusting, and lots of coke and champagne. He gets so angry thinking about the life he no longer has that he tosses his lunch, literally.
Across town at Shapiro’s office, Johnnie and his associates are being introduced to the dream team. It’s me of his male associate Carl Douglas looks like an older Ludacris? The attorneys are eating lox and white fish, on OJ’s dime, of course.
Shapiro starts the meeting by asking, “Who thinks OJ did it?” Everyone looks appalled. “Me neither, “Shapiro says.
Johnnie Cochran takes over, explaining OJ is a hero in the community and Black men are on his side. Black women may be an issue. They resent successful Black men marrying outside the community. Shapiro, the King of Inappropriate, assesses that the Dream Team has a leg up on prosecution because they have Cochran and Cochran knows how “these people think”. Sir.
Cochran offers some helpful advice. “On this case, you need to chose your vernacular very carefully.”
Shapiro outlines the strategy. “Nothing will be admitted with challenge and provocation”. Exhibit A: At the prelim hearing. Marcia asks for a hair sample, 100 hairs from OJ’s head. Cochran objects and offers one hair. This is hysterical. OJ is sitting in court looking slumped and disheveled in his prison garb. Lawd. There will be a separate hearing on Mr. Simpsons hair.
OJ is back in his cell. He has a visitor. JC comes in calling him “my brother”. He tells OJ he looks a mess and he can’t go into the court looking like that. ”Have you forgotten who you are?” JC asks.
JC gives him the “do you know what you mean to people?” speech, recounting the time in 78 when watching OJ gave him hope at a bad time in his life, nevermind that OJ’s team, the 49ers, lost the game to the Falcons. Johnnie says he doesn’t remember the loss. Just OJ. ”You are an inspiration” JC tells him. “You’re a man who loves people, who people love right back.”
Over in Judge Ito’s office, he calls his police captain wife into tell her he’s been assigned to the Simpson trial. His wife has to fill out a spousal conflict form. She pauses at Fuhrman’s name, but says nothing rings a bell. They high-five.
The team is in court. Ito takes the bench looking nervous as hell. He asks OJ to enter a plea. “Absolutely 100 percent not guilty “, OJ says, as LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” drops.
Shapiro is meeting with F. Lee Bailey ad he’s nervous about Cochran. Shapiro says the case is not winnable and Johnnie is there to make the DA nervous enough to cut a deal. Geez. I would not want this man as my lawyer.
FLB looks flabbergasted, but onto more important questions like, who is FLB supposed to invoice for his billable hours?. Shapiro says FLB is pro bono. Um. What? Shapiro is such a sleaze. He tries to tell sell Bailey on exposure. LOL. Bailey ain’t here for it. Shapiro says FLB’s hey day was too long ago and it’s a new world, noting the emergence of the 24 hour news cycle. “You’ll dine out on this for the rest of your life,” Shapiro says. Bailey might be convinced of that. But he wants his money.
Faye Resnick is talking to a book editor, saying that Nicole “Was my everything. My confidant. My spiritual sister.” She went to a psychic and the psychic said Nicole wanted her to write a book. . Faye says NB was a terrific mom, and they would do cocaine. She had breast implants, OJ’s idea, but she loved them. And she liked to give a "Brentwood hello". She would go into a guy’s bedroom and go down on him. This chick is spilling piping hot tea about her dead friend. With friends like this, who needs an enemy?
Darden is giving the DA the rundown on the AC case he’s working on. AC says he was trying to keep OJ alive and in LA; the passports, cash, and the mustaches indicate otherwise. There’s also a couple in the Bahamas that were expecting OJ the day after the chase. Darden’s so happy about the evidence that he snorts.
The Goldmans walk in to meet with Marcia Clark as the attorneys are laughing. Father Goldman gives an amazing performance about his son. “Ron is a footnote to his own murder,” Dad says. Geez. I felt that. “I pray you never have to read an autopsy report for your own child,” Goldman tells Clark.
At the DA, Clark is late for a meeting. Her boss tells her they’ve taken the death penalty off the table. “Nobody in America is going to vote to execute OJ Simpson,“ Garcetti says. Next topic: the jury. Marcia says if they can get Black women on the jury. They’re good money. Black women will empathize with Nicole. Oh, Marcia. You’ve never heard of intersectionality, huh?
An expert comes in to do a test group. The results: the Black people think OJ is innocent. White people don’t. And they think Marcia’s “a bitch”. The expert suggests that they limit the number of Black women on the jury and Marcia “soften her appearance, skirts instead of business suits.” Perhaps a new hair do, or smiling more. Wow. Just wow.
The defense did its own focus group. OJ scored well among Black women. OJ is perceived as handsome, masculine and charming. Nicole? Not so much. They considered her to be a golddigger. Kardashian is offended. “I knew her. She loved him,” he says.
At the publisher’s office, Resnick is still talking. She says Nicole loved OJ, they had hot sex and it was a problem when they split, because OJ knew that she needed it all the time. When Nicole was in the new house after the divorce, OJ used to hide in the bushes and watch her have sex with other men. Nicole knew. “She used to love to push his buttons,” Resnick says. “They were the most un-divorced, divorced couple I think I’ve ever known.
Darden wanders into Clark’s office after hours. Darden came to find out what’s up with the Cawlings case. Ooh, Marcia forgot to tell him they dropped the investigation. Darden takes it on the chin. They hang out drinking for awhile and Marcia says The Dream Team will implode. “It’s a dozen alpha dogs in a cage match”, she says. “They’re going to tear each other up and implode.” Darden says not Johnnie. “He’s real,” Darden says. “I wouldn’t underestimate him.”
Across town, Bailey and JC are having a drink in JC’s office. Bailey says “Shapiro doesn’t have the right appetite for the case.” He tells Johnnie it’s time for him to make a move on Shapiro. “We owe it to our client.”
Jury selection the next day looks like the line for the club. LOL. 900 people are trying out for jury duty. Cochran and Clark both excuse jurors, but in the elevator with the Dream Team, JC notes that he feels like too many Blacks are being excluded. Shapiro says he will talk to the press because he is the lead attorney.
JC heads to the basement for a shoe shine where everyone can see him. Reporters roll up and he holds court, displaying a nuance for discussing race that Shapiro lacks.
When JC’s interview hits the paper, Marcia calls it BS, but Garcetti is concerned about optics. He says perhaps they should add in a little “flavor” to the team. Ever astute, Bill Hodgman asks, “you mean a Black person?” LOL. Marcia suggests Darden.
The defense shows up to court, only for Ito to call them all into his office. He has a copy of Faye Resnick’s book, which could have ramifications on jury selection. Ito suspends jury selection while the attorneys read.
The highlights of the tell-all book? Marcia observes they do coke on every other page. Kardashian says it’s mostly not true. Faye says Nicole had six abortions so she wouldn’t have another kid by OJ. JC dismisses it as trash. Oh, and lesbian sex on page 197. Larry King has Resnick on. She looks high as hell. Her hair is great though. Resnick says she told Nicole’s story so women “could break the chain of violence”. Stop lyin’. You did it for the advance money and the infamy.
Ito says he is prepared to bring back jury selection. Shapiro objects, asking if they can suspend the trial and let OJ out on bail. I guess if you don’t ask, the answer is always “no”. Ito doesn’t even answer.
Hodgman accuses Shapiro of playing the race card, which Shapiro denies with an indignant, “I would never!” But um, Sir. Isn’t that exactly what you said to the New Yorker? Cochran jumps in to contradict Shapiro. Shapiro is pissed and tries to dress Cochran down in the hallway, but JC ain’t having it. “We have longer memories than your previous soundbite,” Cochran retorts.
FLB goes on Larry King too. FLB lies, denying any infighting among the dream team while simultaneously throwing Shapiro under the bus, recounting all the negative things said about him. This is lawyer shade.
Jury selection resumes. It’s day 70. Jesus. JC wants another divorced Black woman on the jury. Bill wants a white guy. He notes that they’ve barely excused any jurors. Marcia is optimistic about the jury, saying they are “reasonable” and “smart”. Her gut says “trust them”. What she means is Cochran’s interview got in her head and she doesn’t want to appear racist. Oh, Marcia. OJ assesses the jury and leans in to Cochran. "If these people convict me, maybe I did do it," he jokes. He's as inappropriate as Shapiro.
Back in the jail, the team is strategizing with OJ. There’s a neighbor’s maid who says she saw the Bronco at the house at 10:15. This would “decimate” the defense’s timeline. Shapiro is late to the meeting and comes in with a grand plan. Just like everyone expected, he wants OJ to cut a deal and accept manslaughter. The look on everyone else’s face is hysterical. Kardashian just acts like Shapiro isn’t even there, asking Johnnie when they can all meet the maid.
JC, Kardashian and an associate leave the meeting pissed. Basically, Shapiro is out of his got damned mind and they can’t wait for him to go on vacation. JC says they will go to Shapiro’s office and take all the files.
Shapiro’s wife wants him to quit the case. Mrs. Shapiro’s friends don’t call her back anymore. You realize this OJ case is paying for the fancy vacation you’re about to embark on to Hawaii, right? Shapiro ain’t paying any real mind. He says he must put a lid on Johnnie Cochran or the city will riot again.
Darden, the nicest and most naïve Black man ever, is approached by Clark to join the prosecution as third chair. Reconsider! Read some literature! They’re using you, brother!! Remember what you’re daddy said. He listens to his Dad about as much as the Kardashian kids listen to theirs.
Kardashian goes to jail to meet with OJ. He wants him to consider Cochran as lead attorney. OJ is confused. “You know I’m not good at these conflict things,” he says.
Fast forward. Shapiro is back from vacation and strolls into his office to discover all his OJ files are gone. Linda the secretary says Cochran took them, and she has more good news: the cover of the NY Daily News with a headline reading Shapiro has been benched by the Dream Team.
A pissy Shapiro shows up at Cochran’s office accusing that there’s a “stinky fish” in the room. Oh, Bob. Do you mean to be this funny? Anyway, OJ is on the phone. Bailey is looking at Bob like he’s nuts.
After some rambling about positions and who plays what role, OJ concedes that Cochran should be the lead attorney and give the opening statement.
The smugness of F. Lee Bailey’s face is hysterical. Shapiro should have paid that man. This is all because Shapiro wanted him to work for free. I bet you Cochran cut him a check.
On the first day of the trial, OJ and the Dream Team walk into court (via separate entrances) in slow motion to the sound of Above the Law’s “Black Superman”.
The effect is like watching rappers in a music video, but then suddenly something is wrong. OJ looks alarmed. The Dream Team, led by Cochran, looks stunned. Darden is sitting at the defense table as third chair. Clark smirks at their bewilderment.
Dear, FX, I love you. This is gold.