With Mark Fuhrman off the stand and Marcia Clark’s hair situation repaired, the seventh episode of The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story moved away from race and fashion a bit, and toward bloody gloves and unrequited office crushes. It was, to put it mildly, not a very good night for Christopher Darden. Or Marcia Clark, for that matter. And it was shaping up to be a rough go of it for Robert Shapiro too, until Travolta rose from the ashes like a tan phoenix at the end.
But we’ll get to that.
1) We’ve seen the prosecution’s overconfidence blow up in its face a few times, but knowing what we know and seeing where this was headed, watching Christopher Darden push all episode long to have O.J. try on the gloves was painful. As was hearing the line, “The gloves are our conviction.” I let out an audible “Oh no” when I heard that.
2) The primary implication here is that Cochran suckered Darden into the glove move, both in the moment with the little judo sidebar theatrics and as a result of the psychological warfare Cochran has been waging throughout the trial. The show has depicted their relationship up as a kind of little brother/big brother thing, and in that sense, Darden wanted the glove to be his big “I can do what you do” moment, even though they probably didn’t need it. The prosecution has been getting hit from all sides over the last few episodes, so you can see where the motivation for a potential slam-dunk moment came from, but talk about your all-time backfires.
On the other side of the court, the glove thing went over a little better. So well, in fact, that it mended fences between Cochran and Shapiro, at least momentarily. Evidence of this fence-mending can be seen in this GIF of the low-five they did under desk where Johnnie went for the shake and Shapiro went with the non-verbal “Nah, gimme some skin, my man. Real cool, daddio.” So weird. I love it. I choose to believe John Travolta does this all the time in real life, too.