The last few episodes of The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story have kind of zoomed in on one particular person or aspect of the trial and advanced the plot through that filter. Two weeks ago, it was The Marcia Clark Show, in which Sarah Paulson delivered a performance that is sure to make waves come awards season. Last week, it was the bloody glove and the story behind Christopher Darden asking O.J. to try it on over specific, repeated objections from the rest of his team.
This week, it was the jury’s turn in the spotlight. And they did not disappoint.
1) The episode flipped back and forth between the jurors at the hotel and the lawyers battling to remake the panel, even as the trial was going on, by getting a handful of them dismissed. Some of them made that easy by lying on their forms about domestic assault and then trying to explain it away with a “You know how ladies can get,” or by keeping weird notes about conjugal visits for a potential book. But the point isn’t so much that they broke the rules at some point, because I’m fairly sure that everyone broke the rules in one way or another. (There really were a lot of rules.) The point was that they became chess pieces in the ongoing game between Marcia and Johnnie. You take one of mine, I’ll take one of yours. And so on. This is the smokers’ floor, it ain’t day care.
2) Here’s what I want you to do: At some point today when you have 10 to 15 minutes to really think about it, put yourself in the jury’s shoes during the trial. Think about an eight-month sequester. Think about staying in a hotel, secluded from the entire world, with no television or magazines or newspapers, in a pre-Internet world, with your sole focus being a huge celebrity murder trial that is captivating the country and that you aren’t allowed to talk about for a single second with anyone.
And when you’re done processing that, ask yourself this question: How many weeks would it be before you kicked off your shoes and ran screaming through a breakfast buffet? Because Tracy lasted for 32. I think that’s pretty good, all things considered.