Johnnie Cochran meets OJ at jail with a spread of suits and accessories appropriate for photoshoot. It’s a big day, the last day that the defense will present its, well, defense.
In the courtroom, OJ wants to make a statement. He says he “did not, could not, and would not” commit the crimes he is accused of. Oh, and he hasn't seen his youngest children since he turned himself in. He rambles, then the defense, finally, rests.
At Cochran’s office, his associates are worried about his safety. He’s received 20 death threats. Cochran is oblivious and unbothered. He’s holed up in his office working on his closing statement.
At the DA’s office, Gil Garcetti asks Marcia to nail her closing statement. Um… yeah. I’m pretty sure that was her goal, Captain Obvious. To Clark’s credit, she rises to the occasion. She points out the “ocean” of evidence showing OJ’s guilt using a pyramid chart. It’s compelling. Perhaps if people actually understood the concept of DNA back then, OJ wouldn't have walked.
Christopher Darden closes too, describing OJ as a “ticking time bomb”. Darden says the case isn’t about the “n-word”, but the “m-word: murder.” I see what he did there. Nice work. OJ weeps. Darden paints a haunting blow-by-blow picture of OJ that night. OJ’s mama looks distressed. I wonder if she thinks her son did it.
For a moment, Cochran looks shook by the defense’s close. But it’s just a moment. Cochran launches into full-on Cochran glory. He says Fuhrman represents the entire LAPD and the jury must say “no more!” He asks, “If you don’t stop this cover up, who will? Send them a message!”
The trial is (finally) over and everyone is making plans to get out of town. Shapiro says that i a perfect world, he'd go spare with de la Hoya. Um. What? Shapiro is officially the drunk uncle of this show.
It’s finally time for the jury to deliberate. They take a vote. Eight people think OJ is not guilty. Two think he is. The majority of the jurors say the Defense didn’t prove its case and they will "never, ever" change their minds about that. The hold outs quickly cave.
Someone calls Judge Ito to tell him the jury’s reached a verdict.
Ito: Are you shitting me?
It’s been four hours. Shapiro says the jury has “discussed this case less than anybody in America”. Welp.
Cochran has the Fruit of Islam protecting him as he heads to court to hear the verdict. An angry Shapiro, who, by the way, is Jewish, accuses Cochran of heading to the courthouse with “strident black extremists!” Shapiro refuses to ride to court with The Fruit and speeds off in his Mercedes.
This is TV gold!!
It’s mayhem outside the courthouse and around the country. There’s actual footage from the 90s showing folks anticipating the OJ verdict. Aww, look! It’s Oprah!
Everyone’s back in court looking like nervous people trying not to look nervous. Hell, I’m nervous like I don’t know the verdict. Clark and OJ both look like they are about to cry.
The verdict is “not guilty”. Surprise, surprise.
Robert Kardashian hurls in the bathroom. Outside, white people are pissed, and black people are celebrating. There’s a chicken dancing in the street.
At a press conference, the DA says they are “profoundly disappointed” and the jury’s decision was based on emotion and not reason. Darden says this verdict was his worst fear come true. He breaks down and just walks off center stage to hug the Goldmans, who I feel really, really bad for.
Cochran walks through the courthouse until he finds Darden. Cochran says he knows the trial was hard on Darden, but he would like to help bring Darden back into the Community. Darden says he never left. And Darden pops Cochran’s bubble: “This [verdict] isn’t some civil rights milestone,” he tells Cochran. “Police will keep killing us. You haven’t changed anything for black people here unless of course you’re a famous, rich one in Brentwood.”
That was a read.
Unbothered, Cochran arrives at his office and discovers everyone on TV is talking about LAPD corruption, even then-POTUS Bill Clinton. Watching Clinton, Cochran says, “that’s the victory” and sheds a tear. “The story is out of the shadows.” I'm sure he was all gung ho to get his client off, but this case was never really about OJ for Cochran.
Clark is still at the office where she can hear people outside celebrating the verdict. Darden swings by and says he’s quitting. He says he was always too good for this job. Not as in too competent, but inherently too good, period. Clark says she’s quitting too. Off into the sunset they go (for a drink).
Kardashian is waiting for OJ at the jail exit. OJ says it’s time to celebrate and he’s throwing “the party of the century” at his house. Star mag is paying $400k for photos. As they approach Brentwood, OJ is shocked to see people protesting his return to the neighborhood.
At the house, OJ’s family is waiting for him, minus his two youngest kids. The Browns, who have been keeping the children while their father was locked up for murdering their mother and Ron Goldman, didn’t want to bring them by. Uh. I don't blame them.
I refuse to comment on Cuba Gooding, Jr's bare ass.
As a free man, for the first time in over a year, OJ loses it in his bedroom. I imagine the weight of the trial finally being over just hit him. Or he’s reliving the night he killed his ex- wife and Ron Goldman and he can’t believe he got off.
There’s a knock at the door. It’s OJ’s son Jason. He brought his dad a puppy “to make sure he always had a friend”. Jason gets what his dad is up against. OJ is still in denial.
It’s party time. There are lots of people at the house and OJ barely knows anyone there. Even house guest Kato Kaelin skipped the festivities. OJ makes a speech and promises he will look for the killer of his wife and her friend. There’s lukewarm applause. They don't believe you. You need more people.
AC realizes something’s wrong and people aren’t feeling OJ anymore. Finally, OJ realizes it too, especially when Kardashian abruptly leaves the party, leaving his Bible behind cause OJ's gonna need prayer. OJ’s got freedom and for now, his money, but no friends.
He wanders outside to the statue of himself in the yard. It’s a moment of truth. The Man vs. the Myth that’s been destroyed. Bill Withers’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” drops as OJ stares at his past and wonders about his future.
This is a brilliant ending to what has been a glorious mini-series.
OJ is eligible for parole in 2017. I wonder if a parole board will let The Juice loose?