Seriously? Why are we starting with the Kardashians? This series is not about Robert Kardashian Sr. He's not even the lead attorney. I get the family stuff with Johnnie Cochran. I get Shapiro. I even get F. Lee Bailey. But Kardashian's role in the Dream Team is less actual legal maneuvering and more managing OJ, which admittedly is a full-time gig.
But here we are.
It's Father's Day and Kardashian is taking his brood to Chi Chi's. It's crowded and he suggests somewhere else, but the kids insist. He walks into the restaurant and the waitresses recognizes him, so party of five doesn't have to wait. The kids are impressed. Kardashian notcies everyone is looking at him.
Kim asks dad if he thinks OJ did it. Kardashian says "no". He adds that he's going to tell everyone that when he goes on Barbara Walters. The kids reveal Walters called "Mom" and Bruce too. Kardashian gives the kids a speech abut fame being fleeting and hallow, and meaning nothing at all without a virtous heart. They hear him, but they don't feel him.
Somewhere in New York, the photo team at Time magazine is trying to figure out what to do about their OJ cover since his mugshot will be everywhere by the time the cover drops in a week. They darken the image to make OJ looked “trapped, haunted, the fallen idol.” Yeah, that's not what it conveyed. They gon' catch hell for that. Sigh.
OJ is in jail, listening to the charges from a nearby TV set. The reporter is wondering if the death penalty is an option. Clark says “everything is on the table”. Clark is the star of the office and naively thinks the prosecution of OJ is going to be an easy win. She's so confident, that she asked for a demotion in order to take the case. Oh, Marcia.
Shapiro is looking at news coverage of OJ and decides to fly out F. Lee Bailey to add him to the Dream Team. OMG! It's Nathan Lane. I LOVE this guy! I used to watch Birdcage every single day in college! Shapiro goes over the most damning evidence with Bailey. It's all overwhelming and everyone, including Alan Dershowitz, the most famous lawyer in the country, thinks Shapiro is going to settle. "They got me down as the smuck who will walk OJ to the gas chamber," Shapiro says. He wants to shut up Dershowitz. Bailey says to hire him.
Back at the DA's office, Clark and friends are trying to figure out where to hold the trial. Gil Garcetti says DTLA will have the best space, and better optics, i.e., black people. Clark says she’s fine with that. Are you really?
Dershowitz aka "Harry" from Sex and the City, shows up with awful hair to meet with The Dream Team, sans Cochran. Dershowitz says the evidence makes OJ look guilty and Shapiro and Kardashian screwed up with the press conference, but luckily for all of them, OJ has good will. "He’s a Greek god laid low", Dershowitz assesses. "But he’s still a Greek god."
Dershowitz has more. He showed up with Barry Scheck, an expert on this brand new thing called DNA. Scheck's strategy to make the jury question all the evidence they hear. “We will hack at them,” Dorschwitz says. “Make every piece of evidence presentedeither thrown out, untriustwothy or confusing. No quarter.” This is kind of brilliant.
Scheck, also an attorney, is the gift that keeps on giving. On the way out of the meeting, he mentions that he knows one of the officers involved in the case: Mark Fuhrman. And even better, "he's a prick".
At the DA’s office, Marcia is holding court when another attorney adds a fun fact: Shapiro once represented Bailey in at the longest drunk driving trial ever. Clark declares The Dream Team, "the most famous collection of expensive lawyers in the world and they’re trying to buy OJ out of trouble."
Across town, Mrs. Cochran is at home getting her Roberta Flack on while she prepares dinner. Cochran is practicing for his upcoming turn on NBC where he is being called the Sr. OJ Analyst. The Mrs. wonders if Johnnie should try to get in on the case. He says he isn't interested because it's a lost cause. She asks how he would feel is someone else got OJ off. Cochran says that wouldn’t feel good. And so it begins.
Time and Newsweek OJ covers hit stands at the same time and the contrast between the two covers (Newsweek didn't doctor theirs) is startling. Time's image makes OJ look more sinister. When Darden goes to get a copy, the newsstand owner points out they “made him blacker”. Black folks ain't happy. Cochran is on TV talking about how it’s racially insiseitive, but the real tragedy here is that the LAPD culture hasn’t changed. Shapiro's watching.
Scheck did as promised and found the Furhman files. The short version: Furhman hates Black people and once sued the city bececause working for the LAPD made him have violent fantasies abut beating up black people. Shapiro says, “this is a gift”. Right then, he outlines the defense's strategy: the LAPD set up OJ because they have a systemic racism problem.
A reporter from The New Yorker conveniently shows up at Shapiro’s office unexpected and uninvited. Shapiro shoos his off, then changes his mind. He unloads on the reporter about the systematic racism of the LAPD and how they're railroading The Black Man, and throws Mark Furham under the bus by name. The reporter is shocked by the angle. Shapiro says that maybe there's a conspiracy.
At home, Marcia’s oldest kid is playing with dangerous objects and the stove. Oh, Geez.. Marcia is a soft Mom, a stark contrast to how she is for work where she's pissed off all the time. She's still in the kitchen when she overhears one of her witnesses on TV giving interviews about OJ. It's the lady who saw him the night of the murder. The next day at the office, Marcia says she’s off the witness list and she fears the DA is losing control of the case because witnesses lose credibility when they are paid for interviews. She's not worried about losing the witness because thea DA "has all the aces". Her confidence and naivety are shocking.
OJ’s in jail meeting with his attorneys. He wants to know why no one comes to visit in jail and if anyone is looked into Faye Resnick’s friends who sell drugs. The defense brushes hm off. They obviously think he did it. Shapiro says he wants to add a litigator to the team, ie. Johnnie Cochran. OJ says no. “We need someone who can communicate to the downtown jury," Shapiro insists. OJ sees through what Shaipro is saying and balks. He doesn’t want to make this into a race thing. “I’m not Black,” he says. “I’m OJ.”
Cochran is at the office going over cases when his secretary announces he has a call from OJ. Cochran thinks this is his big moment, but unfortunately, it’s a prank call. Be patient, Brother. You’re gonna get your turn.
Kato and his boy are running in the park. He says the Simpsons are kicking him out of the guest house and he doesn't understand why. He's enjoying his newfound popularity, especially the girls who flash them their boobs. But fame comes with a downside. A pair of guys run past and one calls him a murderer and spits. Ahh, poor Kato. He didn't do it.
Darden’s at work when he gets a call from The New Yorker about Mark Furhman. He runs it upstairs to Marcia aka “Big Time”. Marcia asks Darden what he thinks about the case. He says it’s strong, but adds that a lot of Black peole think OJ didn’t do it. Macia seems shocked to hear this. She has no black friends. None. “It’s an emotional thing, not a rational one,” Darden says.
Kardashian heads to the Jenner home to pick up the kids from ex-wife Kris Jenner. She makes him wait on the porch because she's mad he's defending OJ. “He butchered [Nicole]” she accuses. Kardashian doesn't believe that and asks Jenner not to tell the kids they’re uncle is a killer.
Darden is back in Marcia’s office. She wants Draden to prosecute AC for helping OJ flee. They are so flirting with each other. A junior attorney interrupts to tell Clark to watch the TV. They’re running Nicole Brown Simpson's 911 call, the one where OJ is raging in the background and Nicole says, “he’s going to beat the sh—out of me.”
Marcia is pissed her evidence is on TV. Bill Hodgman says they have enough evidence. “When Shapiro sees what we’ve got , he’s going to roll over and play dead.” Bill says. Um, no Bill. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
The New Yorker magazine drops. Bailey is proud of the size of Shapiro’s balls. “We are back in this thing,” Bailey says. “We’re highway ready and back in the race.” Yes, yes you are.
Hodgman reads The New Yorker article and says Shapiro’s strategy is desperate and transparent. Darden tells them it will stick. For the love of Hova, someone listen to this man. Clark and Hodgman seem like nice people, but they are clueless. Clark at least looks worried. She realizes the article is a declaration of war.
Kardashian is reading the article to OJ. Does this man do anything at all for himself? OJ’s mad about the race card being played, but unbothered by the 911 call. He says he and his ex wife were “just tussling”. Sir. Shapiro insists on Johnnie Cochran and it’s the only way OJ will see daylight again. Finally OJ relents.
Cochran is at work so late that his secretary has gone home. When the call from Shapiro comes in, he answers the phone himself.
The next day, Cochran meets with Shapiro, who wants Cochran to know that he will remain lead counsel throughout the case. Cochran agrees and says that before he commits, he has to look into OJ’s eyes. “I need to believe him,” Cochran says. Shapiro arranges a meet at the jail.
OJ is a mess when Cochran shows up. Cochran says he will get him out of jail, but it's going to take some time and skill. In the meantime, he needs OJ to be strong. “I want to see that strength that I know is in you. If you don’t have enough, you can have some of mine," Cochran says. It’s a beautiful line.
Marcia is at home. The kids are knocked out and she goes for a smoke. She’s preparing for the worst as she flips over the LA Times. The headline announces that Cochran is now on the Dream Team. She stamps out her cigarette and says “Motherf---er” in disgust as the camera pans high and wide. She realizes she's in trouble.
Beautiful work once again by FX and the whole cast.
What did you think of Episode 3?