HOLLYWOOD—After last week’s episode with the tension building up to the infamous incident of the black glove not fitting O.J. Simpson’s hand, “A Jury in Jail” was a nice breather for the audience before the final two episodes of “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”
The episode begins with the jurors complaining about being stuck in the hotel for eight months with barely any outside contact when originally the trial was supposed to take only two months. The scene changes back to eight months earlier where the jury members are excited about a little “vacation” in a hotel that soon becomes more like a jail. We see the possible love connection between Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden has been lost as she snaps at him over the glove incident while Johnnie Cochran and his team celebrate.
This changes over to the discussion of DNA between O.J., Robert Kardashian and friends that reminded me that DNA was still new in 1995. Even though DNA is the main piece of evidence today, it used to be fingerprints.
Dennis Fung, the man who examined the blood samples found at the crime scene and O.J.’s blood, describes to the jury what DNA is and points to O.J. When asked who the third piece of DNA belongs to he notes Mr. Simpson, as it did not belong to Nicole Brown or Ron Goldman.
Throughout the season we have seen Robert go from being O.J.’s best friend who knows 100 percent that his pal could not commit a murder, to struggling when faced with all the evidence from the crime scene and O.J.’s current behavior. He tries to pry information from O.J. as to why Nicole’s blood was all over the Bronco, the driveway, and his socks, but tells O.J. it is other people who want to know, not him.
Now, we switch to seeing the first juror dismissed. Turns out juror 620 lied on his forms and had been previously convicted of kidnapping.
Once the defense team gets a chance to cross examine Fung about the DNA evidence a couple of valid points are brought up. Fung was handed O.J.’s blood at the crime scene by the LAPD and one quarter of the vile of O.J.’s blood had gone missing. The defense team’s plan is to create doubt in the jury by pointing out the small portion of the case and that the crime scene that had been mishandled.
Time to dismiss more jurors. Juror 462 also lied on her forms and was a victim of rape. Judge Ito, Marcia and Johnnie begin fully looking into each of the remaining jury members. Juror 2017 has the same arthritis doctor as O.J., another juror is secretly writing a book about the case, and another juror has a photo of him shaking hands with O.J. All conflicts of interest.
Flash forward once again. Everyone is feeling the pressure of what was supposed to be a two month long trial now taking up two-thirds of a year. One juror complains that the deputies are treating the white jurors better than the black jurors. Judge Ito agrees to rotate the deputies, but this ends up causing more problems. Most of the jurors after eight months have become friendly with the previous deputies and the new deputies are stricter. During the trial, the jurors refuse to come in until Judge Ito threatens to hold them in contempt. Most of the jurors come in wearing black showing signs of the first jury revolt.
There is talk of a possible mistrial leading Johnnie to try to make peace with Marcia by bringing her a cup of coffee. This also leads O.J. to try and convince his team that he needs to testify. Bob Shapiro and Johnnie agree to this only on the ground that O.J. does a mock cross-examine first. This gives us a nice little preview of how bad it will go having O.J. on the stand, especially when he doesn’t admit to domestic violence and claims that he and Nicole would only “wrestle” when they were arguing.
One heart touching moment is at the end of the episode, when Robert breaks down to Kris Jenner. He says he can’t even look at O.J., who was his best friend for 20 years, anymore, but he can’t leave his side. If he left his friend O.J. would be convicted and it would cause more problems for him, Kris, and their four children.
We end on a great cliffhanger. The O.J. tip line rings, a detective picks up and writes on his notepad that there is a tape recording of Detective Mark Furhman using the “N word.” I can’t wait to see how that affects the case next episode!