HOLLYWOOD—It is finale time and what an emotional ride it has been! The whole season has been an interesting experiment to see if a show can be suspenseful when the audience knows what the ending is. We have had an amazing cast, and there is already talk of a season two that is being based on Hurricane Katrina, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
On to what happened in the finale, ‘The Verdict.’ It almost goes without saying that O.J. is found not guilty, but the show did a great lead-up to the verdict being read. We start off with Johnnie Cochran giving O.J. a pep talk before he goes in for his last day of court where he is allowed to make a speech in front of the jury. O.J. says he would not commit this crime, there have been misrepresentations about his relationship with Nicole Brown, and tries to pull at the jury’s heartstrings by talking about his children.
We then go onto the prosecution and defense’s closing speeches. From the prosecution’s side the jury is being told to look at the hard evidence of the crime scene by Marcia Clark and to look at the past evidence of Nicole’s abuse at the hands of O.J. by Chris Darden. Johnnie focuses on Detective Fuhrman being a racist who represents the entirety of the LAPD, and we hear the famous line, “If it [the glove] doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
After the final trial everyone on both teams are excited for vacation time, which gets cut short since the jury only deliberated for 4 hours before coming up with a verdict. We are shown original news clips of people, including Oprah’s studio audience, waiting for the verdict to be read. The suspense builds as the paperwork is checked and some words are stumbled over as it is read out loud, “Orenthal James Simpson is found not guilty.”
That sentence leads to a montage of mixed reactions. News clips containing people celebrating and people shaking their heads. Robert Kardashian leaves the courtroom to throw up in the bathroom.
Marcia, Chris and Gil Garcetti want to avoid the press release as Marcia feels ashamed for failing. Gil comforts her and says he is proud of her for not playing the defense team’s game. The press conference is emotional as Gil says the jury’s decision was based on emotion, Marcia urges people who are victims of domestic violence to still seek help, and Chris breaks down as he hugs the Goldman family feeling like he failed them.
Johnnie meets Chris in the hallway to tell him he respects how hard he fought and will help welcome him back into the black community once the dust settles. Chris strikes back saying he never left the black community and that Johnnie changed nothing for the black community by having O.J. be the first man to get off on a murder charge because he is black.
Back at the office, Chris tells Marcia he is planning on resigning. She tells him a story of how she was raped at 17 and the first rape case she had made her want vengeance for victims of crimes. She thought that was also other people’s idea of justice, but this case has shown her that is not so. At the end of the episode during the “where are they now” section, we find out that both Marcia and Chris resigned after the case.
After O.J. is released from prison he realizes that after a year, things are not what they were before the trial. O.J. gives Robert his Bible back and talks about being ready to party that night. When he gets home he finds out his two youngest kids are with their grandparents. At his welcome home party, most of his former friends are not there and a restaurant will not take a reservation being made by O.J. Simpson.
He decides to make a speech that his first priority is to take care of his and Nicole’s kids, and then he will be dedicated to finding Nicole and Ron Goldman’s killers. After the speech, Robert leaves and places his Bible on a table while O.J. watches. We find out afterwards that Robert questioned his friend’s innocence and they stopped talking after the trial.
The show ends with O.J. on his back lawn staring at the statue of himself while hearing past cheers of his former fans. We then find out where all the key players are now ending with the fact that O.J. is currently in jail, and a memorial to Nicole and Ron.
It was a long roller-coaster ride of a show, but I enjoyed the rush.