‘The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,’ Episode 2 Recap: O.J. Hysteria At An All Time High
O.J. Simpson (Cuba Gooding Jr.) speeds away from his worries on the California freeway in his white Ford Bronco. The episode opens with his friend, Robert Kardashian (David Schwimmer), praying for O.J. Kardashian was extremely concerned since the last time he saw him he was suicidal and very unstable.
Meanwhile, the LAPD is completely mortified by the situation. O.J. is the prime suspect in their case and he managed to escape a house full of people.
“He can’t hide forever, everyone knows his face,” Prosecutor Marcia Clark (Sarah Paulson) said.
As the LAPD holds a press conference, O.J.’s lawyer, Robert Shapiro (John Travolta) and Kardashian feel the need to host their own. Shapiro’s ego oozes as he makes himself seem less responsible for the situation. As Kardashian speaks, we see a scene where all of his kids are in the living room excited to see their father on TV. Once he finishes, a reporter asks him to his last name. Ironically, he spells it out and we hear the children back in the living room chanting the letters of their now-infamous last name.
The police pursue a statewide manhunt for him, and O.J. continues to speed down the freeway with his friend, A.C. (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), in the driver’s seat. A couple notices a white Bronco whipping through the lanes and pulls off at the next call station to warn police.
The cops surround the car but find O.J. suicidal with a gun to his head in the backseat. A.C. screams at the cops to let them go and they speed off towards his home. O.J. begs him to take him to see his mother throughout their entire chase, that’s all he really wants. Gooding plays the role disturbingly well where you can feel the anxiety of O.J.’s hysterics. It’s easy to see the anguish in his character which can easily make the viewer feel conflicted. The only person who seems to calm him down is Kardashian.
Kardashian is the one who tells O.J.’s family that there is “reason to believe that he’s killed himself.” Shapiro and Kardashian both assumed O.J. took his life after reading the notes left behind. They don’t realize the truth until they turn on the news and see the high-speed chase on live television.
“Good for you O.J., good for you. We’re still in the game,” Shapiro said.
As the chase continues, the LAPD questions protocol. Clark suggests shooting out the tires until District Attorney Gil Garcetti (Bruce Greenwood) reminds them that he’s an armed celebrity fugitive on all the live TV networks.
People are hooked to the media coverage. They air the live chase and interrupt the NBA finals to show the footage of him on the freeway. The district attorneys in the LAPD offices, sports fans at bars (who thought they were watching the NBA Finals), and even O.J.’s family crowd around the television to watch.
Lawyer Johnnie Cochran continues to defend O.J. believing that racial discrimination must be involved. Many others believe the same. We see people lined up along the freeway cheering on O.J. and holding up signs of encouragement.
“We’re not cheering for O.J., we’re booing the LAPD,” young kids said while chanting, “Go O.J.”
Young blacks think that race is an issue as well. One young man tells a reporter that O.J. is a “black man being hunted by the police.”
They arrive home with people crowding the streets. Kardashian finally convinces O.J. to come inside the house after being stuck inside the car with police surrounding him. O.J. repeatedly says he’s sorry. He calmly sits on his couch to immediately call his “momma.” The police handcuff him and escort him outside to the police car.
The car pulls off, lights flashing, with O.J. handcuffed in the backseat.
Tune into The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story Tuesdays 10 p.m. ET on FX.