Each Wednesday, I will break down FX’s The People vs. O.J. Simpson, a fictional crime thriller set in 1990s Los Angeles, with the hopes of determining just who dun it. Today, Episode 9: Manna From Heaven.
Vindication has come at last for The Juice in last night’s episode, as the theory of the crime his lawyers presented for the jury finally is backed with hard evidence.
But it won’t be easy to obtain. In Manna From Heaven, both the prosecution and defense fight tooth and nail over the Fuhrman tapes, the recordings of the detective, Fuhrman, who found evidence implicating The Juice at his house, making racial slurs.
We begin with the two black lawyers, Johnnie and Chris, fighting over another matter, a statement a witness made that was racial tinged.
Chris loses his cool with Johnnie, who he believes is unfairly picking on him over the matter.
A woman is called by researchers for the defense, after it is revealed she is in possession of a great number of recordings of Fuhrman making vicious, vicious statements about black people.
She is reluctant to hand them over, though, and Johnnie and the drunk lawyer go to North Carolina to procure them. Johnnie struggles to convince a white judge, which further makes him believe a racial bias is built into the system. The drunk lawyer, who is white, is able to convince an appeals court.
Both parties scramble to review the tapes, and they are revealing, indeed. Fuhrman admits to framing blacks numerous times over, beating them solely for the color of their skin, speaking glibly about it. It’s clear the tapes are very damaging to the prosecution’s case.
It is also revealed on the tapes that the wife of the judge in the trail, Lance A. Ito, had contact with Fuhrman. He repeatedly insults her for having reprimanded him, proving Ito’s wife lied on the conflict of interest form.
Lance A. Ito takes time to decide if he should recuse himself, while another judge rules on the admissibility of Fuhrman’s statements about Ito’s wife.
Marcia and Clark make amends for theirs mistakes in court, Marcia for her insistence on using Furhman as a witness, while Chris apologizes for insisting The Juice try on the gloves found at the murder scene. It’s easy to tell the experience has left them fried.
Judge Lance A. Ito makes a very narrow decision in the matter, allowing just a snippet of the 13 hours of tapes, enough to prove Furhman perjured himself while keeping himself in the judge’s seat.
Called back to the stand, Fuhrman refuses to answer any questions, invoking his right against self-incrimination. When asked if he planted evidence at The Juice’s house, he declines to answer.
Afterward, we see The Juice ecstatic, realizing that he just might get off, as his best friend, Rob, looks on aghast.
The case against The Juice: NONE! The prosecution, throughout the episode, appears to be resigned to their fate, that they lost the biggest case of their career. But The Juice’s best friend, as he sees his friend celebrate, realizes that if The Juice didn’t do it, he would be acting a much different way.
The case for The Juice: The defense’s theory that the police worked to frame The Juice got the boost it needed today, with Furhman, the first one on the scene, who admitted to hopping The Juice’s fence to get on his property, had planted evidence to frame black suspects in previous trials. Would he do it in the biggest case of his career? He won’t say, leaving us to believe he did.
So did The Juice do it? Fuck no! Fuhrman framed him! He framed him!
The Verdict: In. Oh. Cent.
Check back next Wednesday for our recap of the finale, Episode 10, and let me know in the comments if you think The Juice did it. I can’t wait to find out.