[For The People v. OJ Simpson “Manna From Heaven” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
Manna From Heaven. Johnnie Cochran and F. Lee Bailey go across country to acquire the Mark Fuhrman tapes.

“Manna From Heaven” opens with the Dream Team’s investigator calling a woman to ask her about tapes she made of Mark Fuhrman but she doesn’t want to help OJ Simpson and refuses to even talk to him. Then he tells the team the tapes are filled with offensive language including the n-word all over the place and talking about planting evidence. But they can’t get the tapes because the woman who has them wants to sell her screenplay. She can’t be bought otherwise. Johnnie latches on to the importance of these tapes and won’t abide Scheck’s comment that lucky breaks doesn’t just fall from the sky. “Oh yes they do,” Johnnie says, raising his hands to the ceiling. “God brought us these tapes… this is Manna From Heaven” and he spends the rest of the episode arguing this point.

The prosecution isn’t quite so ironclad or optimistic, though. Darden is flustered from Cochran’s avalanche of courtroom accusations of racism and it adversely affects his lawyering ability. He’s rattled and it doesn’t help his nerves that the whole thing is televised. Marcia, who cares only about winning at this point, is not exactly empathetic to Darden. They’re cranky and intolerant with each other at a time when they need each other’s support more than ever.

The Dream Team then puts forth a subpoena for the thirteen tapes; they’re in North Carolina so the Dream Team needs to send members to fight for them. F Lee Bailey explains that he should go because he’s won over two hundred cases in North Carolina. Of course, Johnnie has to go too, as the self-proclaimed true believer in the tapes. They fly to North Carolina immediately and right away sit down to read the transcripts. It turns out that, indeed, racist hate and the n-word are all over these tapes. Johnnie argues a case in the North Carolina court that the tapes need to be brought to California for the OJ trial but the judge isn’t persuaded and denies his request. On the way out of the courtroom F. Lee Bailey suggests that he present a prompt appeal merely because he’s a more welcome sight in a southern courtroom. Of course, it turns out he’s right and subsequently the tapes go to California for the trial.

The next step is getting Judge Ito to find them admissible. While we’re waiting on that decision we hear some outtakes from the tapes and they’re horrifying. But it gets even more complicated when Clark and Darden play a tape for Gil (the DA) that has Fuhrman talking about how much he hates Judge Ito’s wife, a high ranking officer in the LAPD. This represents a gigantic problem because it’s a conflict of interest for Ito. This would mean a mistrial. Once Ito gets wind of this situation he brings it all out in court and says he doesn’t want to trigger a mistrial and thus thinks another judge should determine if he should continue to be the acting judge on this trial. The new judge reviews the tapes and listens to arguments, in the end finding that Ito should remain on the case. Then we’re back to the issue of admitting the tapes.

There’s some Darden and Marcia drama that plays out so true-to-life it’s tugs at even our jaded, fossilized, hearts. First Darden yells at Marcia because he’d fought so hard against using Fuhrman. How many times did he tell her? So many times. And Marcia ignored him over and over again. He says, “You put me on this trial because you wanted a black face but you never wanted a black voice,” powerful and true words that Clark really seems to hear, finally. Then in a later scene she apologizes to him for not listening about Fuhrman. Darden then apologizes to her for not listening to her about having Simpson try on the gloves. They shake hands and are a dynamic duo again. But, unfortunately, no make-up sex. We do predict some Clark/Darden romantic fan fiction appearing on the Internet in the near future, though, so don’t get too bummed. The nation demands titillation and it always gets what it wants eventually.

Fighting to get the tapes heard by the court, Cochran argues that Fuhrman uses the n-word thirty times and cites harsh and unwarranted punitive actions against suspects based on their race. The tapes are literally a bloody racist mess and all from a man who testified that he’s never even said the n-word. Marcia argues that she’s not here to defend Mark Fuhrman but rather Ron and Nicole. These tapes merely cloud the real issue at hand, she says. This is a murder trial. Ito then decides he doesn’t want to suppress any information because of nationwide interest so he will play the tapes in court but keep the jury out for the initial listen.

Trouble is that because the tapes are played in court and thus on nationwide broadcast, this Fuhrman disaster does indeed overshadow the other evidence. The information on those tapes is such a grand scale with enormous repercussions that it took over the minds of everybody so that it’s no longer just a murder trial. Ron Goldman’s father speaks to the TV press about how it’s a tragedy that this trial has completely lost sight of the murder victims. And he’s right. In fact, critics on both sides are right. Darden was right when he said the trial has become a circus but Cochran is also right that there is a larger societal issue at hand. The fact that this was going on in the LAPD shouldn’t be ignored – also true. So, what do you do when both sides are right? That’s when you have to rely on the rules of law as applied to the issue at hand. So, this is how Ito handles it. He decides to allow the jury to hear only two sentences from the Fuhrman tapes. From those two statements the jury will know that Fuhrman committed perjury which is the alleged purpose of playing the tapes. Although, everyone’s fully aware that Cochran has a higher purpose in mind as well.

Next we see Johnnie get the news that only two sentences of the tapes will be admitted into evidence. He’s upset that he can’t put the whole racist system of violence and oppression that Fuhrman represents on trial. For him it’s a personal loss even though, for this particular case, it’s a technical win. The jury only hears twelve words but Johnnie’s wife points out to him that the world already heard the rest of the tapes. There’s evidence of this the next day when picketers attack vehicles outside the courthouse holding up signs that say “Get the KKK out of the LAPD” and similar statements. Then Fuhrman sits on the witness stand yet again. This time Darden walks out of the courtroom before Fuhrman testifies. But all Fuhrman will say is that he wishes to assert his fifth amendment privilege as an answer to every question. It’s a waste.

In the last scene OJ dances with glee as he changes from his courtroom suit to prison clothes. He’s celebrating his inevitable freedom as Kardashian looks on with disgust all over his face. Meanwhile at the DA’s office, Clark finds out she got primary custody of her children in her divorce settlement. Her assistant says, “So, you got everything,” and Marcia looks up at her, bewildered. Of course she didn’t get everything but yes, she did get primary custody of the kids. You win some you lose some, her eyes seem to say but you never ever “get everything” that’s for certain. These last two facial expressions, on Kardashian and then Clark, perfectly comprise the resonant feeling of this episode. It’s as if the characters are starting to realize this trial is actually quicksand and no matter how hard they fight, it’s a sinker. There’s a scene where Clark and Darden discuss if maybe a mistrial wouldn’t be such a bad thing. It could represent a chance to “do-over” having learned from all their mistakes. Then Marcia points out that of course we all want to do over certain regrets from life. But we live in reality and thus, instead we have to forge ahead, move on, and do the next right thing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how any of us might want to rewrite the OJ Simpson case. There is no do-over even in this semi-fictionalized universe of “American Crime Story”. Because it was a real life event, this trial will proceed the way it happened, whether we like it or not.

–Katherine Recap

[For Better Call Saul “Inflatable” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

AMC Summary:
Inflatable. Mike and Jimmy work together to keep the peace when Mike’s hand is forced and his frustration shows.

Once again Kim steals the show in the episode “Inflatable” and wins our hearts all over again. Mainly we’re happy because she teaches us an important lesson. One of the greatest challenges in life can be balancing independence and asking for help when we need it. It can be tough but Kim forges a new path for herself and manages to create this balance in the process. Of course, Jimmy’s going places too… but we knew that already from the show title. It’s not called “Better Call Jimmy McGill at David & Main,” after all. But Jimmy is our hero and we weren’t sure what role Kim really played until now. She’s Yoda. Kim’s a sage and Zen Master too; teaching every last one of us how to go after what we really want. A tubular windsock gets more airtime than Mike in this one but we’re still left with a sense of dread from the few onscreen minutes he has.

It begins as child Jimmy flips through a Playboy magazine at the back of his father’s deli while a customer cons his dad. Jimmy tries to warn his father but the man won’t hear of it. When his father goes to the back room, the grifter buys two cartons of Kools from Jimmy with the money his dad just forked over for his “sick child.” The grifter tells Jimmy, “There are wolves and sheep in this world. Figure out which one you’re gonna be”. After he leaves Jimmy opens the cash register and pockets eight dollars – not a sheep.

Then we’re taken to modern day Jimmy representing Mike at the courthouse. Jimmy amends Mike’s former statement that it was Tuco’s gun used in his assault. The DA asks how the gun could’ve had only Tuco’s prints on it and Jimmy defends the silent Mike with lots of creative possibilities. Then the DA asks Mike if he was threatened or paid off and the duo take their leave. Afterward Jimmy tells Mike he did the right thing because Tuco’s nuts. Jimmy doesn’t even want to charge him for it but Mike’s annoyed rather than grateful and demands Jimmy bill him then makes him take a different elevator.

Jimmy dictates a resignation letter for Davis & Main to his assistant, Omar. But then Omar explains that he’ll have to give the bonus money back if he quits or is fired for cause before a full year at D&M. So, Jimmy promptly retracts his resignation. He drives to Albuquerque and on the way becomes entranced by a tubular windsock man dancing in the wind outside a car dealership. The colorful nylon guy makes Jimmy smile and he’s inspired by it. Then we see a glorious montage of colorful Jimmy letting his freak flag fly in an attempt to get fired without cause. The best of his antics is playing bagpipe at the office to “blow off steam and deal with stress”. This serves as the last straw for Clifford Main and thus Jimmy is finally let go (but not for cause) so he can keep his bonus.

Then we see Kim composing her resignation letter to HHM when Jimmy interrupts. He makes her an alternative offer, Wexler McGill – their own firm. With his bonus Jimmy can offer her the same deal as S&C but also make her a partner the very next day rather than in two years. It’s a gamble, yes but she’s gambling on herself and they both know that’s a good bet. Kim asks if he’s going to play it straight as a lawyer if they do this and at first Jimmy says yes but then he says he’s gotta do it as himself, colorful. She asks why he wants her and Jimmy says he needs her. Then Kim says he’s got her, just not as a law partner.

Next we see Kaylee’s mom showing Mike the new house she wants in a great neighborhood with good schools. It’s nice but she’s worried that it’s a lot of money. Mike tells her that he’ll cover “whatever the cost” so she thanks him with a hug he can’t return because he’s Mike and made of ancient redwood. Then we see Mike pull up across from the ice cream shop where he met with Hector, Tuco’s uncle. He’s far enough away to not be seen but can watch the comings and goings of the place from his stakeout position. The wheels turn inside Mike as he sits in the silent, dark car; watching the juice place and giving us no indication of his plan.

Then Kim eases through her final interview at S&C where they asking about how she ended up here. “I guess I just wanted something more,” she says. Afterward on the roof Kim has a smoke and looks at the card Jimmy mocked up for their firm together, Wexler McGill with cutout ‘W’ and ‘M’. She rips apart the big M and W straight down the middle and looks at the two pieces separated. Then Kim goes to Jimmy’s “office” and tells him she’s decided not to take the job at S&C. He’s right that they should start a solo practice. Kim has a proposal, though; separate firms under one roof. They aren’t partners but rather solo practitioners… together; not Wexler McGill, but Wexler and McGill. They can support each other but also each have their own firm and cases, all under one roof. Jimmy says he doesn’t know what to say. Kim replies, “Say yes”.

So, Kim has thus found a way to make it all work with them out on their own and Jimmy has us excited to see his imminent shenanigans. The real tension and dread now lies with Mike. As always, he’s got a plan and we’ve got no idea what it is other than that it clearly involves Hector and likely getting vengeance along with a lot of money. All three of these characters are breaking new ground, Mike for his granddaughter, and the dynamic duo in pursuit of their independent lawyerly dreams. It feels like Saul Goodman’s creation lies imminent and probably arises out of the criminal world we know he’s soon destined to join. Given the parallels between Mike and Jimmy, it’s likely Mike’s the keymaster that locks this connection between Jimmy and criminality into place. So, the real mystery lies in what role Kim will play. But yes, we’re also wondering what the heck Mike’s got planned for Hector.

–Katherine Recap

[For Vinyl “The King and I” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
The King and I. Richie and Zak travel to Las Vegas in hopes of persuading Elvis Presley to change labels.

“The King and I” references two rock n’roll drug overdose deaths with Elvis and Gram Parsons when they meet with Richie in LA. In real life both died from drugs after many years of bodily abuse. In the case of Gram Parsons, the newly sober and straight Richie greets the singer/songwriter at a party where Gram invites him on a trip to Joshua Tree National Park and offers him some booze. Richie declines the drink and journey. Little did he know that Gram Parsons would die from an overdose of morphine mixed with alcohol at Joshua Tree – the very trip Richie declined. Soon after this visit with Parsons, Richie has a tete-a-tete with Elvis and at one point mentions how fifty years from now Elvis will look back on this. But in reality, Elvis will be dead from drugs only four years after this conversation. Even though Richie declines drugs and booze throughout the episode, these two ironic meet and greets stay with us as poignant reminders of all the formidable talent the music industry has drowned with drugs over the years. This theme pretty much hammers us over the head throughout “The King and I” even if you’ve never heard of Gram Parsons or, due to your eternally empty and completely unfulfilled life, Elvis.

The episode opens with Cece giving all Richie’s booze to the rest of the office. It’s Christmas for the boozers… but only for a momentary buzz because in the conference room employees cut up their Diner’s Club cards on cue. This signifies how American Century scrapes the barrel bottom in financial cutbacks just trying to stay afloat. Then Richie tells his team about a deal that could buy them some time with a hundred thousand dollar profit if they sell their jet. It would also pay off their jet debt completely. Catch is, he’s gotta go to Los Angeles today to strike the deal. Zak decides to go with him because he’d trust his wife naked in bed with Burt Reynolds more than Richie with one hundred thousand dollars. On the plane they fight and then make up. Zak boozes it up but Richie stays dry, though he gazes longingly at a bottle of whiskey even as he toasts the trip with a bottle of Coca Cola.

Then Richie and Zak sell the company jet in Santa Monica and get the hundred thousand that the company desperately needs. After the sale they’ve got seven hours to kill before their flight so they go to a party in Malibu packed with mellow musicians like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, The Mamas and The Papas, and tons of other peyote-toking folksters. Bottom line, it’s a boring ass party. Richie calls it a mortuary with an ocean view and he’s not far off. Then Zak overhears industry peeps talking about disgruntled Elvis who’s in Vegas right now. He’s sick of RCA Records. So, Richie and Zak break out of that banal party and hijack some folk star’s limo to LAX and then fly Vegas. Once there they hook up with the notorious Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’s manager and a sublime sort of oddball old guy with an ever-present cane, cigar, and white hat. Parker tells Zak and Richie to join him up in Elvis’s room after the show that night. Then Richie and Zak meet two pretty women by the pool, ladies Richie either heartily convinced or paid to give Zak his first threesome, and they share coke with the guys but Richie doesn’t do it. He jumps in the pool, a la The Graduate, instead.

That night Zak is saddest and most surprised to see that hot rockin’ Elvis has been overrun by a sad sack in a spangled jumpsuit – a man who now sings of lettuce rather than love. Zak mourns rock n’ roll’s death and they all leave the show to hit the casino. In an odd turn of the tables Zak snorts coke and makes a series of ridiculous choices while Richie stays chill. One of Zak’s big mistakes is talking about all the money they have back at the hotel room right in front of the two luscious ladies. He also suggests they should take it all to the casino table because of Richie’s lucky streak. But then thanks to Richie’s clear head, Zak’s just as happy attending his first threesome in their hotel room. Richie leaves them to “go get some more Dom” but instead visits Elvis by himself. They have a one-on-one meeting because the Colonel isn’t around. So, Richie and Elvis bond as he reminds Elvis what it means to be “The King”. He’s gotta get back to being about rock n’ roll again… a King takes care of his kingdom, after all. Elvis paces a little and they talk deals. Then Elvis realizes that Richie “gets him,” and admits he wishes he’d done Woodstock. Richie lies and says there will be other Woodstocks (ha ha ha) and Elvis clearly agrees with Richie that he doesn’t belong at RCA Records with the capes and old ladies. But then the Colonel shows up and big times intervenes. He’s got Elvis by the balls, just like in real life, and when he tells Richie to see himself out it’s clear Richie has lost his chance to land the King after all.

When Richie gets back to the hotel room Zak’s passed out in what appears to be their ransacked room. The cash bag is empty now and Zak curses himself for talking about the money in front of the ladies. Richie rages at first but then forgives Zak a little too quickly. We then see the disheartened duo flying home coach and as Richie starts boozing again we find out that, in fact, it was Richie who took the money from the cash bag that night. When he came back from the Elvis failure he raided the cash bag and bet all their profits down to zero at the casino.

So, Zak and Richie return to NYC with the plane paid off to the creditors, but no profit for the company, and their friendship back on track even if it’s still crammed with lies and backstabbing. Everything is a compromise, after all, a give and take. Richie is the lone exception to this. Even as he walks around sporting a shiny gold halo throughout “The King and I” turning down drink after drink, woman after woman, and snort after snort; Richie’s always on the take. Behind the scenes he’s a King too. He’s the king of conniving and thriving in his secret, specialized Richie-brand debauchery and nobody knows any better… yet.

–Katherine Recap

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Like the title says, this is a post about things I didn’t like about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Like anything I do, say, or write about comics and comics-related media it will be almost annoyingly detailed; TLDR: spoilers Spoilers SPOILERS. Consider yourself warned.

1. The violence was genuinely (and needlessly) over-the-top


Adapted work is its own thing.

That’s one of the things die-hard superfans sometimes miss. There have already been innumerable comics about Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. The fact that this movie got made is its own thing, the same way The Lord of the Rings films were their on thing, or the Game of Thrones HBO show is its own thing. The original work, the source material, is in a sense limited (and targeted to a limited audience)… Bringing the page to small or big screens is at once a compliment and a compromise.

A compliment in that these characters (that some of us die-hard superfans love) get to be exposed to more people, in more consumable contexts… But compromise because expectations for movies and tv shows and what the average viewer will like can be very different. So I get the idea that you want to modernize Superman (or Batman). I get when you make a movie that costs hundreds of millions of dollars you’re going to want to have a lot of explosions. You might not be willing to dwell on the specific ethics of these characters that have been developing for seventy years for very long in a film that has to cram a lot of stuff in; cutting such a perspective into a single sound byte might make sense as a filmmaking choice.


… At some point adapting, “modernizing”, and reducing down too much can betray the essence of a character; what makes the character [special], or worth a movie (or a movie franchise).

Case in point:

In the opening action sequence a terrorist has Lois Lane at gunpoint. Superman is staring him down. Superman can do a lot of different things here (this is a movie, by the way, that acknowledges the work of John Byrne in the credits). He can melt the terrorist’s gun with heat vision. He can fly so fast that he can stop the hammer of the gun on the way down. Even if the gun is to Lois’s temple he can move so quickly he can catch the bullet before it hits her. All of these things, by the by, are well within the abilities Superman shows in this movie.

Zach Snyder has Superman torpedo into the terrorist and slam him through the wall behind him. Not only is this way more risky than anything I suggested above… It would almost necessarily result in the terrorist being liquefied. There is just no reason for it… Though it does set the tone for the next two hours and their nonstop over-the-top violence.

2. Superman’s complete lack of conscience or consequences


Superman has many super powers… Heat vision, super strength, resistance to injury, lightning speed to the point of interplanetary flight. That last one has, over the years and different writers’ interpretations led to super-learning and super-strategy. Superman’s brain just works super fast; he is a super scientist sometimes, a chess master, a prize winning writer.

The difference between Superman and Batman is that Superman is always tempered by his humble roots and moral grounding.

So why in the world (beyond the fact that he is more than willing to fly humans through brick walls) would he trade Batman’s life for Martha Kent’s? We know why Batman wants to fight Superman… But at the climax of the film, Superman consents to Lex Luthor that he will trade the head of the Batman for his own mother’s life.

Let’s think about this for a moment… If Superman wins, Batman dies; if Superman doesn’t win (or doesn’t fight), Martha dies. It’s a life for a life in either case… But in one Superman isn’t the murderer himself. Where is his moral compass? What would Martha have wanted for him? In the universe set up by Man of Steel Clark let his father die for less.

Besides which, super-brain for a second, if Lex knows who his mom is and can blackmail him this one time, what is to stop him from doing the same thing the next time?

3. Batman seemed to have no problems killing people… With guns


In comics and most related media, both Batman and Superman have gone to extraordinary lengths to preserve human life, even of their archenemies. A lengthy plot line in the Justice League cartoon is about Bruce thinking about killing the Joker (but not) when Clark thinks about killing Luthor and going down a dark path. Only the alternate-universe-death of Lois Lane is ever enough to have Superman do stuff like punch out the Joker’s heart; less than that and he will turn the other cheek. It was a huge deal at the end of Final Crisis for Batman to use a gun to beat Darkseid; but Grant Morrison’s use of Batman, the gun, and the conclusion of that story was perfect poetry. And Darkseid is a god.

In Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Bruce strafes cars and trucks from his Bat-Wing. I guess the guys in the aforementioned cars and / or trucks could conceivably have walked away… But those were some big explosions. Bruce didn’t blink an eye. In the pivotal scene where Batman saves Martha Kent from the KGBeast (armed with a flamethrower) he, like Clark and the unnamed terrorist in the opening sequence, could have done a lot of different things. He chose to shoot the gas tank with a gun (blowing it up and lighting up the kidnapper) tackling Martha to the ground under a presumably flame retardant cape. It wasn’t just un-Batman; it was common.

4. Batman had no control of his emotions


Bruce has Clark by the throat, kryptonite lance etching his cheek, getting ready to monologue.

Lois bursts in and stops the scene.

Bruce throws down the kryptonite lance and runs off to save Mrs. Kent.

Bruce throws down the kryptonite lance and what now?

He spent the entire first half of the movie doing nothing but trying to get the kryptonite and then just discards it? Forget about the fact that it would be an important plot element later… Why would the most competent man in the world possibly do that? HE SPENT THE ENTIRE FIRST HALF OF THE MOVIE DOING NOTHING BUT TRYING TO GET THE KRYPTONITE.

The entire plot of the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us is Bruce getting access to kryptonite. This is not just a smart guy acting stupid, this is the smartest guy acting extraordinarily emotional instead of rational. In the final scene between Batman and Luthor, Bruce pulls off the first half of “something super cool in a movie”, sneaking into Luthor’s jail cell when the lights go down. He is going to brand Lex with the bat to mark him in prison. It’s going to be awesome. Lex starts ranting, Bruce grunts loudly, punches the wall, and leaves. It’s inexplicable. It’s un-Batman.

5. Wonder Woman’s wildly inconsistent defensive capabilities


After two hours of teasing us in evening gowns Gal Gadot makes her Amazonian debut jumping in front of Doomsday, bracelets defending a hapless Batman from certain eye beam. Cool. Aegis bracelets, Hephaestus sword and shield, Magic… check, check, check. Cool.

So Wonder Woman is tough, ageless, etc. But she does seem to need her bracelets or shield to defend her from superhuman attack. We see them light up when she is blocking heat vision, or channel explosive bursts of energy. So tell me how this defends her from an omni-directional nuclear-esque explosion, or even just construction debris?

Doomsday is shown knocking down multiple buildings in every direction with his energy attacks. Batman has to take cover. Wonder Woman can’t actually block all of that with either bracelets or shield. But we just saw that she has to use the bracelets and / or shield, didn’t we? She’s super… But she’s not Superman. If the building she is in is getting incinerated I totally get that she would have perfectly preserved wrists, but the rest of her shouldn’t logically be Maxim cover-ready for the next frame.

6. For that matter, Wonder Woman’s wildly inconsistent offensive capabilities


We know Superman killed Zod by snapping his neck in Man of Steel. Wonder Woman cuts off Doomsday’s hand with her magic sword. She breaks his armor on multiple occasions, hamstringing him, as they melee… She’s clearly well trained and agile enough to land cuts without getting hit back. Why doesn’t Wonder Woman just behead Doomsday? She could: WE JUST SAW HER CUT OFF HIS HAND.

7. For that matter, what exactly can kill Superman (or Zod / Doomsday)?


Let me get this right: A nuclear explosion not only doesn’t kill Superman, it doesn’t damage his uniform. Being stabbed by non-kryptonite, though, kills him to death? Keep in mind he was not stabbed by kryptonite. He was just near kryptonite. By this logic, when Batman poisoned Superman MULTIPLE TIMES with direct hits with his kryptonite rifle, shouldn’t he have been weak enough to die by all the bathroom sinks, multiple-story falls, and building breaking blows that Batman levied on him? Any of those — which included multiple head and neck blows while actually choking on kryptonite fumes — should have been more lethal than a random stab wound that happened to occur while he was merely near kryptonite.

8. Anything and everything having to do with Lex Luthor


Lex is the smartest man in the world, who by the end of the film commands the sum total of Kryptonian scientific knowledge between his ears. He outsmarts Batman and figures out Superman’s secret identity. What is his motivation? Why would he make Doomsday with apparently no fetters or fallback plan? Just to kill Superman? Lex didn’t actually have a kryptonite weapon. Would Doomsday have stopped nicely after killing Superman? Doomsday’s first move was busting up Lex’s own office building! Why did Lex kill his own assistant in Washington? (Mercy is one of the few characters Lex ever seems to have a genuine respectful relationship with in comics and cartoons.) Why in the world is it the end of the plot line to put him in prison. Does he suddenly no longer know who Batman and Superman are in street clothes if you put him in prison? We know he can stop Batman from branding him with a rant… What if he starts ranting about billionaire Bruce Wayne?

Not that I didn’t like lots of things about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. I teared up early when Bruce Wayne in his Gucci vest rushed towards danger to save a little girl. I thought Wonder Woman was badass. But in an environment that includes movies like Deadpool, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers, or X-Men: Days of Future Past we are simply no longer in a place and time where comics movies can be mindless and inexplicable. Comics movies can be brilliantly executed like Stardust, hilarious commentary like Kick-Ass, or just great movies (not just great “comics” movies) like Captain America: The Winter Solider.

Zach Snyder had a great opportunity on this one. Sadly, it could have been a lot better, for both superfans and regular-fans.


[For The People v. OJ Simpson “A Jury in Jail” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
A Jury in Jail. After months of isolation from their families and society the jury begins to grow anxious.

“A Jury in Jail” reveals new points of view as we’re introduced to the jury and a seismic shift in perspective on all sides. The first two scenes show the enormous chasm between the jury at the onset and what they’ve become after eight months sequestered. In the first scene they’re upset about how they’ve been locked up with no TV and no family for eight months. The trigger for this outcry was a shift in their deputy guards, who’ve become like parent figures to them. The jurors are reacting like kids in a dysfunctional household, partly because the deputies treat them like children and also as a result of Clark and Cochran courtroom machinations. The opposing attorneys act like two parents in a custody battle for the jury and thus drive them nutty with back and forth juror dismissal drama.

The second scene shows these same jurors eight months earlier when they first entered their fancy sequester hotel, bright-eyed and excited to play a deciding role in the “trial of the century”. Unfortunately, they also soon find out they don’t have access to TV, reading material, or even the swimming pool. They can’t leave their hotel floor, speak to anyone at the hotel, or even enter each other’s rooms. Not only that but jurors can’t speak, even with each other, about the trial at all until deliberations. The title essentially arises out of this imprisoned feeling the jurors have but the deputies’ treatment of them plays into it too. We can’t help but notice how much the deputies act like prison guards and can imagine that it wouldn’t be much fun to live under that kind of tyranny for eight months. These are many of the contributing factors to the jurors’ avalanche of mood and maturity level.

The jurors aren’t the only ones wearing crankypants in this episode, though. The DA’s office is a bell jar of despondency and rage after the glove debacle. Darden mutters under his breath in the corner that the latex gloves underneath got in the way and the gloves actually would’ve fit, etc. Then Marcia’s like. “Get out!” so this show’s clearly never getting an MA rating for sexual situations after all, sigh. Their sensual magic shall remain a mere figment of the past.

Points of view are shifting all over the place in this episode. In the courtroom Clark interviews the DNA expert witness who testifies that DNA matching is many many times more accurate than fingerprints. He then explains that all the blood evidence in the OJ case matches only one person in 170 million and that one person is OJ Simpson. This is damning evidence and it seems to be heard most especially by King Kodependent Kardashian, who from this day forward is refreshingly codependent no more. He asks OJ about it in a one-on-one talk they have later during visitation hours. It was supposed to be OJ’s weekly poker night with his buddies but Kardashian was the only one to show. Because of the DNA evidence, he explains to OJ. His poker buddies want to know how OJ’s blood got all over the crime scene evidence. How does OJ explain it? But OJ doesn’t have an explanation. All he can say is that they know him and that should be enough. Although sufficient up to this point, Simpson’s charm and charisma can carry him no further with his friends. OJ has to know, though, that once he’s lost his BFF bromance with Kardashian, he’s lost it all. For all his flaws, that Kardashian was a real friend.

After his visit with OJ, Kardashian talks to Barry Scheck who knows he’s bothered by the DNA evidence but tells him to keep in mind that the crime scene evidence was mishandled and thus tainted. We then see Scheck in action at the courthouse as he attacks the procedurals of all the evidence gathering and breaks down Clark’s witness. He talks about possible contamination and mistakes during the evidence collection and raises the question of mistakes made by the DNA expert. This sends Marcia into a tailspin of throwing files to the floor of the DA’s office. It kills Clark to watch her case implode right before her wearied eyes.

Next we see the jury dismissal battle begin between Clark and Cochran. It turns out a jury member was arrested years ago for a kidnapping charge against his ex wife. Marcia argues that because the juror lied about his domestic abuse history on his questionnaire, he should be dismissed. Ito has no choice but to dismiss him. This creates a dividing line among the jury and for some reason they believe the deputies are somehow behind the dismissal. Half the jury are pro deputy and the other half think the deputies are out to get the “brown people” off the jury. Then another juror is dismissed also on a domestic abuse issue. This time it’s a woman who failed to report that she’d been a victim in her marriage. After that there’s a succession of juror dismissals one after another, black, white, black, and then white again. Eventually Cochran confronts Clark and it’s evident the two of them are behind all these dismissals. The song Another One Bites the Dust plays and this weeding out process of dismissals continues until the point where there are only four alternate jurors left.

On the other side of things the jurors are progressively losing their minds in sequester. Tracy, a weepy, blubbering juror that no tissue can satisfy, asks Judge Ito to change out the deputies because of unfair treatment and threatens to leave. So, Ito rotates them out, replacing them with new deputies. Problem is that the other jurors react badly to the new deputies. They refuse to come in to the courtroom until a furious Ito threatens them with courtroom contempt – meaning jail. The jurors finally come to court but most of them are dressed all in black. It disturbs the entire courtroom so much that everyone is atwitter about what the black outfits could possibly mean. So, Ito delays that day’s testimony and declares a recess.

Next Dominick Dunne tells Larry King about the OJ Trial “juror revolt”. Meanwhile Cochran freaks out because half the people wearing black were in the Dream Team’s “not guilty” column. He’s totally thrown by it. What does it mean? Then OJ gets on a conference call with the Dream Team and says he can fix all this chaos and prevent a potential mistrial by taking the witness stand. So they decide to do a mock cross examination and test run his potential on the stand. When OJ does this mock interview with a Marcia look-alike he doesn’t come off well at all. In fact, he seems like a narcissistic abuser.

Then Tanya, the histrionic juror, loses her mind during breakfast at the hotel and has to be taken off the jury due to a classic case of the crazies. This last juror dismissal alerts all the attorneys that a mistrial lies imminent because they will soon be out of alternates. A mistrial means a sure loss for the Dream Team next time around. So, Johnnie brings Marcia a coffee as a symbolic peace offering. And that’s not the only peace offering at hand as the episode winds down. Kardashian talks to his ex wife, Kris, and suggests that the Dream Team might get OJ off on this double murder charge. She gives him a sarcastic “congrats” and he immediately starts crying. Kardashian definitely thinks OJ is guilty but can’t leave the Dream Team because then he’d be the one who got his best friend of twenty years convicted of murder. Kardashian promises Kris that after the trial OJ will be out of their lives forever. He hugs her and apologizes as tears stream down his face. Though he feels broken, this man is finally seeing things clearly now.

The final scene of the episode works as a teaser for the next one. A call comes into the OJ tip line. It’s about a recording someone has of Mark Furhman saying the N-word. We knew this was coming… but we’re excited about it anyway.

–Katherine Recap

[For Better Call Saul “Bali Ha’i” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

AMC Summary:
Bali Ha’i. Jimmy finds comfort in familiarity; Kim receives a life-changing proposal.

“Bali Ha’i” is a song about finally getting to that perfect place you dreamed about. This episode of the same title revolves around the idea that even that same perfect place can be pretty damn uncomfortable if you don’t feel like you fit in there. The show opens on Jimmy up late at night when he sees the new Davis & Main ad seeking Sandpiper clients. It’s a boring all text ad with a robotic voice and nothing interesting to say. Jimmy seems glum and uncomfortable in his fancy condo. He shoots free throws with all the stupid, wicker balls and baskets the condo provided as decoration. Then Jimmy tries to sleep, examines the takeout containers in his fridge, packs a bag and drives to the nail salon where he’s finally able to sleep on the pullout couch in his back office. It may not be the most comfortable bed but at least Jimmy feels like he belongs there.

The next morning Jimmy leaves a singing message on Kim’s home landline “Bali Ha’i” so we know where the episode title arises. He ends his song saying this concludes his weeklong tour of South Pacific and next he’ll explore The Carpenters catalog. If Kim wants him to stop leaving these messages, Jimmy reminds her, all she has to do is call him back. Kim clearly enjoys the message and even went back after she was ready to leave so that she’d be sure to hear it before going to work. At the office it turns out she’s back on full blown lawyering duty with the Mesa Verde case, although Howard is definitely not pleased about it. In fact, he seems to have an entire plunger up his ass that prevents Howard from engaging in any semblance of warmth or even normalcy with Kim. Next we see her fight in court with articulate grace and style for her Sandpiper clients. It’s a battle Kim can’t possibly win, given the law, but her opposing counsel is impressed with her gusto and asks her out to lunch where he offers her a position at his fancypants firm, S&C. He assures Kim that she’d be on a partner track and even offers to pay off the law school debt she owes HHM. She’d be a free bird.

Then we see Mike arriving home to one of Hector’s guys awaiting him on the porch. He says Hector needs an answer and Mike says it’s “respectfully no” then goes inside. Mike sets up a welcome mat at the front door with carbon and plain white sheets of paper underneath so that anyone entering would leave tracks. Then he returns to the porch to place it on the stoop. That night we see him returning home from work. Mike lifts the welcome mat and sees from the paper and carbon paper underneath that two men entered his house, so he goes in with gun raised and ready. As Mike methodically checks each corner of each room the tension builds, especially given that he doesn’t turn on any lights. Then Mike realizes they’re hiding in the bathroom and sets them up so that when they come out he’s waiting and ready to cold cock them before they see him. He asks what the message is from Hector and they say they were just supposed to scare him. Mike says they’re going to have to work a little harder if they want to scare him next time.

Then we see Mike playing with his granddaughter who’s in the pool but he sees the Salamanca cousins (reprising their roles from Breaking Bad ) the intimidating doublemint mutes. They’re on Mike stakeout from a nearby roof and then when he sees them, one points gun fingers at Kaley. Mike’s face twitches with furled internal fury. In his next scene Mike drives up to a closed Mexicano juice place where Nacho checks him for a wire and then allow him in with a gun. Inside Hector, Tuco’s uncle (bell ringer from Breaking Bad,) waits for him in skull steel-toed boots. Hector says Mike goes to the DA the next day and says Tuco’s gun was his or he gets killed and that’s that. Mike says his price is $50K and he’s not negotiating. After painful silence, guns pointed at Mike, and a comment about the size of his balls, Hector agrees to this. Later that night Nacho brings Mike the $50K and as he’s leaving Mike gives him half the money. Nacho’s like “What the?…” but Mike says he was only able to keep half the deal they made, “Your problem will be out much sooner now because of this,” thus, Nacho deserves half the payout. Honor among thieves strikes again.

Meanwhile Kim ponders the offer from S&C and all we can wonder is why she’s waiting so long to call them about this amazing offer. What is there to think about? She goes to the same bar where she and Jimmy scammed the stockbroker and a man tries to pick her up. She tells this guy, Dale, that her name’s Giselle and takes the drink he offers. Then Kim/Giselle calls Jimmy, who’s under Erin’s watchful schoolmarm gaze at Davis & Main, going over details of the Sandpiper case. When he gets Kim’s call saying she’s found them a new mark Jimmy can’t get in his car to Albuquerque fast enough. It turns out Dale’s an engineer while Jimmy and Kim are “dot.com entrepreneurs” who just happen to be striking it big time right at that moment. They score a big check from the guy that they’ll never cash but serves it’s purpose as an aphrodisiac for them once again. In the morning after their lovefest, Kim tells Jimmy about the job offer at S&C. Like us, he can’t fathom why she doesn’t jump at the chance. What’s not to love? is the refrain. Just as it is with Jimmy’s situation. On the surface everything is perfect; fancy condo, Mercedes, nice office, big paycheck… and yet it’s unsatisfying. Why? Then Jimmy gets in his Mercedes and finally makes that bright yellow, travel coffee mug Kim gave him fit. He takes a crowbar and yanks out the cupholder’s plastic face leaving a nice big spot for his yellow mug that says “World’s 2nd Best Lawyer”.

The theme of not fitting in and dealing with discomfort resonates throughout every scene of the episode. Even Mike experiences it. His first encounter has the surprise he feels when it turns out Kaylee isn’t thrilled about her living arrangements, “But you have a pool!” he can’t imagine how she could be unhappy under that circumstance. Perhaps it’s because this is a guy who can seem comfortable standing his ground with a cadre of drug dealers pointing guns at him. Who wouldn’t love a pool? Indeed, it’s the same sort of question Jimmy and Kim struggle with. Why isn’t the offer from S&C more thrilling to her? It’s everything she’s been wanting… or is it? This episode explores the idea of that other side to “success” where the thrill of chasing the elusive dream has worn off and we’re left with everyday life. Yes, it’s like on “Bali Ha’i” but when that’s the new normal, so what? Perhaps then it’s time to start seeking something else. Something more. But what? Tune in next week to find out.

–Katherine Recap

[For Vinyl “Cyclone” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

HBO Summary:
Cyclone. Devon seeks refuge with old friends; Richie falls into a deeper well of drugs and depravity.

The episode “Cyclone” fills Richie’s story with an eerie sadness and dread that’s perfectly balanced with the magical wonder of David Bowie and the discovery of two new artists for American Century. It’s a yin/yang situation much like many. Catastrophes such as these can also signify opportunities that are often hard to see at at first but inevitable if you just look deep enough. Richie’s headed toward rock bottom while American Century gets a makeover. Meanwhile Zak and Devon tell Richie what’s really on their minds but he can’t hear them because he’s busy being haunted by his guilty, wasted conscience or perhaps the lack thereof. Whichever it is remains unknown.

At episode onset Richie’s spinning around in the blender of his coke and booze bender. The episode opens with him headed down heart attack alley in his living room with shades drawn and furies raging about the absence of Devon, who left three days ago. He’s been up for those three days with his German friend, Ernst, the photographer we met a few episodes ago from back in Devon’s Warhol days. Speaking Devon, she’s hanging out with her old crowd, the Warhol gang. Specifically, her gorgeous blonde buddy, Ingrid and artist boyfriend who live at the Chelsea Hotel. Devon gets naked right away “for art” and her 70s bush is magnificent… inspiring, really. Then she has an intimate convo with the artist boyfriend as he gently poses her body and they talk about having sex without actually talking about it. The portrait he does of Devon turns out “moving,” Ingrid says and then she makes out with her boyfriend, not Devon.

Then Richie speedtalks his way to work, ranting a progressive succession of nonsense demands the universe can’t possibly deliver. It’s a quirky replica of the scene in Seinfeld when Kramer won a lifetime of free espresso and seemingly drank it all in one day. Next when Richie tells Ernst to find Devon and reel her in it becomes clear Ernst is an odd bird – eerily creepy and not just because he’s German. He’s really off, somehow. Almost inhuman. Like an alien. Elsewhere at the office Andy finally joins the team and everyone welcomes her with big hugs and open hearts. Andy’s going to modernize the label with a new logo because their current one looks like a toilet, which somehow nobody at American Century’s ever noticed before. The best line of the episode arises here when someone responds to Andy’s toilet feedback saying, “With a turd?” and now that she points out the potty, it’s all they see. Then Andy says she’s going to see David Bowie that night and invites Zak, a big Bowie fan, to join. She’s like a breath of fresh, non-coked out air while Richie tries to screw the receptionist in the bathroom but, oh yeah, he can’t do the deed because his limpy coke dick strikes out again.

Julian calls Richie because he can’t get The Nasty Bitz to agree on a new lead guitarist. Kip’s mad because only hippies have come to the auditions. Richie tries to help the situation but he’s so out of his mind he gets brutal with Kip and then doesn’t even recognize his golden girl, Jamie. Ernst shows up at the door and tells him that Devon is downtown, high and probably fucking somebody else. Then Richie digs into Jamie’s halter top to retrieve all her coke, snorts it, and hits the road again. A few scenes later we see Kip again. He plays guitar in a shop and he hears another guitarist with an amazing and manic groove. The guy’s got something – talent. When the other guitarist leaves, stealing the guitar he was playing, Kip follows, also stealing his guitar. He chases the guy into an alley and asks if he wants to be in a band. A similar event happens later in the episode with Zak after the Bat Mitzvah when a piano player performs solo during the winding-down clean up phase and his playing touches Zak with a heart-rending rendition of Bowie’s “Life on Mars”. Thus Zak discovers a new talent for the label or maybe he’s just realizing that he’s capable of recognizing true artistry even in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Either way, it’s a revelation for him. Both this and Kip in the guitar store are instances to show how artists surround us in the course of daily life, just waiting to be appreciated.

Speaking of artists, Andy and Zak visit Bowie during the waning end of his Ziggy Stardust days. He’s onstage practicing “Suffragette City,” and Zak asks Bowie if he’s still Ziggy so Bowie explains that Ziggy’s retiring now. Unfortunately, then Zak blurts out how they want to pitch him to do a benefit with American Century and Bowie immediately wants to blow Zak off and just spend time with Andy. This leaves Zak a little sad and feeling rejected even though he just met his idol. It’s one of those best/worst moments that define the bittersweet essence of real life. In a parallel scene back at the Chelsea Hotel Devon and Ingrid talk about men, including Ernst. When they talk about Richie, Devon says she hears the creaking sound of herself hanging from the rafters of their house every time she’s home. Ingrid insists that Devon’s an artist and just needs to make art to feel better but Devon cries and says she can’t. She’s lonely and not herself anymore. Boo hoo. Join the club, girl. It’s called the human condition and Zak’s got a bad case of it just over on the other side of town.

Richie drives home moaning about how he’s destroyed his family and everything he loves but Ernst has no empathy and mocks him so Richie kicks him out of the car. He goes into the house to find out that Devon’s finally home. Richie says he won’t do drugs anymore and that he loves her. She asks what he got himself into these past three days and Richie says hanging out with Ernst. Then Devon freaks and says she can’t believe this is what she’s coming home to after only three days. He says she should have stayed with her kids those three days. Devon says you’re right. I’m gonna stay with my kids. While he’s in the shower she packs a bag, puts the kids in the car, and drives away. Richie exits the shower to find his family gone. Then he goes outside to discover that Ernst is dead and he’s been hallucinating this whole time, imagining his friend by his side. We see a flashback to way back when Ernst died. It was in a car with Richie, Devon, and Ingrid on the way to the Cyclone at Coney Island in Brooklyn. Richie was driving wasted and crashed the car. Current day Richie drives himself out to the Cyclone now and remembers that fateful night. Is this Richie’s rock bottom?

We’ve never really seen sober Richie in action but it’s likely that’s what’s coming next on Vinyl and this feels like just the right time. Andy’s revitalizing the office, Devon and the kids are elsewhere, so Richie can focus on Richie. Whether or not he actually will is another matter but conditions are certainly lined up for him to get straight. Although we’ll miss his hijinks… the horrendous and constant snorting, not so much. There comes a point when even a Cannavale nostril suctioning the TV screen right off our wall makes the world just a bit too overwhelmingly nasal. Give the guy’s mucous membranes a break already. We’re excited to see a freshly showered Richie with his nose to the grindstone rather than the coke mirror next week. Bring it on, Vinyl.

–Katherine Recap

[For The People v. OJ Simpson “The Conspiracy Theories” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

FX Summary:
The Conspiracy Theories. The prosecution debates whether they should have OJ try the glove on in court.

The episode opens to reveal that things have shifted. Shapiro defends the LAPD in the media, Marcia sports a new, softer look, and Dershowitz teaches his students at Harvard Law with live OJ trial footage. During one such session Dershowitz gets an idea and faxes it directly to Cochran right in the courtroom. It’s a note that simply says Columbian Necktie. Johnnie then asks the detective on the stand if it’s possible the murders could’ve been drug-related. Cochran explains how a columbian necktie is a drug gang way of killing and how closely it resembles the method in these murders. This offers an alternative that awakens the jury even if it also seems ridiculous to the prosecution.

Back at the DA’s office Darden points this out to the team and says they need to come up with their own way to zap the jury awake and keep them entertained. Meanwhile Shapiro asks Cochran why nobody’s finding evidence that it’s anybody other than OJ that committed the murders. Shouldn’t they have found something by now if he didn’t do it? But their convo is interrupted by A Current Affair where Johnnie’s ex talks about his double life while they were together and they even ask about Johnnie’s alleged assault on her. The next day in the courthouse lobby reporters confront Cochran about it and he tells them they should be ashamed of themselves. This is all about a tragic murder, he reminds them, and gossip mongers beware because Johnnie is far too righteous for them.

Then LAPD detectives find records of Visa card transactions that show Nicole bought the crime scene gloves for OJ. So, they now have definitive proof that the gloves are OJ’s. The next day in court Darden invites Marcia away with him for a weekend and they’re both happy about it when she says yes. The Dream team, on the other hand, are all pissy. Shapiro insists on wearing a lapel pin to show his solidarity with the LAPD. It’s flagrant in Johnnie’s opinion. That night he thinks aloud that it was Shapiro who exposed his bad deeds with his ex wife but his current wife isn’t hearing it. She points out that it’s all a matter of public record and his need to be the center of attention certainly didn’t help. Then Shapiro approaches Kardashian with the glove information and says that they should work out a plea for OJ. He then says Kardashian is involved because he got rid of evidence when he disposed of a bag of OJ’s which could possibly have the murder weapon inside. Then Johnnie arrives and Kardashian leaves abruptly.

He goes to AC with the bag in question. Kardashian opens it in front of AC, clearly nervous about what he might find inside but it’s just harmless stuff. AC is thrilled and says it’s clear OJ didn’t do it. But Kardashian still seems sad and asks AC, “Well who do you think did do it then?” He’s struggling with the whole thing, he adds. There’s never been so much information all about one crime and there’s just not one thing to indicate another suspect. It’s bothering Kardashian. AC seems undeterred but Kardashian is finally questioning his best friend’s innocence, awake to the possibility, at the very least, that OJ killed Nicole and Ron Goldman.

Meanwhile Marcia and Darden attend his high school friend’s birthday party and have a rockin’ time. All of Darden’s friends like Marcia and tell him if he wants to make a move tonight is the perfect time. Even though Darden insists they’re just coworkers it does seem like he wants her and when he drops Marcia at her door it certainly looks like she wants him as well. But then he doesn’t do anything. It looks like he regrets this decision right afterward but it was probably the smart move… not what any of us viewers wanted – but in real life, wise.

In the next scene they’re in the DA office and Darden proposes that they ask OJ to try on the gloves. Marcia says it’s a bad idea and she’s right. She says don’t turn over a demonstration to the opponent because you don’t know what will happen. Later in the courtroom during a short recess Shapiro tries on one of the gloves and then has an idea. Because the glove fits him it will be too small for OJ, he says. OJ’s hands are bigger than Shapiro’s. They decide to do it but F Lee Bailey says they’ve got to get the prosecution to make OJ try them on.

Then Darden approaches Marcia about it again and she puts him in his place, second chair. He bristles. Afterward F Lee Bailey tells Darden that if he doesn’t ask OJ to try on the gloves, he will and he adds an insult to Darden’s manhood for good measure. Then Darden stands up in court and asks that OJ try on the gloves. Marcia’s face blanches as Darden puts on latex gloves, picks up the gloves in question and hands them to OJ. Judge Ito tells OJ to approach the jury and try them on at which point he does and then can’t get them on properly, they appear to be too small. Darden asks that OJ adjust his hands a couple of ways but they still seem to be too small no matter what he does. After the demonstration Shapiro and Johnnie give each other a high five under their desk. They have officially gone from arch enemies to BFFs because all they care about is winning. Contrite Darden tells a stunned Marcia that OJ was clearly acting and keeping his fingers stiff, the latex gloves may have made it harder to get the other gloves on, etc. But it’s clear that she was right all along. Never hand over a crucial demonstration to the opposition. It’s a rule for a reason. That night in the office Darden calls the Goldmans to apologize for what happened that day in court with the gloves. On his voicemail message to them he also insists that it’s not over.

But it is over. We know that already. It’s just a matter of time before Johnnie makes his famous argument that, “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” and distills the whole trial down to a soundbite. Yes, the very same man who shamed the media with a reminder that this is a trial about two tragic murders was the one responsible for the silly soundbite that defined it forever. “The Conspiracy Theories” does an amazing job of setting up dichotomous duos only to spin them into unexpected conflicts and resolutions. It may not seem such a marvel but given that we all pretty much know how this story goes it’s done brilliantly here. The Darden/Clark will-they-or-won’t-they ends up wallowing in a pit of despair while Shapiro and his arch nemesis Cochran end up in a courtroom bromance by episode’s end. There are three episodes left and the main thing we’re looking forward to now is the tidal change of heart that seems to be brewing within OJ’s BFF Kardashian. Even as things start to look better for Simpson in the courthouse they spiral into a future of solitude and shunning out in the real world.

–Katherine Recap

[For Better Call Saul “Rebecca” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

AMC Summary:
Rebecca. Jimmy chafes under his restrictive work environment; Kim tries to dig herself out.

Any opportunity to see a new, different perspective is a gift to those jaded, worn out crannies etched into our brains. So, we’re lucky ducks as we watch this Better Call Saul episode “Rebecca” to have a chance to see Jimmy through another point of view – Chuck’s. It’s not current-storyline-Chuck at first but the Chuck of yore. He’s happily married to the Rebecca of the episode title and fairly functional with a mere whiff of his issues to come. That former Chuck was so different from the Chuck we now know that seeing him interact with former Jimmy, who hasn’t changed nearly as much, carves a new pathway in our grey matter. We start to see Jimmy through Chuck’s eyes a bit with this episode, thus, and Kim does a bit as well. Interestingly, it doesn’t really change how we see Jimmy so much as it deepens our understanding of Chuck and allows us to empathize more with his character.

In the first scene former Chuck screws in a light bulb and has a full head of hair, so we know we’re in another time, if not another world. Turns out in Chuck’s case his former life was basically a different world compared to Chuck’s current storyline. Back then he and his sweet wife, Rebecca, cook and talk about work while awaiting a dinner visit from Jimmy, whom Rebecca’s never met before. She’s “an accomplished violinist,” great cook, and a kind and gracious host. This was when Jimmy just started working in the law firm mail room, so many years ago. He’s his usual charming Jimmy with both of them and says Chuck’s a lucky man to have found Rebecca. Then Jimmy tells some lawyer jokes he’s recently learned in the mailroom and Rebecca cheerfully joins in while Chuck grows progressively enraged and then seeks to cut Jimmy’s visit short. Later that night in bed Rebecca says she doesn’t know what Chuck was worried about – Jimmy’s great. Then Chuck tries to tell his own lawyer joke but it falls flat and lifeless, just like his life’s about to when Rebecca subsequently leaves him.

In the next scene we’re back to our regular storyline as uptight, newbie associate, Erin comes by Jimmy’s office to teach him the “house style” which is mostly about formatting and grammar his legal briefs. Jimmy, of course, takes his first opportunity to skip out on her and go see Kim who’s in the dungeon working until midnight. He proposes that Kim’s best ticket out of imprisonment is to sue her own firm. Kim’s unwilling and also refuses to believe it’s Chuck who’s behind her punishment. She thinks it’s all Howard. So, then Jimmy says he’ll quit Davis & Main because that’ll get her out of the dungeon. Kim says no thanks. She’ll dig herself out of this on here own. Jimmy’s not her knight in shining armor and she won’t let him even try.

Jimmy comes into the office the next morning and apologizes to Erin with a long convoluted lie about a lower gastroesophageal sphincter condition. But it doesn’t matter, Jimmy’s got a perma-babysitter named Erin and she’s crammed right up into his lower sphincter from now on, condition or not. She drives Jimmy to the courthouse and prevents him from “finessing” the clerk for a better court date explaining that she’s “protecting” him. Thus Jimmy gets a much later court date, messing with his strategy for the case, and zipping him tightly into his cranky pants.

Then Kim calls all of her networking contacts trying to land a new client for the firm and thus escape the dungeon. But one by one they lead to nowheresville until Kim’s back in her document dungeon after wasting an entire lunch hour on surreptitious cell calls and dashed hopes. Mike, on the other hand, realized his hopes thanks to those dastardly deeds of the last episode. His granddaughter now stays at a nice new place thanks to his recent influx of cash. She even has a pool.

Meanwhile Kim continues making endless secretive calls to the tune of “My Way” en EspaƱol then returns to her dreaded work deep into each night in the dungeon. Finally after an infinite stream of nothingness she gets her phone call of freedom and brings in a potentially big ticket bank client to check out the firm – Mesa Verde. They come in the next day and all goes well with the firm’s presentation so they land Mesa Verde officially as the client. But then when Kim talks to Howard as they watch the Mesa Verde people drive away, it turns out he’s keeping Kim in document review. She’s not free. It was tons of arduous anguish for nothing. Maybe Jimmy was right and it was all about Chuck. That would mean she needs a white knight after all… but she’s still flaming mad at Jimmy. So, now Kim’s heartbroken twice over.

Next we see Howard visiting Chuck to tell him Kim brought in Mesa Verde. Chuck says he assumes this means she’s out of the doghouse and Howard says, “We’ll see,” raising question of who;s actually pulling the strings. Afterward we see Chuck at the office before dawn, lantern in tow. He works at his desk encased in a crinkly foil blanket. Then a light turns on in another office and he goes to see who it is and finds Kim still working from the night before. Chuck asks her to make him coffee and then says, “make two cups,” so she’ll join him. Kim asks if she has a future at the firm and he says Howard blames her for the mess Jimmy made. Chuck then tells Kim a long story about his father. The point of which is to tell her that Jimmy pilfered $14K out of his father’s store over the course of many years. Chuck basically blames their father’s subsequent death on Jimmy because of this. He explains that Jimmy just can’t help himself and doesn’t even realize his actions hurt people incrementally. Then as he’s leaving the office, Chuck says he’ll talk to Howard and see if he can get Kim out of doc review where her talent’s being wasted. He’s so impressed with how she brought in Mesa Verde. So, it turns out Kim gets rescued from the dungeon but the bad news is that now Chuck is her knight.

As the episode wraps Mike gets an apology from Tuco’s uncle, who says he wishes his nephew knew to have respect for his elders. Mike accepts the uncle’s apology but, of course, there are conditions attached. The uncle wants Mike to say the gun was his so that Tuco’s can sustain a lesser charge and spend fewer years in prison. He offers Mike five grand for his trouble, tells him to think about it, and then leaves the diner.

So, we’re left with two rather ominous endings, the enmeshment Kim will inevitably now sustain with Chuck since she owes him a huge favor and he’s a giant needy baby. And then there’s Mike, still battered and now also enmeshed in his own nasty pairing. But his matchup is a bad bad dude, much worse than Chuck, but still a quite parallel pairing to Kim’s. Jimmy, on the other hand, will be just fine. Sure, he’s got his cranky pants on but nobody can keep Jimmy down for long. Not even his “Pixie Ninja” Erin because Jimmy stays cheerful and creative even when times are tough and assigns cute, accurate names to even the most annoying, infiltrating nemesis. That’s why we love him.

–Katherine Recap