[For The People v. OJ Simpson “The Run of His Life” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
The Run of His Life. With OJ Simpson missing in the white Bronco his lawyers must deal with the fallout as the DA’s office and LAPD scramble.
Episode two, “The Run of His Life” opens with Kardashian AKA King Kodependent praying for OJ and Shapiro begging on the phone with the DA, Gil Garcetti, saying he had no idea OJ was going to run. Shapiro’s so smart. He begins the discussion by saying, “I’m so sorry he did this to US,” immediately aligning himself with Gil, whom he also reminds came to his fiftieth birthday party. The DA isn’t empathetic and ends the call abruptly by hanging up on Shapiro. Then Kardashian shows Shapiro OJ’s suicide note, signed with a happy face. The news media is all over OJ on the run while the DA’s office watches horrified and points fingers of blame, mainly at the specter of OJ’s celebrity and Robert Shapiro. Gil says this is the worst day of his life, worse than when he was diagnosed with cancer. Teams of news crews and cop cars hit the road searching for fugitive OJ. There’s only one story being told in the United States today and it’s the car chase to end all car chases… except that it’s really not a car chase at all. OJ isn’t chased but rather escorted. The police had an opportunity to shoot him or at least take him into custody and instead they let him go then cleared the freeway, surrounded his vehicle, and escorted him home to Brentwood.
In this episode we only see a tiny glimpse of the angry Simpson that raged through the first one and that tiny bit of OJ anger is directed at AC, who keeps flipping out under the pressure. This episode is all about apologetic OJ. He says sorry over and over and over, mostly to the police who, we soon come to realize, adore him and OJ desperately wants to keep it that way. It’s unclear how sincere OJ’s suicide threats are but what resounds abundantly clear is that he uses them to hold the one thing hostage everybody cares most about – the icon, OJ Simpson. Maybe he wanted to set off a reminder flare about how much this “American Hero” meant to us right before the arrest. Or maybe he really just wanted to kill himself. Either way, by holding the gun to his head OJ runs the entire show from a seemingly passive and vulnerable position. Meanwhile he’s getting highways cleared and police escorts home. This is a person who definitely doesn’t think the rules apply to him and he’s going to make sure the whole country knows it. We must never forget that he deserves special treatment simply because he’s OJ. No matter that he’s suspected of double murder with a warrant out for his arrest.
Meanwhile at the DA office Gil gets on the news and says that anybody who helps OJ is harboring a fugitive which is a felony and he’ll personally make sure they’re prosecuted. He makes clear that the DA’s office alleges the murder weapon was a knife. Christopher Darden, who’s taking a few days off, then arrives at his family’s home and the one living room in the country watching the PGA golf tournament rather than the white Bronco. Darden changes the channel to watch the news and sees his peers from the DA office on TV. He empathizes with Marcia and Gil immediately and his father says, “You know those people?”. Meanwhile Shapiro and Kardashian do their own press conference, mainly to help clear Shapiro’s reputation. Shapiro declares that he had no idea OJ was going to run and then talks primarily about what a reliable person and fantastic lawyer he is. Johnnie Cochran, watching this, says it’s a mistake and that an attorney should always put their client’s needs first. Then King Kodependent reads the “suicide note” as part of the Shapiro press conference as well. In it OJ says he sometimes felt like a “battered husband” which dumbfounds Marcia Clark who’s watching in her office. Then Bill quips to her, “Well, you know, he cut his hand while he was killing her,” deftly delivering the best line of the episode.
In the meantime to the tune of the Beastie Boys singing Sabotage, a couple in a VW van recognize the white Bronco with AC at the wheel on the California highway and call it in from a highway pay phone. The police quickly pull up to the bronco but AC won’t comply with anything; even the mere request to speak to OJ. He just says OJ’s in the back with a gun to his head. Though they have guns drawn at the white Bronco, AC won’t even open a window. The cops then refuse to shoot at OJ Simpson without authorization so AC ends up simply driving away from them because they don’t even threaten to take action or try to negotiate terms. He drives away as soon as he realizes their guns are simply bluffing.
Then Kardashian, weepy in a flowered tie, goes to OJ’s family members and tells them about the suicide note. He adds that “We have reason to believe he’s killed himself,” but just as they’re all joining him in weeping the nearby TV broadcasts that OJ’s in the back seat of the white Bronco driving down the freeway, alive. Shapiro also sees this news from his own living room and hears the broadcaster say Simpson’s basically driving up and down the freeway with a police escort. “Good for you, OJ,” Shapiro says, “We’re still in the game” so we see that his earlier press conference was made under the assumption that OJ was dead. Shapiro thought the game was over and didn’t realize it was all really just beginning.
The DA team discusses what the protocol could possibly be for apprehending an armed celebrity fugitive surrounded by police cars and helicopters. Nobody has an answer but Marcia does suggest shooting out his tires – not the worst idea but poo pooed by Gil for representing a shootout on national TV. Simultaneously in the white Bronco, AC and OJ talk about what they should do and AC tells him to think about his kids. OJ says he needs to see his mother. So, AC calls 911 and says “they” need to clear the freeway so OJ can go to Brentwood. Turns out the operator took immediate action and the police quickly do clear the highway for OJ. Just like that. At that moment on TV it’s the NBA finals and the producers interrupt the game to go to live coverage of the OJ story. Clark walks through the DA’s office where everybody is watching the news reportage and then she calls Bill and asks how OJ got his white Bronco back when they impounded it and she’s told it’s actually AC’s bronco; he copied OJ. It’s OJ’s world, they’re just living in it, it seems at that moment.
OJ then calls King Kodependent from the car and they revel in their bromance and tell each other “I love you,” then OJ reminisces and tells Kardashian to say goodbye to everybody for him and starts listing people. Kardashian says OJ can tell them himself because he’s going to see them again. OJ says he just wants to go home to see his mother but Kardashian says that’s probably not the best idea right now. Next we see Cochran in a news interview talking about how OJ is innocent until proven guilty. He also tells a story about one of his clients who was also innocent until proven guilty but was killed by police anyway simply because of the color of his skin. It was the first of many such cases, unfortunately, Cochran says. OJ then gets a call from a detective at the police station and apologizes profusely to them for making them work so hard “late on a Friday when they probably want to go home to their kids,” and says the gun isn’t for hurting them. He would never do that. The gun if for himself, he says. They tell him they’ll let him go home but that the gun is scaring everybody, won’t he throw it away? OJ says no because he “deserves to get hurt” and says he wants to join Nicole.
Meanwhile Christopher Darden talks to his family’s neighbors over the backyard fence. They are speaking highly of OJ and Darden points out that Simpson never really gave back to the black community, so they can’t really claim him as one of theirs. He left never to return and basically became white. But the neighbor says, “Well, you got the cops chasing him, so he’s black now”. The news media shows crowds of people holding up signs and chanting that OJ’s innocent. OJ sees them and cries when AJ says it’s because the people love him. Marcia Clark watches a news report that seems like a eulogy for OJ and declares that they have to get him alive so he can face and pay for what he’s done. Meanwhile OJ can’t get to the house in Brentwood because of all the people outside with supportive signs, blocking his way. But then they finally pull into the driveway. Once there, AC and OJ’s son beg him not to shoot himself and OJ finally puts the gun in his lap, crying. Night falls and OJ remains in the Bronco, surrounded by helicopters and with AC on the phone with police. His home is full of SWAT police as well. He decides it’s time to just do it and puts the gun in his mouth. Then the phone rings and it’s King Kodependent again. Kardashian convinces OJ to come inside. The deal is that he has to leave the gun in the Bronco and in exchange the police won’t put him in handcuffs outside but will do the arrest inside the house. No perp walk – just like OJ wanted all along. So, OJ comes out of the Bronco apologizing all the while to the police. Initially they think he has a gun until Kardashian screams that it’s just pictures of his kids and saves him from being shot. OJ comes inside and collapses into King Kodependent’s arms. He keeps apologizing over and over. Then, once seated on his couch, OJ asks for some orange juice and talks to his mother on the phone.
The news media then declares that OJ’s been arrested and we see him get in the back of a police car and it starts driving toward the station. Marcia Clark seems happy and satisfied that they’ll be taking him to trial after all. Christopher Darden in the backyard of his family’s home comments that he may get put on this trial after all. Darden’s family neighbors say they hope he’s not representing the state on this case because OJ was clearly framed. This surprises Darden who says no, he’s certain OJ wasn’t framed but the neighbors can’t be dissuaded from their point of view. A line of separation forms here for Darden on principle and it’s a line that will grow longer and longer until it divides the entire country as the trial commences and everybody takes a side – each based in their own strong principles.