— -- Everyone remembers the beginning and the end of the O.J. Simpson trial, but what happened in the middle? This is what the producers of "The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" focused on in the third episode of the mini-series.
Episode three followed the prosecution and defense as each built their cases before the trial.
The episode depicted the formation of Simpson's defense team, known as the "Dream Team," as well as the development of the legal strategy that ultimately led to Simpson's acquittal. If you weren't able to watch the episode last night, here are 5 things to know about "The Dream Team" episode.
1. Marcia Clark announces damning evidence against Simpson.
Prosecutor Marcia Clark's (played by Sarah Paulson) announcement of incriminating DNA evidence causes Simpson's lawyers to panic. "With this kind of evidence and a run for the border, [O.J.] practically did my job for me," Clark says at a press conference.
Simpson's defense team, which at the time consisted of friend Robert Kardashian (played by David Schwimmer) and lawyer Robert Shapiro (played by John Travolta), seeks out advice from F. Lee Bailey (played by Nathan Lane), who suggests to Shapiro that he start building a strong defense team.
2. Robert Shapiro hires Alan Dershowitz to the defense team.
Shapiro recruits lawyer Alan Dershowitz (played by Evan Handler) to join their team, and Dershowitz brings DNA expert Barry Scheck (played by Rob Morrow) on board.
The defense team's strategy is to contest every piece of physical evidence that the prosecution brings to the courtroom, as well as use the DNA specialist to successfully argue that DNA can easily be tampered with. As Scheck says in the episode, "At best, we get some of it thrown out. At worst, we get the jury to question it."
3. Robert Shapiro leaks the defense strategy to The New Yorker.
Shapiro holds an interviewer with New Yorker writer Jeffery Toobin, who wrote the article "The Run of His Life" in 1996. "The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" is based off Toobin's story.
In the interview, Shapiro unveils a racial defense strategy that he formed after he discovered that detective Mark Fuhrman (played by Steven Pasquale) has been previously connected with incidents of alleged racism and bigotry. Shapiro reveals that part of the defense strategy will be to make a case that prejudiced cops framed Simpson for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
4. A Time magazine cover strengthens the defense's racial strategy.
A defining moment during the formation of the Simpson defense strategy comes after Time magazine publishes an issue with a digitally altered image of O.J. Simpson's mugshot on the cover. As a neighborhood newsstand stand owner pointed out on the show, "They made him blacker."
The Time cover fuels the flame of conversations about systematic and institutionalized racism in America, and enhances Shapiro's defense strategy of arguing that the O.J. Simpson case is based on race.
5. Johnnie Cochran joins the defense team.
Throughout the episode, Shapiro tries to get Johnnie Cochran (played by Courtney B. Vance) om the defense team. It takes some convincing on both Cochran and Simpson's sides, but Cochran eventually joins Simpson's defense team, rounding out the "Dream Team" in episode three.
At the end of the episode, Cochran tells Simpson that if there is just one black juror on the jury, a hung jury will result. If there is a hung jury, Simpson will be able to go home, Cochran insists.
"The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.