O.J.: Made In America Episode 2 Recap

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Like the first episode of Ezra Edelman's ESPN documentary O.J.: Made in America, the series' second part dwells heavily on racial tension. The episode juxtaposes archival footage and new interviews about O.J. Simpson's tumultuous relationship with Nicole Brown Simpson with news reports about race riots and discord between the L.A.P.D. and the Black community. The second episode includes footage from Simpson and Brown's wedding, including a speech Simpson gave about the love he felt for his new wife. It also includes interviews with Nicole Brown Simpson's sister Tanya, her friend Robin Greer, and others close to the couple. It's not just the interviews that shape the documentary's presentation of the Simpsons' relationship, though. The second part of O.J.: Made in America includes audio from calls that Nicole Brown Simpson made to 911. The first call featured in the docuseries dates to New Year's, 1989. John Edwards, the L.A.P.D. detective who responded to the call, explains the night's events in one of the O.J.: Made in America interviews. Edwards says that Nicole Brown Simpson came running out of the bushes after making the call, yelling, "He's gonna kill me." He says in the documentary that he asked Simpson if she wanted O.J. Simpson to be arrested for beating her, and she said she did, adding that her face was swollen. Edwards also says in the docuseries that O.J. Simpson came outside yelling, "I don't want her in my bed anymore." By Edwards' account, he told Simpson he was under arrest and that he needed to go into the house to get dressed before he was taken to jail. But Simpson pulled out of the home's other driveway in his Bentley, and Edwards didn't locate him again that night. In the O.J.: Made in America interviews, friends who knew the couple describe O.J. Simpson as entitled and jealous. Several sources express the sentiment that even after the breakup, Simpson viewed Nicole Brown Simpson as someone he owned or had control over. (Still, there are conflicting accounts of the couple's relationship — Hertz CEO Frank Olson says in the documentary that Nicole Brown Simpson told him it was a false arrest.) Interviews with friends also include statements about O.J. Simpson's reported affairs during his marriage. The episode also includes photographs of what's apparently Nicole Brown Simpson's diary from over the years. In various entries, she describes O.J. Simpson's reported violence against her. An entry from 1978 says O.J. Simpson "hit me while he fucked me," which the diary describes as the "first time he beat me up." Another diary entry describes a time when a gay man kissed the Simpsons' son, then a baby, at a restaurant, an anecdote also recounted by one of the couples' friends. "Hawaii gay man kissed Justin," the entry reads. "O.J. threw me against walls in our hotel."

O.J.: Made in America
's second episode follows the dissolution of the Simpsons' relationship, including when she filed for divorce in 1992. "I think for the first time, she felt free," Nicole Brown Simpson's sister, Tanya Brown, says of Simpson's divorce filing. But by Greer's account, it wasn't a clean break. Greer says in the episode that O.J. Simpson often followed Nicole Brown Simpson, sometimes asking someone to spend time with their friend group to know what she was doing. "He never relinquished control," Greer says. "He never would really let go." The sentiment is echoed by Keith Zlomsowitch, who discusses his relationship with Nicole Brown Simpson in the documentary. In one event Zlomsowitch describes in the episode, he and Nicole Brown Simpson were at a club when she told him O.J. Simpson had arrived there. The couple went to Nicole Brown Simpson's home, and the next day O.J. Simpson came to the house, Zlomsowitch says. O.J. Simpson apparently yelled at Nicole Brown Simpson — and she told Zlomsowitch that O.J. Simpson had watched the couple have sex at her house the night before, according to Zlomsowitch. "Everything changed from that point on," Zlomsowitch says. "We realized we weren't safe anymore." Greer also explains her friend's point of view when she and O.J. Simpson attempted to reconcile. Nicole Brown Simpson wanted to keep her family together, according to Zlomsowitch notes. But a 1994 diary entry shown onscreen reads, "We're officially split." "I think there was something about her that was almost unattainable to him, something that he couldn't quite control," Greer says in the episode. "And I think that that was part of the attraction. And I think in the final analysis, that's what got her killed."

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