American Crime Story S03E04 is the fourth episode of the third season of the true-life crime FX TV drama anthology series. Entitled “Impeachment” this season revolves around the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal and is based on the book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President by Jeffrey Toobin.
Entitled “The Telephone Hour”, American Crime Story S03E04 gets into the meat of how former White House staffer Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson) made public the infamous Clinton-Lewinsky sex scandal by doing the under-handed thing of recording her conversations with then-friend Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein).
American Crime Story S03E04 makes it all quite clear that Tripp’s motivation in exposing the sex scandal was two-fold. One, to write a best-selling tell-all book that would elevate her life from its drudgery and two, to take revenge on the Clintons, whom she held responsible for her exile from the White House. In doing so, she took advantage of Lewinsky’s naivety and effectively destroyed the latter’s life.
As mentioned before in previous reviews, none of the characters come out of this story smelling like roses. It is a veritable shit show and everybody involved is covered in it, head to toe. Even Lewinsky – ostensibly the victim of the piece – shares some of the blame for her ignorant innocence – allowing herself to be smitten with a man who was way beyond her reach.
But Tripp is certainly the villain here – as much as she is shown attempting to justify her despicable actions as somehow helping Lewinsky to get over this toxic relationship with Clinton – the means by which she pursue her ends is in complete disregard of how the revelations might be to Lewinsky’s detriment.
American Crime Story S03E04 has been the final tease of the media explosion to come for Clinton and Lewinsky – it certainly seems like foreplay which has gone on for much too long. Bring on the main event!
… still there’s more …