American Crime Story S03E08 is the eighth 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 “Stand By Your Man”, American Crime Story S03E08 ups the emotional ante – if that was possible – from the incendiary previous episode. This time, the story focuses on the first couple – Bill and Hillary Clinton, played magnificently by Clive Owen and Edie Falco, respectively. And it’s about time too, as finally attention is momentarily taken away from Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky and given to one of the world’s most famous political couples.
The character of Hillary Clinton is very much in issue here. Bill Clinton has already painted as a charismatic philanderer who’s lack of self-discipline and discretion threaten to undermine his political achievements, not to mention the potential destruction of his family. But the question remains – what did Hillary make of all this? We find out in a tour de force performance from Falco, who squeezes out empathic engagement from a unlikable personality, it is hard not to feel sorry for the First Lady, as Bill’s thoughtless betrayal sinks in.
That said, Bill Clinton’s political savvy is highlighted once more in the manner in which he handles himself under scrutiny and questioning. Unfortunately for him, that ability might not be enough to salvage his political career if he does not get hard of the hard truths and consequences coming his way. Clive Owen must also be commended for captured the essence of Clinton’s smarmy intelligence.
American Crime Story S03E08 once again re-affirms the high quality standards of this brilliant anthology series. Highly recommended.
… still there’s more …