Impeachment: American Crime Story Episode 5 recap: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Impeachment: American Crime Story "Exiles” Episode 1 (Airs Tuesday, September 7) -- Pictured: (l-r) Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky. CR: Tina Thorpe/FX
Impeachment: American Crime Story "Exiles” Episode 1 (Airs Tuesday, September 7) -- Pictured: (l-r) Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky. CR: Tina Thorpe/FX /

Impeachment: American Crime Story puts Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson) on the path to betraying her friendship with Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein). History played out this brutal backstabbery in the most vicious of ways, and seeing how close we are to Monica learning about Linda’s secret recordings, I can’t wait to see how Feldstein and Paulson took this challenge on.

The entire episode takes place circa December 1997, a time which was starting to get very stressful for President Bill Clinton (Clive Owen). The lawsuits were stacking up, but most importantly, Monica was called as a witness to Paula Jones’ (Annaleigh Ashford) trial against Clinton.

He’s not pleased to learn that at all because in the off-chance Monica spills the beans on their secret affair, it would certainly be game over for the President (and eventually it was). All the while, in the background, Linda is working against Monica and subsequently learning that recording phone calls in the state of Maryland is illegal. That will come back to bite her in the butt—but more on that in just a little bit.

Check out our recap of this week’s episode of Impeachment: American Crime Story to see how things play out between Monica, Linda, and of course, the President of the United States.

Impeachment: American Crime Story Episode 5 recap: Wait…Jake Tapper?

While watching the episode, I did not expect to hear Jake Tapper’s name dropped, but alas, it did. Apparently, circa 1997, the real Jake Tapper and Monica Lewinsky did indeed go on one innocent date, but it never amounted to much more than that.

It was pretty funny to learn that tidbit, if I do say so myself.

The episode starts with Jake Tapper (Chris Riggi) trying to hit on Monica by offering to buy her a drink. But the drink turns into a full-fledged dinner date where Monica talks about her job and how she is planning to move to New York City.

Fast forward to a little bit later, and we start to see the real drama unfold. Linda receives the subpoena and is reviewing it as Monica approaches her at work. At this point in time, Monica has no idea about Linda’s involvement in anything or that she too will be called to take the stand in Jones’ trial.

Linda is quick to change the subject and asks Monica about her upcoming interview and finds out that she is planning on wearing the navy dress to it. Yes, that navy dress. If you know enough about this scandal, you know what dress this is and how it turned out to be a smoking gun. Linda is determined to get her hands on that dress and somehow convinces Monica not to take it for dry cleaning.

If Linda is going to prove that Clinton is having an affair with Monica, she needs to send that dress in with his *ahem* stuff on it. Her publisher, Lucianne Goldberg (Margo Martindale), freaks out when Linda tells her about the dress potentially getting cleaned because that dress serves as proof for the conversations that have been recorded.

Linda calls Monica later to convince her that she should wear something else and that she looks big in the navy dress. And she essentially said that Monica should keep it for proof later, just in case. She doesn’t think it’ll be needed, but boy, is she wrong.

Impeachment: American Crime Story Episode 5 recap: Impeachment on the horizon?

Judge Kenneth Starr (Dan Bakkedahl) meets with Mike Emmick (Colin Hanks), Jackie Bennett (Darren Goldstein), and Brett Kavanaugh (Alan Starzinski) to discuss the possibility of impeaching Clinton. But it looks like after four years of looking into the guy, they don’t have proof to back up their claims. It’s a frustrating moment, but it won’t last very long because of the smoking gun(s) that are headed their way.

Speaking of which, aware that he is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from impeachment, we see Clinton prepping for his deposition. He’s not doing so hot as he’s grilled on the women from his past. In fact, he crumbles right away, which doesn’t bode well for when the trial approaches.

Later that night, Clinton calls Monica to inform her that she is on the witness list for Paula’s trial. This is the first time Monica hears about this and is eager to convince him that she would never betray him. This is the moment when Clinton’s intentions start to become clear as he tells her that every woman he’s ever talked to is on that witness list. Monica reminds him that they more than talked, but all he really wants out of her is to sign an affidavit denying that they ever had sexual relations.

Sadly, the betrayal continues later when Linda basically tells Monica that she won’t commit perjury during the trial if asked anything about Monica and Clinton. It’s not what Monica wants to hear, and this is when true panic begins to settle in.

Impeachment: American Crime Story Episode 5 recap: The subpoena

The dreaded moment arrives when Monica is finally handed the subpoena, and Linda is nowhere to be found. In fact, she’s basically avoiding Monica at this point. But eventually, she does link up with her and is “shocked” to find out how detailed it is.

Because of the descriptions on there, Linda suggests that Monica hand over all presents Clinton has ever given her, including the hat pins. But there is resistance with Monica, and she fully intends on signing the affidavit and expects Linda to as well.

And signs it Monica does! Committing perjury and all.

Meanwhile, Linda learns the hard way from her lawyer (TJ Thyne) that all the phone conversations she’s recorded can land her in jail. She panics and calls Lucianne, who doesn’t even seem fazed by the revelation of Linda’s issues. She lives in New York, where only one-party consent is needed.

Even though Lucianne seems like she will be no help at all, she calls George Conway (George Salazar) to see if they have any connection to Kenneth Starr’s office. She stresses the importance of letting Starr’s people know about Linda, whose cooperation could grant her immunity.

Monica meets up with Clinton later, and what plays out is a very awkward conversation. He asks her if anyone knows about them, and she flat-out lies. I don’t think she looks very convincing, but he seems to believe her, and with that, they bid farewell to one another.

Impeachment: American Crime Story Episode 5 recap: The trap is set

Monica asks Linda to join her for lunch but has no idea that Linda is fit with mics to catch Monica revealing insider information. Linda doesn’t do a great job of hiding her guilt, and Monica even suspects her for a moment but convinces herself she’s being paranoid.

Sadly, she’s not being paranoid at all because not only is Linda wearing a mic, but there are FBI agents scattered around the restaurant. This is all a ruse to entrap Monica, get Clinton impeached, and all the while, Linda is hopeful that doing this will get her off scot-free from recording the phone conversations between her and Monica.

And information is certainly divulged during Monica and Linda’s lunch, but more importantly, it appears that their friendship is about to come to a halting screech. Not only is Linda refusing to help Monica lie about the affair, but she is betraying her in the biggest way imaginable. And based on next week’s promo, it looks like s**t is about to hit the fan.

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Next week is going to be good!

What did you think of this week’s episode of Impeachment: American Crime Story? Tell us in the comments below!