“The Staircase Season 1.” With the limited HBO‘s The Staircase series coming to an end, it is time to look back and explore what we have just seen. The story follows author Michael Peterson (portrayed by Colin Firth) who finds his wife, Kathleen dead on the steps below their home in Durham, NC in 2001.
A highly respected documentary of the same name was released in 2004 a few years after the trial and is now available for distribution on Netflix, while this fictional version tells the story of The Staircase by recalling what happened in the lives of Petersons before his assassination, at night. murders, times leading up to trial, trial, and beyond. Now, know about The Staircase Season 1.
The Staircase Season 1: Synopsis
“The Staircase .”Michael Peterson and his wife Kathleen were married for the first time in 1997. Their reunited family included Michael’s two sons from his first marriage, Clayton Peterson and Todd Peterson, and Kathleen’s daughter from his first marriage, Caitlin Atwater (Olivia DeJonge, and Michael’s two adopted daughters, Margaret Ratliff and Martha Ratliff.
Michael and his ex-wife, Patty, became Margaret and Martha’s legal guardians after the death of both of their parents. Clayton has been in trouble in the past, but since then he has been trying to change his life. Todd, who has always been the culprit, begins to appear under the pressure of guilt.
After Kathleen’s death, her two sisters, Candace and Lori firmly believed in Michael at first, but soon changed sides, along with Caitlin, and withstood the persecutors. Bill Peterson, Michael’s brother, is his main partner and works with lawyers and family to try to keep everything in order while it sounds like chaos. Michael is convinced that the DA is busy hunting down witches as Michael had written critical columns for the DA in the past. Michael was also caught lying in the press when he claimed to have won the Purple Heart in Vietnam for not winning it.
Meanwhile, in France, two filmmakers are looking for their next work. When director Denis Poncet (Frank Feys) and director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade (Vincent Vermignon) come across Peterson’s story, they wonder if there is a story there. The filmmakers, with Michael’s permission, are granted 24/7 access to record the entire process from the preparation of the trial, the trial itself, and the proclamation of the judge’s decision. Editor Sophie Brunet (Juliette Binoche) finds herself so intrigued by Peterson that she begins to help him with prison letters. When they meet, they fall in love, and she leads the charge with Owl Theory.
Peterson must hire a powerful defense team to try his case. He hires David Rudolf (Michael Stuhlbarg) whose reputation is as great as his reputation. Rudolf is very skeptical of the documentary team that follows their every move but eventually has to stop. On the prosecution side, Durham County District Attorney Jim Hardin (Cullen Moss) and Assistant District Attorney Freda Black (Parker Posey) face charges.
The DA issue is very much focused on Michael Peterson’s lifestyle. He was a double-minded man who had ongoing issues with men outside of his marriage. DA Hardin and ADA Black found it hard to believe that Kathleen knew nothing about it, claiming that when she found pictures and messages on her computer, it led to a confrontation that resulted in Michael brutally beating Kathleen to death. down the stairs. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was an unexplained trauma. However, there is no skull fracture, which is almost impossible.
The DA contracted with the SBI (North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation) to re-create the scene and get a better look at how the killings took place. Their leading commentator, Duane Deaver (Myke Holmes) is leading a case in the reorganization of the incident to prove the prosecutor’s case. The prosecutor also found out that while Michael and Patty were living in Germany, Michael found ANOTHER woman down the stairs – Elizabeth Ratliff, the mother of Margaret and Martha.
Meanwhile, Michael’s defense lawyers hired their own bloodthirsty specialists, who testified that blood patterns were not consistent with brutal beatings on the head. There is also another theory revealed by Peterson’s neighbor Larry (Joel McKinnon Miller) that Kathleen was brutally attacked by an owl. Sophie feels skeptical about this theory at first, but soon becomes dependent and wants to re-examine the body. In order to exhume the body, she must obtain permission from Caitlin, who firmly refuses her request.
The judge found Michael guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment without parole. Michael faces a difficult time in prison. His only recourse is his new relationship with Sophie, the documentary editor, and her books. His request was denied, but the documentary is very interesting and arouses excitement in his case.
The Innocence Project is involved and goes to Freda Black, who now works in the laundry, for information. She agrees to help them and tells them that SBI is very corrupt and should be looked into. The SBI, an organization that also created the crime scene, is being investigated for misconduct, which opens another possibility for Michael’s appeal.”The Staircase .”
The Staircase Season 1 Ending, Explained: What Happened At The End of The Season?
“The Staircase .”The final episode of the series is told three times – in 2001, the day before Kathleen’s death, 2011, the night before Michael’s trial, and in 2017, when Michael thinks about Alford’s application.
In 2001, Kathleen calls Candace to apologize for their argument over Thanksgiving and Michael sees many owls above their home. Inside, he and Kathleen have a makeup session after their argument the night before dinner. Together, they went to the Durham Herald Christmas Ball. Kathleen even had a little run with Freda Black. (We don’t know if this is true or just a coincidence.) On the night of her death, Todd passes by and sees Michael and Kathleen watching a movie and having a good night together.
In 2011, the case was reopened after Duane Deaver, a commentator who had given convincing evidence about Michael in the first case, found himself under investigation. As Todd tries to explain to fans of the social media platform Clay and Martha finally walk out to Margaret, and the family tries their best to keep the feeling normal. The family gathers in the courtroom for a retrial.”The Staircase .”
Candace makes a serious request for dismissal, but the judge rejects her. Rudolf calls witnesses including the Innocence Project lead investigator and is able to convince the judge that Deaver has lied about his qualifications at the stand. A retrial was granted, and Michael was released from prison and sentenced to house arrest with an ankle brace.
The family is happy but soon finds that not everyone is happy and accepts his release, and the public examination is at a high level. Michael struggles with life outside the prison and sees his children struggling. Todd, a formerly responsible son, now appears to have split up as Clay, who has been tireless, replaced him as a caretaker. Their mother, Patty, decides to move to NC to be closer to Michael and the boys.
In 2017, Michael considered taking the Alford application, in which he would have to plead guilty to a minor charge of involuntary manslaughter in order to receive a reduced sentence but was never re-tried. He also has a chance to plead not guilty and face a new charge before a judge. At Alford’s hearing, the court is not overcrowded. The prosecutor calls Kathleen’s sister Candace to the station and then teases the new Michael… again.
Michael finally pleads guilty to Alford’s case, which involves a defendant admitting that there is enough evidence to convict him while remaining innocent and sentencing him to a time already pending. His children, all of whom decided not to attend the trial, saw the news on television but decided to stay away from it in an attempt to maintain normalcy in their lives.
Eventually, Michael decides not to move to Paris to start a new life elsewhere with Sophie, and their relationship ends. Later, Jean-Xavier shows Sophie a recent video of his conversation with Michael, in which he describes his homosexuality. In the photo, Michael admits that Kathleen did not know about his affair with men or that he was bisexual. However, he emphasizes that Kathleen’s death was tragic. But if he lies about something so big … what else is he lying about? Jean and Sophie don’t know what to think. Are you with us? “The Staircase .”