The Staircase

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The Staircase: Season 1 episodes (8)

1 911
December 2001. When businesswoman and beloved mother Kathleen Peterson is found dead after reportedly falling down a flight of stairs, the unusually bloody scene leads police to focus their attention on her husband, author and aspiring local politician Michael Peterson. But while the Peterson's blended family rallies around their patriarch, the investigation quickly zeroes in on Michael's secret life, calling the couple's seemingly picture-perfect marriage into question.
2 Chiroptera
After posting bail, Michael and his high-powered attorney David Rudolf piece together their defense, while considering an offer from Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, a French documentarian eager to profile the case. As teams of forensic experts onboth sides recreate the night of Kathleen's death, Michael's children grapple with shocking new information about their father -and his stepdaughter Caitlin wrestles with her own doubts.
3 Great Dissembler
In the months preceding Kathleen's death, Michael continues to lead a double life, as the Petersons contend with mounting financial woes. In 2002, while DA Jim Hardin and assistant DA Freda Black struggle to locate a key piece of evidence, a surprising coincidence from Michael's past threatens to derail the defense.
4 Common Sense
In 2003, tensions rise and old wounds reopen as the Petersons' eldest son Clayton returns home, and unwittingly makes a critical discovery. Michael's fate hangs in the balance as the trial comes to a close, and years later, in 2017, his new partner Sophie reflects on the path that led her to become enmeshed in the case.
5 Beating Heart
2004. In the aftermath of the verdict, Michael and his family struggle with the court's decision. In France, Jean and his producer Denis butt heads over who's side of the story they are telling, while the documentary's editor, Sophie, strikes up an unlikely friendship from thousands of miles away.
6 Red in Tooth and Claw
In 2001, an ill-fated Thanksgiving leaves Kathleen stressed and Margaret with questions about her past. Five years later, a far-fetched theory from Larry Pollard, the Petersons' former neighbor, inspires Sophie to launch her own investigation -and threatens Michael's already shaky new normal. Then, in 2017, Michael must decide whether to compromise his principles in exchange for his freedom.
7 Seek and Ye Shall
In 2001, Kathleen prepares for a Christmas to rememberdespite the family's ever-mounting financial woes. Years later, Sophie continues her quest to prove Michael's innocence after a body with similar injuries to Kathleen's arrives in the county morgue. Meanwhile, questions about the state's justice system surface that could turn the tides of the Peterson case, and Martha decides to dig into her fraught past, despite pushback from Margaret.
8 American's Sweetheart
In 2011, the Peterson children rally around their father as David angles for a retrial. While in Durham, Martha and Margaret address long-buried truths, and Clayton bears witness to Todd's tenuous sobriety. Six years later, in 2017, Michael faces yet another hearing that may finally answer open questions about his first trial and Kathleen's death -and Sophie comes to terms with a revelation.

About this show

Inspired by a true story, The Staircase follows writer and war veteran Michael Peterson (Oscar winner Colin Firth) after the suspicious death of his wife Kathleen (Emmy nominee Colin Firth). On December 9, 2001, Michael makes a frantic 911 call reporting Kathleen has fallen down the stairs of their Durham, NC home. But when the district attorney brings murder charges, members of Michael's blended family must choose whose side they're on and which version of events to believe. As the case becomes engulfed in a media circus, a French documentary film crew arrives to meticulously chronicle its many twists and turns. Intertwining multiple perspectives and timelines, this gripping limited series explores the elusive nature of truth, while serving as an intimate portrait of a family's grief.

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