THE STAIRCASE ended with a whimper. I am unsure what I expected or wanted, but I needed more. 

I do realize the facts cannot be tampered with or sensationalized. Yet, the writers chose which of Michael’s (Colin Firth) attributes to highlight and magnify. And I get it…sex sells. There were some very powerful moments in the finale, especially from Sophie (Juliette Binoche). My heart ached for her, but in the end, I just didn’t emphasize with Kathleen (Toni Collette). 

The most powerful part was the courtroom scenes. The editing through the years of appeals was powerful and slick. Kudos for taking us through a repetitive sequence with speed and style. It worked.   

THE STAIRCASE is, in the end, a show for those who love to relive the sad, destructive years of Michael Peterson’s life. It is impossible to know what really happened that night, but we did learn about the “domino” effect of deceit on the entire family forever. What could have brought light and joy to all of them? We will never know. 

THE STAIRCASE is available to stream on HBO/MAX. 

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

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