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Episode 7: Seek and Ye Shall
HBO Max  ·  50 minutes  ·  Original Broadcast: June 02, 2022

Directed by: Antonio Campos  |  Written by: Maggie Cohn

Official synopsis: After a body with similar injuries to Kathleen’s turns up at the county morgue, Sophie continues her quest to uncover what really happened to Kathleen. Meanwhile, Martha decides to dig into her fraught past, despite pushback from Margaret.

Episode Recap
Please note that recaps feature spoilers on the individual episode.
This recap was written by Arnav Srivastava for The Review Geek, June 06, 2022

In the last episode, we saw how the owl theory might have fit the bill of the crime perfectly. Even in the real world, it got a lot of coverage and validation from experts. Episode 7 of The Staircase sees a new theory afoot. We see the brutal killing of Dennis Rowe, by a friend and former lover, Lacour. Both men are privy to Michael – implying that he slept with them. He dies of blunt force trauma – but without the fractures. Kathleen Peterson’s death – as on record – is not an anomaly anymore. Sophie begins investigating this different theory of an intruder, like Lacour, coming in and killing Kathleen.

A non-voluntary organization, the Innocence Project, starts looking into the dubious relationship between the DA and the SBI (State Bureau of Investigation). It finds that the former would give performance reviews for the latter’s analysts to get favorable results and reports to be used as evidence. Three innocent men were executed because of this, as the organization’s worker reveals to Freda, who now works at a laundry. Martha, desperate for answers, reveals to Margaret that she is going to Germany to her old house. She is against it but Martha goes anyway. She discovers the truth about Michael and Patty wanted to give her away because of her behavior. A flashback also shows Kathleen five days before her death, buying the deer statutes and learning from Michael about his book deal. Michael is also seen flirting with the waiters at Nortel’s Christmas party but importantly, Kathleen is shown seeing the physical contact. It is also suggested that she knows about Michael’s bisexuality but the creators do not reveal much. They let it hang in balance, just like in real life.

Evelyn Avins, from IP, goes public with her findings that the SBI did indeed withhold evidence from Courts to get favorable results for the DA. The symbiotic relationship between them is proved and an innocent man, Greg Taylor, is released for a wrongful conviction for her wife’s death. Although it is not totally relevant, we also get a peek into the chaos at several IT companies following the 2001 dot-com bubble crash of the stock market. Nortel’s stock is not an exception and loses almost half its value in a day. Kathleen, as a result of holding significant stock options, loses everything she has. The Petersons are now officially in debt and it rouses a huge fight between Michael and Kathleen where she says everything the DA said about him at the trial and what every neutral, who reasonably believes Michael to be the murderer, thinks. The episode ends a day before the retrial hearing in 2011, which brings the family together one more time.

Guest Cast: Trini Alvarado (Patty Peterson), Susan Pourfar (Dr. Deborah Radisch), Donny Boaz (Tyrone Lacour), Myke Holmes (Duane Deaver), Daniela Lee (Devon), Morgan Henard (Dennis Rowe), Monika Gossmann (Anges Shafer), Erik J. Jensen (J-Smoke), Nick Arapoglou (Corey), Deja Dee (Evelyn Ivins), Kelley Hinman (Older Lawyer), William Ngo (Make-Up Artist), Miguel A. Gaetan (Inmate #2), Liz McGeever (Bloomingdale’s Rep), Bastian G√ľnther (Father), Kate Brown (SBI Tech #1), Daniel P. Wilson (Greg Taylor), Nora Seyfried (Clayton’s Daughter 1), Kynzie Colmery (Clayton’s Daughter 2), Vinny Lotti (State Police #1), Aqeel Ash-Shakoor (State Police #2), William Gregory Lee (Suit #1), David Christian Welborn (Suit #2), Nick Hagelin (Nortel Party Bartender)