While the first few episodes of Netflix’s Making a Murderer are marked by confusion, the emotions you feel watching eps. 7 and 8 are more certain — but also more hopeless. The evidence doesn’t seem to hold up, and the closing arguments, verdicts, and reactions from the Avery family are both gripping and painful to behold.
While watching, it’s inevitable that your worldview turns bleak. At one point during ep. 8, the prosecutor says, “Reasonable doubts are for innocent people.” And that, in a single sentence, sums up much of my frustration with the state. It just isn’t right. Whether Steven Avery is guilty or innocent, the justice system has failed him. Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Ep. 7 shows Steven Avery’s attorneys continuing to demonstrate that he was framed by the police. Much of their questioning stems from the Manitowoc County police department’s role in the investigation, including the degree to which they were supervised by the unbiased Calumet County cops and missteps made along the way.
To do so, Avery’s attorneys raise doubts over two pieces of key evidence: Teresa Halbach’s car key and the blood that was found in her car. The nebulous nature of these items increases suspicion about the cops’ tactics during the investigation.
Ep. 8 switches gears, beginning with two days of closing arguments and the gut-wrenching waiting period before a verdict is reached. For me, this was the most emotional part of the series, as I kept thinking about how this could easily happen to anyone — including myself. The docu-series encourages this empathy via long shots of Avery’s sad eyes after the verdict is read, with his mother in the background, her face wrinkled and heartbroken.
Midway through ep. 7, special prosecutor Norm Gahn says, “My blood starts to boil when … I hear that these police officers — these good solid citizens, good decent men — are accused of planting this evidence.” It’s safe to say that many of you won’t share that feeling.
Now’s your chance to let it all out. What are your thoughts on the verdict after watching ep. 8? How reliable were the EDTA blood tests? Was the investigation fair? What about the trial? What will happen to Brendan in the final two episodes? And if someone else murdered Teresa Halbach, who was it?
Leave your comments below. Got questions? Ask away. This Making a Murderer discussion club will break down each episode and provide a space for you to debate the show and the investigation with other students of the case. You can catch the full series on Netflix or get a preview by watching the first episode and the trailer.
Nandita Raghuram is a Senior Writer at Studio@Gawker. She tweets here.