Making a Murderer didn't seem like the type of show that would have a second season. It was a docuseries entirely focused on one totally anomalous case. How often does a man get wrongfully convicted twice? Steven Avery fought for 18 years for exoneration. Then, when he finally earned it, he spent only three years in the great wide world before being imprisoned again. This time, again, he insisted he didn't do it. Season 1 traced his story: How he got convicted, how his trial unraveled. Season 2 doesn't get the pleasure of introducing his story. What it does, instead, is take the information from the first season and examine it, CSI-style. It wants to dissect the night of October 31, 2005 — the night that Teresa Halbach reportedly disappeared. It also wants to explain the events leading to Brendan Dassey's trial at the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago.
Mainly, season 2 of Making a Murderer wants to do a lot of explaining. It will do it well; it will do so artfully. By the end of it all, Making a Murderer may not have proven that Avery is innocent, but it will have demonstrated the adverse effects his case has had on, well, everybody. Whatever actually happened on October 31 has caused immense damage to the Avery family, the Halbach family, and Manitowoc County. Below, find a short summary of each episode accompanied by a link to the full recap.
Episode 1: "Number 18"
Meet Kathleen Zellner. In the season premiere, the show introduces a key player, an attorney who has specialized in post conviction appeals. Avery is her 18th post conviction case.
"Episode 2: "Words and Words Only"
Dassey's testimony is key to unravelling the case against Avery. Dassey's confession, which he insists was involuntary, effectively placed the blame on Avery, his uncle. A law team consisting of Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin (both featured on season 1) has been working in the intervening years to get Dassey's conviction overturned. Meanwhile, Zellner aims to disprove blood spatter evidence in Halbach's Rav 4.
Episode 3: "A Legal Miracle"
How do you take a conviction and get it overturned? Well, let experts Nirider and Drizin guide you through the process. It will take, per the episode's title, a "legal miracle," due to some knotty legislation introduced in 1996. This episode gives a deep explainer on AEDPA, a bill that restricted the right of habeas corpus in the federal courts. Meanwhile, Zellner examines the theory that Avery burned Halbach's body in a pit outside his home.
Episode 4: "Welcome To Wisconsin"
In an effort to clear Avery's name, Zellner speaks with Josh Radant, the owner of the quarry near Avery's property.
Episode Five: "Why + What = Who"
Zellner examines the blood flakes on the carpet of the Rav 4 while Nirider and Drizin prepare to take Dassey's case to the Seventh Circuit.
Episode 6: "Everything Takes Time"
Dassey's case arrives in Chicago, where Nirider argues in front of a panel of judges that it was involuntary.
Episode 7: "Item FL"
Zellner examines "item FL," a bullet fragment that was determined to be the murder weapon. Does it actually have Halbach's DNA on it?
Episode 8: "Special Care"
After the state appeals the decision to overturn Dassey's verdict — stymieing Nirider's efforts — Zellner uncovers a new possible suspect.
Episode 9: "Friday Nite"
Zellner unfurls a crazy theory about Halbach's disappearance that implicates Bobby Dassey, Scott Tadych, and Ryan Hillegas.
Episode 10: "Trust No One"
In the final episode of the season, Bobby Dassey finally speaks, giving an off-camera interview to a Wisconsin criminal investigator.
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