It’s easy to get caught up in a conspiracy theory of your own making. We see this profoundly in the red hats that still believe Trump was robbed of the election. Hell, that Lee Harvey Oswald was a patsy. There is that one about the reptilians. My favorite is the one where Australia doesn’t exit. Look that one up, it’s a good one. It’s profoundly easy when you’re Maury Terry. The subject of Netflix’s new series The Sons of Sam: A Decent into Darkness.
Recently, I have been a little disappointed in Netflix’s documentary series. Most of them could be done in two episodes, or a long 90-minute movie. It seems they are stringing people along to keep people watching with four episodes. Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer was okay. But that could’ve easily been shrunk down to one long film or two episodes. However, still enjoyable.
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel was a complete waste of time. A four-part series that spent one part on the actual disappearance, and two episodes on the conspiracy theories. Only to get back to the point late in the fourth episode. However, The Sons of Sam: A Decent into Darkness managed to let you know where it was going from jump street.
The actual Son of Sam murders are the backdrop.
The first half of the pilot episode focuses on what was reported in the initial case in 1977. It slowly filters in the narration of Paul Giamatti playing Maury Terry. Unique in telling it in the first person, unless you’ve seen some shows on Discovery ID, which do the same thing. It goes into his rationale thinking that David Berkowitz didn’t commit these crimes alone. He had help.
When you take the facts that Maury discovers and hear his rationale for it: you think he’s onto something. However, two of the biggest “breaks” turn into something else. One of the commenters in the series said that Maury was right more than he was wrong.
Is half credit what we’re going for?
The series does this neat trick. It starts out showing him as a man that didn’t see what everyone else saw. By the third episode, we start seeing a man that couldn’t see the forest for the trees. The concept of “falling down the rabbit hole” is something they were going for. Almost making him sympathetic in a way. But when does someone become just wrong?
We see it in believers of Nostradamus or Q. They are wrong nearly all the time. However, if you can turn the prophesy into a pretzel, you’ll have a false positive. Many people would call it a day and move on to something else. However, true believers manage to say “this wasn’t the time” or “there is a way to make this true.” This should be viewed as a cautionary tale, instead of a man on a mission.
In the end, you come away with a man that wanted so bad to be right. No matter how hard he tried, it just didn’t seem to work out. But, it does bring to mind what a person can see where others can’t. Like random online personalities see something that experts have missed. It is very intriguing but shouldn’t be taken at face value.
Some wonder why would Berkowitz would lie? Maybe because he doesn’t want to be blamed for the murders. Maybe the cops did some things wrong, but does that mean he didn’t do it? I recommend giving this a view, especially if you like true crime and conspiracy theories. The fourth episode does drag on for a bit, but the very end will make you think – it could’ve been all in his head.
The Sons of Sam: A Decent into Darkness is available on Netflix.