Serial Season 2's subject: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

At 6am Thursday, December 10, 2015, an amazing thing happened. The first episode of Season 2 of the podcast Serial was released. I know. Sit down.

In all seriousness, it’s kind of a big deal. The first season earned a Peabody Award and was downloaded more than 100 million times. Not to mention that it probably had no small influence on Adnan Syed getting his case re-opened.

Serial Season 1: The Murder of Hae Min Lee

The final episode of Season 1 was released just short of a year ago and rabid Serial fans have been waiting ever since for a new season. Serial host and producer Sarah Koenig’s coverage of the murder of Hae Min Lee didn’t exactly tie things up in a neat bow, rather leaving listeners with more questions than answers. Following on the heels of Serial, Undisclosed: The State vs. Adnan Syed was launched, exhaustively covering the story from a purely legal standpoint as well as keeping listeners current on Adnan’s case as it makes it way back through the legal system.

Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed

Yearbook photos of Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed

Just a quick note, as of November 6 2015, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Martin Welch ordered that Syed’s post-conviction proceedings would be re-opened “in the interests of justice for all parties.” Among the issues being discussed will be alibi testimony from Asia McClain, inneffective counsel from Adnan’s lawyer Christina Gutierrez, and the innaccuracy of cell phone evidence used in the original trials. Additionally, The Innoncence Project has identified another potential suspect and will be requesting new DNA tests be taken. Deirdre Enright of the Innocence Project said that they are waiting to hear back from Maryland whether they can file for DNA testing while the appeal motion is pending.

Who knew a podcast would have such a huge effect?

Serial Season 2: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

The eagerly awaited Season 2 will focus on the baffling and polarizing story of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. You’re probably familiar with the outlines of the story of Bergdahl, who in 2009 left his post in Afghanistan, prompting a huge manhunt involving thousands of troops, which was ultimately unsuccessful as he was captured by Taliban forces and held for 5 years, before being exchanged for 5 Taliban detainees in 2014.

Bergdahl was interviewed extensively by Mark Boal, an Academy Award-winning writer and producer (Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), in 2013, as research for an upcoming movie about Bergdahl’s story. Boal played the first season of Serial for Bergdahl, who then agreed to have his story told by Ms. Koenig. The New York Times has a great article with more details about Bergdahl’s story and Serial.

Sarah Koenig

Serial host and producer Sarah Koenig

I’m not sure if I will find Season 2 quite as riveting, but then again, when I started listening to Serial, who knew I would become so completely invested in a totally obscure, 14 year-old case in Baltimore?