Season Two of ‘Serial’ Plans to Tackle The Mysterious Bowe Bergdahl Case

Above: The Serial podcast is set to tackle the mystery behind Bowe Bergdahl, the Army sergeant captured by the Taliban and held prisoner for five years after inexplicably leaving his base in Afghanistan
Above: The Serial podcast is set to tackle the mystery behind Bowe Bergdahl, the Army sergeant captured by the Taliban and held prisoner for five years after inexplicably leaving his base in Afghanistan

If you were one of the thousands that became obsessed with Adnan Syed’s case in Serial’s first season, then you’ve probably been waiting impatiently to find one what season two is going to offer. Creator Sarah Koenig already clarified that the next season would stand alone and have absolutely nothing to do with Syed and the death of Hae Min Lee. She wasn’t joking.

Season two of Serial, which is a spinoff of podcast This American Life, plans to take on the case of Bowe Bergdahl, an Army sergeant who was captured by the Taliban and held prisoner for five years. He was released last year as part of a prisoner exchange that involved five high ranking Taliban officials who were being held in Guantanamo Bay.

Bergdahl has since been charged with “desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty” and “misbehaviour before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place.” That might seem harsh for someone who spent five years as a prisoner of war, unsure if he would ever make it out alive. But of course, there’s a lot more to the story than a solider being captured and held against his will. And that’s why the case is perfect for Serial’s highly anticipated second season.

First of all, there are a lot of conflicting stories about how Bergdahl was captured in the first place. Did he leave the base on his own accord? Or was he ambushed after falling behind on a patrol? Second why did the U.S government agree to trade five prisoners for Bergdahl despite their policy to never negotiate with terrorists? Koenig and her team will dig into every detail until the case makes sense, but as we saw in Adnan Syed’s case in season one, that doesn’t mean anything will be resolved.

Koenig will also be joined on air by Mark Boal, a journalism-turned-filmmaker who worked with Kathryn Bigelow on Zero Dark Thirty, the story of the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden. Boal’s production company Page One plans to produce a movie, directed by Bigelow, about Bergdahl’s case, and plans to use the podcast as a way of working through the story first. Former New York Times editor Hugo Lindgren will also be lending a hand.

Bergdahl is currently in the middle of hearings that will determine his fate on the desertion and misbehaviour in front of the enemy charges. The result of those hearings are required before a film on the events can really move forward, but Serial is free to start its own investigation now while interest is high. Like it did for Adnan Syed in season one, the podcast is sure to bring a lot more publicity to the case, and whether that is a good thing or a bad thing will remain to be seen.

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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