It’s been over 14 months since Sarah Koenig and the rest of the Serial team cut us off cold turkey from the podcast’s addictive first season.
Fans were left shaking their collective fists at the sky and yearning for more episodes that gave closure to Adnan Syed’s case when Season 1 ended last October. We were given little information — or hope — for a second season other than, “Serial will probably return sometime in 2015.”
— Serial (@serial) December 10, 2015
The image of a dark landscape and barbed wire is ominous, but doesn’t give away too many hints as to what Season 2 is all about. Will it be anything like the first? Here’s what we know so far.
1. It doesn’t seek to solve a murder case
The real-life case involving the death of Hae Min Lee and Syed, who was convicted of her murder, was so riveting in Season 1, many listeners are having a hard time picturing a new season of Serial that doesn’t unravel another murder mystery.
However, Season 2, unlike Season 1, will not be a “whodunnit” series, but rather unpacks the story of Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier who walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was subsequently captured and held by the Taliban. Bergdahl was charged with desertion upon his release, and is the subject of an active military case in court.
Koenig will explore why Bergdahl made the curious decision to abandon his post and the strange events that unfolded after his capture and release.
2. It’s an inside look at captivity
The Taliban held Bergdahl captive for five years, which, according to the Serial website, is longer than any other American in history has been imprisoned by the radicals and lived to tell the tale. Episode 1’s voice recordings of Bergdahl describing the harrowing details of his captivity are chilling — and we can only imagine there’s more to come.
3. Bergdahl is a complicated dude
“Bergdahl, by the way, is such an interesting and unusual guy, not like anyone I’ve encountered before,” Koenig writes on the Serial website, which is a bold statement coming from the woman who had many an intimate conversation with Syed.
And her statement is definitely founded. Bergdahl was homeschooled as a child and received his GED in his early 20s, after which he studied fencing and ballet, even dancing the role of the Nutcracker in a local production, according to The New York Times. He also pursued Christian missionary work in Uganda in 2003 and spent time in a Buddhist monastery in 2007 and 2008, just one year before joining the Army and disappearing, according to Worldmag.com.
4. Koenig goes deep
“That’s me, calling the Taliban,” Koenig says in Episode 1. That’s right, one show in and she’s already seeking to communicate with one of the most feared organizations in the world. Makes knocking on Jay’s door seem like no big deal.
5. Koenig explores controversial feelings about the military
Season 1’s story was basically confined to Baltimore and the students who were in high school when Lee was brutally murdered, but Season 2 will go far and wide.
“It reaches into swaths of the military, the peace talks to end the war, attempts to rescue other hostages, our Guantanamo policy,” writes Koenig. “What Bergdahl did made me wrestle with things I’d thought I more or less understood, but really didn’t: what it means to be loyal, to be resilient, to be used, to be punished.”
One of the most intriguing aspects of Season 1 was how it made us question our judicial system, so having Koenig poke into the United States military in a similar fashion is exciting.
6. The Serial team will have a larger social media presence
As a result of Season 1’s success, the Serial team expanded and announced that they will be interacting with fans more on the Internet. Week by week, listeners are encouraged to ask questions on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Exciting news: The music streaming giant has taken on Serial and you can listen to both Season 1 and new episodes of Season 2 through the service. You can continue to listen to the weekly podcast through its website, iTunes and Stitcher as well.
8. The MailChimp girl is still in full effect
— Kaylin Murray (@KaylinDesigns) December 10, 2015
New season, same old sponsors! And the poor MailChimp girl still can’t get it right.
Take a listen to the first four minutes of Serial Episode 1 below, but proceed with caution: It only takes four minutes to get hooked.