‘Serial’ Season 2 Is Better than You Remember and an Unexpected Time Capsule Worth Revisiting

IndieWire | 3/31/2016 | Staff
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When “Serial” Season 2 entered the last week of its 11-episode run, one of its central closing questions was, “Can we prove that anyone died in the search for Bowe Bergdahl?” In trying to determine the answer, host Sarah Koenig spoke to a high-ranking military official about the circumstances surrounding the rescue mission to recover the Army Private kidnapped by the Taliban in 2009 and returned home after five years in captivity.

This high-ranking military official, contrary to the record of any official military investigation, states unequivocally that the effort to bring back Bergdahl cost the lives of American soldiers. He gets combative when Koenig presses him on details. She asks him about the decision to continue the search for Bergdahl in Afghanistan when a number of signs pointed to him being held in Pakistan. He takes a legitimate question about the burden of proof in military intelligence and uses it as an opportunity to push back against a journalistic inquiry.

Episode - Season - March - Official - Name

That last episode of the season was released on March 31, 2016. That high-ranking military official’s name was Michael Flynn.

Though that final episode was released just two and a half years ago, this telling interaction is just one instance of how “Serial” Season 2 now exists in a far more different context than when it was first produced. Flynn is just one name that carries a much different connotation now than it did in the early days of 2016. Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and even Duncan Hunter (who sought to amend U.S. hostage policy around the same time he was misusing campaign funds), all play a part in the retelling of the Bergdahl saga.

Time - Season - Misstep - Fans - Story

At the time (and, anecdotally since then) “Serial” Season 2 was seen as somewhat of a misstep among fans. The story of Adnan Syed in Season 1, which...
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