The new season covers the famous case of a U.S. soldier captured by the Taliban, rescued, and charged with desertion.
Unlike the case of Adnan Syed, which the podcast’s first season brought to the public’s attention, Bergdahl’s case is already well-known. Held captive by the Taliban from June 2009 to May 2014, he was released in a prisoner exchange greenlit by President Obama. He was later charged with desertion by the U.S. Army.
In September, Maxim reported that Serial host Sarah Koenig had been spotted at Bergdahl’s preliminary hearing in San Antonio, Texas. Koenig has remained carefully close-mouthed about season 2 in interviews, but the first episode reveals that those reports were correct.
The first new episode, “DUSTWUN,” went live at 6am ET Thursday, overloading the podcast’s website. It opens with Bergdahl’s first public interview about his experiences in Afghanistan, explaining in his own words why he decided to leave his Army base alone that night in 2009.
By tackling a story that has already been investigated by the media, the Army, and Internet conspiracy theorists, Serial is reaching past the high expectations set by season 1. And judging by the fact that people are still furiously refreshing the website in hopes of downloading it, the podcast’s obsessive cult following is still alive and well.
Photo via United States Army/Wikimedia (PD)