Carl Burton's season two art

Although it didn’t land in November as previously predicted, the second season of podcast phenomenon Serial is finally here. In a blog post on the Serial site, host Sarah Koenig wastes no time in confirming that it deals with the story of Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who left his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was subsequently captured and held by the Taliban for almost five years. Episode one, “DUSTWUN,” finds Bergdahl explaining his side of the story for the first time, a year and a half after President Obama exchanged him for five Taliban detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.

Koenig says in the announcement that Bergdahl is “such an interesting and unusual guy, not like anyone I’ve encountered before,” which is basically the same opinion she seemed to have of season one subject Adnan Syed. There’s no question this story is completely different though, and she acknowledges that it “spins out in so many unexpected directions” in a way that Syed’s story never did. Koenig also says some of the content was over her head at first: “What Bergdahl did made me wrestle with things I’d thought I more or less understood, but really didn’t,” she writes. “What it means to be loyal, to be resilient, to be used, to be punished.”

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Part of the delay in releasing season two likely came from the crew concurrently working on season three, but apparently the extra time was put to good use. Koenig says this season’s expanded team will be producing 3D maps and “all sorts of graphics and videos and more to help explain what happened.” They’ll also be talking with listeners via social media every week, which those frothing at the mouth over at the Serial subreddit will likely be delighted to know.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether people latch onto Bergdahl’s story the way they did to Syed’s (Koenig hopes they don’t). If nothing else though, Mail Kimp fans can release a sigh of relief. Their hero is back.