Subscribers of the investigative podcast Serial were greeted with a welcome surprise Thursday morning as the first episode of the series’ second season appeared without notice. As previously reported, this season of Serial will focus on the disappearance of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Bergdahl himself provides a first-person account of the situation, marking his first public comments about the incident since his release from captivity in May 2014.
The 29-year-old Bergdahl, profiled in the 2012 Rolling Stone article “America’s Last Prisoner of War,” went missing in 2009 after abandoning his troop’s barracks. He was captured and held captive by the Taliban until May 2014, when the U.S. military negotiated his release as part of a prisoner exchange for five Taliban officials held in Guantánamo Bay. Although Bergdahl initially received a hero’s welcome from President Barack Obama, in March 2015, Bergdahl was charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
“I’m going, ‘Good grief, I’m in over my head,'” Bergdahl said in the premiere episode about his decision to abscond from the military base. “Suddenly, it really starts to sink in that I really did something bad. Or, not bad, but I really did something serious.”
As opposed to investigating an incident that happened in the past – like Season One, which honed in on a decade-old Baltimore murder – Serial host Sarah Koenig will instead bring clarity to the Bergdahl case while it’s still fresh, as Bergdahl’s trial began in September.
It was previously announced that Serial would also return for a third season.