Wildly popular podcast Serial just launched a second season

The internet’s favourite podcast is back for season two.

Serial, which first launched in 2014, was a podcast of unprecedented popularity. In 12 parts, released weekly, it detailed the 1999 murder of Jae Min lee, assessing the case and subsequent trial of a suspect.

For Season 2 — the first episode of which is available to listen to now — it’s taking on Bowe Bergdahl, a US soldier who was held prisoner by the Taliban for almost five years.

After a hero’s welcome, Bergdahl was accused of being a traitor, and has been charged by the US military. “Bergdahl has been quiet. He hasn’t spoken to the press or done any interviews on TV. He’s been like a ghost at the center of a raucous fight,” Serial says on its website. “Now, in Season Two, we get to hear what he has to say.”

You can download Season 2, Episode 1 — entitled “Dustwun” — here.

Here’s how Serial describes season two:

In May 2014, a U.S. Special Operations team in a Black Hawk helicopter landed in the hills of Afghanistan. Waiting for them were more than a dozen Taliban fighters and a tall American, who looked pale and out of sorts: Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier, had been a prisoner of the Taliban for nearly five years, and now he was going home.

President Obama announced Bergdahl’s return in the Rose Garden, with the soldier’s parents at his side. Bergdahl’s hometown of Hailey, Idaho, planned a big celebration to welcome him back. But then, within days — within hours of his rescue, in fact — public reaction to his return flipped. People started saying Bergdahl shouldn’t be celebrated. Some of the soldiers from his unit called him a deserter, a traitor. They said he had deliberately walked off their small outpost in eastern Afghanistan and into hostile territory.

Hailey canceled its celebration. The army launched an investigation. Finally, in March, the military charged Bergdahl with two crimes, one of which carries the possibility of a life sentence. Through all of this, Bergdahl has been quiet. He hasn’t spoken to the press or done any interviews on TV. He’s been like a ghost at the center of a raucous fight.

Now, in Season Two, we get to hear what he has to say.

For this season, Sarah Koenig teams up with filmmaker Mark Boal and Page 1 to find out why one idiosyncratic guy decided to walk away, into Afghanistan, and how the consequences of that decision have spun out wider and wider. It’s a story that has played out in unexpected ways from the start. And it’s a story that’s still going on.

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