A Recap of Serial Season Two: Bowe Bergdahl

You have to come to Serial understanding there are moments you're going to want to bang your head against the wall.

Serial comes to us from Sarah Koenig, the journalist who hosts the weekly radio show with her soft, yet curious voice. In the first season, the story was very much about Koenig’s process. The second season feels more like a big, more public experience. The reason for this is because Season two’s subject is more well known: it is U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who walked off his post in Afghanistan, was captured by the Taliban and then held as a P.O.W. for five years until his release in 2015.

I, like a lot of people listening to this podcast, am conflicted about how Bergdahl should be treated. Should he be court marshaled? Should he go to jail for walking off his post and placing soldiers who had to search for him in danger? Was he crazy?

All that being said, before I even started listening to the podcast I found myself empathizing with a soldier who chose to walk off an army base. I can’t imagine the pressure. The fear of it. The confusion. The dread. I know the argument: He signed up for this. Yes, but he’s still human, and he’s flawed — just like the rest of us.

But after listening to at least the first few episodes it is clear that Bergdahl put a lot of men in danger. He was wrong and should be punished. Except here’s the tricky part: Bergdahl was punished for five years as a P.O.W. Jesus, was he punished.

I’m not going to go into detail because I’d give away too many spoilers, but he was treated like an abused animal. The guy has paid the price of his mistake. There is no other punishment worse than what he’s already gone through.

Just let him go home.