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Serial Thread (Spoilers)

I kind of want a safe place to talk about this show where I don't have to use a bunch of spoiler tags.

What's your general impression of Bowe so far? To me he comes across as a naive kid that did a very stupid thing.

has anyone been able to confirm American casualties as a result of what he did? I've heard them allude to it a few times but I haven't heard anything approaching definitive.


  • Is it okay to do something really recklessly stupid if your intention was to do something good?

    I guess it sort of depends what his actual reason for leaving was. I hope they get more into that soon.
  • I'm kind of sympathetic, but perhaps that's because myself nor any people close to me really have much of an affiliation with the military at all. No question what he did was incredibly stupid.

    I'm interested to see where she decides to take this season, there are lots of angles that could be played. What were the "leadership failures" that Bowe was seeing? What happened during those 5 years he was captured? Should the attempts to rescue him have happened in such a seemingly careless way? was it actually his fault people were killed? What should his punishment be?

    Unlike season one (did Adnan do it or not?) there isn't an immediate hook to this season. I'm fascinated by this story but I hope it starts to focus as the season goes along instead of meandering around a bunch of different topics.
  • This is such a different thing from season 1 because the mystery isn't what happened so much as why.

    that and complete vindication for Bergdahl is basically impossible while with Adnan I totally can envision him being completely innocent.
  • @Mark it does sound like the search for Bowe was sort of a dog and pony show. They had every reason to believe he was in Pakistan (which he was).

    I get that American lives are valuable, but are they valuable enough to raid practically every village and town in a war torn country? that seems like an irresponsible thing to do when you're risking potentially thousands of lives to do so.
  • I found it interesting that the Taliban guy basically said they were fine with their own people dying as long as they could keep Bowe. It's a complete 180 to how Americans would think.
  • edited December 2015
    yeah dude he said he was worth five thousand lives. I guess that makes sense given the context of the trade they later made.

    They view lower level Taliban guys as essentially pawns I guess.
  • I read this on the wiki page for desertion and thought it was interesting. It seems like Bergdahl's case is being treated as much more severe than any in the last 14 years.

    photo 8DF1F271-AF40-4AE3-950B-AC7750211B0F.png
  • yeah ditching ur squad is kinda shitty but he might have been like that penguin in that herzog doc
  • I've found that a lot of people seem to be mad at Bergdahl because of the trade the president made more than anything else. Regardless of how someone feels about that, it really shouldn't make what Bowe did carry a more severe punishment than other deserters.
  • great reviews on metacritic, too
  • haha I was just coming here to post about that. It looks fantastic.
  • netflix is absolutely killing it with their original series
  • this is fucking riveting. Easily on par with Serial, The Jinx, Paradise Lost, The Thin Blue Line and The Central Park Five so far.
  • I really hope there's a new episode tomorrow.
  • I read something on Esquire about Bergdahl that Serial hasn't mentioned that seems like essential information. I'm sure they'll get to it but I'm surprised it wasn't one of the first things said about the dude.
  • What was it? Got a link?
  • I'm of two minds about it, on one hand he was being idiotic and in a lot of ways shot himself in the foot, but on the other hand 5 years imprisoned by the fucking Taliban could be punishment enough (even if, at least according to ep 2 so far, he got treated comparatively well to other POWs)
  • that is an interesting thing to leave out, they might be playing the same (imo annoying) trick docs do which is reveal prior information in the middle as sort of a twist
  • I don't like it when it's something so important about his background.

    it's pretty manipulative to the listener to leave that detail out. One could gleam that Bowe Bergdahl maybe wasn't cut out for military service to begin with. I guess one could make the same assumption after the dumb thing he did, though.

    Then again, maybe Serial is doing that so people keep an open mind about Bowe as his story unfolds. They're dealing with people's pre-serial perceptions of the guy in a way they didn't have to with season 1. Perhaps the best way to keep people unbiased is to be a little biased.
  • Perhaps they just omitted the detail to this point because it's going to be a point of emphasis in a later episode. One could argue that this story should start at his desertion and move backwards to be told in the most concise manner.

    It's kinda hard to criticize it now when you don't have the full picture. Perhaps it'll make more sense when they actually get to it.
  • That article doesn't surprise me at all. The part where he wanted to be thought of as some sort of super soldier like jason bourne kind of alludes to a dude who isn't quite with it. Before , I just thought he was stupid, but this makes me think of him a little differently.
  • thanks for the article. that's really wild; i wonder when they'll reveal it in the podcast
  • oh shittt episode 3 is up
  • yep, gonna listen to that on the way to work today before coming back and spoiling the shit out of it.
  • I'm guessing the people who seem to already hate Bowe are going to hate episode 3. It continues to paint him as a sympathetic character.
  • That's definitely the best episode so far. It's hard to really see a dude who tried to escape at least 3 times as a Taliban sympathizer.
  • and now I know that the Taliban do the dew.
  • I can see why Mark Boal is talking to this guy. This has the potential to be an absolutely amazing movie some day.

    I really hope they dive into Bowe's past in episode 4. The teaser at the end seemed to indicate as much. It's just impossible for my brain to rationalize why someone would do what he did and I need to know this dude's background.
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