Thursday's episode of "Serial" will be its last for the season. Entertainment Weekly reported exclusively Wednesday that the podcast, hosted by Sarah Koenig and created by the producers of "This American Life," has concluded its reporting on the story of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the young soldier accused of deserting the U.S. Army in 2009. Bergdahl returned to the United States in 2014 after five years in Taliban captivity in Afghanistan as part of a prisoner exchange.
The finale could leave fans with more questions — and theories — than answers, as was the case with the end of season 1 in December 2014.
“This has been a different kind of story. It’s a story where, in a lot of ways, a lot of people have agreed on the facts from the very beginning,” executive producer Julie Snyder told Entertainment Weekly. “In that way, it makes it a different kind of way that you’re coming to a conclusion, except that there are these outstanding questions about essentially what can you blame Bowe for."
She then promised to delve into those issues in Thursday's episode.
"Serial" surpassed 80 million downloads last spring, according to USA Today, and as of Wednesday it was the No. 2 top podcast on iTunes. But the second season of the show hasn't had the same warm reception as its first, which concerned a little-known teen murder case in Baltimore from the '90s. Slate admitted season 2 was "not as riveting," though noted "that doesn't mean it's worse." The Wrap wrote that "some listeners have lost the plot," suggesting that "Serial" fans had jumped ship to support the Netflix crime show "Making a Murderer" instead.
Even though the "Serial" season about him is ending, Bergdahl's case continues. In January, the Army set a court-martial date for Aug. 8, but Reuters reported progress was halted after an appeals court decided it needed time to decide whether the defense should be able to access classified documents in the case. Bergdahl has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
The "Serial" producers promised in an email newsletter last May that season 3 would air this spring. They said its story was "very different" from the first season's, "but no less interesting to us." Further clues were scarce.
"The Serial staff is currently working on several things simultaneously: Season 2, Season 3, and some other podcast projects," they told Maxim in a statement in September. "For now we’re not talking publicly about anything that we’re working on."
Meanwhile, users on social media have come up with their own snarky suggestions for "Serial" investigations:
— Nick Mohammed (@nickmohammed) March 26, 2016
— one_N (@jena_wall) March 2, 2016
Turkey murder mystery: Serial Season 3 topic?https://t.co/gnllb8rkYR
— Jeremy B. White (@CapitolAlert) March 24, 2016
A good mystery that Serial season 3 should cover: "who is still listening to Serial season 2?"
— matt brown (@mattnworb) March 17, 2016
— Collin Hunt (@hunt_collin) March 15, 2016
Serial season 3 should focus on who decided it would be a good idea to make the House of Cards opening titles so long.
— Denham Sadler (@denhamsadler) March 12, 2016
Serial season 3: that little girl learns to pronounce chimp.
— Paxton Atristain (@PaxtonAtristain) March 9, 2016