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Dancing in a Vineyard: We Discuss the Latest Episode of Serial

A U.S. Army captain fires on attacking militants over the village of Joikahr, Afghanistan, in 2010.

Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images

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In the second episode of Serial Season 2, we heard members of the Taliban and the U.S. Army recall the first weeks of Bowe Bergdahl’s captivity. On our Serial Spoiler Special podcast, Gabriel Roth and Katy Waldman discuss the show’s fixation on the unknowable and its “radical empathy.” Then we’re joined by Brendan I. Koerner, author of Now the Hell Will Start: One Soldier’s Flight from the Greatest Manhunt of World War II, to talk about Bergdahl’s place in the strange history of military desertion. Finally, we hear comments from listeners, and Gabe recommends Michael Hastings’ 2012 Rolling Stone article on Bergdahl, “America’s Last Prisoner of War.”

As always with Slate’s Spoiler Specials, this is meant to be heard after you’ve caught up with the work under discussion. We’ll be talking about new episodes of Serial each week, and we hope you’ll join us. After you’ve listened, let us know what you think about this season of Serial by emailing

You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and find previous episodes in our archive. You’ll also find them—along with additional writing and commentary about the show—at