'Serial': Six Gifts the Finale Gave Fans
Thanks for a great season, SK
Serial released its 12th and final episode on Thursday, bringing the true-crime podcast's first season to an end. Host Sarah Koenig did a fantastic job with the conclusion, filling the 55 minute and 45 second episode with new information about Hae Min Lee's murder and the case for/against her convicted ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed.
Here's a look at the lovely parting gifts Koenig left fans with in the season finale. Obviously, spoilers ahead:
1. That cheeky opening conversation with Adnan: "So you don't really have — if you don't mind me asking — you don't really have no ending?" says Adnan. Yup, the man whose real life this show is about, who has been in jail for 15 years for this crime he may not have committed, has the same question fans and Funny Or Die asked ahead of this episode. It was a great start to the finale, with Koenig responding by telling the audience, "Of course I have an ending!"
2. Interviews with new people, including Don: Thank you, thank you, thank you Koenig. Don's absence has been greatly felt throughout the season and the finale gave us a chance to hear from Don himself, not only about Hae's personality and his 13-day relationship with her, but also about what Don thought about Adnan. Koenig read quotes from Don since he didn't want his voice played, but it was still very helpful in providing context. She also spoke with Josh, Jay's former coworker from the adult video store, who talked about how scared Jay was weeks after the murder.
3. Ronald Lee Moore: Koenig revealed the results of the Innocence Project's initial investigation. It turns out an alleged rapist and murderer named Ronald Lee Moore was released from a Balitmore County jail on Jan. 1, 1999. Hae was murdered on Jan. 13 of the same year. Moore would later be linked by DNA to the murder of Annelise Hyang Suk Lee, found strangled to death in her Baltimore County apartment in December 1999. He committed suicide years later while in a correctional center in Louisiana. The Innocence Project is filing a motion to test DNA from Hae's case to see if anything links to Moore.
4. Circling back to the Nisha call and Best Buy payphone: Earlier this season, Koenig pointed to the Nisha call as a smoking gun, a call that was very damaging to Adnan's case. However, in the finale, Koenig's two producers look into whether the call could in fact have been just a butt-dial. They also discuss the possibility of a payphone inside of Best Buy back in 1999.
5. A largely satisfactory ending: A perfect Hollywood ending was never in the cards for Serial's finale, this is a real life 15-year-old crime after all. It would be difficult to neatly solve it in 12 episodes. However, Koenig did a good job of conveying how fresh her own investigation is, explaining the recent timeline of the Innocence Project's findings, her conversation with Don, and her Saturday call with Adnan. It was also nice to hear producer Dana Chivvis' thoughts on Adnan and how extraordinarily unlucky he must be if he really is completely innocent. The skepticism added balance to the episode. As for the end of the episode, Koenig revealed that she would not have voted to convict Adnan had she been a juror. That being said, she cannot swear to his innocence. She points out we didn't have the facts 15 years ago, and "we still don't have them now."
6. Season two will be coming in 2015: Hooray! At least we won't have to wait more than a year for the next season.
Here's the final episode, if you want to listen to it again. Let us know your thoughts about the ending in the comments below. Were you disappointed there was no Mail Kimp resolution? Are you convinced of Adnan's guilt or innocence or are you conflicted?