The third season of Serial kicks off with host Sarah Koenig introducing the stage on which the third season of the podcast will take place. Koenig’s introduction of Cleveland’s Justice Center Complex immediately takes you captive. It’s an Oscar-worthy single-shot take in podcast form.
Serial’s second season followed the story of Bowe Bergdahl. It was a worthwhile listen but by no means the blockbuster that season one was. Koenig ties that first season to the third by explaining that people often asked her what Adnan Syed’s case said about the American criminal justice system. Her answer? Nothing, high profile, extraordinary cases have little impact on the nation as a whole. Most families can’t afford expensive attorneys, most cases don’t go to trial and if they do that case almost never lasts six weeks.
Season three delves into the criminal justice system of the majority.
The first episode, “A Bar Fight Walks Into the Justice Center” tells the story of a woman who is arrested after a bar fight, while the second, “You’ve Got Some Gauls” looks at the discretion and unchecked power that judges have to dole out “justice”. It’s a big departure from the podcast’s past, but a welcome and refreshing change.