Rank #1: S02 Episode 11: Present for Duty
The Season Two finale: What is Bowe’s fault, and what isn’t?
Rank #2: S02 Episode 01: DUSTWUN
In the middle of the night, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl grabs a notebook, snacks, water, some cash. Then he quietly slips off a remote U.S. Army outpost in eastern Afghanistan and into the dark, open desert. About 20 minutes later, it occurs to him: he’s in over his head.
Rank #3: S03 Episode 01: A Bar Fight Walks into the Justice Center
A young woman at a bar is slapped on the butt. So why’s she the one in jail?
Rank #4: S02 Episode 10: Thorny Politics
Are you hearing what I’m hearing?
Rank #5: S02 Episode 09: Trade Secrets
You don’t make peace with your friends.
Rank #6: S02 Episode 02: The Golden Chicken
On the move with Bergdahl, the Taliban slip past the U.S. Army’s massive effort to find him. During those days and weeks, each side is asking, what is Bergdahl worth to us?
Rank #7: S02 Episode 08: Hindsight, Part 2
Woulda, coulda, shoulda…
Rank #8: S01 Episode 05: Route Talk
Adnan once issued a challenge to Sarah. He told her to test the state’s timeline of the murder by driving from Woodlawn High School to Best Buy in 21 minutes. It can’t be done, he said. So Sarah and Dana take up the challenge, and raise him one: They try to recreate the entire route that Jay said he and Adnan took on January 13th, 1999.
Rank #9: S01 Episode 04: Inconsistencies
A few days after Hae’s body is found, the detectives get a lead that opens the case up for them. They find Jay at work late one night and bring him down to Homicide. At first, he insists he doesn’t know anything about the murder. But eventually he comes clean. He tells them what happened on January 13th. A few weeks later, he’s back at Homicide and his story has changed. In some ways, these changes are small and understandable. In other ways, they’re big and confounding.
Rank #10: S02 Episode 07: Hindsight, Part 1
It makes sense if you’re Bowe Bergdahl.
Rank #11: S01 Update: Day 03, Adnan Syed’s Hearing
February 2016: Sarah Koenig ducks back into the Adnan Syed case for a few days. There’s a hearing in Baltimore—a court proceeding that’s been nearly sixteen years in the making. Syed’s attorney will introduce new evidence, and present a case for why his conviction should be overturned. Sarah and producer Dana Chivvis will discuss what happens, day by day.
Rank #12: S01 Episode 12: What We Know
On January 13, 1999, Adnan Syed was a hurt and vengeful ex-boyfriend who carried out a premeditated murder. Or he was a bewildered bystander, framed for a crime he could never have committed. After 15 months of reporting, we take out everything we’ve got - interviews and documents and police reports - we shake it all out, and we see what sticks.
Rank #13: S01 Episode 03: Leakin Park
It’s February 9, 1999. Hae has been missing for three weeks. A man on his lunch break pulls off a road to pee, and stumbles on her body in a city forest. His odd recounting of the discovery makes Detectives Ritz and MacGillivary suspicious. For instance, why did he walk so far into the woods - 127 feet - to relieve himself? And that’s just the start. A look into the man’s past reveals some bizarre behavior.
Rank #14: S02 Episode 06: 5 O'Clock Shadow
Why did Bowe Bergdahl walk off?
Rank #15: S01 Episode 06: The Case Against Adnan Syed
The physical evidence against Adnan Syed was scant - a few underwhelming fingerprints. So aside from cell records, what did the prosecutors bring to the jury, to shore up Jay's testimony? Sarah weighs all the other circumstantial evidence they had against Adnan, including curious behavior, a disconcerting note, and an unexplained mid-afternoon phone call.