Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Tearjerker / Serial

Go To

    open/close all folders 

    Season 1 
  • Hae was, by all accounts, a really beautiful, smart, friendly, high-spirited person.
  • If you believe Adnan is innocent, his whole story is pretty tragic.
    • Episode 9, where he talks about his arrest and trial.
    • Episode 12, where he asks his lawyers to submit the motion to test the DNA from Hae's PERK kit. He sounds like he's Trying Not to Cry.
    Adnan: You guys had it sitting for sixteen years and you never tested it. It's impossible, man, for it to be sitting there for sixteen years and you guys never tested it.
  • January 13 was Stephanie's birthday. Her close friend Hae was murdered by her other close friend Adnan (or at least, he was convicted) and her boyfriend Jay helped bury the body.

    Season 2 
  • The language barrier is a particularly scary and isolating aspect of the case, even when malice isn't in play. In Episode 4, a man who may have encountered the captive Bergdahl in his capacity as a cook relates that an American prisoner was asking him for something, but he couldn't actually tell what it was, so he just kept bringing him small things hoping one of them was it — some salt, some Tylenol, a blanket. These men were strangers, potentially putting their safety on the line out of basic goodwill — but we never find out what the prisoner was asking for, or even if it was Bergdahl at all.
  • Episode 9 reveals that the Obama administration assured Bowe's parents that he would not be charged after his rescue. A year and a half later, Bowe faced a general court martial up to and including a life sentence. After being rendered nearly incapable of coherent speech by years of isolation and torture, Bowe is still facing punishment.
  • There are some very blunt, depressing descriptions of torture, as well as a brutally honest description of how difficult recovery from something like that is.
  • The very end of the season is bittersweet. Koenig reveals that despite the whole crazy political, legal, and military mess that was unleashed by Bergdahl's capture and rescue, Bowe himself has had to more or less return to normal life and hope for the chaos to resolve itself.
    Koenig: Bowe and the army are adversaries, legally speaking, but Bowe is still a soldier. As soon as he was rescued, somewhere in a government office, someone filled out a department of the army form 4187, and they changed Bowe's status from 'missing, captured' to 'present for duty.' After knocking down this huge long serpentine of geopolitical dominoes, Bowe was assigned to an office job on his base in San Antonio. He's fighting the charges against him, which means he waits, a lot longer than he thought he'd have to. But waiting is something Bowe knows how to do.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: