Tomorrow morning I expect to be disappointed

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Tomorrow morning I expect to be disappointed.

Like many of you, I've been following the Serial podcast for the past few months. My reactions to the previous eleven episodes have ranged from bored to enthralled to confused, but I'm pretty sure that tomorrow's final episode will leave me feeling disappointment.

I'd love to be wrong. I'd love for Episode 12 to pull everything together, to fill me with a transcendent sense of the ephemeral nature of truth, or to turn up the final damning piece of evidence that either implicates or exonerates Adnan Syed. I don't have much confidence in either outcome.

Maybe part of this comes from my own unreasonable expectations. When I first started listening to this true-crime story, I assumed that Sarah Koenig was well ahead of the game and had unraveled the mystery already. I assumed from the very title, Serial, not just that twists and turns and cliffhangers and reversals lay ahead, but that a sure hand on the tiller was guiding the ship to a known destination.

As time went by, though, it became more and more clear that this was not the case. As Koenig began to incorporate interviews with people who had contacted her after hearing the podcast themselves, it became obvious that her did-he-or-didn't-he-do-it shtick was genuine. She really didn't know. I had been avoiding reading any press about the story lest the ending somehow be spoiled, but I stopped doing that once I realized this was not a spoilable story.

Koenig is a likeable guide, and I'll be listening to the final episode tomorrow with hope, to learn what conclusions she will ultimately draw from the stew of facts and suppositions she's presented us over the course of eleven episodes. But I've sensed the show running out of steam over the last few installments, being padded out to a length the story doesn't really support. When the end was announced at the end of the previous episode, I was simultaneously relieved and outraged. How could it possibly end now, no closer to a solution than when it started? How could it possibly have dragged out this long?

I'll be listening tomorrow, but I don't see how I won't be disappointed.

Obviously I'm not the only one who feels this way.

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William Shunn

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on December 17, 2014 10:07 PM.

I'll be reading at the Newtown Literary #5 launch, December 17 in Queens was the previous entry in this blog.

Why I was disappointed by Serial is the next entry in this blog.

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