‘Serial’ recap: 1×09

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Note: This recap contains spoilers for “Serial” up to and including episode 9, “To Be Suspected,” but does not include any spoilers beyond information outside the show.

With only three episodes left of “Serial”’s first season, which is still blowing up the charts on iTunes, I doubt any last-minute revelations of whether Adnan actually killed Hae will come, although I think most people knew this a while back. Yet, this episode still brings in some great revelations of Adnan and the state’s case against him. While last week seemed to demonstrate support for the “Adnan-is-guilty” camp, “To Be Suspected” does the opposite by exploring what Adnan went through during the weeks after Hae’s murder. If you still believe Koenig’s hesitant speculation that Adnan is a psychopathic liar, your mindset was probably not changed, but it seems pretty clear that Adnan is innocent of the state’s exact case against him.

On a purely factual standpoint, there’s a lot to support the notion that Adnan didn’t kill Hae. In the first few minutes, a couple of bombshells are dropped. First, Laura — a mutual friend of Adnan and Hae — tells us there was not a pay phone at the Best Buy at which Hae was supposedly killed. If her recollection is correct, that means the 2:36 p.m. call — the call supposedly from Adnan to Jay saying, “I killed Hae. Come get me at Best Buy” — cannot be possible. Second, Summer — Hae’s co-manager for the wrestling team — tells us Hae was with her at school a little before 3 p.m., meaning she couldn’t have been dead before 2:36 p.m.

How plausible are these Laura and Summer’s testimonies? Laura tells Koenig that she used to shoplift at Besy Buy, and because of this, she remembers a lot of details about the place, which is why I’m inclined to trust her memory. Yet, more important is Summer seeing Hae right before she was murdered. Summer’s vivid details, particularly Hae telling Summer she was going to drive to the wrestling match and not take the bus, persuade me to believe Summer as well. These two facts eliminate the state’s supposed timeline, which was flimsy to begin with, as the route timeline seemed highly unlikely (as talked about in episode 5).

Without a crime scene, it’s harder to believe Adnan did it. There was talk in the previous episode that Hae was actually murdered in the library parking lot across the street from the school, but I agree with Koenig on this one that it just seems so implausible: Why would Adnan premeditate Hae’s murder in the most risky place possible — where all of his friends could possibly see? But these facts don’t interfere much with Jay’s implication of Adnan. Even if the facts of Jay’s story pre-6 p.m. were wrong, it does not discredit Jay being able to find the car and implicate Adnan.

From the rest of the episode, we mostly learn about what Adnan was going through during the weeks after Hae’s death and Adnan’s arrest. It’s hard to get anything from this, because we’re not learning any new facts, and Adnan has vested interest in portraying himself in a positive light. I’ve had friends talk about how Adnan talks like a politician, avoiding certain questions and phrasing certain responses in a way that seems distanced and not entirely honest. It’s still hard to get a read on this; he could be playing dumb to commit to the act, or he could be playing dumb because he actually was oblivious of the situation. For every statement Adnan makes, there are always two different reads on it depending on whether you question his guilt.

With that said, there’s more than enough reasonable doubt at this point to believe that Adnan didn’t do it. I can still imagine a possible world in which Adnan killed Hae, but at this point, I’m out of theories about how he could have done it. Of course, we still have three episodes left, but unless Koenig or anybody else has a solid theory about how Adnan killed Hae, I’m inclined to believe Adnan’s story.

Contact Art Siriwatt at [email protected].

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