5 Loose Threads the ‘Serial’ Finale Must Tie Up

Photo: Maya Robinson and Photo courtesy of Serial

Thursday’s “Serial” finale is almost certainly not going to solve the murder of Hae Min Lee. Sarah Koenig has talked to Adnan and Jay, the two people who between them must know exactly what happened in the case; if the truth hasn’t come out by now, it’s not going to. But that hasn’t stopped the podcast’s devoted fans from wondering whether the final episode will tie up any of the loose ends that have been dangling throughout the series. If they have their way, here’s what the “Serial” finale will address.

The Missing Quotes
At the end of the podcast’s first installment, Koenig teased the series to come by playing a few short clips of disconnected dialogue: “I think maybe he was set up somehow”; “He basically threatened me, like, ‘You know what happened to Hae, this is what’s going to happen to you’”; “I’m literally thinking, could he have gone crazy?” These clips have yet to appear in the series. “Serial” is produced week-by-week, so it’s possible these quotes come from interviews Koenig later decided not to use; some fans think the second one, about the death threat, may have been part of the rumor she decided not to address in episode 11.

The Innocence Project’s Case
In episode seven, Koenig got in touch with lawyers from the Innocence Project to discuss Adnan’s case; the episode ended with the revelation that they would indeed take it on. Since then, they’ve been working independent from the podcast. We haven’t heard anything about the progress of the investigation, or whether they’re helping Adnan’s lawyer with his appeal hearing in January. Will the finale have an update on their efforts?

The Anonymous Caller
Days after Hae’s body was found, police received an anonymous call telling them to look at Adnan as a suspect, which mentioned his friend Yasser Ali. Koenig has refused to speculate publicly on the identity of the caller, and we haven’t learned much about Yasser, who was one of the first people Adnan called the night Hae was allegedly killed.

The ‘I Am Going to Kill’ Note
After they broke up, Hae wrote Adnan a note telling him to move on, and hinting that something happened between them at 7:45 a.m. that morning. On the back of this note, someone later wrote, “I AM GOING TO KILL …” in large letters. Koenig brushes that scrawl off as normal teenage joking, but what was the incident at 7:45 about?

The Later Lives of the Main Participants
Apart from a few scenes in episode nine about Adnan’s prison life, “Serial” has stayed light on details of what the figures in the case have been up to in the 15 years since Hae’s murder. Adnan reportedly got married and divorced while in prison, and super-obsessed fans have unearthed the criminal records of some of the series’ main characters. Koenig hasn’t mentioned any of this, either because she thinks it’s irrelevant to the story or because she considers it unethical to report (or both).