Matthew Warner

You Know, When Snape Kills Dumbledore

Fucking USA Weekend magazine. Fuck them to hell!

Excuse me. Let me explain.

Dexter season 5 has just started on Showtime, which means that the season 4 DVD box set just arrived in my mailbox. I’ve been very excited to see it; Showtime’s series about the serial killer who only kills other murderers has really sunk its teeth into my head. My only regret about it is that since I don’t subscribe to Showtime, I have to wait one year for them to release the DVD box set.

The word on the street is that there’s a huge, as in, G-A-R-G-A-N-T-U-A-N, earth-shattering change at the end of season 4. So I’ve been very careful to avoid reading all things Dexter. A friend in nearby Crozet said to avoid Entertainment Weekly magazine, whose article about Dexter apparently spoils the season 4 finale in its headline.

Deena and I have been meticulously careful.  When the Horror Homemaker Apron Hall of Fame posted our silly Dexter homage picture and I needed to test the link to the Dexter homepage for the caption, I clicked on the link only long enough to see the show name appear in the title bar of my browser before closing it up again.  When Deena’s brother Ricky posted the season 5 trailer on her Facebook wall, we elected not to watch it.  Ricky, by the way, is the same guy who uttered the fateful phrase to me, “You know, when Snape kills Dumbledore,” a year before the release of the Harry Potter movie in which that happens.  (Yes, I’m the one person in existence who hasn’t actually read the Harry Potter novels and who would rather watch the movies.  Maybe I’m gun shy about drowning in J.K. Rowling’s Tom-Swiftie dialogue technique.)

So, anyway (you know where I’m going with this, don’t you?), immediately upon receiving the box set, we popped the first DVD into the player and watched the first two episodes.  Magnificent.  Moving.  Can’t wait to watch the rest.

Fast forward a couple days to this morning.  My one-year-old son woke me up at 6:45.  Yesterday, we removed the bumpers from his crib on the theory that he doesn’t need them anymore, but it wasn’t until this morning that I discovered this action had exposed an electrical socket bristling with plugs, and the plugs were within reach of my son.  When the lights came on, Owen saw where my gaze went and immediately lunged for the plugs to play with them.  My stomach did a barrel roll as I pulled him away.  (We’ve since blocked that section of wall with a piece of plywood.)

When I left his room, I went down the hall to un-block the cat door.  Moody last night killed a rabbit and dumped it in our bathroom, so before bed I dumped the rabbit and the cat outside and blocked the door so they couldn’t come back in.  Percy went outside too — and I think it was probably Percy who violated that poor bunny’s corpse, the remains of which I found just outside the door this morning.  My stomach did another barrel roll as I picked up the door mat the guts were lying on and watched them slurp into a garbage bag.

Back inside, Deena was fixing pancakes.  Owen was whining about something, but I was determined to have a good breakfast.  I opened up the newspaper and pulled out the Sunday morning copy of the USA Weekend magazine.  Drew Barrymore was on the front cover worrying about what she’s going to do with “the second half” of her life.  Oh, please.

I turned the page, and on the inside was a picture of Michael C. Hall, who plays Dexter, in the Q&A section.  The question was how he’s recovering from cancer.  I was interested in this question, especially since the lead actress in my movie received phone calls on set from entertainment reporters digging for information on this very topic.  (She, admirably, kept her mouth shut.)

I didn’t even think about the potential of a Dexter season 4 spoiler in the article, nor do I think I should have.  It was about the man’s cancer, for godsakes.  And yet, there it was, a parenthetical aside that blows the whole finale.  My stomach did its final barrel roll, and I couldn’t finish my meal.

Why do they do this?  Do some writers just have an insatiable need to show how hip they are?  Is it that they want the satisfaction of sharing some juicy bit of gossip with you?  What are they thinking — that if you don’t have Showtime on your cable box that you’re not important?  “You’re assuming that these people think,” Deena said when we discussed this.

There should be a statute of limitations on spoilers.  Not until the DVD box set has been out for at least two weeks should writers be allowed to blab.  I have a whole line of friends waiting to be loaned Dexter season 4 once Deena and I are done with it.  God help them.