The following story is going to contain spoilers for the HBO series Mare of Easttown, so stop reading now if you haven’t yet watched the finale.
The morning that Mare of Easttown was about to air its season finale, acclaimed author Stephen King posted his guess as to the actual killer of local teenage mom Erin McMenamin (Cailee Spaeny). The week prior, when all signs pointed to either John or Billy Ross as the apparent killers, King teased his Twitter followers by saying he thought he’d figured it out. And so, on Sunday morning, long before the finale had aired, King Tweeted his guess as to who really killed Erin:
And you know what? He nailed it. It’s almost like Stephen King has spent entire literary career getting into the minds of murderers, and plotting out intricate ways for them to commit their heinous crimes! His prediction of young Ryan Ross being the one who ultimately murdered Erin seemed like a bit of a stretch, though clues were evident that it COULD have been him. At the same time, several clues pointed at multiple members of the messed up Ross family, including John, Billy and even Lori, despite the fact that she’s Mare’s best friend.
But it was Ryan, who’d learned about his father’s affair with Erin, and rode his bike (!!) to retrieve a gun he’s found in a nearby shed, then lured Erin to a remote meeting place and mistakenly killed her as they physically wrestled. King saw the signs, and he put his guess out there.
And the Internet did what they Internet does… they screamed at him for “spoiling” the finale.
No one really knows how a guess can be considered a “spoiler.” Stephen King, despite being a world-famous novelist, knew just as much as the rest of us did going into the Mare of Easttown finale, and had the exact same clues laid out in front of him as we did. His mind just works differently, and he sees things through a special prism. While many of his followers clapped him on the back and congratulated him for his spot-on prediction, King also had to endure too many people who were mad at him because THEY hadn’t started watching the show yet:
Insufferable. You can choose not to watch a show that has captured pop culture’s collective attention. But in doing so, you basically forfeit the right to complain about plot details on social media. Stephen King wasn’t revealing the show’s ending. He was guessing, and then he was delighted to have been right. But too many Twitter pests got under his skin, so he ultimately had to post this mild retraction.
Mare of Easttown wrapped a sensational season on Sunday, and now I wonder if that’s a series wrap. Securing talent like Kate Winslet, Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart and Angourie Rice for multiple seasons can’t be cheap, and I also don’t know how many cases Mare (Winslet) could crack in that small town. Part of me wants them to leave this exceptional season alone. We saw what happened when True Detective tried to top its masterful first season. No matter what happens with Mare of Easttown, you can be sure that Stephen King will be watching… and will likely be two steps ahead of all of us.