Kate Mara at the second season premiere of “House of Cards” at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

Spoiler etiquette: Such a touchy subject, especially on those shows tailor-made for binge-watching. And it doesn’t help when Netflix waits all of five days after releasing the “House of Cards” second season to send Kate Mara on “Late Show With David Letterman,” even though she’s part of the season’s biggest twist.

Those who have seen the first episode of Season 2 — and if you haven’t, stop reading, this contains a huge spoiler — are well aware that Mara’s character, aggressively ambitious reporter Zoe Barnes, meets a grisly end when evil politician Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) pushes her in front of a Metro train. But wait, some people might not know that! Isn’t that the whole nature of Netflix’s grand experiment and reason for being is that you can watch whenever you want?

Apparently, Netflix doesn’t really care about that. So, let’s say you’re Kate Mara and the only reason you’re booked on a talk show is to discuss that show, even though your only role is to be the season’s major spoiler. How do you handle it?

In this case, the answer was “awkwardly.”

“I never know whether I’m supposed to say things or not say things. So if you have something you want to say, you say it,” Letterman said, putting the ball in her court.

Mara went with this: “All I can say is I’m so happy to be alive and sitting here right now. I’m glad I took a car and not the subway to your show — ”

“Ahhhh — ” cautioned Letterman.

“Ahhhhhhhh!” chimed in bandleader Paul Shaffer.

“But people know, right?” Letterman asked, trying to get Mara out of the jam.

“I mean, people who watched the first episode know. But there’s a lot of slowpokes out there,” Mara reasoned.

Looks like Letterman hates being the one to spill spoilers. “See I don’t want to be the one — I just don’t want to be that guy,” he explained.

“I think I just was that guy,” Mara acknowledged. “So I apologize.”

“Late Show,” get ready for the angry e-mails.


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