Spoiler Specials


Sam Adams and Alissa Wilkinson spoil Christopher Nolan’s puzzling, yet stunning, new movie.


Episode Notes

On the Spoiler Special podcast, Slate critics discuss movies, the occasional TV show, and, once in a blue moon, another podcast, in full spoiler-filled detail.

This week, Slate’s Sam Adams and Vox’s Film Critic Alissa Wilkinson spoil Tenet. Christopher Nolan’s time-bending thriller is visually spectacular yet incredibly confusing.

The main character, played by John David Washington, simply referred to as the Protagonist is a CIA operative who becomes entangled with Tenet, a secret organization that’s fighting a future that’s actively attempting to destroy the world. The Protagonist suddenly finds himself in a world where things, and even people, can be inverted to travel backwards through time. Can the Protagonist save the world before it’s too late? How does Nolan incorporate palindromes within the movie’s structure? And what parallels can be drawn to Bill & Ted? 

Note: As the title indicates, this podcast contains spoilers galore.

Read Sam Adams’ review here.
Read Alissa Wilkinson’s review here.
Need more explanation? Check out Sam’s explainer here.
Check out Alissa’s fascinating palindrome piece here.

Email us at spoilers@slate.com.

Podcast production by Rosemary Belson.


About the Show

On Slate’s Spoiler Specials, Slate critics, such as Dana Stevens and Willa Paskin, discuss new movies and TV shows in spoiler-filled detail. We dissect twist endings, plot holes, and other secrets you won’t read in reviews.

WARNING: This podcast contains spoilers (duh).

All episodes


  • Sam Adams is a Slate senior editor and the editor of Slate’s culture blog, Brow Beat.

  • Alissa Wilkinson is Vox’s film critic. She also reports on the movie industry and culture.