Step 1. Let George R.R. Martin anywhere near them.
Need I elaborate?
Honorably mention goes to Joss Whedon with his signature move – “the Heartbreaker.”
Step 2. Have them point a gun at a double agent and NOT shoot them.
While you didn’t even have enough time to even warm to Agent Koenig on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you knew he was done for the moment he pulled a gun on Ward and didn’t take that traitorous bastard out. More’s the pity
Whenever a character knows too much, stumbles upon some secret that must not be known, or has an epiphany of epic proportions… he must be silenced. Characters cannot know critical plot points only viewers are privy to. The Fourth Wall must be maintained!
Step 3. Have them reveal they know a hero’s secret identity, reconcile with that character and mend their broken relationship.
This one actually caught me by surprise. Good job Arrow. You created an incredible moment of tension, beautiful story symmetry, and sheer drama when [SPOILERS in white text] Slade killed Moira Queen. Perhaps one of the most meaningful, wrenching deaths on the small screen.
Be wary any time things seem to be going too well for a character or two characters experience a moment of resolution. After resolution is achieved, the character is expendable. Expendable characters tend to be given new meaning, greater purpose, and less screen time. One way or another.
Pardon the late posting of this…was originally scheduled to go up back in May.