Hope Spot/Analysis

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Almost every major character's death in Supernatural Thrillers include a Hope Spot. However, the term actually derives from Professional Wrestling, where the bad guys often win but the good guy has to remind people he's noble just before he gets defeated. It is also a common feature in tag matches where one person is playing Ricky Morton.

Hope spots are most often seen in brawls, where the hero will take a beating for a while, then suddenly get in a few punches of his own only to end up back on the defensive, often due to underhanded tactics by the villain. Another very common variation involves the hero or sidekick scrambling for a gun/detonator/MacGuffin, only to have it repeatedly kicked away when it's almost within reach.

In other Hope Spots, rather than a fight against a tangible foe the characters are entirely at the mercy of a cruel, merciless twist of fate that seems determined to immediately crush the faint shred of hope that their brief reprieve has given them; in this version, the character will have against all odds survived some near-impossible situation, only for something even worse to hit them the moment they celebrate their good fortune. This even worse something will almost inevitably result in their horrible death. In these versions, it's less a case of "I can do this!" / "No, I can't!" and more a case of "Phew, that was a close one!" / SPLAT. With these kinds of Hope Spots, hope may be done away with at the whim of the fickle finger of Diabolus Ex Machina.

Sometimes, the Hope Spot takes the form of a Tragic Dream from the outset, something that the character tries mightily to achieve, but the goal is impossible to achieve or the character is incapable of making that dream come true. Any attempt that the character makes to actually achieve said goal will be subject to Failure Is the Only Option, and will often involve the application of Yank the Dog's Chain just as the character is getting close to achieving said dream.

There is an art to the Hope Spot and a good fight choreographer will know exactly how many to have and where to put them. If there are too few then the audience may lose their Willing Suspension of Disbelief because the hero has been beaten too long and too badly to ever "realistically" come back. It can also cause the audience to get bored from watching an overly long beat-down. Too many hope spots will make the villain look like less of a Badass and can make the audience feel like they're being jerked around from going, "he's going to beat him! Aw, no he's... Wait! Yes! He's... No, not... Yes!... Aw, screw it." This makes the largely improvised fights in Professional Wrestling slightly easier because the audience reaction can be gauged and the action adjusted in real time.