Request: Favourite plot twists
(It turns out I'm not doing these in order. Also I see no reason to wait for December, either.)
It's hard to think about favourite plot twists, maybe because it's not the first thing I think of in what I like about something (though don't get me wrong, I love a really great plot twist), but also because I have a tendency to rewatch and re-read things I like a lot, so then it becomes hard to remember the time when the plot twist was surprising instead of inevitable and admired plot work.
Or, in short, I can't guarantee these are my actual favourite plot twists, but they were the ones I came up with this week. I shall try to talk about them without spoilers. If this involves sign language at any point, bear with me.
1. Murder on the Orient Express
by Agatha Christie. Her books are so well known, that I think I was spoiled for quite a few of them by the time I read them, or, being the sort of lazy reader who hardly ever tries to work out the murder, maybe I wasn't struck by the others. At any rate, once it became clear what the plot twist was in this one, I was delighted by it, and remain so. I've read at least one other book that used the same twist as The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
but I don't think I've ever come across anything with the same solution as Orient Express. (It is something that should be hard to pull off without being ridiculous, which is perhaps why. Or because I haven't read the other books in question, of course.) It's not my favourite Christie, but it is by far my favourite solution to a murder mystery.
(Doctor Who). I hesitate to mention this, because I don't want to get into DW discussions, but I thought this was shaped around such a wonderful twist, not just for an episode but because it subverted the expectations of the whole show, especially in terms of New Who and did so beautifully. I know some people are watching this other awful show at the moment, but for me, this was one of the most perfect episodes in a long, long while & largely because of the twist, so I have to include it here.
3. My Life's My Own
(Public Eye). It's probably not so much a proper plot twist, in the same way as the two above (but then Public Eye doesn't really work like that), but over halfway through there's a reveal that I completely didn't see coming which not only impressed me in terms of the episode but revised my entire opinion of the series I was watching and what it was capable of. And it was already being a particularly good episode. In addition, there's a twist of viewer expectation in which it looks as though the story is winding down to its close in a particular way - and then it suddenly does so much more with its last five minutes.