One of the major advantages that come with the long-form storytelling found in a TV series is the fact that seeds are able to be planted without the need for an immediate pay-off.
Fans are often willing to wait seasons until the sheet is finally pulled off the table, luxuriating in all of the anticipation and tension that occupies the hours spent leading up to a big reveal. However, when it comes to said epic uncovering, if you've taken your sweet ass time getting to that glorious moment, you sure as hell better stick the landing with the eventual surprise. Because if you don't, hell hath no fury like a fanatic scorn.
Never has this been more evident in the variously vexed responses to TV shows completely sh*tt*ing the bed when it comes time to reveal precisely who the evil mastermind behind our heroes' pain and suffering was all along.
From absolutely absurd characters being responsible for quite literally pulling the trigger on a captivating storyline, to showrunners simply going back to the well too damn often, these "shocking" villainous reveals left a lot to be desired.
8. Final Five - Battlestar Galactica
One of the major issues that comes with building towards a significant twist reveal within a TV show is the fact that its eventual execution has been known to make or unfortunately break a series altogether.
Get it right and audiences will find themselves unable to take their eyes away from your show, see Eddard Stark's Season One Game of Thrones fate. Get it wrong, and you'll have a Battlestar Galactica mess on your hands...
After spending three seasons building up to the moment when we'd finally learn precisely who the mysterious and ancient Final Five Cylons were, those dedicated to the show were left wondering why they'd bothered caring at all.
With the reveal that not only were the Final Five among us all along (in the form of Saul and Ellen Tigh, Galen Tyrol, Samuel Anders, and Tory Foster), but that they had literally no clue of their origins, it became abundantly clear that the showrunners were simply making it up as they went along. Though it must be said that the show's conclusion in general was largely impacted by the 2007-08 writer's strike.
But there's still no escaping the feeling that this was merely an attempt to get their fans' jaws to bounce off the floor and eventually paved the way for more frustrating questions than answers. What a damn waste.