At some point in Lost, I realized that one reason I was enjoying the series so much was that every so often, something completely unexpected (to me) would occur. For example, in one episode, a boat full of the show’s regulars circle the island for the first time and up on the shore, slowly swinging into view, sits, or stands, a giant stone foot. Now that’s entertainment… Although, what does a foot do? If it’s on its side, it just lies there. But upright, on its sole, is it standing? Can it crouch? Hunker?
In the same way as Lost, Caprica (2009) has surprised me enough to make me happy to continue watching, even though I started the series just because I liked BSG so much that I thought I’d give Caprica a look, in spite of the fact that it seemed to me that I’d be unlikely to engage with something the end of which is spelled out by the beginning of the show it spun off from. Should I rephrase that? In particular, the Zoe/Cyborg duality announced, to me at least, that the series would go places that I did not anticipate. Ditto the stuck-in-cyberspace trope.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009) drops in its surprises at the beginning of each act, perhaps not as unanticipated as those in Lost, but fun nevertheless. Or are those twists? Twists surprise, but are they a subset of surprises?
Leaves of Grass (2009), in retrospect, goes where it had to go, but step by step I was surprised. It sort of changed genres partway through? Like a twist, a surprise subset?
Watching Inception (2010) again, I see that it features those surprise moments, doled out one by one: yes, you can go into a dream, but there are also levels; yes, you can go down a level but time expands when you do and the level is more unstable; yes, you wake up when killed, except…
When the Chief of Police tells the hero, “I’ll give you 83 hours, but after that I’ll have to take your badge,” we know that the issue will be resolved in 82 hours and 59 minutes, but when the Chief of Police, out of the blue, says, “I’ll give you 83 hours, but Jack, please try not to turn into an invisible pregnant woman again,” that’s a surprise, cause you know he will.