One of my favorite tropes is when the villain pauses to elaborate on his/her motives near the end of the story.
The reason I love this trope so much is because it’s a chance to hear the villain’s motives, to see what makes him tick; it lays bare the utter deviousness of his/her character and the depths to which he’d sink.
Here’s an example of an especially delicious moment: In the Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan, Batman finally has the Joker in his grasp. He throws him off the side of a building…only to pull him back up (for those who don’t know: Batman won’t kill anyone).
While dangling there, the Joker has his chance to employ this trope, except here, both villain and hero are laid bare, their flaws face-to-face in battle. The Joker laughs at Batman’s “misplaced sense of self righteousness,” dares him to let him die, and further reveals his ultimate end-game.
It’s a marvelous moment and if you’ve never seen that movie, by all means, rent it! Heath Ledger’s performance alone will haunt you.