The dying breath
How many times have you seen that pivotal death sequence, where the character lives just long enough to gasp out his last words of wisdom to the protagonist. Often either giving the answer to the plot all along or one word short of it and frustrating the protag even more? I’ve seen it a few too many to count.
Our Flubber: Serenity (which still manages to be my favorite movie of all time)
Shepard Book has been shot. He’s covered chin to belly button in fake blood. He has time to give Mal (Captain Malcolm Reynolds) all the benefits of his sage advice and swing the plot drastically sideways. Then he keels over and dies mid-sentence following some witty banter and a tear-jerking moment.
The trouble here? Book has a mouth full of blood and is wheezing and coughing. Which means… you guessed it. Lung shot. When the lung is punctured, the space between the lung and the chest wall starts to quickly fill up with air and blood, as the lung itself starts to fill up with blood. The person in question is going to feel like a fish out of water. He won’t die instantly, but he sure won’t be giving any sermons.
On another related note, Book also had one side of his mouth drooping. And since he didn’t have any damage on that side of his face, I’m guessing they were going for a stroke. And I think you can figure out for yourself why that might make the sermon a bit hard to deliver.