Lot of people touching on this, but it bears mentioning directly. Memory is about connections. The more angles you've got to grapple with a fact, the more likely you are to stumble upon it,, refreshing your memory, and the more likely you are to make your way to any other fact, from it. It's very difficult to remember things in a vacuum. It's even harder to retain it. We're not computers, we weren't made to handle unstructured nonsense. If we can't meaningfully tie things together, trying to remember them is a fool's errand, and only at all possible with continued effort.
It's very hard to remember a show if you're just along for the ride, following the plot. It's all A->B->C->D and so on. That's an ordered set, one thing leads to another. It's a very fragile arrangement, and there are only so many ways you can arrive at, say, C, and only so many paths from it: remembering it does not refresh your memory about much else. That's why late-game revelations about characters are so easily recalled. It's stronger than an introduction, because it forces you to go back and reexamine everything about that character. It connects to everything, and you will keep bringing it up because it splits every event and interaction of that character into two: before you were in the know, and were just glimpsing at the table, and after you've gotten to take a look at your own cards. It's virtually impossible not to think of, it's always just a step or two away.
I've a remarkably shoddy memory, myself, so it's not hard to tell the difference between when I'm actually engaging with a subject, and when it's just going in one ear and out the other. Some series I remember very vividly, and once, with GITS arise, I remembered so little of it I accidentally rewatched the whole thing before, in the very end, realizing I'd seen it before.
Now, if you know the characters, you can smell an out-of-character moment from a mile away. That takes you out of it, makes you refocus, think about what's throwing him off, right? Pause if you have to. Rewatch the scene, and let it sink in, if you've found a gamechanger: you will remember that.
If you know the plot, the characters, their goals, you can start weaving a pretty intricate web, thinking about their relations, what they're trying to get out of each other, how they view each other. Add the themes and you've got a whole new dimension to it, and then there's the inspirations for the work, and others thPost too long. Click here to view the full text.