"When the cold heart of a villain softens and he turns into a good guy, the plot will quickly require him to be killed, usually after maudlin final words."
— Roger Ebert, Deadly Change-of-Heart, Ebert's Glossary of Movie Terms
Redemption? Sure. But in the end, he's just another dead rat in a garbage pail behind a Chinese restaurant.
— Mr.Fox, Fantastic Mr. Fox
A Man who inflicts suffering can not rest. His guilty mind won't allow it. But today I can finally close my eyes to the living nightmare and lay down, knowing that I won't wake again.
— Scar, Fullmetal Alchemist anime
You picked the wrong time to grow a spine, Chuck... and for that, you will pay dearly...
— Trudy, General Protection Fault
I will not die a monster!
- Doc Ock from Spider-Man 2
Stand by. Stand by.
—Tenn Graneet, the Head Gunner for the Death Star, stalls for time at Yavin IV
Please, I've done so much wrong. Allow me to do one last thing right.
—Teyrn Loghain, before sacrificing himself to kill the Archdemon
Buffy: When your blood pours out, it might save the world. What do you think about that? Does that buy it all back? Are you "redeemed"?
Buffy: Why not?
Andrew: (crying) Because I killed him.
Was everything I did in my life a mistake? Would I be wrong now to ask for your forgiveness? I did not want to die this way!
— Wolfwood before a church altar, Trigun anime
The problem with a 'redemption' gig is, well, no one wants to see it. They all want to believe in it, sure, but to do it... it's as good as signing your own death warrant. Audiences don't want to see you redeemed, living a normal life. They'll never truly forgive you for your flaws as long as you're alive. You could spend years making amends, and it still wouldn't get half as much attention as a five-minute death scene.
"If I help you, I will die. But I will die free!"
— Gerak, "The Fourth Horseman, Part 2," Stargate SG-1
"My project, my work, my cure. My responsibility."
— Mordin Solus, Mass Effect 3