Often one of the most unrealistic features of our fiction is the survival, and guaranteed overall success of our protagonist. The protagonist may die, but there will always be a measure of success in their goals, and full success of the authorís goal--otherwise why bother with the effort of creation. To that end the author orchestrates the protagonistís success and survival to the point of achieving the desired effect. Heroes defy the odds. This is generally a fine creative decision to make. It is not without its pitfalls though. One way this choice may fall short of expectation is when it works counter to the desired mood of the project. Another is when it belies some of the tenants set out in how other parties, and the elements they represent behave.
Here is a prime, and common, example. The setting involves an antagonistic group (the antagonists) that is supposed to be, not only vicious, but also skilled, a real group to fear. The protagonist though, waltzes through their traps and machinations, and generally makes a fool of them. The question is why? Are the antagonists really inept and not dangerous? Is the protagonist just that skilled or powerful? Are the circumstances aligned in one direction only? It may be some combination of those or is something else going on.
The question then becomes what to do when this happens, particularly if it is too late to go back and change it--more of an issue for a role-playing game, or serialised fiction (including fiction blogs) than regular writing and publishing. My first suggestion is to come up with a reason. Are there other factors? Is the head of this scary organisation--perhaps just the local head or the team leader charged with dealing with your protagonist--erratic and undermining him or herself? Likewise, is anger clouding the team's judgement after the protagonist has initially been lucky or proven to be worthy adversaries? Is there a nefarious reason why they might be taking it easy on the protagonist, but not others similar targets?
Taken in a different direction, do the protagonists have an unknown protector? Is there a third party complicating matters? Will the protagonist discover that they are being used, or are a pawn in some larger scheme? The protagonist should also perhaps consider that they have found a weakness in the antagonist's organisation and should share it with others. Consider the lives they could save, but also consider how explaining it to others, or even over exploiting it, may lead them and others into a trap that they cannot just avoid as they have so far. Of course all of these suggestions are good when you have the time to plan ahead or you have the luxury of editing the final product from start to finish.
Music: Music: Cemetary Gates by Pantera and Sleeping On The Sidewalk by Queen.