No, I haven't missed the point at all. There's only two light positions here. First set - sidey key with a low contrast ratio, and yes the skin detail is being lost. Lighting 101. Latter set - toppy key, high contrast ratio. Show one still from the Godfather and make the same point (people look evil / scary / whatever when the eye sockets go dark). I get the intention of showing various key positions but this is just a poor example of low quality work with you rattling off a lot of misplaced superlatives. Your analysis isn't even correct as the light quality is not hard in the bottom set of photos.
What about these are stunning? They are all toppy or blown out .. this looks like an exercise from a photo 101 course