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I May Destroy You: Finale Episode’s Breakdown

I May Destroy You‘ is a British comedy-drama television series streaming on HBO and BBC One. It is created, written, and co-directed by Michaela Coel who is also the lead in the series. Read on to know about its plot and season one’s ending! Spoilers Ahead.

I May Destroy You: Plot

The story revolves around the lead Arabella(Bella) played by Michaela Coel, a novelist who became famous with her debut book Chronicles. She is a Twitter-star and celebrated as a Millennial icon. While struggling to finish her second book, she takes a night out having fun with her friends. However, the next day she struggles to recall what actually happened and it turns out that she was raped.

I May Destroy You: Ambiguous Endings Explained

In the penultimate episode of ‘I May Destroy You’ Arabella recognizes her rapist. What should she do next? Would she go for Revenge or Justice? This was the most serious decision of her life. So the finale takes place in Arabella’s writerly imagination. The finale provides multiple potential endings and does not draw a clear conclusive ending to the series.

The episode is titled ‘Ego Death’ which is also the name of the fictional bar shown in the movie. It begins with Arabella seeking potential revenge against David with the help of her friends Terry and Theo. They recreate the crime scene at the bar and go to the bathroom. But this time, Theo injects a drugged syringe into David which he earlier slipped into Arabella’s drink. However, David lurches out with her underwear(which could be used as evidence) so they decide to follow him.

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David collapses in the streets where Arabella unzips his pants to see ‘his thing’ and take revenge. However, she ends up beating him terribly and they resort him to her place and hide him under the beds. This draws the conclusion that if she does something bad in vengeance to her attacker, she could never really get rid of him.

Alternate Ending

The second scenario in ‘I May Destroy You’ aims at Bella calling up the cops and hoping justice to be served. However, Terry points out the lack of evidence against the attacker David. She suggests recreating that night’s scene by getting Bella high. They would call the police who would catch them right in action and take David away. But, in this scenario, David is shown demeaning her. He accuses her of fixating her own petty, privileged troubles in the world where there are greater issues and discomforts. This is a rapist’s profound stupidity but it does make Bella feel the guilt. She takes him back to her place, they have a heart-to-heart and police take him away from there anyway.

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The Unusual Ending

The third scenario in ‘I May Destroy You’ is really unbelievable. It shows them exchanging the roles where Bella buys David a drink. They end up at her place having sex where Bella has the dominance. The next morning after waking up he tells her that he will do whatever she says. He will leave if she says so, and hence at last she asks him to leave. With her “GO” it proves that she evicts her from her subconscious and is now at peace. Here, David is portrayed as a submissive who is asked to get out of the door at the end.

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i-may-destroy-you-hbo-ending-explained
I May Destroy You
Source: HBO

Each of these scenarios is the possible outcomes of her book which she can not finish unless she has self-realization, who she really is. She is seen hanging out with Ben, her roommate while spending the night by gardening, bird-watching, and watching Youtube videos. She tells him about hunting down David. But, in the last, the real version of that fateful night is she relaxing at home with Ben. She has banished David from her life.

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The ending moments of ‘I May Destroy You’, we find Bella’s book a huge hit and her friendship with Terry is stronger than ever. This multiple confusing ending does leave the main question unanswered what if David continues to hurt other women out there? In this series’ narrative style, we get a sense that Coel suggests revenge is a crutch. She suggests that the way to make peace with bad things that happened to us is to use them to teach us who we really are. It is a tougher path of course and not everyone can survive the Me Too incident.

Pratiksha Rawat
Pratiksha is an Engineering Graduate who pursues writing as a hobby. She is passionate about reading poems, articles, quotes and equally enthusiastic about writing them.

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