“Ego Death” the final episode of Michaela Coel’s compelling series, brilliantly wraps up 12 episodes of a subject that holds considerable weight, both culturally and emotionally.
In the final episode, the notion that the criminal always returns to the crime scene is played out time and time again as Arabella imagines coming face-to-face with her rapist. The scenarios which were played out during episode 12 of I May Destroy, finally put a face to the man who had been a constant blur in Arabella’s mind. However, instead of putting an end to the trauma, Arabella realized that her attacker could have been a number of things.
In the first of three scenarios, Arabella’s attacker is a predator. However, unlike their previous encounters, her attacker shows no sign of recognition. Instead, he is fixated on finding his next target. In this instance, Arabella is armed and ready to strike back and beaten to submission, he ends up under her bed where the terrible things exist. She wonders whether her attacker is somehow broken. Did he have something dark buried deep inside of him which he needed to release?
In the second series of episodes, Arabella holds up a mirror to him. In his agitation, his whispers call her back to her own distractions – more important things that she ought to focus on. This time around, Arabella uses her control to comfort him. She offers him a seat on her bed and a chance to cry and fight his inner demons.
In the last version of her scenarios, she approaches him at the bar as a potential love interest. She orders both of them a drink and in the fumbling of his order, there is a nod to the switch in their power dynamics. In this instance, they both go to the cubicle to kiss and end up on her bed engaging in consensual sex.
In the morning he says, “I’m not going to go unless you tell me to.” This is an indication that her subconscious had finally realized its independence. She tells him to go, and both the naked and bloodied version of her rapist leave her room. He finally leaves her most private and personal space.