I Came By: the movie’s ending, explained

I Came By

Released in August 2022, I Came By is a thriller movie which focuses on the secretive life of a reputed Sir Hector Blake, and what is in his basement.

Spoilers ahead!

Who comes by, exactly?

A rebellious duo, Toby and Jay, break into elite people’s homes and graffiti the words ‘I Came By’ to make a statement. The statement is unknown, but context suggests it’s for the social disparity present.

After one such mission, Jay finds out that his girlfriend Naz is pregnant and decides to leave this behind. Toby, however, doesn’t want to. He is consumed by the purpose he’s fulfilling and they break off. Toby decides to continue with their planned heist in judge Hector Blake’s home.

What happens in the heist

The break-in seems to go smoothly with Hector leaving to play squash. Toby finds a big portrait of a man- probably Hector’s father and takes it off. He then hears banging in the house. He stumbles in the basement where he finds a secret door behind the shelf of ceramics.

He looks into the peep hole and gets frightened. Just then, Hector gets suspicious as his connection is disconnected. He gets home and Toby sneakily leaves. Toby reaches out to Jay about what he discovered but Jay refuses involvement in it.

Toby goes missing

Toby is getting into arguments with his mom at home, already riddled with the anxiety of what he discovered. He anonymously calls the police and reports that there’s someone held captive but they find nothing.

In a fit of anxiety and rage, Toby goes to Hector’s home again and opens the basement door. There, a badly injured guy whom Toby helps out. But just then, Hector comes home and, in a fight, hits Toby with a bat. Audience doesn’t get a clue to what happens to him. The next shot is Hector incinerating the bat and his clothes and flushing the ashes down.

Police investigation results in vain… and another victim?

Even though a police investigation takes place after Lizzie, Toby’s mother files a complaint, it results in vain. Hector’ connections are wide and vast. Lizzie starts keeping an eye on Hector herself.

Meanwhile, Hector talks to a Iranian refugee seeking masseur and invites him to his home to discuss his case. At home, he starts telling him the story of an immigrant his father rescued who eventually led to his mother’s suicide.

The Iranian, dizzy because of the spiked drink, escapes from Hector’s home, saved by Lizzie outside. However, he refuses to press charges. Hector later holds the guy captive through blackmail.

Lizzie finds out his son and Jay’s truth as ‘I Came By’ taggers. When the Iranian goes missing, Lizzie herself goes to Hector’s home to investigate but is caught. Hector saws the Iranian’s body for incineration and tells Lizzie he did the same with her son.

The final revelation on Hector’s dark secrets

Hector is a spokesperson on immigration but through his conversations, sounds racist. On Lizzie’s disappearance, Jay goes over to Hector’s new home to investigate. She is probably dead too.

In a fight that ensues, Jay immobilizes Hector and searches the basement. He releases another victim, and asks him to wait for the police and disappears. The police find Hector taped up, with the ‘I Came By’ graffiti on the wall.

Thoughts on the ending of the movie

A mixed cast and the issues of justice, status and inequalities are subtle yet strongly shown in the movie. However, Hector has equal distaste of the White officers who came by first.

Director Babak Anvari in an interview with Metro said he came with the idea 20 years ago but the subject is timeless. He elaborates, ”The core of it is about how institutions can fail us, and if the institutions are failing us, shouldn’t we, as individuals, take responsibility and have each other’s backs? So that was like the central theme of it that I really wanted to tap into.”