I Can Destroy You, Final Recap, Episode 12: ‘Ego Death’


The last time we left Arabella and Terry the couple were sitting in front of the bar where Arabella’s night turned into a nightmare months ago. Now, as Arabella watches the Ego Death bar intently, she can see the man, David (Lewis Reeves), who sexually assaulted her, all smiles and laughs next to his friend, Tariq (Chin Nyenwe), who helped him hurt her. She panics and runs into the bathroom, and Terry follows her. Adrenaline-shaking Arabella lets her know who she saw inside and how sure she is. Her mind begins to shift from shock to concentration and she talks to Terry about her new idea of ​​giving her rapist a taste of her own medicine. Terry has some reservations about this plan for revenge, but Arabella insists: “Are you on the Alliance or not?”

Arabella puts a disguise that she mysteriously has in her bag, leaving Terry and Theo newly summoned to speak to David. He tells her his name is Patrick. She pretends to drink her spiked cocktail, spitting it over her shoulder and spilling part of it over her other shoulder as they speak. Remarkably, he misses all of this as Theo creeps up next to him and picks up the drugs in his jacket. She sneaks into the men’s bathroom, where she fills a syringe with the same medicine he uses on his victims. As Terry distracts Tariq, Arabella begins to stumble and stumble. David smiles. Rushing to her side, he guides her to the bathroom, as he did for who knows how many others. Once inside the toilet, he tries various doors until he finds a stall he likes and throws it in. Theo, hiding with the syringe at hand, quietly takes the stall next to them. He quickly tries to slip Arabella’s underwear on, sliding them cavalierly into his jacket. As he opens his fly, Arabella stops playing possum and looks at him with a steely gaze. “A criminal always returns to the scene of the crime, but who is the criminal, you or me?” she asks.

At Arabella’s order, Theo sticks him with the syringe and Arabella jumps to her feet, calls Patrick by his real name, David, and kisses him. She’s in charge now. With his face full of fear as he struggles to get out of the stall, Arabella lets him escape. She finds Theo and the two hugs while Terry joins them for a brief celebration. David runs out of the bar with his friend behind him. He refuses to tell Tariq what happened and continues to walk alone. The three women now hunt down the rapist in order to retrieve Arabella’s underwear from his jacket. Eventually, the effects kick in and David falls.

When presented with her rapist’s unconscious body, Arabella says she wants to see what he used to assault her, his penis. When she does, she accidentally wakes him up. In their moment of panic, Theo uses Arabella’s underwear to suffocate him, as Arabella angrily hits him for all the pain he’s caused. But it doesn’t stop with a punch or two. She continues until his face is a mess and he’s completely knocked out. Fearing to leave him like this, Arabella says she knows where to put him and brings her limp body home to tuck it under her bed. She begins to write on a card and stick it on her wall, but as she puts the blood-soaked card on her wall, she looks down and notices the pool of blood collecting under her bed. She takes the card, crumples it and leaves.

The episode takes a radically different turn as Arabella decides what to do with her rapist, exploring possible scenarios until she finds the peace she has been seeking for the past few months. We join her on the garden bench with her roommate Ben, just before she leaves for Ego Death for the night. The events unfold as before: Arabella recognizes the two men, she panics and tells Terry in the bathroom. Only this time, she almost calls the police until Terry points out to her that they need proof. This time Arabella doesn’t have a plan, but Terry does. She gives Arabella some cocaine and sends her to talk to David. Like clockwork, he orders two glasses and a pick to give him. Terry moves to distract David’s friend as before.

Before long, Arabella pretends to sway to the bathroom and David walks with her, quickly pushing her into a stall and undressing them both. Then Arabella surprises him with a sobering look, one that angered him and then collapsed him. His insults towards her turn to him. He ends up crying on her shoulder and she feels sorry for him. She brings him home for a difficult conversation, indicating that he is dealing with his own struggles and mental health issues. They hug just as the police arrive, and he is quickly dragged out of his room.

The sequence begins again. This time, when Arabella and Terry are in the bathroom, Arabella doesn’t panic. She opens a booth in the women’s room with different memorabilia, the first of the woman Arabella met at the police station who had been raped more than once. The next one is from her, Terry and Theo during their school days, hinting at some sort of reconciliation between past, present and future. When Arabella comes out, she and David seem alone at the bar. Arabella does not approach him in disguise or under drugs, but as herself. The two go to the bathroom together and log in, walking past Tariq as he dances a bored looking Terry. Arabella and David then move to her bedroom, where they have sex in various positions, including one where Arabella is on top. In the morning, he wakes up in his bed next to her smiling. “I’m not going to go unless you tell me,” he said. She tells him to leave, and he and the corpse from his “first draft” get up and leave, carrying the plastic bag with the ultrasound of his aborted baby with it.

Again, she’s in the garden with Ben when he asks her if she’s going to the bar tonight. She says no and plans to spend time with him instead. The cycle of fixation on what happened is finally broken. Months later, Arabella’s next book finally arrives with a dedication to Terry. Arabella’s group of friends, including Terry and his date Kai, Kwame, Theo and Ben meet in the living room to see Terry’s new commercial. They are reunited and move on.

While reading a book for her new independently published novel, Arabella takes a deep breath before reading, giving way to the sounds of the waves. She is brought back to the Italian beach with purple hair and a smile, fleeing the camera before the word “End” is typed on the screen. It’s a beautifully cathartic moment, a summary of not only the work that she is sharing now, but also the internal work that most people will never see. Given the personal origins of I can destroy you, this final episode feels like an exorcism or a deep cleansing, to use a self-care term. Arabella explores many “what ifs” around the confrontation with her rapist and comes to her own conclusion on her own terms. Her future is hers to write, no matter what happened before, and she no longer needs to make room for him.


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