“I Came By” is centered around two graffiti artists, Toby (George MacKay) and Jay (Percelle Ascott). They go around their town, breaking into the houses of the affluent and painting the titular message on their walls to show them that their money doesn’t make them invincible. While working at Sir Hector Blake’s (Hugh Bonneville) house, Jay decides to make it their next target since he’s an ex-judge with way too much money. But after Jay learns that he’s having a baby with his girlfriend Naz (Varada Sethu), he dips out of the mission, thereby leaving Toby to carry on by himself. Toby does things according to plan. However, when he’s about to do his graffiti on Hector’s walls, he stumbles upon his deep, dark secret.
What Does Toby Find In Sir Hector Blake’s House?
The first thing that Toby sees stashed in Hector’s desk is a series of photographs of a young boy. He assumes that he’s a groomer of sorts. But after he notices that in one of those photographs, the boy has a bloodied eye, he begins to panic. He then discovers a big red door hidden behind one of the cupboards. He looks through the peephole and is visibly rattled by it. Hector returns after his house’s security system alerts him about an intruder. Toby barely makes it out alive and tries to tell Jay about Hector’s reality. Jay turns him down because his priority is his pregnant wife. With no other option left, Toby telephones the police. They arrive at Hector’s house, have a look around, and find nothing.
That’s why Toby takes it upon himself to break into Hector’s house again. But this time, even Hector is prepared for the break-in. Toby goes to the basement, opens the door, and finds a deeply wounded boy there. He tries to escape with him. However, Hector returns, thereby forcing them to go back into the cell. Hector pretends to take care of the boy, while Toby looks at him from his hiding spot. He realizes there’s a brief window for him to go and knock out Hector and save the boy. He musters up the courage to do the needful with a hammer. When he rushes into the cell, though, he slips on excreta and falls face first. Hector proceeds to kill him with a bat and throws him and the bat into the kiln.
See More: ‘I Came By’ Review: A Series Of Anticlimactic Altercations Strung Together By A Commentary On Racism
What Is The Motivation Behind Sir Hector Blake’s Killings?
After seeing that Lizzie is very concerned over Toby’s “disappearance” and the fact that Toby is nowhere to be found, Jay goes to Hector’s house and steals his mail. He then plants it in Toby’s secret cabinet and nudges Lizzie to make the connection between Toby and Hector and report it to the police. Why does Jay take such a convoluted route? Because he’s a Black man with multiple police complaints against him, and Lizzie is a White woman with a clean slate. So, when Lizzie informs the police about Hector’s letter, DS Ella Lloyd (Franc Ashman) matches it with Toby’s last known address and searches Hector’s house. They find the secret room, but there’s nothing in it. He’s arrested for obstructing Lloyd’s investigation. But he’s let go soon after because he’s best buddies with the commissioner.
Stressed by everything that has happened, he goes for a massage. He invites his Iranian masseuse, Omid (Yazdan Qafouri), who also happens to be an illegal immigrant, to his house with the promise of helping with his citizenship application. After drugging him, Hector explains why he’s essentially a homophobic, racist murderer. He says that his father had an affair with an Indian Parsi helper named Ravi. This caused his mother to kill herself. His father didn’t console him and instead sent him to a boarding school. When he returned, though, he attacked Ravi for taking away his and his mother’s position in the family. He says that he didn’t kill him. He brutalized him to the extent that he felt liberated and empowered. So, yes, that’s basically why Hector does what he does. He is a classist, racist, and homophobe with blood lust.
‘I Came By’ Ending Explained: Does Jay Manage To Avenge Toby And Lizzie?
Omid momentarily manages to escape with Lizzie’s help. But Hector gets a hold of him again and brings him back to the house by threatening him about his citizenship. By the looks of it, he kills Omid and then sets his sights on Lizzie. He finds out that Lizzie is already following him and manages to lure her into his house and attacks her. He gets knocked down by her a couple of times. However, he overpowers her and takes her to the basement. That’s where we see him preparing to burn Omid in the kiln. Lizzie asks him about Toby. And he says that he is already dead and that he has flushed his ashes down the toilet. As Lizzie cries out in horror, Hector starts to cut into Omid. A few minutes later, we see Lizzie’s driving license burning, which means that Lizzie is dead too.
Jay breaks into Hector’s house and finds out that it’s completely empty, thereby indicating that he has shifted his base. Years go by (this is a guess based on Jay and Naz’s son’s growth and the fact that they are an estranged couple now). Finally, Naz shows up to inform him that Hector is going to read her dissertation at the school’s tercentenary celebration. Jay tails Hector from the school all the way to his new home. After making sure that he’s asleep, Jay breaks in with the intention of killing Hector. But he fails, thereby giving Hector the chance to wound him. They get into a brutal fight, which ends abruptly, though. Moments later, we see Jay rescuing Hector’s victim and driving away. Lloyd, along with the rest of the police force, arrives to see Hector all taped up in the corner of the house and the words “I came by” written on the wall.
Since a major chunk of “I Came By” shows how privileged White men with somewhat of a “good name” in society get away with crimes or acts of aggression against minorities, I don’t know if Hector is going to be convicted of capturing and killing people. Especially since Lloyd arrested him in a reactionary way earlier, and now he’s been found tied up in his own home. This may not be a “caught red-handed” kind of situation, but that’s the ending the film chooses to go with. Also, since the titular term has been associated with edge-lord vigilantes, there’s a good chance Hector (or his lawyer) will be able to prove that it’s their work and he’s being framed. One could say that that’s Anvari’s way of showing that true evil always persists. However, Jay getting to avenge Toby and Lizzie’s deaths and saving one of Hector’s victims can be considered a win. Going by his call to Naz, he’ll probably be able to give his wife and kid the time and attention they need as he’s free of the guilt that was eating away at him. And maybe this is going to keep Hector on his toes and make him think twice before committing a crime again. Because now he knows that his money and power aren’t going to protect him from justice-seekers like Jay.
“I Came By” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Babak Anvari.