Study Guide

Seven What's Up With the Ending?

What's Up With the Ending?

The Divine Tragedy

Sinfully clever serial killer John Doe turns himself into the police, but he's only committed five out of seven murders planned around the seven deadly sins.

Is he just a lazy serial killer?

Of course he isn't.

This is all part of his plan. He tells Detectives Mills and Somerset that he will take them to the last two bodies. They agree, and Doe leads them to the middle of the desert. Where are the bodies? That dead dog in the road? "I didn't do that," Doe quips, in a rare moment of humor.

Suddenly, a driver pulls up with a special delivery. While Mills guards Doe, Somerset opens the box.

What's in the box?!

It's the head of Mills' wife, Tracy. Doe killed her, after maybe sexually assaulting her. ("I tried to play husband," he says.) He tells Mills that his own sin is envy, and he encourages Mills: "Become vengeance, David. Become wrath."

And Mills does. He shoots Doe, committing the seventh murder and the seventh sin.

And then he shoots him again. And again and again and again.

That's one way to cap off a gruesome tragedy.

And that's all we're left with. In the '90s, it was shocking. As Somerset tells Mills, he can't shoot an unarmed suspect, even if said suspect might get put to death anyway.

But is the ending of Seven as shocking today? You tell us.

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