I woke up last Sunday morning got up went to brush my teeth then came back into my room turned on the tv to get some entertainment while I brush. To my delight Se7en was on so my search stopped there and I was all in again for my umpteenth viewing of the Fincher product. The part I jumped in on was right before detective Mills and Somerset discover the ‘Sloth’. When I sat down to watch it I noticed something that I hadn’t previously. Now if you are not familiar with the film its about a serial killer named John Doe who is patterning his kills off of the seven deadly sins. For a visual refresher this is the scene
Pretty wicked scene right, its downright frightening when the guy wakes up and gasps fort air. The part I was referring to earlier happened right after the clip above ends. I couldn’t manage to find the clip after searching for a while so I’ll just describe it instead. The crime scene around the sloth’s apartment is cordoned off. Mills (Brad Pitt) and Somerset (Morgan Freeman) are standing watch at the top of the stairs before the apartment. While they are standing watch a paparazzi sneaks up the stairs and starts snapping pictures (the title image is one of the pics he took) of the scene before Mills gets a little physical with him by showing him the way downstairs and cursing him out as he leaves. As Mills is turning around Somerset says to him “It’s impressive to see a man feeding off his emotions.” For some reason that line struck me differently and with the *spoiler alert* photographer being revealed later to be John Doe when they find the title picture in his apartment it all starts to piece together.
Somerset’s quote foreshadows Mill’s fate perfectly by completing Doe’s plan of the seven deadly sin killings with the final one being Wrath. After Doe sees how easily Mills gets worked up he locks in on him. He knows that under the right circumstances he can manipulate Mills into feeling such hatred and anger he will have very little choice and ultimately give into the violence that festers inside of him and ultimately unleash it on Doe. The transfer of emotion is how Mills becomes a possessed by Doe and ends up doing what he had planned along. By killing the evil Doe Mills has become evil himself and caused it grow stronger. Mills’ innocent and pure wife is violated and sacrificed and Mills the hero protagonist who is in a twisted way a reason his wife died. By avenging her he relinquished his soul in a way and becomes a broken man in mind,body and spirit.
But if he had refused to do that like Somerset pleaded with him to do so that wouldn’t be the case. He would’ve suppressed the wrath he was feeling and had a chance to conquer the evil that was coursing through him in that moment but alas he just became another one of the forsaken. That is why the ending is so gut wrenching because everyone is constantly fighting the Doe that is inside of us all in a spiritual battle. Do we give in to weight of our own anguish and allow the darkness to take over or make the other choice ?