I Came By ending explained: what is in the basement? Who is the prisoner at the end?

Hugh Bonneville stars as a judge with secrets.
Hugh Bonneville stars as Hector Blake, a judge with dark secrets. (Image credit: Netflix)

New Netflix thriller I Came By has got viewers gripped with its twisty-turny game of cat and mouse that gets more intense by the minute. 

The movie stars Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville as Sir Hector Blake, a retired judge with dark secrets that he is willing to go to chilling lengths to keep hidden. But when graffiti artist Toby (George MacKay) stumbles upon a terrifying secret at Hector's home one night after breaking in, a series of terrifying events unfold that will leave you on the edge of your seat. 

Toby's actions have devastating consequences for his mum Lizzie (Kelly Macdonald) and his friend Jay (Percelle Ascott), and soon the storyline twists lead to a dramatic climax. But what happens at the end of I Came By? And who is the mysterious prisoner being held at Hector Blake's home? Here are all your questions about the Netflix thriller answered... 

*WARNING — spoilers for I Came By below*

What is I Came By about on Netflix?

This gripping thriller was written and directed by Babak Anvari and tells the story of a graffiti artist called Toby Nealey, who unwittingly unearths a disturbing secret after breaking into the home of renowned former High Court Judge, Sir Hector Blake.

Toby's life starts to unravel as he struggles to protect himself as well as do the right thing, and soon his discovery has terrifying consequences for him and those closest to him, including his mum Lizzie and his best mate, Jay Agassi.

Toby and Jay are graffiti artists who target the wealthy.

Toby and Jay are graffiti artists who target the wealthy. (Image credit: Netflix)

What does Toby find in the basement?

When Toby breaks into Hector Blake’s home, he’s shocked to find something disturbing behind a hidden steel door in the basement. While we don't find out for a while what it is that he has seen, it soon transpires that there is a bloodied and bruised man being held hostage in the basement, and it is clear that this man has been there for some time. 

We later find out that the nameless prisoner is a substitute for a man called Ravi, who is someone from Hector's past. 

George MacKay as Toby just after discovering evil.

Toby is left sickened after discovering a prisoner in Hector's basement.  (Image credit: Netflix)

What happened to Toby in I Came By?

After Toby anonymously reports that there is something sinister in Hector's house, the police go to investigate but fail to find anything of interest. However, Toby knows that something has to be done about the man in Hector's basement and decides to break in and get him out. However, this time Hector is wise to what is going on, and after Toby's attempts to save the hostage fail, he ends up being killed by Hector. 

After Toby vanishes (unbeknownst to his mum he has actually been murdered and thrown into a pottery kiln, with his ashes then flushed down the toilet) Lizzie works out Toby is linked to Hector (with a little help from Jay) and starts following him for answers. However, Lizzie is playing a dangerous game, and soon Toby's not the only one on Hector's hit list. 

What happened to Lizzie in I Came By?

As well as killing off Iranian masseuse, Omid, for knowing too many of his dark secrets, Hector then sets his sights on silencing Lizzie. After a game of cat and mouse, Lizzie finds herself in the same basement her son was killed in, and is sickened when Hector reveals that Toby is dead. Later, we see Lizzie’s driving license burning, which means that she is likely to have also met a grisly end. 

Kelly Macdonald in I Came By.

Kelly Macdonald as Lizzie in I Came By. (Image credit: Netflix)

Why does Hector Blake kill in I Came By?

About half way through the movie, Hector tells Omid about his dark past, which has made him the killer that he is today. He reveals that years earlier his father had an affair with someone named Ravi, but this tore his family apart and when his mother found out, she ended up taking her own life. Hector was then sent off to boarding school and, when he returned, he admitted to attacking Ravi for tearing his family apart but promises that he hadn't killed him. It seems Hector now kidnaps men and holds them hostage in some sort of revenge plan for what Ravi did to his family. 

George Mackay and Percelle Ascot as graffiti pals Toby and Jay.

George Mackay and Percelle Ascot as friends Toby and Jay. (Image credit: Netflix)

I Came By ending explained: who is the prisoner? 

Months after Liz's disappearance, Jay finally tracks down Hector in his old family home and decides to get revenge for Toby and Liz's murders. Jay's plan doesn't quite work out when he almost ends up becoming Hector's next victim... but thankfully he eventually gets the upper hand in a fight with the killer and manages to find the Ravi substitute in a new basement, this time in the garage. 

At the end of the movie we see the police arrive, with the prisoner on the driveway waiting to be rescued. 

Is Hector caught in I Came By?

Instead of killing Hector at the end, Jay leaves him bound and gagged in his house, serving him up on a plate for the police. But Jay doesn't stick around, and instead makes himself scarce, hopefully going back to his girlfriend and their baby. 

The very last scene sees Hector taped up in the corner of the room with the words “I came by” on the wall, which has been graffitied by Jay. But while Jay might have got revenge for Toby and Lizzie's deaths, as well as managing to save the other prisoner, does this mean Hector will now go down for the crimes he has committed? Or will he manage to avoid punishment with so many friends on the police force? 

Will there be an I Came By season 2?

There is no news from Netflix as yet about a second season, but given the way the movie ends it is looking unlikely there will be another series. However, we will update this page should any announcements be made. 

Where was I Came By filmed? 

I Came By was filmed entirely in London and the leafy suburb of Surrey. 

Speaking of filming in the capital city, Percelle Ascott, who plays Jay, told Yahoo news: "For me, it was quite magical, because we're filming on locations that I grew up in. There was one particular location that was a school my grandfather went to, so again it was just nice to have that experience of filming in your London."

Where can I watch I Came By?

I Came By is available to stream worldwide on Netflix. 

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.