This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Erin Elizabeth’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Every step Cass takes in what I see as a very exactly executed plan involves getting people to be empathic by giving them experiences they can personally relate to ("Look how easy it was. I guess you just had to think about it in the right way. I guess it feels different when it's someone you love.") It could maybe be argued she traumatized Al or Dean Walker but we all know that's bullshit. Cassie only matches the vigilante tropes in that she doesn't seek law enforcement. Because she knows better than to do so right away. She also probably knows her plan won't work but she's gonna make damn sure there's not much wiggle room. I think Ryan helped her execute this whether that was his intention or not.
Cassie may or may not have remembered names & exact details, as there are bits which show her forgetting things like dates & such, specifically highlighted when her mom is alarmed that she didn't remember her birthday. She definitely didn't forget Al though. Ryan helped by reminding her. I don't doubt that she possibly really fell for Ryan & I can empathize completely if she did. I'm not totally convinced that's the case though. I'm not sure Cassie didn't design a large portion of the ending, which I'm not saying isn't horrible. I think Cassie knew though that Al wasn't gonna get his, or even possibly get his, without some sort of proof.
I know That Scene is horrible to sit through. I hate it too. I knew though, it was coming, in some iteration. I think part of WHY That Scene is so fucking sad & causes anger is because Cass knew some version of it would play out but hoped it wouldn't. At least not That Version.
We all hope, even those of us full well knowing better, that people won't do The Worst Thing. They do though. And I think the visual honesty this established throughout gave foreshadowing to the fact that that ending wasn't gonna be a cutaway one. Cassie constantly sacrifices herself mentally, emotionally, and physically throughout the duration of the film. the ending wasn't glorifying or okaying that at all. it's abhorrent. it was, imho, showing that Cassie knew she probably would die, likely violently, in order to maybe even attempt to get people to see what a shit head one person in a long line of several people in a horrific system are.